How I started Praying Everyday.

How I started Praying Everyday.

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِيْمِ

How I started Praying Everyday and how you can too.

I’m putting this story out there knowing fully well what people’s opinions are like when their identity is concealed and their judgements are wild and free. I’m not going to sit here and pretend a mean comment isn’t going to hurt my feelings, or that they’re all hypocrites, because neither is true. But what I do know to be true, and what I’m more concerned with- is that one person who will connect with this story and change because of it- even if just a little.

It all started on some random afternoon in January of 2009, I’m not exactly sure what I’d done differently on that day, but what I do remember is that I was 14. I’d known how to pray since I was five, possibly six, but I never learned how to maintain it on a daily basis, and here I was at 14, fully able to pray but not doing so.

In fact, I clearly remember that at some point when I was nine, I used to always be the first one to pray and did so for a while until one day, out of the blue, my mom went on vacation and somehow that translated into my nine year old brain as “no need to pray anymore” and since then it’s been an on and off thing. Most days, it would go down like this;

My sister and I doing something together in the basement.

Parent from the upper floor yells: “Have you guys prayed yet??”

In which we would have only the two following options:

A) pretend like we didn’t hear and stay silent 

B) the sibling that did pray, would reply saying “yes” and we’d get on with life- until we’re caught for it later

And when we were caught, we’d be told to go pray and we’d go pray, getting up sluggishly, lazily, complaining as if our parents were telling us to do a most horrid thing imaginable to a child.

As children, we knew that prayer-salat- was right, and good and we should do it. Yet, for some reason, my attempts at doing it daily never held up. I would stick with it for a week or two, and then there would be slip ups, and sometimes the slip ups would last for days, maybe even a week.

For some reason, I couldn’t take my prayers seriously. Tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow. That was always my excuse, and somewhere in my mind I’d buried the fact that I should be praying regularly by now at age 14 and that tomorrow was actually yesterday for me and that there is no time, was no time left to leave anything for tomorrow.

And yet, there was still this sluggishness, the 100 pound boulder that would seem to sit ontop of me whenever I remember that it was time to pray, and on that afternoon in January, my sister and I started a seemingly innocent chat about how we should commit more to our prayers, and then somehow that turned into a battle between the two of us and who would be able to do it longer.

In that moment, against the snow-glow against our window, we sketched boxes on a blank sheet of paper; the lines were crooked and uneven and we only made enough for a couple of weeks. We didn’t even think to think that we could pray daily for longer than a couple of weeks.

It was supposed to be a finite- a limited– number of days that we would keep our commitment to this strange-daily-praying-thing. We didn’t even have that intention or thought- it was too ambitious of a goal for us to even consider. Praying every day? How preposterous! 21 days is more than enough!

So 21 boxes we made.

And that’s how it started- somehow between that first day of crossing off the first box I haven’t stopped crossing off boxes.

By the time my sister and I had reached the end of the uneven chart we’d made at the end of that January, we realized that this “praying thing wasn’t so hard” after all. It suddenly wove itself into our daily lives and it became something that we just did, regardless of what went on in our lives. It became effortless and there were no boulders sitting atop my shoulders. Obviously I still get lazy about praying sometimes, but it’s a different kind of laziness. It used to be I was too lazy to pray, now it’s more like I’m too lazy to pray now, but I know with a deep conviction that I won’t be going to bed until I do.

And that’s how it happened. It started with crossing a box each day. It was unintentional. It was part conversation, part argument, and part bet with my eleven year old sister.

That’s how I pray everyday. I just do.

I don’t think about tomorrow. I don’t think about yesterday. I just think there is a prayer that I need to do today, when can I fit it in, and then I just do. It takes a couple of minutes and when I’m done I have lost so much. I lose so much of my self-centeredness, I lose my ego, my selfishness, my greed, my jealousy. I lose all the junk in my head. I feel like I’ve just taken a shower. And if that’s not what you’re getting from salah then that’s even more reason to keep going at it, even when you feel like nothing is happening.

There’s a great quote by Zig Ziglar as to why that is;

“People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing- that’s why we recommend it daily.”

And that goes for spirituality too. Now that I’ve rambled enough, I want to give you this 30 Day Prayer Challenge!

It’s a pdf to keep track of your prayers. Stick it in your planner, in your binder, put it on your fridge, on your desk, on your wall, under your pillow- I really don’t care. Just have some way to get started and hold yourself accountable for your prayers. Salat is a great way to feel centered and content with life, and coming from a female I will tell you this-

When I get my period and I don’t have to pray, as relieved as I am that I don’t have to stop wherever I am and pray, after two, three days I feel… mucky. I don’t even know how to describe it…restless? I think restless is a better word. I just feel like I don’t know what I’m doing anymore. I don’t feel centered. I don’t even know how to describe the feeling, but that’s my experience with prayer. That’s my story and all that I can share. I hope this benefited you. I hope this helped shed some new light for you.

~Have a great rest of your day guys, and happy anniversary to MuslimGurl, I think it’s either my second or third year of blogging now. It’s kind of sad that I don’t know xD

Also, just so you all know- the prayer pdf costs $1.29 on my Etsy store, so take advantage of it being free on here and if you have a cousin or friend who’s going to buy it don’t tell them it’s free on here and just shhhh- just kidding. Feel free to share, and I’d love to hear your stories about how you began to pray/ where you’re at in your prayer journey at this moment.

Salams,

~MuslimGurl

 

 

 

Advertisements

My Message to Brothers Searching for “Nice Hijab A$$” on Google

Screen Shot 2017-03-27 at 2.36.59 AM.png

First off, I couldn’t decide whether to title this post “The Embarrassing Muslim” or just plain “WTF are Muslim Guys Googling?”

Before I go on ranting, let me show you these pictures from my Blog Stats.

Screen Shot 2017-03-27 at 12.50.29 AM

Screen Shot 2017-03-27 at 12.51.57 AM.png

Screen Shot 2017-03-27 at 12.52.47 AM.png

Let me explain. What you just saw are phrases that people have found my blog through. They are things people have searched. These are not the only ones, they are just several, and keep in mind my blog is small.

Now, my problem with this, isn’t that there are some muslim guys, or girls spending their time on the internet searching for this stuff, it’s the fact that I know, in some twisted way, a brother out there has convinced himself that trading the word “hijab” for “girls” would somehow make it okay to look this up.

That it’s less haram somehow, and maybe even justified and halal in his mind to look at pictures of Hijabi girls and not girls. And let me just straight up say no to this. No, no, no. This is embarrassing for our muslim community. If you want to do something wrong, go do it wrong, but don’t try to twist the religion into it. That’s unacceptable.

Furthermore, in Islam the deal was for women to be modest and chaste and for men to lower their gaze and cover from the navel to the knees. Why is it that lowering “the gaze” part is often under scrutinized, while the hijab is put under the microscope and overly judged? Additionally, and this is a bit off-topic, why is it that when at a beach or a resort, muslim guys rush to strip to their shorts as to not be a covered obscenity in a beach, but the wife or sister wouldn’t budge to take off her hijab, because she knows a deal is a deal and Allah’s word is Allah’s word.

How can such a guy expect the woman next to him to look different in her chastity while he couldn’t even bear to keep his t-shirt on his chest not because it’s hot outside- but because he looks too different covered like that. And then he dares to judge her if a hair is out of her hijab, or if her sleeves are too short- all without realizing that he shouldn’t have been looking so intently at her like that in the first place! Revive your part of the chastity deal men!

And let me take a moment to say that not all guys are like this, and many of our muslim men are nothing but supportive and respectful and truly chaste on their part, but we could use more men like them in our community and it doesn’t hurt to point out some things that need fixing, especially when it’s a cultural issue rather than a theological one.

Bottom line, fellas if you want some hijab ass I’ll be your Google and answer the question for you; you won’t find any. Briefly put, hijab is a chaste woman, and not everything wrapped in a scarf qualifies as one. Better luck dropping that first word out of your search words next time; you’ll get the real results you’re looking for.


Thank you for taking the time to read my rant, I deeply appreciate it and truly hope you enjoyed reading this, even if I was being so extra in it! If you would like to read more stuff like this, you can follow my blog by clicking the follow button on the side bar, or you can simply add my site to your bookmarks (even though I feel like no one even checks their bookmarks?) Furthermore, it helps me out tremendously when people share my posts via Facebook, so if it’s not too much trouble please share it? 🙂
Photo Source: https://68.media.tumblr.com/0fb3b7242fc9910707672f88496c93a4/tumblr_inline_n7j5rlo1D41se604a.jpg
Screen Shot 2017-03-27 at 12.34.02 AM.png

Also, a huge thanks to this person who used my URL to come visit my blog again! It means a lot, you rock! 😉

MY GIFT TO YOU THIS MUHARRAM | NEW ISLAMIC YEAR

Screen Shot 2016-10-05 at 12.26.43 AM.png

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِيْمِ

For the New Islamic Year, I’d like to give you guys a gift from the Qur’an:

” وَهُوَ مَعَكُمْ أَيْنَ مَا كُنْتُمْ “

 It’s a wonderful reminder that wherever we are, wherever we go- that whatever happens this upcoming year and wherever we end up- through every detail of it, Allah (SWT) has been, and will be with us through it. That He will be witness to all of our highs and lows, and what ever hardships we face and how we’ll bravely overcome them or how we’ll terribly fail, through this entire process of changing and becoming who we are, Allah (SWT) will be witness. 

I’m saying this as a reminder to tell you that HE will see all that you do this year, and also as a reminder that hey- HE will be there- so don’t forget to call on HIM. During both, the highs and lows, in gratitude and in cries for help, don’t forget that HE’s there. Truly feel his presence, and let it envelope you with feelings of safety and tranquility and righteous company. Happy Islamic New Years guys.

~M.G

Hello? Earth to Muslims

THUMBNAIL EARTH TO M.

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِيْمِ

Nothing irks me more than a person with the name Mohammad who represents Islam without wanting to, and is an example of everything it’s not.

You know, that one guy in class, Mohammad, who walks in the halls with his hand in his girlfriend’s, his 2nd girlfriend’s. And let’s not talk about the hourly smooching sessions he likes to hold with her at the end of the hallway right by the stairs, as everyone watches.

So much for modesty, Mohammad.

This is the guy that likes to yell “Allah” for fun as a joke with his friends, and gets excused from running the mile in gym class because “I’m fasting today Mr.Brown” and then you see him stuffing his face with cafeteria spaghetti right after. Continue reading

Islamic New Years

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Salam and inshAllah we all start the new year off on the right foot. I was hoping to post something motivational for new years, and after searching youtube a bit, I couldn’t find something exactly “motivating”, but I did find something that I thought was worth sharing. I don’t know how many people have seen a video by the guy on Talk Islam who does spoken word videos, but oh my, they are really amazing, every time I watch one I get goosebumps, and in a good way. So, on my search I came across one of his spoken word videos that I missed, and I decided it would be worthwhile to share since we’re all in this together.

REACH YOUR SPIRITUAL GOAL IN 3 STEPS!

reedit.png

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

I hate that feeling when I find old goals that I’ve written on notebooks or sticky notes, bare, with no check marks or crossing them. It’s like my failure to accomplish them is staring me right in the face, and there’s no way of denying it. However, with this 3 step approach, I’ve gotten better at reaching my spiritual goals, so I’m sharing them today with you so that you can use them too 🙂 Continue reading