Saturday, December 24, 2005

 

More Than A Woman

*-*

Many people assume I am a feminist - I agree, I am. Only that my definition of feminism is about promoting the rights of women and not necessarily the wrongs of men.

Some 'Muslim Feminists' would hate me as I actually agree with Shariah Law and don't try my best in ripping it apart.

I chose the name Bint-eh Adam though I love the name I was given by my dad's friend all those moons ago.

" Bint-eh Adam or Daughter of Adam implies my true identity: a child of the first human being. The importance of Bint or the word Daughter denoting the female gender signifies the elevation of the status of women by God Almighty. A whole chapter has been named "The Women" in the Holy text (Quran) and for me it is about projecting this in contemporary society where often the female gender is suppressed. "

I attempt to share a little bit about some women I have been fortunate enough to have known .. women who have broadened my own understanding of womanhood:

I know a woman who is a Carer for her sick parent.

I know a woman whose husband left her after she gave birth to a girl for the *th time.

I know a woman who still weeps for her son who was shot in the early hours of one morn.

I remember hugging a woman in her 30s with secondary breast cancer who gave me the most beautiful smile ever, dying a couple of months later and leaving behind 3 children.

I remember catching the plane to Pakistan and sitting next to a woman and her 9 year old girl who lived alone since her husband left her for another woman. The lovely little child growing with just one parent - will her mother ever tell her that her dad spent a little while with her simply because she was brought up in a conservative part of Pakistan and her parents had thought it in her best interests to wed her to this man?

I met a woman who was raped by her father.

I met a woman who lost 4 members of her family through death in a span of some years and is now in a state of depression.

I know a woman whose son takes illegal drugs.

I know a woman who has dis-owned her daughter who ran away from home.

I was introduced to a woman in her late 90s by my nan, who was on her death-bed and touched my head saying she was very happy I wore a scarf in the West. Giving me prayers .. so many years later .. she has now moved on out of this realm but her face is clear in my mind.

I was introduced to a woman who is from a generation of masseurs.. each woman having taught the next, knowing every bone in the body, yet not being able to write her name.

I remember a woman who used to sew clothes for the children in her street a few decades ago.

I know of a woman who works as the bread-winner to provide for her family because her husband is sick and unable to work.

I was taught by a woman who witnessed injustices being carried out on women in an African country (many decades ago).

I know of a woman who is nearing her 80s and has no children; yet her gentle touch reminds me of my mothers' warmth.

I spoke to a woman who left her home in Congo when fighting broke out and is now a refugee.

I love a woman who doesn't know how to use a clock - but uses the position of the sun, the stars and the moon to tell the time.

I wish for a woman who told me guilt is not a healthy emotion.

I pray for the woman who told me never to abandon my prayer.

Bint-eh Adam

*The book was a gift from a friend recently
x x x

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Thursday, December 22, 2005

 

Faith & The Arts


Faith and the Arts is a groundbreaking project that provides an online resource for artists, arts organisations and faith communities interested in finding out more about the role faith plays in shaping and influencing arts practice.



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Saturday, December 17, 2005

 

My Knitting Mind-set

Greetings of Peace - Salam :-)

I managed to complete my first 'row' last night! Alhamdulila! Looking at the history of Knitting I was shocked to read:

"Knitting apparently was introduced into Europe by the Arabs, probably in the 5th century."

Moreso, the first Knitters were most likely the menfolk and they'd knit for hours whilst tending to their flocks. The women would gather wool from animals and spun it into yarns.

My own reason for starting this off is because I seriously believe we live in a time where we are forgetting the 'origins' of many things. Most children only see the 'final product' these days: they dont see the effort one goes through in making the final product.

As a child I saw my mum making Rasmalai from scratch - today many children see their mums' opening a packet of ready-mix and preparing it within an hour.. or even better popping to the local shop and buying a ready-made box within 5 minutes.

As a child I saw my parents sow seeds in the earth; clear the weeds; water and feed their plants. Many months would pass and I'd see a flower trying its best to open up. We would go and see it every day to see how much it had 'bloomed'. And one day we'd see the beautiful flower in all it's majesty smiling at us as the suns' golden rays would hit it and bounce on our faces.

As a child I saw how mum would spend days, weeks and many many months crotcheting a blanket for our beds. It would start with a stitch or two, then grow and grow and grow - until there was a beautiful blanket before us which kept us very warm.

Unfortunately though, the reality today for a lot of children is that they will only see mummy and daddy drive in their car and grab the box of Rasmalai. Many children may never get to see the blooming of a flower as our gardens are slabbed to make way for the swings and slides, since our parks have become so 'unsafe' for children to play in.

And as we are no longer able to crochet, knit or stitch to the degree of our parents - we will see children only get to wear hats, scarfs and sweaters from the High Street shops, or their Low Street equivalent.

My own feeling is that I believe this has an impact on our mind-set.

We become accustomed to seeing solutions rather than working towards them. Sounds familiar to my theory on the Magic Wand hey? Well this is all part of that thinking.

We see final products.

We don't see processes.


Peace and Prayers
Wasalam
Bint-eh Adam
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Thursday, December 15, 2005

 

The Knitting Road To Recovery!

:-)

YES!

I purchased a pair of knitting needles earlier today from the markets.. alongside a bogey green coloured yarn :-D ...with Moofy Bears' mum - but her yarn is pink!

The one thing I remember to this day is not being able to knit a teddy-bear when my brother and sister knitted theirs at school.. I was put into the group which did tie & dye activities and had gruesome fun with boiled onions and rhubarb!

After that I tried endlessly with knitting needles but we always found other interesting things to do with them and yarn.. Mum gave up after a while, and so I missed - not only the ability to knit a scarf but also crochet :-(

However!

All changes now, as I will endevour to learn this skill. In regards my hands: the advise I was given was to not totally rest them.. so I will do little bits and it will hopefully keep them active too.

I mean look at the possibilites: I will be able to knit a scarf, a jumper, a blanket, a woolly trousers, a shawl, another scarf, some gloves, er er er... !!!

I want to remind myself that things don't just 'happen' - one has to work hard to acheieve them. Thus I am hoping that in the techno-crazy world my being lives in - I shall be able to stitch and realise that stitch by stitch life is created and sustained here on earth.

To know that every little bit is essential for the final thing is akin to knowing that every single life event forms the end of our lives. During the course, there will be stitches which will need to be undone, knots needed to be tied and starting new rows.

Just like our life.

Peace & Prayers
Bint-eh Adam & her Knitting Needles - They actually need a name.. hmmm
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Saturday, December 10, 2005

 

The Magic Wand Theory

Salam & Greetings of Peace :o)

No it doesn’t exist and we are daft to think otherwise.

There is no magic wand solution to the problems that life and fate throw at us. And if there was I would have come across it from at least one of the many (troubled) people who I have bumped into in my life.

At times I so dearly have the desire to close my eyes and wish that perhaps when I open them, everything will have changed. And so I do. I shut my eyes.

Only to find things still the way they were, when I re-open them.

The only thing that has changed in the interim is time itself. Essentially I think one day when my eyes close the world will still continue.

I thought there was a magic wand solution to everything and waited eagerly for the wand to be waved and for the solution to ‘appear’. But nothing appeared.

Crazy goons we are; to think that our situations will change overnight or in my Fairy-Tale land – in the twinkling of an eye.

For the situations we face in life are in reality a means of reaching a point of greater elevation and insight. Truly after being ‘deprived’ or ‘excused’ from a certain activity does one realise the magnitude of that deprivation.

My love for Ramadhan has existed since I became aware of what Ramadhan is. However my love for this guest reached newer peaks when fate cut me off from partaking in this activity as we see the hundreds and thousands of followers doing so. Instead my relationship with this guest became a very unique one; one of longing and expecting. And as with every other relationship it became of paramount importance to ‘work’ at the relationship.

Similarly, when I performed the Hajj. The Kabah was a mere black cube prior to getting lost that first evening in Mecca. It was whilst in a state of being ‘lost’ that it became an Entity in itself. A ‘something’ which is a Sign of Mans’ Gratitude on earth. It became more beloved to me when I became a ‘needy’ one than it was when we had arrived and performed our initial rites of Umrah.

During the onset of a situation, event, scenario or whatever else one wants to call it [calamity / trial / tribulation / disaster] we suddenly become very hopeful in a magic wand solution… despite knowing that it’s impossible.

We are adamant in not changing the way we think and continue to go on and on wanting, hoping and longing for solutions to appear out of thin-air?

Is it our unwillingness to accept our weaknesses which are naturally inherent within our beings which brings about this mind-set? Or because we live in a society which teaches us that “we are boss” and feel we would have ‘failed’ if we don’t find what we call ‘answers’ immediately.

I say ‘we call’ because sometimes what we perceive as our answers are actually not ‘the’ answers fate has prepared for us. From where I see life, I think it is here, where disappointment creeps in. For not only is there no magic wand - there is also no ‘apparent’ clue what that answer may be.

But life is about working towards answers. And that requires time. It also requires a knowledge and understanding that essentially we are in Safe Hands. We are being Cared for By our Creator: The One who created us in perfect fashion and measure. He is also the One who created the many problems and scenarios we see in front of us. And when the time is right each problem will show up its’ solution too.

I look again at my room: it is now clean : - ) but without a magic wand!

It became clean only through working at it, being patient, realising my limitations, recognising the level of my strength and submitting wholeheartedly to my inability to make a change.

Magic Wand Theory results in people thinking their problems will be solved instantly without any due effort from themselves. It also relies on these solutions coming fast. The concept of ‘time’ is forgotten as we start thinking that our life is so so long, and that the hereafter won’t arrive any day soon. Thus we are only able to be under the strain for a day or so. We forget that in the language of Reality a moment may be from now till death. As one day we will be made aware that the time spent on earth was only a little part of a ‘day’. We forget this big picture.

Why do we forget?

Because we lose grip of ‘this life’. If any one of us was to sit down and think through their life: from their first memory to now – it could be accomplished in not a long time! This is a great Sign and parable we have been gifted with in this life on earth – so that we may realise that: life is not that long.

So, if life is short anyway, then why on earth bother looking for an instant solution to the problems it contains?

Someone once said to me that no matter how long the night may be – a new dawn is never away from arrival – thus illustrating that one could stay awake throughout the night – eventually it will come to a natural end.

Our problems, dilemmas and concerns are likewise.

It’s better to wish for success than to work towards it. We seem to have become a community of dreamers. Dream – yes. But don’t JUST dream!

Expecting answers to appear out of thin air sounds so daft and illogical. However the sad fact is that it is true. Many of us go through life just expecting.

Expecting

Expecting

Expecting

And this is why we get so hurt. Sometimes our expectations will not be met.

The time when many of us decide “that’s it! I’ve had enough” – without realising that it was we who were wrong in the first place. Obviously, as humans we must always expect “goodness” and not “negativity”. But the kind of expectations I speak about are the ones which we start to have from one another – for it is only humans who let one another down. God Almighty has said very clearly that our good work will never go amiss. It is other humans who I refer to –

Returning back to the Magic Wand Theory…

No! It doesn’t exist. Our solution will not be found overnight.
Miracles exist but they are different to mans’ MWT.

These are just a few thoughts I have collected on the Magic Wand Theory.. over several years.. There are more.. many more.. I may put more out in upcoming months..!

Peace & Prayers
Wasalam, duas and a gold star to Curly for her pose *

Bint-eh Adam


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Saturday, December 03, 2005

 

Ecstatic !!!


Yes that's how I feel :o)

Praise the Lord !!!

Alhamdulila Wa'al Shukr Allah !!!

Why?

Well why not??

Only 10% of cleaning remains x x x x x x


Dancing For Palestine * Al Asria folk dance performance at BM&AG 9/7/05 Courtesy of Abbas & Sara Shah / Illuminating Faith. I will post more pics up - in good time :-)

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