07/10/22: AlHamduliLlah, wa ShukruliLlah.

Hamd. حمد.

Praise. And Thanks: the type that is due to Allah alone.

I’d say: on Tuesday in particular, I really felt it, AlHamduliLlah. Like when Allah makes a way out for you, from someone/somewhere you wouldn’t quite expect. But it happens; despite whatever you may experience, of worry… It happens Perfectly.

That day: I’d taken the train. Possibly bought some Jaffa Cakes on the way, I think. And just: the whole day, AlHamduliLlah, felt so quietly… perfect.

Subhaan Allah. When the heart is full of Hamd for its Creator. Like it sings, with delight, His Praises. The calming crimsons of our Prayer Room.

‘Spontaneous’ (but Allah Knows the past, present, future, and every single minute aspect of our lives) hot chocolate with a classmate. From a nearby, ‘artisan’ or something, let’s say, bakery/café. [They make their hot chocolates with actual (raw, possibly organic,) chocolate. And not: with extremely-sweetened, added-to-with-additives, powder.]

And our first class of the day, Subhaan Allah: had been perfect. In a unique, Divinely-Decided, AlHamduliLlah, kind of way.

Our Qur’an Studies teacher: he’d described the Qur’an as being…

Of “exquisite beauty.”

This teacher of ours: you can tell that he sincerely loves the Book of Allah, Maa Shaa Allah. And talking about it, and its language, pure, clear Arabic.

Our Arabic Language teacher (who also teaches Hadīth,) says that:

Arabic is “not a lazy language.” And it’s also not an “arrogant” language.

It’s… exquisitely beautiful, Maa Shaa Allah. And rich, and highly intelligent. It’s also: quietly, purely, and… unassumingly so. [Unassuming: modest. Not arrogant, not pretentious.]

Let me tell you something about how vast and precise, Maa Shaa Allah, FusHa (classical) Arabic is. According to our Arabic teacher:

There are so many various, specific words for things, in Arabic. For example: in English, we have the word ‘knock’. To knock on the door. In Arabic: there is a specific word to describe knocking on the door in the day. And another word for knocking at the door at night. Different words for: knocking lightly with one’s fingers, or more heavily, with one’s knuckles.

In Arabic: there is a specific word for the first sip of water that you have. And another for the second. And another for the third! Subhaan Allah.

“Do you fear something other than Allah?”

Truth be told: I’ve been experiencing some personal circumstances, as everyone does, in their own ways. Which, I worry: may lead to some of my teachers ending up having a negative opinion of me.

I must also realise: that I’m not in control of these circumstances. That I can only do the best I can. And even when I may find myself looking back and thinking that perhaps I have not done the best I can:

We shouldn’t look back at any aspect of the past, and think, ‘if only…‘. This opens the doors to the influences of Shaytān, according to a reported Prophetic narration.

“Strive for that which will benefit you, seek the help of Allah, and do not feel helpless. If anything befalls you, do not say, “if only I had done such and such” rather say “Qaddara Allahu wa ma sha’a fa’ala (Allah has decreed and whatever he wills, He does).” For (saying) ‘If‘ opens (the door) to the deeds of Satan.'”

And when I may find myself fearing what other people may think of me:

All truth is God’s truth. [Quote: Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad. When I put my hand up in one of our ‘Development’ lectures and said something about how truths, for example, about space and time: don’t ‘belong’ to individuals like Stephen Hawking, as intelligent as Allah allowed them to be. I love the attitude of holism that is embodied at the Cambridge Muslim College, CMC, Maa Shaa Allah.]

And: the Muslim’s heart is an “Islamic space”. We are home when we are in Islamic spaces.

This might sound a bit dramatic when said in relation to… my studies. And whether or not people will think I’m a good student. But: as long as I am honest, and do my best. Allah will protect the truth.

At CMC, I don’t think I feel like… an ‘Other’, although this feeling has felt quite common to me in certain other ‘learning spaces’.

Like when there is poetry on the board that you cannot relate to, connect with. And ‘histories’ in which Muslims are, somehow, ‘Saracens’. ‘Specimens’. The whole entire field of ‘anthropology’: emerged as the ‘study of the ‘Other’‘. [Quote: our Social Sciences teacher].

It’s almost been… zoological, throughout its time. There’s an arrogance, maybe, to it. Like when European colonialists were going around, putting black African children in cages. Prodding and probing at them: almost as though they’re less human, more… ‘mystery’. Countries to be ‘explored’, and peoples to be ‘discovered’.

Before ‘anthropology’, you had people in Europe questioning whether black African people had souls or not. It’s despicable to think about: but the two options they’d decided for themselves had been. If yes: they do have souls, then… enslave them. If no: they don’t have souls, then… kill them.

Sensitivity Warning: The following picture shows something heavily racist. Disturbing. Belgium had human zoos. For example at the Belgium Expo in 1958.

But we don’t accept this. You cannot have people put you, or your mind: a gift from God. Into cages. Don’t pander, don’t ‘bow down’ to any man. Not even to the old European men who are sometimes (erroneously [erroneously: wrongly]) considered to be the ‘founders’ of this discipline, or that one. Be it: Physics, or Sociology.

All Power,

All Praise,

And all Truth: belongs to Allah alone.

Although I do still sometimes find myself worrying that: I’m being awkward and everything, at CMC we tend to have lots of nice little, random, meaningful, conversations, AlHamduliLlah. With staff, and with fellow students.

Like: in the women’s Wudhū area, someone had been speaking about how a friend of hers studies Theology, at a ‘secular’ uni. And: in spaces like those ones, sometimes you hear people sniggering, finding it funny, when you speak about God. They are ‘convinced’ that He is not there.

[Last academic year: I actually started off being enrolled at King’s College, in London, to ‘study’ Theology. Learning religion from atheists who ‘look down upon’ religion… Is like ‘learning’ English from illiterate individuals who do not like the English language.

AlHamduliLlah: Allah Guided me to… also apply for CMC on the side, and wait to see if I would get in.]

Once, as I’d told the sister in the women’s Wudhū room: someone back at a school (sixth form) I’d attended had given me… a (back-handed compliment). What? You believe in God? I thought you were… ‘smart‘. [Thanks for thinking I’m ‘smart’ though. I… guess?]

I hope that one day she can maybe learn a bit more about… people like Ibn Sīna. Ibn Khaldūn. And many more:

Whose minds, Allah had not only blessed with knowledge of the workings of the Universe, and of humanity. But also, fundamentally, with His Qur’an. There’s so much of beauty, and of mathematics. Humbling, awe-inspiring wonder in it all… Subhaan Allah.

“Allah Chose for you to be here.”

If he didn’t Want for you to be exactly whom, where, when, and what you are, then: you simply wouldn’t have been. He wouldn’t have said, “Be!” to make it all happen. Subhaan Allah.

For CMC: I actually failed the Arabic exam the first time round. We had a family emergency; I had to stay at my nan’s house for the night. And was so sleep-deprived the next day, it was like… I was drunk. I could have been run over by a car that day: that’s how weird I felt.

AlHamduliLlah: I emailed the staff there afterwards, to let them know. They allowed me to resit the test (but a different paper,) with the second batch of exam-takers. When Allah Wants something for you: it’s absolutely inevitable for you. And when He doesn’t Want something for you: it’s absolutely impossible, no matter how much, or how hard, you, a limited and created human being, may try.

This is what I sent my aunt (dad’s cousin. Not that much older than me,) this week, and this is what she responded with:

[She shows love through pretensions of ‘meanness’.]

We also had an interesting little conversation, AlHamduliLlah, when I’d said, of ‘hate‘, that:

Some more gems I’ve, AlHamduliLlah, heard, as a result of being at CMC:

You do the best you can.

And after that: Allah is in Control.”

In Shaykh AHM’s words, something that is so nice about CMC, and about the people there, and what they strive for, and what they embody, Maa Shaa Allah, is:

The delight of discovering the Prophetic Perfection.”

Like the way the people at CMC pray, Maa Shaa Allah. In such quiet reverence. Respect. Awe, and humility. Before their Creator, Allah (SWT). Like how Muhammad (SAW) would pray before, and live his whole life for, his Lord, the Alone and Only.

Muhammad (SAW): his name is derived from… ‘Hamd’. Praise for God. He’d praised Allah always, no matter what. And God Himself had also Honoured and Praised His beloved servant, Muhammad (SAW). The angels, the people, and the trees: had also loved him very much too.

  • Cambridge, says Shaykh AHM (who is AKA Professor Timothy Winter of Cambridge University,) is the “capital of unbelieving troublemakers,” historically. [Lol! You know: materialistic, passionate (‘militant’,) atheists.]

Knowledge is from Allah. I’m glad, from the Qur’an and Sunnah: that we have our true, reliable, foundations, AlHamduliLlah.

Look around you: the Signs are everywhere.

Everything is a Sign, pointing back to the One.

The Qur’an is a constellation. It is, in and of itself, entire galaxies.

It’s so (quietly) profound, so beautiful, that:

Our Arabic/Hadīth teacher, Shaykh Sulayman Van Ael, had memorised Five Juzz [the Qur’an is divided into thirty Juzz] of it, within the first three months of his reversion to Islam, at the age of 18, Maa Shaa Allah.

He’d: been working a telecomms job. For roughly twelve hours a day. And interweaving meaningful Arabic/Islamic learning into his moments of ‘free time’, and, presumably, also afterwards.

Life goes on; we have our struggles, our challenges [Muslims: we should orient ourselves to be stimulated, actually, by ‘challenge’.]. We have to meaningfully, and in a good way, learn to interweave things like our learning, right through them.

Islamic learning, AlHamduliLlah: is inherently meaningful. The value is here, in the thing itself. It is also, Maa Shaa Allah: distinctively healing, isn’t it?

But Allah’s Universe is exquisitely beautiful. We know this: look at the stars, and look at your own hands. Look back at the stories of your own life, thus far: one in more than a billion. And simply incredible, Subhaan Allah. Divinely Writ: it’s all Written!

Look at the rain, and its beneficial nature. When it would rain, Muhammad (S A W) would open up the back of his collar a little, roll up his sleeves somewhat, and put his hands out. He (S A W) would say:

And Allah loves those of His Servants who are sincere. [Like the students at CMC who will whisper salutations for the Prophet (S A W) whenever his name is mentioned in our classes].

Allah Loves those of us who will try to uphold and maintain excellent standards:

He loves the MuHsineen: the ones who will always try, strive, for their Lord. The devotedly, the beautifully excellent.

P.S.: the other day, at CMC, someone was climbing a tree, while his friend waited for him. Why? Because we’d received a nice email, about the apples being ready to be picked; we could use a ladder near the cabinet if we wanted.

Also: yesterday, I’d almost gotten run over by a car. Because: I needed to catch a bus, to be on time for my train. I don’t normally run for public transport, but I did yesterday, while a car had been turning out.

I’m alive, AlHamduliLlah. Journey to the Heart of Islam lives on!

And here is a chopping board that I made for my aunt [late Eid gift]:

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