FeeQalbee: Workshop

Seminars, workshops, spiritual talks and halaqas. For the past few weeks I have steeped myself in these types of spiritual programmes just to find an inkling of me again. It all started with one workshop regarding child-rearing, and then it spiralled into so many others, until finally it led me to yesterday’s Spiritual Revolution workshop.

Progression in gradualism is what Islam teaches us, but I have always been an impatient and hasty personality. This time though I can see my spiritual revivalism in the making – I can almost see the various cogs coming together to form a cohesive me. And it feels great!

The workshop was presented by the founder of FeeQalbee (see blogroll), Haafidha Rayhaanah Omar- a mentor, educational and media consultant and Tahfeedhul Qur’aan specialist. Wow! Talk about multi-titling, masha’Allah. Although it was entitled “Spiritual Revolution”, I took something altogether different out of the day.

Self-esteem, self-worth and positive thinking. These are the three elements that we discussed yesterday that inspired me the most. To quote from sister Rayhaanah: “Confidence is Beautiful”. Never in a million years would anybody hear me saying that if it was not for the workshop. My negativity surpasses even that of Frasier in the comedy series; “Frasier”!

I never realised just how much thinking negatively actually holds you back. Yes we all hear from happy-go-lucky motivational speakers that positive thinking is the key to success, but I think that you have got to be really ready in your own space to accept that. I wasn’t until now. I have not realised that I have become a people-pleaser. Well largely a mother-in-law pleaser, nevertheless, Rayhaanah says “You are not bound by the thoughts of other people and God has not given you the eyes of looking back!” SubhanAllah! If you are going to try to please everyone else, you are definitely going to lose who you are.

And losing who I am was happening to me ever since I got married. I have been fed all these negative worries in my head about money, about job-satisfaction, about life, that I have begun to believe it. So much so that I have missed out on my ‘other worldliness’ for so long.

Yes I am a dreamer and yes I have high ideals that do not necessarily mean success in this world, but so what? “Take pride in your opinions and Ideas & don’t be afraid to voice them” (Haafidha Rayhaanah Omar, 2010). This is exactly what I need to do to get out of this rut. I need to be me again and become my ideal person.

A constant theme in the workshop was reaching for dreams and how to get there. We had to ask ourselves- “who am I? who am I not, that I want to be?”. The latter is truly profound. How do we get to who we want to be? My first step is stop trying to please others and to try to please Allah in all that I do.

The realisation that Allah is in everything is also something that hit home yesterday. When I am studying I have to believe that I will be rewarded as if I was studying knowledge of the deen. For my intentions for that knowledge is pure, and is to further others in my community. This is something that I grapple with. My sister always tells me that she is studying so hard and strives for an A aggregate as a means of ibaada’h. Even though she hardly has time for anyone or anything else, her intentions are pure and every deed is judged by intention.

Before I go I would like to leave you with a thought-provoking exercise we did regarding time-management. For me it’s working like the ticking of a time-bomb:

“If you were given the last sixty seconds of your LIFE, how would you spend it? What would you do? What would you say?”

To think about this is powerful enough, but to actually write it down takes you to another level. The aim of course was for us to realise the value of sixty seconds. As sister Rayhaanah says: “In 60 seconds you can read the surah Fatiha once, you can make thikrullah, you can make an intention to memorise Qur’aan, you can make the intention to study the Arabic language, you can call up a widow and make her day, you can smile at an orphan and get so much reward, etc etc.”

What are you going to do with your next 60 seconds?

What I would advise you do after reading this is making the intention to seek the knowledge of Allah. For “whosoever knows himself, knows his Lord”, and I’m pretty sure the inverse of that holds true as well. I will not stop searching for my Rabb, for it is in that searching that I find- me! http://www.feeqalbee.wordpress.com


Long live the o-live leaf

I heard the other day on Islam Channel that Olive leaves are a potent cure for many common ailments. It was a passing comment made by one of the doctors that appear regular on that channel. I also came across the same comment in a book that I am reading at the moment: Sue Visser’s illustrated guide to Healthy Happy Eating. (An excellent read, must have for all Muslims looking to follow the Quranic Instruction: “Eat of that which is pure and wholesome”)

The medicinal effects of Olive leaves (taken from Visser’s book)

  1. boosts your immune system and allows your body to fight off the effects of chronic and acute health conditions without antibiotics
  2. lowers blood pressure and boosts the micro-circulation of the body, especially in the brain, fingers, toes and penis
  3. combats many viral, fungal and bacterial infections including malaria, colds, flues, kidney and bladder infections
  4. improves memory, circulation and sexual prowess
  5. lowers blood sugar levels and improves heart function, peripheral circulation and sexual ability of diabetics
  6. improves fatty acid levels and protects the delicate lining of the intestines
  7. I also heard on the show that it is a very good source of energy if taken as a drink and that it improves the digestive system, thereby helping to reduce constipation and the like

How to use olive leaves and where in the world do I get a hold of them?

  • One or two fresh leaves can be chewed daily.
  • Mix a few leaves in a blender with other fresh fruit/herb ingredients for a potent and delicious health smoothie in the morning. (strain the juice through a cloth or stocking and drink fresh)
  • You can also use dry olive leaves as a form of a tea mix. (mix with rooibos tea)

Olive leaves should be available from your local nursery. You could even plant a tree in your garden or flower pot. Dry leaves should be available from a health store but Visser states that the fresh leaves are the best.

I think they may come in a form of a tablet as well, but I reckon the fresh leaves sound the juiciest.

Happy o-living!