Aaisha’s Ramadaan diaries, Day 28: On inspiration

Day 28: Inspiration

There are so many things that inspire me on the daily that I could never pinpoint one and say that it’s what I draw inspiration from. Yes, there are the big things that are always there – the Quraan, of course, and other teachings from Islam – but there is also so much else. And the most inconspicuous of things too.

I’m a firm believer in the concept that what goes on around you and what you experience impacts you, even if it is subconsciously. And based on that, there is so much variety in terms of what can inspire you. And I’m not just talking hearing an inspirational lecture, or anything generic like that. I’m talking about shifting focus, and finding beauty in the most unexpected of spaces at times – even challenging the concept of what “beauty” is.

Looking at the most mundane of things and thinking about how they could have a way to do something with you. Looking at the way that certain people are in their manner, or looking at the way certain things operate in certain spaces, and that having an impact on you. Or having time to contemplate, and gain perspective, and realise that you have so many ideas and thoughts that you never had before.

But most importantly, we have to challenge this idea that inspiring yourself is impossible. We’ve been conditioned to think that saying that you inspire yourself means you are incredibly vain. I’ve learnt to realise the opposite: to inspire yourself is a true demonstration of faith in yourself. A testament to the fact that you’ve lived and fallen and failed and grown from it and are determined to rise above and keep going. Sometimes you can pat yourself on your back and realise that the fact that you were able to be a functional human being today is close to miraculous – and that is something kind of inspirational.

This is part of a special Ramadaan series by our fave Muslim reporter, Aaisha Dadi Patel. For Day 27’s musings, click here.

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