28: A Most Meaningful Birthday

Birthday girl.

“Richness is not in having many possessions. Rather, true richness is the richness of the soul.” - Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him

I turned 28 on the 8th of September (الحَمْد لله). I had a very meaningful birthday because I celebrated differently this year. Let me explain. One of the perks of being a last-born is that your family often spoils you with a lot of love and attention. As a child, getting what you want all the time, especially on your birthday, feels good but as an adult, it doesn't satisfy or pacify the soul as much.

It doesn't help that there is an unnecessary amount of pressure for people to feel happy on their birthday. However, I did think about what would make me genuinely happy on my birthday. Apart from having dinner with my closest friends in Wellington, the answer that came to mind was: seeing the people I love and care about being happy. I think we need to stop teaching ourselves to be so darn narcissistic on our birthday. There's a fine line between being happy and grateful for your existence and trying to convince yourself that you're happy and grateful for your existence. Know what I'm sayin'? Yeah, you know what I'm sayin'.

So I came up with a plan.

Happy, beautiful faces that made my birthday special to me.

As I'm thousands of miles away from home I decided to surprise my Mum, sister, and Sarina with flowers on my birthday because I wanted to do something nice for the women who have been there for me. Especially my Mum because if it weren't for her I wouldn't be here. Literally! The best part was how the surprises worked out. My sister surprised my Mum with a bouquet of red roses I ordered from Love Florist and my Mum ended up surprising my sister with one of Happy Bunch's daily crafted bouquets. Oh, and Sarina didn't see her 'bunch' coming either! Seeing their astonished and happy faces was the best 'gift' I could ask for this year and I got it, alhamdulillah. What I did was a small gesture compared to what they have done for me so I was more than happy :) 

And I had a taste of my own schemings when Sarina surprised me with a massive bouquet of lilies the next day. Nicely played! The moral of the story is you don't need to feed your ego to feel happy on your birthday or any other day for that matter. Perhaps for your next birthday, why not give presents instead of expecting them and you'll see what I mean.

Indeed, true wealth is the happiness of the spirit. I can't quite put my finger on it but something is different about me this year. I do feel a lot more comfortable in my skin when I'm in New Zealand so that could be it but I'm generally just in a good place  right now (ما شاء الله).  What 'Ibn Arabi said is true: "Nothing is lost to me when I have found You."

Thank you for the birthday wishes that seems to keep on coming. I really appreciate such kind words and I pray you will find 'true wealth' in this life and the hereafter. Ameen.


Ayuni said…
Happy belated birthday, sis...
Anonymous said…
I love this post. Your strength, love and wisdom can be felt in every word. Thanks for the lovely flowers, they're still on my desk and every time I look at them it makes me so happppyyyy. :D
Haneen Ibrahim said…
I know this is rather late, and I'm not sure if u saw this or not but I do believe it qualifies as a birthday present :) this was actually posted on my birthday last April, hope you like it.