Detachment, Contentment and Inner Beauty

Detachment, Contentment and Inner Beauty

It is not easy bringing our heaven and earth together. Unless you are a scholar or a student of deen, it is sometimes very challenging to connect our faith to every day life. In the last post we covered Retox.

Photo by livnir available under a Creative Commons Attribution-license

 

In this one we would like to share some of the highlights from The Guru in You: A Personalized Program for Rejuvenating Your Body and Soul by Cameron Alborzian.

It is an amazing book, we do not know the authors faith, but many of the questions he asks and the spiritual path he shares overlap with Islam and the Prophetic way. Below is most of the table of contents, can you make a connection?

  • We become attached to the material world. First step towards happiness is intention (niyah)
  • The practice of nonviolence, kindness towards ourselves and others.
  • The practice of detachment, allowing what nature intends for us.
  • Letting go of excess, knowing when enough is enough for the perfect amount.
  • Posture, practice, and the pursuit of inner beauty.

Here are some of the highlights that we got from browsing the book.

Questions to ask ourselves

  • Do you fill your life with constant chatter and entertainment?
  • Am I constantly eating or drinking (even if its soda)?
  • Do I constantly watch TV or films?
  • Am I always in front of a computer or phone?
  • Am I constantly watching everything that passes by on the street?
  • Am I constantly listening to music or talking on the phone?

To detox the author says we don’t need products, just drink hot water for several days. Here are some more nuggets.

  • With the above examples, when our senses our stimulated our breath goes out of balance.
  • Our stimulated senses induce attachments and desire.
  • We love our opinions, we love having them. Learn to listen to difference of opinion.
  • Detachment. eg when watching a a game, rather than hoping one side wins, just enjoy the game. You will be less drained from the experience.
  • Enjoy friends company. You don’t have to fill silent gaps with meaningless chatter. It is good to have silent moments.
  • The author shares a great example of attachment. We apply for a job. We see that we have a perfect fit.. We see ourselves in that role. We are attached to it, and then crushed when we don’t get it. Detachment means telling ourselves that experience may not pan out as we would like, another one is around the corner, nature (God) didn’t intend it for us.
  • If we are attached to getting an object (maybe a car or whatever) detachment from goods and objects when you don’t get them means there may be a better time to get that object or it may be beneficial to not have it all.
  • A great example he share which we can put into practice, is going to a bakery where you love the smell and are tempted to try out the pastries. Instead we go, take in the aroma, but control ourselves. The next time we go again we can up the ante, but each time you are in control. The key takeaway is we don’t need instant physical gratification.
  • What happens when we become fearful of not getting something. Fear leads to desperation (not inspiration).
  • We need spiritual freedom, a fully realized state, beyond material, mental, and emotional limits.
  • Practice non-violence towards self and others. In self talk this means avoiding ‘I’m not smart enough, I won’t ever find success, I’ll never get married.”
  • Cultivate sexual energy. The practice of guarding and cultivating our sexual energy and finding that balance of extremes of frustration (not having sex) versus excess.

It is hard to encapsulate a wonderful book like this, bu hopefully it gives you a flavor.

Top 27 Muslim Wedding Songs

Top 27 Muslim Wedding Songs

Top 10 Muslim Wedding Songs by Artist

top-10-muslim-wedding-songs

  1. For The Rest Of My Life by Maher Zain
  2. Wedding Song by Zain Bhikha
  3. Munasabat Zawaj by Ibrahim Majid
  4. Mehndi nee Mehndi by Musarat Nazir
  5. Babul Ki Duayen Leti Ja by Mohammed Rafi (Neel Kamal)
  6. Mubarak Mubarak by Udit Narayan (Haan Maine Bhi Pyaar Kiya Hai)
  7. Tum Hi Ho by Arjit Singh (Aashiqui 2)
  8. Teri Ore (Singh Is Kinng)
  9. Mehndi Laga Ke Rakhna (Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge)
  10. Saajanji Ghar Aaye (Kuch Kuch Hota Hai)

Top 17 Muslim Bollywood Wedding Songs

Photo  by S Pakhrin available under a Creative Commons Attribution-license

Photo by S Pakhrin available under a Creative Commons Attribution-license

  1. Sadi Gali (Tanu Weds Manu)
  2. Kabira (Encore) (Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani)
  3. Iski Uski (2 States)
  4. Chittiyaan Kalaiyaan (Roy)
  5. Mujhse Shaadi Karogi (Dulhan Hum Le Jayenge)
  6. Lal Dupatta (Mujhse Shaadi Karogi)
  7. Rab Kare (Mujhse Shaadi Karogi)
  8. Maahi Ve (Kal Ho Naa Ho)
  9. Sajan Tumse Pyar (Maine Pyaar Kyun Kiya)
  10. Yeh Ladka Hai Allah (Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham)
  11. Bole Chudiyan (Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham)
  12. Dulhe Ka Sehra (Dhadkan)
  13. Mehendi Hai Rachne Wali (Zubeidaa)
  14. Le Jayenge Le Jayenge (Chor Machaye Shor)
  15. Aaj Mere Yaar Ki Shaadi Hai (Aadmi Sadak Ka)
  16. Jute de do paise lelo (Hum Aapke Hain Koun)
  17. Hamari Shaadi Mein (Vivah)

 

Rio Olympics 2016, Muslims and 10 Life Lessons

Rio Olympics 2016, Muslims and 10 Life Lessons

As the 2016 Rio Olympics come to a close we wanted to share some highlights from the event. More importantly to grasp a few takeaways which extend beyond the games to marriage and more importantly, life.

Photo by Al King available under a Creative Commons Attribution-license

Photo by Al King available under a Creative Commons Attribution-license

First a few thoughts about the Olympics from a Muslim Perspective. There’s a lot going in the Muslim world and here in the US homeland. Despite the heartbreaking news and images coming from Syria and the region, the Olympics had a few bright spots to kick it off. One of the first, was that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) had for the first time ever allowed refugees to come together as a team and participate. In that small delegation was a Yusra Mardini, a Syrian refugee who along with her sister saved the lives of 20 people on a small dinghy boat in the Mediterranean. Yusra went on to wins her 100m butterfly heat at Rio. Then there is all the positive press that Ibtihaj Muhammad received before and during the event for becoming the first American-Muslim to represent the US in a hijab. She went on to win a team Bronze medal.

Here is a summary of the medal count by Muslim Majority countries as well as those Olympians we know off that are Muslim.

Rio Olympic Medal Muslim chart

 

They represent countries like the UK, US and Russia, with the likes of Mo Farah, Dalilah Muhammad, Ibtihaj Muhammad, and Aliya Mustafina. We may have missed some people, but hopefully you get the picture.
Some Muslim countries especially from the former Central Soviet states did extremely well. Others like Pakistan with a population of over 180 Million people, failed to qualify for a single event, and had a token representation through a wild card entry.

So much for medals, how do the events of Rio, map to life and what are some of the lessons we can apply.

1. Olympians are Goal oriented and committed. Name any of the legends of Rio, Michael Phelps, Simone Biles, Usain Bolt, in them all you will see not only great performances but people who are serious about what they want to accomplish and what they are willing to do to get it. Practicing 300 days a year is one such example.
2. Olympians have Faith. Again if you listen to the interviews of both Muslim athletes and people of other faiths, praying and trusting in God played a central role in their success.
3. True Olympians care about their reputation. Yes there were some athletes and delegations who discredited themselves and their host countries, but by in large, what happens off-stage is just as important as what goes on-stage.
4. True Olympians are the best physically, mentally, both scientist and artists. All athletes have great physiques, but it is their mental toughness, focus, and artistry that makes them stand head and shoulders above the rest.
5. True Olympians focus on being the best version of themselves. The only thing they can control is themselves, the competition will always be there. They have dreams but they focus on the present, and tune out the past.
6. True Olympians are part of great teams and coaches. Even in solo events, it is rare that an athlete got to their peak performance without the help of coaches and other team members.
7. True Olympians care about the competition. It is not always about winning medals. In the Rio Olympics a collision on the track occurred between U.S. runner Abbey D’Agostino and New Zealand runner Nikki Hamblin. Both athletes showed compassion and the best that humanity has to offer by helping each other.
8. True Olympians get up if they fall down and keep going. This is what happened to Mo Farah, who fell, got back up, caught up with the leaders and still went on to win the Gold Medal.
9. True Olympians come in all shapes. Just as there is no one model of an Olympian so is the case for Muslims. Of the women some wore hijabs and some did not, some men had beards and others did not, some prostrated after their wins and others did not. Accepting people for who they are is more important than trying to impose our versions of right and wrong.
10. True Olympians ignore the naysayers. The overall pre-event press coverage about the Rio Olympics was fairly negative, with issues, of pollution (health), crime, Zika, political instability,readiness and more dominating the headlines. Yet by in large, the Olympics relatively speaking went off without any major showstoppers.

In marriage as in life, having common goals, commitment, faith, reputation, focus, being part of a team, seeking help from a coach, ignoring the naysayers, and being selfless are all examples of how we too can be Olympians of life.

Top 40 Pieces of Advice for a Long and Healthy Marriage (Part 1)

Top 40 Pieces of Advice for a Long and Healthy Marriage (Part 1)

There is no such thing as the perfect marriage, like there is no such thing as a perfect wedding. However, there are things we can do to have a happy and healthy marriage. For easy reading, we decided to break our top 40 pieces of advice up into 4 parts. Here are the first 10:

1. God, spouse, children…in that order.
2. Marriage isn’t 50/50, but divorce is.
3. Marriage has to be 100/100.
4. Avoid the 3 C’s. Never complain, criticize, and/or condemn.
5. Avoid the D word: Divorce.
6. Learn from others, but don’t compare.
7. Make your spouse look good in front of their family and friends.
8. When you get into a conflict, stop, evaluate and use wisdom. Ask yourself what the end result is that you want. You have a choice be right or be happy.
9. If there is an inkling you were at fault, apologize.
10. Forgive unconditionally.

Who is the greatest of all time?

Who is the greatest of all time?

This post is not about weddings, but as Muhammad Ali was a Global and inspiring Muslim figure, we had to share this.

Veronica-Porsche-Ali-Muhammad-Ali

Everyone has a favorite memory of Muhammad Ali. For me, the iconic moment was visiting a family friends house in 1973. We had moved up from watching Ali’s fights on television in black and white at the neighbors house, to seeing Ali’s “Rumble in the Jungle” with George Foreman on a color TV. In the fifth round, Ali hit Foreman square in the jaw, and there in all hues I saw a shower of sweat blow out of Foreman’s Afro. What a sight!

Ali was once the most famous man in the world, he left an impression on anyone who connected with him. His personality was larger than life, but beneath it all, he was a human, with flaws like the rest of us. When I was a child, growing up in gritty Manchester, England, he was a Muslim hero we all looked up to.  His victories were ours and his losses too and with it we lived through him.

Known as “The Greatest,” I have often thought about what makes an athlete or for that matter any person great? There are a few adjectives that come to mind including, courage, dignity, grace, love, generosity, charisma, beauty, and the list goes on.

There are many athletes who were and are considered “The Greatest.” In boxing besides Ali, which includes Jack Johnson, Sugar Ray Robinson, Joe  Louis, George Foreman, Mike Tyson,… In men’s tennis for example there was: Rod Laver,  John McEnroe, Pete Sampras, Roger Federer,… and in women’s tennis: Margaret Court, Billie Jean King, Martina Navratilova, Steffi Graff, Serena Williams,… In basketball it is Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Steph Curry,… Your list may be different and that is okay.

It is difficult to compare athletes across different eras and even more so across different sports. David Foster Wallace, in his article, “Federer as Religious Experience” states “Genius is not replicable. Inspiration, though, is contagious.” Each great athlete fuses speed, power, drive, focus, commitment, raw talent, rhythm, discipline, agility, grace, emotional maturity, and zen like calmness under pressure  into taking their discipline to new levels. There are many lists of “Greatest Athlete of All Time” and Ali’s name is usually on or near the top. However, where he tops all these great athletes is that he transcended his arena in sports. He became a goodwill ambassador for humanity.

By standing up for his beliefs and convictions, for example refusing to be inducted into the armed forces, and losing both his title and large sums of money at the peak of his boxing career, makes him stand head and shoulders above the rest. In a world where most of us want to just fit in, he had the courage and conviction to speak out against the social injustices of that time. In today’s highly-paid athletes whose off court endorsements can pay multiple times their prize money, no one is willing to take stands that would jeopardize their careers or their purses.

Sometimes when I am feeling down or feel like the odds are stacked against me, I watch my favorite film, the Oscar winning, “When we were Kings.” It is a story of David versus Goliath, a reenactment of Ali fighting against the indestructible George Foreman in Zaire. Even though I know what is going to happen in the fight, it is a metaphor of life, to take pain, think strategically, have faith and yes use the “Rope-a-dope.”

who is the greatest

May Muhammad Ali continue inspiring generations to come. “Surely we belong to God and to Him shall we return”(Inna Lillahi wa inallah rajioon).

2015 at Perfect Muslim Wedding

2015 at Perfect Muslim Wedding

Perfect Muslim Wedding had an awesome 2015. From the birth of our wedding blog in 2013 until now, we have really come a long way. We hope to continue to provide tips, advice, and inspiration to help you plan one of the best days of your life. This year, we had our very first Muslim Bridal Expo which really brings our inspiration to you to life. Here are a few select accomplishments including the Muslim Bridal Expo.

2015
2015

Thank you for your participation and support in 2015.

Here in pictures are a few of our accomplishments at Perfect Muslim Wedding.

  1. Quality content and real weddings published on our blog and social media ( with over 100,000 impressions per month). Check out our videos too.
  2. Quarterly eZines and our totally revamped PMW Planning Guide
  3. Our first ever Muslim Bridal Expo with over 300 attendees and a 3 full page color coverage by the SF Chronicle.
2015
Thank you to all our supporters, sponsors and vendors. Thank you also to our teams that make it all happen behind the scenes including:

  1. Blog team (Marwa Diaf, Editor)
  2. Event team (Irfan Rydhan, Farah Ghatala, Zareena Anwar, Kisae Husain, Manizeh Raza)
  3. Advisers (Dustin Haisler, Becky Roth, Razi Mohiuddin, Shiraz Asif) and IT Guru (Ahmed Khatib)

#1 and #2 in Photo collage on top.

2015 was a great success and we hope next year is even better. We really believe it’s important to have a wedding resource for Muslims. It can be quite challenging when you’re planning your wedding alone when you’re trying to find things like halal meat, and all female staff. If you have any suggestions at all for future posts, events or giveaways please do not hesitate to send us an e-mail. We want to make this an enjoyable blog for everyone.

We appreciate each and every one of you for your support. A single click on any of our posts mean the world to us. Thank you!