.بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

There would appear to be something… intrinsically fulfilling about pistachio nuts. It seems like a sufficient Suhoor, actually: maybe, some milk. Some fruit. And maybe a handful, and maybe some more, of pistachios.

My beautiful friend Jade pointed out that perhaps pistachios are so satisfying because… you have to work for them. Open them up, and only then do you get to eat them.

Jade found and accepted Islam last year. Maa Shaa Allah, Allah hummabārik, she prays, fasts, goes to Islamic events… How much can be learnt, in a year. The potential of whom and how we can be.

We really do taste the sweetness (or, the roasted saltiness, when it comes to pistachios, at least) of things when… we have had to work for them.

It’s the sip of sweet water at the end of many hours of fasting. It’s human nature, unavoidable: to toil, and to try. We also get our little breakthroughs.

This is my friend Kimberley’s first year of fasting, Maa Shaa Allah. I don’t think her family fasts, but they try to align their dinner times with her Ifthārs.

To work for things on our own terms: as small-seeming as a pistachio might seem… They are so fulfilling. Like a personal victory in a shell; high in flavour, and in healthy fats and antioxidants.

When it comes to the things we care about: our faith, our friends, self-development… a seeming ‘small’ step could, in truth, be weighty. Significant.

Then, there’s Zena. She has been Muslim for roughly a year too, I think. This woman is something else, Maa Shaa Allah, Allah hummabārik. I can only aspire to be more like these women.

  • You take one step towards Allah: He comes to you, His creation, with speed.
  • You courageously stop fearing standing alone. He will bless you with people to stand with. Wait for them, and see.
  • Do the right thing, even if it’s a hard thing to do, in the moment. Know that things better, nobler, lovelier, greater, your way do come.

You go through the days of hardship, strife, uncertainty. You’re only walking through, uncovering, something quite distinctively beautiful. Have faith.

No fear, even when there is, within you, something of fear.

Fire: it’s Ibrahim (AS)’s incredible trust in his Lord. And Allah returned him with more. And more and more: look at how many people encircle the Ka’bah today.

It’s Moosa (AS), and the entire sea making way for him, by its Lord’s leave.

It’s Maryam (AS), and the talking baby that exonerated her from that experience of shame, societal dishonour. Her son is none other than Isa (AS), and there is an entire chapter in the Qur’an that is named after her.

That kind of cliché statement, I think: nothing worth having comes ‘easy’. Your Creator is the Most Loving.

Whatever you might find yourself experiencing, doing, going through: trust that there is Khayr in it. You’ll be more than okay, In Shaa Allah.

[I love pistachios.

My nan seems to love them too.

My dad is allergic to them, apparently, but still likes to have them while travelling. And:

My little cousin Eiliyah, whom I have only met once, but whom I love (what a gift from Allah to the universe this little girl is, Allah hummabārik) seems to really like them too.

Good things that we find we have to work for, I guess.]

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