| If an image of (Prophet) Muhammad was gradually elaborated and transmitted from one generation to another, so was that of the community he founded.
A History of the Arab Peoples, Albert Hourani

Inspiration 101

Sometimes people will put you down, time after time, doubting you and your abilities, and you just have to grow a stronger skin and show them what you’re made out of.
They’ll shake your will power, cast doubt in your fragile esteem and say they’re doing it for the best. They’ll interfere, they’ll cry when you want them to laugh with you, and remain brick hard when you cry.
They’ll treat you like a child, they’ll take your matters into their own hands, they’ll make you feel dependent-not-quite-there- full of mistakes and have no say in your future – these people you just have to block off. Nod, smile, and block off.

It’s your future, your life, your destiny. You make of it what you want.

When people don’t celebrate your celebrations with you – forget them. When people try to stamp on your head and impose their lifestyle onto you – block them.

Then prove them wrong. One day they’ll come back to you, biting their fingers with regret after seeing how their hard attitude hardened the softest person, and after seeing what you’re made out of and what you’ve achieved.

You’re made to do great things. Don’t let anyone or anything put you down.

Responses

Often when I try pointing out the inconsistency of people’s support to certain causes, or the blatant hypocrisy, or even just the negligence of some – I get faced back with defensive rhetoric ‘reminding’ me that it’s not a ‘who has suffered most’ contest between countries, or how ‘immature and selfish’ I happen to be — or even how naive I am for buying into Israeli propaganda who are trying to ‘divert the world’s attention from 66 years of terrorism to Assad’s destruction in Syria’.

And you know what, it’s funny, because these very people are campaigners and activists and and and.. yet they can’t for a second step in my shoes and try to understand what I’m saying.
The irony is that I’m trying to make the exact same point they’re using against me – that no struggle is above another, so treat them equally. Don’t support action on one and completely neglect the other. The selective support and ‘superiority’ or causes is rampant in our community, and pretty obvious too, so there’s no point denying it. So instead of jumping to the defense without understanding the other person’s view properly, stop a second, and contemplate. What I’m saying may well make sense at that point.

As for the whole Zionist agenda thing – I’ll tell you about Zionism. Zionism can only survive if all around it is chaos, and so plunging Syria 5000 years back into darkness, destruction and instability is exactly the medicine it needs to keep going, and what better way to further destabilize the region when all eyes are turned away, focusing elsewhere? I’m not saying the situation in Palestine is only a show to give Assad time, but what I am saying is that the ‘Israeli propaganda’ you’re telling a Syrian whose family is being massacred in Syria to ‘not buy’ is exactly the same propaganda you’re buying in to. And if you truly practiced what you preach about all Muslims in world being ‘one Ummah’, you’ll realise how what’s happening in Gaza is intrinsically intertwined with what’s happening in Syria at the moment, and Egypt for that matter too – and you’d support them all equally, just like an Ummah.

But it matters not. For someone to scold another person who has lost family in the most gruesome way in the name of campaigning for others who have lost family in the same way – in a different country, shows the level of maturity, competence and compassion they have. May God forgive you.

May God forgive you. Had today been a bad day, my duaa would have been worse. But I’m learning. I’m learning to keep my cool and respond in a better way, and not stoop down to the level of those accusing, blaming, and not having the understanding to step into other people’s shoes, nor become a ‘low’ person, as someone, not long ago, called me.

Thank you

Taking a break from social media – I was forced to come back when someone told me 1000 Syrians were killed by Assad and ISIS in one day last week.
Twitter refuses to sign me in, so I search the statistic to double check the exact date of the massacre, and find similar tweets about ‘1000 Syrians killed in one week!’ for almost every week of this year since January.

Of course, we know that this hasn’t just been going on for half a year, but almost 4 years now.

I’d like to thank our politicians for resigning over our governments policy on Syria.
I’d like to thank Galloway for his heartfelt words and support.
I’d like to thank the BBC, ITV and every other news network bringing us the latest news on Syria.
I’d like to thank everyone taking instant support – be it thousands on the streets of London or instant NUS/SU action and lobbying.
I’d like to thank every Muslim whose blood boils every time a single Syrian is killed unjustly by Assad or ISIS.
I’d like to thank everyone. A deep heartfelt thank you for making us feel remembered, valued, and cared for.

And last but not least, I’d like to thank every single person who will read this and commend me for my bitterness, my selfishness, and lack of understanding of the ‘bigger picture’ which makes it much harder for them to support and remember my massacred family in Syria.
A huge thank you to you all.

| The Qur’an does not regard women as an appendage of men, but as distinct beings, each called individually, just as are men.

The Muslim men and the Muslim women; the believing men and the believing women; the men who are obedient [to God] and women who are obedient [to God]; the men who are truthful and women who are truthful; the men who are persevering and patient and the women who are persevering and patient; the men who give alms and the women who give alms; the men who are humble and the women who are humble; the men who fast and the women who fast; the men who guard their chastity and the women who guard their chastity, and the men who remember God much and the women who remember God much – God has prepared for them forgiveness and a great reward.
~ The Holy Qur’an, 33:35

Eid Mubarak, Syria </3

I just published by 70th post on my blog wishing everyone a Eid Mubarak – and this post, is dedicated to you my Syria.

This is the seventh Eid you experience – in turmoil.

The seventh Eid you’ve been showered with the blood of your martyrs, purified in thick red, dressed with the smell of their musk.

The seventh Eid you’ve witnessed, in the shade of 200,000 martyrs gazing down at you, from the heavens.

The seventh Eid, Syria. The seventh Eid.

I weep for your newborns, who don’t know the meaning of Eid.
I weep for your children, who don’t run the streets and dress neatly, sleep excitedly, awaiting the big day.
I weep for your orphans, who ask for gifts greater than our understanding, who ask for their parents back, on Eid.
I weep for the wife, whose husband’s whereabouts remains unknown, who hides her tears and broken heart, comforting her children with a brave smile.
I weep for the husband, whose wife raped, killed, and disfigured. His children cry at night for their mother’s care and touch, and he weeps silently for his life-long partner – the mother of his children’s comfort, secrecy, and presence.
I weep for the parents, who almost blinded by tears, look for their children in every corner and alleyway with fading hope they remain alive.
And for every brother and sister, mother and father, son and daughter, wife and husband, every person who has lost their beloved – unable to spend this blessed day with them – just one last time.

I weep out of helplessness. My lack of understanding of what you go through. My intolerance and selfishness. My ignorance.
I know nothing of your struggle.
I own nothing of your courage.

But I pray, I pray that soon the gunfire will stop. The rain will cease to be red. The flowers will blossom, and the children will smile again.
I pray that Eid day will be celebrated again, truly, and genuinely, with heart-felt laughter, sunshine, and jasmine.
I pray that happy little feet will run across your beloved land, dirty little hands will caress your soil – the carelessness of young happy children will make you weep with joy as they skip to the fairground after the last takbir of Eid prayers, emanating from minarets tall and strong.

Eid Mubarak my beautiful.
Eid Mubarak Syria <3

Personal: Eid Mubarak

NOTE: I haven’t written anything for ages, so please excuse my abruptness and any mishaps :)

It’s crazy how fast Ramadan has come and gone. Here in an instant – then gone – again – for a whole year – in a single flash.

I remember on the eve of Ramadan, I posted a post on instagram congratulating everyone on the blessed month, and drawing a comparison between Ramadan and tourism – praying that we all treat Ramadan in the same way tourists treat their holidays, exhausting every resource and tourist attraction to make the holiday worthwhile: seeking every gem, reaping every benefit to make our visit to this blessed month worthwhile.. and yet, I don’t know..

I don’t know how to describe my feelings – I don’t really understand my feelings. I guess I feel mainly sad – as if I haven’t reaped all the benefits I could have in Ramadan – all the objectives I had set out for myself, not a single one met. It was productive – no doubt – and incredibly spiritual at times, but not quite as much as I wanted it to be.
I remember reading on twitter – a few days before Ramadan, the story of the girl who tweeted about this Ramadan being the beginning of her hidayah (guidance), only to have died in a car crash a week before it started. And it scared me. It scared me so much – that I too, may die any moment, before Ramadan dawned upon the world and gates of al-Rayyan opened.
Yet still.. there remains a nagging feeling below, reminding me that I hadn’t done as much as I should have, or wanted to. And reprimanding me for the fear I had before Ramadan – sacred I won’t live to witness it, then the complacency which took over me after. But kheir.. I say, kheir. Now that the blessed gates are closed and the damned gates have opened, and Ramadan is slowly gathering its wings and flying out into the distance, I can only pray that God Almighty keeps me alive for yet another yeat, to witness another Ramadan, and to try again to reap every single benefit from the blessed month or mercy and forgiveness.

But alhamdulilah – I got through. I’m still alive by the grace of God, and I only pray that Allah swt has accepted my worship and fasting.
On the other hand – happiness. Guys, we got through! Whether graduated or not – the knowledge remains with our Lord – but alhamdulilah we got through – and now we have the rest of the year to prove to ourselves how much we really benefited from Ramadan! Because what matters is not only how you act in Ramadan, but how you act outside of Ramadan. And that – is the biggest challenge. I pray I’m up for it – my husband and family will be there to judge :)

Also happiness – happiness for the long-awaited Eid! The day in which our Lord ordained for us to celebrate – to take a break – to be happy. And what better day is there in the year, when your very creator has specifically chosen this day for you to celebrate and be happy? I can’t explain well – I can’t really articulate – but it saddens me when I see teenagers or Muslims not happy on Eid day. I too – when I hit a certain age – began seeing Eid day as a tradition, not fully internalising the beauty of such a day, where Muslims around the world celebrate – for one reason – to become closer to their Lord. It saddens me further when I see people refusing to celebrate Eid because of certain atrocities around the world.
Guys – that’s not how religion works. You don’t just decided whether or not you want to celebrate a day God has ordained for you to celebrate. And He the Almighty knows better than all of us, and He the Almighty is closer to our suffering brothers and sisters around the world than we could ever imagine to be.

So on that note – I’d like to wish everyone – if anyone even reads this blog :)a very happy Eid, and a wonderful celebration days with your family, friends, and all those beloved to you.

I on the other hand will be missing out on Eid with my parents and siblings as they’re still abroad (FOR THE FIRST TIME) :( but will insha’Allah be enjoying a beautiful Eid with my brilliant husband and in-laws.

Enjoooy! :)

So there’s this old guy I want to speak about.

I see him in the library every single day – he must be doing a PhD or some sort of institution-based research, I assume, otherwise how else would he get a pass into the university library?
He’s like a cute old Asian uncle, always smiling, always cheerful. He’s quite short and has the typical uncle round belly. His hair is white, and he has quite a long beard – dyed at the tip with henna. Everyday he comes in wearing a shirt tucked into his joggers, and usually those leather slippers you get from back home. Today he’s wearing trainers though, because it’s raining I guess.
He’s always walking between the Islamic section bookshelves, looking for books, then returning to his seat to read and sift through the pages.
I bumped into him once in the lift, where he gave me and my friend a huge cheerful smile, before averting his gaze to the door.

I don’t have much to say about him – other than the fact that I find him so inspiring. He’s clearly quite old – late 50’s, early 60’s I presume. Yet he’s in the university library, reading, researching. And he’s so humble – his clothes is humble, his walk is humble, his attitude is humble.
Such an inspiration, mashaAllah.

He literally brightens up my revision everyday when I see him shuffling up and down the aisles with his soft, happy, smiling face. A face which speaks on behalf of his lips – of patience, wisdom, and experience.

I wish there was a way I could tell him how inspiring he is to me, without sounding creepy or inappropriate.

May Allah swt preserve him for his family, increase him in His ranks, and make him amongst his best servants. Ameen.