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Welcome to Al Misbaah Students' Blog: Where Your Reflections Matter"

Welcome to Al Misbaah Students' Blog, an open sanctuary where your thoughts, reflections, and personal journey with the Quran find their voice. Here, we invite you to share the depth of your feelings, insights, and experiences as you engage with the sacred text.

This blog is your canvas—a space where every emotion, realization, and contemplation inspired by the Quran can be articulated freely and respectfully. We encourage you to pour your heart onto these digital pages, expressing what the Quran means to you personally.

Your contributions, whether profound or poignant, joyous or thought-provoking, are the threads that weave our collective tapestry of understanding and connection. Let this be a platform where your voice resonates, where your thoughts are cherished, and where your journey enriches the broader discourse on Quranic study.

Join us in this enlightened space, where your reflections find a home, your expressions are valued, and your journey with the Quran is celebrated!

Once upon a Magazine - Tehseen Khatib (QI 2015)

Athaar, our graduation magazine represents two years’ worth of stories, reflections and lessons learned during the course of our entire classes’ journey through the Qur’an. Our thoughts, our fears, our hopes; the habits we left behind, the friends we made and all of the fun and crazy things we did which brought us closer together as sisters, all the while bringing us closer still to the word of Allah. We tried to encapsulate all of this and more into a single book: our graduation magazine.

I was a part of the design team and from start to finish in terms of design I can tell you that it took us about four months, with many late nights to complete the magazine. But, when I hold it in my hand I know that for me, it took a lot longer than the actual four months.

One phrase from our teacher, which she said to me when giving her final approval on the magazine cover page, truly sums it up nicely for me; but I’ll get back to exactly what she said. For now, let’s start at the beginning…

STAGE 1: Disbelief

This is the stage where I was convinced that there is absolutely nothing I can contribute to advancing the message of Islam. The maximum I could do perhaps was to move furniture around as a volunteer at an event. All that changed when I joined an online volunteer group who were keen to work for deen.

STAGE 2: Success

Success so soon, you ask? Yes, instant success! A bit too much of it frankly. The online volunteer group I had joined had all kinds of ideas to do small da’wah activities at Islamic events and schools. One of the ideas was of attaching an Islamic reminder to a pen or a pencil and to distribute these. This was the moment when my brain (figuratively) exploded with ideas, and I realized here was something finally that I could actually do. With my web designing background and armed with Photoshop, I set about designing printable Islamic reminder cards which could easily be attached to pens with a ribbon.

Following this project I also started designing Islamic reminder images to post online on social media platforms. The reception was exceedingly favourable; and with time the best reminder became defined by the number of ‘likes’ it received online, instead of its actual content. I would describe this as a dark time where my intentions were all over the place, was it still for da’wah, or only for ‘likes’? I found myself slowly retreating from the group because the constant showering of adulation was getting to my nafs: I was starting to like the praise, which I knew was a danger sign. So, when a particular reminder got ‘1000 likes’, I knew it was time to leave.

STAGE 3: Rejection

A classmate from my Saturday Islamic course approached me to design bookmarks for her institute. That was the first time I attempted to do work for Al Misbaah. After several designs and revisions, my work was not accepted. How did I feel? I was incredulous, that my designs could possibly be rejected. I mean, I had garnered hundreds of followers on social media, I knew what I was doing, right? How could the design not be good enough?!

I was completely wrong of course; And the first day that I joined the two year Quran Intensive program at Al Misbaah, I realized just how wrong. There I was standing at the reception, looking at the bookmarks, designed by someone else of course, which had been approved and printed, and well, they were beautiful. That was the moment when Allah subhaanahu wa ta’ala showed me how dull my designs really were and more importantly how bigheaded I had been about it. It was a humbling experience, Alhamdulillah, and I was glad for the guidance.

STAGE 4: Hanging on

More projects came my way all through the duration of the course, with small successes and big failures. All the while, I was dissatisfied with my contribution, waiting to find my place; where I could successfully help out to the best of my ability. Needless to say that never really happened because I was weighing my successes based on the results. My perspective of looking at each job was incorrect, but with each new project, Allah was guiding me to find the right perspective.

The thing is, our efforts are being accounted for even when there are no tangibly visible results, and this was a lesson I learned slowly and painfully. I was constantly disappointed with myself and always on the verge of quitting forever! No matter what I did, somehow the project would just fall through or my contribution to the final product would be next to nothing. I would design and re-design, over and over again but my work just wasn’t getting approved. I couldn’t comprehend what I was doing wrong because I was working the same way as I did in my job, why wasn’t it working out now?

When I took up yet another simple project, I decided it would be my last because I couldn’t see any point in wasting more time. I made a design that I felt was adequate for the project and submitted it in. It was rejected. Yet again. So, I decided that the time to quit had come, I was obviously not cut out for this job, but held back on telling anyone for two days.

STAGE 5: Understanding

Sometimes you can’t immediately see what’s going on, sometimes you have to sleep on it. On the third day, I asked Allah for guidance. I asked Him to show me how I could best do the task at hand without feeling anything. I didn’t want to feel happiness for success, nor sadness for rejection. I just wanted to give the best possible work so that the deen would benefit, His deen, not a person or any institute.

I can honestly look back on the work I did that day and say it was really original, something I had never tried before, completely different from what I had first made, fun to do and in the end I was happy with the work as well. So, what happened, you ask? It was approved.

SubhaanAllah, I couldn’t believe it, but I finally realized what I had been doing wrong for the last many months. My intention was incorrect, not my work. My focus on the end result, and the recognition gained when my work would be accepted, had blind sighted me from the real purpose.

After this project, I got the Aathaar magazine and though there was a lot of work to do, the process became so easy because of the tarbiyyah of the past many months I had been through. So, when a page design was rejected, I would simply go ahead and make another without any strong feelings attached to it. The mindset was professional and the focus was on getting the work done at the earliest, in the best way.

The cover page was especially challenging, with my initial design not translating well to others. I struggled for two weeks on coming up with an alternative but when nothing worked I decided to hand over the task to someone else because I didn’t want to delay the publishing process. The work shouldn’t stop after all, but alhamdulillah, my brother saw me one day struggling on the computer and was able to supply me with the perfect images to use.

When our teacher was approving the cover design, the team members there were happily congratulating each other on a job well done, because the cover page was the final step in our whole magazine process to get approval. At that moment, my teacher looked directly at me and said: “Do you see how far you’ve come?”

SubhaanAllah. So when I hold the Aathaar magazine in my hand and look it, I know it took about four months of work, but for me, it took closer to four years to get to this point, Alhamdulillah, I really do see how far I’ve come. Quite a few ups and downs and whole lot of experiences and lessons I had gained along the way.

Now, I’m back to STAGE 1: Disbelief.

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Dont be Sad - by Tahseen Khatib (QI 2016)

So young, and yet you have seen More pain, than anyone needs You try to smile, through-it-all But your face is cracking… From all the tears, Your heart is breaking You were free, you were brave Strong


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