.بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
“As for the sky, He raised it ˹high˺, and set the Balance.“
— Qur’an, (55:7).
Today began, for me, as something of a ‘bad day’. One of those ones: tiredness, mixed with… dread, and sadness. Something like that. I really do believe in the value of rest: there is honour in taking care of oneself. And I watched a few videos on YouTube:
Things like… sweet clips of little babies and their parents/elder siblings. Islamic learning videos, and the like. I came across one by Br Nouman Ali Khan: this one had been about the concept of balance.
That Allah has Created a Universe with laws, and with calculation, precision, balance. And: that the human being has been created in a similar way. Yet: there are parts of us that can seemingly
Burst, explode, sometimes. Like solar flares: explosions occurring on the surface of the sun.
We might find ourselves too sad, one day. Too angry. Too… jumpy, energetic. Too… attached to something, or someone. And the idea is: we try to bring it all back into… calmness. A state of harmony, balance.
You transgress against your own self: you seek forgiveness. You transgress against other people: forgiveness. You feel tired: you rest. Hungry: you eat. Feel down in the depths: remember the concept of balance.
Feel ‘far away from yourself’: you’ll come back home. And there will be… a welcoming. All things in good time, and in good balance.
Later that day (i.e. today,) some of my cousins had come around to my house, for Ifthār.
My cousin Dawud has recently returned, with his family, from a trip to Egypt. He (who is currently four years old) seems to have a newfound interest in Ancient Egyptian history. He also likes cars, and documentaries about spiders and octopuses, apparently.
Dawud’s favourite country, now, is, according to him:
Today I also met another cousin of mine: a second-cousin. Her name is Eiliyah, and she is eight years old, Maa Shaa Allah.
I’ve seen her elder sister, Maryam, before: Maryam has really grown up now, Maa Shaa Allah. But Eiliyah: this had been my first time meeting her.
Ten-year-old Maryam likes reading “chapter books”. She also enjoys reading about “war and history“. Her mum says that she has a tendency towards ‘deep thinking’, Maa Shaa Allah. Her favourite sports, she says, are gymnastics, and archery.
And Eiliyah: loves chocolate. And animals. And judo. [She told me about a particular technique that can be used, to bring the other person to the ground]. She is outgoing and energetic, and curious and adventurous… something like a sweet ball of sunshine, self-comfortable (and, in a good way, Maa Shaa Allah, self-assured), and dwelling within her own personal sunny world, it seems, Allah hummabārik. She’s like a colourful smiling balloon up in the air: and forces like she seem quite immune to bursting, don’t they?
Eiliyah loves eating Mishti [Bengali sweets] and cake, and ‘smooshing’ them together. She loves space. “‘Cause there’s so many things we don’t know. And every week, or day, there’s something new to discover about it.”
If Maryam is the moon sister out of the two, then Eiliyah is the sun. The balance; each thing having its own place in the universe.
“Wait, you’re my cousin, right?” Eiliyah, who is still at my house, just asked me. “What’s your name?” And, here is an ‘x’ that Dawud has typed on my laptop: x
“I like to go on adventures sometimes, in the garden,” says Eiliyah.
Eiliyah’s favourite colour is mint, and her favourite subject at school is English. We played Scrabble for a short while, in the garden, and I think my brother had put down a ‘false word’. Eiliyah’s response:
“There’s no such word!!!”
Eight: I believe this is the age when I (some thirteen years ago) decided to cut my own hair, one Ramadan night [I wanted a particular hairstyle] and threw the hair out of the window. I got into so much trouble for this…
I think eight had also been the age when I had gone to the Natural History Museum here in London, purchased a compass from the gift shop, with the intention of using it in67y [that ’67y’ is courtesy of Safi the cat (not to be confused with Saif, my human brother) coming and standing on the keyboard] order to determine the Qiblah direction [i.e., the direction of prayer]. I remember crying quite a lot, actually, upon then losing it.
Then: I, personally, was eighteen years old, when I feel like I came back to Deen, and as if for the first time! I came home.
Do you ever find yourself… missing yourself, even though here you are, right here? Those multiple stages of you, at different ages. The core of you.
Still: like the so-very-reliable needle of a compass, and the magnetic pullings of a universe built on the premise of balance:
You’ll be lost, and then found again. Up, and then down, and with forces acting on you, to restore… balance. Far away, at times, and, like metal towards magnet, the pullings of your very soul:
You’ll always find your way back home.
فَإِنَّ مَعَ ٱلۡعُسۡرِ يُسۡرًا
إِنَّ مَعَ ٱلۡعُسۡرِ يُسۡرًا
So, indeed, with hardship [there is] ease.
Indeed, with hardship is ease.
— Qur’an, (94:6—7).