Wednesday, 10 October 2012

The Mercy in Pain

أعوذ بالله من الشيطان الرجيم

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

The crushing, knotting, seething fire tears through your veins. It rips through your muscles and thrives in your chest. It throbs and gnaws at your core. It wildly feasts on your strength with a sick pleasure, and hollow laughter. You, with your weakness and defeat, are nothing but fertile ground, a host, blood. Blood for a leech, a parasite. You are nothing but a shell. And in you, you live no more.

I love to love. I love the trust, the dependency, the reliability that comes with love. I love its simplicity, its selflessness, its kindness in its purest form. I love easily and perhaps, naively. And when I love, it pours out of me, again, perhaps naively. I cannot demand. I cannot refuse. I cannot question. It seems so worth it when I see the smile, however fleeting; or hear the words that I live for, even if they are empty. It cements my principles and drives me to love again. It is not selective. It is not arrogant. Love is not imperfect.

I have never had more than scratches or bruises, maybe once a burn from iron that has left a permanent bump on my left wrist. The pain imprinted in me is psychological, emotional, irrational. It is pain all the same.When the way I love is so great, majestic, overwhelming; the downfall from the illusion is also great, majestic, overwhelming. But pain is pain. Whether it is from disappointment or from a cut, it stills burns. It still burns.

The demand to understand pain is one that has long attracted theological, psychological, neurological, physiological and sociological explanations. Physical pain, emotional pain, psychogenic pain, phantom pain. Where does it hurt? Where did it come from? How bad is it? How long is it there for? So many questions. Until it’s very existence is itself doubted. Is it even there to begin with?

Arrogance. Hypocrisy. Egocentrism. Anger. Apathy. Resentment. Blame. Selfishness. They are about as useful to the self as the appendix is to the body – and when it swells up, it bursts and cause destruction in its wake. Man was created with weakness. This weakness manifests as anger and selfishness and hypocrisy and corruption. It shows as killing, lying, stealing, cheating.

“God wouldn’t let this happen, if He was so Great. God doesn’t exist. God blessed you but He took from me. It’s not fair. Where is the justice?” It is a popular argument, one that is easy and seemingly logical. If God is so exists, is so kind and is so merciful, He would not allow murder, thievery, adultery, abandonment, neglect. It bears the question of why evil exists, why God allows children to die from cancer, or why God did not save a righteous woman from a cheating husband.

Man was also created with strength. The strength to see entire movements overthrow governments. The strength to study through the night for an important exam. The strength to bear 10 hours of excruciating pain during labour. The strength to let go. The strength to hope. The strength to forgive.

Without pain, there would be no development of our strength. Without pain, we would not know the depth of our love for someone. Without pain, there would be no testament as to how far the human will can go. Without pain, we would have no motivation to strive, no motivation to change. 

Pain should not cause resentment to God: it should cause a deeper love and a more profound faith in Him. Even with all the intelligence and strength within us, just looking at the beauty of nature  confirm the limitations of the human mind. In the same way, pain confirms our limitations as we may not always understand the reason behind it. Instead of allowing this absence of knowledge to create anger towards God, we should see its purpose is to bring us closer to Him. The shameful thing is, most people do not understand that what caused you pain could never give you complete happiness in the first place. Something or someone, even your spouse or your child, could never give you complete contentment because of their own flaws and shortcomings. Complete happiness can only come from God, a pure, divine, Higher Being. As long we trust that the pain we feel is meant for us, even good for us, and remain patient, in some way we can learn lessons from it and grow and change. 

I firmly believe that any pain, whether physical or emotional is a Mercy from God. It is a gift from God. It is a sign from God. It is God giving us His Hand so we may turn to Him in humble prayer and submission. Just as the pain we feel is pure, whole, encompassing, we can be rewarded with a happiness that is pure, whole, encompassing. What would the state of man be if we accepted, embraced and even appreciated the pain we feel, as it is the path that leads me to Him.

The mercy in pain:
No affliction great or small afflicts a man but for a sin, but there are more which Allah forgives. (Tirmidhi)

Ye shall certainly be tried and tested in your possessions and in your personal selves. (3:186)

Do men think that they will be left alone on saying “We believe” and that they will not be tested? (29:2)

Be sure We shall test you with something of fear and hunger, some loss in goods or lives or the fruits (of your toil); but give glad tidings to those who patiently persevere. (2:155)

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Facebook leads to some profound thinking ;)


Admittedly, I like to post a few photos on Facebook, of myself or somewhere I've been or with someone I've seen. I post freely (but not inappropriately) without thinking much about what other people think of me.

The reason why I am announcing this is because I had a little debate with a friend about Facebook privacy and the stalker-ish nature of people. She completely closed down her Facebook - not because it was a distraction - but because she felt too many people would stalk her and talk about her and what she was doing and who she was with.

Don't get me wrong, it was probably better she closed down her Facebook (what a fitnah it is!) but I completely disagreed with the principle. I felt defiant against the prying nature of others - let's face it, we are all guilty of a little Facebook stalking. My problem was that she let the judgement of other people stop her from doing something she probably enjoyed. I felt angry that she did something, whatever that something was, because of the judgement of others. It is a problem that I have encountered many a time in Asian culture: whether it is regarding education, religion, relationships, wealth, tv, cars, clothes, hijab or no hijab, beard or no beard, music - you name it, they talk about it.

I have always maintained the platitude "you do not have haters because no-one cares enough". However, recently I discovered I could not have been more right, but more wrong all at the same time.

First error: haters do exist.
First truth: They don't care about you personally.

The most frustrating aspect is, that no matter how much good you bring to the world, someone will always have something bad to say about you. A friend recently likened them to "wolves", who find something, use it against you, chew you up and spit you out again. I am a prime example; I felt spite at a fellow hijabi who also blogs, only her blogs get a lot more views, comments and followers:

"Why can't I write like that? ...

The stuff she writes is so cheesy," I thought spitefully.

[I make dua that Allah takes away the illness from our hearts and replaces it with increased love and compassion for our brothers and sisters. I seek forgiveness in Allah, the Most High. Ameen!]

This presents two bigger complications:

1) We have lost love for our brothers and sisters. Allah made us weak but He also gave us the ability to fight and rebel against shaytaan's whispers.
2) We care so much about what other people say about us. So much so, that it affects what we do and how we live.

The second point goes on to propose the question: Do we care this much about what Allah thinks of us? How much do we consider how Allah's judgement?

People judge us whether we do good or bad and yet Allah judges us purely on our actions. You do bad, you get a bad judgement. You do good, Allah rewards you immensely. There is more reward for a single good deed than punishment for a bad one. Just by this, why do we not rush to change ourselves knowing we have so much to perfect?

UPDATE 27.02.2012

Found the perfect ayah for what I just described: Surah Rahman Ayah 60

هَلْ جَزَاءُ الْإِحْسَانِ إِلَّا الْإِحْسَانُ
Is the reward of goodness aught save goodness?

This is why I will never privatise my Facebook because other people stalk me too much or talk about me too much. It is my silent protest that the opinion of no man could ever come near in importance as the judgement of my Lord who has given everything I hold dear and everything I do not like as well. Both have khayr and Allah knows what is the best for me in this life and the Hereafter. The approval we seek from others in this world reveals how we are attached to the Dunya, not thinking enough about the Akhirah where none of the material things we chase will matter.

His is the only judgement we should care about.

Monday, 20 February 2012


Hey guys - so I thought I would try something different. My first stab at poetry here guys :) be critical!

I wrote this in light of the massacre in Syria and just felt that we are not nearly has empathetic and compassionate as we should be. Even if we do make du'a, at the end of the day we still go to sleep comfortably and relatively peacefully. I pray that Allah sees accepts our intentions, accepts our du'as and increases us in ikhlaas.



Our Prophet [pbuh] prayed for us not to go astray,
How easily we turn the channel when we see dead bodies lay
Make no mistake
One day we will pay
How cold our hearts have become.

One short dua is all we can muster,
While children are killed in clusters
Make no mistake
One day we will pay
How cold our hearts have become.

How far we are from our Prophet [pbuh],
All the compassion he taught, we've lost it
Make no mistake
One day we will pay
How cold our hearts have become.

For our brothers and sisters we are not sensitive,
Consumed everyday in this life that we live
Make no mistake
One day we will pay
How cold our hearts have become.

The Mercy of Allah, I've gotta get me some,
And forgiveness for my sins that are gonna come
Make no mistake
The Most High rules our day
and the minutes and hours and the grave where we'll lay
And then we will face the stillness of our hearts -

I pray.

That Allah breaks the ice on my heart
So we can SPEAK OUT and
And refuse to endure the pain
That our Ummah feels everyday.

I pray.

That Allah brings warmth to my heart.

Friday, 3 February 2012

My scarf keeps my ears warm ... and brings me closer to Allah

Let me start by saying, I love my hijab. I love covering my hair. I love the different coloured scarves. I love discovering new halal chic. I love that I am now part of the crew. I love that it protects my hair from wind and cold damage. I love that I don’t have to do my hair in the morning. I love that it keeps my ears warm. Most of all, I love that it labels me so bluntly: I am a Muslim woman, strong, independent and liberated. By writing my story, I hope to reach out to Muslimahs that are having trouble with commitment to covering and reassure them, that contrary to the popular saying, help is not on its way. In fact, it is there already waiting for you to take it. My inspiration didn’t come to me: it was always there, like a gift waiting for me to unwrap and embrace and use forever.

About 10 years ago, at the tender age of 11, I began to cover my hair as I followed in my sisters’ footsteps - my sister, who had been wearing hijab for a year before me. Being so young, this was not a huge transition. At this age, people were considerably less judgemental and I eased into wearing hijab without any difficulty. Forward a year later: high school begins. Bigger buildings, harder classes, more people. Naturally, this is a time where girls in particular, begin to change, physically and emotionally. We’re surrounded by people of new backgrounds and religions, we’re trying to deal with the new standards of fashion and appearance and maybe even have mixed feelings about that guy in science class. Even so, my first few years of high school were a breeze; I loved the work (I am a bit of a nerd) and I had a great group of friends – wearing hijab was not a challenge. In fact, I hardly noticed it.

The problem arose when I hit 15. I felt like such a woman; part of the oldest group of students in the school, mature (or so I thought!), studying for GCSEs and for the first time, thinking about university and careers. At this point, I tended to my appearance more than ever and my social networking profiles were full of pictures of me without hijab, trying to impress others and attract compliments. Although I was keen to learn about Islam, my indifference towards my hijab was incredibly normal to me and I carried on in this way for 2 years, failing to see how callously I was betraying the very essence and principal of hijab, may Allah forgive me for my wrongdoings inshaAllah.

In my final years of A Levels I had a slight change of heart. Looking back now, I can see that Allah subhana w Ta’ala had blessed me with good company and I failed to take advantage. I found myself amongst a crowd of beautiful, smart, funny women, most of whom were observing hijab. Subconsciously, I was in awe; this was the first time I had experienced being around practising women who clearly loved wearing the hijab. Their love for wearing it seemed to rub off on me and I began to feel more connected to it, manifesting also in the way I dressed. I was content but perhaps not informed enough, and unfortunately it wasn’t to last.

Before starting university, I was at an impasse. Even now, I am not sure why I took steps back. I still had some pictures on Facebook with and without hijab, I still attended weddings with my hair styled immaculately and sometimes the length of my top didn’t always match the modesty of hijab. Consequently, for the time first time in 9 years, I stopped wearing my hijab permanently. I started university in this way and did not feel unhappy about my decision. As soon as I removed my hijab, I got a haircut, styled it every morning and revelled in all of the new attention I was getting. My aunties loved the new look, as they felt the hijab warded off potential marriage proposals; old friends flattered me and new people always noticed and complimented me on voluminous my hair always looked (I thank Allah ‘aza w jal for blessing me with lovely hair!). Just as a hijab should, my hair defined me and riddled me with confidence as I exulted in all of the praise.

I will always believe that sixth form was the time irreplaceable friendships were made, and university was the time I fell in love. Alhamdulilah, my parents agreed for me to marry a man I had chosen and I spent the next two years planning the wedding, honeymoon and the future life that I was going to experience. I just couldn’t wait! Everything in my life was running according to my own arrogant plan. I felt like I was in control and almost magically, I was receiving, in abundance, all the things I had dreamed of. Why then, just as I felt that things were going perfectly, was there an irritating, constant, persistent feeling inside of me? Why did it keep repeating that this was not the right way and that I did not deserve the kindness my parents had shown towards me? Months went on, and I began to sense that none of my actions had any barakah, my relationship with my parents was crumbling for no obvious reason and my university work was immensely affected. My salah rarely had sincerity and I was apathetic towards my deen. This so-called faultless life I had built for myself in the past two years and all the plans that I had made for the future all came down to a deep unhappiness. If everything was going as I had hoped, why did I feel so depressed, hopeless and miserable? I had never experienced the feeling that nothing in my life was blessed.

The helplessness and emptiness I felt was inspiration I needed to wear hijab. I believed that wearing hijab would protect me, lead me to acquire the knowledge I needed to empower myself and bring barakah and the mercy of Allah ‘aza w jal back into my life. Now, every time I went out, I felt something was missing and it was at this time that my discontent was at its peak. Coincidentally, by Allah’s grace, it was also the same time that I saw my fiancé had rediscovered his religion, learning and reading with a thirst that I had never seen in him before. SubhanAllah how Allah subhana w Ta’ala has truly blessed me with good company alhamdulilah! He once read me an ayah from Surah Ar Ra’d which says “Truly, God does not change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves.” (Quran 13:11) SubhanAllah my golden ticket! It fit my situation so entirely! -

The lack of noor in my life would not change until I changed myself. I could not be successful in any of my endeavours if I wasn’t successful in my deen. I would not be truly content if I did not constantly remind myself of the Creator. I realised that my misery and sadness were a result of my own wrongdoings.

The first step in implementing this realisation was wearing the hijab. It meant that I starkly labelled myself again. But this once piece of cloth brought with it countless changes – my father was so proud (again!) my colleagues were confused and impressed, my salah had more khushoor, and most importantly, I felt haya. The routine of my life is extremely different to what it was six months ago but alhamdulilah, my university work is better, my parents are happier with me and we have planned to finally perform my nikah this year inshaAllah, instead of waiting around and procrastinating. Additionally, my amazing bond with my brother and sisters has improved, I am able to control my ill speech and anger and my taqwa and consciousness of Allah subhana w Ta’ala has increased, protecting me and guarding me from sin alhamdulilah. Just look at the abundance of benefit that comes from conviction and a small piece of cloth, alhamdulilah!

Living in non-Muslims countries, we are constantly surrounded by distractions and temptations that overwhelm our intention to wear hijab – we just have to remember that sacrificing fleeting desires will ultimately result in the biggest and best desire of all: the pleasure of Allah and the rewards of Jannah. If you are fearful or confused about hijab, just remember, only good can come from it. It is there as a gift to protect you and demand respect. It is part of the road to Jannah. My advice would be to set a date in the very near future and then just do it. Forget about whether you have read enough about the hijab or trying to figure out if you’re ready. The truth is, you are ready. Any doubts are just amplified by Shaitaan. Have faith and trust in Allah ‘aza w jal and take the plunge. You will see your life transform before your very eyes inshaAllah.

Allah does not burden a soul except what it can bear. For it is what it has earned, and upon it is what it has made due. "Our Lord and Sustainer, do not condemn us if we forget or do wrong. Our Lord and Sustainer, do not put a burden on us like the burden You put on those who were before us. Our Lord and Sustainer, do not put a burden on us that we cannot endure. And blot out (our sins) and forgive us, and be gentle to us. You are our Protector. So help us against the rejectors." (Surah al-Baqarah ayah 286)

Saturday, 28 January 2012

Become companions of the Qur'an.. take the Qur'an as your companion.

com·pan·ion [kuhm-pan-yuhn]


1. A person who is frequently in the company of, associates with, or accompanies another: my son and his two companions.

2. A person employed to accompany, assist, or live with another in the capacity of a helpful friend.

What does the word companion mean to you?

“Companion”, distinguishable from the word “friend”, signals foremost trustworthiness. Reliability, a source of comfort and relief. A companion is one who is generous, loyal and charitable. The Sahabah of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) were amongst some of the most faithful and trustworthy people, who supported and helped the Last Prophet, through his greatest times of need. In a time fraught with corruption and deceit, people who embody these characteristics are often hard to come by. Selfishness, personal gain and dishonesty have unfortunately become innate and standard traits in our society – visible in politicians, the media, even people we consider friends.

What we often fail to remember is that an endless supply of consolation and guidance, a great pillar of reliability and consistency, with unwavering strength and selflessness, is always present in our lives. It had always been present, waiting for us to grab it with both hands and immerse ourselves in its glory. This is none other than the greatest blessing mankind was granted: The Qur’an. The Qur’an that has the ability to move a whole nation, the magnitude to humble an arrogant man and the beauty to provoke tears in the strongest of men. It is this Book alone that we should make our closest, most revered and most sought after companion, for no mere human could give the kind of knowledge and assistance that the Qur’an endlessly offers. Few realise its true value; even mountains, symbols of endurance, firmness and stability are unable to bear the Qur’an:

“Had We sent down this Qur’an on a mountain, you would surely have seen it humbling itself and rending asunder by the fear of Allah. Such are the parables which We put forward to mankind that they may reflect.” [59:21]

Firstly, as you would expect from any companion, the Qur’an is a source of guidance, as it gives advice on every aspect of human life whilst always having your best interests at heart. Not only does it provide a sound basis for legal authority, but a solution for every doubt and every problem. All the commandments and prohibitions are present solely for the purification of oneself and to make society a place of modesty, education and respect. In Surah Luqman, Allah says "These verses give guidance to the Right Way and have been sent down as a mercy from God.”[31:3]. The religion of Islam, unlike any other religion, asserts a universal law that, if followed, ensure eternal happiness and luxuries in the Hereafter; surely we are at an incredible loss if we do not heed the advice given to us. The Qur’an clearly manifests haram and halal; to nurture your modesty, to prostrate in prayer, to stay away from zina and riba … spiritually and logically; these commandments do nothing but good for your nafs in this world, and grant you Jannah in the next. Win-win! What other person or book could come close to giving us this mercy?

Secondly, the Qur’an, like a true companion should be, will always be a source of comfort in times of need, a beacon of light for those who have nowhere to turn. I have always felt that whether or not you have a deep understanding of the Qur’an or know Arabic at all, its words have a powerful effect that are both soothing and strengthening. In Surah az-Zumar, He says, Say, "O My servants who have transgressed against themselves [by sinning], do not despair of the mercy of Allah. Indeed, Allah forgives all sins. Indeed, it is He who is the Forgiving, the Merciful."” [39:53], clearly displaying the scale of Allah’s mercy and forgiveness as He pardons even those who have sinned greatly. Do they not know that Allah accepts repentance from His servants and takes the alms, and that Allah is the Oft-returning (to mercy), the Merciful?” [9:104]. Personally, my greatest source of comfort is when Allah says “We are closer to him than [his] jugular vein” [50:16], a clear reminder that throughout the lows and highs of life, there is no-one and nothing more dependable and pervasive than our Creator. Allah is with you in any time and any situation – what great comfort this is!

The mercy of Allah does not stop with forgiveness – the numerous descriptions of Paradise are enough to make my heart ache to be closer to Allah. Can you imagine beautiful gardens, rivers of clear honey and clothes woven from the finest silk while we sit on thrones built from gold and precious stones?

"And their recompense shall be Paradise, and silken garments, because they were patient. Reclining on raised thrones, they will see there neither the excessive heat of the sun, nor the excessive bitter cold, (as in Paradise there is no sun and no moon). The shade will be close upon them, and bunches of fruit will hang low within their reach. Vessels of silver and cups of crystal will be passed around amongst them, crystal-clear, made of silver. They will determine the measure of them according to their wishes. They will be given a cup (of wine) mixed with Zanjabeel, and a fountain called Salsabeel. Around them will (serve) boys of perpetual youth. If you see them, you would think they are scattered pearls. When you look there (in Paradise) you will see a delight (that cannot be imagined), and a Great Dominion. Their garments will be of fine green silk and gold embroidery. They will be adorned with bracelets of silver, and their Lord will give them a pure drink." [76:12-21]

The wonders of Paradise are unimaginable and come only to those who have lived in this dunya according to laws set by the Qur’an, becoming companions of the Qur’an and realising that it is a true source of guidance. Surely this is a small price to pay, for a reward so remarkable?

Even with my limited knowledge of Arabic, reciting its poetic words and listening to melodious recitations has always overwhelmed me with inner peace and tranquillity. The Qur’an has often been analysed as a great work of literature, with significant study undertaken on its grammar and lexicon. Where else can one be humbled the greatness of the verses, captivated by the beauty of its words and find socio-political direction all at the same time? No other Book is superior. This is why we need to revive our relationship with the Qur’an and restructure our lives around it, for undoubtedly we will never find a companion who is so beneficial, compassionate and gracious. It is a pillar of power in this life and will never forsake you even after you die:

“Read the Qur’an, for indeed it will come on the Day of Judgment as an intercessor for its companions.” [Sahih Muslim]

To truly become a companion of the Qur’an and make the Qur’an our companion, we must not only read it, but take its message with us in everything we do and say. We must read it, study it, analyse it, memorise it, consult it, teach it and defend it from enemies. Becoming people of the Book and truly having the Qur’an as your ultimate companion, is equal to being people of Allah. Insha’Allah we will all be of those Allah is most pleased with.

“The people of Qur’an., they are the people of Allah and His specialties.” [Ahmad, Nisaa’ee, Ibn Maajah]

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Be productive in the Dunya, prepare for the Akhirah...with a Lifebook!

I recently bought a Lifebook from and thought I would share with you my initial thoughts on it. It's published by Sirratt and is unique, as they have added an Islamic twist to the normal diary that is so readily available.

Firstly, it is gorgeous to hold. I've bought a white deskbook which is the larger version, with a higher price tag, and they also have a smaller pocketbook, a condensed version, smaller and slightly more wallet-friendly. It comes in an assortment of great colours and the white I have chosen looks so elegant. It also has good binding and thick, strong pages, which reflects the price of the diary. The deskbook is quite bulky but the pocketbook has less content, so if you are carrying a rucksack or briefcase or huge handbag (ladies!) everyday, then the size of the deskbook shouldn't be too much of a problem.

So this year, Sirratt have teamed up with Productive Muslim. If you have not checked out their Facebook or Youtube, I strongly suggest you do! Their hallmark is the faceless (universal muslims?) stick people who star in their short animations, dealing with everyday issues and giving advice on how best to get the most out of our time. Innovative and humourous, they are extremely effective! As you can imagine, having bought a Lifebook before and being such a huge fan of Productive Muslim, I jumped at the fact that they had collab'd for this years Lifebook. Productive Muslim's input is all about the content. In addition to the usual articles by Sirratt (I'll describe a little later), Productive Muslim have revamped the actual diary portion of the Lifebook. The most stand-out aspect of their input has to be the "My Habit List" section which appears at the beginning of every month. It inspires you to think about realisitic, productive habits that you want to develop and forces you to face all of the nasty habits that equal procrastination and lack of results. If you truly want to make a change, this is a pretty way to tabulate the progress you are making! Win-win! :)

One of the main reasons I love buying the Lifebooks is the short articles on a huge range of topics before the diary begins. If you are planning to use this everyday, these serve as helpful reminders that leave a deep message ... and they are available to you all the time! Some of the topics include "The Wandering of the Heart", i.e. our heart reflects ourselves and becomes healthy or sick depending on our character and actions; "Prayer - Significance and Benefit" and "Repent - Before the Death-Rattle" - all of which are extremely relevant to us as Muslims leading busy, Western lives. Furthermore, there are hadiths and ayahs from the Qur'an dotted around the diary for some spontaneous reflection and plenty of space of writing random thoughts and brilliant ideas, as well as, beautiful, high definition snaps of mosques from around the world. As a diary, it is very well set out, with enough space to write appointments on each day and a daily section for important tasks.

If you are looking for a diary and have thought about trying to make your time more productive, then this is a great buy! At £13.99, I found the best place to buy it from as they include free ayah cards and their delivery is super fast. Of course, this is only an aid to changing your lifestyle and kicking bad habits - if you buy the book, the change will only come if you utilise the tools it offers. I'll check back in about a month to see how I've got on with using the diary :)

Love x

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

I have seen the gift of life

This is the gorgeous plant I bought from Poundland (<3) a couple of months ago. I am not a gardener of any calibre and have no green fingers at all, not even the pinky, and have been known to have killed a few goldfish in my childhood. Nevertheless, I was so disappointed when this plant began to wilt and immediately rushed to fill the whole plant pot with water. I honestly thought it was going to die completely and I'd have to throw it out, but subhanAllah, the leaves and petals literally regained strength and are now standing tall :) They regained life in front of my own eyes! SubhanAllah, this is the work of Allah! I am much more cautious about letting this one die out now :D