Taqdeer Life Journal (Review)
Created by Samia Quddus – the Taqdeer Islamic Gratitude Journal describes itself as a simple life journal which cultivates happiness through the remembrance of Allah.
Prior to using this journal, my only experience of ‘Islamic’ journaling has been during Ramadan, a time where journals are all the rage. Needless to say, I was looking forward to the opportunity to trial out a journal which complements my day-to-day life as a Muslim throughout the year.
No fancy prints. No bright colours. With a sleek black design, I was drawn by its simplicity. Fun fact: there is actually a deeper meaning behind the simple fabric cover! It comes with a beautiful postcard inside by Rahima Begum – Taqdeer promotes London based artists who symbolise the theme of spiritual gratitude within their work.
The core purpose of the journal is to simply appreciate what you already have. In order to do this, we ultimately must first recognise all the blessings Allah has bestowed upon us. Once you are able to do this consistently on a daily basis you inherently become more grateful for what you have,which in turn builds a happier you!
You may wonder… Why specifically journaling? Research has shown that documenting your thoughts and feelings, helps develop a greater sense of appreciation. The concept behind the journal is underpinned by psychotherapeutic principles – serving as an assurance that what you are about to start will change your life for the better.
How do you use it?
You’re initially taken on a journey before you even reach the core of the journal. Taqdeer manages expectations by discussing specifically the importance of niyyah (intention) and the aims of the journal.
Whilst it comprises over 400 pages, the journal itself is pretty low maintenance – it asks for only 5 minutes of your time at the beginning and end of each day. The same 5 minutes you may spend browsing Instagram, Facebook or TikTok.
Unlike other journals where you’re given a blank piece of paper to write thoughts on – the Taqdeer life journal probes you by asking specific questions about your focus for the day, your feelings and what you appreciate about yourself. When making a journal entry for the evening, it encourages you to speak of your highs and to radiate your positivity by encouraging acts of good.
Alongside all this, Taqdeer compiles a list of daily adhkar and a range of quotes throughout the journal to inspire positivity.
But it doesn’t end there! Taqdeer has specific activities which focus on aiding others. And a self-evaluation post-journaling to check if Taqdeer served its purpose.
Reflections and Self-Development
The journal encourages regular reflections to highlight all the good in our lives. There are numerous blessings we take for granted and in hindsight only appreciate them once we come close to losing them. Taqdeer allows you to reflect on Allah’s blessings and to use them to remember Him whilst letting go of any negativity we may have surrounding ourselves.
Whilst continuing to use the journal, you begin to influence your own positive experiences – choosing to focus on the positives and becoming content with what you have. So what happens if there are only a few positives? You start to make your own.
By identifying destructive patterns in thoughts and stopping them in their tracks you break out of any toxic cycles you create for yourself – even those you were unaware of.
Arguably the best thing about this journal is that it keeps you in check. Too often our intentions waver and it becomes difficult to consciously remind ourselves of our purpose in life and the meaning behind everything we do. By persistently monitoring ourselves Taqdeer forces you to become self-aware, recognising when you are losing focus and going off track.
It was narrated that ‘Umar bin Al-Khattab, may Allah be pleased with him, said that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said:
“Actions are but by intentions, and each man will have but that which he intended.”[Sunan An-Nasai]
Essentially the journal is what you make of it. The specificity of the journal however is what makes it different to others as it demands actions and results. By consistently channeling positive thoughts and identifying your blessings, you are setting yourself up to become a positive individual. The personal growth achieved could then be used to benefit others.
By building on the islamic concept of shukr (being thankful) along with scientific research – Taqdeer proves to be a credible journal – fit for purpose!
How often do you sit down and genuinely appreciate all you have in your life?
How much time do we spend dwelling on them?
How are we focusing on things we may not be able to change, yet overlooking all the good we have?
This journal is a great step in the right direction to break out the cycles we create for ourselves.
My overall ratings:
Effort level: 4/5
Islam inspired: 5/5
Learn more about Taqdeer Journal at https://www.taqdeer.life/