بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
This is what matters. When the stresses and struggles of Dunya: when we might feel at least a little ‘snowed under’ them.
Sincerity will be the golden, saving principle, which gets us safely through, by God’s Grace.
In thinking about academia:
I need to connect with what I do. And enjoy what I do.
Lectures, essays, w o r k .
Sincerity will, like a sturdy ship through any ocean waves: bring us safely through.
To safe shores: Salāh.
and Sabr. These will get us perfectly through.
Our purpose is Greater, must be greater, than any petty anything.
This is serious, driven and Purposeful. And any ‘challenges’ are only, really, opportunities. For more goodness: there is Khayr in it <3.
Perhaps especially as a woman: it can be really hazardous to get attached to any man, any ‘ideas’ of a man, prior to marriage. The mind can lie. It does lie, sometimes.
And sometimes, marriages go wrong. Or husbands pass away. Or a woman perceived a man to be different than how he is. Some women may be married twice, or three times, throughout their lifetimes.
*In our tradition: it’s important to find out whom a man is, if you want to marry him. Whom do his at-home family members know him to be? How is he perceived in the community? Who… are his friends?
Remember that you are sacred. And that people, including yourself, are not ‘concepts’.
He (whichever guy you found yourself ‘attached’ to, in idea, not in reality,) is not ‘Perfect‘. And neither are you. You’re okay, homie, you’re doing good.
They’re special in their own ways; you are special in your own ways.
Struggling, and special: flawed, and beautiful. Thus is the human being.
May God grant us what and whom is best for us. Āmeen.
*Sometimes, a man can make promises that turn out to be false, in the end. empty. ‘Appearances’ can really deceive, and it is substance that matters.
Forgive me if this sounds sexist, but I’m speaking in the voice of myself, a woman, who has seen how women can be hurt:
Certain men can craft their words, and their ‘actions’ to ‘touch your heart’. And women are compassionate. We are soft, and we accept things, our hearts are open.
Allah’s Wisdom is better. If you want to be with someone: we need to be brave. Get our male guardians involved from the get-go. Don’t become prematurely ‘attached’. And marriage is sacred for a reason: the Sharīʿah, God’s Way, protects… you.
- And if, eventually, the man and the woman are going to divorce: then Allah commands men to part with women “honourably”.
- Divorce, although I haven’t experienced it, can be especially difficult. But, as Muslims: whatever we do, we seek to do in and with beauty.
You’re sacred; treat yourself like you matter, and take yourself seriously. Your significance is a gift from Allah: He decided that his Universe would have, specifically, a you in it, exactly whom and how you are!
Comparison and Competition.
Allah blesses, and has blessed, us in different, and sometimes quite similar, ways.
If we consider somebody else’s blessings in this world: what if we accidentally overlook what God has given us?
- You were not created to ‘be’ him/her, and just the same as him/her. You’re not, and can’t be, and shouldn’t be.
- Which of the favours of your Lord do you deny? Do you forget all the beauty, and the unique wonders, that He has blessed your life with, and those that He has made, inevitably, a part of your being?
We can ‘compare’ in good ways. Allah has really blessed you with things that certain others… do not have.
Competition: compete, lovingly, towards good!
- Reminder that: you are awesome, Maa Shaa Allah! Indisputably so. By God’s Design and Will!
People. Other, fellow people: they are not ever to be ‘idealised’; they are not to be the opposite, denigrated.
A ‘simple’ life. A paved path to God.
This is why our ‘difficulties’ can be really, really good for us. AlHamduliLlah. And: living ‘simply’, certainly.
“She’s wearing Lidl, but she’s amazing.“
Quote. Our social sciences teacher, Dr Amin. In reference to a green-tea-peach-rooibos blend prepared by A’iyshah, teabags from Lidl.
And it is: reproduction. Social reproduction.
Much like how parents pass down values and instinctive ‘ways of being’ to their children: so too do teachers, to students. Schools to students; schools to entire societies, our world.
One thing I’ve realised this week is that: I fare better in a class when I am sitting right at the front. Previously, it’s been in my mind that I should maybe sit in the middle of a classroom/lecture hall. Middle left, somewhat arbitrarily: the left side of the chest is where the heart is.
But I have since revised this. The front of the classroom/lecture hall is where it’s at, folks. #neek.
#and wot u gonna do about it fam
Second thing I’ve realised:
So I know that I’m an introvert. This does not mean that I: ‘dislike people’ or anything. No, no. I just: am often ‘in my own head’, except sometimes. I thrive in certain close interactions, e.g. between myself and like, one other person, going out for hot drinks or something.
And when I feel ‘socially depleted’: when my ‘social battery is low’… I ought to spend time alone. Contentedly. Just: away from people. That I don’t accidentally offend them, by being ‘distant’. And also: when I’m feeling socially and otherwise depleted, how awkward I feel I can be!
How many negative thoughts can run through my mind. ‘They don’t like me’ and so on. Not true. Rest, recuperation, time spent alone, perhaps at the masjid, perhaps in nature… Is so, so good.
Introversion is great. So much thinking, so much… sensitivity. I’m someone who thinks and feels a lot, and if I appreciate comfortable ‘quiet’ in others: shouldn’t I appreciate this quality in me, also?
- Some people see me as being “calm”. I like this. Calm. [You clearly haven’t seen me… at home. In the private sphere. But, yes: I like that there is a natural separation. And that introverts show their other colours, with the right people, right places, right times!]
“And then I feel //
Allah is Near. And then I feel //
I wish I had a female mentor. Someone who: I don’t know. I imagine someone who… is serious about her religion. Quite ‘privately’, and people are just inspired by her through her ways of being, effortlessly.
I find it hard to ‘connect’ with teachers, like how some others do. I think the last time I felt properly, authentically, ‘close’ to a teacher had been in Reception. My lovely teacher Ayesha, whom I’d assumed… slept in the school library, and lived at the school, ‘like all teachers do’.
Until I’d seen her in Shadwell one day, at the fish and chip shop… being a normal human.
Anyway. I realise, while writing this, that my auntie Farzana, my dad’s first cousin, is a beautiful female mentor for me. She’s sarcastic, and I think feeling comfortable enough to be jokingly ‘mean’ to people, and also tenderly really nice [she writes to me sometimes. And I write back. AlHamduliLlah] is what I love in my female friendships and other relationships.
*She’s very (quietly) kind, Maa Shaa Allah. Cares about… people. And about doing what is good.
How I long, additionally (along with my beloved aunt, for example!), for a teacher/mentor figure who looks at me and ‘gets me’, effortlessly. Whom I can joke around with. Who cares about her health, and who cares about my opinion, organically. Who is very intelligent, and ‘cool’ and elegant. Who is very interesting, and who has brilliant, unique, ways of thinking.
Who is so very, authentically, and without pretences: kind, and warm, and loving. To whom I really matter.
If I pray to have such a figure in my life, then she will be. My Lord is very, very kind! He responds to the caller when we call upon Him; He is, to us, so Near.
When we struggle, maybe on particular days, in this Dunya:
None of it is in ‘vain’. AlHamduliLlah.
Trust that anything that feels ‘bad’… means that something good, equal or better, is around the corner!
Maybe: later that day. Or maybe: at the end of that difficult week. There is Khayr [goodness] within it, and after it.
Sabr is never without Purpose, and goodness!
*People are really kind. And good. The support you can receive, from such beautiful people. AlHamduliLlah.
The soulful conversations, the comfort, the pure loveliness. Amazing. Maa Shaa Allah.
Our social sciences teacher had been speaking about this scholar today. A man who’d been reading Physics at Harvard University. But there were aspects of his course that he found he’d… disagreed with.
So he hatched a plan along with his roommate: they would… read up on various religions, ways of thinking about and viewing the world. Hinduism, among others. And: translations of texts by Muslim philosopher Ibn Arabi. One after the other after the other. Looking into different traditions.
Until he realised the Truth: Islam.
He seems like he is an amazing scholar today, Maa Shaa Allah!
Inspiring, no doubt. It’s amazing where sincerity (e.g. a sincere search for the Truth,) can take us. AlHamduliLlah.
In Shaa Allah, for a month in February… (but… beginning a day after my friend’s wedding, In Shaa Allah. How am I menna say no to… Desi sweets, and to a chocolate fountain if there is one there?!)
I’ll be going ‘sugar-free’. [Yes, really! Me! Lover of cakes, chocolate, and chocolate bis-quits. Recipes and meal/snack ideas and so on requested.]
This is to, In Shaa Allah, raise money for Cancer Research UK. Specifically: towards research in generating cures for bowel cancer, which an amazing person I know has recently been diagnosed with. And she has two children who depend on her ever so much.
Please do donate, if you can/want: