Ties of Kinship.

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

The other day, (Or: was it yesterday?) I’d gone to pick my little brother up from school. These days: either my dad goes, or I do.

So my over-the-phone interactions with my dad are often along the lines of:

Yesterday (? Was it yesterday?) I’d gone, and I’d seen something quite… adorable, Maa Shaa Allah . A father had picked up his son from my brother’s class, and had kissed his son right on the cheek.

It reminded me of something I’d learned. About how, once, a man had bragged about how he has “ten children, and I do not kiss any of them.

Ooooh. ‘Macho‘. But it’s actually not Islamic.

The Prophet (S A W) replied, “Verily, whoever does not show Rahmah will not receive Rahmah.”

[From Sahih Muslim and Bukhāri].

  • Rahmah: mercy, nurture, lovingkindness, and care.

So:

  • Plant big kisses on your kids’ faces! And on your grandkids’! And so on. It’s part of being Muslim: showing love.

The Turtle.

A couple of days ago, I’d also had a task to do. An errand to run, if you will.

Someone had been interested in purchasing the terrapin tank from my nan’s house: she has a terrapin called Donatello (who may be renamed Donatella, because my aunt says that although the person she’d got him from told her it’s a boy, her own research may indicate otherwise).

Anyway, this potential buyer. Had some questions. It sounded like he’s a real terrapin/turtle/reptile enthusiast, actually. He was going to come at 7 PM. But then: changed his mind.

Because: he’d learned that our tank doesn’t have a water filter. Instead, my nan/aunt just tend to change the water out quite regularly. The potential buyer, a brother called Bilal, had been concerned that if this tank isn’t chlorinated, and also doesn’t have a filter: what if the terrapin’s sick, and actually has to go to a vet. [That’s how much this brother cares about animals.]

  • I’ve done a bit more research on terrapins since. I think they’re okay in regular water: so long as it’s… changed out often.
  • They also: eat lettuce. And berries, among other things.

I think I’ve also… grown a fondness for the idea of taking care of Donatello/Donatella myself, In Shaa Allah . Seems like a nice pet to have: not as furry as a cat [they shed! Fur] and not as big as a lizard.

I’ve also found out that, in the wild, terrapins (i.e. small turtles,) live alone as adults. So that helps with feeling as though this is ethically alright: so long as, In Shaa Allah , I make sure he gets some sun, some good food, some TLC.

  • Recently, my friend Joanna, since we’re both interested in language: has told me that Giovanna is the Italian version of her name, while Giovanni is the male form.

Donatello is a pretty Italian name, no? My nan and aunt have said that I can have the terrapin. And so I’m naming him/her: Donatello Giovanni Ahmed.

Or, if s/he ends up actually being female:

Donatella Giovanna (Versace) Ahmed.

  • As well as showing Rahmah to human beings: we’ve gotta show love to animals. Fellow aspects of creation. Allah Loves that we show love, Rahmah, to: our siblings, parents, aunties, uncles, children…
  • To strangers, people who are less wealthy than us, to neighbours.
  • And, indeed: to cats, and dogs, and sparrows, and… terrapins.

Soon, In Shaa Allah , my friend ج is going back to her home county — Yorkshire — in order to spend time with family for the weekend.

ج moved to London last year, I think, and accepted Islam soon afterwards, after meeting and getting to know fellow Muslim colleagues at her place of work.

And: her mum, dad, and Nana live up there (up North) in Yorkshire.

Her nana’s name is: Muriel. Such a lovely, classic English name, no? And I want to meet her someday soon, In Shaa Allah : she sounds amazing.

Maa Shaa Allah : is she, too, not a beautiful creation of… Allah ‘s?


Well, I’ve been thinking about something.

To plug into, or to switch off from, the ‘News’? And: the onslaughts of daily information, and so on?

Perhaps an easy conclusion is the answer: moderation. To not overdo it, and to also not… be too closed off from it. From the world, and from what’s going on around it.

Anyway, a story that’s somewhere at the forefront [forefront: the leading, most important, position,] of national news at the moment is…

  • The story about the girl who’d been trafficked into Syria, to join Da’esh. ‘ISIS’.

I think, back when it all happened, some people were quite quick to make it ‘about Muslims’, and to employ racist languages in response to what had happened. Insulting the girl’s appearance, among other things. Truth is: here, as an (also) Bengali girl from Tower Hamlets… it’s practically inevitable that I’d know people who… look like her. But they hadn’t been groomed, and ‘radicalised’, and exported into a distant land.

When I listened to what she’d been saying, the young woman in question, about what had taken her there:

There’d been a time in her life when she’d wanted to be more religious. [Religion: a connection with our Creator , Allah , the Almighty .]

And someone, somewhere, contacting her via the internet, had told her, to paraphrase her words in that interview: that ‘to be a good Muslim, you have to pack your bags and leave your home and family. Your family ‘aren’t ‘good Muslims‘. They’ll only ‘drag you down‘ in that regard.’

  • Now, that’s a big red flag. That these individuals, on the other side of these internet chats: had targeted girls who’d maybe… felt at least somewhat distant from their families. And had been looking for a secure sense of identity, for their place, in religion. And maybe: didn’t find better individuals around them to learn Islam from. And so: they, perhaps, had listened to these people over there, in those particular pockets of Iraq/Syria.

How important is family in Islam?

My friend ج, for one example. Because she’s Muslim, while her family members are not:

Does that mean that she needs to now ‘shun’ them, and move away to a far away country, because they might ‘drag her down’ religiously?

No! A huge part of Islam is: being good to your family.

Whether they’re Muslim or not.

For example: the rule about obeying, being excellent in conduct towards, your parents. You still have to, even if your parents are not Muslim. The only exception to this rule would be if your parents are telling you to do something that is directly against Islam, for instance: worshipping idols. You don’t do that, but you maintain good relations, good character, and so on, with them.


For example, when Ibrahīm (AS)’s father, Āzar, had wanted to murder his own son for preaching the Message of Pure Monotheism. Even then:

Ibrahīm (AS) had addressed his father, still, in a good, kind way in response. That was still his father.

And, likewise: Allah had also Instructed Mūsa (AS) [Greek: Moses] to speak to the biggest tyrant of the time (and, perhaps, of all time), a very evil man, Pharoah [Fir’aun] with kind words.

فَقُولَا لَهُۥ قَوْلًۭا لَّيِّنًۭا لَّعَلَّهُۥ يَتَذَكَّرُ أَوْ يَخْشَىٰ

“And speak to him with gentle/mild/lenient speech that perhaps he may be reminded or fear [Allah].”

Qur’an, (20:44). Underlinings my own.

So if Allah had Instructed Mūsa (AS) to speak to Fir’aun tyrant of tyrants — with “gentle speech”.

What makes… violent ‘extremists think, or suggest, that to be the ‘best Muslim’ you can be… you should ‘ditch’ any family members who aren’t ‘as religious’ as you. Treat them badly, perhaps. And then: relocate far away in order to… ‘practise Islam’?


‘Kuffār’.

One word that violent extremists seem to often use is this one:

Kaafir.

Plural: kuffār.

As though: anyone who is not Muslim is… ‘morally detestable’. Some seem to even think that if you have non-Muslims within your family: that you should leave them. Dislike them, and so on.

However: if you actually look at the usage of the word ‘Kaafir’ in Islam: it is linguistically connected to the act of covering. Like how: a farmer, if he is planting a seed by hand, will put the seed into the ground, and then cover it.

The kuffār of the days of the Prophet (S A W) had been the people, mainly Jewish people and Christians, who had been around Muhammad (S A W), and who had knowledge from their own scriptures about his coming.

They knew that he’d been a Messenger from Allah , and they’d still chosen to reject his Message. Out of Pridearrogance – in their own customs and traditions, an ‘allegiance’ to what they’d found their fathers doing, and so on.

  • In the Qur’an, guess who else is described as being a Kaafir — an evil, Prideful coverer?

Iblīs.

And it’s not because he didn’t have knowledge of Allah . He knew what the Truth is. And he’d chosen not to be grateful to Allah ; he’d chosen not to accept Allah ‘s Commands.

And he had blamed Allah , and not his own self, for his great misdeed.

“Except Iblees, he refused to be with those who prostrated.”

Qur’an, (15:39).

Again: it’s not that he didn’t have the knowledge. It’s that he had it, and had chosen not to act righteously upon it. He’d felt ‘better’ than it.

Ordinary non-Muslims: many of them simply don’t have knowledge. And where are they going to come to know about Islam from?

Well, we hope: not Netflix, not Fox News or the Daily Mail. But… from you. And: your smiles, and your general, daily comportment [comportment: behaviour]. Your embodiment of the Truth. Gentle words, and, In Shaa Allah : good actions.


Umar (R A ) and Alcohol.

As far as ‘reversion’ goes: people who had not been Muslim. And then they’d come to learn properly about Islam, and had then accepted it.

We see examples in the present.

Atheists’-turned-scholars of Islam, even, Maa Shaa Allah .

And, in our history too:

One example. A man who used to love drinking wine. With his ‘drinking buddies‘ and all. He’d loved to drink wine.

But when the news of Truth had come to him: he’d sincerely prayed to Allah . And had asked if wine is still okay to be drunk.

The prohibition of alcohol had come to the early Muslims not ‘all at once’. Because it’s in human nature to feel quite… overwhelmed, when we’re met with abrupt changes.

Who Knows our nature best? Allah .

And so: such things as…

The prohibition of alcohol. The practice of physical modesty [in pre-Islamic Arabia, people used to circumambulate the Ka’bah… naked]. The doing-away with slavery.

Had come about in stages. Not all at once.

Eventually:

يَسۡـئَلُوۡنَكَ عَنِ الۡخَمۡرِ وَالۡمَيۡسِرِ​ؕ قُلۡ فِيۡهِمَآ اِثۡمٌ کَبِيۡرٌ وَّمَنَافِعُ لِلنَّاس. وَاِثۡمُهُمَآ اَکۡبَرُ مِنۡ نَّفۡعِهِمَا

“They ask you about wine and gambling. Say, “In them is great sin and [yet, some] benefit for people. But their sin is greater than their benefit.””

Qur’an, (2:219).

  • The earlier-mentioned man in question. The former wine-drinker.

Guess whom he was?

Only…

Umar ibn Al-Khattab.

The second Khalifa of the Muslims, following the death of Muhammad (S A W). Successor, ruler, leader. A man whom even Shaytān himself had come to fear.


We all have our beginnings.

And our struggles, and our vices. Our ‘Jāhiliyya’ phases, and our journeys.

We’re not ‘perfect’. [We’re not really… here to be.]

We’re human. As long as we’re sincere in our intentions, In Shaa Allah : to work on them. We’re not angels. But perhaps we can overcome our vices, and be truly great as human beings. If Allah Wills that for us.

[But: imagine if Umar ibn Al-Khattab had just been… treated really badly solely because he’d had those inclinations toward drink and so on.

As Muslims, it’s our duty to take care of living beings. Human (and non-human,). And: to attract, and not repel. Speak mildly, gently, and leniently. And make things easy, and not hard.]

وَعَنْ أَنَسٍ قَالَ: قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى الله عَلَيْهِ وَسلم: «يسوا وَلَا تُعَسِّرُوا وَسَكِّنُوا وَلَا تُنَفِّرُوا

Anas reported God’s Messenger as saying, “Make things easy and do not make them difficult; make people calm/at ease and do not scare them.’’

[From Bukhāri and Muslim].


Negotiations.

A lot of what human relationships/connections constitute is… let’s face it… negotiations.

Business relations. Discussing deals, finalising them, analysing the terms and conditions.

You’ve got: at-home decisions like… What are you guys going to eat today? Who should cook, or should that role be shared?

How are you going to deal with finances?

Will your brother leave you alone if you get something out of the fridge for him that he can’t yet reach?

[I annoy him more, probably, to be fair.]

With friends: when are you going to meet up next In Shaa Allah ? And: where? Chinese food, or Bengali, or a buffet?

If someone borrows money from you: when are they expected to pay it back?

  • And: who’s going to pick your little brother up today?

What else, what else?

Loving aunts asking: “So when are you coming over to my house?”

Errr… Getting kids to do things. You know: if you tidy your room, you can…

How about you do this, and I can help with that?

And: if you achieve good grades, then…

[Sometimes, authority comes into it. Like: when a student asks something of a teacher. And, often, it’s about different abilities and skill sets too. I’m not able to/I don’t like to do this, but s/he is more able/likes to. So maybe they can do that, while I can do something else.]

  • Ties of Kinship. You can be ‘related’ to others, and/or have ties of kinship with them through… Blood. Friendship. Adoption. Marriage. Oh, and: if you and another were breastfed by the same woman… you’re essentially siblings, according to Islam.

It’s an Islamic duty to uphold and maintain ties of kinship. In human relationships: disagreements, arguments are inevitable. In fact: it could well be that the closer you are to a person, the more likely you are, to argue, ‘fall out’ sometimes, and so on.

It seems like a good idea, in the case of somewhat-heated arguments: to take some space away, clear your head and all. Before carrying out some… emotional negotiations, let’s call them.

  • In the Islamic tradition: you shouldn’t spend more than three days ‘not talking’ to someone with whom you share a tie of kinship. Three days, as a maximum, should be a good enough amount of time for you both.
  • Negotiation: discussion aimed at reaching an agreement.

Between parents and children. Between siblings, cousins. Between spouses. Between business representative and business representative.

The point is: we’re individuals. And individuals are different.

If you, for example: have a very close friend… You’re likely not friends with them ‘because’ you’re somehow exactly the same. You’ll have points of similarity between you, sure. And, ultimately: you’re individuals. You’ll differ from time to time: they’ll see it like this. You’ll see it like that.

  • Our conversations are so important: to hear them, and to express yourself also. In a good way. Try not to break anything out of frustration, okay. And if something does break, then: sincere apology, remedy.

Khadijah (RA).

Something that I found sweet that I’d picked up from a book about her (which I am yet to finish…) is that:

When Khadijah (R A ) had been approached by her husband, Muhammad (S A W) after he’d been visited by the Angel Jibreel for the first time. He’d been terrified; had worried that he’d been going mad or something.

His wife had reassured him:

“Do not fear! God will undoubtedly protect and keep you. For you look after your relatives, assist the weak, and clothe the needy.

You are always generous to guests, you continuously seek after the Truth, and have devoted yourself completely to righteous ways…”

And that, to me: is a nice summary of what it means to be Muslim!


Queen Elizabeth II.

Queen Elizabeth II has passed away, and England is in a state of mourning.

And: I didn’t realise I knew this many royalists. Family friends, aunts, and so on. She was, no doubt, an iconic woman. And some would appear to be mourning her passing as though she were a personal friend of theirs.

It’s like: how much people of my nan’s generation, and also my mum’s, I think. Loved/love Princess Diana. Even though I didn’t know Princess Diana personally: I do think she just seems like she’d just been such an inherently lovable woman, Maa Shaa Allah .

To Allah we all belong, and to Him we all return.

This is a big historical turning point that we’re living through and witnessing. The crown goes from the (as one of my cousins kept pointing out,) longest-reigning monarch to… Charles.

King Charles III.

A video about some of what he has said about Islam:


My turtle [friend].

[I don’t own him].

Someone on YouTube makes this claim about his own turtle [friend]:

Well, my turtle [friend] … doesn’t seem to like to be touched. I think he has trust issues. [Is he… my soul animal?]

Essentially: while he’d been in my aunt’s care, apparently, he didn’t mind being handled. She’d clean his shell gently with a toothbrush, let him roam around, feed him good stuff.

Since then: he’s been to two different owners, and then wound up back at my nan’s. I hope he hadn’t been mistreated at any of his previous addresses, but… He does not seem to like being approached anymore.

In Shaa Allah : with time. Trust can be built. I can feed him lettuce, among other things. Or her. I have a bit of investigation to do.


More on ‘extremism’.

I know of an example that I’ve heard of. Of someone who had gone down the ‘extremism’ route, when it had come to matters of religion.

Isolated himself from his family (who are… practising Muslims). Tried to act like he knew ‘better‘ than a relative of his who is actually learned/trained in the Islamic Sciences. And he essentially, it seemed: had come to resent his family, as well as… people in general.

So something had gone wrong there. And people, I think, had become afraid of him. Repelled by, and not attracted to, his way of trying to show… ‘religion’.

  • We shouldn’t ever ‘overdo’ anything. Shouldn’t nitpick and fault-find with others. Shouldn’t isolate ourselves from our people, and from the people.

Verily, the religion is easy and no one burdens himself in religion but that it overwhelms him. Follow the right course, seek closeness to Allah, give glad tidings, and seek help for worship in the morning and evening and a part of the night.

Prophet Muhammad (S A W), according to Sahih Bukhāri.

To me: what I’ve realised is that… living, while being Muslim. It’s like wearing a perfume, musk, that you have to guard and protect. By nature: an attractive, and not a repulsive, scent.

It’s also almost like being on a boat. And you don’t want for the boat to be so light that it’s just… aimlessly floating, bobbing about, being thrown around by the wind.

And: you don’t want for it to be so heavy, so burdened that… it doesn’t move. Doesn’t function optimally, let’s say. And might even: break down, capsize, collapse.

But no. Nay. [How do you say no in German again? Ah, yes.] Nein.

We want for our boats to be functional: to work. To be operational, and have purpose, and also to move well. So, yeah. There’s that.


Key-rings.

So, one of my current hobbies is: wood-burning. I’ve been wood-burning some key-rings, and a handful of people have also purchased some from me. Like a particular sister who’d wanted to buy a dual key-ring (you’ll see what I mean below) for, presumably, her husband: with the words, ‘Best Papa‘ on one, and the name of his children on the other.

Like so:

And my aunt also wanted two: presumably one for herself, and one for her husband. With: the names of their three daughters on them. In English on one side, and in Arabic on the other.


The Car Boot Sale.

Today, I had to wake up fairly early.

To go, with my aunt and uncle, to: the local car boot sale. We had some old clutter to sell, and I’ve gone to the local car boot twice before. Surprisingly: once, some ten years ago now [‘time flies’]. And then: a bit later.

And, again, today. [Well, now: yesterday. I decided to carry on with writing this article… the next day.]

On the way to the local school where it had been taking place…

I had a big cardboard box next to me in the car [with our stall table in it, I think]. I managed to fit in, sitting on the edge. [Does that make me… edgy?]

My aunt, from the front passenger seat, asked:

Sadz, are you comfortable?”

And I said: “Yeah… That’s a good question.”

My aunt and uncle had helped me set our stall up. We had, among other things: my little cousin س’s old clothes and playthings to sell, get rid of. As well as: some ornaments and trinkets and the like. Some of my brother’s old things.

And I’d taken some of my key-rings, also.


Something that is quite nice about this car boot sale (which takes place every month now, I think) is… the lovely sense of community that you’ll find there.

The East End of London is a very interesting place. Historically: it’s been home to Flemish settlers [people from Flanders, in Belgium], and to Huguenots [Protestant silk weavers fleeing religious persecution in France]. And: to Yiddish-speaking Jewish refugees from eastern European shtetls.

[Shtetl: a Yiddish term for the small towns with large Ashkenazi Jewish populations that existed in Eastern Europe before the Holocaust.]

And: to Cockney-speaking English people.

And then, [excerpt from this article from the Guardian…]

By the middle of the last century, a small community of people from the Sylhet district of what is now Bangladesh had been established [that includes my grandfather! And, later, my grandmother too], many finding work in the Jewish-owned tailoring businesses which they took over when their previous owners moved north to Golders Green and Finchley.

In the late 1970s it became a focus for the far-right National Front, which held anti-immigrant protests in Brick Lane every weekend, countered by the Anti-Nazi League and other anti-racist bodies.


Interesting fact: there is a masjid on Brick Lane here in East London that… used to be a Huguenot church. And then a synagogue.

And now it’s a masjid!

Now, we’re also experiencing quite a bit of gentrification, it seems. ‘Hipsters’ and people from elsewhere, moving to the city. For professional reasons, and, I imagine: for a taste and experience of the culture here.

In the East End of London [according to that Guardian article again,]:

Curry houses had decreased by almost two-thirds over the past 15 years, and were “interspersed with Swedish delicatessens, French patisseries, pizza parlours and vegan cafes”, the report said.

  • Gentrification: when the ‘character’ of a ‘poorer’ city area is changed by wealthier people moving in. Houses, shops, streets, and so on, are changed. [Like… the first time I’d seen a Costa café open up in Whitechapel Market. What was going on?!]

An interesting, relevant, quote that concludes that article:

People aren’t against change, but want change that will benefit them.

— Fatima Rajina, co-founder of Nijjor Manush, a Bengali and Bangladeshi campaigning group.


So:

At the car boot sale, after setting up, my aunt and uncle helped with selling things. They wanted to raise money for a masjid project: for raising money for the victims of the flooding that’s been going on in Pakistan.

And, also: I told them I’d be okay to manage our stall by myself. Since: my aunt had an event at the masjid that she’d be taking part in running, I think. Which my nan had cooked food for. And, my uncle had something else at the masjid that he frequently attends and is involved at, I think. I reassured them that I think I’ll be fine by myself!

So, eventually: the two of them had left. This boot sale (compared to previous years, I’d say,) hadn’t been that busy.

Plus: I’d met a fellow Bengali sister, AlHamduli Llah , who’d been nice company. She had a pitch next to ours: lots of toys, since she has three daughters, Allah hummabārik, and who are all in the process of growing up.


I love Cockney accents. I love them.

Alright, darlin’?”

“You alright love?

White working-class English people are some of the loveliest people around, Maa Shaa Allah . At our previous home address: we had at least two of such people who’d lived in that block of flats. So very kind.

Yesterday, at the car boot: my aunt and I had witnessed something, also, that had just been so endearing, Maa Shaa Allah .

Could make my ol’ heart melt, it could:

A kind-of elderly woman, Cockney English, had been on a mobility scooter. She’d come across our stall, picked up something that we had for sale: a crafts box, for making jewellery, as far as I remember. £2.

And: she’d turned to the (also kind-of elderly) Bengali man who’d been with her. Asked if they should buy it for “Jamilla“. [‘Jamilla’ is a variation of the word ‘beautiful’ in Arabic. It’s a beautiful name!]

The man she’d been with said, in such a tender and loving way, Allah hummabārik:

Loylaw.”

Which, in Bengali means: “buy it,” phrased in such a tender way. He’d been speaking to her in Bengali.

I think: this couple had been married. I think they have a granddaughter, maybe, called Jamilla. And: perhaps she’d learnt to understand and speak Bengali as a result of being married to him!

Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww.

[Makes you think: what obstacles did they have to overcome, maybe, in order to be together? Had she… I don’t know… been a member of the Anti-Nazi League?

Did their families approve? And so on.]

Anyway. Seeing that interaction had sort of melted mine and my aunt’s hearts.


We had some Bengali people come to our stall. As well as some white ‘Cockney’ people.

One lady, an elderly white woman, had come to us and had started up a conversation based on… How someone had been trying to sell trainers for £10! At this car boot sale! And they’d been Asda trainers! [Asda is a supermarket. Like the Bri’ish version of the American Wal-Mart.] She made us laugh.

And then: another old lady had picked up one of a pair of shiny golden heels we had on our stall. And had made a joke about wearing them. Bless.


At one point: an English (white) man on a mobility scooter had… picked up (and had purchased,) some Islamic prayer beads from us.

And, you know, I was thinking of maybe explaining that those are prayer beads and all. But: he may well be Muslim. This religion, certainly, doesn’t ‘belong’ to people who ‘look like me’, exclusively.


People buy all sorts of things from car boot sales.

And: you come across all kinds of people.

From our stall: we’d managed to sell random things like… my little cousin’s old princess play-shoes. An old thermos. Dresses.

And even: some… designer toiletries we’d had lying about, I guess.


The Bengali sister who’d been next to me…

Is moving from East London to the Lakeside area soon, In Shaa Allah .

She: has those three daughters [having daughters is a blessing in Islam,] and also has her own beauty business. Doing skin treatments, among other things.

And: she sells homemade samosas and so on. People place orders, I think, and then she makes and sells them.

This sister: we’d been talking here and there. And then: I’d seen something at her stall which had reminded me of a part of my childhood. She actually: kindly let me have it, for free.

[I managed to give her a key-ring, in return!]


At one point: my phone battery… had died.

My aunt, bless her soul alive, Allah hummabārik: had probably tried to call me, and had realised that my phone was dead. She’d… left her masjid event for a while. Hand-delivered a power-bank to me, for me to charge my phone. As well as: a container of food, in case I’d been hungry. [And I had been hungry!]

My uncle had offered to buy us egg McMuffins from McDonald’s. My mum had offered to get me something to eat too. I think this is something that we Bengalis share with, for example… Italians. [Big, bustling families, Allah hummabārik, and…] Showing love through food!

*Oh, and… in case of any more phone-charge issues… My aunt got me to write out hers and my uncle’s numbers on a piece of paper…


Look at these cute old climbing/hiking shoes that used to be my little cousin’s (but no longer fit, I don’t think) …

These boots were made for walkin’… And for climbin’… Furniture, sometimes.

Do I have ‘OCD’?

So. At one point: I’d been lining up something we had on our stall for sale. An old game that had belonged to my little brother, I think. These toy tin cans that you’re meant to knock over with a little bean-bag.

Someone had seen me lining them up, and said that he sees… “a bit of OCD” from me.

To me: it didn’t seem particularly ‘obsessive’ or ‘compulsive’, what I’d been doing. I just wanted for the little tins to look ‘just straight enough’.

It’s interesting to think that: all humans, essentially. Have our ‘particularities’, and our ‘ways of doing things’. Many of which: might make perfect, ‘normal’ sense to us. But may appear… differently to other eyes.


‘Scuse me, Ibrahim!

Three little boys, among a decent variety of other people, had been around at the car boot sale. I think they’d been brothers, maybe of Moroccan [??? Or… Bahraini? Emirati?] descent.

The smallest one, who might have been… eight, tops. Was just so adorably bossy towards his older brothers. An outspoken personality, Maa Shaa Allah .

Put some things he’d likely just bought, into his brother’s bag. But not without cutely demanding:

“‘Scuse me, Ibrahim! Put it in your bag!”


Miss ه.

Someone else I’d seen at the boot sale yesterday had been… Miss ه.

A kind, Algerian-I-think, lady who’d worked at the secondary school I went to. She’s still there, Maa Shaa Allah . [She’d call me Syeda, instead of Sadia, my name. All the time. Even yesterday, bless. “Syeda“.]

I actually got to… apologise to her yesterday. She’s a supervisor at the school, and… back when I’d been there, I’d constantly be in (a bit of) trouble with her. For frequently breaking a (minor) school rule.

She was very nice about it. Man, it must have been frustrating for her, back then. The same thing, practically day in, day out.

Anyway: yesterday, she needed a bag for her shopping. And: I had a heavy-duty Waitrose carrier bag [practically designer, as far as carrier bags go…]

So, hopefully, that had been enough by way of apology…


Finally: another person I’d had the pleasure of meeting at the car boot sale yesterday, AlHamduli Llah , had been…

A girl called Elena.

She’s moving out for uni soon, In Shaa Allah , and had some clothes, textbooks, books, that she’d wanted to sell, get rid of.

We ended up having a nice conversation. She, ethnically, is:

Half-English. A quarter Mauritian. And a quarter Italian!

Awesome mix, Maa Shaa Allah . And she is also… someone who had reverted to Islam! Maybe her family isn’t Muslim, but I think she’d said that she’d read up on Islam, and had accepted it. Subhaan Allah !

  • Elena saved herself as ‘Elena car boot’ on my phone. We might meet up sometime, In Shaa Allah .


After the car boot sale, I relaxed at home for a little while. Cleaned some jewellery of mine: I found a method (using tin foil, salt, and baking soda) to remove rust. This is what this method looked like, in practice:

Did it work? Well… Probably not that well. But at least now I know. I might use the ‘vinegar method’ next time, In Shaa Allah .


Then, I went and met up with my best friend, AlHamduli Llah . Went to a little shopping centre.

There, a (white, English,) man had come up to us and had said, “May Allah bless you.

And I said,

And you, too.”

He might have been Muslim. My friend thought: he might just be someone who knows a lot about, and perhaps someone who’s interested in, Islam.

Ye just can’t assume.


Anyway, something that’s kind of funny and cute — about my little brother and little cousin who’s just started secondary school… Is that they seem to have this ‘categorical’ way of thinking: that people can be ‘divided’ into those of us who are ‘cool kids’, and those of us who are ‘nerds‘.

According to them: they, of course, are ‘cool kids’. While I… am a ‘nerd‘. [Yesterday, for drinking water, it had been insinuated that I’m a… ‘nerd’.

So: what do ‘cool kidsTM‘ drink in order to stay hydrated? Gatorade?]

In the food court at the shopping centre yesterday, my friend and I had sat awaaaay from all the people.

Like this [enjoy the view of my Kit-Kat in the picture…]:

Does this make us ‘cool kids’, or does this render us… ‘nerds’?

Well, I just think that ‘nerds’ are… smart people. Who drink water, care about their lives, so don’t engage in dangerous activities that often. And so on.


After meeting with my friend and running some errands with her, AlHamduli Llah , I stopped at my nan’s place for a short while [she lives locally to us]. My little cousin س had been there too.

She has a little princess doll, and was getting it (or, ‘her,’) to ‘whisper’ something to me.

Psspspsss”.

I asked her what the doll’s saying.

She’s saying that the fox hit somebody.” [Maybe in reference to the fox we sometimes see, from our nan’s balcony.]

Which fox? And other questions.

I don’t knoow. Elsa’s saying it to you.”

Now, here is a picture of the “crown” that my little cousin (who is currently four years old,) had placed on Elsa’s hair:


Back at my house:

I’d found my little cousin ع at ours. Playing football with our neighbour (‘adopted cousin’,) ف. My brother had been on the side, having a little snack.

And then: they’d all played video-games together. Made funny videos. And played hide-and-seek. [Hiding in my wardrobe, without permission…]

My cousin ع also wanted to gift his parents some hand-burned key-rings. He also wanted to make one for his older brother, who turned 22 years old yesterday.

For his brother’s keyring: ع drew the design with a pencil, and I just had to go over it with the wood-burner. This is what it looks like:

“Love you.” “You’re my favourite.”

An update on the guy from the masjid situation:

[Recently I was approached by someone at London Central masjid, basically, and ‘asked out’.]

Well: I don’t think that he’s for me, and that I’m for him.

As Muslims: if we make Du’a for a fellow Muslim, did you know that an Angel says, “Āmeen, and the same for you.

I think, as a woman, whenever someone speaks to me about… emotions, I… am all ears. As a fellow Muslim and human being: I do care about that person. But: I don’t think I should speak to him, and be a direct source of ‘comfort’ for him and so on.

[As women: I think we should be wary of accidentally coming to play the role of… anybody’s ‘pseudo-wife’, you know? …]

So: I’ve made Du’a for him. To find the right person for him.

Annnnnnd: I do not know just how to respond to his texts…….


A contract.

Yesterday: I signed a contract, AlHamduli Llah , which means that my life is likely going to change a lot in coming months.

To rent a room, in a property with some Muslim sisters, as well as one non-Muslim lady. [A pro of living with women: don’t have to worry about wearing a headscarf and so on when going to the kitchen.]

In Shaa Allah : after quite a journey, my first degree (yes, starting at the age of twenty-one!) is going to be in Islamic Studies. Previously: I’ve considered subjects like English, Theology, Philosophy, and so on…

I think Allah has Chosen this time for me, and this course of study. And, perhaps: this home to share.

  • Things are going to change (again!)

I imagine, for example: I’m going to have to adapt, get used to being around, my ‘housemates’. There will, perhaps, be some… negotiations involved.

[e.g. I care a lot about hygiene, I think! What if they find aspects of that to be ‘too much’? What if they care a lot about… ‘order’, and find some of my ways to be… messy. Etc.

But let’s not dwell on the negatives. I hope this is going to be a wonderful experience, In Shaa Allah .]

I hope that is is going to be a change that’s… filled with goodness and benefit! In Shaa Allah .


P.S. Yesterday, I saw a mouse at the train station. It wasn’t even a small mouse. And I: am terrified of mice. It just… jfgkdjkfhsdjjsgh… came out of nowhere. I think I’m left with a bit of train-station-PTSD now.

That might have been a sign. It might just be time, In Shaa Allah , for me to learn how to… *gasp*… drive! [With no passengers for quite some time, maybe. Because: I don’t want to put their lives at risk as well as my own…]


بسم الله

In the Name of Allah .

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s