Report date
January 2020
Learning Log

How has your understanding of your own leadership changed through the Fellowship to date? How has focusing on your own leadership changed the way you lead in your work? How do you now view the role of self-care in sustaining your ability to lead?
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{Please see the last part for the journal for answers to above questions.}

The first part of this month was very challenging and stressful with finals, final papers, and projects. The last two weeks have been a little relaxing, as my school is in J-Term, and my winter/spring classes do not begin until February 1st.
I completed Intermediate Arabic 2A, Quran: Composition, History and Teachings, and Leadership & Spirituality.
I wrote a paper (almost 50 pages), God willing, to be a book someday after the fellowship, on Introduction to Quran for Christians. I shared with a couple of dozen friends of different faiths, and it was very well received. Now, I need to set a schedule to write and explore ways to get the book published.
I am feeling more comfortable with Arabic, reading, and listening, but speaking still a bit of challenge.
The books for the Leadership & Spirituality class were very informative:
- Emotional Intelligence for Leaders
- Act like a Leader and think like a leader
- Objectives of Shari’ah
- Shari’ah Law an introduction
- Advice for Kings (a classic book by M. Ghazali)

During the break, I re-read another classic book by Dale Carnegie, How to Win Friends and Influence People. This book is full of pearls of wisdom and worth reading every 5-7 years.
While on break from school, I am trying to meet with mentor and coaches and to enforce the other seven areas that my leadership coach emphasized on: Faith, Family, Finance, Fitness, Friends, Fun, and Future.
I spent ample time with family, attended a T-Wolves game, spent a day at MOA, and watched a couple of movies with them.
I bought a Fitbit and been doing 10K+ steps 5 out of 7 days, except for a week in December, which I was down with flu. I am surprised to find out how inactive I could be if I don’t proactively exercise – 3000 steps.
I have started a new routine of meditating while walking on the treadmill every morning for 20 min.
Still doing 4-5 sermons monthly, but training younger leaders to take over. Also, my term at the mosque board is up (3 consecutive elected terms, ten years). I nominated four new board members, and 3 of 4 were elected. I spent some time to orient them on the procedure.
I also spent most of the last weekend with an imam candidate for our mosque. He is one of my classmates at Bayan-CTS and, I believe, a perfect candidate. I hope his employment works out here.
I was invited to join the board of a very successful charitable organization, which I declined due to my commitment to schoolwork.
I have been working on our new non-profit, Nousury Microloans, which aims to provide no-interest microloans to working individuals. Noursury is now registered with the State of MN as a non-profit.
I have been offered to do a full-day conference on bioethics for one of the local hospitals, which I am very excited about.
I am looking forward to my Spring classes, with a week of intensive in March.
I am also slightly anxious about finding funding for the last year of the M. Div. program. The M. Div. program will open opportunities for chaplaincy, teachings, and much more.
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How has your understanding of your own leadership changed through the Fellowship to date?
I believe I am less anxious, less stressed, more confident, more hopeful, and less worried. I have been more comfortable with saying “no.”
I feel I have learned a great deal over the last year and a half. I have learned that the world will go on even if I am not around, so I don’t need to overstress and hurt myself (physically or psychologically). This message was further driven home when I had two close friends in a similar age group who died of heart attacks.
I have learned to take a few deep breaths, and “move up on the balcony” to get a broader picture of the situation. Thus, self-care, exercise (fitness), sleep, meditation (faith), family, fun, future, finance, & friends are essential in the long-term sustainability of a leader. These make up the base for the leaders, and leaders with a strong base (core of support), can go further and faster, without being incapacitated with challenges, trials, tribulations, setbacks or failures.
I have read more than I could have imagined and written more than I could have imagined. I have been inspired to write not one book, but 3-4 now.
The books which I have read and the people that I have met have provided me with a massive treasure of wisdom and experience to learn from and implement. With the classes which I have taken, I am feeling more confident and competent. I feel like I see the world with my own eyes rather than hearing someone else’s narrative.