بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
An alternative name for this blog might just be:
Reasons Why I Love Islam.
When Term 2 started at CCM, (Cambridge Central Masjid, i.e. the kids’ madrasah) we were assigned new classes. A little girl, who got really excited when she found out her friend Hafsa would be in her class, and then excitedly proceeded to tell her dad, and high-five him! She also: had a tiara on her head, on top of her white hijāb. And a rose in her hand, to give to her new teacher! #thisgirlisbeingraisedright, Maa Shaa Allah.
And: we also have a new sister helping with the admin side of things. As soon as she met me, she hugged me and gave me a kiss on the cheek. ‘I’m going to give you a kiss’.
I like ‘touchy-feely’: it’s a part of whom we are, as Muslims. People of love, the Ummah of Muhammad (S A W).
In Shaa Allah, I’m going to teach my boys (I teach the youngest boys’ class: 6- and 7-year-olds) to shake one another’s hands, and hug, at the start of our lessons. These little boys, may God Bless and Preserve them: here we are, raising Muslim men.
There is a boy in our class who is called Ali. His name, in full, is Alexander. His mother calls him Alex, while his father calls him Ali.
Ali says that he prefers the name ‘Ali’. [It’s completely fine for a Muslim child to be called ‘Alex’ too. But he prefers Ali.]
We talked about whom he’s named after: ʿAli (RA), a very intelligent and wise man. And brave, like a lion. Just like our Ali: what a clever child, Maa Shaa Allah, 7 years old.
Ali’s mother doesn’t really ‘like’ his father’s religion, Islam. Sometimes Ali ‘questions’ things in an unaccepting way: and questions are good. Questions are very good: it’s just a matter of tone, when we’re at madrasah.
He’s a very good boy, and those ways of ‘questioning’, challenging, are not from him.
Yesterday, Ali put himself forward to lead the other boys in Salāh (prayer). He said he knows how to pray.
And: he did it. He prayed excellently, Maa Shaa Allah; led the other boys so very well. Even if some of the others behind him got a bit distracted, Ali didn’t. He would put his little hands up, in front of him, during his prayer. Copying what he knows: presumably, how he sees his dad do it.
And afterwards, I gave him an ‘Excellent’ sticker from my teacher pack. He asked me who prayed the best out of the boys, and I said: he did.
I’ve been wondering if I should privately journal all of this. All of these moments that are worth more than any gem or diamond on the face of this globe.
Or should I write to one friend in particular, or should I wait to write for something ‘bigger’?
But life is happening; I’m an intrinsically social being; I like writing for this blog. I initially started this blog because I wanted to welcome someone very special into Islam, and I was also, and am, learning a lot about my Deen, ‘from first principles’ in tandem. [That is something that is so great about teaching young children, AlHamduliLlah. And being friends with fellow Muslims who are reverts: you renew your faith, and learn not to take things for granted. Learn things again, and as if for the first time!]
It’s a blessing, that I get to process and document these moments, happening all around me, on this platform. There’s a sense of permanence to this, and a… portability, you know?
And there’s blessing in sharing, certainly.
Today, I felt happy. Yesterday, when I was tired, I decided to rest. And I would appear to definitely feel more upbeat, more socially energised and smooth, and overall… happier… when I have had a good sleep.
This morning, I walked from my (Cambridge) house to my (female) classmates’. And got a ride with Ayesha and A’iyshah. And that was good. Being in the presence of good people is… good.
- We had History today, about the Mamluks and the Mongols. And Fiqh (Islamic Law) about the ritual bath (ghusl). And Theology, about Kalām, and what it actually is.
Is needed any time you have sexual intercourse. As in: afterwards, when you need to pray again. Any time a person emits fluid with desire and/or pleasure, including from wet dreams: ghusl is needed in order to be pure again. And when a woman’s menstruation / postnatal bleeding ends: purify yourself with ghusl.
Here’s how you do it:
- Wash your hands.
- Wash your private parts. Remove anything Najāsah (impure, e.g. semen. Or menstrual blood) from your body.
- Do Wudhu.
- Wash the entirety of your body, including your hair. [You can also simply stand under the shower], (optional: three times). Good scents are good!
Done! You’re pure again, can pray again, and so on.
*Wait, wait, wait. Talking about s-e-x on an Islam blog?!
Yes. We’re 100% human, and God has made us sexual creatures. It’s certainly not wrong of us to be sexual creatures. And enjoy it, thoroughly. Just, as Muslims: through the correct avenues. Marriage. And also, sodomy and penetrative intercourse during a woman’s period aren’t allowed for us. TMI? No.
*It’s in our Islamic heritage, part of our tradition, to be accepting of our inherently sexual natures, and open in our questions. Just have Hayaa’: hold back where it’s good. i.e.: the world, this Dunya, is not our sexual playground.
That’s good, partly because it makes your marital bond[s] that much more exclusive and exciting. You’re a sacred being, you, and sexual intercourse, with the right person, is at once ‘physical’ and ‘spiritual’, a meshing of two bodies, two souls.
- A’iyshah and I also went to Tesco earlier in the day. Got chocolate croissants (my breakfast,) and hot chocolates. A’iyshah insisted on paying for the hot chocolates. And I was also smiling, happy; we had, like, 5 minutes to do everything. AlHamduliLlah.
Today, I felt tired after college. I went to one of the libraries, the one designated as the women’s study space. I was going to have a nap. Ended up speaking with my beautiful friend Hafiza. Fellow Bengali, and we were just talking for a while. About what?
About our families. About the awesome plans that God always has in store, for us. And other things. It made me feel happy, this conversation. And more energised.
Next I went in Ayesha’s car again. To their house, to try to get some work done. Will I get some work done here? It remains to be seen.
The manners of the Muslims of Turkey are outstanding, Maa Shaa Allah. Their Adab.
A’iyshah’s parents live there, in Istanbul.
In Turkey, it is typical for women to sit down on the buses. Not men. And so, when a 70-year-old man on a bus in Istanbul noticed that a boy had sat down and had not offered his seat to a lady who had been standing there: he (the man) chastised the boy and pulled his ear. He, the man, told the boy to give his, the boy’s, mother’s number to the man. These, to the Muslims of Turkey, are manners.
- It seemed just like this in parts of Saudi, too. When we got off the plane, and went on one of those buses into the airport. A sign read something along the lines of: Give up your seats for the elderly, and for children, and for women.
I feel quite confused about life at the moment. Grounded, yes, AlHamduliLlah. Anchored, in life’s stormy waters, in Islam. Yet:
I don’t get it. I hope I will soon.
I like this mug at CMC: it says ‘honest’ in Arabic on it. Sādiq.
Whom are you named after? And/or, what does your name mean?
And, how do you carry your name?
- Words are very important. Ayesha was just talking about how, in a certain part of Africa, they have this ritual whereby, if they want to remove a tree from a place, they will not ‘cut it down’. They just: say bad words to it, and within 2 years, it’s gone. Dead and decaying. The power of our words.
Quote of the day:
“I married my husband because I was in love with his Naana.“
*Naana: Urdu for maternal grandfather. Quote: my classmate.
And someone else also compared marriage to vegetable rice. Someone brings the vegetables; someone brings the rice. Union, matrimony. It’s Sunnah to eat with your spouse from the very same plate. Sasha, my housemate, learned this from a YouTube video or something. She also calls ‘mosques’ by their Arabic name: masjid, and this makes me feel proud of my friend. ❤
Anyway. Kiss people. Pet names. Say good words, and keep saying them. Spread love like it is Nutella.
Handshake. Hugs. Forehead kisses. Bites, if you’re one of my cousins… And feed one another by hand:
Ours is the religion of love.