Inbox Full

My very dear friend Samira is getting married, we’ve been praying for this man to come for sooo long. Salat after salat, ramadan after ramadan, we called on Allah to give my friend a husband and … eureka! Allah answered our prayers, in the most amazing way, in the least expected place. Life! She got this tall, dark, handsome and pious Muslim brother, everyone is over the moon. Now, the nikah preparation is in top gear; the hall, cake, clothes, the Quran reciter, nasheed singer, the wedding invites, catering, everything is already taking shape; then that call! My friend called to inform me that she was sending my own aso ebi for the wedding and it is N50,000 (Fifty Thousand Naira). 50 what?! My case is peculiar, I have two other wedding invitations for that particular weekend and they all come with aso-ebi.   Meanwhile, on my birthday I made a vow to rid myself off unnecessary purchases, aso-ebi inclusive. How do I say no to this wonderful friend of mine? This is the most dependable friend I’ve got; she has my back any day, anywhere, the most down to earth and practical of all my friends. She’s an epitome of wisdom, an intellect, beautiful inside out. Always a shoulder to lean and even cry on. Samira’s work ethic is%20the craziest I’ve seen in a woman, I could hand over all my businesses to her and go on a very long vacation, she would manage the company even better than I ever did. Anyway, this write up is not about this wonderful friend of mine, it’s about the clutter in our lives. It’s the consumerism. Buy buy buy, the necessary and the unnecessary, the several aso ebi, buying from endless sales, buying from the woman who just got back from the UK, USA, Senegal, Italy. The list goes on. We women are certainly in a rut. Work, earn, buy, pay gbese (debt), work more and the cycle continues. Everywhere at home is filled up. Clothes are spilling over from the wardrobe and even some walk in closets. There is definitely a clutter in our lives, starting from the inbox of the computer, so much information, a clear overload. How do we then sieve from what is thrown at us and select the most beneficial? Inbox aside, our homes, the office, even the car, all cluttered and of course our lives. Work, Monday till Friday, attend an occasion on Saturday and go for prayers or visit relatives/friends on Sunday. Life could be disorganized and chaotic and it is wise to put some kind of order into it. There is need to get rid of all that is deemed unnecessary, lets don our charity hats (or hijab) and  give people less privileged than we are or donating to a charitable organisation. Islam does not encourage wastage. We should be moderate and modest as Muslims. Most of us are always trying to find pleasures from this worldly life, there’s need to ensure that we don't lose our perspective, stay focused on the bigger picture and the real value of what we are after. Am going through a de-cluttering process at the moment, getting rid of what I haven’t used for some time, clothes, shoes, kitchen utensils, even furniture. Since I started, I can bet am breathing better and there’s now more space to roam in the house. Less is definitely more. Am having a general detox and enjoying my new found freedom. The audacity to say no very nicely and walking away from what is absolutely needless and frivolous has not been quite easy though. I told my aso ebi friend for example that I had bought myself something special for her nikah and would love to wear that. She was flattered; she probably thinks I plan to wear something even more extravagant than that aso ebi she’s been peddling around. On the d day, she will realize I was only trying to dodge additional expenses when she sees me with normal clothes that I’ve worn to some other party earlier or better still, she would be so busy she wouldn’t take note of what I will be wearing.  Clearing out baggage—both physical and emotional, is therapeutic, and helps one move forward. I have decided to stop weighing myself down with unnecessary “stuff”. From now on, am surrounding myself with a few things of beauty that make me smile. Few clothes, few shoes, few furniture. More space equals more life. The money spent on wants as opposed to needs could be converted into something more worthwhile that attracts reward from Allah (SWT). Someone once said, “Have nothing in your homes that you do not know to be useful and believe to be beautiful.” Everything around me has to be purposeful. Above all, I plan to surround myself with people I absolutely love, people who obey Allah (SWT) and strive to be like the Prophet (SAW). It is the fastest way to happiness, and ultimately they are what make this world worth living in. Right now am clearing out the full inbox. “Heavy Sigh”.

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