Change?

So everyone talks about change, changing their weight, hair color, religion, belief system, whatever it may be. Humans love to change. Heck, Obama’s whole platform was based on “change”. 

The dictionary says: (1) To make or become different (2)  make or become a different substance entirely. Essentially to change means to turn things completely around, flip whatever it is on its head and change it. But that change, how long does it take? Is it a day, a month, a year, several years? 

So let me explain… 

Last fall I attended Zaytuna Institute’s Minara Program and I learned a lot from Sheikh Hamza Yusuf and Imam Zaid Shakir. Alhamdulilah I learned a lot, but the main thing I took away was that in order to change our condition as Muslims, humanity, or whatever you want is that we have to change what’s in ourselves first. So I’m starting a new project that is kind of based off of the Minara Program. I decided I would keep a day log of what I do. I’ve heard of stories that Omar ibn Al-Khattab (RA) used to cry about his day because he felt that he did not do enough to please Allah. How many times do we lose sleep thinking about what we DIDN’T do? (Other than school work or other random obligations). 

This is what this experiment is going to be like: I have a journal. Everyday I’m going to write down exactly what I did, what time I prayed my prayers, how much Quran I read, did I say my duas, what did I eat, was it healthy, or did I workout? All those little things that we usually don’t think about from a spiritual and a day to day aspect so it’s kind of like a life/workout/food journal thing. And each day I am going to review what I did or didn’t do and write down what I would like to improve for the next day. And God willing in a month’s time I want to come back here and talk about if it has worked, did I keep up with it, and if it caused any deep rooted “change” . 

The reason I am talking about this is because I feel like it might be a good idea and I would love to have others’ opinion on it and to see other ways people have about improving our lives and changing our condition. I think it is a very interesting subject that is always ‘discussed’ and ‘taught’ about but…it’s always easier said than done. I want to know YOUR thoughts on this and if anyone wants to join me on this endeavor, let me know! I would love to have guest bloggers discussing their experience trying something like this out. 

Insha’Allah Khair and Fi aman Allah, 

“The XO” aka sara

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6 thoughts on “Change?

  1. Amy says:

    Salaams girly,

    Sounds like an ambitious project! I sometimes can keep track of one thing–the tasks I need to accomplish in a day, OR how much I exercised in a week, OR how many calories I ate… but trying to do all that plus your religious obligations: I give you props, girl.

    A thought–Zaytuna’s program suggested 40 days for the challenges in the book. So instead of a month you could do 40 days. And another thought–since it is a lot to keep track of, maybe you wanna just try with a couple of things first, prioritizing, so you don’t give up the habit (by it being overwhelming) before you establish it?

  2. sshaddad says:

    W/salaam!!
    Dude, I was thinking about that too! They say that when you do something for 40 days it becomes habit. I guess this is more about like figuring out what needs to be fixed instead of patched up. So 40 days might be just what I need :). We’ll see!

    Thanks again my dear!

  3. Saqib says:

    I was involved with an Islamic organization in my country that urges its members to do this. They even have a printed notebook for this. You have to keep record of the following: Quran, Hadis, Salah, Personal study, Social works, Physical exercise, Dawah and Ihtisab. It works really well.

  4. sshaddad says:

    Subhan’Allah, that’s pretty awesome! JazakAllahu Khairan for that, and if you have any tips or pointers on how to improve this program let me know. I want to eventually try this with a group of high schoolers as a type of social experiment with an Islamic purpose.

  5. Kenneth says:

    I wish I had seen this post earlier. 2 months later I hope you had a chance to do it or start it. It sounds like a great idea. I have a pen pal in California and I get to write him once or twice a month and whenever I do I always talk about what I have done and it feels so cleansing. It is a time when I do not dwell on the shoulda woulda couldas.

    Keeping a journal of your daily accomplishments sounds like it can be a good idea. Everyday you make yourself look at the good you have done, be it big or small.

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