Mashwara (مشورة), is a bi-monthly post by certified & licensed Mental Health Counselor Anisa Diab. The word Mashwara which in Arabic means counsel or advice captures the intention of this new endeavor.

InshAllah this bi-monthly posts will be a vehicle for offering some counsel, support and actionable tools for starting conversations about important topics in our masjids, homes, schools or places of business.


Ramadan is the perfect time to review New Year’s resolutions since we are already half way through the year! What goals did you set at the beginning of the year for your mental, spiritual, physical, well-being? What goals did you set in terms of your relationship with your spouse as well as family/friends? And what about your goals for your professional development and career? Perhaps you have never taken the time to write down your goals and develop strategies to implement them. If not, don’t worry as it’s never too late and Ramadan is the perfect time to set an intention of change that will last throughout the entire year inshallah.

Here are some tips to getting started:

  1. Reframe your mindset. Oftentimes, Muslims visualize ibadat (worship)as prayer and supplication with specific rituals; however, any halal act can be considered an act of worship when it is done to become closer to Allah. For instance, exercising for overall health is an act of gratitude and worship towards Allah for entrusting one with a healthy body. Working to earn a halal income for one’s family is also considered worship.  
  2. Think positive. If you believe that a certain goal is unattainable, you will be unable to sustain change. Harbor thoughts that will only move you towards your goals. This reminds me of the quote: “The mind is a garden. Your thoughts are seeds. You can plant flowers or you can plant weeds.”
  3. Tell family and friends what your goals are and ask them to check-in with your goals to help keep you accountable.
  4. Record your goals. Goal-setting requires planning to be successful. Spend a few minutes each morning reviewing what you want to accomplish for today. The night before take the time to email yourself a list of at least 3 high priority items you want to accomplish the next day.
  5. Work hard AND play hard! Incorporate activities into your schedule that allow you to relax and enjoy your week. Being productive does not always mean crossing off tasks on one’s to-do list. Being productive can also mean taking the time to meditate or play with your children.
  6. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t stick to your plans. Make the intention to be mindful of what needs to be accomplished and if you fail keep STRIVING. Allah swt mentions the importance of striving on numerous occasions in the Holy Quran. Muslims are not expected to be perfect, but to STRIVE towards perfection and self-development. “And those who strive in Our (cause)- We will certainly guide them to our Paths: For verily Allah is with those who do right.” Surah Al-Ankabut, 69

For more information on goal setting check out the following link here.

anisa-diabAnisa Diab received her B.A. in Psychology with a minor in Spanish from Salisbury University and her M.S. in Community Counseling from the University of Scranton. Diab is a Licensed Professional Counselor, National Certified Counselor, and Distanced Certified Counselor in good standing. Most recently, Anisa Diab worked as Coordinator for the STAND4YOU suicide prevention program at Salisbury University’s Counseling Center. She also served for 2 years as a Board Member for the Jesse Klump Memorial Fund for suicide prevention. Anisa is currently working as a public speaker providing outreach to religious centers, universities, and youth groups on topics ranging from understanding Islamic teachings to mental health related issues such as suicide prevention and mental wellness. She also works as a crisis intervention specialist at Contact Community Services responding to suicidal callers and those in psychological distress.

Anisa Diab can be reached via email at: anisa.diab@gmail.com