Friday, December 16, 2011

What's Your Focus?

The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon Him) would pronounce the following beautiful words upon awakening from sleep:

“Praise be to Allah, who has returned my soul to me, and revitalized my body, and allowed me to remember Him.” (Tirmidhi)

With these profound words, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon Him) would start off his day in gratitude, enthusiasm, and optimism, despite all the responsibilities and challenges that rested on his shoulders. In short, he (peace and blessings be upon Him) was following a key principle of happiness: focusing on the positive.

Friday, December 2, 2011


If I were to ask you what you want in life, you might say things like making a million dollars, marrying the perfect spouse, having good physical health, achieving closeness to Allah, saving the trees, being respected, and, and, and. The underlying objective of such wants is to achieve a sense of pleasure, an internal joy, a feeling of peace, all of which can be summarized as a state of happiness. At the end of the day, what we want in life is to be happy.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Reciprocity in Ramadan

It is said that the resting place of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon Him) is the Ka’bah of the Ka’bah…

Time became still as I approached the resting place of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon Him).  I was in a state of observation and reflection. Here I was, having travelled thousands of kilometres away from home in Toronto to meet my Prophet in the blessed city of Madinah. Surrounding me were millions of people from all over the world – young and old, wealthy and poor, black and white, together depicting the rich mosaic of our ummah – miraculously unified in their expression of awe, humility, and indebtedness towards the Prophet as they approached his blessed grave. Everyone was in tears of love as they struggled to get the attention of the Prophet with their greetings of peace and salutations.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Welcome to Karachi and the Power of Contrast

This past summer I spent five weeks in Karachi, Pakistan. This trip was significantly different from my previous trips to Karachi, partly due to developments in the city, and partly due to my changing perception and interpretation of experiences.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Is it Possible to Learn Arabic?

I am foregoing a blog post on my Karachi trip (for now) to address a question repeatedly posed to me: is it feasible to learn Arabic through online programs, given our preoccupation with the standard family and work responsibilities? I get this question often because I am currently enrolled in an online Arabic program.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

iPod Touch

As-salamu alaikum,

Please excuse the delay in this post. I was on a seven week trip, during which I came to know that I could not use Blogger on my iPod Touch to publish a post, and a computer was not easily accessible. And with a busy schedule throughout the trip, I decided to temporarily relinquish my blog activities.

On the topic of iPods, someone asked me if it is worth getting one. The questioner already had a Blackberry, so he wasn’t seeking out a phone, but he wanted to know what added value an iPod Touch could bring into his life.  So I gave him a somewhat lengthy response that I will share with y’all in case you are wondering.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Complaining again

The Prophet (peace and blessing be upon Him) said, “How wonderful is the affair of the believer, for his affairs are all good, and this applies to no one except the believer. If something good happens to him, he is thankful for it and that is good for him. If something bad happens to him, he bears it with patience and that is good for him.” (Muslim)

Complaints can be categorized into two types – complaints about things that we have control over, and complaints about things that we don’t have control over. In my previous post on responsibility, I was referring to the first type of complaint as a sign of being irresponsible. Usually such people subconsciously believe themselves to be incompetent or incapable, and so, at a conscious level, they portray themselves as competent or capable through bringing down someone else by complaining. As the saying goes, “Small people try to make themselves bigger by making other people feel smaller.” On the other hand, great people make themselves bigger by elevating others. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon Him) was so great that he cultivated a set of desert nomads into becoming the champions and leaders of civilization.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Own your Life

The very first step in overcoming any issue or pursuing any goal - whether it is related to religion, health, relationships, money, addictions, or whatever - is to recognize that the desirable outcome will only be attained through taking ownership and responsibility of one’s life. This point may not sound so revolutionary at first, but it is so foundational to personal development that most self help books will start off with a chapter centred on this theme. At a personal level, knowing that I am responsible for who I have become – and who I can become - was an incredible opening in my life.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


“Ya Sin. By the Quran filled with wisdom. You (O Muhammad) are 
indeed one of the Messengers, on a straight path.” [36:1-4]

During the time of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon Him), the people of the Arabian Peninsula adopted many abhorrent practices such obsession in tribalism, the burying of daughters alive, abuse of slaves, and dishonesty in transactions. Yet the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon Him) was able to eradicate these practices from their hearts and minds, and then adorn them with lofty virtues such as striving for excellence, taking the middle path, honouring daughters, kissing children, living humbly, abolishing racism, being honest in transactions, sanctifying life, eating pure, seeking knowledge, etc. How did he accomplish this?

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Welcome to Prophetic Principles

As-salaamu alaykum (Peace be upon you).

Thanks for visiting my blog. This post will give you an idea about whether or not this blog is for you. In a nutshell, this blog is specifically for Muslims that want – and are ready to put in the required effort - to be Successful, Productive, Effective, in Control, Influential, and ALive (SPECIAL), using principles that can be derived from the practice of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon Him).