بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
Something that is quite nice about being a teacher is that: you learn. You learn about your students and their lives and ways of seeing things; you revisit things you have once learnt.
Yesterday, at CCM (Cambridge Central Masjid. The pretty one designed with eco-friendliness and beauty in mind!) we (I and my class of seven-and-eight-year-olds) had been learning about the importance of being teachable.
i.e. we do not know everything. And we do not know anything at all ‘by ourselves’.
And that our teachers can be like entire oceans, if we will just open our minds and our hearts. If we will just listen.
And also that we simply can’t know anything completely ‘from ourselves’. It is God who had Given us hearing and sight. He taught us all these things that we never knew.
And so: when something – anything – of good reaches us. Whether it’s: beneficial knowledge that illuminates us. Or: a bite of something delicious and sweet. Or: a good friend. Or: so, so much love and tenderness from a particular person in our lives, or two…
Allah is the One to praise and thank.
If our teachers are like oceans:
Then we are to be like empty vessels, jugs. Ready to be filled. But: we have to be open to it.
A classmate of mine reminded us about the story of the Prophet Mūsa (may Peace be upon him,) and Khadir. And how: Khadir had been sent, Divinely, as a guide for Mūsa (AS).
And Mūsa (AS) had to wait, to comprehend the wisdom behind each of the steps, the actions, undertaken.
Remember that things are not ‘random’: goodness, including good advice, lessons, pointers… are indeed from Allah.
- In Term 1 at CMC: I’ve been wrong a few times. Like the time when I really thought Jumʿuah (congregational Friday prayer) at CCM would be at a certain time. My classmates were gently telling me: it’s always at 12:30 there. They were right; I was wrong. I really thought I’d been right in thinking that Jumʿuah at CCM begins when Dhuhr (the ‘noon prayer’) begins. I was wrong; I had something to learn. Now I know.
- One morning, a classmate of mine gently advised me to do something. Or, not even that I ‘should’ do something, but that I could. But I did things ‘my way’, and ended up… being worse off as a result of my personal decision.
It’s better to be with other Muslims. Be with the majority [of Muslims]; listen to their advice, and also seek direction from God. [His direction is often there, it seems: with the community of Muslims.]
To not follow ‘the ego’, the self.
[*Despite what ‘modern’ anything will have you believe.]
Other things we have been learning at CCM:
About the importance of trying to keep our hearts clean, and pure, and shining.
Clean enough to receive the light.
And then: about the importance of our time, and how we are spending it. To try not to inundate [inundate: flood, overwhelm,] ourselves with things to do, and so on. To do what’s necessary, and do what’s good, and focus on those things.
How much do you trust God?
Do you have reason to trust Him? [Yes. 100%. 110%.]
Here’s what the snow’s been lookin’ like, here in Cambridge, England:
On our way to Tesco [supermarket,] we walk on train tracks:
The ardent [ardent: burning, glowing; very passionate and enthusiastic] forces of consumerism have really come out to play again, haven’t they? ‘Black Friday’, through to the ‘Christmas season’. Buy, buy, buy.
Santa certainly doesn’t exist [sorry, deceived but precocious eight-year-old English kids who may be reading this]. But Amazon Prime sure does… [I forgot to cancel my free trial on time. Got charged £8.99 today. It be like dat].
‘Change your life’ by making this purchase, and also those many ones. ‘Want’ in that sense can be a difficult feeling, impulse, pull, to contend with.
[‘X’ is ‘better’ than Y. So ‘get rid of’ Y, and purchase X! But materialism will never, ever ‘save’ us. It’s the heart and the soul that matter, in that sense.]
We seek to contend with ‘want‘ with… contentment. Gratitude; richness of the heart and the soul, and then you will never be spiritually ‘poor’.
AlHamduliLlah. Look at all that we have been blessed with. Each grain of rice; each individual article of clothing, so intricately woven together for us.
And then, in fact: while the one who constantly ‘wants’ is constantly wanting…
Allah increases in favour the one who is grateful to Him.
- It’s all with good reason. Your Lord knows absolutely everything. About you, about other people. About the whole world, the Universe. Every single tiny, ‘minute’ and ‘little’ detail.
I’m not a man, and nor do I aspire to be a man.
Allah Made me a woman, and I love, and am content with, being a woman.
I’m not here to ‘compete with men’, and I know that, although both men and women are both very much human, sons and daughters of Adam and Hawaa…
Man has been Created one way, and woman: another. We’re not ‘the same’. There’s Meaning, Intention, and goodness in this.
We’re not ‘in competition’ with one another, for the very same positions. We won’t share all the same kinds of foremost characteristics.
General masculinity isn’t inherently ‘toxic’, and general femininity isn’t something to just… wash away, so that we can mould ourselves to be ‘more like men’.
- If, at this point of this here blog entry, you would like to cancel me: by all means, do. I cancelled my Amazon Prime membership today; you, also, may cancel me, free of charge.
That’s what I’m talkin’ about. I managed to cancel my subscription at the right time, to get a refund.
For me, personally: there had been a time when I’d called myself a ‘feminist’. I feel like I’d been ‘applauded’, for example at school, on account of it. I said I wanted to be an engineer; I unfortunately looked at an aunt of mine and wondered why anybody would ever want to be a housewife.
In truth: our aunts who make their homes…
And who take great care in looking after their children…
[Of course, our community also has women who are doctors, women who are deputy heads, and teachers, and so on. No disrespect at all to them: different things work for different people and families. There are different ways of living.]
And who cook delicious homemade meals for their families, and for guests, and who are present in their homes, and thus in their communities…
They do so much! How valuable they, and their works and efforts, are!
How could we ever ‘discount’, and/or ‘look down upon’ all that they do?!
I also, and this is amid other forms of learning, other ways in which Allah has been Teaching me…
Met with a local MP for tea once. From what I remember: the cakes are good at the terrace cafeteria where MPs sometimes eat.
This MP: is South Asian, and Muslim, just like me. I met her when I was 16. Part of a Tower Hamlets ‘Youth Council’ thing.
She’d advised me, openly and genuinely, to not become an MP. She looked exhausted. It didn’t look like it was particularly fulfilling, or rewarding, for her. She said she has to give up her Saturdays, too, for campaigning.
At times, people have evidently had ‘expectations’ for me, also, and what they feel I should ‘be’/do.
I’m good with being me, tbh. I’d rather be more focused on my home, health, family, than work a 9-5. Unless I have to.
A 9-5 sounds nightmarish to me, at this point: irrespective of how much money I may earn, or how many people will say “WooOw”. One has not been Designed for the ‘hunter’ life.
[’24-hour grindset‘. I would rather do practically anything else.]
And home is where the heart is: my aunts are the hearts of their homes.
A role that their husbands are not quite equipped to play, in all the same ways. [That’s what marriage is: a partnership. Not a ‘competition‘ for the same roles, and neither two human beings living completely separate and ‘individual’ lives, nor two human beings doing… much the same thing, in parallel. Right?]
I’m blessed to be a woman, AlHamduliLlah. We’re blessed to be whom Allah has Made us.
- Imagine thirty-year-old Sadia time-travelling to twelve-year-old Sadia and informing her that… child, you become a wife in the end. You eat well, you look healthy, dress nicely. Your house is super pretty, and you like to read a good amount as well.
You live in the suburbs btw, and your kids attend a prep school. They regularly go horse-riding, and also have lessons in fencing.
Imagine the look on twelve-year-old me’s face. I’d be like: …………. ……… ……. [??? You okay?
You good? Don’t you want to be CEO of a company ‘instead’?!]
Even considering the life that Allah has brought me to now: imagine me explaining to my younger self that… You move out, live in a different city in England. You teach. You’re learning Sacred Knowledge. You have a best friend called Tasnim, who has never left your side. There’s Khayr (goodness) in it all, every single, ‘small’ and otherwise, step.
Your family has a cat called Safi, even though your mum was totally, completely, and utterly against the idea for a while, and at first. And you were wrong about some things, you know.
All Praise is for God: AlHamduliLlah.
*Life’s full o’ surprises, you know.
Allahu Aʿlam. This means: