In The Jungle, The Mighty Jungle..


As Salamu-Alaykum, my lovelies!

Last weekend, I braced the freezing cold weather and light drizzle of rain to visit London’s Lyceum Theatre for the first time. You may have guessed from the title of this post (or from reading my tweets)... but I was there to watch Lion King the Musical! Honestly, I can’t believe it took me this long to go and watch it. The show was absolutely brilliant.

I could probably go on to tell you about how breathtakingly stunning the stage and costumes were, or how engaging the actors were, or how nostalgic the songs made me feel– but this post isn’t a review of the show, so I’ll let someone else give you all the details. What I do want to discuss, and I think this is quite important, is Scar. 

I know you’ve all watched The Lion King (movie or show) at some point in your lives, but allow me to refresh your memory. Mufasa is the current king of Pride Rock, and his son, Simba, is next in line. Scar is Simba’s uncle and Mufasa’s brother. In a bid to become the next king of Pride Rock, Scar assassinates his own brother and encourages his own nephew to exile himself forever. His own brother. His own nephew

Morbid. 

Almost unbelievable.

I mean thank God its a cartoon and the characters are lions because things like that just never happen in real life. Surely not, right? 

I'm here to tell you that I had a Scar in my life.

I should say my family actually, because Scar never actually did anything to me specifically. Granted, my Scar never tried to kill anyone. And my Scar is not an uncle. But nevertheless, my Scar has smiled in our faces while plotting to destroy the good in our lives. Alhamdulillah, Allah is the greatest of all planners and no evil can come upon you once He has protected you with His mercy.

I won't say anything further than that - One, because I was shielded from it all as a child (and only heard about bits and pieces from eavesdropping :-p), and two, because if I make this any less abstract, I would be reneging on my vow to stop backbiting.

I hope you get the point of my message regardless. But just in case, I'll elaborate. 

There are four types of people in this world. There are people who mean well for you from the bottom of their heart, and they'll show it through everything that they do(1). There are people who intend the best for you, but never know how best to show it(2). There are people who despise you and make no effort in concealing it(3)

And then, there are devils(4)

Perhaps you could argue that they are worse than the devil, because at least you know to pray for protection against the devil. These people are camouflaged to fit perfectly into your life. They'll poke a hole in your bucket and help you try to fill it... and when you start to wonder why the bucket never fills up, they're right there by your side, scratching their heads and pretending to be as baffled as you are. There are too many snakes in the mighty jungle that is life. Make no apologies for being picky about the people you put your trust in..

Scar doesn't have to be an uncle. 

Scar could be a friend. 

An old one or even new.

Scar could be anyone. 

But I hope Scar isn't you.


May Allah (SWT) protect us from the evil that we know of...
...and the evil that we aren't even aware of. 
Hakuna Matata!
 


I Hate The Person That I've Become...


 As Salamu-Alaykum, my lovelies!

Sigh, where do I begin?

About a year and a half ago, I went through what was probably the most depressing period of my life. First of all, let me admit that Alhamdulillah, my life so far has been extremely blessed, and I've never really had a reason to complain about anything. Like everyone else, I've had my fair share of ups and downs (e.g. school drama, etc), but no testing hardships, Alhamdulillah.

So what happened 'about a year and a half ago'?

...I met myself for the first time.

I can't remember how exactly it happened. I just remember how one day, I allowed myself to fall so deeply in reflection that when I snapped back to reality, I was scared of and for myself. I don't know how best to describe it, but if there's such a thing as an out-of-body experience, then that's what it felt like. I just didn't know who that girl was.

I thought about the girl I used to be when I was younger. I loved that girl. If I ever have a daughter in the future, I would love for her to be like that younger version of me. Up until that day, I actually thought that I was still that girl. I just couldn't understand how, why or when I had morphed into this new person.

I won't go into details, but the fact of the matter is, I knew who I wanted to be... and the person that I saw on that day was not even close. Not even close. I became completely overwhelmed with myself because I thought; "okay, this is who I am now. I have to live with it. I hate her, but I have to live with it".

It took a while and a lot of soul-searching to convince myself that change was an option (and perhaps a necessity). I made a thorough list of all the things I wanted to achieve, and what I would need to do to get there. Change doesn't happen overnight, and I knew that from the beginning. But this type of change also doesn't happen by itself, so I knew I had a lot of work ahead of me.

When I talk about my 'journey', this is basically what I'm referring to. It was a complete overhaul of my priorities, attitude and general outlook on life. Just as an example, tackling pride/conceitedness was definitely on my list. I gave myself small achievable goals so that every month, or every year, or whatever the case may be, I could look back and be proud of some form of progress.

The two most important things that I've learned from this journey, I still carry with me everyday. The first is this;

Wallah, I promise you, there is nothing more important for you than having some time to reflect. Sometimes, you really need to sit down and think about where your life is headed. Don't ever be afraid to be brutally honest with yourself (a friend of mine thought I was exaggerating about my negative qualities, but nobody knows you better than yourself). Life happens much more quickly than you give it credit for, so you have no idea how easily it can whisk you away in the wrong direction. It's almost like driving a car - you have to make conscious decisions to steer and navigate, otherwise you might end up in a complete trainwreck.

The second is a bit of a cliche, but that doesn't make it any less important. It is never too late to change for the better. Anyone who tells you any different is a liar. Tell 'em I said so. If there's anything you don't like about yourself, change it. Love yourself enough to want to be a better you. There's no shame in that. There is no learned habit that can't be unlearned. You just have to find a way to discipline yourself until your new habit becomes as natural as the rest of your personality. You're not perfect, and you never will be... but humans are designed to constantly evolve. Just make sure that when you think about yourself, you are happy with who you are.

Anyway, I try to make time to reflect every day now. You could say that I live more 'consciously'. That auto-pilot life is not for humans, I'll tell you that much. Also, I only surround myself with people who help, inspire or encourage me to be a better person than I was the day before (be it professionally, spiritually, morally etc). I genuinely don't put any energy into any other type of person.

I'm still growing and I'm still learning, but Alhamdulillah, I've never been happier about the person that I'm finally becoming. I also just wanted to add that I'm an extremely private person, so opening up like this is definitely not in my nature (special shout-out to a fellow private blogger Lena... we can do this!).


Has anyone else gone through (or is anyone going through) something similar?
Share your stories, advice or comments below!

As always, I'm at musliminthebigcity@gmail.com if anyone has any private comments or questions.