A Beautiful Patience. [Und some German, und some assistance from Google.]

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Prologue.

Ultimately, we shouldn’t complain nor grumble so much to the people. After all: as much as we have been gifted with certain people in whose embraces we can seek comfort and belonging and understanding…

The One who has Power over all things, including your various multifaceted situations, is Allah . Every single, even subtle, shade of what you have known. What has been said and done. What might worry you, sadden you, and/or ail you.

Day in, day out. All things, at some point, come to an end. AlHamduli Llah . What will relief look like, precisely? And these, in totality: the stories of our lives?


Currently, I guess after watching a particular Smile 2 Jannah video:

I set my little brother and cousin a challenge. Partly in order to get them away from too much tech use today: I’d given them an empty (cardboard) mango box. Told them to make something out of it. They ended up making: a ‘shelf’, over the course of an hour.

I’m yet to go upstairs and see it.


Bullying Behaviours.

Today, I’m thinking about bullying behaviours again. People belittling, abusing others: with words, with fists, with ‘sanctions’ and ‘measures’.

Today, I’d come across a very unfortunate videoclip. Of an elderly woman — picture of innocence — being… kicked in the face.

An elderly Syrian woman. Her name: Leyla Muhammed.

And she’d been badly assaulted by a (presumably) Turkish person, while other people — ‘men’ — had seemingly watched on, having done nothing.

Likely motivation behind the attack, and the by-standing: xenophobia.

Xenophobia: a dislike for/prejudice against people from other countries.

  • Xenophobic sentiment has risen in Turkey, culminating in such things as… an elderly woman being attacked; students experiencing racist abuse at school, which has led to some quitting school altogether, it seems, and to others unfortunately even committing suicide.

How can people behave so… heartlessly?

Considering the significant race factor, in comparison and contrast with those pertaining more to ‘class’ and to religion:

It is nice to know and appreciate that one is, say, Turkish, or Indian, or Sudanese, and so forth.

What is not okay, as we know, is: allowing for this — a God -given thing, an aspect of unique identity — to be a reason for one to behave with Takabbur [arrogance. Rejecting the Truth; ridiculing, scorning, belittling people.]

Have some Turks — assuming that many Turks are indeed Muslim — forgotten that Allah Sees?

And that individuals like Leyla Muhammed are not somehow ‘less human’, ‘less valuable’, on account of a difference such as… ‘ethnicity’.


Bullies. Narcissists. Driven by… not solely ‘hatred of others’, but also by: too much self-regard, it seems. Ego.

Whether on: racial grounds. Or on: more ‘economic’ ones. Character/personality-based ones, even. And/or otherwise.

An inflated ego — too much ‘Pride’ — is a very dangerous thing indeed. As Muslims, we know: that even harbouring a tiny, tiny amount of arrogance in our hearts. Could be the reason behind the denial of our entry into Jannah.

  • We have no reason to feel so ‘high and mighty’.

And so: individuals who want to feel ‘great’ in that way. Often resort to electing victims that they have deemed less ‘strong’ in some sort of way. And using them as tools/means to magnify their own egos, their feelings of ‘greatness’ and entitlement.

Whether this be: some vulnerable group in society. Those who are monetarily less well-off. The elderly. A racial minority in a region.

The ‘smaller’ they can make seem these individuals, on account of certain isolated differences, unique features, and so forth. The ‘bigger’ these individuals — with pathetic inclinations, no less — can feel, within themselves, by contrast.

True security — in one’s ethnic background, in one’s economic status and so forth — does not ever necessitate ‘blaming’ and scapegoating and caricaturing and… kicking… any member of any ‘contrasting’ group.

*And if ‘economy’ is the ‘reason’. Despicable. Money isn’t everything. And if these abusive individuals claim that it’s ‘because’ it requires economic resources to take care of refugees… Don’t they know that it’s Allah who Provides? Who can give everything, and/or take it all away: in the blink of an eye. So: to honour our guests, and fellow man. You’re living on Allah ‘s Earth; not your ‘own’.

“O humanity! Indeed, We created you from a male and a female, and made you into peoples and tribes so that you may ˹get to˺ know one another. Surely the most noble of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous among you. Allah is truly All-Knowing, All-Aware.”

— Qur’an, (49:13).


Chapter 1: Dreams.

Dreams. Such a fascinating thing. You close your eyes: your soul is elsewhere for a while.

Sleep is ‘the brother of death’.

And, when you sleep: you’re transported.

Some: don’t really dream. Some rarely do. Some dreams, as we know: are from Allah . They can be visions; strong indications as to what is to come.

They can be warnings; reminders for you to wake up. Stop being heedless; take this first life of yours seriously.

Some dreams are from Shaytān. Designed, perhaps: only to scare you. And/or to feed illegitimate desires, meaningless whims, within you.

And: some dreams are from yourself. Your own mind; your own subconscious. An amalgamation [amalgamation: another word for ‘mixture’. Call me a ‘word nerd’, if you will…] of your own thoughts. Anxious ones, desirous ones, really just random ones…


Islamic summer school, Week 2 (as a teacher).

Today, the girls filled out some journals — about everything we’ve done as a class so far. They used paint, and glitter. Colours.

Our Islamic studies lesson for today had been on: the story of Yūsuf (AS). Otherwise known as: Prophet Joseph.

[An interesting point: how did Semitic names come to be pronounced with ‘Js’? For example: why is Yūsuf (AS) — whose name in Arabic is likely quite close to his original name — also called ‘Joseph’ these days?

And Ya’qub (AS), ‘Jacob’?

And ‘Isa (AS), Yeshua (AS). Why do some call him ‘Jesus’?

The answer: German. A language in which ‘j’ is basically ‘y’. E.g. Jurgen Klopp. Liverpool’s current manager [as my brother has taught me]. Pronounced: Yurgen Klopp.

Maybe pronouncing these Prophetic, Biblical, names with ‘J’ sounds had become popularised after the publication of the Luther Bible, in the 16th Century, CE.

Similarly: Binyamīn. And: ‘Benjamin’.

*Perhaps this is also why ‘Dawūd’ (AS) is otherwise known as ‘David’. Because Germans sometimes pronounce their Ws as Vs.]

Anyway, here is our main class whiteboard from today’s lesson:

And then the girls had produced some inspired artwork, based on the theme of exhibiting a beautiful patience, as Muslims. That’s a Qur’anic Ayah, actually: from Surah Yūsuf, which we’d listened to the first part of today, in our class.


Next stop: Sainsbury’s (supermarket). Where: I’d purchased some hygiene products. Ain’t nothing like hygiene products (e.g. wipes) to give you a bit of a… legal high. [I am indeed an adult now…]

*If you know me in real life and are ever at a loss as to what to get me as, say an Eid gift. I… wipes.

Wipes?

Wipes.


Being a Traveller.

Something that we know about this Dunya is that: we’re travellers here. And that: to live as a traveller lives. Is a good — the best, and most realistic — way to live!

To carry what’s necessary, and good. Keep moving; have experiences. Try not to look back too much. Don’t get too attached to the world.

*You never quite know just where you’ll get your sustenance from, on a given day, for example.

Don’t quite know whom you’ll see/meet. What you’ll do; ‘plans’ that will end up being diverted. The places you’ll rest in; the mirrors you’ll view yourself in.

You don’t know exactly what you might be equipped with, on a given day. And: what you might be missing. And how those, too: the seeming ‘inadequacies’ and so on — are significant to the… adventure that life can be, too.


I had lunch with a lovely friend today, AlHamduli Llah . Well: more breakfast-and-lunch combined. Brunch.

Salt beef burger, split right in two. One half for me, and the other for she. Und [that’s ‘and’ in German, everybody] some chunky chips. A cold peach tea for me [barista’s recommendation, basically], and an iced coffee for she.

We’d planned this little meal/outing just yesterday, I think. And it was nice, and reassuring, to see and speak to her, AlHamduli Llah . Something we’d spoken about today had been: the value of holding onto our morals, no matter what. And how Allah Himself is the one who Rewards!

My friend had actually paid for this meal, which was really nice of her. Tap went her debit card. And I’ll get her back next time [why does that sound a bit ominous? I literally mean I hope to pay for her meal] In Shaa Allah .


Next: a planned visit to my aunt’s house. Now that I’m older and more in charge of my own social calendar in terms of seeing family and all.

Took the train. Or: well, several. Ended up having to turn around and come back closer to home. Think about whether or not to still go today. Four trains and a bus, in total, today.

And when it had been time to come home: my aunt had sent (my cousin and) me home in an Uber.

At her house, we’d: relaxed. Had a really nice meal, AlHamduli Llah . Spent time with the baby — my baby cousin س.

*My aunt is known to take such care of her nieces/nephews. And of her guests, Maa Shaa Allah . Both being good to relatives, and to one’s guests — is a very important part of being a believer. And maybe some tend to overlook these aspects of Islam a little sometimes. But yeah: important.

Auntie-ji actually not only sorted me out with food for today and extra to take home for tomorrow. She made me: Subway-style sandwiches, with a homemade filling, to take into summer school tomorrow! Whaaaaat? How sweet, Maa Shaa Allah !

‘Suto Fufu’ is a title of respect/seniority in Bengali. For a younger paternal auntie

My aunt, generally, tends to wake up early. Gets her husband’s lunch ready, and her two older kids’. [The food she makes. Wow. Allah hummabārik.] She now has a baby to take care of too.

A home to make, and guests to take care of.

Prayers to pray. Qur’an to read. And a self she has, to take care of, too.

In term-time: my aunt worked at a school designed for children with special needs. But she is now on maternity leave, and has also extended this leave by a couple of months.


We really shouldn’t put so much pressure on women to ‘do everything’. Human beings do not have ‘octopus arms’ or infinite amounts of health and energy. And making money and furthering a career… isn’t a very central objective for everyone.

With these ideas in mind: I’m thinking about my own ‘future’, In Shaa Allah . What’s best for me?

What are my values? Which ideas and ‘ideals’ are actually harmful to me? [What ways of doing things have I, at some points, thought I ‘wanted’, and then experienced, and then realised that it… ain’t for me…?]

For one: I do want to nurture a home, In Shaa Allah . And I want to be as healthy as I can be, In Shaa Allah . Limit stress. Don’t listen if people might say, for example, that: choosing to nurture a home and so forth in lieu of primarily pursuing money and career-based status: is tantamount to doing ‘nothing’ with one’s life. That’s a bit of an… atomistic [what?! That’s an actual word?!], and materialistic, way of looking at things, I think.

By contrast: Islam really does teach us about the spiritual, true, value of things. And about being, really, more cooperative. Family- and community-oriented.

  • Now here’s part of my Google search history from this day:
Misspelt ‘Bible’ there but that’s okay because Google has my back

Chapter 2:

Another day in the Dunya.

My dad had dropped my brother and I off to summer school today. We’d stopped at the local supermarket first — and I got a croissant and a cold latte for myself, for breakfast.

Dropped my little brother off to his classroom. And two of his classmates had eventually arrived too. They thought that my brother is… my son. Actually: people have seemingly occasionally thought that my nine-year-old brother is my child [he’s eleven-and-three-quarters years younger than I am] since he was very young indeed.

Next: up to my class, to teach.

Today’s Islamic Studies lesson had been on…

‘Ayn [‘evil eye’]. And Hasād [destructive envy]. And touching upon the topic of SiHr [‘black magic’].

Allow my attempt at drawing the Instagram logo

Allah has blessed different individuals in different ways. Some: are really (naturally) good at… making money, Maa Shaa Allah . Some: have wonderful friendship groups, in which they feel secure and loved. Some: are very, very good at… baking. And we know: all good is from Allah .

We also know that ‘Ayn and Hasād are realities. People can — and do — look at your personal blessings, sometimes out of curiosity and admiration, which can culminate in ‘Ayn. And sometimes: with raging hatred in their hearts; envy. Hasād.

These can lead to your blessings becoming… contaminated. Sometimes: Hasād, for example, can prove to be very destructive indeed.


Social Media.

Nowadays: it’s not only through ‘word of mouth’ that people can share their blessings, and thus become more exposed to ‘Ayn and to being a victim of Hasād.

Now: we have Instagram. Snapchat. Facebook.

Snapshots of: the delicious food you’ve been eating. The places you’ve been going. Personal achievements you’ve been having.

You might inadvertently be drawing quite a bit of ‘Ayn and/or Hasād towards yourself, simply by posting things about you/your life, on social media. Pictures, ‘updates’, and the like.

You might: begin to experience extreme tiredness, and/or illness. A depreciation in blessings. Quite specific things, sometimes: like a particular kind of headache on either one, or both, sides of your head.

You might… come to feel like there are suddenly some massive blockages in your life. Relationship troubles, and the like. Be careful! Who knows what some people might be giving you ‘Ayn on account of?


Now for a brief intermission, during which you can peruse through some artwork from Day 2, Week 2, of summer school, In Shaa Allah :

Three girls — who are cousins — made cards for their respective mothers

How to shield oneself against ‘Ayn / Hasād / SiHr.

Protection — and Allah ‘s Cure — can be found in Du’a. And in: the last two Surahs in the Qur’an: Surah Falaq and Surah Nās.

*By the way, SiHr is whack. A deeply disturbing collection of realities.

People who practise those abominable [struggled with spelling that one, I did,] deeds: worship devils. Cut animals, use human hair/blood and so on to basically try to ruin people’s lives.

So: to recite these Surahs. Perhaps especially just after Fajr Salāh — that beautiful part of the day, Subhaan Allah .

And: just before/after Maghrib, also. Another gorgeous time of the day.

This helps to protect you, and your blessings. If you enact these reciting practices daily.

*After reciting Surah Nās and Surah Falaq, say, 3 times respectively: you can blow into your hands, and then wipe over yourself. You can also: blow/spittle over water, and drink that. And: blow onto olive oil, and apply that to your skin/hair.

*There are also a number of different Du’as that can be read. For help, for protection, and so on.


But how do we know if/when we’re afflicted with these things?

Listen to some Qur’an recitation — perhaps repeatedly, and in a peaceful space. Maybe with your eyes closed.

Look out for unmistakable signs: feeling cold winds, newfound pressure in your head, strange movements through your body, and so on.

Here’s a link to a recording of a Qur’an recitation that you can use: [SoundCloud because… no ads!]

https://m.soundcloud.com/reciters/surat-al-baqarah-the-cow-sheikh-sudais

*Even if you feel sceptical about this whole process at the moment. I challenge/encourage you to at least try it, and listen intently: even if you’re currently not Muslim.


Chapter 3:

Today I’ve been feeling rather tired, but AlHamduli Llah . At summer school: the girls designed some bookmarks, which I then had to go over with a wood-burning pen. A pyrography pen, if you will [I just learnt via Google that that’s what they’re actually called.]

After summer school, I thought: why not go to the masjid for a bit. Since: it’s close by.

I had to stay behind for a little while, to tidy up a bit, and to finish burning (in a good way. Not destructively,) the girls’ bookmarks.

In one of the downstairs classrooms, my friend م had also stayed behind for a little while. She had a class of younger kids. And: to be a teacher of younger kids: you require. Patience. Energy. To be smiling, a lot. And: to be able to… have (metaphorical) octopus arms. So kudos to her, Maa Shaa Allah : she’s managed to get through it all, still smiling.


You know, we ‘plan’, but Allah always Plans better.

My friend م and I — when we first met, I.e. … last week — we’d been speaking about maybe getting some sushi, and/or some bubble tea, together at some point.

And what a lovely day for it, AlHamduli Llah . I’d just been paid by the school [it’s part of Islamic business ethics: to pay workers as soon as possible, after the work is done]. And we both had time. AlHamduli Llah . I’m glad I’m not in charge of writing the story of my own life. It’s Allah who Guides us to whom, what, and where: we need to meet/visit/do. Always.


At the sushi place (Halāl, Muslim-owned,) once, a lady had come in and said that she’s vegan. She bought a tray of sushi for £4.90 or something. And the brother working there had: changed his gloves. Used a fresh knife, fresh chopping board. Cleaned the area. Before proceeding with preparing her order for her.

In Islam: you have to be honest and conscientious. Honest and conscientious in matters of business, also. Your words and assurances cannot be ‘empty’; you have to care.

Even if nobody of ‘the people’ is watching. Allah Sees.


So, sushi. And then, from a different shop: bubble tea.

And I got a bubble tea that’s slightly different from what I’d typically order. Because I’d realised how much sugar can go into a single cup of bubble tea (when, during the recent heatwave, I’d tried to make homemade bubble-tea-style cold tea…).

So I got something that I think is slightly better for my health. And with grass jelly (which, apparently, is herbal, and has health benefits,) instead of those sweet tapioca pearls.


We sat, ate, drank, and talked: AlHamduli Llah . I’m glad we had that conversation. About various things. Including how: Allah is the Most Loving, Most Kind, and He is taking us everywhere we need to be. He is equipping us, and preparing us, in simply the best ways, and for all the best things.

After summer school and lunch with this friend: I ended up going shopping with my aunt. I got some ‘self-care’ things. The human body, the human self, huh? Kind of ‘high maintenance’ to really, holistically, take care of. And it can also be kind of fun! Face masks and all…


You know: even if it feels like some things, over time, have gone ‘wrong’, and ‘what will people say’ and so on. There’s actually a bigger picture. It is the Greater, Grander, Better, Plan of Allah . And we must trust our Lord — even if it feels like our eyes are closed; like we just do not know.

If you want to know about the advantages of having and maintaining that ‘beautiful patience‘… Sticking to our faith, to our morals, and consistently praying…

We can always look at… the example of Maryam (AS). Ibrahīm (AS). Mūsa (AS), and Khidr. Yūsuf (AS).

Good — the best — things… tend to take time. Patience. The Help of Allah , of course, and His Infinite Wisdom.

*I love mangoes, for example. Perhaps a classically South Asian thing to say. But: mangoes take their time to grow, you know. Yeh cannae rush these beautiful things.

So, to trust Allah ; do your best, even with your necessary human flaws, mistakes, and shortcomings.

And exhibit a beautiful patience. [Qur’an, (12:18)].

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