Focused Thinking

Ever feel like you can’t concentrate? Like the stuff you gotta do seems too much work? Even though your body seems fine? Perhaps you’re lacking mental energy. You see, our brain is just like any part of the body- it can become tired if overworked and not given rest. So when you do anything that requires thinking- which is probably most of your tasks- then you spend mental energy. Switching between tasks uses up mental energy, like pushing a trolley- takes a lot to get started, quite easy to maintain speed. When switching tasks, you mentally lay out your new task. When you switch tasks every 5 minutes, you burn all your energy and time just prepping for the next task instead of doing anything! This also applies to thought switching. When your mind is like “I gotta do my English homework about literature. Hmm… in that anime, what was the Main Character’s backstory again? And what was on my Wattpad list… oh yeah, that fanfiction about cooking. I wonder how to make some trile├že cake?”, then …

Hide Your Sins: You're Setting an Example

Others follow your actions, realize it or not. When you chatter in class, your friends will feel like talking and ignoring the boring teacher. When you study hard and get high marks, these same friends will feel like becoming serious too. 
So keep your sins under wraps. No human is an angel, but don't show off your mistakes either. A bad reputation doesn't only hurt you- it influences those around you to follow your mistakes too.
Allah covers your sins up to a point. There's the story of a thief who was caught and brought to Umar RA. The thief claimed this was his first time and should be forgiven, but Umar RA didn't believe him and said Allah doesn't expose first-time sinners. And he was right- the thief admitted later he had already stolen 20 times. So when we sin occasionally, worry about repenting more than being exposed.
Things are different, however, if you expose your sin when Allah has already covered it for you. With social media and our innate desire for…

A Ramadhan Statement to Non-believers

This article is a reminder for Muslims (myself included) and a challenge to atheism in particular.

Often, those who disbelieve in the Creator state that the orderliness of the universe, where every particle and entity has a purpose and moves according to clear laws, is NOT absolute proof of His Existence. Thus, they continue, they don't believe.

Firstly, think a bit- what exactly would be "absolute" proof for them? Do they think Islam would have conquered the globe? Or perhaps they imagine Allah's Names being written in the heavens? Or maybe they wish to "see" Allah with their eyes in this world? Frankly speaking, even if all these happened and more, they would still state, "Islam's dominance isn't proof- their government is just good", "These justseemto look like His Names, and it's still not proof anyways", and "We're only seeing illusions". By the way, the last event would seal their fates in Hell, and Allah t…

Wisdom of Winter

"It's cold". "I have a cold". These are just two reasons why many people prefer not the months around the winter break, ie, winter. And such people have a point; in addition to the chillingly low temperature and high prevalence of illnesses, the shorter days and lack of sun in general is a real mood damper. It is normal for humans to pine for the brightness of summer, its ease, its excitement.

But is winter really the season to be hated and cursed? Nah, not really. There are several pluses that come about from the chill and clouds of the cold season (temperature is not amongst them though).

Have you thought how winter represents the tough times in a person's life? Summer is ease, whims, and dreamy. Winter is tough, trying, and in-your-face. And it should be: we need winter to cool our emotions and remind us that the tough times in our lives develop and toughen us for, what we hope, a colourful spring of newfound success and happiness. Remembe…

A "GaJe" Group


The Thing Called "Free Will"

"Man may be chained outside, but is always free inside".

Every story, fact or fiction, attempts to portray its characters' inner self- their conflicts, thoughts, intentions. Why though? Would not visible actions be sufficient, without having to delve into a character?

Nope. A story without the inner self is merely a chronicle. And people do not just care about actions- they are attracted by the motives behind them. A plot without motives may be shaped intricately, but it will always be an empty husk.

A human's will is not a consequence, or deterministic. It can be moved and swayed, but it will always have a freedom that can never be vanquished. That is why a writer shouldn't focus too much on what creates motives, since that would undermine the soul's freedom.

The key in character development and epiphanies is not in the events that happen around him, but the feelings and thoughts he experiences. While this may seem as an unnecessary differentiation…

Regret & Repentance

(Firstly, I am not an ulama, ie, a scholar of Islam, yet this article contains points pertaining to Aqeedah (practical faith). If any point or implication here contradicts the orthodox ulamas' view, please take their opinions over mine)

Humans sin and err. Thus, we should feel guilt and regret for our mistakes, so that we try to make up for and not repeat them. However, these very feelings often pin us down and erode our self-esteem. So what is the way of Islam? There are two commands- apparently opposing, but not so as will be seen later. 
The first one is repentance. In His Mercy and recognition of humanity's inclination to sin, Allah forgives our slip-ups on three conditions: 1) Leave the sin now 2) Pledge not to repeat it 3) Feel hatred towards it. In sum, treat the sin as the scourge.

The second command comes from a Hadith, where the Prophet (SAW) states: "Do not say 'If only i had done X', but rather, 'Allah decrees as He wishes'". In other w…