30 Lives, $30/month

A Gift From Above

When I walked into the first session of Soul Food, I had no idea what I was getting into. I sat, surrounded by a group of strangers, as they shared their stories. “If you really knew me” they said. Soon the room was filled with stories of personal struggles, loss, gifts and at times, silence. As I walked out of those doors that day, little had I known, I wouldn’t be the same person anymore.

I was a busy bee on campus, seeking every opportunity, chasing every milestone. But in the pursuit of feeding my mind and body, I forgot that my soul was in the greatest need of growth.
Gratitude, Patience, Anger, Jealousy, Pride and Humility – every session was an insight into my heart’s deepest struggles. I learned that when one is constantly in good company and remembrance, this heart evolves. Step by step, every chore, school work and relationship becomes a means towards getting closer to the One. And at that point, I promise, life changes.

Like most things in my life, Allah sent the MC as a special gift, filling one of my missing puzzles without me having to look for it. Alhamdulillah.

30 Lessons

In my 3 years of University, I have met so many beautiful people, and had so many incredible experiences, alhamdulillah, that it’s too hard to keep to myself. They have made me learn the unexpected and unlearn the deformed norm. Sometimes I wish to stop a first year student, shake them a few times, look into their eyes and say, ‘Listen carefully kid,…’

1. One does not simply learn a lesson.

2. If you thought you knew what you were going to be in high school, you’re probably wrong.

3. Education and learning are two different things. Education is expensive, learning is optional.

4. Most people don’t know what they are going to do after graduation. Chill.

5. It is possible to survive years of university without beer, redbull or vodka. You need alcohol though, pretty much at every organic chemistry lab.

6. Life is too short to be mad at anyone.

7. NEVER underestimate the power of a smile.

8. And don’t think twice before saying salam to a stranger. The last 10 times someone did it to me, it made my day.

9. You might end up meeting some of the most beautiful people on planet earth. Keep your heart open, don’t miss out!

10. Everyone is their own ‘kind’ of awesome.

11. You never lose anything by giving, be it notes, smiles, charity or love. It all comes back to you, multiplied.

12. Except chastity. No.

13. Zombie apocalypse hits at least once every semester.

14. Nothing makes a student more productive than the last minute. Nothing.

15. Miracles happen.

16. And duas work!

17. You will find what you look for, so look for good friends.

18. Being blessed more than I deserve means I should give back more than I’m expected.

19. Living without purpose is like living dead.

20. But the resolutions you make at the beginning of the semester will most likely not work out.

21. Oh and no one cares if you have a pimple on your face. Really.

22. It’s NOT easy to get good grades. Work hard and pray. Pray more.

23. When you sincerely work towards something, God willing, it will work out.

24. Actions are based on intentions. And that, my dear, needs purification.

25. Parents are the greatest blessing of our lives.

26. When you don’t feel confident enough, tell yourself, I’m gonna do it and I’m gonna rock it! Fake it! Fake it! Fake it! And, one day when you look back you’ll see, you have made it.

27. When your heart is at unease, do dhikr. Verily, in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest.

28. NEVER sacrifice performing Salah at the prescribed times for 5 minutes of a lecture. Does your phone operate properly if it’s not recharged at regular intervals? Neither does your soul.

29. Life is the sum of your choices. What you have prioritized is what you have chosen.

30. ‘LIFE’ comes from LIve + lauGH + lovE. Remember.

Failing exams or getting distinctions, losing a loved one or falling in love, each of them is going to challenge your heart. But if God is in it, know that nothing is hard. And without Him, nothing is easy.