Don’t be good, BE GREAT!

Be GREAT!

Just my perspective!

“Instead of trying to be good at everything, try to be great at something.”

What are you great at?

This question is kind of like that dreaded, tell me about yourself question, but it is necessary. It’s necessary because we get a better understanding of ourselves. We also waste less time on things we just aren’t good at.

Growing up I have learned a lot of things, and believe it or not there are a lot more things that I have to learn. With growth comes knowledge and wisdom. One thing that I am guilty of is trying to be perfect at everything because I want to feel like I am good at something. When in all reality there are many things that I am just not good or great at, and that is ok. What is for me is simply for me and what isn’t, simply isn’t.

It’s good…

View original post 1,071 more words

Painting Yellows

In the brightness of day,
Or in the gloominess of grey,

While most creatures are asleep,
Or busy hurdling themselves down a steep.

Perhaps some even painting,
Which is resulting in black paint splattering.

Maybe a wiser course for one to take,
Would be to rouse oneself awake.

Awake enough to splatter some yellows,
Enough to spread some smiles.

To show those hopeless or asleep creatures that,
The world can be in a better state.

So start painting but remember,
Black paint can only be covered if one of yellow applies a good cover.

So much that the black is far from the possibility of reappearing,
Thus you’ll have to pick your brush and start splashing.

Come on, folks!
Let’s start painting yellows!

Malcolm X (1925-1965)

The Muslim, Human Activist and One of the Most Influential Afro-Americans of All Time

Malcolm X has been one of the most influential people in America. He was an Afro-American, a Muslim, and a human rights activist. Recently I finished reading his autobiography and I’m telling you, the story of his life is incredible. 

It’s incredible how he changed so much from something to someone. Looking at how he spent his teenage life to his early twenties it’s impossible to think that one day he would be a firm Muslim and convert millions of people to Islam in just two months. And here is the basic summary of his life. 

He was born on May 19th, 1925 in Omaha, Nebraska, the fourth of seven children. His father died – or was murdered – in a ‘car accident.’ Though suspicions from his mother were that he was murdered by the Black Legion. Malcolm attended school till eighth grade and then left it because he was disappointed when one of his teachers told him that he wouldn’t be able to achieve going into law and becoming a lawyer (like he wanted to). 

Soon after this incident, he went to Boston to live with his elder stepsister, Ella. There he worked some odd-jobs here and there. After a year or something, he decided to leave and go live in New York. 

There he got into gambling smoking, drugs, thievery and even armed robbery. He spent plenty of time there. 

In late 1945 he returned to Boston and continued with his trade of robbery, stealing from wealthy, white families. In 1946, he got arrested while picking up a stolen watch he had left at a shop for repairs. 

This led to a sentence for eight-to-ten years in jail. During his time there, Malcolm’s family often used to visit him and send him letters. Then this letter came from one of his brothers telling Malcolm about the new religion they had embraced. It was called ‘Islam,’ (remember that this is the ‘Islam’ that the false prophet in America bough, he used to call it Islam as well) and was taught by a person named ‘Elijah Muhammad.’ So basically, he considered the white people in America ‘devils’ and was completely against them. Along with a bunch of other beliefs, of course.

Malcolm got attracted to it because the idea of being against the whites appealed to him. And because his brother wrote to him saying ‘Malcolm, don’t eat any more pork and don’t smoke any more cigarettes. I’ll show you how to get out of prison.’ 

So basically then, he accepted it. 

Which I guess I don’t really blame him for. 

His sister (or brother) told him that Elijah was coming over to the city where they lived, and planned to stay in their house. So she advised Malcolm to send letters to Elijah during his stay there. To get a better understanding of that religion and get acquainted with the founder. He (Malcolm) found that idea interesting and decided to do what she told him to. 

When he sat down to write a letter, he suddenly came to the realization that yeah, he could write, But his language was too foul, (that came from all his life on the street) his writing skills were terrible, and he was unable to express himself in words. This discovery made him rather ashamed of himself so he set about to learn properly. There was this prison library where they were there was an assortment of multiple books. He somehow got hold of a dictionary, and decided to start writing it. He literally wrote the whole thing down on paper. The whole big dictionary.

This helped in improving his vocabulary and his handwriting. He started to read, read all the time. Even at night. His general knowledge increased along with all the other benefits of reading. 

Then, when his sentence in prison ended, he started to meet up with Elijah regularly, soon – because he was so faithful – became one of his biggest ministers. He ended up influencing hundreds of Afro-Americans to this religion because of his amazing speaking skills. 

After a couple of years, he got married to another follower of this religion, (Elijah and everyone else calls it ‘Islam’ but I’m avoiding it) Betty X. 

Anyway, to cut a long story short, he went to Hajj in 1964. And there was where and when he converted to Islam. The beauty of brotherhood seen and experienced amazed him. White, black, brown all were together. All came for the same reason, all treated each other respectfully like brothers. Quite unlike what he had learnt in the past religion. That was full of racism – and I may add that most of the teaching makes no sense whatsoever – and while it united the Afro-Americans, it created the thought that they’re the best and that the whites are – as I said before – ‘devils.’ 

So he converted to Islam. And like he had been a strong follower of the former religion, he was a strong Muslim. He was the reason for converting- yet again – millions of people to Islam in just two months (two months because after that he was murdered.) 

He died in February 1965. Or in other words, was murdered. Assassinated. Not really surprising I suppose, considering all he did. This is how he died (copied from Wikipedia):

On February 19, 1965, Malcolm X told interviewer Gordon Parks that the Nation of Islam was actively trying to kill him. On February 21, 1965, he was preparing to address the OAAU in Manhattan’s Audubon Ballroom when someone in the 400-person audience yelled, “Nigger! Get your hand outta my pocket! As Malcolm X and his bodyguards tried to quell the disturbance, a man rushed forward and shot him once in the chest with a sawed-off shotgun and two other men charged the stage firing semi-automatic handguns.[191] Malcolm X was pronounced dead at 3:30 pm, shortly after arriving at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital. The autopsy identified 21 gunshot wounds to the chest, left shoulder, arms and legs, including ten buckshot wounds from the initial shotgun blast.

2020, A Disaster, or a Blessing in Disguise?

The year 2020 has come to a close. After nearly a whole year of lockdowns, quarantining, virus, illness, and loss, the globe looks forward to a new year – 2021. Hoping to begin a fresh new start. To adjust to this ‘new normal,’ to cover up their losses and begin all over again. All the hopes we had at the beginning of a new decade were dashed by a microscopic virus. Creepy, but the truth. 

Most people would say that 2020 has been a terrible year, a horrible year, a year not worth appearing in history. Countless memes have been made based on it – no other year got that honour. What we did this year was just existing. No one lived this year, it was basically existing. Yes, there is a difference. 

Is that your opinion as well? (That 2020 has been a terrible year for humanity?)

Yes?

Ahh, I don’t blame you. I must say that I didn’t find it very amicable either. 

But look at it through another perspective. 

To every single thing, there are at least two opposite perspectives. Every good has a bit of bad and every bad has a slice of goodness nearby. Whenever something good happens, we ignore the wrong in it. And vice versa. 

But that’s wrong. 

Absolutely, Utterly, WRONG. 

What if I say: 2020 has been a great blessing for humanity. Sure, it had it’s ‘badness’ but it was worth it. 

Will you agree? No? Hopefully, by the end of this article you will. 

Let me start by first stating all the ‘wrong’ and ‘injustice’ 2020 did to us: 

  • A deadly virus.
  • A pandemic.
  • Nearly 2 million deaths. 
  • Global lockdown 
  • More rules
  • Ban on travels.
  • Closing schools and offices. 
  • No gatherings.
  • No celebrations.
  • Job losses.
  • Separation from family & friends. 
  • Boredom.

And the like. But maybe we’re looking at 2020 through the wrong perspective? Maybe it would be better if we looked at it through a better, more positive perspective? If we do that, perhaps it shall overcome the negativity.

Firstly, it bought families together. Before the pandemic arrived, the kids would be at school for about half the day, dad at the office (sometimes the mom as well). Once they got home, it was resting time and homework. Someone has to do the grocery shopping, there goes dad again. The only bit of time they spent together as a family was at dinnertime, then ta-ta because it’s time to go sleep and tomorrow’s a busy day. This was “life” in 2019. The woohoo, boom, 2020 arrived to set everything straight. It rescued the routine that was driving families away from each other. It came and taught the world what was to live with a family and what families are.

People came closer to Islam. Staying at home and having plenty of free time got us thinking. When the realization that ‘We have nothing to turn to except Allah SWT and Eeman(faith)’ many people turned towards it. Not everyone, but some. It gave us time to sit back and reflect on what we are, what we’re here for, what worthy thing have we done in our lives, and what will happen if we get COVID and die. It gave us time for more Ibaadah(worship), more prayers, more dua’s, more Adhkaar etc 

Now, if you think of it. COVID-19 actually created the atmosphere of homeschooling throughout the globe. Online education is very hectic, and it’s pretty difficult to understand what the teacher is saying at times. But you’ll have to admit that homeschooling was what the world has done this year. And I want to say that I personally found it very good. How was your experience? For us as homeschoolers, it didn’t make much of difference. But that’s a topic for another day. 

It gave us a chance to let go of the past and begin a new start. For most of the time this year, we were free and didn’t have anything to do – especially at the beginning when people were unsure about what was happening. We had enough free time to sit down and study in a completely new field toward an absolutely different career. Coursera (an online courses website) offered several of it’s paid courses entirely free – alongside valid certifications, too I may add. Islamic Online University gave its diploma in many Islamic courses free. Webinars were held regularly. So yeah, that’s my point. Education was made simple. 

Pollution. The increasing rate of pollution dropped massively. The environment because healthier and cleaner. Since transportation and vehicle movement decreased, gases in the air also sank alongside it. Factories weren’t working half as much so water pollution and the release of poisonous fumes receded. All this helped in making the world a cleaner place to live and the growing the ozone layer which both have been a great problem to us for years. Scientists noticed that the sky got bluer. Evidence that the world is cleaner now.

Hygiene has much been looked after. Washing hands regularly, wearing masks, staying hydrated etc all count in hygiene. People now have realized its importance and implement them more in their lives. 

It bought up the realization that everyone on earth doesn’t need to go out every day to learn or work and that all this can be done at home as well. Work-from-home, study-from home, earn-from-home, stay-at-home, buy-from-home(yes people started online delivery for groceries) do-everything-from-home. And now, we have full proof that we can study from home, earn from home, buy sitting in your house and YOU DON’T HAVE TO GO OUTSIDE EVERY SINGLE DAY OF YOUR LIFE IN ORDER TO EXIST ON EARTH. 

(Sorry for the outburst lol)

All those are roughly the blessings 2020 bought, and I’m sure they are more. However, in the meantime, here you go. Obviously, it had its bad, many people had huge harm bought to them but what can one do? Remember the thing about every bad thing having a good side and vice versa? Maybe looking at things through another perspective will help? 

Anyhow, here’s 2021. Let’s just pray and hope for a better year! 

Have a splendid year folks! 

Helpless Humanity

Something small and deadly,
Something dangerous and tiny.

Changed the world,
And the course of humanity turned.

Unexpected and instantaneous,
Disasterous and extraneous.

But it changed thought,
And bought up a terrible truth.

We’re helpless,
Us as humans are powerless.

Fighting against a microscopic virus proved fruitless,
Protecting oneself from an unseeable particle was useless.

The technology didn’t assist,
Robots didn’t appear on the helping list.

The “superpower” of the world shattered,
The countries, with or without, nuclear weapons all were battered.

Conspiracy theories worked day and night,
We believed them. Without realizing what was wrong and what was right.

We entered an unbelievable trance,
Got stuck in a frozen stance.

After all, it was hard to admit,
That we humans – we smart, clever creatures – have to throw our weapons and quit.

Hard contest.
Difficult test.

We lost,
The virus continues its victorious worldwide jaunt.

There’s no way to stop it.
A little virus is impossible to outwit.

Live with it and adjust to the “new normal” is only what we can do.
Rather funny after what we tried to prove ourselves, too.

The Path to Reading

All this time I’ve been blathering about reading but never thought to sit down and write about it. Now, how did I come to reading? Umm, people do ask these kinds of questions and I’m pretty sure I’ve never given a satisfactory answer. I mean like what can one answer anyway? It’s not going to be a one-lined answer, it shall be a long lecture. And a normal human can’t exactly think of a whole lecture and give to the person who’s standing in front of you in a matter of seconds. Here, I’ve tried to give some tips on how you can begin your reading journey – it’s a great journey I may add. Let’s see what job I’ve done.

OK, I don’t mean to brag or sound vain but I’ve personally inspired three kids to read and now, I must say, that they are avid readers – Ma sha Allah. Since of course I don’t remember how I started my reading habit, I’ll look through how they started their reading journeys, with a few points from here and there.

First of all, drill it into your mind that reading isn’t boring. Don’t you dare insult my beloved books. Maybe if you’ve read some of my earlier posts, you know what exactly are the benefits of reading. However, if you haven’t, I’ll link the posts at the end.

Anyway, back to where I was.

Some benefits of reading are:

  • Imagination, which leads to creativity which leads to invention.
  • Learning.
  • Expansion of general knowledge.
  • It doesn’t need the internet.
  • Inspiration to write.

And the like.

Alright then, next point.

Don’t think that reading is only for nerds and you don’t have the stamina to read. If you do think so, then that is the most absurd thing I’ve heard of in my life. Hmm, actually, I don’t get why ‘nerd’ is considered an insult. It should be considered a compliment. Anyway, that’s a topic for another day. Remember that reading is necessary for everyone and that authors don’t go around finishing their ink pens just for the sake of the few scattered nerds around the globe.

Start with good books. The term ‘good books’ here means books you’ll enjoy reading. Not those fat things you have to force yourself to read. That’s not ever going to work. Don’t make it a task it should be something you’ll look forward to. Some people are like ‘this is a very important book regarding my work. Even though it’s very boring, I’ll have to read this important thing first before moving on to another.’ It’s literally the same as saying that I have to read that dusty encyclopedia before moving on to a thin magazine. So basically, what I’m saying is that. Start reading what you enjoy. Once you get into the habit. Reading those long things will be easy.

For example, once I met one of my cousins after a long time. I used to read 24/7 at that time and she didn’t at all – I did spend time with her! One day, one of us took into our minds that she ought to start reading (I don’t remember which one but it was probably me XD.) I was reading Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl those days and gave it to her. Unfortunately, she wasn’t able to finish it in time but she promised that she would read it once she got back because she found it interesting. She did. And now she’s an avid reader Ma sha Allah. So moral of the story is not that you should go and read Charlie and the Chocolate Factory if you’re not a bookworm, but that you should start with a good book. 

Please don’t get lazy. Don’t say that watching is better/easier than reading. Because I’m telling you, reading is definitely a million times better than watching. It’s the original thing. Movies are never better. ESPECIALLY if it’s made based on a book. And remember to take out time to read each day! Because frankly speaking, that’s the only way to start a good habit!

Read at your own speed. If you’re a slow reader, do NOT, I repeat NOT let that come in your way. The book will finish, it’s not infinite! Besides, along with time, you’ll improve. I’m telling you.

If you get tired of reading one fine day, then leave it. Oh no! Not forever. Just that day. I often get tired – maybe not that often – of reading. Leave it aside overnight (why does this sound so much like a recipe?) and by morning you’ll get to it easily!

BTW, just a random fact. If you read for a long time at night – or short it depends – you’ll find yourself getting sleepy. This is very good for sleepless nights when whatever you try one can’t sleep. I’ve done this a couple of times and it works 😉 Oh yeah! This is only if you’re reading from a hard copy. Soft copies wake a person up even more.

All in all. I hope this post was helpful!

The links:
Out of The Box Studying System
Golden Chests of Imagination, Creativity and Invention
Disposable Books vs Living Books – written by Aymun, a friend.