A Tale of Two Notebooks

Allow me to say, at the risk of sounding pompous, that I have been writing for a very long time .
At the risk of sounding, well lame, allow me to also say that I have, now, NOT been writing for a very long time as well. Strangely for no other reason than not having a notebook I love. Yep, that strange and that pitiful.

(What? Don`t roll your eyes at me I just don`t like keyboards!
There`s just something about the swoosh of a pen moving across paper whilst ideas overflow: murmurs the soul, forever placating, forever justifying.
You`re just lazy and a have a screen addiction. It`s a problem. Admit it. Murmurs the heart, forever truthful, & hence forever snubbed & Sure enough I brush aside this uncomfortable thought for a later time and move on.)

While I write this, I hope that most of you (some of you? one of you? Seriously anyone? Mom you? please?) might remember a blog called www.malonama.com from way back? I had been writing for since I turned 16, mostly nonsense, a lot of it just incomplete chapters of books I was going to publish one day. I started formally blogging around 21 years of age because I heard my Tafsir teacher say that our talents are gifts from Allah swt. Every single one of us has been given something. We all have our individual molds. We have strengths, preferences, likes/dislikes, talents & weaknesses. But the catch is: we will be asked about these as well!

So, You have a good voice?
Good! Where did you use it?
You`re Creative?
Good! Where did you use it?
You speak well?
Awesome! How did you use that?
You`re beautiful?
Perfect! How did you use your God-gifted good looks to please Allah (swt)
Good memory? Logical thinking? Powers of deduction? Reasoning? so on and so forth. Each of us has a debt to pay forward! Our job is to maximize our talents during our stay on planet Earth for His sake!
So I started off with this intention, to pay off this debt of self-proclaimed talent (after all I had a notebook full of writings that I staked this claim upon!). As I understand it, this is the zakat of our talents. This is how you show acknowledgement/gratitude for the gifts God gave you.
I was blessed. I loved writing. I didn`t know if I was any good but it came easily to me. And that was enough for me, for a long time. I was blessed that people found it easy to read my writings as well. Alhumdolillah! All good is from Him! One day my little blog was mentioned in Dawn.com . An article I had written “The Hot New Mehram in my Life” had “made it”! Dawn isn`t exactly known for being pro-conservative values, so it was an achievement! Alhumdolillah! And Needless to say I was elated!
But then something happened. I stopped writing. Just like that! I couldn`t do it anymore for some reason. My blog was funny, quirky & humor with Islamic Knowledge sprinkled here and there. But something changed within me. I wasn`t this funny, cheesy person anymore. (well at least not entirely) I couldn`t match the tone of my previous articles. So I stopped!
It was a mistake! I shouldn`t have stopped writing, stopped exploring myself. I should have allowed myself to find a new voice, a new tone. The solution is, never, to give up. It is To keep finding yourself. To keep evolving. And for me that has always been through my writing! It helps me look within myself.
من عرف نفسه فقد عرف ربه
One who knows his soul, knows his Lord.

I didn’t` realize how much I had missed this part of me until a few dear friends gave me this beautiful notebook (with a zipper! Yep zipper!!) and until I found my notebook of 16 year old me tucked away at my parent`s place. It jolted within me, rekindled my desire to pen down my thoughts, and one Ishraq Namaz later I had written 2 entire pages! Alhumdolillah! Allah Kareem! My generous benevolent Lord!

It`s important to not lose ourselves in this thing called life. And its so easy to do that! My Rabb knows what I need even when I don’t know what it is that I have been missing!
And so we dredge along. There are debts to be paid! Gratitude to be shown! Praying for consistency this time as the most beloved of acts is that which is consistent, though small.
Here`s to new beginnings, finding new voices and dissecting inner voices!
Bismillah! We start in His name because everything else is meaningless!

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