Let’s be real: we all have our vices, and whether or not we’d like to admit, it’s inevitable that we often engage in habits or activities that aren’t so great for our spiritual wellbeing. Whether we’re stuck in a cycle of sin, struggling with performing certain acts of worship, or dealing with personal insecurities and identity issues, we all travel a unique path on our journey towards Allah (swt).

On that journey, there comes a time when we begin to realise which of our behaviours draw us nearer to Allah (swt) and which of them take us further away. Of course, the Quran and the Sunnah of the Prophet (pbuh) teaches us what to avoid and what to strive for, but for the majority of us, unless we experience them for ourselves we won’t truly digest the lessons that we’ve been taught from a young age.

In this episode, we’re joined by TEDx speaker, peak performance specialist and founder of Words Behind a Smile – sister Nilly Naseer-Farooqui – who gets real about her struggles with quitting music, dancing, and other habits that were holding her back from feeling spiritually awake and close to Allah (swt).

(Heads up! We don’t discuss whether or not music is technically ‘halal or haram’ in Islam, but rather the negative impact that it had on Nilly, why she quit, and the positive changes she noticed in her life once she quit.)



  • About Nilly and what she does
  • The story behind @WordsBehindASmile
  • The reason why Nilly gave up listening to music and how this affected her connection with Allah (swt)
  • Other hobbies Nilly gave up that she once loved, and how this affected her life in a positive way
  • The struggles we face in today’s society to stay away from sinful activity, including peer pressure
  • The importance of surrounding yourself with good company
  • What Nilly does when she feels inclined to fall back into old habits
  • The positive domino effect caused by leaving one bad babit
  • Fun rapid fire round of questions!

Key Advice From This Episode

Today’s Ayah of the Day

“… But perhaps you hate a thing and it is good for you; and perhaps you love a thing and it is bad for you. And Allah Knows, while you know not.” [Qur’an – 2:216]

Watch Nilly’s TEDx Talk

Nilly Naseer-Farooqui is a TEDx speaker, computer scientist, Peak Performance speaker, Human Trafficking Prevention Educator, Modest-Fashion Stylist, and a Social Media Influencer. She is currently a Systems Analyst at Northwestern University, along with being a lifestyle blogger whose profile, Words Behind A Smile, caters to an audience of over 10,000 people all across the globe. Mentored by the renowned author, Jack Canfield (author of Chicken Soup for the Soul), she is a Certified Canfield Trainer in teaching his success principles nationwide.

She is also an ambassador and prevention education speaker for Shared Hope International, a non-profit organization dedicated to rescuing and restoring the lives of human trafficking victims.

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