.بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
So I’d been watching a particular interview, with Pete Davidson, ‘Saturday Night Live’ comedian. That’s a grammatically interesting line. I mean: I’d been watching an interview featuring Pete Davidson, and not… sitting with him and watching an interview. Glad we’ve got that grammatical clarification out of the way.
Pete Davidson is surprisingly open about his personal experiences of mental unwell-ness. It’s a continual struggle for him.
It’s an almost continual struggle for many people; some people don’t really show or talk about it. But Davidson says that he’s open about his personal struggles so as to raise awareness. He knows what it’s like to feel alone, and in deep experiences of pain.
You know, the more I look into it and its seeming magnetising ‘glitter’, the more I realise: wow. This Dunya is really, really going to break our hearts, if we let it. If we don’t fortify ourselves, follow the Light, and… (Yay, rhyme) be the fight.
Some people, on the outside, might stay smiling and laughing the whole day, and might try to find release and relief in drugs and the like. But at the end of the day: we still have these selves to wrestle with.
Excruciating mental health to reckon with.
And if we let ourselves slip into it all: let ourselves think that the ‘remedy’ lies in other than what our Creator has Himself Advised for us… It won’t do. How could any human being know ‘better’ than Allah ?
This particular aspect of the Guidance laid out to us by Allah is something I’ve been thinking about, at least somewhat. Regarding: parents. Filial piety, it’s called: being very obedient to one’s mother and father. It’s a highly important rule and tradition, present wherever there has been Truth.
And: anti-religious companies that strongly seem to be against family values promote the opposite. Even in TV shows ‘for little kids’. That mother and father are ‘wrong’ and ‘silly’, and that disobedience is ‘honourable’, somehow. Goodness might be ‘mocked’, and they might present this as being ‘entertainment’.
A particular trick of Shaytān seems to be that: disobedience, becoming heedless and going astray, is rephrased, ‘reframed‘, as ‘liberation‘.
But the Shari’ah is not a way of chains: it’s the only way to maintain the heart’s spiritual life. In this world, and in the Next one.
.وَقَضَىٰ رَبُّكَ أَلَّا تَعْبُدُوا إِلَّا إِيَّاهُ وَبِالْوَالِدَيْنِ إِحْسَانًا
“Your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him, and be good [excellent, beautiful in conduct] to your parents.“
— Qur’an, (17:23).
In the Bible, also (the Book of Genesis) I’ve noticed numerous parallels between it, and the Final Testament from Allah : the Qur’an. I think, back then, people would refer to their fathers as their ‘lord’, demonstrating that lofty respect to the chiefs of their homes and families. I think in some good Muslim/Middle Eastern cultures, in which honour is still upheld and seen as important: the family will not eat until the patriarch of the family does.
Allah has Given parents the right to utmost respect, kindness, and excellent, beautiful conduct.
Even if doing so feels ‘hard’ at times. I think I’ve learned by now that: no matter what, if you (maybe, ‘wrestle/struggle within yourself’, and then) put the Will and Right of Allah above and before your Nafs, your ego: with and from Him is the reward. Far better than you could ever expect.
I, for one, know that I need to do better by my parents.
Today, I was meant to go and visit my dad in hospital again [He’s currently recovering from a big surgery]. My mum went instead, and I’m staying back at my house, with my little brother.
But before: when I thought I’d be going to the hospital… I wanted to order myself some good food from UberEats. After reading an extract from Genesis yesterday, in which a Biblical figure (Rachel) refers to her father, I think, as her ‘lord’ (not in a ‘polytheistic’ way, but as in: acknowledging his Divinely -given right)…
And: just thinking about the Islamic way, the honourable, traditional way…
I thought I would order my dad some mushroom soup today, and take it for him. I’ve been thinking about how much he does for me. How much he has always done for me, and how much my life would lack, if he were not in it. How: he is human, and all these things I have, and have had. The hard work and the care of my father.
Yesterday, as well, I’d been talking with a relative of mine about how much, essentially, Allah Loves that we go and visit people who are sick. That relative of mine had come down from Kent to visit my dad, and so: according to a particular Hadīth (narration) she’d been blessed by 70,000 angels in doing so, yesterday.
Imagine how much Allah Loves that we love and show respect to and honour our parents, also. That He has mentioned this form of obedience in the Qur’an, emphasising its nobility and significance. And: more than once.
After hearing that I would not be going to the hospital today, I also got a call from the UberEats cyclist. He said that something in the bag – maybe a sauce – had spilled everywhere. I think he’d asked if I still want the food. I said yes.
It had been the mushroom soup that had spilt. All through the paper bag. But everything else had remained intact, even my hot drink there. And so: I sent a picture to UberEats and got, Subhaan Allah , AlHamduli Llah : a complete refund. Within moments of submitting that concern.
To me: this feels like a Message. Because sometimes I worry that I’m really not doing a good job in terms of my religion. And: does Allah still Love and Care about me? [But I’ve done wrong.]
He is Ar-Rahmān and Ash-Shakoor, Al-Ghafoor. The Merciful, Lovingkind. And: the Most Grateful. The Forgiving.
He Returns our ‘small’ intentions and actions with so much. I think: maybe just for considering taking some food for my dad, and who is still in a state of recovery… I got a whole bag of food, costing more than £15, for free. Gift from Allah .
In terms of obedience: we seek to obey Allah .
And His Messenger (صَلَّى ٱللَّٰهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ).
And our parents.
And, if you’re a Muslimah and married, then: your husband.
Your relatives have rights over you, too. Your uncles and aunts, your wife if you’re a man. Even your own self: your body, has a right over you.
One time, last year, when I’d been in full-time employment [never again, In Shaa Allah . I do not think that kind of life is for mey.] I decided I would (try to) ‘treat’ my aunts and uncle, at my nan’s house, with food. We’d ordered some takeaway, and I wanted to pay, this time. But my uncle and aunts had insisted that, no: I can’t pay. I’m younger than them, and their niece. [I never have to pay for things when I’m with them, AlHamduli Llah . Ever.]
Such had been the remarkable Plan of Allah : I did end up paying that time. And then: the wrong order had turned up to our door. Still, relatively similar to what we’d ordered. And, still: food we liked and would enjoy, (more than) enough for everyone. The company said we didn’t have to return the food: we could keep and have it. They’d also given me… a full refund, that time.
[I think I’d later discovered that: feeding people is something else that Allah Loves that we do. The neighbour, our family, our relatives, the poor, the fasting… feeding people!]
Apparently, also, in Islam, the sister of your mother (your maternal auntie, your Khala) has the same right as your mother (according to a Hadīth from Abu Dawud).
As Muslims, we’ve got to respect different people as they should be respected.
… Irrespective, certainly, of whatever certain TV shows or whatever might encourage.
Well, later, I’d picked up my brother. Actually: I ended up arriving at the school a couple of minutes later than usual. So my cousin, whose brother goes to the same school, ended up picking my brother up too.
My little brother and cousin played football in the nearby football pitch for a bit. And sometimes I think I accidentally get a bit invested in their games. It can be entertaining, and some of the things they say…
And then my brother and I had fed the swans and their (growing) babies. Peas and sweetcorn: these are some of the things I’ve discovered that they’re ‘supposed’ to eat, according to wildlife websites and the like.
And then we saw my brother’s friend ر on his bike, and I’d seen his mum earlier too. ل is the type of mum who volunteers to go on school trips. Walking to the school with her: parents and kids alike know her, and seem to really like her, Maa Shaa Allah . She let ر and his little sister ج play at our house for a bit today.
[The kids had been asking Alexa (the AI) some random strange questions, it seemed.
ر took his little sister’s bike without her permission, and she wasn’t happy about that. He wouldn’t give it back. So I took his bike. I’m glad I’m not tall: I cycled around on it comfortably.]
ر and ج’s mum said they could spend 30 minutes at our house. And so ر had been keen to see how much time had been left on the timer.
And ل had also told her kids that they’re going to say a prayer together, tonight, for my dad. I found this really, really sweet.
So. The world, certainly, is a dizzying, dark, and depressing place. Where is the Light?
Sometimes, it is really, really, unspeakably hard.
Where are the Muslims who will be the fight?
There’s some chicken soup in our fridge right now, which my (maternal) aunt had made for my dad. And she’d called me earlier, thinking she needed to drive all the way down in order to pick the boys up from school today. And she said that I can have some of the soup if I’d like, and that we’ll see each other soon, In Shaa Allah .
[Update: that had maybe been the best chicken noodle soup I have ever had, AlHamduli Llah .]
All goodness is from Allah . [Apparently, the word ‘God’ comes from the German word for ‘good’.]
Good food, good people, goodness: it’s all from Allah alone.
مَّآ أَصَابَكَ مِنْ حَسَنَةٍۢ فَمِنَ ٱللَّهِ ۖ وَمَآ أَصَابَكَ مِن سَيِّئَةٍۢ فَمِن نَّفْسِكَ ۚ وَأَرْسَلْنَـٰكَلِلنَّاسِ رَسُولًۭا ۚ وَكَفَىٰ بِٱللَّهِ شَهِيدًۭا
“What comes to you of good is from Allah, but what comes to you of evil, [O man], is from yourself. And We have sent you, [O Muhammad], to the people as a messenger, and sufficient is Allah as Witness.”
— Qur’an, (4:79).