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Self development With Umm 'Umar

Bettering ourselves in the spiritual, social, and self-care spheres Spiritual VERSES TO REFRESH OUR SOULS Du'aa from the Qur'aan for the month رَبَّنَا تَقَبَّلْ مِنَّا ۖ إِنَّكَ أَنتَ السَّمِيعُ الْعَلِيمُ ‘Our Lord! Accept (this service) from us, You, indeed, You are the All-Hearing, the All-Knowing. (Surah Baqarah, Ayah 127) This beautiful duaa from the Qur'aan was the prayer of Ibraheem (AS). Even a Prophet of Allah (SWT) who did the most difficult deeds of worship, such as leave his offspring in a far desert land, have the willingness to sacrifice his own son, and rebuild the Ka'bah, did not neglect asking for acceptance of his deeds. More important than the deeds themselves are firstly the intention, and secondly, the acceptance of the deeds. This month, let us finish any good deed with this du'aa, and hope Allah crowns our actions with acceptance. Social SYMPTOMS OF A SICK SOCIETY We undoubtedly live in unprecedented times. The looting that has become widespread in our land is heartbreaking, and we see how societal structure shatters in a short space of time. The reactions to it have uncovered the underlying sickness within our communities. Why the looting? Damage the country because of disagreement with the position of the justice system regarding a former leader? Loot the country because leadership has also done it? Use the turmoil and unrest to gain something because, in general, unemployment doesn't permit earning, for many? Or just steal because when everyone's doing it, nobody will go to jail? The shortsightedness of hurting an economy causing long-term harm for short-term benefit is revealed. This is the crest of the wave of frustration of the people of the land; the people of a land as beautiful and diverse as it gets. Beaches and deserts, vast waters of different oceans, tall strong mountains and flat golden fields, palm trees and succulents, farms and cities; people of all colours, represented by the slogan "unity in diversity" On every coin we use, is this slogan we struggle to embody. The racism within us was once again revealed by the unrest. As a hurt country, who have not healed nor dealt with apartheid emotionally, everything negative takes on a racial connotation. Failing to ascribe crime to a criminal element, once again, it was ascribed to a race. Failing to see that property needs to be protected, even though this may cause harm to the criminal, it was labeled as one race hurting another. Negativity, once again, unmasked the sickness within our society. When will we see things for what they are? When will we see people for who they are rather than for what they look like? When will we break free of division by superficial ethnic qualities? When will we stop misdirecting our anger at other previously oppressed groups and focus on rising up above our pasts? How much more must racism ravage our country before we see the folly in its ways and stop using race to define groups within society? As Muslims, it is our duty to actively prevent racism and the disunity it brings about. This month, let us check ourselves and make sure we don't turn a person's negative behaviour into a negative statement about their race/religious group/gender, etc. Self-care DESTRESS In as much as we feel the mental and physical are different, it is not without intricate connection. Emotional and physical stress both cause cortisol hormone release in the body, which brings about a danger alert state in all systems. Whilst this is necessary for short periods of time, constant activation of this state causes other functions such as immunity and healing to be sidelined. Infections cannot be fought, and abnormal cells including very early cancer cells cannot be dealt with if the body is in a constant stress state. We should never belittle or neglect emotional stress and sideline it's management, only to find physical repercussions later, on top of the existent unresolved emotional stressors. This month, let us give ourselves our dues by paying as much attention to solving our emotional distress, as we would a physical ailment.


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