Bismillah.

I have told myself for years that this is the year I will learn to ride a bike. For some reason, I missed learning how to ride a bike during my childhood. I imagine moving many times across countries during my childhood had something to do with it.

Our warehouse manager, Semir, had offered to teach me earlier in the week, and I had taken him up on it. Though I left that session without learning to ride a bike, it started the process. I knew I had to go to learn in a place that didn’t have too much foot traffic.

YouTube suggested videos on “learning how to ride a bike as an adult” throughout the week. Yesterday morning, I went to Onondaga Lake and tried following the steps I had watched. I also remembered the advice one of our warehouse team leads, Anthony, had given me: ” It’s hard to trust, but the secret of it is to keep pedaling.”

I kept falling and quickly prayed to my Lord, “Ya Allah, please help me learn how to ride a bike.” Shortly after making this prayer, I could finally ride the bike on my own; I clocked my 1st mile, alhamdulillah. I’m not sure if it was a fluke yet, but I’m excited about practicing some more and making biking part of my workout routine, God willing. I hope to become better at this and finally be able to teach my daughter how to ride a bike. This was definitely the driving factor in pushing me to finally add this skill.

I will leave you with a prayer that the Prophet (S) used to say, “[O Allah! I seek refuge in You from helplessness (to do good), indolence, cowardice, senility, and miserliness; and I seek Your Protection against the torment of the grave and the trials of life and death].” Ameen.

وعن أنس رضي الله عنه قال‏:‏ كان رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم‏:‏ يقول‏:‏ ‏”‏اللهم إني أعوذ بك من العجز والكسل والجبن والهرم، والبخل، وأعوذ بك من عذاب القبر، وأعوذ بك من فتنة المحيا والممات‏”‏‏.‏ وفي رواية‏:‏ ‏”‏وضلع الدين وغلبة الرجال‏”‏ ‏(‏‏(‏رواه مسلم‏)‏‏)‏‏.‏

Bismillah.

One of my Prophet’s favorite sayings is, “None of you will believe until you love for your brother what you love for yourself.”

Applying this hadith’s lessons is a good litmus test for your faith and how you internalize your attitudes, behaviors, and actions toward your fellow people and community.

Developing the discipline to write daily is not as easy as it sounds. I was talking to one of my teammates about the importance of focus, and it served as a reminder for myself. I believe focusing on one particular task at a time is the ideal way to put in your best effort and get your best output. I do agree with the sentiment that the efficiency of multitasking is a fallacy and just leads to poorer results.

May God grant us the ability to focus and make amazing, meaningful contributions to those around us. May God also help us always want the best for others, irrespective of our current state. Ameen.

17. April 2024 · Comments Off on Sharing some notes from Traction · Categories: Uncategorized

Bismillah.

Someone recommended Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business to help me organize Altenew’s day to day activities. Gino Wickman identifies 5 common frustrations for small businesses:

  • Lack of control (you don’t have enough control over your time, the market, or your company
  • People: there is a level of frustration with employees, customers, vendors or partners
  • Profit: not enough
  • The ceiling: growth has stopped; having a hard time breaking through to the next level
  • Nothing’s working: various strategies and quick-fix remedies haven’t worked, and staff hasn’t been as receptive to new initiatives.

Gino Wickmans introduces the Entrepreneurial Operation System (EOS) as a solution to deal with these small business frustrations.

  • Vision
  • People
  • Issues
  • Traction
  • Process
  • Data

As I read more into this over the next few days, I will share some lessons and how applying them will hopefully help Altenew grow and help our team be more focused and fulfilled.

In keeping with the practice, I will share a prophetic saying about the importance of asking for forgiveness from our Lord and always turning to him.

On the authority of Anas (ra) who said:

I heard the Messenger of Allah (saw) say, “Allah the Almighty has said: ‘O Son of Adam, as long as you invoke Me and ask of Me, I shall forgive you for what you have done, and I shall not mind. O Son of Adam, were your sins to reach the clouds of the sky and you then asked forgiveness from Me, I would forgive you. O Son of Adam, were you to come to Me with sins nearly as great as the Earth, and were you then to face Me, ascribing no partner to Me, I would bring you forgiveness nearly as great as it [too].’

How often do you turn to your God? Feel free to comment below.

04. March 2024 · Comments Off on Leave what makes you doubtful · Categories: Uncategorized

Bismillah.

How do you keep yourself motivated? Where do we find fulfillment? How do we give ourselves the best probability of leaving this life with dignity?

First and foremost, we put our trust in God. Then, we work in a manner to serve others. Productive habits help us stay focused and dialed in. Striving towards goals helps us keep up with these habits. Beyond this, good companions help reinforce our values and work ethic. Personally, reading and writing help me get out of moments of uneasiness and/or confusion.

One of the prophetic sayings encourages us to work towards clear goals and to leave the “doubtful” alone. On the authority of Abu Muhammad al-Hasan ibn Ali ibn Abee Talib, the grandson of the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) who said: I memorized from the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him): “Leave what makes you doubtful for what does not.”

How do you stay away from the doubtful? What does that mean to you?

25. January 2024 · Comments Off on Cultivating Emotional Resilience · Categories: Uncategorized

Bismillah.

Wow, it has been a long since I have posted on this blog. It is too easy to get distracted by life to keep up with healthy habits. Every day is a new opportunity to build upon that habit.

In terms of updates and life, I have had to take my father back and forth between hospitals a few times over the last month. He is currently at home and resting. It has been interesting to reflect on the circle of life, between caring for my seventy-six-year-old father and my three-month son.

We enter our existence a bit helpless and rely solely on parents or caregivers to keep us safe and content. As we leave this life, many of us are again relying on our caregivers/loved ones to keep us safe. I pray that we live our lives with dignity and have a dignified ending.

I will share a prophetic saying that advises to live in this life “as a stranger/traveler.” For those of us who have faith and believe in the eternal nature of the afterlife, understanding the transitory nature of this life gives us purpose and hopefully a sense of serenity in the face of adversities. I titled this post, Cultivating Emotional Resilience, because I want to explore this topic in future posts. My intuition tells me that some of this is developed as we are children and my hope is that experience/learning can help us build more of it. How do you define emotional resilience and do you believe it is developed more from nature or nurture? Feel free to comment below.

On the authority of Abdullah ibn Umar (RA) who said, The Messenger of Allah (S) took me by the shoulder and said, Be in this world as though you were a stranger or a wayfarer.

Ibn Umar (ra) used to say. “In the evening do not expect [to live until] the morning, and in the morning do not expect [to live until] the evening. Take [advantage of] your health before times of sickness, and [take advantage of] your life before your death.”

17. December 2023 · Comments Off on Intentionally find subject matter experts · Categories: Uncategorized

Bismillah

We all need models and mentors in our lives. Not everyone can be that mentor in every matter. Find and work consistently with subject matter experts to improve your skills and perspective.

Within my faith, the Prophet (S) is our best example of a leader, family man, judge, character, and so forth. Thus, learning from his words and actions helps guide me and countless others to be better versions of ourselves.

Seeing the faith practiced in others helps us internalize the lessons. Thus, I’m a firm believer in surrounding yourself with mentors or individuals who behave in a manner that is positive and helps you personify teachings and words.

The Prophet (S) is known to have said, “What I have forbidden for you, avoid. What I have ordered you [to do], do as much as you can. For verily, it was only their excessive questioning and disagreeing with their prophets that destroyed [the nations] who were before you.”

Who do you look up to? Where do you find inspiration? Feel free to comment below.

13. December 2023 · Comments Off on Find your joy and be thankful for it · Categories: Uncategorized

Bismillah.

Sometimes I think about moments that I would like to go back and relive because of their significance in my life and/or because of the joy that gave me at that moment. We all have moments where we experience a surge in dopamine and/or feelings of happiness.

It is important to be grateful at those times and build up your reserve of “stability” to help us manage when unexpected situations occur. These reflections on past moments have also made me appreciate current moments that bring me joy and happiness.

For example yesterday, my sister, mother, father, daughter, and I were all spending time together in a room. My sister was following an exercise program on YouTube, while my father was biking, my mother was encouraging all of us, I was getting my bicep/tricep workout in, and my daugther was working on a speech that she had to present on Friday.

I didn’t have to go back to a moment to relive it, I lived in that moment and thanked my Lord for the opportunity to spend time with my family in a meaningful way. How do you build up yourself and appreciate your blessing? Feel free to comment below.

The Prophetic saying I will share today is about the importance of protecting one’s heart: “the halal (permissible) is clear and haram (forbidden) is clear, and between them are matters unclear that are unknown to most people. Whoever is wary of these unclear matters has absolved his religion and honor. And whoever indulges in them has indulged in that haram. It is like a shepherd who herds his sheep too close to a reserved sanctuary, and they will eventually graze in it. Every king has a sanctuary and the sanctuary of Allah is what he has made haram. There lies within the body a piece of flesh. If it’s sound, the whole body is sound, and if it is corrupted, the whole body is corrupted. Verily this piece is the heart.”

May God help us keep a strong, healthy heart. Ameen. Let us always wish the best for others and be focused on finding and reflecting on our joys in life.

11. December 2023 · Comments Off on Making time · Categories: Uncategorized

Bismillah.

It was a busy weekend, and unfortunately, I didn’t make time to post every day. There is something about consistent effort that is gratifying and helps me be a stronger thinker. I’m going to renew that intention to write and share something each day, iA.

One of the things that make me proud to be a Muslim is the faith’s emphasis on good manners.

The Prophet (S) advised the following, “Let him who believes in Allah and the Last Day speak good, or keep silent; and let him who believes in Allah and the Last Day be generous to his neighbor, and let him who believes in Allah and the Last Day be generous to his guest.”

I can’t say that I always can live up to this level of decency, but it’s something that I continuously strive towards. Having this sort of outlook on life creates friendship and leads to positive, healthy relationships among people and communities. How do you link your beliefs or faith to manners? Feel free to comment below.

06. December 2023 · Comments Off on How do we deal with loss? · Categories: Uncategorized

Bismillah. Unfortunately, we lost one of our cats yesterday. In our faith tradition, when someone passes away, we say, “Verily we belong to God, and truly to Him shall we return.” I don’t believe this applies to pets, but this remembrance gives me some comfort.

Prophet (S) once took Abdullah ibn Umar (ra) by the shoulder and said, “Be in this world as though were a stranger or wayfarer.”

This saying gives me perspective and understanding that we are all working and striving in this life for the hereafter. Our time in this life is transitory, while the hereafter is eternal.

Of course, we need to work hard, be ambitious, and add value to others on a consistent, meaningful basis. However, we need to be aware of our purpose in life and work in a manner that challenges and obstacles don’t overwhelm our thoughts and actions.

How do you deal with loss? Who do you turn to? Feel free to comment below.-

04. December 2023 · Comments Off on Things I learned from my nephew visiting me · Categories: Uncategorized

Bismillah.

I got to spend some with my nephew, Furkan over the last two weekends. He currently lives in California with his wife and it was refreshing to have them over at our home in Syracuse.

My nephew, Furkan came to upstate New York for some training for his work, and serendipitously, he got to spend some time with his uncles’ families and grandparents in Syracuse and Rochester. From lifting weights in the gym to sharing life experiences during our morning walks, Furkan and I were able to deepen our connection with one another, alhamdulillah.

As a shout-out to Furkan and his awesomeness, mA, I wanted to share ways he inspired me:

  • Got me writing on my blog again
  • Made be more consistent on making it to fajr at the masjid (told me a story of a leader who valued the strength of men by how consistent they were on praying fajr at the masjid)
  • Got me more consistent on lifting again (he was going through a 75-hard program, and watching him work out two times a day every day was inspiring)
  • Inspired me to fast on one of the Mondays
  • Got me thinking about my five-year goals/aspirations
  • Renewed my intention to memorize more of the Quran

I pray that Allah always keeps us on the straight path, increases us in rizq (sustenance), and helps us make the most amazing contributions. Ameen.

I will share the following prophetic saying today, “Let him who believes in Allah and the Last day speak good, or keep silent, and let him who believes in Allah and the last day be generous to his neighbor, and let him who believes in Allah and the last Day be generous to his guest.”

I love the lessons in this hadith; speaking only good and reminding us all of the importance of being generous to our neighbors and guests.

Who helps you stay on the path you set yourself for? Are you spending enough time reflecting on lessons learned? Feel free to comment below.