Posted in Everything Else, Personal & Opinion

LiveJournal: It’s Been Awhile | July 20th 2017

Reading over this entry one again I’m happy to let you know that I indeed plan on posting about some of the places I’ve been and the things I’ve done in the near future once I get other things out of the way. I have two dozen half-written articles just waiting for me to have the time and do something about them so hand in there, I’ll get to them eventually.


Date originally posted: July 20th 2017 (9:37 a.m.)

Mood: contemplative

Well, it’s been over a month since I’ve posted on here now. Honestly, there’s just been so much on my plate that I haven’t been into doing anything online these days except shopping when necessary. There’s just that amazing convenience with Amazon and eBay where you can get even basic necessities sent straight to your door. It’s especially great when you live in an isolated rural area and things are often inaccessible or unavailable. For me it’s been a lifeline ever since I got the internet. A whole new world opened up in ways that I never thought possible.

So much for relaxing and just hanging out this summer. So much has happened and I still need to do so much more. Hopefully next month I can take a few road trips with my friends because big changes are also looming around here. I’ve set things up to move out and change regions completely. That won’t be happening in the immediate future because I have things like breaking leases to get done and a bunch of other jargon that needs to happen first before I can just get up and go and of course there’s the issue of money. I haven’t figured out all of the costs yet, but so far so good for the budget. I only have to save up a little more and by the end of the year (provided I don’t need the money for emergencies) all should be in order. After that, I haven’t decided yet.

I’ve also finally managed to terminate some friendships gone sour. It’s never pleasant to do, but I’m glad it’s done now. First of all it’s hard for me to get close to people and once I manage that, it’s also hard to leave them even after things get sour. I don’t find it hard to be sociable or to interact with people in general, but opening up and getting close to another person is a completely different story. Writing these bogus blogs online have helped me with that though.

My communication skills have never been very good. When I was growing up I was not allowed to express my feelings and now when they come out it’s like an explosion sometimes. That’s not good and neither is keeping them bottled up inside so I’m kind of still figuring out the grey area in the middle and finding out where I stand in regards to that. I’m not gone though, just because I’m more silent than usual and my pages might not have much activity for a while, I’m still very much around. Once I come back from my road trips I would love to post a mini series about discovering the region I traveled to. I’ve been doing some digging to find stuff ahead of time too so I’m even more looking forward to this now.

I’m gonna quit here for now, until I have something better to share.

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Posted in Everything Else, Islam & Interfaith Subjects, News & Relevant Topics, Personal & Opinion, Social Issues & Politics, The World Wars

LiveJournal: Today | June 14th 2017

This is an old post from my LiveJournal account that I’ve recently cleaned up but didn’t want to completely get rid of everything and I’m glad that I’ve preserved my about half dozen entries or so because this is a very important one. Anti-Semitism (and racism and discrimination in general) is rampant and never seems to go away. Did you look at CNN or any other American news outlet recently? The entire country is going crazy. Up here in Canada it’s not nearly as bad, but we certainly aren’t free from the monster. In the near future I want to continue posting about this topic because I can’t just sit here and do nothing anymore, despite that I’ve never felt so powerless in my life before.


Date originally posted: June 14th 2017 (7:23 p.m.)

Mood: anxious

Not much to add today, just my roommates driving me crazy for the millionth time. The more this goes on the more I want to live alone. Of course many things need to happen in order for that to happen before I’m able to do that, but I might just get that process started. I think it would do me some good to get away from all of this. Of course there are many advantages to having a roommate or two, the biggest one being that things like rent are far less expensive. When they were all gone a few weeks ago I stayed home alone with my cat just watching TV and it got really lonely after the first week, but it was nice to just unwind after so much tension everywhere. I usually don’t go far or do much, but the two of them bring a lot of drama home and unfortunately I can’t exactly escape. We all share the same apartment.

Otherwise tomorrow it’s my birthday. At last! I was really getting hungry for my cake and other junk food today. I wasn’t sure I wanted one this year because my mind is elsewhere but I ended up deciding to invite some people over and just take the day to relax and regroup. I’m no fan of conventional birthday parties, I much prefer a relaxing day spent in good company and thinking about things than matter than going crazy. I might wanna go to the park and read the Quran or something, that is if the weather holds up for an outdoor adventure. I haven’t checked the weather forecast yet today but most of the time it’s not accurate in this region. Things change way too fast and the best way to determine the weather is to look outside the window.

I finally got back to going on WordPress and Tumblr regularly after not really being there for a while and only posting a few minor things. I changed most of my names (not username, just public name) on my social media to 42375 which is the number I picked for my tattoo, which was my grandpa’s service number during WWII. Honestly it makes me sad to see all the rampant anti-Semitism all over the place, from right here down the street to governments and institutions spreading it around across a good chunk of the Middle East. It’s truly unfortunate that many Muslims are systematically taught to hate Jews despite that the two communities have lived in peace for over a thousand years until just very recently the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Personally, I believe in a two-state solution. Each person and each nation has the right to be itself and to live in peace. Peace, isn’t that what we all want?

After all of these years there’s no way to have peace if you give the whole land to only one side. The other will rise up and cause another conflict because there has been way too much meddling from all sides including the outside for this to ever end peacefully because each person believes that the place is rightfully theirs (I won’t get into that right now) and unless there’s a compromise with each side getting something equal, tensions are only going to rise more and more. You cannot blame the entire Jewish population for what an oppressive regime is doing and you can’t blame the entire Muslim population for what a few radical Palestinians are doing either. Everything about this situation seems to have been tainted by everybody meddling in it without ever bringing about a resolution.

I hate it how Islam is often portrayed as being some anti-Semitic cult because of that ongoing conflict. We are supposed to maintain good relations with Jews (and all others for that matter), not hate them or want them gone from the face of the Earth. Plenty of Muslims perished during the Holocaust too, as well as Polish and Slavic people, homosexuals, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Gypsies, communists and endless others despite that the number of Jews was much greater than any of the other “unwanted minorities.” We also forget the stories of the Muslims who saved Jews during the Holocaust, the most famous stories being the ones of the Albanian Muslims. Muslim-majority Albania was the only European country that had more Jews after the war ended than before it started.

Have we forgotten about all the imams (not to mention countless other individual Muslims) who visited Auschwitz on more than one occasion? The photo below is from a trip in 2013 and there was another one in 2010. Undoubtedly in moments of anger we’ve all wanted to figuratively send someone to Auschwitz, but emotional reactions during a conflict are completely different than the horrors that actually happend there and all the other camps like it. If I can take any lesson from this it’s that we must stop making issues and conflicts all about ourselves and instead focus on humanity, because the world needs a whole lot more of that right now.

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Muslim leaders from across the globe paid tribute Holocaust victims this week during a visit to Auschwitz, the former Nazi concentration camp, where they prayed at the Wall of Death for those who were killed by genocide and suffered under violent anti-Semitism.

The imams, who hailed from Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Bosnia, Palestine, Indonesia, Nigeria, Turkey and the United States, performed Islamic prayers while facing Mecca as part of a Holocaust awareness visit organized in part by the International Religious Freedom office of the U.S. State Department.

“What can you say? You’re speechless. What you have seen is beyond human imagination,” Imam Mohamed Magid, President of the U.S.-based Islamic Society of North America, told Agence France-Presse.

“Whether in Europe today or in the Muslim world, my call to humanity: End racism for God’s sake, end anti-Semitism for God’s sake, end Islamophobia for God’s sake, end sexism for God’s sake… Enough is enough,” said Magid, who leads the All Dulles Area Muslim Society in Northern Virginia.

Posted in Everything Else, Personal & Opinion

LiveJournal: Thirteen Reasons Why | May 23rd 2017

Here’s yet another deleted LiveJournal entry. Note that this one deals with topics of suicide. If this is something you are not comfortable with please do not proceed.


Date originally posted: May 23rd 2017 (10:30 a.m.)

Mood: groggy

I’m currently sitting here watching 13 Reasons Why on Netflix. I’ve been working on finishing this series for the last four days now. I’ll be done today if everything goes according to plan. I read the French edition of the book “Treize Raisons” around 2013 or 2014 and enjoyed it quite a bit but I must also admit that I’ve forgotten much of the smaller details of the story since then. Back then I too was a depressed and destitute teenager, in 2014 I was homeless at 18, so it comforted me considerably in my time of need. I understand that there’s some controversy surrounding it, fears of it triggering suicidal people or glorifying teenage suicide, but for me it validated my emotions. I felt like I wasn’t alone for one of the first times in my life, despite that this comfort came in the form of a story that is entirely fictional.

Unfortunately suicide isn’t just fiction to me. In 2012 there was a girl, her name was Amanda and if she were still alive today we would be the same age. But she’s forever 15, and I’m about to turn 21. I have a tattoo on my arm in memory of her but most of the time it’s just another piece of artwork that blends into the paysage of all my other tattoos on that same arm. There’s a broken heart, an original piece by another person who also took his own life. He was 17. This year he’s been dead as long as he’s been alive. Next to that there’s a yellow semi-colon, which is of course a Semicolon Project tattoo. Many of us get those tattooed after experiencing traumatic events in our lives and I’m unfortunately no stranger to those. I generally don’t want to talk about it, in fact I never want to talk about it face to face with another person and if it wasn’t for the TV series I wouldn’t be writing this either.

I don’t really know what I’m trying to say, maybe I’m just trying to make sense of emotions that have lingered inside for far too long and I don’t know what to do with them. Growing up I was never allowed to open up about my feelings and now as an adult I struggle a lot with dealing with emotions, regardless of whether they are new or in the past. It’s something I’m constantly working on and I hope that this page will help me in doing that or at least taking a step in the right direction. One day I hope to walk among the rest of them, just a regular civilian.

Posted in Everything Else, Personal & Opinion

LiveJournal: Quiet At Last | May 17th 2017

Here’s another one of my deleted LiveJournal entries. I’m currently making some room on that blog to host different content. Enjoy 🙂


Date originally posted: May 17th 2017 (1:18 p.m.)

Mood: accomplished

It’s been a while since I’ve written anything anywhere, but for once this time it will be something far more positive than any of my previous entries. The situation with the neighbor is far better. I’m not sure I could use the word “resolved” because my idea of resolution would be to be friends with the guy like I was with my previous neighbor but there’s no way in hell that’s gonna happen that’s for sure. Anyway, the housing board’s big boss paid us a visit in person and I don’t know what kind of dealings he had with the nightmare next door afterwards, but there hasn’t been a single sound out of that place in almost two weeks! It’s seriously weird to have such peace and quiet in this place but I’m definitely not going to complain!

The most I’ve heard was the dude puking in his car. Yup, I had the window open and I heard whatever was in his stomach come back up. Then I looked outside and saw that he was dragging a disgusting vomit-soaked towel out of his car. Later that afternoon he washed the entire vehicle both inside and outside so he must’ve made quite the mess. My grandmother said she heard him puking in the bathroom again last night. Aside from his excessive noise (which we haven’t heard of for a while thankfully) you don’t hear any noises coming from next door unless we are both in the bathroom. My grandmother was taking a sponge bath while he was vomiting his brains out next door. In the past he took one nasty cocktail or drugs and alcohol which landed himself in the hospital. I remember when the ambulance came that evening the lights were flashing all over our unit and we first thought the ambulance was picking up a different neighbor, who has passed away since then.

Otherwise yesterday my roommate and I went on an epic garbage run. The municipality is doing the annual spring cleanup event where you put large trash objects at the end of your driveway and municipal workers will pick them up for free over two weeks in mid-May. I’m telling you that the municipality doesn’t pick up much by the time the townspeople are done sorting through the trashy treasures! I really appreciate the fact that they let us pick up garbage like this because I’ve found so many good things like you would not believe!

My biggest find is a Horizon treadmill. On their website these treadmills sell for over a thousand dollars! And yep, I picked one up right there on the side of the road. It’s fully functional, it just needs a good cleaning because it rained and the person’s dirt driveway turned into mud before I picked it up. Another epic piece I found is a beautiful little white cabinet ditched along with other junk on a different street. It only has three legs, it’s missing a leg in the back but it stands up straight just fine and if you shove it in a corner you won’t even see that there’s a leg missing. Alternatively I could just put a makeshift one and paint it white. Since it’s in the back and the front legs are wide you probably won’t even see it.

I’ve collected so much more and I fully plan on calling down some other garbage collector friends when they are off of work this weekend to pick up more. It’s unbelievable how much good stuff is discarded like that. All the things I picked up are not items I would simply put in the trash like that. I collected almost $3000 worth of things on the side of the road for $0 and all of it is in excellent working condition, minus needing to be cleaned. In past years that I lived in places where they did things like this I also picked up amazing things. Half of the town collects on the side of the road like this and I simply cannot wait to do it again!

One last thing before I go, I got a tattoo appointment for the end of August to get my Holocaust tattoo that I contemplated getting last time. I’m probably going to get multiple tattoos done at once because it’s usually more cost-effective that way and I haven’t been inked in two years so it’s time. That’s all for now but I’ll be back to tap on the keyboard more later.

Posted in Everything Else, Personal & Opinion

LiveJournal: Bogus Thoughts | April 13th 2017

Since I’ve decided to clear my LiveJournal page and didn’t want to permanently delete all of the entries, I’ve decided to post them here in order to preserve them. I’ve kept them completely intact, in case somebody needs entertainment and stumbles upon them 😛


Date originally posted: April 13th 2017 (9:16 p.m.)

Mood: apathetic

I’ll say it right off the bat… I have no clue what I’m doing here. I guess maybe I’m looking for an outlet, a personal space to share my deepest inner thoughts away from my social issues rants on WordPress and my obsession with 20th century history on Tumblr, among other things. I’ve become rather disillusioned with writing pen to paper because these endless journals only seem to pile up and gather dust under my bed or somewhere else in my room. At least here I’ll be able to discover something new and interesting every day, and maybe somebody will even think the same about my own profile. Yeah, I guess that’s what I’m doing here.

I also wanna practice writing because I aspire to publish a book someday. I’ve already decided to go ahead with CreateSpace as I’ve heard nothing but positive comments from some of my author friends who have published with them. I also have two great ideas for two separate novels. Really, I only need to get a move on with it. Staying motivated to expand my creativity is probably the hardest part because I’ve been struggling with my emotions and when this happens I would just rather bury them deep inside of me. I know, I know that’s not good, but it’s exceptionally hard for me to do it any other way.

I also hesitate to open up to others because most of the time all they do is invalidate my emotions and do me more harm than good. Growing up I was never allowed to express myself. I was not allowed to cry, to complain or even to ask for help. I know that has contributed a lot to how I am today with not being able (or wanting) to open up to other people. I also hope that coming here will help me with that down the line. I know I’ll need to get out of my asocial comfort zone if I’m going to be an author. I suppose that this is the first step. I suppose that the most I can do is see where this goes.

Posted in Islam & Interfaith Subjects, Personal & Opinion, Social Issues & Politics

If You’re Husband Isn’t Muslim…

When I browse Islamic websites seeking various opinions from different schools about something in particular I always come across the very same issue: what happens if a woman converts to Islam but her husband doesn’t? So many people are quick to say that she must divorce him on the spot, seemingly without consideration for anything else.

Personally, if I was a man and my wife left me like that you could be certain I would want nothing to do with Islam because it cost me my family, my everything. I find such to be absolutely insane because the Quran places such a high importance on family, marriage and a strong foundation for society. Destroying it like that doesn’t make sense to me, quite frankly I think it’s un-Islamic, and I am far from the only person who shares this opinion.

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This was originally posted on the Facebook page for The Conscious Muslim and shared two years ago in July 2015 and shared on Tumblr. This isn’t about whether or not a Muslim woman is allowed to many a non-Muslim man (Jew or Christian) because that’s a separate issue, but I previously posted about a woman staying with her non-Muslim husband after her conversion also upholding Shaykh Hamza’s point of view. It may be a minority view for the moment but with valid and sound evidence to back it up.

I also wanted to share some of the comments on the Unity1 WordPress site that I feel are pertinent to this discussion, but I encourage my readers to read all of them on the original post.

Think about the fact, that if we divorce because of my (possible) conversion to Islam, there will be at least 30 people who will never even consider Islam as a true religion after that. That includes my husband and children, our parents and siblings and nephews.
The only reason for that I haven´t converted yet is the question of marriage here. I am happily married and we love each other. I see my family as potential converts.

But, maybe it´s better to stay as a christian then and still believe in one God. It can´t be right to hurt so many innocent people including my own children.

And even if I would convert, I couldn´t do it openly or visit the mosque because of other muslims would laugh me out because of my (so far) non-muslim family (and the family is a blessing for me, nothing to laugh at).

If I was young I would convert and marry a practising muslim, of course. It seems to be that I and many other women have lost “everything” by living our own lives… and God did know that it would go like this.

If I have to choose between being a muslim or a mother, I choose to be a mother. And wish that my children will later choose the right path – in time!

(Posted by Lina)

Here is also a question by Adele in the comments:

Maybe can help me?
I am married. Have 2 kids (10 and 13 years old). 3 years before i convert to Islam. Husband does not prevent me from practicing my faith, can i stay with him or must divorce?

To which the author of the site responded:

As the fatwas in the above article state, you are perfectly entitled to stay with him and enjoy a full, happy married life. There is no reason or need whatsoever to even think about divorce. May God bless you all!

Whether you agree or disagree with the opinions of various scholars cited here, this is definitely not going to be a topic that disappears in the near future with more people than ever embracing Islam in the West and in other nations around the world which are not Muslim-majority countries.

 

Posted in Everything Else, Islam & Interfaith Subjects, Personal & Opinion, Social Issues & Politics

Some Things I Wanted To Share (Part 3 of 3)

I also wanted to add this one but for some reason it would only say ‘error’ when I tried to add it. I hope that these little things have enlightened you, or at least reminded you of important things that many Muslims seem to have forgotten.

Posted in Everything Else, Islam & Interfaith Subjects, Personal & Opinion, Social Issues & Politics

Some Things I Wanted To Share (Part 2 of 3)

Posted in Everything Else, Islam & Interfaith Subjects, Personal & Opinion

Some Things I Wanted To Share (Part 1 of 3)

I’ve been browsing Tumblr quite a bit recently and I came across a couple of things that I wanted to share here just for the sake of sharing. These things aren’t in any particular order but I believe they are self-explanatory and I also believe that people need to be reminded of some of these things. I hope you enjoy them the same way I did, and if you’re also on Tumblr please stop by and say hello! 🙂

Posted in Islam & Interfaith Subjects, Personal & Opinion

Birthdays

One hot topic (or debate I should say) in modern Islam is whether or not it’s permissible for us to celebrate birthdays, whether our own or our friends’ etc. I’m tackling this topic today because it’s my birthday, I turned 21 today! Yesterday marked a whole year since I “formally” accepted Islam too, but I studied it for almost two years before I decided that this was the religion for me. So let’s tackle another controversial issue that has everyone divided…

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The first thing I’m going to say about the topic is that I celebrate my own birthday. From time to time I will celebrate a friend of family member’s birthday too if their celebration doesn’t involve anti-Islamic things like drinking alcohol and the like. If that’s the case then I will politely decline to attend but I’ll give them a card to let them know that I love them and care about them anyway. While I appreciate all of my friends each and every day of my life, I mark their birthday as the day that God brought an incredible blessing into this world and I thank Him for the day when the world became a slightly better place because that person came into it.

You don’t have to go far to find all the people saying that celebrating a birthday is completely forbidden, but there are also those who say that it’s allowed as long as it doesn’t involve things that are clearly forbidden in Islam. The forbidden side say that it’s an innovation of the faith (we all know Muslims don’t like those) and that it has un-Islamic originals, therefore it’s prohibited. The permissible side say that since it’s not the religious holiday of another faith and that it doesn’t involve prohibited things, it’s allowed because Islam doesn’t seek to strip a person of their culture or heritage. Plus, the Quran never outlaws birthday celebrations.Personally, I see it as a cultural thing no different than something like Canada Day, which Canadian Muslims adore because after all, what’s not to love about this country? Except maybe the super cold climate….

You can read various p.o.v. from another blog written by a fellow Muslim about this issue with almost a hundred comments on whether or not it’s permissible to celebrate a birthday by people from a wide range of beliefs and backgrounds. The purpose of this article is not to impose my belief about birthdays on you, it’s to make you think for yourself. Whether you celebrate your birthday (or something else like a national holiday or a wedding anniversary, etc.) or not it’s ultimately a decision between you and God and it should be respected by those who believe differently than you, but I’ll tell you why I don’t have a problem with birthdays as long as they don’t include forbidden things.

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But why would anyone celebrate something that signifies that you’re one year closer to death? That’s much like the endless debate over whether the cup is half full or half empty. It’s all about perspective. Some people hate the idea of getting a year older, while others see a long life as a blessing and something to rejoice over because so many never make it that far. That’s the way I see it. I’ve been no stranger to tragedy in my short life and the blessing of seeing another year is something I hold on dearly to. But that’s not really the issue, so, moving on…

You can read a variety of viewpoints on Quora when it comes to birthdays but since even some of the most conservative Muslims in Saudi Arabia celebrate the Prophet’s birthday, how dare they say that you can’t celebrate your own? Whether or not it’s “appropriate” to celebrate the Prophet’s birthday is another intense issue but that’s not the point here. The point is, how can you allow one but prohibit the other? And what about your country’s national day? We all have one don’t we? Even if a birthday is an innovation, you can’t say that it’s the worst that’s being passed around in modern Islam. I don’t really believe that a person’s birthday is an innovation added to the faith, I think it’s a cultural thing that is not related to religion. In some societies birthdays have never been part of the deal, hence it’s also fine if you don’t like them and prefer to skip them, but I enjoy having them part of my society.

There’s another interesting point of view about birthdays here but I should add that based on the words of Mufi Muhammad, I don’t believe that music and singing are prohibited in Islam as I’ve written about before on this blog. However, I agree that your birthday also shouldn’t include extravagant things, lavish and excessive spending, and forgetting God and other stuff that’s clearly not Islamic, but I see nothing that would indicate that acknowledging or observing your birthday is wrong. It may not be encouraged since it can turn into a bad habit, but ultimately it’s all about intentions. I want to share a quote I found on Yahoo when researching both sides of the issue myself from Sheikh Faysal Mawlawi:

Permissibility is the original ruling in this case, as there is no evidence of prohibition. The principle of not following the Jews and Christians is really required in matters of their false claims and beliefs in relation to religion. Such beliefs are no more than disbelief from an Islamic perspective.

Islam supports the celebration of birthdays if it is an expression of gratitude to Allah for His bounties, sustenance and blessings in man’s life, as long as that celebration does not include anything that may displease Allah, the Almighty. In this context the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) was asked about fasting on Mondays, and he answered: “It is the day on which I was born.” Muslim scholars take this hadith and the hadith of fasting on the Day of `Ashura’ (10th of Mharram) as evidence on the permissibility of celebrating good occasions, which have special significance in our religion such as occasions like the birthday of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him).

In this context, people must be aware that celebrating such occasions, e.g. the Prophet’s birthday, is no more than a matter of habit, and by no means a religious requirement. However, if it entails any forbidden practices, such a celebration becomes forbidden for that reason alone. Moreover, a celebration of this sort becomes recommended if it includes recommended acts of worship.

It is also right to say that such celebrations contain some aspects of innovation, however it is an innovation in matters of popular habits not in matters of religion. Actually innovation in habits is not prohibited. What is prohibited in this context is innovation in religion, as indicated in a well-known Prophetic hadith.

By analogy, there is nothing wrong in celebrating birthdays, as long as the celebration does not include any forbidden practices.

While I accept that those who say that birthdays are forbidden have some good arguments too, I have found nothing from my own research that would indicate that a birthday celebration (within the bounds of what is permissible) should be prohibited. When it comes to the little things and the technicalities of a birthday, I guess you’ll have to decide for yourself whether or not it’s acceptable. At the end of the day only God knows best, but I see no indication that I should refrain from celebrating my 22nd birthday next year if God blesses me with life until then.

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I haven’t always celebrated my birthday. When I was younger I didn’t have your classic pool parties popular with kids in the summertime because we couldn’t afford them, but as I got older I came to understand that a birthday isn’t about a big money-motivated party, it’s actually a time of gratitude to God. Some years I have cake (or other food like caramel apple pie) and some years I don’t depending on how I feel but my birthday is always a day where I feel extra blessed by both God and those who love me. For me a birthday is another reason to thank God and get closer to Him. But for those whom this might end up being a stumbling block for them, it’s best to abstain. Next year I think I might opt for the foods super high in calories either before or after my birthday and fast on the actual day and see what ends up of that spiritual experience.

This year I even found some cute Islamic-themed birthday cards with uplifting quotes and scripture inside that I will definitely be happy to send to my friends to remind them on their special day that God makes no junk and that they are a valuable part of His plan. May God bless me with another year to continue to serve Him and His beautiful creations. May God accept my actions to make this world a better place for all who live in it. What do you think? Please share your thoughts but be respectful of commenters who believe differently than you.