Maintaining Daily Prayer

As Muslim youth born and raised in the West, maintaining our Muslim identity can be a challenge at times. One common challenge, is committing to our five daily prayers on time, amidst our busy day. In Muslim countries, adhan (call to prayer) will play around the city, and most people will put their school or business on hold momentarily to perform their daily salaat. We, as people of the West, do not have this privilege. However, we have something else—the chance to prove our love of God above all other material things.


I have found myself in social situations day after day where I am left contemplating whether to excuse myself to do my salaat in the other room, or whether to wait until later. This is the common ‘to pray, or not to pray’ dilemma. The issue here is not whether it is easy and accessible to pray on time everyday. The issue here is how strong our relationship with God is.

When somebody has a strong relationship with God, pulling away from a social situation, whether it be a meeting or a social gathering, to pray, should not be a matter of debate. A strong relationship with our God, means we will do what we have been asked of Him to do, and whatever means necessary to please Him. The harder the situation is, the more we prove our priorities. By setting aside our worldly distractions, we are displaying our true strength in faith, and our gracious love for our God.

Believe it or not, a simple, “Pardon my leaving, I’m just going to go pray. I’ll be back soon”, will suffice. With personal experience, I’ve found people to be incredibly understanding and supportive. In fact, my friends know that when my door is closed, or I’ve disappeared for a bit, it means I’m praying and in the state of worship. They respect it, and give me my time and space. I am grateful for such understanding friends. sunrise

We must eventually get to a point with our imaan, where our schedules revolve around our daily prayers, rather than trying to fit salaat into our schedule. As much as taking a step out of a meeting, birthday dinner, or even camping trip seems troublesome, true faith and worship is established in our hearts once we start prioritizing the pleasing of God over the maintaining of the comfort and ease of the people around us. Think about salaat like a shield; every time we pray our salaat, we are restrengthening our shields against sins. Next time shaytan whispers in your ear, “It’s okay, just pray later when you’re done”, remember God and remember His blessings. Look around you at the trees, the sky, your healthy and beating heart, and take in His Mercy. Put what you are doing on pause for a moment, and give thanks to the One who blessed you with what you’re doing in the first place.

With love & peace, Sherry

Finding Closeness to God in Nature

We are about to go on a spiritual journey. First, you must leave behind: Your phone, laptop, Facebook, iPod, and anything materialistic and worldly that is currently occupying your mind.



I believe it is healthy for our minds and hearts to seek separation from technology and sit in nature, isolated from the city and its people. This is when I feel the greatest closeness to God. This provides the best circumstance to pray and self-reflect. The more and more I distance myself from man-made materials and technology, I feel raw clarity and spirituality on an entirely new level.


Direct connection to this beautiful Earth and it’s wondrous entities, leaves you in greater appreciation for His blessings, and allows you to have personal time with Him. Isolated amongst raw nature allows me reflect on everything I’m grateful for, to make dua, and to speak to God.


I encourage everybody to separate themselves from their busy material life, and take a moment to appreciate the beauty in every raindrop, and in every leaf that paints green across the skyline.

Feel your bare feet on the Earth, breathe in the sweet air, feel the breeze caressing your body.



With love & peace, Sherry

Tips for Ramadan

1) Ramadan Resolutions! Don’t let this blessed month pass without working on bettering yourself and setting goals. My favourite thing to do as Ramadan comes around, is to create a list of goals for the month. I set myself spiritual, behavioural and physical goals. These are your Ramadan resolutions, write most-beautiful-raindrops-pictures-4them down (make the list sparkly, colourful and laminated to make it official!), work on them, and improve every aspect of your life. A couple examples would be: Memorizing new surahs by the end of the month, cleaning out your room/closet and donating what you don’t need, working on not swearing or using obscene language, taking time in the day to reflect on yourself, your day and what you can improve, being more positive and counting your blessings…etc.

2) Don’t Skip Sohoor As tempting as it is to skip on the early sohoor, don’t miss the chance to bond with your family and gain blessings! Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said “take the meal of suhoor because there is blessing in it”. There is a beauty in waking up before dawn to the smell of delicious food and enjoying this blessing with your family. It’ll give you time to reflect on your plans for the day before salaat. I also find that in the early of the dawn, I feel an indescribable sense of closeness to God when praying. Another tip, don’t indulge your sohoor meal with sweets, baked goods and lots of carbs. From experience, my whole family agrees that the more unhealthy we eat, the hungrier we get during the day and the harder the fast is. We usually eat some fruit, lots and lots of WATER!!!!, a protein bar or shake, and some other healthy little snacks. Really, the more minimal and healthy my sohoor is, the less hungry I am during the day.

3) Be Around Your Community Much like Christmas to some, Ramadan brings people together. Use this time to get more active and involved in your Muslim community. Build relationships with people you’ve only crossed paths with. Ramadan is a wonderful time to attend the Mosq000-VeryFinalBlog031ue or Hussainiyeh on a more regular basis. It’s also a time I enjoy getting together with my Muslim sisters and having iftar gatherings, or Ramadan cooking parties. Being around people who are fasting like yourself, can make the experience easier and more comforting (especially for those who are new to it). I also find that since Ramadan is a time to work primarily on improving our character and controlling our desires, being around others who are doing the same is a great way to keep on track. Next time there’s an iftar dinner or gathering at your local Mosque, bake some sweets, grab your family and friends and head over!

4) It’s Not All About Not Eating Fasting is not only about not eating or drinking. An even bigger aspect of Ramadan is self cleansing. This is spiritually and physically. We should use this time to cleanse ourselves from bad habits. Whether that be: thestock-footage-scarf-girl-pray-silhouette-on-sunset habit of gossiping and bad talking, lying, the use of profanity, spending too much time on the internet or our phones, or putting salaat off to the last minute…etc. For example, Ramadan may be a good time to stop listening to certain types of music. Let’s be honest here, a person in the state of spiritual fast may not benefit from listening to people “twerk it on the dance floor”. Not just music, but give up negatively impactful movies and TV shows from your life. Believe me, as much as you think you want or need it, you nor your brain needs it. You will notice a beautiful and positive change in your behaviour and life when you cut out certain TV shows, movies, music, social networks and influences. It’s sort of like a healthy diet for your mind! Cleansing ourselves spiritually means to cleanse our lives and minds from negative influences that bare us down from reaching our higher purpose as human beings.

5) Stay Hydrated Ramadan in the summer time means HEAT THIRST AND MORE HEAT. During sohoor and after breaking the fast, focus on getting your recommended daily amount of water. Take sips of water throughout the evening, and drink 2 or 3 cups during sohoor too. Your body will thank you later!

6) Read Qur’an Ramadan is the month the Holy Qur’an was revealed. It’s the perfect time to recite Qur’an, learn to recite, or read translations of the text. The Qur’an is the word of Allah (swt), I find that with reading it, I gain an almost direct and intimate relationship with Allah (swt). There is phenomenal comfort in reading His words. beautiful-photo-of-lantern-and-open-mushaf Every night before bed, recite some passages from the Qur’an, understand the meaning of it, and try to get through as much as you can by the end of the month. Like I mentioned earlier, Ramadan is a great time to memorize surahs! I usually put a number of surahs on my phone and play them while driving on repeat (with the English translation), and recite along until I have it memorized.

7) Be Positive Sometimes hunger can make a person cranky, but fasting shouldn’t mean an excuse to be moody and unpleasant to people around you. In fact, we should work on being more positive and friendly. Smile more to people around you. Offer a helping hand whenever you can. Stop and take in the beauty of this world, from it’s beautiful sunrises to it’s breathtaking sunsets. Don’t bring people down, lift them up. Ease the burden someone faces, even if it seems small in your eyes. Don’t be a debby downer and fill the air with negativity; see Allah’s beauty in everything.

~  I pray we come out as better people with stronger Imaan, and the love for our deen grows with each passing day inshAllah. Have a beautiful and prosperous Ramadan, full of blessings and love. Ramadan Mubarak my dear friends! 

With love & peace,