بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
Chapter 1: The Cup of Custard That Spilled and had thus Formed a Heart.
Yesterday, my family had gone out on a day trip: to a theme park. I’d been invited to go too, although theme parks aren’t really entirely always my ‘thing’ [for example: when I’d been on a trip to Disneyland (Paris) with school, I did get on ‘Space Mountain’ (rollercoaster). More than once. And: I’d had my eyes closed almost the entire time…].
But I thought: maybe I could ‘brave’ some rollercoasters with my brother or something.
I’d actually prayed for guidance as to what to do on that day (yesterday). Since: a friend of mine had planned a lunch picnic. Then: there was this family trip to consider. And, also:
I’d woken up not feeling so great. Part of the reason: I’d had a mocha the previous day. And: even though I’d had this coffee-mixed-with-hot-chocolate at around midday… It still tampered, it strongly seemed, with my quality of shuteye that evening.
In the morning: I’d basically made a Du’a for guidance again. Because: we’re supposed to be obedient to what our parents say, so long as we’re never being disobedient to Allah in doing so.
When something is meant for you: the way really is Made. Divinely . Step by step, and door by door.
And: when something is not meant for you… The ‘ways’ to it: close, and close, and close.
So: try as I did, it seemed like I shouldn’t have gone with everyone else to the theme park yesterday. Although: I’d felt at least a little guilty in explaining, on the day, that I’m not feeling good to go.
And also: the friends’ picnic was not really for me either. I’ve met up with two of these friends more than once this summer, AlHamduli Llah ; it’s okay to not be a part of ‘everything’, and ‘all of the time’. Whatever Allah Chooses for us.
Instead: I stayed at home. I quite love being at home, AlHamduli Llah . Probably: ending up with good, nice-smelling laundry >>> going on Space Mountain or any other theme park ride, any day.
When my uncles and aunts had arrived at my house in the morning (equipped with snacks, among other things, for their day out,) my uncle had commented on, and had found it humorous (which I guess it is,) how…
I’d labelled my mouthwash, in the bathroom [I’d forgotten to put it back in its place, so it was just there.] With a somewhat thick permanent marker, I’ve written my name, in CAPS, on the bottle. And also: a polite message, ‘Please do not use.’
Because: I do not want anybody else to use my mouthwash.
Look. We all have our issues. And I just think:
When you leave certain personal things in a shared bathroom, you do so with a fair amount of trust. But what if, I don’t know, someone walks in one day, sees a particular type of mouthwash, and wants to try it?
And so: with a permanent marker, I think I have satisfactorily marked my property. Made it clear that: this is, in no way, a ‘communal mouthwash’.
So I did some laundry. AlHamduli Llah . Nice-smelling fabric softener. The feeling of opening the washing machine to: fresh-smelling, and warm, clean, clothes. Sigh. Beautiful.
To rewind a little:
When my friend had told me about her picnic, I’d wondered if I should go. And when the theme park plan had come up also. I think I ended up praying two Rak’at of Istikhāra (guidance prayer. Asking Allah to help you choose, give you what is good).
And also: that morning, I had to go and pick up the keys to my neighbour’s house. She’s not a next-door neighbour, but… She lives in the vicinity. And she had plans to go to France, for a wedding.
I’ve ‘house-sat’ her home before, fed the cats, and so on. So: there was that to think about too.
The previous day, I had an appointment somewhere. Took the bus. Met a lovely Bengali auntie, had a nice conversation, and then (worried that I’d been super awkward, afterwards).
After my appointment, I’d looked around at the cafés and so on in the area. A Halāl Korean place or two. Cool, noted.
A ‘hipster’-ish café, from which I’d decided to get a cookie, and a… mocha.
So: appointment. Mocha. Ensuing [ensuing: happening as a result/afterwards,] sleep deprivation.
Morning: a small issue to do with my clothes for the day. To go, or not to go.
And: I still had those keys to pick up. If I’d gone to get them that morning: I might have made everybody else late, held them back. And if I didn’t go to get them that morning: my neighbour had been planning to join a meeting soon, and later she’d be off to France.
Anyway, the lil mocha (which had perhaps been somewhat overpriced? Maybe I should simply make it at home next time. And maybe: get some things to make the whole making-process more ‘café-like’). It had been… significant.
I stayed home, did some laundry. Cleaned the kitchen, including some ‘hidden’ spaces, which still need cleaning. Like: the metal filters of the cooking hood.
Sodium bicarbonate on the stairs: it helps to clean the carpet. You sprinkle it on, leave it for a while, and then hoover it up.
And then: something that Allah had Planned for my day…
The girls from next door (sisters. Ages around ten, eight, I think: and six, and two) had come around. They’ve been wanting to have a picnic together for a while. But: on the day we’d finally ‘planned’ for the picnic to have been on: it had been… raining. Pouring.
And, that evening: we also had some guests around. [And ended up playing Scrabble with our little nephew and niece. So: we couldn’t have an ‘indoor picnic’.]
Yesterday, the girls from next door came around, and they had juice and lemonade. They’d also: brought a cake (Victoria sponge,) over from their house. I: had custard in the fridge. So: I suppose we had a bit of a ‘tea party’ or something.
They played for a bit, and wrote little cards to their mum and dad [To entertain them, I sort of used what was there. I had a pack, essentially, of little cards-and-envelopes upstairs. And some pink balloons. And a couple of porcelain kids’ tea party sets].
Being a mother-of-four, which my neighbour is, must be: challenging. Rewarding, I imagine. And also: wooork.
Furthermore: kids are kids. They have fun; they’re curious; the world is… their playground.
The eldest sister from next door is very responsible, Maa Shaa Allah . She’d been… apologetic, on behalf of her little sisters. For, I don’t know, being energetic, and all. But that’s not something to apologise for!
And kids require attention. Drink refills; sugar intake moderation. You need to: watch out for hazards.
Sometimes: spillages occur [relatable]. Little arguments happen between them: disputes, which may require an adult’s input for resolution.
Kids tend to have: lots to say! The amount of energy our younger selves can have: incredible, Maa Shaa Allah . I think I would hugely benefit from having some of that!
- While heating up a cup o’ custard in the microwave, [and, doing so in a (tea-) cup instead of anything else: a helpful suggestion made by the third sister!] I’d accidentally, I suppose, left the custard in there for just some seconds over the recommended time. And: this is what happened [with no intentional human shaping, I promise!]…
Certainly: being able to have spent my day like this, at home and with some lovely little people… Had really been a blessing, AlHamduli Llah .
Life in this Dunya is pretty much always toil, isn’t it? Whether you’re: working at an office, or taking care of children at home. Preparing the whole house for guests [It’s actually a lot that our aunts and so on do, Subhaan Allah ], and/or working towards your formal studies.
But, as ‘platitudinal’ [that’s an actual word??! Platitudinal: dull and tiresome, but it might seem significant and/or ‘original’,] as this might sound:
Love really can beautify even the ‘simplest’ of tasks, and infuse things that might otherwise feel more… ‘burdensome‘, with… meaning, and with comfort.
Okay, so I don’t think I fully, entirely ‘get it’. That’s not how my brain functions, I don’t think: words > numbers, for me.
And Chaos Theory is a branch of mathematics/science. It’s about: the ‘science of surprises‘, let’s say.
How things, on the human level: are quite unpredictable. Can, and often do, take us by surprise: as ‘precise’ and ‘calculated’ as we can try to be about it all… Things are ‘non-linear’. Planned, and plannable [okay, so apparently that one — ‘plannable’ — is not a recognised word…] not by limited human minds, and hands.
But by: our Creator .
Just like: those few, maybe ten, added seconds to the cup-of-custard-in-microwave timing. And even: the fact that we’d had custard, for some reason, in the fridge that day. And how: one of the little girls had suggested that I even use a tea-cup.
Well: a spillage ensued, and thus did… a beautiful heart!
Something that had made my day about this day had been:
Okay, so let me be realistic. Days like this are not all ‘sunshine and rainbows’. As aforementioned: I’d been feeling tired, and had been cleaning, and also wanted to take care of the next door girls.
Once they’d left, (but not without… expressing their surprise at how I’d chosen to stay home, and not go to the theme park! I imagine they’d been thinking: is adulthood really that ‘boring‘?!) I’d gone to my garden. I think: to take the dried clothes in [in this summer heat: clothes tend to dry up fast]. And:
I heard a sweet and smiley little voice call my name.
It had been…
Sadiqa. One of the little girls from next door. [Her dad’s name is Sadiqul. My mum actually used to teach him, Bengali, when he was a child.
And now: he’s a Qur’an tutor, and also works as a DLR (train) driver, and has his own apple cider vinegar-making company, Allah hummabārik.]
From one of their windows: Sadiqa told me how “happy” her dad was, maybe upon receiving the cards and hearing that we’d spent time together eating cake. She added:
“He said I should give you a hug!”
And this adorable little girl sure has energy, Allah hummabārik: within moments, she’d arrived at my front door. She gave me not just one hug, but (awwwwwww!) two.
*Now, we have loose plans, In Shaa Allah , to go to the park together at some point. Me and the girls from next door. And Sadiqa has made it clear: that she wants me to ‘be a kid,’ when I’m with them! [And, you know, maybe I can do that. After having a mocha or something…]
In the evening, I went to my neighbour J’s house, to check on the cats and everything. This is the view, Maa Shaa Allah , from her (dockside) garden:
Even such a thing as… taking care of cats. There’s blessing in it, and there’s… struggle in it. Cats vomit sometimes. Their kitty litter trays need to be cleaned, and so on. So too do their: food bowls, water bowls.
They’re also such beautiful creatures, Maa Shaa Allah .
My neighbour J has two cats in her home: one is called Misty, and the other, Trout.
Trout, the male cat: can be aggressive at times. Randomly hissing, ready to attack.
Like when: I approach the area of… the kitty litter tray. This cat sometimes: watches me from the stairs. Goes to the tray whenever I’m there.
He’s guarding his territory, isn’t he?
Perhaps: not that much unlike… certain human beings who guard their… mouthwashes, in their own ways. [It’s okay, Trout. I think I get it.]
Recently, I’d heard about the passing of a girl who had been in Year Ten (so, around fifteen years old). A friend-of-mine’s daughter’s friend from school.
This friend-of-mine, ك, sent me the information about the Janāzah [Janāzah: funeral, funeral prayer]. The young sister had passed suddenly, I think. Possibly as a result of a very adverse allergic reaction.
Incidentally, the previous day: my cousin’s wife had asked me if I wanted to go to the Friday Prayer (Jum’uah) together. I said yes: sure, In Shaa Allah , why not.
[My cousin’s wife: she and I share the same first name. And we both seem to say ‘awesome‘ fairly often.]
On the day, I’d met my friend ك (who is older than I am. Even has a child who is my age,) near her home. And her daughter. And some family friends of hers.
ك is very sweet indeed, Allah hummabārik. To have made this effort to go to her daughter’s friend’s Janāzah, and to have invited others to go too. To pray for the soul of the deceased (just like how we want for others to eventually pray for us when we inevitably have to leave too).
On the way, for our small walk to the masjid: ك handed out cereal bars for us. Another lovely and quite maternal gesture. And then we’d gone to the masjid, I’d seen my cousin, and another auntie of mine (my aunt’s friend). This auntie had told me that the girl who had passed: her father is quite well-known in the community, Maa Shaa Allah . One of the treasurers/trustees of the masjid.
- Many people had attended this Janāzah.
As much as we might ‘forget’, as we go about our day-to-day lives: we will go. We have to. Inevitable, and we just do not know when.
This world is a Test, and over There is our Final, Real, and Eternal Home.
Where there will be no sadness, for us, In Shaa Allah . And no worry, no stress, no grief. But, rather: Gardens beneath which Rivers will flow [Qur’an, (61:12)]. The Great Attainment.
After the Janāzah, I left with my cousin’s wife.
And went to cat-sit again [I think the cats get distressed after prolonged periods without a human presence in the house, maybe].
Meanwhile, ك and her daughter, and her daughter’s friend, and her daughter’s friend’s mother: left a little later. And ك got them some kebab wraps for lunch.
We’re going to die.
Our souls shall taste death: each and every single one of us.
Now: how are we living?
And I like to think about that fact: that one day, that will be the last day you see someone. You will die, on some day, at some Determined moment. They will die, on some day, at some Determined moment.
Death, however: does not always wait for… old age. And ك had been telling us about how, once, she’d attended a Janāzah at which there had been five people who had died. And she’d spoken about one of the coffins [We as Muslims do not bury the dead in wooden coffins, but rather in clean white shrouds. But the masjid might use coffins for holding/transportation purposes and so on.].
She’d spoken about how small this particular coffin had been.
Someone you love.
Have you told them you love them, recently? And how you value and appreciate them, and why?
In this life: we have our chances.
And then, come death: all those chances are gone.
Although, we will, we hope, reunite with those whom we love… in Jannah.
Back to the house — the lovely quaint cottage, Maa Shaa Allah — for the cats. And to chill. You know: just by being indoors and all, I’ve realised more, just how much it takes, to manage and maintain a home.
Even if: you’re just one person, hanging out in a cottage for a while. With just two cats around you. There are still, in a continued way: things to clean, take care of, and so on.
- To be able to truly value and appreciate something or someone: we have to know (about) it, or them, better.
Like: if someone in your home is generally in charge of cooking every day, maybe two times a day. And: of cleaning up afterwards. There is a lot of work that goes into these things, which we can often overlook, simply because we are ‘used to’ them.
For example: every time I go to someone’s house for a meal or something [in Bengali, such invitations are called Dawots]. My aunts, for example, and perhaps with help from my uncles… may have had to: hoover everywhere. Clean. Room by room. Take care of their own children.
Prepare the food. Several dishes, usually.
And: the clean-up afterwards.
How could we ever ‘invalidate’, try to somehow belittle the value of, housework, in any way? It takes work, to nourish, nurture, and take care of: a home! These things don’t just… ‘happen’.
[I tend to find this unique sense of peace, in gardens, AlHamduli Llah . Do you?]
Anyway. Upon opening one of the doors to go into the garden:
One of the cats — the boy cat, Trout — decided to dart outside of it too!
Which really worried me, because it had been my understanding that these cats do not go outside. The garden is right near water! What if something were to happen!
And so: I did what I could. Tried to use chicken treats to get him back inside. Tried using a cat toy or two. And, also:
AlHamduli Llah , I cannot express how much Allah Helped me. But: this whole situation meant that I ended up going home fairly late.
So, I think: vocalising, expressing, appreciation helps to make people’s lives and experiences… ‘easier’. Nicer, more loving.
The people in our lives: how do they love to be loved? Through words? Acts of service?
Quality time? Particular kinds of gifts? Through touch: hugs and forehead kisses and tickles?
Oh, also, very recently, I received something of a… note… under my door.
So: I told my brother, maybe like a week ago, that I’d buy him a particular kind of chocolate bar [or, ‘square’. ‘Ritter SportTM‘ sells chocolate… squares].
And: I didn’t manage to get it sooner. Also: twice, when I’d looked for it while shopping… The one he tends to like… wasn’t there.
Anyway. Little brother (who is going to be ten years old in like, just over ten days,) suddenly came up with this idea that I would have to pay him a… ‘late fee‘[????]
Another pound. One pound for the chocolate [which I actually gave, you know,] and another as a ‘late fee’ [???? Part 2.]
This boy (who is one of the biggest loves of my life, Allah hummabārik. Without him in my life, for example: I might have been an only child this whole past decade!). I think I need to teach him about how: as Muslims, we don’t do ‘late fees‘. We aren’t about the ‘charging/consuming interest‘ life!
Yup. One of the cats had vomited on a chair. So… there was that.
Something that had made me feel quite cared-for yesterday had been: when ك had lovingly handed me that cereal bar. In case I needed an energy boost, because of the walk to the masjid.
She’s so (quietly, wonderfully,) wonderful, Allah hummabārik.
Last Ramadān, we had a sisters’ Ifthār gathering. And we did it at my house, since my parents had been away [I’d been staying at my house with my nan]. ك had been so caring: I suppose since the rest of us had been… my age or thereabouts: she’d basically assumed a very loving, maternal role, I’d say.
Made sure we had enough food, made sure we were okay. Brought: big tubs of food for all of us, and with an attached Ramadān message for me.
How did I meet ك?
Part of ‘Chaos Theory’ is the idea of the Butterfly Effect. The fact that: seemingly ‘small’, ‘unrelated’, and ‘insignificant’ things can lead to… other, ‘bigger’, phenomenal things. Like how: it’s thought that a butterfly flapping its wings on one side of the Earth… can, bit by bit, setting chains of events/consequences in motion: can result in a whole typhoon occurring, somewhere else in the globe!
Now, back to the question:
My mum’s cousins: two of them, I have on WhatsApp. They’d: grown up in Italy. One of them now has a little son, Maa Shaa Allah . They like to: do stuff together, as a family, (with their mum and dad, siblings, and now: brother-in-law and the baby) Allah hummabārik, like hiking.
Some months ago: I’d been looking through statuses on WhatsApp. I don’t know exactly why: maybe, I had some time. Maybe: I’d been feeling a bit stressed or something. So: to the WhatsApp status section I’d gone.
And: one of these aunts of mine had posted something about a sisters’ tea party she’d booked tickets for, but could no longer attend. She wanted to give the tickets away, for free. Oh, and: I’d seen this status on the day of the event. Like, maybe: two hours before. [It really helps, to ask for guidance with these things. Like: to go, or not to go…]
Again: if Allah Wants for you to go to a certain place, and meet certain people. It will happen! All by Design, all according to His Plan and Will.
So I went. By myself. A sisters’ tea party event, at the East London Masjid. Others had been: in groups, or at least in pairs. I didn’t really find anyone to sit with, talk to.
Until I met ك. Such a lovely person, Allah hummabārik. And: her daughter, م.
ك poured the tea into our cups for us, as far as I can remember. And we had a lovely, comfortable conversation, AlHamduli Llah .
ك works at a school: at the primary school her children had attended, I think, but now they’re more grown up. And: she’d grown up in Swansea, Wales, and so, she has a Welsh accent (Welsh accents just sound… friendly, don’t they? And lovely.)
We had tea together. And a sandwich or two [there were chicken-and-grape sandwiches there. Apparently… it’s a thing??]. And some cake.
So thus had been born: a friendship, AlHamduli Llah . Because I’d looked at some WhatsApp statuses, on the right day, and at the right time.
Subhaan Allah .
If even a single thing had been different. Then things just wouldn’t be quite the same…
- I really love sushi at the moment. Salmon and avocado uramaki: get your… Vitamin E. A. (The made-up) Vitamin ‘R’: for… ‘rice‘.
- ‘Asia’ is a big place, you know: and we seem to have rice as something in common. It ‘unites’ us, in a way. And (‘Vitamin’) tea, ‘twould seem: lots of it!
At the moment, two of my cousins are in New York, on a summer trip. A siblings’ trip. I don’t know exactly why they went: maybe just because one of my cousins who went quite likes city skylines. Or maybe: one of their family friends is getting married or something.
I think I have to wait a bit longer to be able to be travel with my own brother, In Shaa Allah .
Generally: women should have a Mahram with us when we travel [Mahram: members of your family whom you can’t marry. And the term also includes: your husband, if you have one.] to other towns/countries, and stay in the state of travel for more than a day and a night. At least: this is what I understand about the rules pertaining to travel so far.
And so: I can travel abroad, AlHamduli Llah , with: my father. My grandfather. I have three direct uncles in total, so if their families go somewhere (and… invite me): I can go with!
My brother, when he’s of age, In Shaa Allah . And, perhaps, in the future, In Shaa Allah : husband, sons, direct nephews [my brother is only (nearly) ten. So: I might have to wait a while before having direct nephews and nieces…], father-in-law, grandchildren, perhaps…
These are all the people who: I can travel with. Who: can see my hair. I generally wear a headscarf and an ‘Abaya outside, but I don’t have to in the presence of these male family members.
My older cousin who’s in New York right now: his name is Ravi. But his little sister (who is my age,) calls him/has called him, before:
Ravz. Ravzster. Ravioli.
Out of respect, however: we (although I don’t think this is true for all Muslims,) don’t generally refer to our elders by name. So my cousin calls her brother, ‘Biyya’, which is a term of endearment and respect that means: ‘brother’.
Relating to the earlier topic of: Disneyland, and to this current one about travel…
Once, my mum and brother had gone on a trip to Disneyland together. With my uncle, I think: my mum’s brother.
And my brother had maybe been around… five years old? At the gates: and maybe because of all those terrible things about… child abduction and so forth, they’d checked my mum’s passport. And my brother’s.
My mum and my brother have different surnames. In the Islamic tradition: we keep our father’s name, even if we get married.
And so: while my mum’s surname is ‘Ali’. My brother’s is Ahmed.
Someone at security asked him if that’s his mother. And we don’t quite know if he’d felt shy in that moment, or if he’d been being cheeky. But: he didn’t verify that that’s his mum!
But I think somehow, it eventually got sorted out…
I did some writing, AlHamduli Llah . Cleaned up after myself: kitchens get messy. Even if you’re ‘just’ making… macaroni cheese (with broccoli. Vitamin K) for one.
And I vacuumed, mopped the floors, and so on. Cleaning: it can really be therapeutic.
I prayed outside, in the walled-up garden. It’s my understanding that: we’re not meant to pray Salaah in places where there are pictures. E.g.: photos on display, drawings of animate beings.
Outside is a nice place to pray indeed. As long as a place is clean, and without pictures and so on: you can pray there. I can’t lie: I prayed on some tissues. Held down by a seat cushion used as a paperweight (tissue-weight).
And then: one of my cousins had called my phone, to ask me where I was. J, whose home I’m ‘sitting’, said it’s fine with her if I have guests around. So I welcomed my cousin to my, let’s say, ‘part-time crib’. We had pizza together (which I couldn’t cut into the shape of a heart. Maybe since: I’d burnt it a little, little bit. Actually: let’s take a more glass-half-full approach to that. I’d accidentally made it… crispy).
My cousin (whom I refer to as ‘Didi’. ‘Elder sister’ in Bengali, and in some other related languages I think) and I were also going to go outside, after eating and talking for a little bit. Maybe: to feed the ducks / geese / swans / fish outside.
My neighbour J told me I could use the duck / fish feed that had been there, if I wanted to feed them. “Lots of babies at the moment!” she’d added.
But: as we were trying to go into the garden… cats. Lingering around the door. I didn’t want a repeat of what had happened the previous day.
Didi and I tried to leave without accidentally allowing the cats outside too. In fact: we found ourselves suddenly… speaking to one another in Bengali. As though: the somehow ‘English-understanding’ cats wouldn’t understand our plans if we were to say them in another language.
Well, we didn’t manage to go to the garden. But, Khayr: there is always tomorrow, In Shaa Allah . And the day after that, and the day after that. In Shaa Allah : as Muslims, we don’t make plans for ‘tomorrow’ without saying In Shaa Allah . Meaning: God -Willing. If God Wills it.
Allah Knows everything. He Knows what is in our hearts: and the past, present, and future. And what is best for us. Better than anybody.
Once: last Winter, my neighbour J had given me a gift. At that time: I’d been tutoring her daughter (who is currently in America, with her dad,) for her GCSEs.
In return, I got J a candle.
The very day I’d brought the candle…
I’d accidentally moved the whiteboard in their house. It’s rested on a shelf kind of thing. That day: there’d been a candle there. Which I hadn’t seen.
A slight nudge of the whiteboard and: the candle had fallen and broken.
Allah Knew that that was going to occur. And He had also Ensured that there would be a replacement, there that very day.
Subhaan Allah .
How do you truly love someone?
To really, deeply, and truly: love someone… You must seek to widely, and really, and deeply, know them.
And knowing about people, and what they have done, and what they have done for us: truly helps us, I think, towards appreciating them. And loving them.
As Muslims: we are to love Allah more than anyone, more than anything.
And: we should also love our Prophet (S A W) more than… our own families. Now, how to bring about and foster that love?
Well: by learning more about his life, about him. The Seerah.
Last week, in New York, an author had been violently attacked.
An author who: had written despicable things about Muhammad (S A W). An author whose works I do not respect, and whose works, I think: lack both substance as well as… bringing true value to humankind.
And, still: the answer had not been… to stab him. The answer, I don’t think: had been to issue death threats and so forth towards him.
I know this because: when Muhammad (S A W) in person had been verbally abused by a non-Muslim man. His wife, a firm Muslim, and someone who loved him very much: was ready to defensively verbally attack the one who’d… wished death upon her husband.
But, instead: he’d advised her to stop. He said:
“Be calm, O’ Aisha! You should be kind and lenient, and beware of harshness and Fuhsh (i.e. bad words).” [Sahih Al-Bukhāri].
Even to those who try to harm you, your religion, your Prophet (S A W) with their words. Our responses can certainly be far better than… physical attacks.
In Islam: if someone is attacking you, or, say, driving you out of your home, and trying to force you to part with your religion. You are allowed to respond with equal. You’re not allowed to do more than what is done to you. Justice is very important in Islam.
And: generally. In matters that are not life and death: to be kind, and lenient, and to forgive. Is better.
If you have personal connections with practising Muslims. Muslims who are connected to our Deen. You’ll likely know, AlHamduli Llah :
How much we love gentleness. Our Prophet (S A W) taught us that:
“Verily, gentleness is not found in anything but that it beautifies it, and it is not removed from anything but that it disgraces it.”
— [Sahīh Muslim].
If we actually look into the backgrounds of these individuals who carry out violent attacks such as these ones, in the ‘West’:
You find things like how…
One man who’d carried out an attack somewhere in Europe had… quite recently purchased an ‘Islam for Dummies’ book from Amazon.
A pair of attackers elsewhere had: quite recently closed down their wine-selling establishment. And then decided to carry out an attack somewhere.
And this man, who had violently attacked Salman Rushdie:
Camped outside, according to this Guardian article. “I was just outside the whole time.”
“I don’t like him very much,” Matar (the attacker,) said of Rushdie. “He’s someone who attacked Islam, he attacked their beliefs, the belief systems.”
Be honest. Does he sound… particularly mentally alright, to you?
And even: seemingly somehow distancing himself from being a Muslim. He said Rushdie attacked “their” beliefs. Not… ‘our’. And: he just doesn’t “like him very much.”
Let me give this perspective on the whole ‘conversation’.
Muslims are Muslims. We value what we value. We do what we do.
There is so much good in the world, brought about from the Rahmah of Allah , and entering the world via Muslims.
And then: something ‘dramatic’ and violent occurs. A man camps outside some sort of centre being used for some sort of ‘educational retreat’. Travels, it seems, over 19km to get there. And whose reasoning sounds… non-coherent, let’s face it.
The ‘mass media’ seems like they’re all over it. Wondering if he’s ‘under the instruction of “Iran” or something. Wondering aloud, it seems, if this is what Islam… ‘is‘.
More on ‘Loving Someone’.
I think: a significant part of showing gratitude to our Creator , the Lord of everything. Is: showing care, and love, and gratitude, towards His creation.
Love towards: every living thing. Be it: a sparrow, or a goose.
And: your sister, and your mother, and your neighbour, and your wife.
And: to the monetarily poor, and to the rich.
Moreover: isn’t it a wonderful thing, how not just strong this Divinely -Gifted thing we call ‘love‘ is. But also: how encompassing it is. Subhaan Allah .
When you love someone, don’t you just… kind of instinctively learn to/come to also love… whom, and what, they love? You kind of… show love to people/things through them.
And: you love people who show love to them. That’s how powerful, and beautiful, love can be, and is.
I looove people who love, and who show love to, my little brother, for example. I do see his friends as being like my own little brothers in a way, AlHamduli Llah . And: I don’t think I objectively love, say, football, or watching certain YouTubers, and the like. But, through loving him: I do!
Allah hummabārik. I am very fortunate to have known my brother moments after his birth. And I hope it’s true that I’d loved him, waited for him: even before that. And now: whaaat?! He’s almost ten!!!
[If someone were to, say, pen a book (and think it’s somehow ‘literary gold‘) about my brother, saying terrible things about him. I would want to burn it. Make it into something useful, as tinder [tinder: dry material used for lighting a fire. And not: the dating app…].
I wouldn’t be inclined towards stabbing someone as a result of feeling angry/appalled at some kind of publication, however: the only things I feel inclined towards stabbing, as a (I would like to say,) practising Muslim who cares about learning about Islam is… a little carton of organic fruit smoothie or two.
But: I think anyone trying to defame somebody I care about might be hearing from me.
In a way that is in line with the beautiful principles that my Prophet (S A W) had, even before knowing me, lovingly wanted to teach me.]
Love is beautiful.
Love is patient, love is kind.
Love is forgiving. Like when: somewhat recently, little homie (my brother) decided to… randomly take my hand, and wipe some of the sweat on his face with it. [If you know me, you know that I care about hygiene.] You know what? I didn’t whack him with a shoe. *Calm vibes.* Sabr, you see.
Love is forgiving.
And love is about all the ‘little things’. The ‘little’ building blocks of what makes us… us. The ‘little‘ flaps of ‘little’ butterfly wings. Powerful things, and which are set in motion.
Furthermore: love is enduring. Even after we depart from this (temporary) world.
And, love is from Allah (S W T) : Ar-Rahmān, Ar-Raheem.