.بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
“If the roots are deep enough, then there is no need to fear the wind.”
That’s something that I read on a couple of water bottles today (i.e. along the lines of. I’m not sure if I’ve recorded it exactly how it’s written on the water bottles).
The idea: I like it.
I assume the bottles belong, respectively, to the husband and wife whose home I had visited.
- If the roots are good, and strong, and deep: know that there will be ‘setbacks’, and problems and winds.
When things are so deeply embedded into us: into our hearts. The cores of our beings. How could only a gust of wind or two threaten to sweep it all away?
- And so, I think about the loves of my life. My Creator and my religion. A handful of people I so love, AlHamduli Llah : gifts from Allah . And: some things I love, and have loved. Even if I don’t think about them ‘for a while’: they just… keep popping up! Because they’re embedded in my heart. The roots, we can say, are strong, AlHamduli Llah
- ‘Love’ in Arabic also shares a derivative root with one of the words for ‘seed’! حب. As we grow, so too does love, no?
- What — and whom — do you love? What sorts of winds have tested your love for these things and people? How deep — and strong — have those roots proven to be?
Today, I write about the time, recently, when I’d seen a relative of mine standing in Salaah. I don’t know why it was touching to see him pray. Just: ‘by himself’, on the human level.
I don’t know how old he is, now. Maybe: fourteen? [It’s strange how… boys are. They’re so small and chubby-cheeked and then, suddenly… what trees do sometimes, I guess. They grow so fast!]
This relative of mine is a very clever young man, Maa Shaa Allah , Allah hummabārik. He likes his science, I think. Maybe that’s part of what’s quite awesome about him maintaining his Salaah. He’s very smart, Allah hummabārik, and he’s young.
He stands humbly in prayer before the Greatest , the Lord of everything.
- Part-and-parcel of true intelligence are: the virtues of honesty. And humbleness. And kindness.
In some minds, something of a ‘dichotomy’ is sought to be forged. Between ‘science‘ and then: ‘faith‘.
I’ve heard things of this sort: the idea, for example, that ‘clever’ people should not be ‘religious’. Some people are under the impression that all there is… is material. That faith in Allah is ‘irrational’. That faith in one’s own self, in one’s own eyes and mind: is ‘the way to go’. But: it isn’t.
“Most certainly, man exceeds all bounds.
For he believes himself to be self-sufficient.
Surely, to your Lord is the return.”
— Qur’an, 96:6-8.
Somebody on a neighbourhood app had posted about a particular homeless brother in London. How… he’d been sleeping. But, suddenly: he jumped up.
He went to do Tayammum on a tree [Tayammum: an alternative method (other than Wudhu) of physical purification. Using clean, dry earth in order to clean one’s face and hands.]
And then: he’d prayed his Salaah. At night.
Allah Provides a way out for those who rely upon Him , and carry out their religious duties.
And if the roots are strong: irrespective of circumstance, the losses, the wins, of life… Has he/she not succeeded, who remembers his/her Creator often?
I also read, maybe at some point in the last year, about a boy who’d been attending a state school here in the UK. And I think he’d been doing Salaah with his friends, outside or something. And a teacher had told them that they can’t ‘do that here’. Even forcefully tried to move the boy.
But the boy stood still. He’d been in conversation with his Lord, and nothing else quite compares. Why fear the creation, when you can – and should – fear and trust the One who made them, in their entireties?
- If we have real Īmān: come what may, of natural fears, sadnesses, and so on. And: with Allah so close to us, we are… unshakeable.
- Unbreakable. The roots become strengthened, actually, and deepen.
I can’t remember the name of the man whom this (true) story is about, but:
Once, in some place where there are lions: some men, if I’m recalling the story (told by one of my Arabic teachers from this year,) had been praying Salaah.
And then: some lions had arrived on scene. The men fled: all of them, except for one.
Because why should we ever fear even lions, while in Salaah before the Creator of them?
Wilāya. [Guardianship, protection.]
Christians and Jews in general are not Muslims’ ‘enemies’. [Ahem. @ a certain ‘Western thinker’ who said this, and who issued a didactic, ‘paternalistic’, and ultimately condescending video message to ‘Muslims’]. And, also: we don’t need to take Jewish and Christian authorities as ‘protective allies’ for ourselves.
Allah is our Walī, and it’s He whom we need.
[We don’t need you to be our ‘father‘, Dr. _______ ____________. And also: the irony in that video message had been deafening!
As though ‘Muslims’ are a ‘problem’. As though the premise of Zionism isn’t inherently racist and absurdly unjust.
As though it’s ‘you Muslims‘ who need ‘telling’, and not, say: those ‘Christians’ who had supported the violent invasions and reckless bombing of certain Muslim nations.
It’s that age-old, lazy and unjust practice of: caricaturing Muslims. ‘Grouping’, generalising, and presenting Muslims, in their own self-soothing, perhaps even self-aggrandising minds: as being ‘the problem’.]
How absurdly unjust is the notion of Zionism.
Unapologetically, narcissistically, violent and invasive.
Arrogant and entitled.
A settler arriving at somebody else’s home, trampling over their gardens. Saying, ‘If I don’t take this house, somebody else will. So it might as well be me.’
And the Zionists who parade through the streets, saying that ‘Arabs should die’. Chanting, unapologetically, lines of anti-Islamic, anti-Arab hatred.
One settler had said something along the lines that: ‘they’, i.e. ‘the Muslims’, and/or ‘the Arabs’, have ’22 countries. We want this one.’
How… absurd? To put it into perspective, maybe, and to combat the dangers of seeing ‘all Muslims’, or ‘all Arab nations’, as being… one homogenous collection:
Imagine if some Zionist Jews decided to hijack… Italy. And said: it’s in their book. And said: ay. You Christian/White Europeans have France, Sweden, England, Germany… We ‘deserve‘ this one! Give us your houses at once!
[And, if you refuse: you might just be labelled… a ‘t*errorist‘, and/or a ‘Jew-hater‘.]
Through whose eyes?
What is it that drives us to do certain things? To want certain things? To embrace, with open arms, certain things, into our general ways of doing things: into our cultures?
Whom do we find we want to dress like, to speak like? To decorate our homes like?
And what, if anything, do we try to consciously omit? To avoid saying, or talking about?
Do we colour our hair, and try to alter the colours of our eyes? And change our skin, and hope for different facial features? But, wait. Why?
Is it somehow ‘better’ to act against our own souls for the sake of what certain people label as being ‘culture’, being ‘progressive’ and all?
- Whom do we truly admire? And, thus: whom do we find ourselves seeking to emulate?
Are modesty, and humbleness, and honour, and hospitality, not things that we love, things that we falter, as Muslims, when faced with a lack of?
[And… What is the deal with… shamelessness being seen as being the pinnacle of ‘culture’ these days?!]
- Allah has Honoured us supremely with Islam. It is our source of honour and nobility; of goodness, wealth, and happiness.
- And if we seek to exchange this honour somehow: seeking ‘honour’ from other things, things like money, and ‘fame’, and/or being ‘more like’ (what we may perceive of) them, or them, or them: won’t we simply find ourselves… a disgraced people?
People who use pet names.
Terms of endearment. Women who frequently and lovelily use terms of endearment are just: elite, Maa Shaa Allah .
You’ve got your: Sweetie. Sweetheart. Babe. Darling.
Love. My love. Lovely.
Habibtee. Alby [‘my heart’, in Egyptian dialect].
In Bengali: Moinaa [like calling someone ‘little darling’.] Shunaa [‘golden one’].
Footh [like calling someone ‘my beloved child’.]
Oh, wait! Men who use terms of endearment too. ‘Habībī’, and ‘Akhee’ (my brother). And: how Muhammad (SAW) used to refer to some of his beloved Companions using ‘nicknames’. ‘Aiyshah (RA) was ‘Aiysh. Anas ibn Malik (RA) had affectionately been called, ‘Unais’ by Rasulu Llah (SAW).
Awww, love. Between brothers, and friends, and lovers, and between Muslims. Adults being kind to children, and to animals. To strangers, to neighbours and guests and relatives.
Our beautiful Deen. ديننا الجميل.
- What is your favourite ‘term of endearment’ (be it a ‘pet name’ or a ‘nickname’) that somebody has, whether at some point or still, today, referred to you as?
- What are some different pet names that you especially love, maybe from different ethnic cultures/languages? [Feel free to email: firstname.lastname@example.org]
Generally, people enjoy and are partial to different forms of sport, of exercise. Some: like to walk. Hike, even. Jog, run.
Some like: badminton. Football. Basketball. Rugby.
Horse-riding. Boxing. Rowing. Going gym.
Doing workouts at home. And, also:
Cleaning. An art, a sport, and a form of therapy, all wrapped up in one. With real practical and emotional/spiritual benefits too.
I think cleaning — which is actually an essential part of life — we learn quite a lot through it. We can learn something about: humility. Being present. You listen, as you scrub and wash. It’s necessary and ‘mundane’, and also: it’s quite rewarding, AlHamduli Llah .
Not only do you essentially get a free physical workout: it’s also soothing for the mind. You get to see the ‘before’ and ‘after’: the fruits of your own work. I think cleaning also teaches us something about the essence of that great virtue: patience.
You work hard, you toil. It seems as though: always, there is yet another thing to clean. [Now, where was I going with this?]
There are stains and messes to clean up: life happens. Our worlds are not ‘dollhouses’, which ought to — or can ever — stay ‘perfect’, or ‘perfectly intact’. Things break, spill, need to be swept up and cleaned.
So: process of cleaning. Life happens, guests come around, you get busy. Mess is present again. You go to clean again.
- Not to be over-the-top with the ‘philosophy’ here, but: I also think cleaning your home allows you to be more connected within it. And thus: more connected within yourself. The home is such an important place. And, in cleaning — making things more peaceful and pure, and with nice scents and so on — not only may you be nurturing your own body, mind, and soul better (in its ‘nest’, so to speak,) you are likely also be doing a very good thing for your family. I’ve found that goodness just leads to more goodness: we’re pretty interdependent, as beings. So, if you do good within your home, try to promote spatial and emotional and spiritual harmony: of course, better will come back to you, and that is from Allah . I hope all that made sense.
The Life of this World. ٱلْحَيَوٰةُ ٱلدُّنْيَا.
It’s money, it’s rivalry and… it’s showing off, and continual competition. It’s ‘entertainment’, and it’s the attempts at beautification of appearances. [See: Qur’an, (57:20)].
But if we seek to be only ‘biologically’, and materially, ‘alive’, and ‘thriving,’ even. But, what’s the point of that: if we find ourselves to be, spiritually, and truly,
“The example of the one who remembers his Lord (God) in comparison with the one who does not remember his Lord is that of the living and the dead.”
— Prophet Muhammad (SAW), according to Bukhāri.
Repose, and goodness, will not ultimately ever be found in/with material things. Or even in/with people: especially not if Allah isn’t remembered, and worshipped as He ought to be.
You’ve got crea-tion, and you’ve got the Creator. The First and the Last, and the One who Owns everything. Including you and I.
- There are men and women who basically have ‘everything‘ in Dunya terms: high social standing, wealth, gold and pearls, and maybe the world is something like their very own ‘oyster’. But still: they pray to Allah . It’s all from him, and what’s material, also: necessarily ends.
- There are also men and women who, in Dunya terms, have next to nothing. Maybe: a single pair of worn-out shoes. They make their livelihoods. Finding drinkable water, even, may be for them a daily struggle. And: they pray to Allah . True wealth, as we know: it’s contentment of the heart. And our hearts are enriched, and brought back to contentment, through: remembrance.
And if the roots are deep and strong: we really don’t know what may happen tomorrow, or the day after that, or the day after that. You might be healthy one day, and sick the next. Young one day, and old, soon, too.
“The Dunya that you chase and stress over: is always running away from and leaving you. Meanwhile: your Ākhirah is waiting for you, with open arms.”
May our roots be blessed, and strong. May they endure and remain, regardless of the directions in which the winds may blow, and how strongly, how frequently, how fast.
- Maybe it is better to consider ourselves as… dying. Since we are, and will. At some point. Maybe not today, but perhaps tomorrow.
- Every time a day passes: another day of ours is gone.
“So where are you going?”
— Qur’an, (81:26).
- Tomorrow is not promised. And, if it is, then: it won’t be just the same as today. [Inspiration: a blog called Pointless Overthinking. Author: ‘The Philosophical Fighter’.]
Oranges and Sunshine. البرتقال ونور الشمس.
We’re in the middle of a heatwave, here in the UK.
And so, the fans are coming on, the inflatable swimming pools are coming out. Ice-cream, cold drinks. It’s also quite nice to stand in front of a decent freezer, when open, from time to time. I wonder if taking your time walking through the freezer aisles at Tesco might have a similar effect.
We really do come to appreciate and understand many things via contrast. A cold, cold drink on any other day is not quite the ‘same’ as a cold, cold, beautiful, beloved drink on a particularly hot day. Even though, technically, it’s quite the same ‘thing’.
For example: ‘not having’ something, and then ‘having’ it. That can tend to lead to better appreciation, a deeper, stronger acknowledgement of the goodness of a thing’s presence.
Recently, some of my younger cousins, facilitated by my aunt, had a little water fight outside. Garden hose: the car got a wash too [I just realised that… I don’t want my own car, at the moment. But I love the idea of washing somebody else’s car for them. A nice project.].
They had water balloons on hand, also. And my aunt got us cool drinks.
I’d been upstairs, since I had something scheduled, which was almost about to start. And so my aunt and one of my cousins had tried to get me with a water balloon when I’d popped my head out of the window. They didn’t manage to get me. In fact, when my aunt threw, (I would like to take this opportunity to thank my g, gravity,) the water balloon returned back and went Splash! onto the roof of my aunt’s own car.
I quite like that different things happening can open new doors, new opportunities for us.
A heatwave: a water fight. A friend visiting the UK from abroad: a random thing to do or two.
A home that’s become a bit messy, from things happening: a Spring clean, may-haps. Life hack: you can put floor wipes/detergent-infused cloths under your slippers [not fabric ones though!] and use them as ice-skates. [There are real, earthly, things that we’ve gotta do. Why not try and have a bit o’ fun, while doing them?]
A beloved friend graduating from university, Maa Shaa Allah , Allah hummabārik: caaaaaake.
Some sort of occurence: and then, that serving as a push towards some sort of good action, or even a bunch of them.
Today, I’d been standing at the bus stop. And a nice lady had seen me checking my phone. She told me the bus is coming: she has the app on her phone. And we’d spoken briefly, about that app. About a particular bus route potentially being cancelled. That lady just had a very kind heart, Maa Shaa Allah , Allah hummabārik. [Maa Shaa Allah : Allah has Willed it. Allah hummabārik : may Allah bless it/him/her].
“You have a good day,” she’d said, by the end of our little conversation.
And then: on the way back from where I’d been, I’d just been standing at the bus stop over on the other end of my journey route for the day. And a Muslim lady wearing a headscarf and an Abaya had asked me if I knew when the bus might be coming.
She’d also noticed that some money I had on me had been showing, from the bag pocket I’d put it in. Also in said pocket: my phone, my bank card. Not a particularly ‘secure’ location… [Is this another ‘Why am I like this?’ moment? Answer: I’m kinda glad I’m like this, AlHamduli Llah . Makes for some nice moments, some nice stories, sometimes.]
The sister had told me about a time when she’d had her purse stolen from her, at Asda, (supermarket,) I think she’d said. Someone — a man, she reckoned it had been — had been ‘dressed’ as a Muslim woman. Covered with a headscarf. Barged into her. And then she’d discovered that her purse had gone missing.
The sister had asked me if I understand Bengali. I said yes. So we’d spoken in Bengali.
Now, let me tell you about something that was heart-meltingly sweet. At some point while we’d been talking — about this and that — the lady I’d been speaking with offered me some orange segments. She’d been snacking on a little orange — tangerine, clementine, what have you. The important thing is that: it’s orange, therefore orange — and gave me the segments in her hand. She said, have all of it! [How could I say no? I can’t explain how kind this woman just… was, Allah hummabārik].
And: she called me Moinaa. Which means: ‘little darling’, basically, in Bengali.
- Such a sweet ‘little’ love language: sharing your orange with someone. Be they: your child, best friend, your husband/wife, a friend you just made. Awwwwwww.
The Wind. الريح.
So: the winds are blowing, this way, and that. They might feel threatening, something to fear. Alarming, threatening destruction.
But our roots, AlHamduli Llah , are more-than-strong enough. Deep–rooted enough for us to put up this fight, and to survive, and to win and gain as a result of it all. That’s how Allah has Made us, individually. Strong enough, certainly, AlHamduli Llah .
To be alive — as you! Allah Himself, Fashioner of the trees, the sunsets, and the skies, Created, in your inward and outward entirety, you, too — is a very precious thing indeed!
Do not be afraid. Do not be afraid. Do not be afraid: and do not fear.
Do not grieve, nor be sad, nor lose hope: for Indeed, your Lord is Near.
With your feet on the ground, and your heart kept strong and sincere.
Winds are not nearly as sturdy as roots. So do not be scared, nor grieve:
Victory, and the Help of your Lord : stand firm, it’s just around the corner,
it’s almost here!
Trust in Allah . Our Roots: