"'If you have a sapling in your hand and the End of Times arrives upon you – continue planting it." This saying, attributed to the Prophet of Islam, is one that inspires me greatly. This statement begs the question, why go to all the effort for a tree that will not bear fruit in that moment when the world is ending? This hadith teaches that no matter what the circumstances may be, or how futile your efforts may seem, it is one's responsibility to continue contributing."
Naz is 38 and is a Client Operations Manager at Alberta Pensions Services. When I asked her what her proudest achievement she told me, “perhaps it’s my ambitious nature or perhaps it’s the influence of my name (Naz is a Farsi word meaning Proud), but I have always felt propelled to make my parents ‘proud’ of me. There are always wins and gains along the way, but it is the relationships that exist in our lives that are the most meaningful. I think I have beautiful and profound relationships in my life with the Divine, with friends, family, and coworkers, and I think that’s ultimately what life comes down to – the relationships you have with others.” When I asked Naz what’s most important to her she told me, “I feel quite passionately about improving relations between Muslims and Judaism & Christianity. The Abrahamic faiths have so much in common, and unfortunately there is so much Islamophobia and Anti-Semitism on both sides as a result of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.” Her necklace pictured actually spells Zohara’ in Hebrew gifted to her by a dear spiritual friend who is an Orthodox Rabbi residing in Israel. Naz commented, “Zohara is equivalent to the Muslim ‘Zahra’ which means brilliant, shining, light. I feel compelled to live up to that namesake now too!”Naz’s biggest hope is that “the global Ummah can once again rise with dignity and hearts filled with serving the Divine and humanity, hope that there can be peace in the Holy Land, hope that oppression and injustice will one day cease in Muslim lands.”
What is your favourite quality about yourself?
“I have a rather disarming nature, people sense that I am genuine and sincere and open up to me quite quickly. It’s a great quality to have for others to connect with you. And isn’t that what being a Muslim is really about? Being harmless to others – the rest is commentary!”