“It’s On Us.”

.بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

“It’s on us[sss].” Emphasis on the ‘s’.

Beep beep beep. “Thank you for shopping at Waitrose.” “You are welcome.”

So, I can be quite an anxious person, at times. I get into my head; I stay at home. I know that I benefit from going outside: sitting among natural things, things that are content, because they are doing Dhikr of their Creator

Things like: the ducks and swans, and water bodies, and trees. Things like: my baby brother. Today, I took him with me.

I put a somewhat ‘old’ Abaya on. One purchased from a Bazār, and my aunt had insisted on buying it for me: Eid gift. I worry that I take things for granted.

Am I grateful enough?

Do I expect things, and people, and myself, to be ‘perfect’ instead?

Today, my brother and I went to Waitrose. Apparently, there’s some sort of ‘hierarchy’ in terms of price ranges, here in the UK:

Waitrose first. Then M&S. Sainsbury’s. Tesco and Morrison’s. Asda. Lidl and Aldi.

I mean, we only shop at Waitrose not because we’re especially wealthy, materially, but because: it’s local and thus convenient. Also: good quality products, generally.

Well, today my brother agreed to come with me because… he wanted to buy a football magazine. He’d been ‘saving up’ for it, apparently.

I wanted to go… buy some salad. To feed the ducks with.

My brother ended up not being able to find his money. So my mum handed him a tenner, saying that he could spend £5 of it on that magazine. And she also wanted for us to get some bread.

So, on the list today: football magazine. Bread. Salad, for ducks.

At Waitrose, we got our stuff. And it seemed like… one of the uniformed workers there had been… following us. Eyeing us, and what we’d been carrying. More than once.

Now: my anxious mind often jumps to the negative, sees that as ‘fact’. Did she think we were… doing something wrong?

No. I think, more often than not: my anxieties get comfortingly disproven, AlHamduli Llah . I’m wrong; sometimes, I so love being wrong.

The lady had a roll of stickers on her. Because of the upcoming four-day Jubilee weekend, I think they’d been doing a special thing. She asked my brother if the magazine in his hands is from here, and, silly me: maybe I’d been ready to get a bit defensive.

She put a sticker on the magazine. It said, ‘It’s On Us’, on it. She explained that she’s happy that we’re gonna have a four-day weekend, Jubilee and all. So all we have to do is take the magazine to be scanned, and: we don’t have to pay for it.

How sweet! [And: not the first time. My brother’s been gifted a football magazine from a Waitrose staff member on a different occasion. For Eid. He’s lucky he’s cute, Allah hummabārik]

My brother is fairly business-minded, also, it would seem: our mum had said that £5 is for him to buy a football magazine with. So: why not go home with two magazines? One, paid for with the £5. And the other: a gift.

Something I love about my little brother is that he makes people smile, Allah hummabārik. Even strangers, ever since he was way smaller.

While walking to the canal to feed some ducks, he started skipping, repeating: “It’s on us,” and then he shouted to the general road that you should go to Waitrose because they’re giving things for free! And he made a woman on the other side of the street beam, and she started laughing.

I love my brother, and what he talks about. Football, kind of often. Today, he’d also picked up a stick, got some algae onto it, started swishing it around.

And when I feel really anxious about things: it’s comforting to know that I’m often wrong. And it’s nice that I have my brother. Even when I’m feeling distinctively sad: this little boy effortlessly makes me laugh out loud.

And aspects of the natural world. And: the local Waitrose.

I don’t have to believe everything that this mind of mine might ‘think’. I love the sticky toffee pudding from Waitrose. I’m often at least a bit anxious, but I think that this means, ultimately, that I care. I love positive surprises from Allah , and: I love that I can make Du’a for and about anything, really.

وَاِذَا سَاَلَـكَ عِبَادِىۡ عَنِّىۡ فَاِنِّىۡ قَرِيۡبٌؕ اُجِيۡبُ دَعۡوَةَ الدَّاعِ اِذَا دَعَانِ فَلۡيَسۡتَجِيۡبُوۡا لِىۡ وَلۡيُؤۡمِنُوۡا بِىۡ لَعَلَّهُمۡ يَرۡشُدُوۡنَ

“And when My servants ask you, [O Muhammad], concerning Me – indeed I am near. I respond to the invocation of the supplicant when he calls upon Me.

So let them respond to Me [by obedience] and believe in Me that they may be [rightly] guided.”

—Qur’an, (2:186).

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