Towards Pleasure, and Away from Pain. A Church, a Train, and a Pretty Apple Tree.

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

We’re human beings in motion. Please take a moment to pretend that that line just there had been especially poetic and profound to read somehow.

Human beings in motion:

Today, my little brother went on a school trip to Gorsefield, a residential educational house, for a day-trip.

Octobers [it’s not quite October yet. But: almost,] have some sort of tendency to remind me of Gorsefield. We’d stayed there for five days, back when I’d been ten, and I’d been in Room 5 with some of my classmates.

That time: had just been… a [what is the adjectival form of ‘eudaimonia’? Apparently it’s…] eudemonic time for me, AlHamduli Llah . Maybe: retrospectively coated in nostalgia, and detached from the pain of, for example, having been separated, geographically, by a close friend around that same time. And other pains. Pain is a part of life here in this Dunya.


It’s a blessing, isn’t it: the fact that, although we remember things… We don’t tend to remember painful things as acutely as we’d felt them at the time of experiencing them.

Eudaimonia: well-being. A type of ‘happiness’ that isn’t as choppy and altogether drug-like as ‘hedonia’. Satisfaction, contentment, centred on the idea that happiness comes from… within.

A life filled with meaning. [And stay away from the weed!]


Muhammad (S A W), according to Sahīh Bukhāri and Muslim, said:

“Wealth is not in having many possessions. Rather, true wealth is the richness of the soul.


Today, AlHamduli Llah , we had lunch with a PhD internship candidate. The paper/project she’s working on is all about…

Happiness, according to the Qur’an.

The Pain and Pleasure Principles.

The idea that: it’s in human nature to go towards what will give us pleasure/benefit, and stay away from what will cause us pain/harm.

This was lunch from today:

Maybe I should stop taking pictures of… my food.

Speaking with the sister, whose family is ethnically Lebanese, and whose country of residence is… Brazil, had been interesting.

For example: if we think about things that naturally cause human beings ‘pleasure’, at least in the short term…

Earning money [that ping! into your Monzo account, am I right,] and spending it. Eating, drinking. The consumption of intoxicants, the dopamine rushes that people can get from things like… gambling.

Having sexual relations. Chillin’ on the beach, sippin’ on lemonade. And so forth.

Islam is not: don’t make your own money [we aren’t ‘communists’, and nor do we advocate for blind capitalism]. It’s not: never have sexual relations (that you thoroughly enjoy), and only eat… porridge and plain bread for the rest! Of! Your! Life!

Don’t laugh! Don’t enjoy dressing nicely! And so on. Actually:

The Islamic take on things is: moderation. And that: with some things, you might think you ‘know’. But Allah Knows Better.

For example: He Knows that, although you might enjoy those… drugs now… That moment of something that feels like ‘pleasure’…

Look at the harms that drugs cause. To yourself, to your family, to society. To your soul. Same with alcohol, extramarital sexual relationships, and so on. Anything in immoderation, also. [I know: me @ me. Can’t let my love for food, which is flavourful and which nourishes… to become… an addiction.]


Addictions.

Something that س, the PhD intern sister, had spoken about is how: hedonistic pursuits are the ones that become… addictions.

There’s essentially no Greater Meaning to these things, except giving your mind a little ‘high’.

Ah: but then…

To satisfy that same urge/itch…

You might find that you need more of it somehow. And more and more. And ultimately these unhealthy attachments, though ‘Pleasurable’ for a ping! of a moment…

Tend to result in pain. Long-term, societal… Sometimes the low that follows that little ‘high’… might just be your soul’s way of saying…

Yeah, this ain’t the one. There’s better ways. And Whom better to ask for Help and Guidance than the Creator of you and I Himself?

Which Guidebook could ever be better than… the Qur’an? [Nowt. Sorry JP fans: ‘12 Rules for Life’ could not ever quite compare…]


*Why am I sitting next to the washroom on the train? For what? Why?


From earlier today:

Here is, Allah hummabārik, a corner of Cambridge Muslim College’s Social Sciences library…

We’re also allowed to use the Cambridge University Library: even though the college isn’t officially affiliated with Cambridge University…

Its Dean is also a professor there, Maa Shaa Allah .

This is great, AlHamduli Llah , since I have a friend who’ll be starting at Cambridge University for her Master’s soon, In Shaa Allah ! Library dates! Or something.

It’s incredible partly because: for a while, we’d looked for ways to spend (substantially) more time with one another, since she lives a little far away. Allah Knows, and His Plan is Best.


Here is a cup of tea I had in an attempt to remedy this cold I have:

And here is an apple tree… It’s quite fruitful, Maa Shaa Allah . Allah has Chosen for it to be that way.

#Be fruitful. Take a leaf out of this tree’s book:

We also visited the neighbouring Church: some of our lessons are actually going to be held in one of the halls there.

Some denominations of Christianity: the followers of Jesus who advocate for praying to God, and who don’t have attempted ‘images of Jesus’ adorning their walls…

They’re quite close to us in faith, aren’t they?


Annnnd now it’s time for me to move to a different seat on this train. In pursuit of something like Eudaimonia, perhaps. And away from the borderline painful stench emanating from el toilet…

We are human beings in motion. I am on a moving train. In Shaa Allah : I am also moving seats.

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