Click here to read the original 7 People who Inspire me list.
When I wrote the first list of 7 People who Inspire me approximately 6 months ago, I didn’t plan on writing a Part 2 but because I had to go through all of my old blog posts for the rebranding, the first list seemed like it had been written by a completely different person. With everything happening in the world and in my life (from graduating to A-Levels to juggling responsibilities during quarantines), I’ve grown tremendously again.
Previously, I thought growing up would just happen in one go but I’ve realised that I am constantly growing and even if I’ve become a new person from who I was 6 months ago, the same will happen 6 months from now.
Now that I’m thinking about it, it’s pretty cool because I’m starting to understand and respect myself more as a constantly growing individual. You know how it’s fun to get to know new people and discover new places? That’s how it is for me with myself- once you start looking at yourself more positively, you realise that life really is a journey and the discovery starts from within; everyday, you are slightly different from the person you were yesterday and it’s amazing getting to know who you are and the individual you’re turning out to be. Hence, I thought it’d be fun to write a Part 2 from the perspective of the person I am at this point in time.
The following aren’t in any specific order but I put my Great-Grandmother at the top on purpose.
In the past year, my great-grandmother’s health deteriorated a lot and my family and I often found ourselves travelling from our city to her’s, which is a 4-5 hour drive, to be there for and with her. Whenever we’d go, it’d be a very spontaneous decision based on her health- sometimes it’d even be overnight. I’ve never known my Great-Grandmother to complain ever, she’s always been this strong personality for everyone, which I find inspiring because she’s the reason why any of us (my family members) are where we are. She’s sweet, loving, funny, and just the most amazing woman I’ve ever met, and I’ve learnt to cherish her even more since she’s been going through this cycle of being unwell and recovering.
Dr. Muhammad Iqbal
During one of my law classes, my teacher mentioned a verse from Allama Iqbal’s poetry, and it literally shook me. I mean, while everyone moved on and continued studying, I was sitting in my seat, repeating the lines in my head and trying to familiarise myself with the words because they were beautiful- of course, I quickly wrote them down. (Click here to see the meaning)
بجھی عشق کی آگ، اندھیر ہے
مسلماں نہیں، راکھ کا ڈھیر ہےAllama Iqbal, ساقی نامہ
Widely known as Allama Iqbal, Muhammad Iqbal was a prominent Muslim poet (still is), philosopher, politician, lawyer and scholar of British India (now, Pakistan), and his poetry (in Urdu and Persian) was (and is) amongst the finest of the modern era. Allama Iqbal envisioned an independent homeland for the Muslims suffering in India and prioritised the spiritual development of the society, inspired by various philosophers, such as Nietzsche and Rumi. He wanted to remind Muslims of their Islamic duties as their deviation showed in their societal practices, sectarian divisions etc.
Former Prime Minister of Pakistan (1988-1990, 1993-1996), Benazir Bhutto was the first elected woman to govern a Muslim-majority country, who was assassinated in 2007 in the city her father was hung in.
As a Muslim woman, I have great respect for (the first) wife of the Prophet of Islam (PBUH) because she was a working woman.Benazir Bhutto
Being a Pakistani, I knew who she was and her general story but as I was scrolling through Instagram, I came across a newspaper (read it below), and it gave me an insight into Benazir Bhutto’s life. The way she talked about being a former Prime Minister, handling work with her family, and the issues women deal with in a conservative society, softened my heart for her because she really paved the way for Pakistani women to seek success in their own country- which is still a work in-progress, but at an advanced level as compared to previous times.
Mawlana Jalal-ud-Din Rumi
A 13th-century Persian poet, Muslim scholar, and Sufi mystic from Iran, Rumi and his work have always been appreciated by various divisions around the world- from Greeks to the Indian sub-continent. His work has been translated and applauded in numerous places, even in the United States.
Related: Sufi Kalaam I Adore
Growing up, I had heard of the name ‘Rumi’ but never really had any dots in my head to connect him or his work to, but that changed when I read ‘The 40 Rules of Love’ by Elif Shafak. Though her work is fictitious to an extent, the relationship of the characters in the novel greatly influenced me. I began researching his poetry and going through various interpretations and analyses of his work, and honestly, all I can say is wow. Here’s a quote I’ve recently come across (I couldn’t possibly choose from all his work I’ve read).
You are not a drop in the ocean. You are the entire ocean in one drop.Rumi
Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Also known as the Notorious RBG, Ruth Bader Ginsburg was appointed as an associate-Justice of the United State’s Supreme Court. She was infamous for her dissenting notes and strict judgements, which were grounded in the basic elements of equity. I found out about her a month-and-a-half ago (I believe) through my law teacher (yes, the one mentioned previously), and after watching her documentary on Netflix (RBG), I was in awe. This woman spent her life fighting for justice, starting as a law student at Harvard, who strove to give women the position (rights) they have in the United States today- as claimed by many.
Why are you at Harvard Law School, taking the place of a man?The Dean of Harvard (He invited all 9 female students, including Ginsburg, from his class to his home for a dinner and asked the question above), 1956 (not enough resources to confirm the year mentioned)
She passed away in September 2020. Read more about her here.
I’ve grown up listening to every mainstream Taylor Swift song ever– from Shake it Off to Blank Space. I was never a ‘Swiftie’ though, because I was more obsessed with becoming a vampire. However, ever since I watched Ms Americana (on Netflix), I found myself listening to Reputation and Lover (her albums), and seriously, her songs are amazing- even more so, once I started understanding the emotions and meaning behind every word. When Folklore came out, that was the last straw- guess who just became a Swiftie? Moi. Gosh, that album is pure art and magic- there’s no other word to describe it. Taylor’s use of language and wording is just beautiful and the meaning behind each song is just unbelievable. I love how Taylor’s using her platform in a positive manner by trying to educate people, as opposed to when she didn’t take political (and other) stands to avoid conflict. Taylor Swift has grown a lot and the fact that we can see/hear this through her own words really leaves an inspiring impact.
Related: 15 Controversial Opinions of Mine
From spreading knowledge about why voting is important to openly talking about her fight against mental and physical illnesses to make discussions like those a norm, Selena Gomez has been using her platform for a number of inspiring reasons, making her a popular influencer now more than ever. This is why she’s in both, my first list and this one. Selena’s made it clear, especially through her latest album (Rare), that women are strong and they can depend on themselves too, and honestly, I just love her.
You are not defined by a photo, a like, or a comment.Selena Gomez, Rare Beauty.