Here We Start – Issue #29

Iman Ben Chaibah (@ImanBenChaibah)

Iman Ben Chaibah (@ImanBenChaibah)

Iman Ben Chaibah, founder of Sail Publishing, a digital publishing house for online magazines and ebooks, and editor in chief of the Emirati Sail Magazine, an online magazine about community and culture written in English by Emirati columnists. Iman is a multi award winner in digital publishing, entrepreneurship, and literature. Iman has also completed the Leadership Strategies in Magazine Media Course in Yale University. Besides her work in publishing, she also lectures in Canadian University in Dubai.
Iman Ben Chaibah (@ImanBenChaibah)

Dear Sail Readers,

As we publish our 29th issue, we are now almost reaching the middle of the Holy month of Ramadan, a month that a lot of us feel our souls & hearts softening further, become more considerate and merciful towards others, a month that has so many blessings which I wish all of you are enjoying along with us.

We welcome in this issue yet another new columnist, but not a new member to the Sail team. We are welcoming Dubai Abulhoul, who was one of our illustrators, joining us a columnist with her column: “Rebel with A Reason”, in which she expresses her opinions in certain topics justifying them in her own ways. We definitely hope you’ll enjoy her column as you enjoyed her illustrations before!

Here is the summary of our Issue #29 – August 2012:

  • Art of Living 101: Hamda AlHashemi in her article “Ego, SIT!” shows us how even though we might think that it’s all about us, the truth is: It’s not.
  • Emirati Dimensions: Ahmad AlGergawi in his article “The New Normal” explains the difference of the different types of success that our society perceives.
  • Rebel With A Reason: Dubai Abulhoul in her article “The Arab Media” highlights the importance of documenting the Islamic history in the Arab Media.
  • Scenes From Life: Rawan Albina in her article “Fake Identity” tells us about her experience with adding a fake person on her profile and what she learned from it
  • To The Point: Mohammed Kazim in his article “Piety Through Purification of Body and Soul” describes Ramadan as a time to attain piety through two main channels: the purification of body and soul.
  • Too Blunt For Words: Fatma AlKhaja in her article “Handling Unprofessionalism” explains how to spot rudeness in email communications at work, and how to handle it.
  • Words, Observations, and Ramblings: Reem Abdalla in her article “Repenting: The Easy Way Out” discusses the basis of repenting whether in Ramadan and even after Ramadan.

Enjoy the reads and don’t forget to check out the illustrations by Fatma AlHashemi!

Warm Regards,
Iman Ben Chaibah
Editor in Chief

How Our Ego Distorts How We See Ourselves

Hamda Al Hashemi (@Hamda_alhashemi)

Column: Art of Living 101. Previously as: Living Through The Eyes of Art
Hamda AlHashemi is a 20 something year old interior design graduate, and an SZHP employee. She appreciates art, food, psychology and culture. For her, Arabic calligraphy is music for the eyes; beautiful and calming. She thrives to become an entrepreneur of her own furniture line and aims to get her Phd on the long run. Hamda’s articles revolve around how our psychological thoughts influence our actions, and how to use them to our advantage.

Latest posts by Hamda Al Hashemi (@Hamda_alhashemi) (see all)

Everything in this universe revolves around someone or something else. It was Man’s decision to make the world revolve around human beings. It is also in the human nature that each person would focus on himself/herself in a world where approximately 7 billion others live. That is the reality of the situation we live in, we are egotists; some of us more than others. Hugh Prather, philosopher, minister, writer, and lecturer, once said, “No matter what we talk about, we are talking about ourselves.”

I came across a very interesting book a few days ago that talked about psychology. It discussed a very interesting and scientifically proven theory that stated that the way we perceive ourselves is quite delusional. It is referred to as the “Lake Wobegon Effect. ” Basically, our ego distorts our vision of ourselves so we always give ourselves more credit than we actually deserve.

The discussion of whether or not that is a good thing is controversial. From the way I see it, ego has something to do with self-confidence. It is how we perceive and trust ourselves. It can make us more convincing in our jobs and in public speaking. But the problem is when this ego overcomes us and becomes more dominant than it should be; forgetting that we are not in fact the center of attention can turn a self-confident person into a self-centered one.

“We think we are being interesting to others when we are being interesting to ourselves,” (Jack Gardner). We live in our mind and create all of our assumptions about people and our impressions about different things in our lives based on us. As a result, we the microscopic creatures (in comparison to this universe), maximize our value, literally.

Professor Ivana Bianchi, from the University of Macerata, asked her students to estimate how large their heads are by drawing them on a paper. All of the students overestimated their head size by approximately 42 percent. Funny thing is that when she asked them to draw other people’s heads, they drew them 13 percent smaller than their actual size.

In fact, Bianchi’s team also researched self-portraits between the 15th and 20th century with classical portraits and found out that the head sizes in self-portraits were all overestimated. If we take this literal example and explain it metaphorically, we will see that we maximize our abilities and minimize others’.

Van Gogh, Self-Portrait

Why I’m mentioning all of this research and experimental findings is to show that we all have a bias-blind spot that clouds our judgment. We all experienced a discussion where the two sides were both very opinionated. Personally, I realized after reading this that I don’t know myself as well as I thought I did. So even though I should keep my self-confidence on a high level, I need to keep my mind open to the remarks that others have about me because they probably know me more than I realize it.  “You never really learn much from hearing yourself speak.” (George Clooney).

This little dog called Ego that follows us everywhere needs to learn how to follow our orders. Otherwise, a false feeling of always being right even when we are wrong will drive us towards our destruction. It is up to us to be more self-aware and control this habit so that we can always see clearly.

What Success Looks Like

Ahmad Al Gergawi (@A_AlGergawi)

Ex-Column: Emirati Dimensions

Latest posts by Ahmad Al Gergawi (@A_AlGergawi) (see all)

Illustration by Fatma AlHashemi (@F_Fotography)

Every society has a preconceived idea of what success and power should look like. While some see success as intrinsic, others see it as extrinsic. Success isn’t a prestigious job title and power isn’t a three-digit car plate number. We have been conditioned to believe that money is happiness, a three-digit plate number is a sign of status, and a crocodile leather bag is a must-have. Society has given excessive attention to consumerism where one starts to value the tangible items, the career status, and the wealth more than time with the people you love.

True success is intrinsic; it’s how you measure it within yourself. One must not succumb to the notion that success is a vertical ladder where there is a ticking clock that will risk it away if you don’t climb that ladder fast enough. Success is horizontal; it’s family, love, health, kindness, and many other intangible elements.

The Emirati generation has yet to learn about the meaning of happiness, success, and power without relating it to a bag, car, or status. While we have come as a nation bound together, a few of us rise to compete against one another. Success is not achieved when you have what others can’t have; success is palpable and is seen in everyday life.

We have been misinformed on how success should look like; success isn’t always a spacious office with a sea view. As kids, we all answered the cliché answers on what profession we will seek once we grow up and it was a choice of being a doctor, an engineer, or the classic businessman. Many succumb to what their community or parents want them to do and end up giving up their passion due to this external pressure.

Emirati youth dream about being film directors, painters, artists, actors, photographers, or fashion designers. However, society shuns those that think outside the traditional and cultural box. Society views these professions as unrealistic professions that do not adhere to the way we do things here. The community breaks down the aspirations of the dreamers by telling them the career path they have chosen does not reward them the Emirati dream. The Emirati dream could be the Range Rover, the Hermes bag, the house in Europe, or the five trips around the world annually.

Emirati women have been building a platform and paving the way for themselves to fight for their rights. Men, as well, have been struggling to make what is unheard of as a given or a regular thing, it’s what I like to call as “the new normal”. Only a few years ago, you would never expect to see Emirati female pilots. It was unfathomable for an Emirati woman to pursue such a profession, but she did. If an Emirati man dared to be a fashion designer, society starts to degrade both the profession and the individual indirectly. Culture can, sometimes, crush one’s dream when it tells them this is not a way to succeed; you are far from it. So how does one measure success?

Measuring success depends on how much you are satisfied with the way you are living your life. When you upload credit onto your phone, you receive a message back saying “you successfully uploaded credit to your phone”; success can come in the simplest form. Most importantly, avoid comparison to measure success between you and others. God says in the Qur’an: “And strain not thine eyes toward that which We cause some wedded pairs among them to enjoy, the flower of the life of the world, that We may try them thereby. The provision of thy Lord is better and more lasting.” (Qur’an 20:131)

It seems whenever success is mentioned, money, cash, and status is as well. Success could be the mother who raised all five children on her own, an 18 year old boy who prayed all his five prayers on time today, or a two year old who knows the alphabet. You succeed when you are satisfied with what life has given you whether it was good, bad, or ugly.

What Happens When Arab TV Production Tries Something Different

Dubai Abulhoul (@DubaiAbulhoul)

Dubai is an Emirati girl with a passion for all things art. Her number one passion was to find a place between Emarati artists and filmmakers , and her dream turned into reality in 2008 , when she was officially named as the Middle East’s Youngest Director at the age of 11.

Latest posts by Dubai Abulhoul (@DubaiAbulhoul) (see all)

Illustration by Fatma AlHashemi (@F_Fotography)

What we often overlook or take for granted is just how much power the media holds. With media, the world has the ability to shed light on the most important and most pointless issues. The media can make things look really important or really irrelevant. Bottom line, the media is, unfortunately, what steers the wheels of human kind’s perspective.

Not so long ago, I saw a trailer of a show that will air in Ramadhan. It was a series about the life and times of one of Islam’s most important figures, Omar Bin Al Khatab, also known as ‘Al Farooq’. Words cannot describe how jubilant I was over the fact that Arab media has finally taken a turn to the better. Finally, our media will portray something that matters to us as Arabs and Muslims. Honestly, I am dead sick of all the pointless shows and carbon copies that are aired in the Arab media.

I have been tweeting like crazy about just how I do not approve of the media we have in our region since a good 80 percent of it is a carbon copy of the west, regardless if rights have been bought or not. I have expressed my enthusiasm for this upcoming series. I’ve learned about this remarkable figure many times in school and knowing that we aren’t exactly a region that reads as much as we’re supposed to read, I was beyond happy that Omar Bin Al Khatab’s life story would reach thousands of people in only 30 episodes or so. I expressed my enthusiasm on Twitter and guess what? Yup, you guessed it, I was attacked. Literally!

I’ve so far seen all the episodes that were aired, and I can’t stop myself from feeling proud. Our Islamic history is being documented in the most beautiful and respectful manner. Seeing something visually is ten times more powerful than reading a chapter from a book. I would love to see more productions highlighting such important figures from Islam. In a time where this region’s deeply affected by the West, reminding this generation about the importance of Islamic heroes is what we exactly need.

Why do we marvel on the most pointless shows being aired? Why are we fascinated by bimbo actresses hosting game shows during Ramadan? Why are we ‘entertained’ by actresses whose faces just scream ‘plastic surgery’, which is also Haram by the way, yet when we want to shed light on such an important Islamic figure, we’re suddenly all sentenced to Hell? I come from a generation that is just sick and tired of being labeled as useless and reckless. Unless we start seeing our pasts’ heroes in our media and stop highlighting completely untalented figures and bad influences, we cannot progress as a nation. And trust me, even if we do in fact progress as nation, someone somewhere is bound to complain and find something negative about it.

Fake Identities on the Web

Rawan Albina (@RawanAlbina)

Rawan, CPCC, ACC, is a Professional Certified Coach, owner of Leap Coaching & Training whose life’s mission is to help women achieve their dreams.
Her strongly positive nature and calm demeanor enables her to gently draw out a person’s full potential as she helps them get in touch with their passions, find their purpose and LEAP into a truly fulfilling and extraordinary life.
Women who are at a crossroads in life, young women ‘Entreprenettes’ and teenagers have all found a strong guide in Rawan who has helped them discover the life skills needed to begin the new phases in their life with confidence.

Latest posts by Rawan Albina (@RawanAlbina) (see all)

Illustration by Fatma AlHashemi (@F_Fotography)

A LinkedIn contact pointed out to me that I had accepted an invitation from someone with a fake LinkedIn profile. I investigated the matter further and found out that, sure enough, that person was pretending to be someone he’s not. So, from now on I have a strict policy of not adding anyone I don’t know, which is the whole point behind LinkedIn but human nature and my curiosity took over, I guess.

I did remove that person from my contacts, but this incident got me thinking about these people and what pushes them to create fake identities. Of course, cyber crime exists and there are a lot of people online who mean harm. However, I never expected that I must take care in selecting the people I connect with on what is, supposedly, a professional network. Therefore, instead of feeling sorry for myself and standing in the victim’s shoes I decided to step up and take in the inquisitive detective’s perspective. From this viewpoint, I considered what it is that makes people put on a mask and pretend to be someone they’re not.  I’m sure there are numerous reasons probably far more devious than the ones I’m considering here but here is what I think:

  • The ability to harm others without being tracked
  • They feel ashamed of who they are
  • They feel inferior to others and need to prove themselves
  • Financial gain

According to John Thomas, a UAE based social media expert and blogger here are some of the reasons why people create fake profiles:

“There are many reasons on why people create fake profiles or include fake references, and these are just some examples (not in any particular order):

  • To disguise true identity (ex: a person well known for leading people into “opportunities” may not wish to reveal his or her real name to prospects)
  • To gather e-mail addresses for spam lists
  • To present a more enticing image (ex: male marketers may instead present a female profile as his “public image”. In fact, it is learnt that most fake profiles are female)
  • To create an artificial image of popularity in hopes of starting a viral trend
  • To gather up connections later to be sold for profit (ex: supposedly a person on LinkedIn offered his connections for money)
  • To appear more legitimate or more qualified than reality (ex: by claiming alumni at a famous university, or at a Fortune 500 firm, s/he may be able to connect with someone that would not have otherwise accepted the connection
  • To denounce / insult / troll / attack a rival company, often pretending to be a whistleblower (i.e. an employee)
  • To give the image of a bigger company than it is, by having several “fake staff” at a one-person company join the company
  • To impersonate employee of a rival company and issue public insults in their name.

For a more in-depth look at this new trend of fake profiles on social media I suggest that you start by googling it and I recommend you read this informative post.

I don’t usually write about such matters but since the social media world is such a big part of everyone’s life today, I thought it is important to use this space to inform you and warn you about a trend that you may or may not be aware of. There are several ways you can protect your information online. I removed my mobile number and made my profile picture visible only to people in my network. I know it’s not enough but it’s a start. Safe networking everyone!

Fasting in Ramadan, Piety Through Purification of Body and Soul

Mohammed Kazim (@MAKazim)

Mohammed Kazim (@MAKazim)

Mohammed, an Emirati involved in healthcare business development, comes with a background in biomedical & clinical engineering, technology management, finance, and business setup related project management. Mohammed has a keen interest in relevant social, religious, economic, and cultural affairs.
Mohammed’s bi-monthly column aims to openly and honestly target issues around the native culture, society, religion, economy, and policy that have resulted as a consequence of the constantly changing demographics of the region. The column is characterized by a point-like articulate approach that gives the reader a comprehensive understanding of the discussed issues.
Mohammed Kazim (@MAKazim)

Latest posts by Mohammed Kazim (@MAKazim) (see all)

Illustration by Fatma AlHashemi (@F_Fotography)

Families are getting together, food is being shared, the poor are being looked after, and the Quran is being recited all around us. Yes, we have just completed the first 10 days of Ramadan, also known as the days of Mercy. A month so blessed that the doors of the heavens are believed to be opened and the doors of hellfire shut. The month in which the Quran was revealed to Prophet Muhammad (May the Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him), who was sent as a mercy to mankind. So rewarding is this month, that it has a night that is greater in value to any believer than a thousand months of worship!

All of the above are beautiful concepts that appeal to spiritual elements of Ramadan, however, the core beauty of this month, lies in a divine command that has been prescribed to generations of mankind with a defined purpose. This command is fasting with the intent of attaining a state of awareness of Allah’s presence and ability, defined as piety.

“O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that you may attain piety” -The Holy Quran [2: 183]

I look at piety as a vehicle that is necessary to transport us from this world to the bounties of the next; similar to the performance of a vehicle that has not been well maintained, as time goes by without due attention, piety levels also start decreasing.  A few obvious factors that lead to this decline in piety include indulgence in major and minor sins, lack of adherence to Islamic commands, and the lack of conscious thought behind daily Islamic or life-related acts. Gradually and subconsciously, actions begin to taint intentions and give birth to a state of negligence.

This is where the prescribed fasting comes into the picture. It acts as a purification tool for two very important and interlinked channels of our existence; the body and the soul.

The purification of the body occurs mainly through daytime fasting or abstinence from food, water, and other worldly desires. Not only does this act allow for the purification of the body from deadly toxins but also it allows for the control of certain physiological elements through conscious mood management. A 2005 study from the University of California, Berkeley, suggested that the purification process of fasting can lead to a reduction in risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and immune diseases. Subsequently, the study suggested that fasting could ultimately reduce the ageing process and extend a person’s lifespan.

The purification of the soul occurs mainly through the elements of worship which Ramadan focuses on heavily. These include prostration in late hours of the night, control of temper, suppression of sexual desires, recitation of the Holy Quran, and engrossment in acts of charity and kindness. Not only is it an essential component to attain piety but also it is a necessity for success in the hereafter.

“Truly he succeeds that purifies it (the soul), and he fails that corrupts it!” -The Holy Quran [91: 9-10]

The soul component of purification is heavily supported with certain special privileges given to believers from Allah such as amplification of reward and spiritual elements of closeness of the Creator to the believer. These beliefs of the hereafter and this entertainment of the soul through worship, act as factors that lead to mental relaxation (meditation) and a state of serenity and self-gratification.

In combination, the purification of the body and the soul act as quality control and continuous improvement measures for attaining and maintaining the state of awareness of a divine presence to whom believers will return and be accountable for all their deeds. For the whole purification process to be successful, it is important to adhere to principles of balance in Islam and not to take any form of purification of Ramadan to extremes.

“…as your body has a right on you, and your wife has a right on you, and your guest has a right on you…” –The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), Saheeh Al Bukhari, Volume 3, Book 31, Number 196

In summary, without constant monitoring, a believer can be naturally prone to a decrease in levels of God-Consciousness. Every year, Ramadan welcomes us with a clear purpose and intent to purify our bodies and souls in order to revive and strengthen our beliefs and reinforce our piety. In light of entering the Days of Forgiveness, let’s focus this Ramadan on extracting the most value from its fasting and worship. Let’s align our actions to the purpose for which they were prescribed. Let’s attain piety as commanded by the Almighty and let’s do so through the purifying ourselves in the dimensions of body and soul in balance.

“Verily for (those who attain piety) there is an achievement (success or paradise)” -The Holy Quran [78:31]

Netiquette & Handling Unprofessional Emails in the Workplace

Fatma AlKhaja (@fay_alkhaja)

Column: Observing the World, previous column: Too Blunt for Words
Fatma (Fay), Emirati girl, with an experience in Corporate Communications and CSR. She is passionate about anything that is traditional and Emirati. In her free time she loves to watch Japanese anime, read manga, and play videogames. Spas are not the only thing that relaxes her, but cooking as well.
Fay’s columns observe work-life experiences and balance. A lot of her articles are based on first-hand personal experiences and issues she has seen or been part of. She loves to observe her surroundings, and watch how people handle different situations they’ve been put in.Also, she is trying to balance the art of staying positive at work and helping her peers understand that not everything should be a problem. With her writings she hopes to make a difference and make people more observant of the little problems in life, or work that hasn’t escalated to a catastrophe. It’s the little things that matters.

Latest posts by Fatma AlKhaja (@fay_alkhaja) (see all)

Illustration by SYAAC

I came to a point in my career where I am still dumbfounded by the level of unprofessionalism that I witness in the workplace. I’m talking about email etiquette. Do I feel this way because I was brought up and always taught to be professional during my school/work years? Or is it because I really still hope to see the best out of everyone that I meet? Even after all these years, I still read emails that are just plain rude and it astonishes me to see some colleagues write such items while they are at a high rank at the company.

Let’s forget about being surprised for now. My article focuses on how we should deal with such antics. In the beginning, when faced with such extremes, I learned that ignorance is the best policy. However, as the days went by and my experience grew I grasped that there are some things that you cannot allow to happen and there is always room to improve things.

If you decide to ignore an individual who’s being rude to you (via email), choosing to do so would mean to them that it is your way of acceptance and that you’re all right with their behavior. The more you ignore, the more frequently it will happen.

I am sure that during our work lives, we have all been at least once been at the receiving end of a rude email(s). However, does receiving such emails classify it as rude and unprofessional? Let me introduce you to a new concept called ‘Netiquette’. This means etiquette in technology which is the conduct that is socially acceptable in an online or digital situation.”[1]

So how do you determine if the sender is following proper netiquette or not? Before throwing a tantrum and shouting that someone was impolite to you, the thing you need to do is understand what the sender is trying to tell you. Tone and words can easily be misinterpreted in an email. Therefore, below are some signs[2] that will help you to determine if you have the right to be offended or not:

  • The email is written in all capitals (shouting) – keep in mind that still this could be a simple typo where the keys were hit by error
  • The email does not include hello, please, thank you or closing name
  • The emails refers to you unkindly
  • A rude email may have a lot of exclamation marks or question marks in it. However, this can also be a sign of emphasis so don’t use this alone as an indicator

However, even if the email was proven to be offensive, you still may want to consider the following:

  • Read the email carefully before making up your mind/or have someone else read it
  • Avoid assuming that you know the sender’s emotional state
  • Never reply back when you’re angry
  • Speak to the sender and understand his/her intent
  • It’s okay to not reply sometimes
  • Never counter-attack, be the better person

If things get out of hand, remember that you are part of an organization and the Human Resources or a grievance committee can assist you. Always be a better person and don’t let a trifle thing offend you.

Repenting: The Easy Way Out

Reem Abdalla (@Reem096)

Reem, a 24 years old Emirati female who will stand up for any cause she believes in and is curious by nature. She believes in connecting the dots and coloring the world with her magic markers. As a marketer, she likes to sell her ideas. As a female, she tends to listen and support. As a UAE National, she stands by her country and religion.
Reem aims through her quarterly column to explore issues in society and discuss emerging new trends. Listen to other people’s thought and view their perspectives about the subject. Then raise questions and form unbiased conclusions about it.

Latest posts by Reem Abdalla (@Reem096) (see all)

Illustration by Fatma AlHashemi (@F_Fotography)

A week before Ramadan approached us, a friend informed me about the closing parties some restaurants and clubs are hosting to send off the season before Ramadan begins. Thus, some people misunderstood this as a ‘last chance, more partying week’ to get consumed in drinking and other things; but, it is fine as these will be repented during the holy month of Ramadan. Well, I guess for most people Ramadan is the month to repent their sins of the year before.

Unfortunately, many of these ‘last minute party-goers’ are Muslims who will pray for forgiveness during this holy month. The sad truth is right after Ramadan is over the parties are louder than ever to make up for the “lost” time. The first day of Eid Al Fitr is greeted by concerts, parties and other opportunities to undo that forgiveness they prayed for. Aren’t they contradicting themselves?

According to Prophet Mohammed (SAAWS) who said:

“If anyone drinks wine Allah will not accept prayer from him for forty days, but if he repents Allah will forgive him. If he repeats the offence, Allah will not accept prayer from him for forty days, but if he repents again Allah will forgive him. If he again repeats the offence Allah will not accept prayer from him for forty days, but if he repents Allah will forgive him. If he repeats it a fourth time Allah will not accept prayer from him for forty days, and if he repents Allah will not forgive him, but will give him to drink of the river of the fluid flowing from the inhabitants of Hell.”

Why do people think Ramadan is the only month they can do good deeds? The only month where they can repent in? Suddenly, everyone becomes a religious scholar, preacher and advisor in religious matters during this month.

What we are supposed do in this holy month is feel grounded and escape away from all the materialism found in the world around us. In this month, a person should feel the pain and hunger of the less fortunate people and live a simple life.

A person should take this time to renew his faith in his creator, the world and the people around him. During this month, we should heal our spiritual beliefs and find equilibrium in ourselves. We take the time to meditate, read Quran and try not to gossip or hurt anyone around us with our harsh words. This month should not be seen for Muslims only. The purpose of this month is for us to better ourselves and the quality of our lives. This month is designed for people to learn piety and add to the righteousness of their deeds.

Another misconception is, people assume they can gossip or verbally abuse people and be forgiven when they repent by praying five times a day. These are not the teachings of Islam or any religion for that matter. Religions teach people to be modest and learn how to forgive the people around them.

As narrated by Abu Huraira: The Messenger of Allah (SAAWS) said:

“Whoever fasts during Ramadan out of sincere faith and hoping to attain Allah’s rewards, then all his past sins will be forgiven.” (Imam Bukhari) 

When repenting, it should be out of sincerity where we vow to try not to repeat these sins again. Only then will we be forgiven. However, some think this an easy matter where they can sin every time and then ask for forgiveness.

We have one month to try to make better people out of ourselves. Let’s take the time to spend it with our family, heal our spiritual faith and see the good in the people around us. In this month let us repent for our sins and try not to make the same mistakes again. But remember, Ramadan is not the only month a person can improve himself; we do have eleven more months in the year. What we learn during this month should be our guide for the years to come.