Blessings in times of Coronavirus

We live far away from modern society, nearly in the wilderness. Nature, mountains, simple living, few people in small villages and at the moment a beautiful spring scenery everywhere around, subhanallah.
It’s my conscious choice to live here, far away from fashion and trends, and not to watch or hear news nor to read newspapers. And I am very thankful to have this choice, alhamdulillah.
I prefer to live as natural and uninfluenced as possible from mainstream opinion and media.

But we live in times of virtual media, and whether I want or not, the really big or important topics reach us anyway, as it actually happens with the coronavirus.

Since a few weeks it’s getting a bigger and bigger theme even out here.
First it was more like hygiene information in school; then several friends who annulated their travelling to us; the ITB in Berlin and the Umrah to Mecca cancelled; last week stricter border controls and all flights and the seaway between Morocco and Spain closed; and now we have to temporarily close our school.  Mashaallah.

So, Covid-19 affects us all, wherever we live, whoever we are.
The structures of normal life change and the whole world is concerned.
Social and external contacts are broken down to a minimum – nationwide, but also worldwide.
This forced hermitage, over which we do not have power, is challenging our awareness – insecurity, loss of control, chaos, crisis, shock, total panicking, “run or freeze” …

But I do not want to talk about my fears here, I do not want to talk about the moments I spend thinking about horror scenarios or worse things, audhu billahi.

I know that fear is a total health killer.
I wanna stay healthy.
Yet the unknown is scary.
So, I first pray, and then I look for facts.

It’s quite difficult to find detailed information, or clear facts about the disease and its course and healing possibilities.
I look for reliable, objective, not lurid sources, for different points of view on this virus. I watch out for answers and positive guidelines, for an alternative approach and for leaders who spread encouraging messages.

With every fact I find, the disease gets less scary and loses some of its terror.
As a practicing Muslim, I also know, that we already have a very general cleanliness and an Islamic etiquette that protects us from such disease, God-willingly.

And I understand, that in all that feeling of overpowering, I still have a choice.

Maybe we have to accept what happens around, because we do not have the power to change the outside,
but we have the power to choose our attitude and our response to the realities out there.
We can ask ourselves “what position do I wanna take in all of this?”.

It reminds me of Viktor Frankl and his logotherapy approach (“Men’s search for meaning”) and how he dealt with the reality in a Nazi-concentration camp.

Do I choose to be a duck, that runs with the hysterical crowd?
Or do I want to be an eagle, flying high above and observing the things from a wise (inner) distance?

Do I want to go with the wave, overwhelmed and manipulated by mass-fear?
or do I choose to be a lighthouse, spreading out hope, light and love?  

Do I want to remain a victim?
Or do I take positive action?

How can I live my full potential in such times of crisis and change?

Maybe it’s an awakening.
Maybe out of all this chaos and breakdown, a new order will arise?
Maybe it is time to create a new vision for this world?
Who do I want to be then?
How can I find and spread hope in all that happens?
How can I stand still, stay clear, observe the whole and see opportunities in all of this?
How do I want to remind this crisis and myself in it, when everything is over, inchaallah?

I also have faith in God’s predestination and in my destiny (quadr’) and I know that there are trials and tribulations we will be tested with.
A Muslim tries to be patient in those trials; a Muslim knows that Allah will never forsake him, nor will He burden him with a trial that is more than what he can handle.

I have faith and know this too shall pass and that everything happens for a reason, alhamdulillah!
No matter what the affair – in the end it’s always good. Allahu akbar!
And if it’s the end, then as well, it is good.
Let go and led God.

Allāh says in the Qur’ān:

“And We will surely test you with something of fear and hunger and a loss of wealth and lives and fruits, but give good tidings to the patient” 

“Who, when disaster strikes them, say, ‘Indeed we belong to Allāh, and indeed to Him we will return.'”

 

Let’s stay connected, let’s spread hope!
Love, light and peace to all of you!

Salaam aleikoum world, may you be blessed with all things good!

 

 

Our new Website! and some productive entrepreneur Muslim inspiration

salaam aleikoum dear readers and friends,

wow, already February, 2020 is not so new any more, and after the snow, spring already shows up with its first signs, subhanallah.

I am happy and very very pleased to announce our newly launched and totally updated website:

www.campusvivante.com

in three languages and full of good information about our work, alhamdulillah.

Welcome to check out, where I spend most of my time when I am not here at this blog.

Subhanallah, I am very happy and thankful to be part of this vivante-community at the campus vivant’e and beyond – a community of like-minded people that wants to make the world a bit friendlier, to grow together and to offer chances and perspectives
– A community that thinks, acts and encourages us to do good, to continue our mission and to change locally what is in our power and therefore is our duty, inchaallah.

I feel also very blessed to be able to share and to live my spiritual Muslim reality at work with the students and my team, and to even spread through our deeds, messages of peace and about the beauty of Islam.

I recently read on the Productive Muslim site about wonderful-work-principles and the spiritual interaction of career and faith. And I think their manifesto puts very beautifully together what really matters.
Their list of comparisons shows quite well what I also find absolutely important for a successful approach to a faith-based living:

 

From hustle culture to barakah (blessed) culture
From ego-centric to Allah-centric
From personal-success-driven to purpose-driven
From Worldly Focus to Hereafter-Focus
From output-drive to striving-to-please-God-driven
From scarcity mindset to abundance mindset
From seeking credit to being grateful
From distracted/rushed/busy to focused/tranquil/present
From sense of entitlement to sense of responsibility
With this, I wish you God’s blessings, I wish that you might be able to live according to your beliefs (whatever your beliefs are), able to stand up for what you think is important, and grow towards the best version of yourself.

Thank you so much for your interest, your loyalty and the reading of my musings.
I wish you all the best for this year! Bless you! Peace and love!

Ramadan and some news of the campus vivant’e

The last days of Ramadan are here… spirituality can be felt everywhere, also during work at our campus, subhanallah.
We are approaching the end of the school year, many things need still to be done and this period is special and full of sentimentality and memories, because our first generation of pupils will leave us soon after nine years at the campus vivant’e, inchaallah.
I am happy to share with you here some pictures, new videos and links to see more of our work.

some insight in our work at the campus vivant’e:

more on facebook, our blog and on our youtube channel.

Are you looking for a good cause to give your Zakaat to?
Please donate to the campus vivant’e!
and help us to continue the important work of our holistic center of education and growth for the Berber people of Ait Bouguemez

write me or click here for more information on how to donate! 

Jazaak Allahu khairan!

Blessings of the early hours

The very earliest hours of the day carry a lot of blessings… subhanallah.

In Ramadan I can feel this more than any other time during the year.
We rise up long before the first light on the eastern horizon appears…
actually after only 4-5 hours of sleep, at about 03.00 a.m.,
to take our breakfast, the Suhoor, before we then pray Fajr and begin to fast until the evening.

Many people go after eating and praying back to sleep until the sun shines…
but it was recommended by the Prophet (sas) to stay awake after the morning prayer, to read Qur’an and to take benefit of the blessings of these early hours.

And this is so good and so true!
Yes, it needs some self-discipline, but if you manage to fight your inner little bastard (your weakness/lower nafs’/Schweinehund), to resist the lure of your warm bed and begin to read Qur’an until the golden morning light appears, God blesses you with a very clear and fresh mind, with deeper understanding of His words and with vitality throughout the whole day, inchaallah.

I’ve tested it now several times:
I went back to sleep at 4.00 a.m. because I thought I have to catch up some sleep to avoid sleep-deprivation, thinking that my body would need this, because I normally sleep more than 7 hours to feel well.
But everytime I went back to bed in the early morning, I dreamed strange things, I woke then up with a very uncomfortable heavy feeling, like being smashed, mashaallah. And I always felt tired, irritable and quickly exhausted during the whole day, in the need of lots of sleep and with very low energy.

On the contrary to when I stay up after Suhoor, I lways feel very quiet and full of joy and light, being able to read Qur’an with a clear mind until nearly sunrise, ahamdulillah.
Then I often go into our garden to enjoy the work in the fresh air, accompanied by the singing of the birds, subhanallah. Or I sit in my studio, doing some office-work – much more productive than later in the day.
And the surprising thing is that I do not feel tired or exhausted, even later in the day… I barely need a sleep in the afternoon and feel quickly refreshed after just a little power-nap.

To me, it really feels as if Allah acknowledges and rewards our worship and positive intention with a boost of energy and improved efficiency during this sacred month, subhanallah… despite the common scientific opinion on how much sleep we normally need, He gives us strength and endurance.
Try it out, you won’t regret…

as people say: “The early bird catches the worm” (Morgenstund hat Gold im Mund)

as Allah says in the Qur’an:

“So be patient over what they say and exalt [ Allah ] with praise of your Lord before the rising of the sun and before its setting; and during periods of the night [exalt Him] and at the ends of the day, that you may be satisfied.” (20:130) 

“Establish prayer at the decline of the sun [from its meridian] until the darkness of the night and [also] the Qur’an of dawn. Indeed, the recitation of dawn is ever witnessed.” (17:78) 

great read on this: Khurram Murad “In the early hours”.

wishing you very peaceful and blessed last nights of this Ramadan!
salaam aleikoum.

Striving for righteousness

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Righteousness is not that you turn your faces toward the east or the west, but [true] righteousness is [in] one who believes in Allah, the Last Day, the angels, the Book, and the prophets and gives wealth, in spite of love for it, to relatives, orphans, the needy, the traveler, those who ask [for help], and for freeing slaves; [and who] establishes prayer and gives zakah; [those who] fulfill their promise when they promise; and [those who] are patient in poverty and hardship and during battle. Those are the ones who have been true, and it is those who are the righteous.

(Quran 2:177)

Mothering and spiritual growth

I am willing to change. I am ready to re-educate myself –

as a mother of five children, subhanallah, with such big age differences, from eleven months to fifteen years old, I have to be very flexible in my thinking and acting.
Sometimes I sit there, eyes and mouth wide open, asking myself how to respond to all the different needs, thinking how can it be?
there is the little one growing her first teeth, and there is the oldest one growing a beard, mashaallah. And in between, there are so many different phases of development, so many different questions, moods, areas of interest from toddler to puberty age…
some of the things are kind of repeating and well known, others are very very new to me.

Especially with the oldest one I recognize that time for educating actually is over… now it is time to trust, to have confidence, to let go.
Time to stop myself, hold me back (in fears, advices and doubts), to observe, and finally to enjoy the fruit of previous years of mothering…

As Jesper Juul so beautifully writes in his books “It is time to become a sparrings-partner, a source of feedback, trust and encouragement, someone who clarifies the rules, limits and boundaries of life without hurting or commanding.”
That’s what I am actually learning.
Sometimes this is painful, sometimes full of joy, but in any case, it is never boring and full of possibilities of growth for myself, together at the side of our eldest, alhamdulillah.
Thank you my dear son, tbarakallah!


very good book from Jesper Juul for parents of teenagers 

“My spiritual growth often comes to me in strange ways. It can be an incident with a child, a chance meeting or an accident, a dis-ease or the loss of a loved one. Something inside urges me to follow, or I am forcefully prevented from living in the same old way. It is a little different for each person. I grow spiritually when I accept responsibility for my life. This gives me the inner power to make the changes in myself that I need to make.” (according to Louise Hay)

Spiritual growth is not about changing others.
Spiritual growth happens to the person who is ready to step out of the victim role,
into forgiveness, and into a new life.

None of this happens overnight. It is an unfolding process. Loving myself opens the door, and being willing to change really helps to be a better parent too. Inchaallah.
On to new adventures!

Friday’s Couscous and more

In Morocco, it is a wide spread tradition to eat Couscous on Friday noon, together with guests and family – that’s what we also do most Fridays, and here I share some pics of the meal and preparation at grandpa’s house.
Happy blessed Friday to you!

The Prophet Mohammed (sas) advised others to eat together as he never ate alone when he had the opportunity to eat with another person:

When a food possesses four qualities it becomes perfect:
being halal, eating it with other people, having started with the name of God, and having ended with the praise of God. 39

 

    

He (sas) also said:

The best food in the eyes of God is that food which has many hands (i.e. many people) involved in eating it.  40

Eating food with people brings about abundance.
One person’s food portion is enough for two people, and two people’s food portion is enough for four.  41

And here you find some recipes on how to make the real steamed moroccan couscous and another quicker way.
Yummy! Bismillah!