Reflections: Eid Al-Adha 2016

Eid al-adha has begun and will last until Thursday. The most holy of our two holidays in which we remember one of the main trials of Ibrahim’s life — to obey Allah by the sacrifice of his son, Ismail.

Every year this holiday comes and every year I find it very difficult to relate to that level of iman. It’s too incredible for my little brain. The fact is that I just don’t hear about things like that happening nowadays.

If you take a moment and really imagine the story of Ibrahim’s sacrifice as more than just a story you read about, but as what it is — a real historical event — you’ll know what I mean.

What if you heard about an incident with a neighbor who was a good man. A man who was very pious and God-fearing and you hear about what happened with his son who was also very pious and good. You hear that one day he had a dream in which God told him to sacrifice his son to show his faith. Right when he’s about to slit his son’s throat, at the eleventh hour, a miracle happens and he sees that his son has been replaced by a dead ram and that his son is unharmed.

It’s different when you hear it like that, isn’t it? That kind of faith doesn’t exist in everyone or everywhere. I wish I could say that I would do the same if I was in his position. But honestly, I most likely won’t. I don’t know anyone who would either. But that’s why we remember it every year since about 1700 BC.

It was an incredible leap of faith that continues to baffle, awe, and inspire generations of people. It never gets old and it never gets topped.

It makes me look at all of the things I’ve wanted to improve in myself in order to get closer to Allah. One of the most difficult and enduring of which is to memorize the Qur’an. Ever since I converted I’ve had the thought of memorizing this great book gnawing at my brain. Is it the voice of God telling me to do it? I’m guessing not. Most likely it’s just my habit of setting high expectations for myself that is making me want to do this, but still, maybe those thoughts that challenge us to improve and test our strength are the ones we need to listen to.

Just like Ibrahim who listened to a dream he had, maybe we need to listen to our dreams and have some faith in God for everything to work out for us.

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5 Self-Care Tips for Fall

Hello Ladies,

Fall is upon us! I can’t express how excited I am for fall this year. There have been a lot of great changes that happened in summer that I will be able to finally settle into and I can’t think of a more perfect season to be experiencing right now than fall. It was uncharacteristically hot this summer for Seattle and I do not do well in hot weather! That coupled with a lot of traveling and moving has left me in an exhausted daze which is why it is an absolute necessity that I give myself some TLC as the temperature starts to cool down into my favorite season.
One of the top things I hear women talk about is wanting more self-care. The next comment that inevitably follows is that they are too busy and don’t have the time or the money. I’ve definitely fallen into this type of thinking before, but it doesn’t last too long because I know that this is not just a want, but a need for me and no matter what you tell yourselves, I know you need it too!
When we don’t take care of ourselves, not only do we feel it, but our family, friends and colleagues feel it too. I know that I am better at home, work, and life when I give myself time to honor and love myself.
On that note, here are my 5 self-care tips that will leave you feeling energized, relaxed and ready to live your beautiful life!

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1. Schedule a ‘Self-Care Sunday’

Sundays are my days that I dedicate to self-care. This does not mean that I neglect myself the rest of the week, but setting aside one day helps me to schedule it and not let other things get in the way. I like to schedule a massage and something fun like shopping to treat myself.

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2. Move in the morning

Even before I leave the bed I love to stretch my body for 3-5 minutes and wake up my muscles. Now that the weather is getting cold, our bodies may need an extra nudge to wake us up from those last layers of sleep and stretching is such a simple and easy way to give ourselves that extra boost.

 

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3. Lay in the sun

Yes, even in fall and winter our bodies need sunlight! Just because it isn’t beach weather doesn’t mean that you can’t benefit from the laying down in the sunshine. I lay down on my deck in the mid-afternoon for a few minutes to feel healthier, lower depression and maybe even slip into a cat nap!

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4. Bring out the nail polish

Now is the perfect time to enjoy your warm brown and deep red nail polishes. The process of cleaning and painting my nails leaves me feeling so chic and put together. Whenever I see a woman with clean and polished nails, I see a woman who takes time to honor and care for herself, so take 20 minutes and do the same for yourself!

 

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5. Candlelight dinner at home

I’ve already written about my ritual of preparing a candlelight dinner, but I encourage you to try it for yourself as well. Take time to think of something delicious to prepare, enjoy shopping for the ingredients and finally cook up a gorgeous meal to share (or not!) by candlelight. I guarantee you’ll feel so pampered and relaxed that you won’t want to dine any other way!
I encourage you to choose one or two of these and include these in your week. You don’t have to do all of them or even any of them! Maybe you don’t care about your nails but you like sleeping in and staying in bed. Self-care is not a chore or assignment and is going to be something different for all of us. The important thing to know is that when we take care of ourselves, we bring out the best version of ourselves to us and others – and that’s worth taking time for. What does self-care mean for you?

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