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How Realizing That God Is The Ultimate Owner Of Everything Makes Us Stronger

Letting go of grief

 

Loss is an eminent part of our life.

Philosophers have for long meditated on the nature of loss and concluded that the world around us is ever changing!

In fact change is the only permanent element of the physical realm. Everything else is transient. And loss is just another aspect of this constant change.

But we humans are emotional beings. Dry logic doesn’t appeal to us in time of need. And thus we are left grappling with the question of the aftermath of ‘loss’ and ‘change’ – grief!

Have you ever lost somebody or something you love? How did it feel?

For me losing a cherished object or relationship is all consuming. I tend to forget my surroundings and can think only of the severance. A drama plays out in my heads, about the joy I had derived from the object (or relationship), how empty my life will be without the source of happiness and obviously the ever-green and popular ‘The world is unfair and everything nasty happens to me’.

I am sure most of you have your own version of this litany and can identify with what I go through.

We can find comfort in knowing that this is only natural. As a part of our ‘human’ legacy we have been blessed with the ability to hold on to things and even intangibles like opinions, concepts and relationships and give them a special kind of meaning only we can relate to. In fact we make sense of the world around us through these objects and precepts.

It doesn’t really matter if the loss pertains to something replaceable like a phone or something far more valuable – like an idea or a relationship, our instinct is to focus on what it meant to us and our life and lament its loss.

With each little something we lose, we lose a part of our identity and existence and yes, that is bound to hurt.

Doomed To Grieve? Why You Should Make An Effort To Let Go!

Grieving is a natural process we go through when we lose something. And it is okay to mourn.

For a while!

But it is definitely not natural or healthy to fall victim to the ‘rut’ of unhappiness and distress and taint everything in your life with its effect.

I have frequently crossed paths with individuals who never recover from the loss of an idea, an object or a relationship. They walk through life unaware of the several hundred other blessings God has showered on them. As a result they:

  • Lose touch with reality and can’t successfully get on with their daily life.
  • Allow their healthy relationships to degenerate into loveless, compassionless interactions.
  • Invite into their lives hundreds of diseases like cancer, immunological dysfunction and hypertension. Without good health, coping with grief becomes even more of a challenge.

None of the scenarios are appealing and prolonged grief is now officially treated as a disorder.

There is a simple way using which you can take a more rational and ‘god-centric’ approach to the whole concept of loss and mourning. Let me share this with you!

Surely We Belong To God And To Him Shall We Return:

In Muslim culture, when someone hears the news of a person passing away, the first words to utter are:

“Inna lilahe wa inna ilayhe rajaoon” (Quran 2:156)

For a long time I didn’t understand the meaning of this line and thought it’s something people said just to console the bereaved.

But when I took time to look up its meaning, I felt it had a very profound message; a message that can help people overcome their grief by pointing them to a universal and divine truth! “Inna lilahe wa inna ilayhe rajaoon” literally translates into “Surely we belong to God, and to Him shall we return”

I found that by meditating on the meaning of this verse, I could think of all the objects in my life as transient. I understood (or rather re-realized) the fact that no matter what I did, how well I performed, how much I loved or how hard I held on to something, I was not its rightful ‘owner’ and I would not be able to stake permanent claim on it!

In the end everything, including I myself, will leave the physical plane and begin the journey to reach and become one with His divine light.

As soon as I stepped into this mind-set, I could let go of the scarcity mentality. Even something as pragmatic and mundane as a goofed presentation no longer mattered because it was just one opportunity out of a thousand and since nothing was permanent, something better would come along eventually. The important thing was to praise my courage for taking action!

Every day through the magic of “Surely we belong to God, and to Him shall we return” I focus my attention on the lessons I can learn from my loss and the whole experience.

Putting Wisdom Into Action:

My advice is: Whenever you’re suffering from grief, meditate on the verse “Surely we belong to God, and to Him shall we return”

Through this gem of a thought you can perceive things around you for what they truly are – a form of trust, given to you for safe-keeping, which will ultimately change hands or revert to their ultimate owner, God our Lord.

Once you make this reality a part of your life, you will no longer feel a sense of debilitating grief when you lose or have to give up on something (or someone) precious to you. Instead you will be able to dissect the experience and ‘introspect’ to gain insights like:

  • What can I learn from this?
  • What can I do to change my situation?
  • How can I grow?
  • What area do I need to improve on?

This exercise will leave you enriched after every loss or severance. You will be full with the knowledge of how the world functions and what you can do to elevate yourself and your skills to make the most of your life and opportunities.

Loss is inevitable! Grief is natural! But it shouldn’t be protracted and all consuming. Grieving for something makes you a gentle human being capable of appreciating value but letting go makes you someone with courage and fortitude.

Remember God owns every grain of sand and every puff of wind on this earth and by entrusting your cherished possessions to his care; you can relax and move on with your life.

What is Knowledge? – The Prophet’s Answer in 5 Steps

In today’s world we are bombarded with content from all sides. Email, Facebook, Phonecalls, SMS, Whatsapp and the list goes on and on!

Isn’t it overwhelming? It’s almost as if we are being drenched by a torrential downpour of information.

Even if we set aside the ‘unessential’ social media posts and tweets, there is an over-abundance of potentially useful insights, impressions and take-aways from Online Lectures, TED Talks, e-books and podcasts.

It forces us to ask: How we can translate all this information into knowledge that we & others can benefit from?

We often think that reading books & hearing lectures will make us a “knowledgeable” person.

But that is not sufficient.

Reading & hearing constitute step one of the journey of  acquiring knowledge. If we only consume & do not implement or internalize, we’ll end up becoming an arm-chair intellectual, someone who can talk, but can’t generate results by taking appropriate action!

Infact God says in the Qur’an “It is most hateful to Allah that you should say that which you do not do.” (61:3)

5 Steps to Acquire True Knowledge

So how does one go about acquiring ‘true’ knowledge?

Someone once asked the Prophet, “What is Knowledge?”

And He broke down the process of understanding & acquiring it into 5 simple steps. You can enjoy the pearls of his wisdom through this comic:

sufi-comics-what-is-knowledge

[Giveaway] Win the entire Sufi Comics Collection!

Sufi Comics Giveaway
Enter the Giveaway to Win the Entire Sufi Comics Collection!

Enter the Sufi Comics giveaway to win signed copies of the entire collection!

The Books will be signed by the Authors & Artists, and shipped to you in any part of the world.

The prizes are three books, 40 Sufi Comics, The Wise Fool of Baghdad and Sufi Comics – Rumi.

We would love for you to enter the giveaway to get a chance to win. All that is required is to pop in your email address on the giveaway page, and share the giveaway link with as many people as you can to increase your chance of winning.

Click here to enter the giveaway

Once you’ve entered make sure that you share it on your social media platforms, email, and forward to as many people as you can.

You could share the following message: “Enter the @SufiComics #giveaway to #win the entire collection! http://goo.gl/ktU9ox

Let us know when you’ve entered by tweeting us or in the comments below.

Best of luck!

Follow @SufiComics on Twitter 

Like Sufi Comics on Facebook

Announcing: Our next Sufi Comic Book

Rumi Inner Peace

Sufi Comics – Rumi, the first of its kind to illustrate the poems of Rumi in graphic form.

Our wonderful readers have written fantastic reviews on Amazon, blogs, and newspapers, and we’ve received great feedback giving us some new food for thought.

Here are some of those reviews:

Rumi on Colours of My Life

Review and Interview on Positive Provocations

Rumi the Persian poet’s life and verses get the comic-book treatment on The National

Sufi Comics Rumi by Dr. Kristian Petersen.

To everyone who has enjoyed reading Sufi Comics – Rumi

We’re pleased to announce that we’re working on the second volume!

And guess what? We’re now  nearly halfway in its completion. The stories have been shortlisted, the storyboards completed, and we are well underway with completing the penciling, inking and coloring of the comics.

We’ll be launching Rumi volume 2 at Comic Con Delhi 2015.

New techniques and art styles

These are the titles of some of the stories we’re covering.

  • Moses & the shepherd
  • Keep your heart awake
  • All through the night God is calling us
  • Fasting

Our artist Rahil is really pouring his heart out to make this book even better and more exquisite than before.

His designs are so much more intricate and his art even more detailed in this volume.  I really look forward to share Rahil’s art work & process in future posts.

Watch this space for sneak peeks and updates!

Photos from Comic Con Bangalore 2015

We were at Comic Con Bangalore 2015, where we got a chance to share the books with a whole lot of new people! Take a look at the photos below:

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Sufi Comics Rumi nominated for Best Graphic Novel Award

Every year Comic Con India gives out awards to the best comics in various categories. We got very excited when we heard that this year Sufi Comics Rumi got nominated for:

Best Graphic Novel

Best Graphic Novel

Best Cover Page

Best Cover

Alhamdulliah! :)

Meet us at Comic Con Bangalore

Comic Con Bangalore is taking place on 3rd, 4th & 5th of April. It’ll be at the White Orchid Convention Center.

Creating a book can be a very isolating experience. That’s why we always look forward to Comic Cons. We get to meet so many people who love comics, and they bring in so much energy! It gives everyone on the team a boost to continue working on the comics.

So do drop by to say “Hello”. Meet the team (Myself along with Arif, Rahil & Gafur) and pick up signed copies of the Sufi Comics books.

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[Interview] Katie Miranda on how her passion and experiences led her to make unique jewelry and draw powerful cartoons

[Katie Miranda Studios] Expressing faith through handmade Arabic calligraphy and gemstone jewelry
Katie Miranda makes handmade Arabic calligraphy and gemstone jewelry
Katie Miranda is making statements, from designing authentic Arabic calligraphy jewelry, to drawing political cartoons that challenge power and dominant narratives.

In 2005, Katie left California for Palestine where she lived in the West Bank for three years dividing her time between being a human rights worker, political cartoonist, and an art teacher for kids. During this time she also studied Arabic calligraphy in Ramallah, with master calligrapher Ehab Thabet. Later in 2010 she started her own Arabic calligraphy jewelry business, and founded Katie Miranda Studios.

An individual with authentic experiences and talents, her work has been featured in the International Museum of Women’s art, Al Jazeera, Mondoweiss, amongst numerous outlets nation-wide.

Read on as Katie reveals how she became a jewelry designer and political cartoonist, the issues she is passionate about, and her top tip to artists.

Please share a bit about your background, work and passions.

I came from a secular family with one parent of a Christian background and one parent of a Jewish background. I always self-identified as Jewish although I wasn’t religious. In 2010 I converted to Islam.

I’m a painter, cartoonist and a jewelry designer. I have a BFA and an MFA from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco where I studied illustration and graphic novels. I also studied with master calligrapher Ehab Thabet in Palestine in 2007 and 2008.

I love great design, comics, color theory, sacred geometry and of course jewelry !

How did you become a jewelry designer and a political cartoonist? What qualities and skills do you need to pursue these respectively?

I became a jewelry designer by accident. I took a metal smithing class at the Academy of Art and I loved it. I decided to combine those skills with calligraphy to produce my Arabic calligraphy jewelry line.

I got into cartoons because I was trained as an illustrator and I had strong opinions so political cartoons was a natural outlet for those two interests.

 “Those who stand in the fire, who don’t quit, who ignore rejection are the ones who actually do become artists.”

If someone is interested in pursuing any artistic discipline seriously and successfully you have to have passion for it and drive. Anyone can learn to be an artist through practice, dedication, and repetition. Those who actually do, who stand in the fire, who don’t quit, who ignore rejection are the ones who actually do become artists.

People often tell me “I have no natural talent, I could never be an artist.” This way of thinking is misguided. The people who actually become artists aren’t necessarily those with natural talent. They’re the ones who don’t quit even if they have to draw stick figures for a year before being able to draw anything that looks remotely like a human figure.

Read more