Tuesday, July 19, 2011

To 20 Challenges Facing Singles

Most of us can agree that the vast majority of us need and want a committed relationship – we want to love and be loved. As social beings, we need intimacy and connection with a community of friends and family, and a stable marriage that meets our emotional, physical, and spiritual needs.

If this is the case though, then how come the divorce rate is not going down, and the marriage rate is not going up?

The following are the top 20 Challenges that face singles today:

1. Not knowing what you’re looking for; having unclear expectations

2. Having a long “grocery list” and looking for the one person to match it

3. Living in fear that you will repeat past experiences

4. Not healing before starting a new relationship

5. For women, feeling that their biological clock is running out

6. For men, fearing to start a family and stay committed

7. Lowering of standards by older singles, or giving up or settling because they’re afraid they will always be alone

8. Not knowing where to meet suitable partners

9. Cynicisim

10. Too busy to cultivate a relationship

11. Discouragement of not finding someone that meets your expectations

12. Getting involved too quickly

13. “there are no good men, no good women” mentality

14. Pressure from family or peers to be coupled

15. Not having the skills to create a successful relationship

16. Fear of failure

17. Fear of rejection

18. Fear of commitment

19. Shyness

20. Seems easier to stay single

(Adapted from Finding The Love of Your Life in Today's World, David Steele)

And this is exactly why we are on a mission to educate and prepare Muslims, and particularly Muslim sisters, for marriage, and to enable them to overcome these challenges so they can build blissful marriage in sha Allah. To get an idea of how to overcome these challenges and be on your way to a blissful marriage in sha Allah, join us tomorrow at 12pm EST, for our FREE Online Preview Session on the "10 Secrets to Selecting Your Soul Mate".

To join us for this content rich, free preview session, please register here.

In this exciting session, you will learn how to :

Know Who You are
Identify What You want in a Husband
Get What You want in a Husband
Identify and make productive choices in sha Allah,
And more!

Monday, July 11, 2011

How to Get What You Want

Assalamu alaikum,
I was recently having a conversation with a sister at an event and found myself having to make the argument for marriage. To be quite honest, I was a little surprised that someone would try to resist the fitrah (nature) that Allah (SwT) created in us for companionship.

By all means, there will be people that don’t get married for a variety of reasons and at the end of the day, it all lies with Allah (SwT). However, Allah (SwT) created Adam and then shortly after created Eve because even though Adam was in heaven, he could not live alone. He needed a companion. He needed someone to be his source of love, mercy, and tranquility. He needed Eve.

And this is why I continue to believe in the importance of ensuring that you are prepared to select the one that will bring you the happiness and serenity that you long for and deserve in sha Allah.

I have already given some tidbits about the first most important steps which are to know who you are (self-awareness) and what you want (planning).

The next step would be to learn how to get what you want. So to put your plan into action. This would include things such as your relationship attitudes and beliefs and where you expect to receive your proposals from.

There’s this saying out there that what you believe, you can achieve. We all may have fears and self-limiting beliefs, but many of us are unaware of them. So some people think life is great while others think life is full of doom and gloom. Some people feel alhamdullilah they were blessed with gifts and talents that they can use to help others while others feel like they have nothing to offer. Positive attitudes are productive; negative ones are unproductive and you can choose to keep the ones that serve you and let go of the ones that don’t.

In sha Allah in my upcoming “The 10 Secrets of How To Select Your Soul Mate”, I’ll be going into a lot more depth about this topic and the 10 other steps you need to select the one that is right for you.

Our online session will be on July 19th at 12pm EST – to attend, all you have to do is register for our Reviving Relationships Program.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Ten Secrets to Selecting Your Soul Mate

In my last post, I announced that I believe soul mates exist. I believe marriages should have love and mercy. And I believe that you should find tranquility and happiness in your marriage.

And that the first two steps of achieving that vision of a successful and happy marriage in sha Allah, after of course the will of Allah (Swt), are self-awareness and planning.

Self-awareness is knowing who you are – your values, beliefs, habits, personality and preferences.

Planning is about knowing what you want – your desired characteristics when it comes to your potential husband’s values, beliefs, habits, personality and preferences.

And yes indeed, the two should be similar – not the same because that is impossible. But similar enough that you can build and maintain a happy and successful marriage and family in sha Allah.

Continuing on my quest to building a strong Muslim ummah, one happy couple at a time, I am having a special session in our Reviving Relationships Program on “The 10 Secrets to Selecting Your Soul Mate”. This will be brand new material that I have not covered before, based on my studies with the Relationship Coaching Institute.

This session will in sha Allah enable you to:

Understand how to discover who you are and what you want
Learn how to get what you want
How to choose who you want in your life as opposed to constantly react to it
Balance your heart with your head
How to prepare yourself for commitment
Appreciate how to be a "successful single"
And more!

Our online session will be on July 19th at 12pm EST – to attend, all you have to do is register for our Reviving Relationships Program

Monday, July 4, 2011

Who You Are and What You Want

Summer is most certainly wedding season ma sha Allah. And it probably gets a lot of people thinking about finding the 'one', the love and mercy that Allah (swt) promises us in the Quran, and whether a soul mate really exists out there.

Alhamdullilah, I do believe that soul mates exist. I do believe that marriages can and should have the love and mercy that Allah promises us in the Quran. And I do believe that you should find tranquility and happiness in your marriage in sha Allah.
Many times, it seems like concepts such as love and soul mates are only associated with pop culture movies and therefore are over-exaggerated and unrealistic.

However, if we look into our own Islamic traditions, the stories of pure love and the idea of having two souls be a fit for one another, certainly does exist. The Prophet (peace be upon him) was only married to our mother Khadijah for 25 years and over a year after her death, when he was asked if he would re-marry, his blessed head dropped down and tears dripped from his eyes whilst he said “And is there anyone after Khadijah?”

And even years after her death, the Prophet would continue to speak about his admiration for Khadijah and all she did to support him. Is this not a declaration of the Prophet’s deep love for Khadijah and an indication that she, may Allah be pleased with her, was his soul mate?

So the question that arises is, how can we ensure a loving and blessed marriage like this? How do we usually increase our likelihood of success? Our ultimate success in everything is of course according to what Allah (Swt) wills, but when it comes to our role in our success, the first steps to success are self-awareness (who we are) and planning (what we want).

Monday, June 27, 2011

Conflict and Compatibility in Communication

In our last two posts, we discussed the first two most common communication problems.

The third most common communication problem is that the majority of people avoid conflict, which is actually natural and expected because conflict can indeed be stressful. Nonetheless, the reality is that life has its moments where conflict is inevitable and once we accept that, we will quickly realize that having tools to work through conflict as quickly and as efficiently as possible is our best option.
Avoiding conflict at all costs could mean bottling up feelings and needs which could lead to resentment and even illness. How many of you have not been able to sleep at night or felt your stomach turning when you encountered a particular conflict?

Learning to deal with conflict is a much better strategy than allowing your needs to go unrecognized and sabotaging a potentially great relationship with those you love or care for. Acquiring these important conflict management skills is not an indication that you are actively seeking conflict, but it is a sign that you are prepared – just as you would keep a box of band-aids in the medicine cabinet, as a precaution to accidents. In sha Allah we will be covering this most important skill in our Reviving Relationships Program.

The fourth and final most common communication problem is compatibility, which is how well two spouses ‘fit’ with each other. In his book, “the 10 Conversations you must have before You Get Married”, Dr. Guy Grenier evaluates compatibility along three different dimensions:

1) Love – understanding of couple about the realistic nature of love which is that the ‘passionate’ love at the beginning of a marriage transforms into a deeper, more mature love over time. We will also be covering the Five Languages of Love in our Reviving Relationships Program.

2) Similarity – the extent to which two people have similar beliefs, habits, goals. Alhamdullilah we spent a substantial amount of time in our Finding Love & Mercy Course: Choosing a Husband discussing this most important compatibility dimension

3) Healthy Approach to Conflict Management – having already spoken about conflict being a fact of life and learning to manage it is the best plan we have – this important skill is included here once again because a compatible, fair, and effective process to conflict management is very important between a couple.

And essentially, this is exactly what the 15 rules of Good Communication that we covered in our last Reviving Relationships Session, and which are available for you to download the MP3 File and PDF Summary of upon your registration in our Reviving Relationships program, are designed to do. Their purpose is to enable two people to exchange information in a respectful, clear, focused way that enables them to work through any conflicts. The 15 communication strategies that we spoke about were broken down into four basic categories:

i) Productive communication strategies
ii) Destructive communication strategies
iii) Anger-management strategies
iv) Long-term relationships management strategies

Friday, June 17, 2011

What Sunk the Titanic?

The second most common communication problem is what we call 'Relationship Icebergs' - these are basically unspoken, unexplained expectations within a relationship that seem so blatantly obvious to one partner, yet are completely not acknowledged or recognized by the other partner. The result is resentment, disappointment, and hurt.

The point isn’t to eliminate all expectations of those we love – the problem is that we assume, particularly from those close to us, that they are aware and completely willing to fulfill our expectations of them.

Unspoken expectations are to relationships what icebergs were to the Titanic. So, although there might be only a glimpse of them above the water, their power to destroy is indeed very serious and can sink what was thought to be unsinkable.

The “15 Rules of Good Communication” that we will be discussing starting next Tuesday June 21st in our Reviving Relationships Mastermind are specifically designed to help reveal these relationship-threatening icebergs long before they have the potential to threaten the stability of a great relationship.

Stay tuned for the next most communication problem.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The First Most Common Communication Problem

You know the typical conversation you get into sometimes with your spouse, parent, sibling, child, or friend:

-“You did this...”
-“No you did that...”
-“You never understand..”
-“No you don’t get it...”

So the individuals in this conversation haven’t exactly demonstrated excellent communication skills, or offered any new solutions or reached a greater level of understanding, right?

This happens when the way something is said becomes the reason of the fight, instead of the actual issue – so you start ‘fighting about the fight’. Such a situation causes a waste of time, hurt feelings, and can cause some real detriment to a relationship.

Think about it – how do we react when we’re told we’re wrong, to blame, or made a mistake? We may become defensive or enter into attack mode, even if what’s being said is correct.

So how do we resolve this?

To find out more, please join us for our FREE special session this Thursday June 16th at 8pm EST on the “Four Most Common Communication Problems” at the following link:


Friday, June 10, 2011

The Reason for All these Revolutions

Everyday, we now wake up and witness revolutions taking place all over the world. The obvious reason for all of these revolutions is that people want freedom - they want respect and they want to be treated with dignity. Ultimately though, deep inside, they want what we all want. We want to be successful. We want to be happy. We want to live a fulfilling life. And I believe that time has come.

Just as the time has come for many around the world to stand for their freedom, the time has come to revive our relationships in sha Allah. The time has come to turn our lives around and have a truly satisfying and fulfilling relationship with our loved ones.

Seeing how our relationships are so important to our happiness and success, and knowing that we didn’t have ‘relationship skills class’ like math and English when we were in school, I strongly believe in the need for personal development and continuous education in important relationship success principles such as effective communication, conflict resolution, and emotional intelligence.

Many of us may not realize how important these skills are until we start to have problems in our relationships. And at that point, sometimes it’s difficult to pull ourselves away from the situation to acquire an understanding of the important relationship skills that will allow us to resolve the situation. Consequently, the situation may become worse and reach a point where it becomes increasingly difficult to find a resolution. This in turn can affect our health, our productivity, and even our faith, God forbid.

We may have all heard the saying: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. And I am a strong believer in that – we can not only be more prepared to deal with any difficult situations by equipping ourselves with important relationship success principles, but we can indeed have more fulfilling and satisfying relationships with those who matter most to us.

After all, we all know of people who have acquired wealth, fame, status, power but forgot to invest in that which matters most – their relationships. And the result is, they are alone, and deep inside, they are unhappy.

Once again, in hopes of achieving the vision of building a stronger ummah and a better world, one happy couple and family (potential or current) at a time, I am launching a new program called Reviving Relationships that will insha Allah place on you on the path to happiness and fulfillment in your future or current marriage. This exciting program will include:

· A monthly online session with your sister Raghad Ebied and other relationship success experts providing you with important relationship success principles
· Study guide materials to help you retain and apply what you learn
· An online forum that provides you with a supportive network and an opportunity to share comments, questions, and experiences.

Alhamdullilah, we're very excited to be kicking off this program with our first online session on June 21st with our special Guest Speaker, Dr. Munir El-Kassem on "The 15 Rules of Good Communication: Part I".

To learn more about this exciting program and to reserve your spot for our upcoming session on June 21st, please register here.

Let us remember that when we die, those who will remember us fondly and make duaa for us will likely be those whom we had the most positive relationships with – those whose lives we made better, touched, or changed through simple, yet profound actions that were based on relationship success principles.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Reviving Your Relationships

When you think of it, our lives are a series of relationships. From the moment we are born, there is an instant relationship with our mothers and it is indeed one of the most beautiful relationships. In Islam, the relationship between us and Allah (SwT) is also instantly commenced when the Athan (the call to prayer) was softly made in our ears shortly after our birth. Then we start to form relationships with other close relatives, friends, neighbours, teachers, and employers. And in sha Allah then we form one of the most important relationships in our lives, which can be the basis for a healthy and strong family and society - and that is the relationship with our spouses and children.

Allah (SwT) beautifully describes this relationship in the Quran by stating: "And among His signs is this that He created for you mates from among yourselves, that ye may dwell in tranquility with them, and He has put love and mercy between your (hearts); verily in that are signs for those who reflect." Chapter 30, Verse 21

My vision in sha Allah is to inspire all Muslim couples and families to find and live that love and mercy that Allah (SwT) so beautifully describes to us in the Quran, because indeed this is the foundation for a successful and strong family and society. After the great success alhamdullilah of our "Finding Love & Mercy" Online Course (which is now available for you to order your own copy of) and seeing the great need for continuous support and mentoring on relationship success principles, we are excited to launch our brand new Reviving Relationships Mastermind Group which will provide you with insightful and practical doses of Relationship Success Principles each month through Phone, Internet, and Print.

Whether you are single or married, by joining this program, you can definitely increase your likelihood of a successful and happy relationship in sha Allah when you become a member of this dynamic community of members who are striving for a beautiful and satisfying relationship with their potential or current spouse. Each month, we will be discussing important relationship success principles such as:

*The 15 Rules of Good Communication
*The 10 Secrets of Happiness in Relationships
*The Keys to Effective Conflict Resolution
*Easy Inside Secrets to Emotional Intelligence
*The Five Languages of Love
*and much more in sha Allah.

When I think about all of the singles and couples out there that are longing for that truly blissful marriage that provides them with love, mercy, happiness and security, and knowing that by simply gaining access to some insightful and practical relationship success principles, they could really turn their life around and live that beautiful vision, I want to share these principles with as many people as possible, in sha Allah.

And that's why, I am pricing this exciting program extremely affordably at only $9.97/month. So that's pretty much the cost of one meal outside. And once again, I am offering it at this affordable rate because I'd really like to reach as many people as possible in sha Allah and change their lives by reviving their relationships.

To join us for our first session on June 21st, with our Special Guest Dr. Munir El-Kassem, then please click here. Dr. Munir El-Kassem has been happily married alhamdullilah for 23 years and is blessed with five daughters and one son. Besides excelling in his professional career in dentistry, he serves as the Imam of the Islamic Centre of Southwest Ontario and Muslim Chaplain of London Police Services Board, contributing to his extensive experience with Muslim couples and families. He is a distinguished author and speaker at many Islamic Conferences and Events and one of his most recent lecture series, delivered at the Islamic Centre of Southwest Ontario was the life changing "Save a Family" series.

So I am very excited to be bringing Dr. Munir El-Kassem with us as a special guest on June 21st at 7pm for our first online session in the Reviving Relationships Mastermind Group, which once again provides you with a monthly online session, study guide and continuous forum on relationship success principles. If you're interested in joining us for this exciting program that can revive your relationships and place you on the path to happiness in your future or current marriage in sha Allah, then you can register here.

True Commitment to Our Relationships

Alhamdullilah, we have now completed delivering our LIVE "Finding Love & Mercy" Course on How to Choose a Husband who will take you by the hand to jannah in sha Allah. If you missed it, alhamdullilah with the great interest we have been receiving we are now making the course available in a home study version (for less than half of the original value) that you can order anytime and use at your convenience. It's here!:) So visit us at www.findingloveandmercy.com for more information.

I personally enjoyed teaching the course so much and continued to see the need to empower others to learn the skills that will enable them to have excellent relationships in sha Allah. Please enjoy my article below on "True Commitment to our Relationships" and stay tuned for a special announcement I will be making on how to revive our relationships soon in sha Allah!

True Commitment to Our Relationships

Indeed our relationships can be our most important investment in life. Most of us can agree that any successful relationship requires serious and consistent commitment. Yet, how many of us make sure this commitment is clearly conveyed both in our words and in our actions?

Whether it is wanting to have a successful relationship with our children, with our spouses, or with our families in general, commitment is a common and essential ingredient.

In Linda and Richard Eyre's "The Book of Nurturing: Nine Laws for Enriching Your Family Life", the first "law" they speak of is that of commitment. If we really and sincerely want successful and loving relationships with those most important to us, we have to tell them and show them. And we have to do it often. In this book, one couple re-stated their commitment to each other years later after their marriage and actually wrote out "commitment documents" to one another. I've shared here with you a section of the husband's commitment document:

"I hereby recommit myself, my resources, my gifts, to you as my wife and as the only romantic love of my life. While I am far from perfect as a husband, there are many things you can absolutely and always count on from me. One is that I will put your interests first in every choice or decision I face. Two is that I will always be completely honest with you and have no secrets from you. Third is that I will be a full partner with you in the raising of our children. Fourth is that I will never let other priorities like work or sports get ahead of you and the kids or cause me to do anything that would damage or impact negatively on you or on your happiness".

One final point on commitment is the example of geese that the authors gave. It was truly humbling to see how this creation, through the mercy of God, show true commitment to one another. Geese mate for life until one of them dies, therefore sometimes spending more than 50 years together. They are completely committed to their families – they strive to keep each other safe, they put each other first, they know they can depend on each other, and one final beautiful nature of geese, is that they always come home.

These are some examples I have shared with you, and so I encourage you to find a way to say or show your commitment to those who matter most to you in life.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

The Decision of a Lifetime

Many people will spend months and sometimes even years preparing for a wedding that will last a few hours, not to mention the tens of thousands of dollars invested as well. But how many people actually prepare for marriage itself, which could last a lifetime, by ensuring they have selected the most suitable partner, based on the criteria set out by the Quran and Sunnah and the advice of experts in the field of forming healthy relationships that lead to successful marriages?

Unfortunately, it seems like we are facing a crisis as the rate of singles, the average age of marriage, as well as the rate of divorce have all increased in our Muslim community. It is especially alarming that the rate of divorce has increased in the first year or two of marriage, indicating the couple may have lacked in-depth knowledge of the personality and life style of each other before the marriage was completed, as well as possibly lacked the commitment needed to make the marriage successful and live their lives according to Islamic principles. The consequences of a poor choice of marriage partner and marital dissatisfaction are indeed far-reaching and have been correlated to higher rates of depression, lowered physical health and poor worker production, may Allah protect all of us from these negative

Allah (SwT) describes marriage to us so beautifully in the Quran: “And among His Signs is this, that He created for you mates from among yourselves that you may dwell in tranquility with them, and He has put love and mercy between your (hearts). Verily in that are Signs for those who reflect” (30: 21).

So how is it that we can find this love and mercy? How is it that we can live in tranquility? How is it that we can increase our likelihood of success?

We need to learn, understand, and plan. There’s a quote that says: “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail”. And I believe planning how you want your marriage to look like and how to select your partner is one of the most important decisions you need to plan for because it will affect everything in your life - from your faith, to your happiness, to your future children, to your hereafter.

Maybe some will say that it does not have to be that complicated; however, I believe that when it comes to making a life changing decision like this, that collecting as much information as you can, and seeking as much insight, guidance and mentoring is a must. Yes, indeed our parents and grandparents got married and may not have had to do much planning; however, in most cases our parents married from the same families or from the same small town they lived in. Today we have people marrying from halfway across the world and we live in a completely different society than our dear parents did. We have the influences of a much more open society that include TV, internet, education, work, etc. and therefore there are many more factors that shape people’s backgrounds, personalities, and values. As such, there needs to be a process that enables one to evaluate the compatibility of the other spouse objectively and within Islamic guidelines, before the marriage is completed.

After all, we are talking about choosing the person that you will spend the rest of your life and hereafter with, the person you will wake up next to everyday, the person you will give your love, time and energy to, the one that will be a parent to your children in sha Allah, and the person who can be your key to jannah.

There is so much that rests upon this one decision, yet most people conclude within a relatively short time that they really know the other person, and consequently they shut their investigative eyes. There is a world of difference between feeling you know someone and truly knowing that person. Not many people may know what are the warning signs to look for, what are the predictors of a successful marriage to look for – what are the questions you should ask, when you should ask them, and how else you can evaluate how compatible you are with your potential spouse, all within an Islamic framework.

Ultimately, this is not just a matter of ensuring a happy marriage – this is a matter of an ummah. And this is because a happy couple leads to a happy and strong family and therefore a successful and strong ummah and a better world in sha Allah. The family is indeed the core of society and so the decision of choosing the most suitable spouse is indeed a decision of paramount importance. This is why it’s important to have a process in mind to follow, and this process includes the following steps:

1. Develop Foundation
2. Decide on your desired characteristics in a spouse
3. Consider a potential spouse
4. Istikhara (The Guidance Prayer)/Istishara (Consultation)
5. Parents’ Approval

To expand on the last point, it is most important that the brother or sister getting married is confident they have chosen a spouse that fits with their background, personality, and values; however, it should be a decision that the family comes to together.

In conclusion, in hopes of building a stronger ummah and a better world, one happy couple at a time, I have put together an online course for Muslim sisters on how to choose a suitable husband, a husband that will take them by the hand to jannah in sha Allah.

The course is based on Islamic guidance from the Quran and Sunnah and a practical, easy-to-understand and comprehensive road map developed by experts in the field of selecting a spouse that will lead to a happy and successful marriage in sha Allah. If you would like more information, please feel free to visit www.findingloveandmercy.com.