We all have inspirations, role models people we look up to and people who drive us and motivate us to be our best selves.
As humans, we naturally need a yardstick, or comparison so we can strive to be our best selves.
So I thought I would share some of the people who have inspired me and continue to inspire me every single day. (In no particular order)
A Sufi mystic from the 8th century she is often regarded as a female saint and famous Sufi poet.
A famous story about her is that she was freed from slavery after her slave master saw her praying to God and surrounded by light. Fearing for his life he immediately freed her had he kept her as a slave he was worried he would incur God’s wrath.
She received many marriage proposals but rejected them and chose to devote her life entirely to God and became the first in a long line of female Sufi mystics.
One of the reasons she inspires me is because we rarely about female awliya (friends of Allah) especially ones who choose to devote their lives to God without marrying.
Men would often come to Rabia-al-Adwaiyya to learn from her and her great wisdom. She broke the glass ceiling before there even was one.
O Beloved of my heart, I have no other than You,
So forgive today my sins.
My hope, my peace, and my happiness
Is that my heart has said it cannot love other than You.
Being POC and female you rarely see yourself represented within mainstream media. Jameela Jamila was probably one of the first times I had ever seen someone like me represented within the media.
I can’t stress how important diversity is within the media. As a young girl being able to see myself represented. You feel validated you feel valued you feel that you can become someone too. That path is open to someone like you too.
Jameela Jamil strives to young girls to help young girls who feel pressured by unhealthy and toxic beauty standards. She uses her social media platform to normalise body diversity. Jameela Jamil really had an effect on me when I was younger I often felt ugly because of my stretch marks, my weight etc and she was instrumental in helping me accept myself for who I am.
I want to be a part of telling women there is no segregation. There is never no [sic] need to not feel beautiful or glamorous there should be nothing that gets in your way.
I think there is a lot we can learn from the life Malcolm X. Born in Nebraska’s Malcolm X had a rough childhood his father murdered by white supremacists and his mother committed to an insane asylum. He grew in up foster and changed his name Malcolm Little to Malcolm X to honour his African tribal background.
Malcolm X was an instrumental figure in the civil rights movement of the 1960s. He advocated freedom for blacks, black pride no cost spared. His charisma, his mannerisms drew in many supporters.
After going to Saudi Arabia and making the Holy Pilgramme Malcolm X truly embraced Islam.
In a letter he wrote:
Mecca, Saudi Arabia — April 26th, 1964
To One God and their acceptance of all people as equals makes them (so-called “Whites”) also accepted as equals into the brotherhood of Islam along with the non-whites.
If white Americans could accept the religion of Islam, if they could accept the Oneness of God (Allah) they too could then sincerely accept the Oneness of Men, and cease to measure others always in terms of their “difference in color”. And with racism now plaguing in America like an incurable [sic] cancer all thinking Americans should be more respective to Islam as an already proven solution to the race problem.
For some reason, I have always been drawn to Malcolm X story, humble beginnings and his self-realisation that his death would have more of an impact on people. Which is true, his ideas of black pride and nationalism still echo today. Malcolm X legacy, ideas are relevant today as they were 50 years ago and that's something very few people can argue.
I could probably write reams and reams on all the people who have inspired me. However, I think these are probably the main ones. Maybe you can look back at all the people who have inspired you and how much of yourself you owe to them.