بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
‘Can you do Wudhu with snow?’
[Wudhu: ablution. How we wash ourselves before prayer, and before touching the Qur’an.]
A: as we learned, today. Yes, technically, you can. So long as water flows from it, when it makes contact with your skin.
I love the mist and the haze of this English, Cambridge, Autumn.
Nebulous: a word that can mean ‘to do with clouds of dust and stars‘.
It can also mean: hazy, unclear. Like nebulae [clouds of dust and stars].
Today, in Hadīth, we were reminded of some important things.
Like about the importance of tempering [tempering: controlling, softening,] anger.
Anger, as a feeling, is natural. In Arabic: Ghadab. الغضب. When justice has been overstepped; when you feel you have been wronged.
But, as Muslims: we should seek to respond to bad/evil with what is good, with what is better.
And so, when feeling angry, we:
- Seek refuge in Allah, away from Shaytān, who wants to see you fall.
- Don’t speak. Don’t express that anger, except in a way that is good, and fruitful. Expressing anger as intensely as you might be feeling it, in a moment… Can lead to a lot of regret.
- Sit down. Or lie down.
- Do Wudhū. Anger is a fiery emotion, and water extinguishes fire.
- Next: On Halāl Meat:
Halāl meat, and meat that is good, is not only about the moment of the actual slaughter:
It’s also about what precedes it. Were the animals treated in a dignified way?
On that note: my friend A’iyshah told me about how eating meat can affect us hormonally. Of course food has such a massive impact on us. And I:
Have loved to eat… chicken. But so much of the chicken available in this country: is factory-farmed. There’s even a practice, because of something that ‘Saudi gave a fatwa for’ in the 90s or something: about how animals can essentially be slaughtered on a conveyor belt, with a recording of what needs to be recited over it (for it to be a legitimate Halāl slaughter) playing… [Saudi aren’t the ‘kings over our Islam’, however.]
I want to experiment with vegetarianism, In Shaa Allah. Flexitarianism, perhaps: fish is quite good for us. And there’s at least one place here in Cambridge that sells Halāl organic chicken…
- Moreover: I need to cut down on eating sweet things!
- In making changes: I realise that it’s about gradualism. Step by step. Dramatic shifts aren’t really always very effective. E.g.: when I was quite ‘attached’ to Instagram/Twitter. And was trying really hard to get off those apps, at a point. Gradualism works: step by step, with patience, and ‘organically’.
- [But: what will make it tricky to start with the vegetarianism thing sooner is… The fact that yesterday, when my parents had come round to visit me here in Cambridge, they’d brought, among other things: chicken pies.]
Maybe a 3-day veggie, one day chicken/meat, thing might be good for me, at least for now.
And, as for the sweet stuff, [Café Nero’s chocolate-and-cherry cake, for example!] perhaps I ought to follow the traditional practice of the Swedish, and have one weekday reserved for having sweets. Or: twice a week. So then I’m not tempted to overindulge on that ‘one day’.
Lördagsgodis: that’s what the Swedes call this tradition.
Trying-real-hard-not-to-develop-heart-disease: perhaps that is what I shall call mine.
- It’s Sunnah to fast on Mondays and on Thursdays. Maybe that’s how I can incorporate my personal ‘Lördagsgodis’-es [plural] In Shaa Allah: aim to fast on these days, and then have, say, a slice of that Café Nero cake to really look forward to…
- £3.50. Really good cake. Can’t go wrong.
Also: sugar. It’s like cocaine [, and it is everywhere. In brown bread, in… tuna-and-sweetcorn sandwich filler from Tesco, even! [Why??!!]]. Madniss.
Retrospective update: today was perhaps not a good day to try starting this cut-down-on-meat-and-sugar thing. CMC had a bake sale. Plus we had a nice chicken meal for lunch, and if I’d taken the veggie option: I’d have ended up eating a few chips (since there were only a few left by the time I’d got there,) and perhaps some salad.
Also, in the evening, I had some (non-veggie) lasagne, AlHamduliLlah. But more on that delicious specimen of fine Italian food [thank you Italians for bringing the world good food. Pizza,… pasta,… lasagne. Gelato.] later.
Here’s a screenshot of when I was trying to copy and paste something into Google Translate, in order to learn its meaning [although, warning: Google Translate, though quick, isn’t always reliable…]. I’d accidentally copied and pasted the wrong thing:
More on Gradualism.
Your Lord could have created this entire gorgeous Universe in a moment.
“‘Kun‘. Fayakoon.” [“‘Be!’ And it is.]
What is the significance of the fact that, instead, in His Universe, things are done in stages?
In our own lives: when the time is right for the next stage, part, phase. And only then: not too early, not too late.
It’s a continuous learning-and-growing process, isn’t it?
‘To want nothing else other than what Allah is making happen in your life right now.’
Even illness, fever, sickness:
Those are means of you being cleansed of sins. The bitternesses of this life is… the sheer, at-present-unimaginable, sweetness of the Next One.
Tests come with Wisdom. They are for a reason; there is much khayr (goodness) to be extracted from them, and after them.
Allah is the Doer, and His creation are the means: the done-through.
- We accept what Allah brings to our lives, and the tests we will also be presented with, with contentment. Love. And, for the latter: with patience.
The Point of Education?
‘EDUCATION IS TRANSFORMATION’.
This statement had been written by someone in the centre of the big whiteboard at the front of CMC’s lecture room. Someone: had written this statement in permanent marker. And so, when somebody had tried to rub it out: it stayed there.
Symbolic, perhaps, of the permanent effects that ‘education’ will have on us?
Education is teaching; being taught. It concerns: authority. Knowledge, Truth, and Truth being transmitted, based on a decided-upon curriculum.
Light, and light being passed on.
But when, ‘in the West’, ‘education’ had become detached from sacredness, or at least a version of it:
What is left?
A battle, maybe: for (material, Dunya) wealth, and for status. When not considering the Ākhirah: what do we only have left? The Dunya. Which, by itself: is like rotten meat for us. We don’t want it.
Except where there is Light, and Truth, Beauty and Goodness. We want the Goodness of this world, as well as the unlimited Good of the one that will follow it…
Currently making some Turkish delight (AKA Lokum,) this evening. For our CMC bake sale, which is tomorrow, In Shaa Allah.
Earlier, two of my housemates and I: went to the big Tesco here in Cambridge. I got some baking supplies, among a few other things.
To live… here, or there?
I’m currently living in a privately-rented house, with three other flatmates. I guess some of them, and I, differ in certain ways, in terms of lifestyle.
They’re good people, Maa Shaa Allah. And we’re also different.
The other day, they were talking about alcohol, and the types they’ve had/like to have, I guess.
I’ve only had… Ribena, mey. And some non-alcoholic beer, for example in the Hijāz. And at a steak/grill-house that is fairly local to us, back in East London…
I don’t say that with a ‘holier-than-thou‘ attitude, I hope. Just: I’ve grown up Muslim. Besides: one of my housemates openly says that (though she drinks. Albeit, not in the communal areas of our home,) it’s not even worth it. I’m not missing out.
In Shaa Allah: the most delicious of wine awaits us in Jannah. Vodka, champagne, and all the rest of it… Whatever you want, and more.
“No one who commits Zina [sexual intercourse that isn’t between a married man and woman] is a believer at the moment when he is committing Zina, and no one who drinks wine is a believer at the moment when he is drinking it, and no thief is a believer at the moment when he is stealing, and no robber is a believer at the moment when he is robbing and the people are looking on.”
— Muhammad (S A W), (according to the collections Sahih Bukhāri and Sahih Muslim).
While at CMC: I spend a lot of time with and around fellow Muslims, AlHamduliLlah. And, in the evenings, generally: I go back to a house of people who are not Muslim. I wonder what’s best for me, although Allah already Knows.
I’m part of the real world. People who don’t share Islam with me are also part of the real world. And I do think that I have things to learn from people who are not Muslim. I’m also confident enough in my Deen, AlHamduliLlah, I think. There is a reason, and perhaps multiple, as to why I am currently living in that house [it was initially advertised to me as a home that would be shared with fellow Muslim women…].
Ihsān in everything we do.
Truth. Is a very heavy, important word.
It’s what modern academic institutions which have tried to detach themselves from the Truth are still seeking. It’s why their spires point upwards. We’re looking for Truth, looking up at the stars, at the skies. Seeking to be enlightened, seeking what is Higher, and more filled with Light, than just this Earthly abode by itself, as muddy and difficult as it can sometimes be.
The whole aesthetic of ‘Old Academia’. Still very much gives off the impression of human beings seeking out Divinity. Seeking to know more, to bring us closer to Truth.
How fortunate we are, as Muslims, to personally know what the Truth is.
And we seek to demonstrate Ihsān: Beauty, Excellence. In everything that we do.
Rooted in Truth, and in the True fact of just how much Allah has Honoured us to be human beings. Seeing, hearing, thinking creatures. And, we’re Muslim human beings. Subhaan Allah.
So, what ended up happening with the Turkish delight:
Before making it, the housemates and I went to Tesco. The Tesco Extra (big supermarket,) where Sasha hopes to have a birthday party for herself someday soon…
Anyway. I got some baking things. And: didn’t find red (liquid) food colouring, so as to make rose-flavoured Lokum.
“Improvise! Adapt! Overcome!”
Says Sasha, quoting none other than Bear Grylls. [Or, at least, a meme with a picture of him…]
And so I picked up some almond essence: a mixture of almond oil and rapeseed oil. As well as some pistachios. To make: almond-and-pistachio Turkish Delight. I do like adding my own twists to recipes, experimenting…
[Almond essence smells/tastes exquisite out of 11, Maa Shaa Allah, by the way… The things we have, on this Earth… And their sights, properties, and smells…]
I also tried to purchase a sharp knife. To cut the Lokum pieces, and also generally, for me to use in the kitchen.
I didn’t have any I.D. on me that day. So my housemate Shirley offered to let me use hers.
But at the checkout: the people working there figured out that it was actually for me. ‘Buying by proxy’ isn’t allowed. Sigh. £7 returned, and I couldn’t take the knife…
Fair, however. Nothing personal: they were just doing their jobs.
Images can deceive.
What do you see here:
Some decently-made Turkish delight, ready to be powdered?
So… evening baking. It was going alright. Looking… promising?
But: and since Tesco didn’t seem to have any cornstarch in stock. And: according to a quick Google search for ‘alternatives to cornstarch’, I was ‘informed’, ‘taught’, that I could use flour…
The Lokum didn’t end up setting properly. And so: it looked like… gloop the next day.
[I’m sorry Nadiyah Hussain from Great British Bake-Off! Have I now let down, disappointed, Muslims and British-Bengalis and women everywhere?!
Do I bear, now, baking-tragedy shame upon my family name?!]
Well: I said that I didn’t want for my dish to be sold anymore. Not even at a discount price. Instead: I told fellow CMC students that anyone could just have some with a spoon. And then I’d thought about simply… throwing it away afterwards.
It was like a pudding. And so I’d named it, the puddles of gloop that I’d seen the next day [generally, I think, you have to leave Turkish delight to set overnight…]: Turkish Mess instead of delight. Like Turkish delight x Eton Mess.
Because: you know… things are always changing, cultures are always coming into contact with others, new things develop/come about via interactions between older ones, and so on…
Anjum approved of it! The baking queen herself, Maa Shaa Allah. The taste, that is, although she was honest in her feedback about the presentation…
The people in the refectory [lunch hall] quite liked it too! But someone, after complimenting how it tasted, added: “but presentation…” [I found that quite funny. I was on the other side of the room, and said, I’m right here, you know!]
[Perhaps, in order to protect my baking honour… I shall re-attempt it again soon, In Shaa Allah. With cornstarch, this time…]
Perks of having made a ‘failed’ Turkish delight: [Why didn’t I simply pick up the £3 (cheat) organic banana cake/loaf packet from Tesco that day? For good reason.]
- Now I’ve got some nice baking things, and cutlery, at home!
- Got ingredients left over, and I can attempt this dish again!
- Baking is nice. The process
- It tasted good! Validation
- I learned how nice the smell of almond essence is
- I learned just how much sugar goes into making Turkish delight. Whereas previously: I would probably be able to eat ten pieces of it in a row… Now, I would definitely hold back, I think.
- My classmate who took the whole dish back to one of the CMC houses… Hopefully they in that house now have some dessert that they can continue to eat. The glucose from that fuels their good deeds and activities…
- Nobody in terms of bake sale customers was injured as a result of accidentally eating my Turkish delight while having a nut allergy…
In a class/school:
Whom the teacher is, is very important.
And: what they are teaching you. They are a leader, and a figure of authority in that moment.
Your company, so fellow students: that is also very important.
Your friends: are slices of your Jannah.
Here is a deconstructed trifle that Anjum had made for us all today, Maa Shaa Allah. Allah hummabārik, it was absolutely delicious:
The actual bake sale went really well, AlHamduliLlah. Even though it was raining in the morning. A total of £681 was raised, and there were parts (between 12 and 5, when we were selling,) that were more quiet, and parts that were more…
Kids from the nearby (prep) school, and their parents. “Cake!”
Kids + colours + cake…
For this bake sale:
A member of the local Muslim community here in Cambridge: her name is Shahana. She: sourced and brought cakes, cupcakes, doughnuts… From shops like Tesco, Creamz, Lola’s Cupcakes, Maa Shaa Allah. Shahana credits herself with having the “gift of the gab“. It’s a ‘northerner thing’. Being able to speak to ‘strangers’, freely, openly. And to win hearts… And baked goods for a bake sale!
[Shahana, also: last year… Ran 10km a day… while fasting during Ramadan… to raise money for CMC, for Muslim scholarship…]
The Terry’s chocolate-orange cupcakes below were personally made by her…
Our stall was also visited by the vicar from the neighbouring church: she’s a woman called… Isabelle, as far as I know…
She’d visited our stall with her husband, they: arm in arm.
“Husband.” she said. “Will you buy me some sweet things?”
And he’d obliged. The vicar also left a donation for us.
We also had one of the Imāms of the Cambridge Central Masjid at the stall. He’d also given us extra to keep. [The money is for student activities here at CMC].
My History teacher, Dr. Mariam, made date cake…
Staff and students… Got baking for this!
How to Learn/Teach.
[Said our Qur’an teacher.]
Children imitate quickly. And we: are only grown-up children, aren’t we?
“The living tradition is absolutely critical in Islam.” It’s completely crucial. Then:
“Ultimately, company is significant.”
Children: do what they see.
Moreover: we don’t want for ‘academia’ to be an ‘ivory tower’ thing. ‘Obsolete’, [obsolete: no longer in use, practically applied, useful…] and not of benefit to people.
What is it for?
What is the most powerful force in the Universe?
Love, we could well say. Love: drives us to do things. Love brings about passion, which can lead to… people running 10k a day, while fasting, during Ramadan, Maa Shaa Allah.
When there is love between you and what you are doing, what you are around, what you are studying…
There will be times of difficulty and so on. 100%. We were created, according to the Qur’an, in a state of struggle…
But: Love. What an incredible force, Subhaan Allah.
Our Qur’an teacher had spoken about the practice, in a particular masjid, I think he’d been saying, of having ‘Gatherings of Love’ at the masjid. For children. And: they’ll have something wonderful to look back on, and attach to their ideas of their Deen.
[I want to stop myself from saying ‘faith’. Because, post-‘Enlightenment’ and so on… in popular (‘Western’) understandings: it’s different to what is actually meant by Muslims, when we say faith. For us: it’s stronger. It’s more like… love.]
Some more general notes from that discussion in Qur’an Class:
Age of 12: battle with self. Drugs, etc.
At 10 / 12 : adult. ‘Teenage’ years: modern conception. ‘In the meantime’.
Children – and we – need things they/we can relate to. An imprint.
From papers. Present it to people ‘on the ground’. Knowledge shouldn’t be arrogant, and it shouldn’t be obsolete.
SuHbah: present children with pizza [I saw this happening at the Cambridge Central Masjid. Kids outside, at the table, having pizza together. Muslim children of different backgrounds, cultures…]. And teach them to love Islam.
“You only appreciate what night is,
if you have known what day is.”
Development: Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad
- A Niyyah (intention) reset
- Why did our parents/grandparents come to ‘the West’? Actions are only by intention.
- Is it for wealth and status, what we do?
- But we can reset, change our own intentions.
- We can think about what we want to do now. Tawbah. Human beings make mistakes. Seek forgiveness. And: where next?
- Live in Dar-ul-Islam? Or: spread the word in other places? Truth is our basis and our goal.
- Human beings either follow Allah and Prophetic truths. Or: they follow themselves.
- The West has ‘fallen out of love with its own sacred tradition’. Now: it’s the language of ‘yourself’. Of falsified ‘authenticity’. The lower-self. Following hawaa.
- Now, the language of ‘ourselves’ can present religion as something that stifles the ‘self’. It’s ‘somebody else’s ‘truth/authenticity”
- We come from somewhere, and we are going Somewhere rather important.
- Modernity has constructed this ‘idolatry of the self’.
- The Truth involves the journey to the One.
- From ‘many’ to One.
- Unification of the self follows.
- Islam is the Deen [way of life] of Fitrah [original human disposition].
- For self, for families, for workplaces. For countries. Friendships. etc.
- The Earth is a masjid for us. [Masjid: a place of prostration to the One.]
- The Ka’abah: a ‘cube within a circle/s’. Cube: typical form of sacred temples in Near East.
- We’re people of the religion of the Fitrah. So we need to live in a way that is in prostration to the One, and in a way that is natural. Not in a ‘hippie’/’Summer of Love’ way.
- Sacred boundaries. Goodness of food. Rising and setting of sun, moon. Etc.
- We don’t want a ‘cult of narrowness’ (from ego) –> collapse in faith
- We want that Fitri dimension: goodness from nature.
Race and Religion.
No two human beings in all of human history have been the same. Subhaan Allah.
We are Allah’s Noblest creatures.
Islam is indigenous. Supersedes age, race, etc. It’s universal.
It’s not about doing things from ‘some exotic elsewhere’ [save for aspects like the use of Arabic in worship, etc.]. You have your own voice, and Islam is for you, since you are human.
- The Fiqh leads us towards the Prophetic (humanly) perfection. The apex of (humanly) virtue.
In Anticipation of Some Really Good Lasagne, In Shaa Allah.
I: am currently at my best friend’s house. Her name is Tasnim, and she is also living in Cambridge, since she’s doing her Master’s here, Maa Shaa Allah, at the Department of Education, Cambridge University (which is where I walked over to, from CMC, today. After Qur’an class, our bake sale, and the Development lecture).
We went to Tesco, where Tas bought ingredients: she’s been wanting to cook for me, which is really, really sweet.
Come Dine with Me.
Hospitality: 10/10. I got given a free glass of water, plus wifi password. Tasnim also offered to switch on the TV for me. It’s a 10 from me.
Food: 11/10. Even though I haven’t tried it yet. But: my best friend made it. So: it’s an 11 from me.
Entertainment: … Tasnim recalled the first conversation we had, back when we were 16, at sixth form [we used to sometimes be in the bathroom at the same time, fixing our headscarves]. I asked her which year she’s in (i.e. Twelve or Thirteen). In recalling that, some five years later, today: she used a ‘gremlin voice‘ to speak like 16-year-old me.
Actually: she’s giving me some lasagne (in a Bengali sweets container, no less) to take home with me. Therefore: 10/10.
Finally, Tasnim sent me home in a cab [my best friend: what a kind woman, Allah hummabārik]. So: overall, 250 out of 100. One of the best meals I have ever ever had, Maa Shaa Allah.
And a friend who loves you like this, and who cares this much about your wellbeing…
My best friend and I didn’t even become best friends during sixth form: we’d become best friends, Maa Shaa Allah, in the space afterwards.
- Don’t you just love lasagne? *heart-eyes*.
The lasagne Tasnim made: Plus soft, melty, garlic bread!
On the day of the bake sale:
I ended up going on a little walk by myself. With the intention of delivering a flyer to a local (Muslim) grocery shop [since I didn’t manage, try as I did, to have done so the previous day…].
I also: gave into my small cravings… to try the pumpkin spice latte from a local organic foods shop.
It was different to what I was expecting. I watched as the barista pumped syrup into the drink. [What was I expecting? A drink made of organic milk, organic pumpkin, and organic spices? Perhaps…]
I also, even though I am (despite what others may sometimes see of me. #Images. They can deceive,) a fairly reserved person in general [I’m shy! And often anxious! But: worrying means/shows that you care!]: I went around telling a few people about the bake sale. One lady went straight to the bake sale after I told her about it. And another said:
“Now’s not a good time, sorry.“
[To do things like fundraising, telling people about things like this… You must be okay with dealing with people’s rejections…]
Don’t take things like that personally. People are just ‘doing their jobs’, generally. E.g. a kind-hearted person will act according to her nature. A person who is quite stressed that day, and maybe unhappy about something else, will behave in accordance with his/her nature. They’re just doing their ‘jobs‘.
As Muslims: we do ours!
Thursday 17th November 2022.
Today: we had Islamic History first. Followed by Law, and then Theology.
God’s Provisions for us. Shukr.
After a short period of sometimes-walking, sometimes-taking-the-bus, sometimes being in a rush and so calling an Uber…
My parents delivered the electric bike to my house here in Cambridge, AlHamduliLlah. And so it doesn’t take me so long to get here anymore.
On Monday, even though I had the electric bike, [and it is fun. Sort of like riding a motorbike, but without the risk of falling over and having your leg crushed by the weight of it.] I ended up having to pedal all the way anyway. Since: my dad had taught me about where the switches and everything are. He’d even kindly serviced the bike for me, put some repair things into the attached bag at the back. And I: lack practical intelligence. I’d forgotten where the main switch for the bike was, and so ended up pedalling that day…
Although, for the way back, my dad had reminded me where it is. So: speed!
Uber levels of ignorance.
This morning, my friend A’iyshah had taken an Uber into college. And: the Uber driver had legitimately asked her…
Why she doesn’t take responsibility for the people ‘within her community’ who partake in… the act of ‘suicide bombing’…
She, who’s the youngest in our cohort, as well… was just trying to have a peaceful morning, coming into college. Taking ‘responsibility’, ‘shouldering blame’; feeling guilt, for other peoples’ crimes…
Whether you’re Muslim, and being asked to ‘take responsibility’ for what certain people do/have done.
Or: white, and being ‘instructed’ by the ‘woke police’ to feel ‘ashamed’, ‘guilty’, about it:
[And, of course, many Muslims are both white and Muslim…]
It’s not for you to take ‘responsibility’ for what others have done. People who may well ‘look like‘ you: but they are not you. You are not them. You are not their mother either. To each man/woman: his/her own deeds.
I would’ve given this guy 1 star on Uber. And then maybe have complained about him. [Actually, I think maybe I’d want to have a discussion about his ‘question’ first…]. Will he bear personal responsibility for the amount of harm anti-immigration ‘skinheads‘, for example, have caused?
[I watched a documentary not too long ago. About the Bengali community (represent) in and around Brick Lane. In around… 1975, the practice of ‘P*ki-bashing’ was fairly common, it seemed. In this documentary, someone who was attacked so badly for being brown that he’d been left with a lifelong mental disability… spoke about his experiences.]
Human beings are deeply flawed creatures. Deeply flawed. And also fragile. Fragility is also intrinsic to, essential to, human nature.
Perhaps that is one of the first things to remember, when we are around and with, and loving, fellow Children of Adam. [That made me think of the Chronicles of Narnia. Would Edmund have left his family for my Turkish Mess? One can only wonder.]
But: and. We can navigate through our flaws. And our points of tension and so forth, which are inevitable. Conflict is inevitable [though it can bring me physical discomfort, to be around/experience it. Is it the same for you?].
Work on growth. Make amends. Speak, lay out our preferences and our boundaries, have discussions.
Remember that, as human beings: people respond best to… softness. Affection. And
I’ve learnt a lot from living with Sasha [hello Sasha. The no.1 reader of this blog, maybe it’s time to order she and I some merch,] and now we have two other housemates. Shirley, who leaves early in the mornings, to go to her shifts at work. And Gabriella, who’s studying Forensic Science.
I do love living there. And love does not mean ‘perfect’. A crush [Sasha’s words, again,] is just ‘a lack of information‘. [Isolating, exaggerating, a few good perceived characteristics and so on. And when your mind runs free, unbridled, [unbridled: uncontrolled. Like when a horse is just left to run ‘free’…] with them.]
Love is when: it’s a fairer, and more complete, view. You know that, when it’s love for fellow humans: they are fellow humans, who are fragile, needing of love, and deeply flawed. Love says: I see that you have, I don’t know, spinach in your teeth sometimes. You do those 2 specific things that really get on my nerves.
And I love you.
This week: I learnt a method of saying sorry in a good way. Being told that you have done something wrong… You can feel defensive, shame, in that moment. But: give it time, and yourself space to reason and to think.
I learnt this method from a TED talk.
When apologising: look people in the eye. Be sincere.
Say why you’re sorry. What have you done?
Next: the ‘because’ part. Explain a bit more: because I know how much it means to you that…
Finally: and. The remedial part. How are you going to try to make up for it, and/or do better?
So: Why. Because. And.
I know that Allah Places the exact right things in these lives of ours, at the exact right times for them. Just perfectly, Subhaan Allah. Today, I delayed having lunch. And then: lunch was placed right before me, since the staff at CMC had a lunch meeting. And there were some falafel wraps, among other things, left over, and ‘Help yourself’.
I know that the house I am living in: there is supreme Wisdom as to why I am there, and I do love living there, AlHamduliLlah. Not least because of the place itself, like the white walls, the vibe of the living room, and so on.
It’s the people that will warm a place, and render a mere ‘house’… a home. [This is not an ad for B&Q…]
Sasha made me a zine yesterday. She ‘snuck off’ to the living room, to ‘work on something private’.
Here it is: and it makes my heart happy.
Back in London, some… Wow. Almost 3 years ago now, I think, Subhaan Allah.
I was working at an Islamic bookshop in East London. A gift from my Lord: that time, that experience.
During some of my lunch breaks, I would get a meal deal (back when it was £3! For everybody! Not just for those with a Clubcard…) and go and sit in the small buggy park in the women’s section of the East London Masjid.
There, sometimes: I would see… Hishaam. My aunt’s close friend’s little son, maybe six or seven years old.
One day, Hishaam’s mum’s friend (who is also my aunt’s friend,) saw that I had tuna pasta, and some crisps. She’d recommended… breaking up and sprinkling the crisps over my pasta. So I did that.
Hishaam and I would have random conversations. He found it really funny that I did that, with the crisps.
Thereafter: I became the weird ‘crisps girl’. And we became friends.
My aunt says that Hishaam still asks his mum about me, which is just so adorable! It pays to be… weird!
I had another Tesco Mess yesterday, only this time here in Cambridge.
AlHamduliLlah. For everything, everything, everything. The ‘simpler’, ‘small’ things. And also the not so.
You, currently, are exactly where your Lord has Placed you. Now, to live our lives in constant Shukr, gratitude, to Him.
Here’s an email that my best friend Tas sent me about a year ago now, Maa Shaa Allah [back when she was applying to Cambridge University, for her Master’s, Allah hummabārik. Back when I went back to teaching for a short while, before applying for CMC]:
We’d been going through our real hardships, struggles, back then. [And ended up: not exactly living together. She’s having her experience in that sense, while, not too far away from my best friend, Maa Shaa Allah, I’m having mine!]
We also did not know that we’d be in this beautiful city, at such a beautiful time of year, Maa Shaa Allah, at the same time. That Tasnim would be making me the best lasagne I have perhaps ever had. And so on, Subhaan Allah. How Great God is, and how beautiful His Plans for us.
P.S. I hope it snows this year!!!!!![!!!!!!!!!!!]. In Shaa Allah: only if God Says.
“Be.” And: it is.
— Qur’an, (36:82).