R.You are a spiritual coach. How would you define this position to someone who has encountered a spiritual coach for the first time in their life? In other words, what does the term “spiritual coach” mean?
Z. A spiritual coach is someone who supports people with their spiritual connection to themselves and to God. The focus is on spiritual aspects of whatever is going on in their life for ex. money, relationships, health, career and so on. The focus of my work is on spiritual relationship coaching.
When I meet with a new client and they tell me they want to get married but haven’t met anyone suitable. Instead of finding them a matchmaker or getting them on matrimonial apps, I begin with asking them, “Do you believe you are worthy of a great loving marriage? Do you believe that God wants you to find love? Do you believe you are lovable?” This way, my coaching starts at the level of the individual beliefs.
Spiritual coaches want to uncover this in addition to one’s belief about God. When one’s true desires are uncovered, only then will real progress be made.
Basically, my work as a spiritual coach is to 1) Uncover and identify your beliefs 2) Assess if those beliefs support your goals (they usually do not) and 3) Shift your beliefs to become supportive of your goals. I am supporting you to align your spirituality– internal beliefs with your external desires.
R.What is an “Islamic Devotional?” Tell us about the “60 Islamic Devotionals Card Deck” you created.
Z. A “devotional” is a religious writing that is a short reflection designed to support a personal spiritual connection to God. Devotionals offer someone an opportunity to reflect and consider their faith and their understanding of faith. I created Islamic Devotionals after reading Christian Devotionals and loving the short, powerful way they shifted my mindset towards Allah. The devotionals I write are Islamic in the sense that they reference Islamic terminology and are inspired from the Quran and Hadith, however they can be and are read, and appreciated by anyone of any faith. My Islamic Devotionals are powerful tools I use to shift and maintain my clients in the positive spiritual mindset to connect with Allah and achieve thier goals.
R.On your “Linktree,” you provide many opportunities of guidance for Muslims. You even have a “spiritual transformation program,” “relationship workshop” and “Practical Muslim site.” Tell us more about these incredible services you provide.
Z. My purpose is to support Muslims in deepening their connection to Allah and themselves. All of my work support that goal. I write blog and social media posts offering coaching notes and tips so people can begin to coach themselves into a positive mindset. I write Islamic Devotionals to allow Muslims to hear Allah’s loving and supportive tones. I offer a spiritual transformation program and a relationship coaching program, both of which are 6 weeks of intensive coaching programs to dramatically shift individuals from the focus on this world/duniya to their spirit. My website Practical Muslim provides more resources and coaching options, all of which are designed to support Muslims to know that Allah is guiding and propelling us towards success.
R.Who or what inspires you? How?
Z. I am most inspired by the prophets and the extrodinary courage they had to answer God’s call, to believe and act on the unseen. I’m also inspired by nature when I spend time in nature and reflecting on nature, it serves as a powerful reminder to how ordered and in-tune with God the whole universe is. We are the only creation with the free will to defy Allah and we can see how our actions and choices are causing not only our individual suffering and heartache, but also worldwide destruction through how we treat the planet and each other. I’m also inspired by my husband, James Faghmous, and our journey together. Our relationship and our life have been one of the clearest and biggest signs for me. I stay inspired by witnessing God’s amazing guidance, blessing and love for us.
R.What inspired you to become a spiritual coach? How did it all begin? Share with us your journey.
Z. Growing up Muslim, I learned so much about the rules of Islam and I knew what to do, and what not to do. I imagined my deeds being constantly recorded and felt as though God was judging me for not being a ‘good’ Muslim. Anytime things wouldn’t go the way that I wanted them to or I didn’t see my prayers being answered, I suspected that I was being punished.
Through my own spiritual journey, I realized how wrong and toxic my thinking was. I had learned about the rules of Islam, but I hadn’t learned the heart and sprit of our faith. That Allah loves us regardless of how well we adhere to the rules and that Allah is not petty and judgmental like humans. Allah is above and beyond those small-minded characteristics. Allah is always on our side supporting, guiding and blessing us. We are good and worthy and don’t need to prove ourselves to gain Allah’s mercy. This realization changed my life!
I also have always been described as the friend who helped others see the mistakes in their thinking. I, then, shifted them into a powerful frame of mind. Essentially, I have always been a coach. Now, I’ve fully stepped into my role and am dedicating my energy to creating powerful tools and programs to support Muslims in learning those same lessons.
The reason I’m so passionate about this work is because most people think that they already believe that Allah loves them. However, when I dig into their decisions and behavior, we quickly find that they don’t actually believe that. It starts with asking simple questions like, “Why did you go to medical school when you really love baking? Why are you working at a job you hate? Why do you think you are not married, yet? You can read more about mindset shifting on my blog.
Only then, we can begin the work of planting new, positive beliefs. I love coaching because in supporting others on deepening their connection with Allah, I also support myself in doing the same.
R.How can we follow you and your journey?
Z. You can follow me on instagram: @PracticalMuslim is my coaching account and @zforzahra is my personal account. You can read and follow my blog. You can also subscribe to my periodic newsletter here. And come and check out my website www.practicalmuslim.com.