We’ve all heard or even used the saying, “It all happens for a reason,” but have we really embraced it? How many of us go on with our lives facing the ups and downs of every day with stress and worry, concerning ourselves with what the future holds, or what impact every experience we face will have on the bigger picture? It’s a common concern for many, and truth be told, I too went through a long period in my life where I would overthink everything and where every single experience would feel like it’s the end of the world. That was, of course, until I grew up and realized that this wasn’t at all the case. I began to realize that everything that happens in our lives is a part of a greater plan of God, and though we may sometimes see things one way, it could in fact be completely different. One of my favourite verses in the Quran puts it all very clearly when it says:

But perhaps you hate a thing and it is good for you; and perhaps you love a thing and it is bad for you. And Allah Knows, while you know not. – Quran (2:216)

One of the things I really love about that verse is that it stands as such a great reminder of the fact that we really don’t know what every single thing that happens in our lives means. But even more than that, what it helps me embrace is the understanding and truth that everything in life has its purpose and that God has His Wisdom behind it, thus I don’t have anything to worry about, because as long as I continue to do right by Him, I will be alright.

I’ve gone through my fair share of testing moments, and they have all been uniquely challenging. I won’t compare my challenges to those of others, and I hope that you don’t as well, because every person only faces that which is within his or her capacity, no more no less. That means that no matter what we face in life, it’s all stuff that we can overcome. So, with that said, it’s really important for us to remember that come what may, we can take our experiences, good or bad, and use them towards personal growth and betterment. Now, this doesn’t seem to come as easy for some as it does for others. The only way that we can truly embrace this truth and constantly be in a state of growth and betterment is if we WANT to change and become better. Many of us say we do, but our actions and reactions prove otherwise. We all know that often, actions speak louder than words, and so we all know that we have to reflect on our actions to really decipher whether we’re really wanting to make changes in our lives, or if we just say that but are in fact too afraid to act. As a person who used to be an overthinker, and who would constantly be worried about how an experience I had would shape my future, I was quickly starting to find myself burning out and ending each day in a sour mood and extremely exhausted. I would find myself stressing about things outside of my control, and would find it difficult to just live my life. Everything would eat away at me, and I would get upset over every little thing. This was definitely not healthy, and it wasn’t until I began living by the personality motto of “who cares” that I actually began to live with more peace of mind. This mindset was one that kept me grounded in remembering that not everything holds the weight of everything, meaning, not every day is the end of the world. You have to just live, and sometimes, when the pieces fall where you’re not expecting them to, to embrace that fact and accept it all as being part of God’s Wisdom and Plan for you.

Now, “who cares” doesn’t necessarily mean that I don’t care about people. In fact, if there were one things that I would say defines my purpose in life quite well is that I live to care about people.I’m always wanting to help people grow, wanting to make them feel good about themselves, and making those around me feel fulfilled mentally and intellectually after every interaction with me. Now, I am human (kinda believe I’m superhuman sometimes, though…but shh, that’s our little secret), so I’m not always successful at that goal, but that’s the exact time when the “who cares” mentality kicks in. People will say what they want, they won’t always get along with you or see eye-to-eye with you, and sometimes, they may even try (willingly or unwillingly) to make you feel like you’re not all that great of a person. That’s when you have to ask yourself who you are and if you sincerely did anything in need of apology. If so, apologize with sincerity, and then strive to be better. But, if not, then move on with your life, because the older you get, the more you stop caring about the little things, and start focusing on those who help you be better.

How does this relate to coincidences and things happening for a reason? Well, consider this: how many people have come and gone out of your life, only to leave you with either heartache or growth? If you’re at a point of maturity and adulthood to accept this truth, you’ll hopefully say that it has always resulted in growth, even if it began with heartache. It’s all got a purpose. When things happen, especially the things that test your strength, patience, and faith, those are the same times when you are at the verge of either growing immensely or hurting immensely from what you’ve just experienced. Almost everything in life can either make or break you, but it’s on each and every single one of us to individually try to continue growing and to keep moving through it all, in order for us to see ourselves grow and become better people. We all face our challenges, our ups and downs, our makers and breakers, but EVERY SINGLE THING we face is within our capacity to overcome, so take every breath as an opportunity to grow, and possibly just as importantly, as an opportunity to smile, because when you realize there’s really nothing to worry about in life but to live life to the fullest, you can’t help but smile. Truly and sincerely smile.

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Often times, I wonder
what beauty lies behind her smile.
It must be from beyond my pastures
to know what grows when her soul desires.
I look beyond my own flaws,
to see what truly matters.
I look at her, in awe of what I saw,
because her heart leaves all she touches inspired.

At times, I show my self,
a man imperfectly human.
I be myself and trust that she
would embrace me as I am.
Perhaps the most sincere of things
is when she looks at me and smiles.
And when that smiles lifts the edges of her mouth,
bringing a genuine glow to her face,
I hear the most encompassing of sounds,
as she softly laughs from her heart.

And that is what I seek.
A love to give and a love received.
Where come rain or shine,
be the act hers or mine,
laughter would unconditionally sprout
from a lifetime of shared and embraced smiles.

Copyright © Nadir Keval

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Wa alaikum assalaam 🙂

That’s an interesting question, and I know it’s one that many nowadays may come across in their daily lives. To be honest, when it comes to matters like these, where something has some components to it which are outright haram, I try my best to stick to a personal rule of just leaving the matter completely, so as to not make myself vulnerable to the whispers of Shaitaan any more than life already entails. When it came to this topic specifically, I did some research, and came upon a hadith that states, “Whoever learns anything of astrology has learned a branch of witchcraft (al-sihr)…” (Abu Dawood). This ties in with what I said about leaving something that has some degree of haram in it. Sihr, or witchcraft/black magic is haram in itself, and a means to greater misguidance. Many of the Ulamah states that Astrology is in fact a form of Shirk, as well.

So, overall, my recommendation would be to keep your distance from things like this, because sometimes we let small things slide, even with good or harmless intentions, but it is through those things that Shaitaan gets to us. If I were you, I wouldn’t let the personality traits and characteristics described in horoscopes play any role in helping me understand people, because every individual is unique. The best way to get to know a person is usually to just say hello and have a conversation, in my opinion.

Remember, I’m not a scholar or a Sheikh, or anything like that. I’m simply here as a person answering a question asked, to the best of my abilities. I would recommend speaking to a scholar in your local area for more information and clarification on the topic. I pray that Allah forgives and guides me for anything I have said here that may be wrong or misguided, and that He help you and I, as well as anyone else who reads this post, find the correct and best answer to this question so that we may be amongst the righteous. Ameen. Jazakallahu khair for your question! I hope it helped 🙂 Take care!

Wassalaamu alaikum,

– Nadir Keval

For more information and details, check out: Rulings on Horoscopes

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Lately, I’ve been wanting to take some major steps to make some major changes in my health and lifestyle. I’m determined to make healthy living my reality, and one of the biggest components comes from the food I choose to eat. It’s far, far, far too easy to fall into this comfort level of eating the things that are most easily accessible to us. But, let’s leave that to a separate article, because it’s a big topic! In the meantime, check out this egg recipe for a healthy and hearty meal! Give it a try and let me know what you think in the comments below! What are some of your favourite things to add to eggs? Have you ever tried these ingredients?

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 medium Tomato (deseeded and diced)
  • 1 medium Jalapeño (diced; deseed to decrease the heat)
  • 4-6 White Mushrooms (roughly chopped)
  • 2-3 tbsp Cream (milk for a healthier option)
  • 1 whole Egg
  • 3 tbsp Egg Whites
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp Red Chili Powder
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp Unsalted Butter

Instructions:

  1. In a mixing bowl, beat in the contents of whole egg, the egg whites, and the cream/milk.
  2. Add tomatoesjalapenoturmericred chili powder, and salt/pepper to the egg mix.
  3. Heat a frying pan to medium heat.
  4. Add olive oil and butter, moving pan in hand to cover the cooking surface of the pan.
  5. Add mushrooms and spread around pan to cook evenly.
  6. Once the mushrooms are cooked, add the egg mix.
  7. Keep mixing the eggs in the pan, until the eggs cook through.
  8. Serve and enjoy!

 

A healthy and hearty breakfast for my dad and I: Indian Eggs 🙂 Stay tuned for the recipe later today!

A photo posted by Nadir Keval (@nadirkeval) on

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Many of us have ambitions and goals, but perhaps just as many of us get overwhelmed by the drive needed to achieve those goals. We fear the overwhelming struggle, the possibility of failure, and the unrelenting force of self-doubt that eats away at our potential. What I have learned over the years is the importance of us embracing that struggle, staring down that fear, and ignoring that voice in your head telling you that you can’t accomplish anything you set your mind and heart to.

Fear is inevitable. It’s a part of what helps us understand who we are, and it challenges us to overcome different things that come our way, helping us grow and become better as individuals in our characteristics, skills, and so much more. (You can read more about my thoughts on facing your fears here.) There’s one beautiful reminder about faith that makes facing your fears much easier: “Allah does not burden a soul with more than it can bear.” (Quran 2:186) What that tells you is that regardless of what you face in life, God guarantees that you will never face anything you can’t bear. It means that He KNOWS you can handle everything you face. And because we also know that Allah only has us experience things that will help us become better versions of ourselves, we know that us overcoming our fears will result in us reaching new heights in accessing our true potential. How beautiful, encouraging, and reassuring is that?? As for the individual fears I mentioned above, let’s break them down one at a time.

1. The Struggle

We’ve all heard the saying, “Nothing in life worth having comes easy, and nothing that comes easy is worth having.” A pretty great reminder, if you ask me. Sure, you may come around the occasional unique case where something falls into place without much work, but to depend on that occurrence as our path to success in our endeavors is like living a half-assed life, expecting someone to come around one day with a briefcase of millions of dollars for you. Umm…sorry for breaking your bubble if that’s what you’re hoping for, but my friend, it’s probably not going to happen. I would recommend that you work hard towards your goals, and if you just so happen to stumble upon that kind of fortunate circumstance, simply consider it a bonus.

Hard work is it’s own reward. It’s true. When you have a goal or dream you’re striving towards accomplishing, every little success feels like a huge motivation and push forward. Successful people wake up every morning with the ambition to take steps forward in their goals, and to get a few extra little successes under their belts, and that acts as part of their fuel for the next day. I personally get excited every time I get the code I’ve been struggling with when designing a client’s website, or coming upon an epiphany for a logo or branding scheme for a client. Or, when I would see a coaching client overcome something they were afraid to face. Or, when I would come up with an idea for a quote, poem, or article to write. These may seem like really small experiences, perhaps even unimportant in the larger scheme of things, but every little success is worth appreciation and embrace, because these little things are exactly what remind us that we’re on the right path to fulfilling our goals. Keep going towards your goals, and work relentlessly until you accomplish your goal, or life leads you and your heart in a different direction that’s better for you.

2. The Truth About Failure

Failure can be one of two things: the fuel to your success or the fuel to your destruction. Which of the two it’ll be is up to you.

Personally, I’ve failed so many times during my journey to success, and actually fail in small ways almost on a daily basis. But, I recognize that those failures have come in my life path for the sake of helping me grow and build on my skills and talents. I know that God has put me on this world to help people, and that can be difficult at times when it comes to trying to support your family and future. I face criticism and ridicule often as I try things and stumble, and can sometimes have people telling me that I will never succeed, or that I should just give up on trying. Still, I push forward, have faith and patience, and work my butt off every single day, while trying to learn and grow from my experiences. If I let the reactions of others towards my journey and failures eat away at my mind, or affect me in any way, I would definitely see myself fall into self-destruction. The reason I say self-destruction is because it’s truly self-imposed. We choose what we let in and what we let out of our minds. We have to remember that no one knows our journey better than God and our own selves. As long as we keep God in mind with every step, give our hearts to Him, and work relentlessly towards what we want in life (within moral bounds, of course), we can remain steadfast in our steps forward towards succeeding in our goals.

Another beautiful thing about failure is that it keeps us balanced and humble. It reminds us that we’re human, and that reminder is hugely important when we have big expectations. It’s through this falling and failing that we learn how to get back up and keep going. It’s through these setbacks that we are brought towards the right timing for our success, and are reminded that we should stay humble and levelheaded with our potential and skills.

There is enough in this life that pushes its way into our life and minds to the point of causing us sadness and fills us with a test of hope and faith. Don’t pass the test of failure in that process. Failure is truly a blessing and an opportunity for us to become better versions of ourselves, and what better thing could we ask for than that as we strive every day towards personal development and growth?

3. Destroying Self-Doubt

Ah, the internal evil that resides in even the best of us: self-doubt. No matter who you are, you’ve surely experienced this to some degree. But, the beauty of life is that we are never faced with anything that we can’t bear, and we are often capable of so much more than we think we are. As Wayne Gretzky said, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” What that reminder told me was not only that we have to always try something before we know we can do it, but also that we can only know how much we are capable of through us pushing the envelope with our comfort zones.

Like I mentioned above, letting the words of others get to us is something that can happen only if we allow it to. What’s even more important to keep in mind though is that the same goes for our own negative, pessimistic, or skeptic thoughts. We are hardwired to think out all of the options, and life’s rollercoaster-type nature causes us to fear the worst and doubt our own capabilities. Often, we put up a front that we have what it takes to take on the things that scare us, but I think that it’s much easier to become courageous than to fake fearlessness. When you face every day, remind yourself that you are capable of so much more than you can imagine, and that there is nothing that can come your way in life that you aren’t able to handle. You are stronger, wiser, and more capable than you think. People will try to convince you otherwise, and life will challenge you often to make you think otherwise (if you let it), but I assure you that your success and happiness is simply past those things you doubt being capable of doing or achieving.

Ultimately, when it comes down to it, there are two things I believe combine to create the formula for guaranteed success = unrelenting and ridiculous work ethic + an ever-growing knowledge and application of your beliefs and values. Figure out what you want to dedicate your time and efforts to, and what your beliefs and values are, and then face life head on. With these two things, you will find everything you’re looking for, and then some. Of course, there are so many more details to these two components for each individual person, and I’d be more than happy to coach or mentor any of you in that endeavor. You can send me an email at mail@nadirkeval.com to set up a free consultation, but till then, I hope this article will be a great starting point!

Now, I want to hear from you! Join the conversation! Leave a comment below telling me about some fears you’ve conquered, or share some insight into some other ways you have taken on these or other hurdles on your personal journey to success 🙂

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Question:

How do I cope with heartache?

Answer:

Assalaamu alaikum,

Insha Allah, this reaches you in the best state of health and Imaan.

Heartbreak and heartache are some of the toughest things to face in life, but it’s also important for us to go through these things in order to grow and become better versions of ourselves for us and for those who are in our lives or will enter our lives in the future.

When it comes to heartache, I’ve personally found that it’s all about setting your mindset a certain way, giving things time, and most importantly, faith. The first step is to accept that it’s best for you to move on, and to have conviction in the fact that if someone is meant for you, that person will be in your life regardless of what happens. That may require you two to go through periods of separation, difficulty, struggle, etc. but if this person is who Allah has meant for you, nothing will be able stop you two from coming together.

“No amount of guilt can change the past, and no amount of worrying can change the future. Go easy on yourself, for the outcome of all affairs is determined by Allaah’s decree. If something is meant to go elsewhere, it will never come your way, but if it is yours by destiny, from it you cannot flee.” – Umar ibn Al-Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him)

With that said, it’s also important to remember that we plan and Allah plans, and He is the best of planners (Quran 8:30). Meaning, there are things we may see as being best for us, or someone we may consider the pinnacle of perfection, but if things don’t work out with that person, it means that Allah has someone even better out there for us. It’s always a win-win situation when you maintain this mindset because either Allah will give you the person you want now because they’re truly the perfect fit for you, OR He will replace that person with someone who’s even better than who you thought was the pinnacle of perfection! Allahu Akbar! How merciful and generous and wise Allah is! 😀

The other aspect of this is time. We’ve all heard the say that time heals all things, and for the most part it’s true. In this situation, there are phases that you’re going to go through as you work towards growing past this part of your life: letting go of the person, healing from the pain the experience of being with and ending a relationship caused, and finally, rebuilding your self into a much stronger and wiser person. These phases will take time, so you must be patient and positive, because at the end of the day, Allah had that person in your life for the time he was there, but now, perhaps him being in your life any longer would have hurt you and your future.

This brings me to my last point: having faith. We have to accept that who and what comes and goes in our lives is all for our benefit. Sometimes, we have to be broken slightly in order to grow. Sometimes, we have to broken greatly in order to grow. Sometimes, we are simply given what we need to grow. Life will always have its ups and downs, and when it comes to heartbreak and heartache, all related to love, one of the most desired and pursued component of our lives, it will take a great deal of effort and discipline to get there.

My remedy for growing past heartache and heartbreak has always been to turn to Allah. To build on my relationship with Him, considering He is the Facilitator of our affairs, and it is with Him that our hearts and lives lie. He is our Master and the One who loves us more than anyone else possibly could, so it is only wise to work on pleasing Him and building our relationship with Him in order to find ease in finding love and happiness in this life and the Next.

I hope this answered your question, insha Allah. If you’d like to discuss your specific experience or situation more in an one-on-one session, you’re more than welcome to email me at mail@nadirkeval.com, and we’ll set something up, insha Allah. Till then, take care! 😀

Wassalaamu alaikum,

– Nadir Keval (www.nadirkeval.com)

love1

There is poetry that is written,
by those with hearts so smitten,
that they seek out words from all languages,
to try to describe the one for whom their heart wishes.
But with a beauty like hers,
I too have been left without words,
because it is only Allah who knows,
the true essence of all that is she.

Copyright © Nadir Keval