Lessons Muslim Women WISH They Knew Sooner – Part 1

AssalamuAlaikum sisters,

There are many lessons the world likes to talk about learning sooner in life, so that we don’t suffer later on. And as a Muslim women, our life journey often comes with its own set of unique challenges. So, today let’s talk about those lessons that I think would be better to know now and how us women can navigate them together, let’s get straight into it!

Do Not Enjoy the 20s

How it should be is: thrive in your 20s so that you can enjoy your 30s (and 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s etc). As women, we don’t always consider the impact of our choices in our youth on our future, because usually we have this idea that we’d like to get married sometime in our 20s and then just live a married life. 

And that’s a great dream, but that mindset usually tells us that there is no life after getting married, and we end up feeling unfulfilled later on, or, when (may Allah save us from this) life upends our plans, we are left stranded and unprepared. Start grinding now so that you build a foundation of independence, confidence, and resilience. Pursue your education and career, explore your passions, and cultivate a rich social life.

Invest in yourself, not just financially but emotionally and intellectually. Learn to manage your finances, take care of your health, and develop a strong sense of self. 

And also, since you are a Muslimah, use the free time and your youth to develop how you want to be with your Deen. How do you want your relationship with Allah to look like? Are there things you need to improve on? How can ISLAM be your number 1 priority in life forever?

Why should you do this in your 20s? Because this period of life is often when you have the most energy, time, and flexibility. Your responsibilities are fewer, allowing you to dedicate more time to personal and spiritual growth. Get an education, save money on the side, see if you have any passions you would like to pursue during this time, so that you don’t lament about not doing them later in life.  Establishing good habits and a strong foundation in your Deen during this time will make it easier to maintain these practices throughout your life, even when life becomes more demanding.

Would you regret it if you don’t? Yes, Many people who neglect their personal and spiritual growth in their youth find it harder to make time for these  later in life when responsibilities increase. Your life changes when you get married, move out, have kids and all of that. Without a strong foundation in faith, you will find it challenging to navigate life’s difficulties with patience and wisdom. What’s more, neglecting your relationship with Allah (SWT) can lead to feelings of emptiness and unfulfillment in the new changes of your life, and you won’t be enjoying it as much as you thought you would.

And if you feel like you’re currently “behind in life,” understand that EVERYONE feels behind at times. Life is not a race, and everyone has their own unique journey and timeline. Just focus on your era, and let everyone else be white noise.

You Should Have Taken Baby Steps

This applies to all things in life, but I want to emphasize this on our religious life, specifically with modesty and becoming more inclined to balance our Deen and Dunya.

I know for a lot of us Muslim women, we see others on social media thriving and having their religious life together: waking up early, studying the Quran, being as modest as they can be, essentially, they are the perfect Muslimah. And I love watching such content too, it’s motivational for me and I’m sure for you too.

However, these things do NOT become motivational when you have a certain mindset attached to it: When you suddenly have the urge to push yourself into that exact same lifestyle – immediately

Meaning, we don’t take the time to really build our new selves up, and we often rush into changes without giving ourselves the grace to grow gradually. This can lead to burnout and disappointment when we can’t maintain those changes at the same pace.

And usually, you think it’s because you’re not good enough, instead of realizing that you should have taken baby steps first. But for a lot of people, they don’t realize this mistake until years later. Focus on making small, consistent changes that fit into your own lives and circumstances.

Start with setting realistic goals, like gradually increasing your knowledge of the Quran, adding more acts of worship into your daily routine, and slowly incorporating modest practices into your life. This way, you’re not overwhelming yourself, and you’re allowing your faith and habits to grow steadily and sustainably.

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said, “The most beloved deeds to Allah are those that are done consistently, even if they are few” (Bukhari). So, take it one step at a time and remember that your journey is personal and unique to you.

And i promise you, before you even know it, you will become that girl ~

Forgive and Forget Doesn’t Exist in Islam

This is a huge one because I know us women have this habit of forgiving people too easily, or we are often pressured to be the forgiving ones.

But often, we’ve never been taught what forgiveness ACTUALLY means. 

I’ll be frank, “forgive and forget” can only be applied when someone does something pretty minor to you, and those things really don’t happen that often. Like say, for example, a person forgets doing a small favor for you and once they remember they immediately apologize for it. Unfortunately, people and especially other Muslims pressure us to forgive others who have hurt us so deeply by slapping us with the whole “it’s a sin to not forgive others, don’t you want Allah to forgive you???”

And that’s true, we should forgive others, but forgiveness in Islam was never about forgetting.

Forgiveness in Islam means letting go of the anger and resentment that can consume your heart and mind. It’s about freeing yourself from the burden of negative emotions and moving forward with a sense of peace. However, it does not mean you have to forget the hurt or pretend that the wrong never happened. 

A piece of history that finally made me understand this was when the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) forgave Washi Ibn Harb for killing his uncle Hamza (R.A)

In the hadith it is narrated that:

“When he saw me, he said, ‘Are you Wahshi?’ I said, ‘Yes.’ He said, ‘Was it you who killed Hamza?’ I replied, ‘What happened is what you have been told of.’ He said, ‘Can you hide your face from me?’ So I went out when Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) died…”
Sahih al-Bukhari 4072

Now a long time ago, reading this hadith, I was actually insanely confused (may Allah forgive me for my ignorance). I was wondering on how on earth this could be considered forgiveness, shouldn’t the Prophet (SAW) “forgive and forget” what Wahshi did? How is asking him to not show his face show that the Prophet (SAW) saw doesn’t hold any grudges against him?

And then I understood

The Prophet’s forgiveness of Wahshi was not about erasing the past or ignoring the pain caused. It was about recognizing Wahshi’s sincere repentance and giving him a chance to reform his life. Because at the same time the Prophet (SAW) accepted Wahshi’s conversion to Islam and forgave him – but he also asked Wahshi to avoid appearing in front of him frequently because the sight of him brought back painful memories.

This taught me that forgiveness doesn’t mean you have to forget the hurt or allow the person who wronged you to remain in your life in the same way. It means letting go of the bitterness and anger that can poison your heart, while also setting boundaries to protect yourself from further harm. And setting boundaries ARE NOT grudges.

If it was a grudge, then the Prophet Muhammad (SAW), would have resented that fact that Wahshi decided to become a Muslim, but he didn’t.

In our daily lives, it’s important to apply this understanding of forgiveness. We can forgive others to free ourselves from the burden of resentment, but we are never ever obligated to forget the harm done or to put ourselves in a position to be hurt again. And unfortunately, we learn this too late in life, after so many people have hurt us. If you didn’t know this before, I hope you do now.

Be Fine with “Missing Out”

Not every event, trend, or opportunity is worth pursuing. The Quran reminds us of the fleeting nature of worldly pleasures:

“The life of this world is nothing but play and amusement. But the Hereafter is far better for those who are mindful of Allah. Will you not then understand?” (6:32)

The Dunya and all its glitter will eventually dull, and you’ll realize that chasing every new trend or attending every social event can leave you feeling exhausted and unfulfilled.

Embracing the idea of missing out can be liberating. It allows you to prioritize what truly matters and invest your time and energy in activities that bring you closer to your goals and to Allah. Instead of spreading yourself thin by trying to be everywhere and do everything, focus on the things that align with your values and contribute to your well-being and personal development.

Your goals are a part of your purpose and contribute to your sense of identity and fulfillment. When you constantly put others’ needs and expectations above your own, you risk losing sight of your dreams and ambitions. 

FOMO actually has bits of jealousy hidden within it, and you need to really assess a situation to see if it actually benefits you.

For example, you feel jealous  or anxious seeing others post about expensive purchases or having parties and having the best social life. But instead, really evaluate the impact about doing those exact same things in your life right now. Consider, will it bring lasting happiness and fulfillment, or is it a temporary distraction for you? Do you actually want to have parties all the time? Will it contribute positively to your relationships and spiritual well-being? Will it allow you to go into the direction you want of your dreams. 

And if the answer is NO, then seeing these things are not a motivation for you, but just a useless distraction. 

So, find contentment and peace within your own life’s pace. If you don’t surrender to this soon, then you live a life for others, and not for yourself. Allah is currently guiding you towards the life that you want, and only His Opportunities are the ones you need to fear on missing out ~

When You Win, Put The Glory Back Where It Belongs

Indeed mankind, to his Lord, is ungrateful.” (100:6)

I learned about this quote a while back and it really made me think of how much we do this on a  daily basis. What this quote means is that when Allah gives us something we love, or we were making dua for so long, instead of becoming better Muslims and being grateful, or more spiritually inclined, we do the exact opposite. I

Instead, we go and treat ourselves, but then get so caught up in enjoying ourselves that we start praying late, forget to read to Quran because we want to have “fun more” since we deserve it. Instead of using the blessing as a means to grow closer to Him, we allow it to become a distraction.

Our gratitude should manifest not just in words but in actions—by increasing our prayers, engaging more in acts of charity, and striving to embody the teachings of Islam in our daily lives. Do not become absorbed in the material gains and forget the spiritual journey that brought you to this point.

The true test of gratitude is not just in saying “Alhamdulillah” but in showing it through our actions—by increasing in our worship, maintaining humility, and using our blessings to benefit others.

“Put The Glory Back Where It Belongs”  means to return your focus and honor back to Allah, because you could not have gotten or achieved whatever is you wanted without Him, and that’s a fact

These gifts are tests of our faith and character. If you don’t celebrate wisely, what will happen is that this celebration will be used against you on the Day of Judgement. you will be questioned about your gratitude and actions. Do you want to gain Allah’s Disappointment when you tell Him that you neglected everything after He gave you everything?

As a Muslim woman, you have a significant role in demonstrating how to live a balanced and fulfilling life that honors Allah’s blessings, never forget that.

Whenever you get something you want, say “Alhamdulillah,” but then make it an effort to do even BETTER with your spiritual actions, to show Allah how much you appreciate His blessings, and that what you got will not be an excuse to give up praying for Him, but rather, encourages you to pray even more, to improve more – ice cream cake afterwards won’t hurt either!

And there you have it sisters, lessons I hope you all were able to learn today so that you don’t learn them later on in your life. And I pray this helps you to continue your journey as the best Muslim Woman you can be ~

With love and sisterhood,

Her Deen & Dunya

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