Monday, October 31, 2005
Bint Says Thank You
“He who does not thank people, does not thank Allah"
A saying of the Noble Prophet Muhammad Peace be upon him.
It is from this principle that all our thanks our issued, for in essence, to thank another being is thanking God Almighty for having blessed the help of that human come our way.
In these months a lot of people have helped me in a lot of ways.
I cannot even begin to count the number of times that people have raised their hands in blessed gatherings to pray for me. I sit in silence at times thinking how I will ever repay those who have recited so many many many prayers for me.. and continue to do so.
Soon I will be out of this ‘state’ and into the next phase of my life. How in the world will I ever comprehend the favours of so many people: most being strangers?
What if I am never in contact with these people ever again in this life? Will I ever allow myself to forget these people? And what they did for me?
What follows is an attempt at recalling some of those beings. It includes people from different lands and faiths, and even no faiths. I do this in the hope that it serves as a reminder to me when I do finally recover my health. My regrets that I cannot mention everyone and I hope they will forgive me for this.
This is no doubt going to be very lengthy and has taken me many weeks to compile, but I assure myself that those mentioned here are only a tip of the iceberg – God Almighty sent plenty of people to help me this time.. but I know not everyone likes to read books, so this is the best I could economise.
And how could I forget the ones who travelled to the Holy Cities of
I want to thank the one who made me breakfast and saw me as his 3 year old little girl again, and the one who massaged my arms as she did when she was bathing me as a new-born.How can I forget the one who fed me in public, not once but twice? Or the one who cut my food as I sat with her at a restaurant? Or the ones who collected my food from the buffet before they filled their own plates?
How can I forget the one who called me before 9am one morning upon seeing my website down and asked me if I was OK. Telling me to get out of bed and how I had inspired him throughout these years that he had been my manager? Thinking that we share not the same faith, why did he tell me about the Mercy of God?
How can I forget her, who brought me back the ‘Hand of Fatima’ to wear on my self from her trip to North Africa; as she was so worried about me and wanted me to be safe? Or the ones who sent me Prayer Books to read to keep myself protected?
How can I forget the one who was adamant in speaking to me though I kept cutting the telephone as I didn’t want to talk to anyone? Or the ones who texted me continuously despite me barring my phone so I could hide for a week? The efforts they all made to reach me when I found it unthinkable to hold anyone’s grasp.
How can I forget the ones who made me laugh? And there were so many people who brought so many tears to my eyes and pain to my stomach as they told me their jokes. There were those who mocked my camels in cyber-world and others who phoned me and had me in stitches about random bits they had come across. And others still who went whirling away to bring back joy without even knowing that their remarks or actions were actually aiding my recovery? They never will realise how difficult it is to put a smile on someone’s face – and that they are capable of it.
How can I forget the one who told me that although things are strange at the moment, everything would ‘reveal’ itself soon? Or the one who told me that eventually this will come to an end?
Or the ones who sang to me? Not only the therapeutic Burdah, but also songs to cheer me up including the “Blue Sky is Blue”.
How can I forget the ones who text me late at night as I felt the total absence of any being from my being? She who reassured me of the Presence of God though her own circumstances are much worse than mine.
Or the sweet couple who said I could call them anytime between 6am to 1am as they only needed 5 hours to sleep. Considering I had never met these two wonderful people who live in my city, how do I ever re-pay them for giving me their time to ask my many random questions?
How do I repay the one who used his work time to telephone Help & Support organisations for me as I was so distressed I couldn’t even dial a number? Or the ones who scribbled down on a piece of paper what herbal remedies I should be taking, as they sat in the row of seats behind me whilst we watched ‘Rumi And The Wings of Love’ in July.
How can I forget the one who told me that although there are worse trials people are undergoing in the world, that I shouldn’t feel bad as this is what my being can cope with at this time? And to know her child heard me speaking to his mother throughout his stay in the womb, and her constant reminders that all will get better.
How do I repay the one who answered my question without knowing; as I asked God Almighty one cold March night: “where are my angels?” This Teacher reminded me, as we sat in his gathering: “the angels are here.” Will he ever know what impact those words had on my being? To receive comfort in those “early days”.
And what about the Teacher who called me whilst I cried and told me that tears are from Heaven: and to cry as much as my heart allows for this is Mercy descending. Replying that “a new world will be created for you” as I told him how I see the presence of a dark grey cloud hanging above my world.
How can I forget the one whose second child died from a genetic disorder and weeks later she held my hands and prayed on top of them for healing? Or the Teacher who is a descendant of the Prophet of God who made me hold his prayer beads and read a prayer. Who told me, when I gave him a little plant that it was the best gift he had ever received.
Or the one who took my faulty laptop to fix and returned it resurrected before the weekend was over all for free?
How can I ever forget those who scribed for me, and then typed whatever it was that I needed? Will they ever realise how much they empowered me by being there to do the simplest of things I could no longer do?
Or the one who washed my hair as it was too difficult for me to use both hands to reach my head? How she would make me laugh by pouring the water over me and occasionally making me taste the shampoo. Then mum would come upstairs to see what the fuss was all about followed by Curly who would assist in the hair-wash too.
How can I forget the teenager who emailed me and told me how myself and other artists had inspired him and his search for the Truth? And how he dedicated his final-year art project to me and another artist. Does he realise how happy and worthy that made me feel?
And the one who emailed to tell me my website had been hacked?
Or the one who took me to the hospital twice - blonde hair and blue eyes.
Or the one who scribbled ‘Get Well Soon’ on an invoice as I ordered something from his website. And how he scanned a chapter of the Burdah for me and emailed it to me. Does he realise how much it means to me that he took his time for me? Amazing as another person brought a copy of it for me later on.
How can I forget the one who helped me to a seat when I entered late to watch ‘The Alchemist of Happiness’ and stood in shock since I am scared of darkness? Unable to keep my balance in the dark, wearing my sling and feeling like a 7 month baby who has been forced to stand alone.
Or the ones who held the doors open for me in so many places at so many times? Will they ever know how pleased I felt at that moment because I knew there was no way I could physically open that door?
How can I forget the one who told me that our limbs are like angels? Will he ever know that after he said that to me I conversed with my limbs and kissed them, and wept for how I had (mis)treated them all this while?
The one who sent two chocolate bars leaving me laughing alongside mum.
The one who brought me a camel from
The one who sent me packets of balloons.
The one who brought Lilly into my life.
The one who sent me ‘Gifts For The Seeker’.
The one who did some embroidery for Tranquilart.
The ones who brought me perfume.
The one who had Shaykh Hamza Yusuf to sign a book for me.
The one who had Shems Friedlander sign a book for me.
The one who brought me a cushion to rest my arm whilst I attended a 2 week course as she knew I couldn’t carry one.
The ones who carried my shopping.
The ones who brought me a huge bouquet of flowers as I had arranged the ‘Manchester Caravan’.
The ones who emailed me and encouraged me to partake from the world.
There are so so many people, and many whom I haven’t even mentioned here who have helped me in so many ways & I hope they forgive my shortcomings.
I only wish to God Almighty that I was able to express my gratitude to them in a better fashion. I regret I am unable to give anything to these people in return, a mere acknowledgement from the depths of my heart, soul and mind is all I can offer.
I regret I am unable to give anything to these people in return, a mere acknowledgement from the depths of my heart, soul and mind is all I can offer.
All I could say is Thank You and May the choicest of God Almightys’ blessings be with you and your loved ones. And may I never forget your favours. Ameen.
With Love, Peace & Prayers for all
*The artwork was sent to me recently by Kelly Crosby [IzzyMo] - Thank you xx
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Thursday, October 27, 2005
Kenyan camel library: Photo journal
Tuesday, October 25, 2005
I'm not leaving just yet my dear Bint : )
What is this I hear you say?
That I shall leave very soon?
Why I still have some time to go?
How did you forget that the Greater Night within me still awaits you?
So come and seek it out,
That you may be at Peace -
That you may find the Breeze you so-much desire.
It's foolish for you to say "Ramadhan is almost over".
I have, but, just started,
So seek the Night of Power and energise your spirit,
And don't you forget my dearest host that you once before experienced a life-changing moment,
All in just 5 days,
All in just the moments of standing in Arafaat,
All in just the few steps around The Great Sanctuary,
Or it's mere glance -
I'm not leaving just yet my dear Bint.
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Tuesday, October 18, 2005
Sadit, Leila & Jasmir..
We are the camels from Niger.
And we have some things to say..
For a start we want to ask why it has taken you so long to help our masters and their families here in this part of God Almightys' vast creation?
And after that, we want to describe some realities which often go amiss as people like to think that Niger doesn't exist on the world map. Actually, pardon us, most of you would like to think that Mali and Sudan are also not part of the planet. The fact that you allowed 'Rwanda' to take place makes us somewhat suspicious, but we are told not to bring that issue up here.
My name is Sadit. I want to speak about my Master. He has looked after me and my family since I recall.
My Master looked after me as his own children and extended family. However, today my Master has no food.
If he doesn't get food quickly, his children will die, some are very young. My Masters' parents are weak and frail; they loved my parents and taught the villagers what a sign us camels are: as taught in the Book of God Almighty.
What has my Masters' family done to deserve ignorance?
I will never be saddled for a Caravan again if nobody survives in this village. God Almighty created me with humps for a purpose. He gave me the ability to go without food and water for days, for a purpose.
My name is Leila and I want to tell you about my friends.
By the Grace of God Almighty I was blessed with many friends, not only camels but other animals too.
We grazed together and set out together on great caravans to neighbouring places. When my daughter Hiba was born, the whole herd celebrated and initiated her into the wonderful world we see around us.
However, it is a different story now.
With no pasture and fodder, many of my friends have departed from this world. A lot of them lie in the fields rotting and it is totally undignifed a sight to see.
Many others are alive but very very sick.
We heard rumours that food had arrived but to no avail - the local markets are selling it at prices unaffordable to our Masters. I fear my daughter may die soon. She is the only one I have.
My name is Jasmir and I'm one of the remaining elders here.
I retired from long-haul caravan journeys some years ago. When there is a village blooming with children, one hates to leave out for the desert.
So yes, as you gather I am the one that the children loved to ride. Sometimes they would be funny and tickle my humps and try to figure out why I looked so 'humpy' in comparision to the cattle. And other times they would watch me chew and copy the way I moved my jaw!
Having been around for some time, I was well-known by all village elders and it was their grandchildren that used to play with me.
I say 'used to' because now they don't.
Babies and children were the first ones to feel the impact of the famine. Thousands more are at risk. Malnutrition is really taking its toll, those who once cued to have a ride on me are no longer interested as they have no energy. It's so very sad. I have never seen this many humans die, all in such a short span of time.
The three of us feel absolutely shocked that you human beings are not reaching out to your fellow brethren.
We hate to see you Children of Adam looking so undignified as we see naked children and respected Masters with little to cover by.
We don't like seeing our Master's families go hungry.
What will make you realise that we are all the Creation of the Same One God?
Our purpose on the earth is one.
Though we fulfill our covenant with God Almighty in many different ways.
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Thursday, October 13, 2005
Blog - RELOADED!
and then the posts after this have all been to do with my thoughts etc during this time:
Complicated Openings? Who has the Real Disability? Whimps of the 21st Century..
Also archives for: May 2005 June 2005 July 2005 - gosh seems ages xx
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Wednesday, October 12, 2005
Artist Fundraising For Pakistan
Quake Fundraising Master Stroke
Artist Sajida Asif has friends and family caught up in the Asia earthquake zone. She's selling her paintings to help the massive fundraising effort to support families devastated by the quake in Pakistan, India and Kashmir.
The Gallery Space
Ward End Library
Washwood Heath Road
Birmingham. West Midlands.
0121 464 0366 (for open times)
To buy Sajida's artwork, and support the fundraising efforts, email her firstname.lastname@example.org or visit her exhibition.
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Monday, October 10, 2005
Thursday, October 06, 2005
Welcome My Friend!
How I missed you!
Though I and You have a different relationship to others - it is nonetheless very special,
Just, this time that you came, your companions' not as well to welcome you with a greater brace.
So do forgive, if during your stay, I don't serve you as well as I should.
I hear You contain within You - a Breeze.
A Breeze which gives life to those who have died?
Which lifts spirits sunken deep?
Which cleanses bodys' diseased?
Which revives the heart in need of Breath?
Will you bless me, oh dearest of Guests, with this Treasure you secure within?
So once again, I and You can bond in Peace.
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Tuesday, October 04, 2005
Update From Camel-Land
Well - I always get enquiries from people about my camel herd, so seems its Ramadhan, here is one gem :o)
And here is an update from my place:
GOING OUT - I'm going out tomorrow InshaAllah (God-Willing) after 7 days..
For some reason, I'm really not looking forward to it. As I said before I don't go out much these days (no longer than an hour) so I'm becoming a bit of a hermit. Well the cold weather doesn't add as an incentive either.
In fact I got told off a few days ago from Sergeant Mum - she told me I looked like a tramp because I hadn't got out of my pyjamas for a couple of days! :-(
But I'm sure one doesn't completely lose thier social skills by not going out for a few days? Surely not! Those who retreat are not dime-bars! They have outstanding skills in social interaction! Hurrah for hermits!
WORK - The manager and personnel staff dropped by last week for their second visit as I'm on 'long-term absence'. They said they'll ask all the staff to write letters to me as I cannot access College email (college system has terrible passwords which keep expiring every few months). Besides I love letters! Tranquil Mail I think I'll call it - Yes!
SICKY - have another 4 weeks sicknote..
HOSPITAL - About a fortnight to go for my next apointment with the Consultant. I finally get some results! I rest convinced that I don't have either of the two suspects: Carpal Tunnel or Rheumatoid Arthritis. I don't know why.. the fact that I am still nowhere closer to finding a set "pattern" for the pain gives me support that it's not them two! Maybe it was just a 'passing phase'?
PAIN - Alot lot better I cannot even begin to Thank God Almighty for His Bounty. However, as strange as it seems - the migraines are back with a vengence :-/ as too are my crazy bowel movements. I'm becoming disgustingly unhealthy as each month passes.
CAMELS - those humpy fellas went to Jerusalem last month for 27th Rajab. From there they decided to head for Baghdad and surrounding places as they wanted to meet old relatives. Some relatives which are very elderly. They are hoping to arrive at Mecca for the start of Ramadhan this week. After that they are hoping to head for Medina for a 10-day retreat as Ramadhans' last third passes. I have a feeling it will be a long time before they come back to England. I'm sure they will want to stay for Shawwal and then its only a matter of weeks before Hajj preps start. Thus it looks as if I shall be spending this winter without them.
In any case Big Camel is still here - keeping an eye on things for me. There have been a lot of problems with the Tranquilart server and he is working with the guy from cyberworld to sort things out.
THINGS TO DO - I have lots of outstanding things to do, its becoming more of a drag as each day passes. I really need to do these before the year is out:
* Renew my passport - got the application form a few months ago, but have not had a chance to get my photographs taken!
* The Book Review for Deenport - it will get done I tell myself.
*Duster my room - I've looked up at the walls not long ago: my my dust! I really need to either beg my sister to duster it or risk myself doing it. It's absolutely crazy - so many parts of my room need to be 'sorted out'. I have all the paperwork from last academic year which is in boxes, my bookshelves need tending to. It's a mess.
*Visit new babies and friends - one poor babe has been waiting for me for 6 months now to come and see her!
& a 1001 other things.. Oh well.
That's that from Camel-Land!
Good Night & God Bless
Wasalam, Love & Duas
Peace & Prayers
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Monday, October 03, 2005
Seven Things :- /
Apparently, I was 'tagged' to do this do-da thingy about seven things :-/ By our very own girlfriend across the pond Izzy Mo - You know I don’t do this kind of stuff –
Not because I hate spoiling the fun and sulking like a pre-teen! No, simply because people start making a lot of assumptions about an individual and almost begin to construct a personality of someone based upon what they read.
God knows best how many personalities folk out there have already created in their minds - multiple Bints!
But for you Izzy here I go!
Seven Things I Plan to do Before I Die
1. Know more of the Qur’an by memory & be able to recite it properly - like a nightingale would be nice..
2. Make up all my missed Prayers - I have a chart and am ticking off whatever I can! I also want to make up my Fasts if God allows - As some folk know, I don't fast and would love to join the Ummah one day when my health allows.
3. Establish Tranquilart as a business and see all the non-profit campaigns to their ultimate completion. I want to re-launch Phase 2 Tranquilart with a lot more emphasis on the Philosophy behind it and do crazy, innovative things like: The Sling Challenge and Writing Letters!
4. Visit the House of God again: either Umrah or second Hajj, not fussed! Just Invite me again please God!
5. Write a novel :-)
6. Learn the Fiqh of Departure - and know how to wash the dead etc. I feel this is so important, really really really need to do this as soon as I recover and am up for it.
7. Re-discover Peace and the answers to some of my questions about life.
1. Talk to anyone - yep anyone! And network with people. If you need any help let me know; if I can't help you - I'll know someone who can!
2. Sleep anywhere: the floor, bus, train, plane – anywhere!
3. Paint, stitch, sew & liberate my creative bunny!
4. Accept my limitations – that I am actually NOT in control of the world! Although I often forget those limitations :-/
5. Cook chicken in a wok! er.. OK well I used to be able to..
6. Wear my heart on my sleeve
7. Run, jump, skip and hop with little people!
2. Lie – can’t do it to save my life!
3. Read between the lines – so frustrating!
4. Sleep at night knowing someone is cross with me.
5. Use knitting needles for their actual purpose - I always wanted to knit a teddy :o(
6. Cook like mum
7. Hide emotion
Seven Things I Say Most Often
3. Oh God Please show me the way forward.
4. I'm well.
5. Thank you.
6. What's the matter?
7. Don't worry.
Seven Things That Attract Me to the Opposite Sex
1 – 7. Oh purleaze! I’m a feminist! I’ve got no time for that!
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Saturday, October 01, 2005
Girls & Make-up
‘How true’ I thought, as I reached out for my bottle of foundation to cover what I describe as the “sickly yellow” colour of my face. If I didn’t cover it with “colour” I’d get even more comments from people about how “unwell” I’m looking. Luckily the false colour adds an element of “healthiness” to my face.
This is not about the rights and wrongs of wearing make-up and if anyone wants to read about that, I suggest they use the search engine to get what they require. There is ample written on this and other issues pertaining to women; by both male and female scholars. Neither am I an advocate of wearing make-up.
My reason for this entry is in reference to the opening comments by my two friends. I know both of them well and for some period of time too.
I also know that they are both dealing with a series of issues that fate has given them; and they try their best to seek out solutions which would be most pleasing to God Almighty.
Hamdun al-Qassar. A companion of the Prophet Alaislam.
Full text could be found at the link in the end of the blog.
I will say it how it is:
We do not have the right to judge people.
We are often taught that we are the ‘Ambassadors of God’ and yes it is very true that we are the ambassadors. And I guess if the ambassador is a woman who wears a scarf, then she is more explicitly a representative of Islam. However what strikes me is the following question:
What does the ambassador do when she is having a bad day?
Or does she continue to wear it and pray that the wider community (who one can only assume are having a good day) will forgive her shortcomings?
Can she honestly be made to feel safe and accepted by people around her?
Of course the answer to the above is not to remove the scarf.
But it also is not for the community to start judging her.
One of them (whom I have known for over 5 years) ran away from home whilst I was out at Hajj. The community decided to close the doors to her and although her children visit the father, she is not allowed to visit her own parents.
I met her and keep in touch with her. And despite her situation being so “morally wrong” for a Muslim woman – I am taught that the judgment is not for me but for God Almighty. And my role is to “be there” for this individual in whatever capacity fate allows me. I feel it is my role to support her spiritually rather than tell her that she is a resident of hellfire; a decision which I cannot have any claims to make anyway.
I can only pray that God Almighty brings about a Sisterhood which truly bonds us women together with no fear of being judged.
I have mentioned this before and I will say it again – one of the saddest tragedies in our community is the loss of Sisterhood. And I mean REAL sisterhood – not your phoney-maloney sisterhood where you go shopping and buy each other expensive gifts. And then if you say one thing ‘out of line’ you are never spoken to ever again. Or if you can’t quote the Top Ten Scholars and fail to provide evidence of having attended every gathering in the last 3 months - you are no longer in the circle. To me there is more to it than that.
Sisterhood is not about what you know about the ‘other’ - but rather what you don’t know. For someone to accept me (as their sister) without knowing much about me than for someone to reject me from their circle after finding out about me is not how I define sisterhood.
As my brother often says: “If you could see God, what would be the point in worshipping Him?”
Would it take for people to know me inside-out for them to accept me into their Sisterhood?
I must admit some of the greatest friends I have made in these many months know very little about me. I mean the ‘real me’ - not what is readily available on the internet (which obviously I have chosen to share with people and thus is rather selective or could even be a pack of lies – had my mother of course taught me how to lie!)
But I am grateful that these people ‘accept’ me for what I am – with all my shortcomings and my goonishness. For me, this is what Sisterhood is based on.
To know that when I feel the ground shake beneath my feet I can go to my sisters and hold them tight for support. That when I feel like hiding they will be there to cover me from the world. Neither of us having to explain why. Neither of us having to see the powder as a barrier.
So, afterall this is not an entry on the rights or wrongs of make-up. It is a simple wake-up call for girls to look beyond cosmetics to the one factor which unites us all – we are all the Daughters Of Adam. (Alaisalam).
And for those who have already forgotten that Saying once again:
Hamdun al-Qassar. A companion of the Prophet Alaislam.
Modern Living & Spirituality
How To Look After Your Heart
How To Look After Others' Heart
Good Night & God Bless