MON 02/01/23: The One About Friends, and… Heartbreak. Bon Appétit innit.

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

This is a miniature candle (gingerbread-scented. How very autumnal, and I do love Autumn!)

It was gifted to me, from my friend Sasha. She’s a special friend of mine, and it’s God who Gifts us with good people in our lives. Everything good is from Him Alone, and He is the Subtle, the All-Acquainted.

This little light of mine…

Today I also:

Met up with my friend Elma, outside the masjid. And we ate out together. It’s Elma’s birthday today.

We were going to go to a particular place, which my best friend has recommended to me. Looked at the outward-facing menu. But Elma wanted chicken with chips, and so we went to the restaurant two places down.

I had a chicken biryani. And lassi. Elma had grilled chicken with chips.

I ordered a mild chicken biryani, since it’s better for skin and one’s gut and so on: to eat less spicy food. Elma tried some of my food and…

Thought it was really spicy!

She’s: Moroccan ethnicity-wise, and French nationality-wise.

Moroccan food: perhaps because I’m so accustomed to ‘spice’ by now. It can feel a tad… underwhelming, on the taste buds. Not that it isn’t delicious or anything! I need to get myself used to having less spicy food: it doesn’t mean it’s less flavoursome.

  • When I was a bit younger, I’d eat chicken biryani with dayl (AKA daal). And sometimes there’d be these little black peppers in the dayl. Which would make my ears pop: that’s how spicy they were!

What do a French-Moroccan au pair with a Master’s degree in digital marketing/communication, and a British-Bengali teacher/blogger studying Islamic Studies have in common with one another?

Well, we’re both women. One of the two children in Elma’s care was ‘coincidentally’ in my class, at the masjid, where I teach. None of these are ‘coincidences’ in the ‘by chance’ attempted understanding of the concept. These are all the subtle doings of God. And His Signs.

*We have our Islam in common. The most important thing, from which we obtain our values, our worldview, our identities, fundamentally. AlHamduliLlah.

Elma and I met for the first time at the bus stop one day, when I’d just missed my bus by a mere moment. But I was meant to miss that bus: so that I could meet Elma! [She asked for some help with directions, Google Maps].


Yesterday, I:

Tutored my students Yasin and Shaiful. GCSE English. Via Google Classroom/Meet.

I: printed out an essay Yasin had sent over. His homework. I marked it by pen, and scanned it via Notes [you can scan documents on Notes, if you have an iPhone!] and then we went over it in the lesson.

Above the above essay: the peas I didn’t want to eat. But: we’re not meant to waste food in Islam.

It got dark outside, and I had to get some food to eat. I used UberEats in order to order some things:

I eat with this plastic cutlery from Tesco, in this house. Because I really like it. Feels like a picnic, and it’s me embracing the ‘childhood’ always left in me, In Shaa Allah.

Today, I:

Woke up before Fajr. I tried to have an evening nap yesterday, but this ended up becoming… my sleep for the night. Evening naps are probably a pretty bad idea…

The Duʿas (calling out to God) that you make at this time get Answered!

We have five daily obligatory prayers to pray, as Muslims. The time for the first prayer, Fajr – the dawn prayer – ends at sunrise.

The above is from the Pillars app. Pretty digital interface, no?

Today, I cleaned the communal areas of the home. My own mess. Hung up some laundry. What else, what else?

Prepped for today’s tutoring lesson, with my student Inaya. She came to my house today. And had seen the ‘poem’ (joke poem) I’d left behind on our whiteboard (wall sticker from Amazon) before leaving for London however long ago.

The ‘poem’ begins:

Wagwarn peng ting,

May I have thy BBM?

Inaya asked me, after seeing the written piece, if I’m from London. I am indeed. My home cit-ehhh.

*’BBM’ was this instant messaging thing. Sort of like the WhatsApp we have now. But: to have BBM (BlackBerry Messenger), you had to have a BlackBerry (a brand of phone). The cool kids had BlackBerries. To add someone: you had to get their BBM Pin.

Prepping for Inaya: I put together a binder for our tutoring sessions…


The Life-Giving, Soul-Soothing Mercy of God:

Today, we will be talking at least a little about…

Heartbreak.

Hurts. A lot. Like you can’t even live anymore.

I’ve come to learn (as my male cousin put it,) that men tend to fall in love sooner than women do. Women tend to fall in love later; gradually, after time.

Maybe it’s true that when it comes to heartbreak: to two individuals ‘not working out’. Men feel it more intensely, and more… first. Is it that it’s more of a slow burn feeling, for women?

*Islam doesn’t say it’s ‘wrong’ to fall in love. Just that there are better, and worse, things to do in light of our natural feelings.

When God’s Life-Giving Mercy reaches you: it’ll soothe you, indefinitely [indefinitely: lasting for an unknown amount of time, i.e. a long amount of time].

But often, we have to taste the bitterness, and swallow the pain, and try to go about our lives. Sabr. Before the sun rises again, and there is sweetness and warmth again in the air.

*I just got called by someone who was sitting on their phone. LOL. This life is… how you say… tragicomedy, in Shaykh Hamza Yusuf’s words.

Our identities, whom we are, is so deeply attached to:

God. And to other people in our lives.

We are, in light of 1) our relationships with the Almighty. Even people who ‘deny’ Him: are ever-in-need of Him.

And, 2) our relationships with friends, family… These define us. We’re such deeply social beings; our beings are interlinked with others’.

Heartbreak feels like a loss of oneself, I know. It’s the strangest thing. You may have to contend with the idea of them moving on and so on. Allah wouldn’t let that happen unless it’s the best thing to happen.

He will give you what’s best for you, too. Even if it takes some time, and maybe even some years. You’re bleeding, and aching. You’re scared, and so on. He Knows.

Here’s an Islamic song that I used to listen to, as a child. On my Walk-Man (a CD player you could carry around with you…) and then on the white MP3 player my aunt got all the kids for Eid once. She’d gotten us each those MP3s and Converses that Eid, I think.

*If you pray for the goodness, and for the healing of the heart, and for the best, for the other person. An Angel will say, “Āmeen. And the same for you.

A song I’ve particularly found some comfort in, and for its poetic value is:

Be Still, by The Fray.

[I don’t actively listen to music anymore. I’ve looked into it, and asked Allah for guidance on the matter, and this is where my heart stands with it, currently. But I do listen to vocals-only songs on YouTube sometimes. Like Disney princess ones with my little cousin Siyana.]

“Be Still”

Be still and know that I’m with you
Be still and know that I am here
Be still and know that I’m with you
Be still, be still and know

When darkness comes upon you
And covers you with fear and shame
Be still and know that I’m with you
And I will say your name

If terror falls upon your bed
And sleep no longer comes
Remember all the words I said
Be still, be still and know

And when you go through the valley
And shadow comes down from the hill
If morning never comes to be
Be still, be still, be still

If you forget the way to go
And lose where you came from
If no one is standing beside you
Be still and know I am

Be still and know that I’m with you
Be still and know I am

*“Be still, and know that I am God.” Psalm (46:10).


There’s also Over My Head by The Fray:

“Over My Head (Cable Car)”

I never knew
I never knew that everything was falling through
That everyone I knew was waiting on a queue
To turn and run when all I needed was the truth

But that’s how it’s gotta be
It’s coming down to nothing more than apathy
I’d rather run the other way than stay and see
The smoke and who’s still standing when it clears

And everyone knows I’m in
Over my head
Over my head
With eight seconds left in overtime
She’s on your mind, she’s on your mind

Let’s rearrange
I wish you were a stranger I could disengage
Just say that we agree and then never change
Soften a bit until we all just get along
But that’s disregard
You find another friend and you discard
As you lose the argument in a cable car
Hanging above as the canyon comes between…


After the storm: God Knows what awaits you. Why it had to happen.

What beautiful things are imminent [imminent: about to happen]: right there. It’s coming, I promise you. Relief, and also such goodness.

The person in question: who’s on your mind. God Knows them, and you, better than you respectively know your own selves. If He Knows that you are best for one another: it’ll be inevitable. And, if not:

He Knows them better. Perhaps the Fashioner of your very being, including of your heart, Knows, while you don’t, that they’re not right for you.

You’re not right for them. Nothing ‘defective’ or otherwise about either of you: we’re all wonderful, and all flawed, with our own sets of insecurities and struggles. And you were good for one another, well-placed in one another’s lives, for a time. That was meaningful.

But you’re you, and God Knows. Everything in existence. Including His Very Own creation… you.

*Try calling out to God in that time, maybe an hour, before Fajr time. Let me know how it goes, may-haps: I’d love to hear about it.

And also:

Assignment:

While I procrastinate from my actual ones (!!)

Write to your younger self. Begin with your name. Not even a formal ‘Dear…’.

Just: [let’s say your name’s Gingerbread. You can begin…]

Gingerbread. You’re now x years old. Remember that time you swung from a washing line in Bangladesh and accidentally broke it? [A story of mine that my student Inaya and I laughed about today. LOL.]

But, seriously:

Speak to your past self. And what you realise now. Someday, these days, including all that hurting: will be a thing of the past. Maybe something to think about only a couple times a year, if even that often. And then you smile, and maybe even laugh a little.

[like when I experienced friendship heartbreak. OOF. Pain. And not even au chocolat. When my close friend moved to Canada. I thought about her all the time, back then. And now, I truly rarely, rarely ever do. Unless someone mentions her.]

To conclude:

*God is with you. He’s there, for you to talk to Him. He Knows everything. He’s Near, and Listening, and Responsive.

“In God’s Wisdom all things begin, and so too do they end.” [Dr. Ramon Harvey.]

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