2011 in Retrospect

I can’t believe we’re entering 2012 in less than 24 hours! I’m excited to start a brand new year and open up fresh pages in a chapter of my life, inshaAllah. I would normally say that the year has gone by really fast. Not this time though. 2011 was a long and arduous year for me but it has also been undeniably unforgettable.

2011 has been the year of many firsts. I lived by myself for the first time and learned to take on more responsibilities. I wore niqab for the first time. Took part in Hijabi Fashion Week. Hosted a 30 Day Photo Challenge. Attended Maher Zain’s sold out concert. Attended a winter wedding. Went to a World Cup rugby game. 'Colours of My Life' was featured in a magazine. I met a number of inspiring people such as Imam Suhaib Webb, Sheikh Tawfique Chowdhury, Imam Afroz Ali and Ustadh Mustafa Davis. I also explored Melbourne and Doha - yup, you guessed it - for the first time. 

Come to think of it we’ve done a fair bit of travelling as a family this year. It’s a huge deal considering everyone’s various commitments. Although I really enjoyed the relaxing holiday we had near Pangkor Island and the lush time we had in Doha, I feel we were incredibly blessed to have another opportunity to visit Saudi Arabia for an Umrah pilgrimage, alhamdulillah. This time we went during the middle of a smouldering Arabian summer and I discovered that no matter how many times I go there I will always fall in love with the city of Madinah and the Masjid al-Haram in Mecca.

One of the best things about 2011 is that I've made many wonderful new friends sisters. Along with The Scarflets, I was invited to a private tea party by the darling of today’s Muslima style industry, the one and only Hana Tajima. Nothing can bring a group of women together like a love for food, fashion and Islam, so another meet-up with the lovely Hana was inevitable. I think it’s important to make time for friends. Even catching up over lunch or a cup of tea during a busy week can make a difference to your friendship. If it means going on a roadtrip or a weekend escapade it would be even better. 

Some may rejoice in the fact that 2011 is the year Hosni Mubarak was ousted, and Osama bin Laden and Muammar Ghaddafi were executed but after 7 months of being in the Honours programme, carrying books in the rain, lack of sleep and not to mention, a minimal social life, I can’t begin to describe how I felt on my graduation day. This year was all about doing well academically and not much else. By following my blog you wouldn't be able to tell but it’s been a very challenging year in many ways and I barely had time for leisure. However, it just goes to show that God knows me best because He knows when challenges are placed in front of me I will always try my best to rise above them. And I’ve done exactly that! But not without His help, of course. Which leads me to realise that I've learned a great deal from 2011 - Allah swt truly does provide ease when we place 100% of our faith in Him and He has planned good things for us if we hang on patiently.

I feel like 2011 is a long journey that is finally coming to an end. Although it wasn't an easy year I'm grateful to have developed more strength and a higher level of faith in God because of it and I'm happy to be blessed with great opportunities and to be surrounded by amazing people. I know we have days when we are sad or frustrated but the truth is we are all so very blessed in our very own ways. Shukur wa alhamdulillah. The reality is it's been a tough year for many people. Earthquakes, uprisings, droughts, tsunamis, cyclones, family deaths. We've lost plenty but we've gained an important reminder about the life of this world - everything is temporary. The highs and the lows. I think many of us are looking forward to a new start with new hopes and dreams.

And so I bid farewell to 2011 and eagerly usher in the much anticipated 2012. May the new year come bearing more barakah, success, rizaq, and happiness for you and I, inshaAllah.

P.S. Never stop believing in yourself and your dreams!


Asyik Izas said…
Happy New Year Sha:)
Fida Islaih said…
Happy new year! May 2012 bring even more light on us, insha'allah! (:
Shahirah Elaiza said…
Nikisa, HNY!

Fida, ameen! =)
amirahms said…
Subhanallah sha!! u've achieved so so much in 2011...I envy you :)It's true man is in a state of loss except those who believe and do good works and exhort one another to truth and endurance :)
Shahirah Elaiza said…
nozomi, truth is I didn't feel like I have done much in 2011 until I wrote this post. But then, all my "achievements" are from Him. I am nothing without His Mercy. So I don't think there's anything to be envious of here because I'm sure if you sit down and think about it you'll realise how much you have achieved too ;) xo
Anonymous said…
Assalamu Alaikum sister.
Following is irrelevant to this post.But sure you love to read whatever posted on this blog.
The former vatican preist (revert to islam)is going to give lecture on Islam in Singapore and some places in Malaysia as well.

Very interesting and impressive: