2018 in Retrospect

Assalamu’alaikum brothers and sisters, it’s been a really long while since I’ve actually written anything substantive in this blog. Most of the action on social media takes place these days on the “instant gratification” media like instagram, facebook, twitter, snapchat etc. This is evident from my blog stats which have been dwindling over the past few years.

Despite that, I still believe blogs have a relevance (aside from being an advertorial channel) in allowing me to express deeper thoughts and ideas or even expressing my emotions and feelings.

Anyway, I just thought I’d do a bit of year end reflection and jot down some of the things that are bouncing around in my head.

2018 started off full of energy for me, with #ProjekHijrahAB fuelling my new-found will power and inspiration to good health and fitness going in full swing. I actually spent new year’s eve at the gym!

This awesome momentum continued for the first half of 2018, but somehow things started to fizzle out after that. I take full responsibility for it and I make no excuses. It was sheer laziness and lack of willpower which resulted in me falling off the wagon and to this day, I am struggling to get back on.

I suck at new year resolutions so I’m definitely not making any for next year either. But all I can say is, I will get back on track. It’s hard to say when, but I WILL.

#ProjekHijrahAB consisted of two components, physical and spiritual and while I fell off the wagon physically, I was determined not to fall off the spiritual wagon.

Alhamdulillah, slowly but surely, my spiritual development has continued and I feel closer to Allah SWT now and am ever thankful for his endless bounty.

Strengthening my faith meant finding answers to the questions that had been on my mind all these years. More importantly, finding answers with a slight change in perspective. What is this “slight change”? you may ask. I think this slight change is key to understanding religion, ethnicity, and culture. It’s not rocket science. The answer is “HUMILITY”.

Once we are humble enough to realize that we don’t know everything and we are not perfect, it becomes much easier to accept blessings of a higher being and to accept that there are differences between us and others, and rather than looking at the differences, it would be much more beneficial to look at our similarities and celebrate those instead.

One of the most significant moments of my spiritual journey was a visit to Al-Qudwah Academy in Singapore and meeting my new brothers Dyn Norahim and Joe Johari, and of course a new teacher, Ustaz Syed Esa Alkaff, the first Ustaz who spoke with me, not at me, a totally different approach to the religious teachers whom I had come across at home.

Workwise, this year has been especially challenging due to changes in the workplace and the consequent effects of these changes. if anything, it taught me that the wheel is round and as the wheel turns, at times, you are on top, and at other times, you will be at the bottom. It is not how well you are able to stay at the top (yes it is important to remain competitive and relevant) but more importantly, how well you are able to deal with the situation when you are (inevitably) at the bottom of the spinning wheel.

#ProjekHijrahAB has taught me to take on a more spiritual approach to dealing with hardship and to use the concept of ikhlas, sabar, and reda when mentally dealing with these situations. As a result of this, I believe I have been able to find solutions to my challenges, by trusting in Allah SWT and His plan for me.

The great thing about walking with Allah SWT in life is that there is always the opportunity to start anew – Allah SWT always offers us a new day and a new dawn, no matter what has gone before. Therefore, my hope for the new year is that I will pick up where I left off in my physical hijrah, and be even closer to Allah SWT in my spiritual hijrah.

I’d like to take this opportunity to wish you a peaceful and blessed new year and may we all be showered with His blessings throughout the new year.

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Author: Reedz