بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
“Words change worlds.“
I know that I am motivated, primarily, first, foremost, and last, and always:
When I hear, from his mum, that my English student Yasin is doing better at school in the subject: I do get motivated to maintain high standards in the work I do. Try more, and it makes me enjoy what I do more. AlHamduliLlah.
Speaking positive words is far better than just… not saying anything. And better, certainly, than saying a bad word.
“Speak a good word, or remain silent.” i.e.:
“He who believes in Allah and the Last Day must either speak good or remain silent.”
— Prophet Muhammad (S A W), from the collection of Muslim.
Good words are so…
Good for the world. And for communities, and for the individual.
A good word said to someone may lead them to do… many good things. Like when, I don’t know, someone believes in you, and what you’re capable of. And they tell you. Or when someone compliments your style, your personality, your appearance…
Goodness leads to more goodness.
I really love ‘words of affirmation’; good words.
كَلِمَةً طَيِّبَةً كَشَجَرَةٍ طَيِّبَةٍ أَصْلُهَا ثَابِتٌ وَفَرْعُهَا فِي السَّمَاء تُؤْتِي أُكُلَهَا كُلَّ حِينٍ بِإِذْنِ رَبِّهَا
“A good word is like a good tree, whose root is firm and whose branches are in the sky, yielding its fruit in every season with the permission of its Lord.”
*The Snowball Effect, to draw upon a term from the field of Psychology: a psychological term that explains how small actions can cause bigger and bigger actions, ultimately resulting in a big impact. [Source: SimplyPsychology.org]. Like a small snowball rolling down a snowy hill, collecting lots more snow.
The Multiplier Effect, to draw upon a term from the discipline of Economics, with which I have a love-hate relationship.
The Butterfly Effect, in maths/meteorology [meteorology: the study of… the weather/atmosphere].
The Domino Effect.
Different terms to describe, in slightly varying ways: the idea that a small action can lead to far bigger ones down the line. Step by step by step.
Maybe: The Tree Effect, in Qur’anic terms. A good word is like a good tree. From which many good fruits are produced, Subhaan Allah.
Just earlier, I got back from Sainsbury’s. Got recycled kitchen tissue, smoothies, and coconut oil, among a few other things. And picked up a ‘TooGoodToGo’ bag from Starbucks.
- At Sainsbury’s: someone sneezed in the freezer aisle. So I walked awaaay from there. What else? A little boy called Idris was hastily walking away from his mum. Ethnically Indian-looking mum, and with a husband called Richard. It’s amazing how things happen, and change. That the UK now has an ethnically Indian Prime Minister, for example.
At 18:00: I began my tutoring session. My student Yasin’s mum wanted for him to have an additional lesson with me today, since he has English mocks tomorrow In Shaa Allah.
Woke up for Fajr. Ironed some clothes, which had been washed.
- One time, I’d attended London’s Marxism Festival (2017) with my aunt (dad’s cousin) who’s a year older than me. Got pain au chocolats from the local bakery, for breakfast. The lady at the bakery corrected my attempted French pronunciation of pan au chocolat to: pain (payn) au chocolate.
- And: at the event, an Iranian man vehemently expressed his disapproval of my wearing a headscarf. Because of the women in Iran. While I strongly disagree with human beings forcing women into headscarves for ‘cultural’ reasons: I as a Muslim personally wear it as an indication of my Islam. I don’t think my wearing a headscarf is synonymous with supporting the Iranian regime, is it? Like how… I don’t know, going to school in this country isn’t synonymous with supporting the oppressive educational practices that are prevalent in Korea. The thing itself is not the ‘issue’: it’s why and how some have chosen to make use of it.
Did some reading and writing, towards an essay I’m writing In Shaa Allah.
I love this quote I found in an academic piece on the Yaqeen website, which had actually been written by my current Theology teacher.
The quote is:
I thought about cleaning my shoes:
And made a good to-do list about what I need to get done this week. In Shaa Allah: God-Willing. In His Wisdom do all things begin,
and also end.
- Got a small Amazon package delivered to the house today. And: I had the idea to go and pray Salah in the corner shed in the garden. It’s a shed that has windows, and a door that… doesn’t fully close. Anyway. Tree house vibes, so I quite like it. The great outdoors.
This is what I’m reading (trying to read,) at the moment:
I don’t know: I’m interested in hearing different perspectives. But so far, from the beginning: the tone of this book seems to be one of… apology. Like a Muslim distancing herself from religion, almost, in order to… make people happy.
It’s very important for us to be authentically ourselves. Bravely, and beautifully.
Not ‘defensive’; not as ‘walking apologies’ lacking true identity. We have true identity.
[In spite of some people’s spite:]
Islam is the most beautiful thing. Your being, as a Muslim: is abundantly beautiful, Maa Shaa Allah.
No human being, no human ‘force’, like the mass media, can ever take that away from you. And just because ‘somebody’ ‘says’ something: it doesn’t make what they’ve said… (true).
Maybe it’s true that we never need to say it: that the core of Islam isn’t… su!cide bombing and so on. Those are dramatic and violent reactions to various geopolitical events. It happened during times of difficulty in Ireland, and now with Ukraine. The ‘Middle East’ (a term that I think I’m going to stop using. How can you place so many regions together and brand them, in British terms, ‘the Middle East’? My friend Sasha says it’s AKA The Arabian Peninsula) has been attacked, invaded, and geopolitically unstable for a while now. Arabian Peninsula History and Politics is definitely a general large topic that I would like to know far more about. In Shaa Allah.
Anyway. Sometimes I have worried, and do worry, that certain people who don’t really know Islam, or Muslims in our day-to-day, and in real life. Their only ‘real’ impressions of Islam and Muslims may well just really be coming from:
The mass media. Singular images, mass-printed; particular faces. One out of a million.
So when I’m the Muslim on the train, with a headscarf and… three bags. A backpack, a side-bag, and a carry-on/gym bag. On my way to Cambridge from London, on my way back from Turkey: I can reassure myself that—
In spite of certain peddled narratives about me and who I am and what I do…
The only thing bomb about me is…
my personality (JK!) this bath bomb that Sasha gave to me yesterday:
I love it. It got glitter onto my laptop, and Sasha also dropped it on one of our chairs.
It’s glittery, and has stars on it (!!! <3). And also reminds me of the Earth.
A good word is like a good tree. A bad word is probably like a bad tree, generating ‘fruits’ that are ugly, and diseased, and poison.
So why not keep speaking good words?
“I could show you the world,
Shining, shimmering, splendid,
Tell me princess: now, when did you last let your heart decide?”
— ‘A Whole New World‘, from Aladdin. Probably the most ‘Orientalist’ [Orientalism: the stereotypical ways of how people in the ‘West’ often view things associated with the ‘East’. E.g. dangerous, ‘exotic’, mysterious, etc.] production in the whole wide world, but I like those lyrics.
Occidentalism is a thing too. How people from the ‘East’ can view ‘Westerners’ in pretty much the same way. For example when Franks (Europeans) started settling in places like Jerusalem and so on. In the Arabian Peninsula. Here’s one example of what a person called Usāma Ibn Munqidh had written, in a memoir:
But also interesting, no?
Stereotypes, unaccepting attitudes, manifesting themselves as ‘beliefs’ that the ‘Other’… ‘doesn’t assimilate‘ well.
Not everyone holds these opinions, of course. Just like those Frankish settlers in the Arabian Peninsula: I’m here in England, a second-generation immigrant. And I’m definitely here to respect people, and traditions, and what’s customary. I’m here to learn from others, and perhaps they will also learn from me.
I do love Britain, and feel like I belong here. Some angry guys with racist views hiding behind a profile picture of a bulldog with a Union Jack behind it or something is not likely to change that: I’m not scared of them.
I’m also not here to just ‘assimilate’ in a sense that would involve losing myself. I’m a part of this society, and of these communities, and this world too. Meaning: I necessarily bring something, also. The world is made up of different people, constantly influencing and changing each another.
AlHamduliLlah. All Praise and Thanks are for God, who:
Created me, and everyone. Gifted me these new purchases today. Gave me a lovely housemate, Sasha. And who made me a Muslim British-Bengali, living in Great Britain.
All in God’s Wisdom. Allahu Akbar: God is Great.