Thursday, February 23, 2006


Going Away..

Teacher: Have you thought about physical travel?

Goon: There isn't anywhere really where I could go for a long duration.

Teacher: Physical travel aids the spiritual journey.

Goon: We'll see what happens.. [thinking: my passport expires in January - gosh I can't go anywhere!]

A paraphrase of a conversation with a dear teacher before Ramadhan last year.


Many months later...

An opportunity arose for me to go to Pakistan with the family and I have decided to go. I was very apprehensive at the beginning as it is not even 5 months since the earthquake which killed thousands of individuals and made scores others homeless. And the thought of going to a place where disaster has struck to enjoy yourself made little sense to me. I found it unpalatable, or perhaps I think in over-drive too much.

But then I thought about the glorious city that I was born in; this city that I live in on an island in the 'west'. How do I feel about the homeless folk who sit outside many High Street shops begging for change? Or those who sell The Big Issue standing outside in the cold, freezing at times as they know that a sale is the difference between a meal or going hungry for a little while longer? How do I feel about children growing up in poverty in Britain today? Or do I become selective in thinking that this country that I live in doesn't have issues that deserve a human consideration?

Thus I decided to say yes when my parents told me that they would also pay all my expenses.


One of the reasons was because alot of people that I love dearly told me how they would miss me. A nice gesture? Of course! But I realised soon enough that this was for me. So that I may find myself - and there was nothing wrong with that. As the teacher said, physical journeys aid the spiritual ones.

I reconciled that once I am better I will be more resourceful to both the earthquake appeal projects aswell as people around me. At the moment I feel disgustingly unhealthy and am no use to anyone. I need to become introspective and find some light.

I also found it very difficult to accept money from my parents at this age. After having spent so many years earning for myself, it felt strange to allow them to pay such a huge sum for me. However, I realised that essentially it is God Almighty who Provides and all others are a means to that providence. Having only made an application for benefits after not receiving any further sick pay for 5 months I could not really argue or refuse my parents' kindness. I think there comes a point in every human situation where one is strained so much that they don't have the energy or will-power to fight. An example was the tidying up saga - remember that? Took me 8 months to start tidying my room, and I had to accept the mess. Together with the understanding that it is God Almighty who will give the ability to tidy it.

Similarly in regards my bank account falling to what used to be a typical fortnights' wage, I cannot be bothered to argue with myself or worry myself crazy about it. I know that what goes up will come down. And what is down today will tomorrow be up. This is the way of the world. One day we have good health - the next day it is poor - and then it is good once again as if there never was a spell of illness.

Some believe that this is part of what submitting to God Almighty is all about; accepting as opposed to fighting the situation.


My teacher also said:

>The best way to communicate is without a phone or email and so
>getting rid of them will be an aid to communication inshallah.

I told him I would not be taking my mobile phones or accessing email too often and his response was very reassuring. I believe that to return to true communication ie the communication with the One - we need to make the shift from the electronics to the spiritual.

Both my telephones will be disconnected after we leave and I shall re-activate them upon my return. Soz folks I apologise... I'm not going to be available till the end of April, InshaAllah.

I won't be accessing my emails or the internet too often - perhaps a few times in the entire time out there.. unless there is an emergency.


I won't be blogging either. Soz again folks.


And no pictures. Soz yet again.

I toured Pakistan twice before and photographed it as much as my heart's contentment with my kodaks ;-)

I discussed this with a close friend who jetted off to Egypt last week and we both agreed that perhaps this is the time for me to do other things that I wouldn't otherwise get to do eg my writing(?) as in pencil to paper?


I would like to thank everyone. Yes Everyone.

Thank you.


Sorry folks for every time I have failed to follow your advise to me.
My apologies to you who I ignored; I was not well that day.

I apologise for having offended anyone out there.


Life is strange.

I have seen the four seasons from my room this year - but at the same time Life is unpredictably kind to me.

I sat and was thinking the other day.. hasn't life actually been so so nice to me?

Hasn't it allowed me to do things I really wanted to do? Well yes it has: I always wanted to go to the Sacred Sanctity- and God Almighty made it possible for me to perform my Hajj.

OK, so today my finances are not good, but at least I have purified my wealth by having set Tranquilart as a non-profit initiative. Although the future of Tranquilart will perhaps be a business-oriented one.

And at least I knew what my dream job was, and worked within it. God Almighty gave me the opportunity to enjoy it. I ask myself: Isn't that something to be joyous and merry about?

I am off and until next time, Fee Aman Allah :-)

May the Blessings of God Almighty be upon all x x x

Regards and Salutations of Peace from Camel-Land!
Wasalam, duas & love

Bint-eh Adam

*The artwork you could see is my recent work, working on the theme of 'Finding God'.
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Faith & The Arts Show :-)


February 28th to 12th March

An exhibition of works by artists of different faith backgrounds to celebrate the launch of the Faith and the Arts website.

Saint Martin's Arts,
St Martin-in-the-Bull Ring
B5 5BB

Tel: 0121 600 6532

Exhibition opening times:

Sunday: 9am - 7pm
Monday: CLOSED
Tuesday - Saturday: 10am - 5pm

Visitors will have the opportunity to meet some of the artists on Tuesday 7th March 2-4pm.

Tranquilart will be there x x
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Thanks to the Deenport Ladies!

"O Mankind,
We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female and made you into nations and tribes,
that you may know each other.

Verily the most honored of you in the sight of God is he who is the most righteous of you"

(Quran 49:13).

Another red van parks up and knock knock knock...

Gosh you ladies from Deenport should give Royal Mail a break!

Thank you my friends -

Those whom I know, and many whom I don't.

You folk spoil me too much :'-)

God Bless!

Other wonderful things brought by Royal Mail from the Deenporters:

- a camel
- followed by two more camels
- a couple of bars of Thorntons' chocolates
- a bookmark
- another bookmark - this time hand-made
- a book
- a scarf - which I cut with the scissors as I cut the envelope open :-/
- a scarf again - but this time with a warning on the envelope: Do Not Cut!
- another scarf
- perfume
- prayer beads
- more prayer beads
- did I say another camel?
- embroidered hadith about brotherhood and love that someone did by herself
- hand-made card
- Dalail al Khayraat
- Prayer books
- letters
- more cards
- artwork all the way from American DP'er Izzy Mo :-)
- bracelets
- seeds for flowers
- sacred cloth
- more books

and lots of other things.

Please also read this POST as many people I said thanks to are DP'ers.

And may God Almighty bless the Deenport Family.

Thank you for your love x
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Sunday, February 19, 2006


What my Dad did today


Unsure how many other families have odd experiences but my own is well-known for the wackiest and craziest random happenings :-D

I had to go into City and my sister had to get to work.. I wanted to make my wudu (ablution) so I could speak to God Almighty and dash. All was going fine until I opened my door and saw the state of the bathroom.

Dad had pulled the sink apart!

And I thought:

What on earth has happened this time!!!!!!???????

My little sister's ear-ring fell into the sink and as she hadn't ran the tap after, she asked the guy called dad for assistance.

Now my pa ain't no ordinary bloke - he's Super-Daddy! So he pulled the sink apart with his mighty strength and started poking at the pipes with his frail fingers and heavy dirty tools. He spent so much time turning the pipe.. Just to realise that he had been tightening it all along!

After 45 minutes of the calamity dad managed to unscrew the pipe and emptied its' contents into the water-jug. Hoorah!

The only problem we had now was to put the sink back together before mum got home :-/ I was later for the City and sis was late for work but we had to get the bathroom sink in one piece before SuperMummy!

Sister holds the sink whilst dad tries putting the pipe back on.

Nope - no luck as SuperDaddy being the strong bloke that he is - managed to break the pipe..

Oopsie diddly giddles - now what?!

Well - dear old dad went out to the DIY shop not once but twice this afternoon to buy a new pipe.

And all because the ear-ring was a gift from my brothers' wife :o)

Daddy man - what are ya like?

God bless dads for they are irreplaceable :o)

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Thursday, February 16, 2006


Only Night Brings a New Dawn

"Hast thou not seen how Allah causeth the night to pass into the day and causeth the day to pass into the night, and hath subdued the sun and the moon (to do their work), each running unto an appointed term; and that Allah is Informed of what ye do? "

Qur'an 31.29
Many months ago myself and a close friend were driving back from a course entitled Finding Your Way Back. Dark, misty and little lighting on the lanes we were driving on, we began a discourse on the 'Night'.

It is amazing that we are given the parable of the day and night to ponder upon in the Holy Text. I know an artist who was going to start some work on the themes of day and night in some of his work a while ago...

As we looked out of the windscreen we started talking about the night as a similitude to hardship.

Often whilst going through problems, hardships, trials or whatever else folk may wish to call it, individuals feel a sense of darkness looming their lives. As I said a while ago, I kept seeing the presence of a dark cloud above my world.

Night then, is similar to this as it appears never ending.

However we also enjoy the night as we find therein the pleasure of rest, peace and a nearness to our Lord. Trials and hardships, are just the same. Here are some thoughts I have been blogging since Jan 29th.. They are not conclusive but merely there to open up this discussion, as I mark the anniversary of my 'official' sick-leave :')

Difficult to see where you are going..

The night was cold and the mist made it difficult to see our path confidently. A unique quality of the night is that it prevents one from seeing where they are going. Yet in it is a blessing for it allows one to explore other senses to find their way. I'll explain:

Imagine spending a whole day, week, month or year in a place eg your home. You become familiar with your surroundings and hardly think twice about where you lay your step as your entire being is so comfortable with its' environment. Then, suddenly it is night-time.. And although your vision is limited - you are able to re-trace your steps around the house and get around with the absence of the light. You can get from one place to another with the aid of touch and other senses.

In the context of hardships or what appear to be negative life experiences, one is able to make the link with the analogy above:

Everything is cold, dark, one cannot see where they are going in life -

But God Almighty enables one to seek within for reserved strengths, which arise from His Power and Mercy. With time, this allows the individual to move forward despite not knowing where he is going, towards his goal safely. If on the way there is a slip, trip or fall - it has all been part and parcel of the process of discovering and using newer strengths. Essentially though the lesson is to start learning skills that one always had but just never utilised or found the opportunity to put into practise.

Never ending..

Our two hour journey seemed very long just like the night which often appears as never ending. Life's trials similarly appear to go on and on. You just need to get over one hurdle before the next one comes your way it seems! But isn't that the same as night? You get your tasks done for one day before the night arrives?

In reality though even if one were to stay awake all night, every single second of the dark hours - the night would soon come to an end.

It is vital to assertain in our beings that even if we have hated every second of our set-backs in life; even if we have felt pain and frustation over the way in which events have enfolded; even if we have been deprived of enjoying the good things in life due to our circumstances -
these will all come to an end.

Everything is creation, except for the Creator.
And everything has a purpose after which their purpose ends and they die.
The trial is a creation just like the night.
The night will end and a new dawn will arrive.
The trial will be over.

Questioning the existence of night..

We do don't we?
We sit and question why the night was created. Just like we sit and question our life or more correctly: our experiences in life.. leading us sometimes to question the very essence of our earthly existence.

We are people who like answers. We want to know, forgetting that there is much in the Unseen world which we can not and will not be able to have clearer knowledge of. But we prefer to continue to question, or moreso seek answers to. Perhaps so that we can feel more comfortable of ourselves or where we find our beings in the race of life(?) Or perchance that we may have more control in our life(?)

Essentially though the continued questioning does not always lead to answers, at least not to answers that we are looking for.

How many people have found an answer to why the night is created? And how many have found a reason for the manner in which their life has unfolded? If the night unwrapped it's mystery to us and if we were told why our life has been the way it has - would that really make it any bit easier in accepting its' existence? Would we suddenly find it easier to accept the set-backs in our life? Or would it lead to further questions? Questions that would then, make us regret why we asked the original ones in the first place.

Night as the enemy..

Yes, for the one who stays awake during the night, the night is not a friend. It is not full of peace or mercy but a wretched experience serving to make him feel restless and in distress. The one under the weight of a mountaineuous pressure is not the same as the one who isn't.

Therefore to see night as an enemy or moreso, experiences in life as unfriendly aquaintances is not going to lead to a healthy acceptance of natural phenomena. What has been written for you will happen - the night will last as long as has been decreed for it. The enemy mind-set will not benefit you; learn to accept that certain things are not in your realm of control.

For those who know, every single life experience has a reason. For it moulds us and ensures our growth in the way most befitting for spiritual exhaltation.

Night as a Gift..

For the one who is asleep; the night is a blessing, a source of comfort and peace - and he rests to see what the new dawn brings. Even if he is unable to enter deep sleep, he nonetheless places his head on the pillow in the hope that he will indulge in the pleasure of 'sleep' and find 'rest' therein. It may be only a few moments of sleep that he is able to catch - but he does it. This is almost a glimpse into the benefits that lie hidden in the not-so-good hurdles we face.

Knowing that your Lord accepts the supplications of the callers at night and has allocated specific prayers for the night (tahajud) is a hude gift. That the Lord of the Heavans and the Earth is listening to your supplications whilst in distress should empower us to get beyond the 'night as an enemy' mind-set.

It is clear that no soul has a burden put upon it greater than he could bear.. we are the carriers of our own weight - and not that of others. The night is only as long as it needs to be.

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Monday, February 06, 2006


Lines of Communication

Salam :o)

It will read as if I'm an expert at making excuses, but it's true..


I have gone through phases of installing MSN for a week or less and then unistalling it for a few weeks or months.


Am I weird? Or do I just like annoying myself?

My problems with MSN are namely:
1. 'instant messages' are extremely 'instant'. I mean they don't allow for thinking time and require a quick response. This does not always suit me as it means I must type very fast and many times this triggers off a twitching sensation in my thumb or the palm.

2. everyone bombards me with conversations. Yes. I find it very hard to maintain more than one conversation most times. I used to be OK once upon a time but at the moment it is very hard. The other unfortunate bi-product of this is that the flashing blue lights at the bottom of the screen are irritating.

and there are a couple of other things too.

Text Messages

It continues to be the case that in 80-90% of the month I find it difficult to text message with comfort throughout the day. My texting is mainly done:

1. in the morning when I wake up - from my bed.
2. in the night before going to sleep - again, from my bed.

Why 'from my bed' one may ask? Simply because my arms are alot more relaxed,the elbows are comfortable and in a better position. Compare this with holding a telephone in mid air with arms stretched before the chest.. Not very comfy at all is it?!

It is only out of necessity that I have texted people during the day ie if answering someones' query.

That said; there are the 10-20% times in the month when my texting has been super-duper fine shine.


I seem to be coping better with email and it has been many several months now that my emailing is alot nicely constructed. However, what I find tiresome some times are volumes of emails as I have several accounts. I need to clear away some oldy emails (some from Amazon are still sitting in the Inbox).. but I realise this will happen when I am patient enough to sit at the machine for a long task.

However, saying that.. I owe lots of people emails. The good thing about emailing though - is that it can be saved as a draft and one can return to it later. And that is what i do sometimes.


I am a proud advocate of writing letters. At the moment though I just seem to be receiving them. I have not done much writing with a pen and have adopted the humble pencil for convenience. There are several moments (like right now as I type this) that my fingers start to 'burn' and the joints become painful.

This is very irritating when it happens when I am holding a pen as it makes me want to throw the pen and rest my hands on my lap.


Seems to be the top one which I am in favour for at the moment!
The landline feels a little heavier for me than the mobile fone.

However, the down-sider of telephones for me has been that because my tranquilarty number is so wide-spread (like you can easily get hold of it by doing a search on Google).. I do get calls from people regards arts queries.. and some people don't have good telephone manners.


I have just started the 50th week of my sick-leave - yes 5 - 0.. and spent the last few weeks communicating with Personnel, Managers, Occupational health, GP, Benefits Office.. etc

It is worth exploring how a change in health can affect the simplest of things one does. The confidence to do complicated tasks, to organise yourself and to plan correspondence can all be affected.

It feels very strange. Very very strange in fact.

Last year at this time I was working so well and looking forward to launching my Catalogue.
In 2004 around the same time, was launched..
In 2003 we were at Hajj right now..
In 2002 I was working with the teenagers..

Amazing life you are indeed.

You make us change our modes of communication,

To bring us in line with real communication.

Peace & Prayers
Bint-eh Adam
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Wednesday, February 01, 2006


Departure: Some Questions

Salam :o)

I attended a two day course this week on Death and Bereavement which has left me with alot to think about.

I don't intend to speak about the understanding of Death according to Islamic Traditions here as I believe that 1. I won't do it justice and 2. It has been dealt with by our Teachers in many places. It only requires for one to do a neat search and they shalt find or simply click on the pics here :o)

So what if I attended this 2-day course? Well I am pretty unorthodox in that, unlike all the smarty people I don't type my notes - instead there were many questions which emerged from the experience which I wanted to share with you folk. In a way, it is to encourage active 'thinking' on our departure and that of others.

I wrote most of this on the train in my notepad sitting next to someone typing up reviews on his laptop for the corporate he works for. Life, I thought.

We started off the session with a scenario:

You have been diagnosed with Cancer and have 3 weeks to live, what do you do?

Hmmm interesting...

Actually what do you do??!

We all answer this question individually based upon our own personal circumstances and social situations. Some of us are married; others are not; some of us are divorced with children; others are still living with their parents. We may be parents of little people; we may be carers of a sick parent -

The different settings God Almighty has placed us in are symbolic of how death is an event which affects people in different ways. So back to the question of the task - what do you do?

Most folk agreed that we would write a will. The following pointers arose for the will-writing:

Who would you like to carry out your Ghusal (washing / bathing)?

Where would you like to be buried?

Do you have children? Have you thought about what will happen to them afterwards? What would you expect from them in your absence?

And your spouse?

If you are single without children - what are your concerns for your loved ones after your departure?

Aside from the will-writing it is also worth pondering the following if 3 weeks is all that is left:

Do you need to return anyones' (borrowed) items?
Are you financially in debt?
Do you owe any missed fasts / prayers?
Are you on 'not so good' talking terms with anyone?

What are you going to do about it??

The course was very positive in exposing many concerns surrounding death and after it. It has motivated me to find out further about the intricacies of various issues around this event.

We need more people working towards the refining and tweaking of the current manner in which the event of departure is handled. This needs to be done on many levels: Spiritual / Family / Community etc

Some more pointers to arise:

For those dying in hospital, are relatives of the deceased aware what their rights are? eg many hospitals do allow the removal of tubes from the body by a relative.

From the period of time that the person dies to when they are taken for bathing in the mosque - what is happening to the body?

Do we all have sufficient financial arrangements in place for a funeral?

The Bathing (Ghusal)

Who is present during the bathing?

How many people are in the room?

Is the door closed fully to allow privacy or is it open for anyone to enter?

What environment is the body being washed in?

What is being said? Are folk chatting?

Is the temperature of the water suitable?

What adhab (etiquettes) are being displayed whilst emptying the bladder / stomach of the body? Is sensitivity shown whilst cleaning the private parts of the individual?

When washing the various parts of the body how is it being handled? Gently or with forceful scrubbing?

Is the sheet covering the body clean to begin of with? Is it new? Does it make the body appear very visible once wet?

Whilst lifting the body and putting the shroud over it, do you do what is convenient for yourself? Or what is easier for the body to cope with?

Who does the bathing in your community?

How many people in your family are familiar with the process of doing the bathing?

The trainor required a model fot the bathing and 2 bathers - and yes, the goon that I am, I volunteered.. Also because I was one of the 'lighter' bodies in the room! It was a pleasant experience to lay on a table with various sheets upon me. It helped me get closer to accepting the whole process a lot easily than I had thought so I was glad to be the possessor of a weird personality :-D

It burst many myths - Wow to know that ones' body is still shown dignity and not left naked on a cold table with strangers prodding it gave me some relief. I was very happy to know that the body is kept covered whilst being prepared for burial. Alongside the fact that warm water is used for the wash - how wonderful I thought.

Those bathing the body are requested to treat it gently and as my bather lifted my hand and rested it down on the table again (without dropping it) I was reassured that the Mercy of God Almighty really is something beyond the comprehension for my little brain.

The final rinse and perfuming the body (with a something which is a natural insect repellent) made me very pleased :)

It is very difficult to explain how beneficial the whole experience was and my suggestion for you is to get someone to conduct a 'fake bathing' on you. It made me realise that even in the last stages of your earthly life, God Almighty has commanded that full justice be done to you, and that you are still safely under His Divine Care.

We were scheduled to visit the local mosque to view the bathing facilities. Sadly, there was a funeral and we were unable to attend. However, it is something I recommend and will myself endevour to do for my belief is that such things develop a greater sense of empathy whilst supporting others. Also we should familiarise ourselves with what is to happen to us one day too.

Those left behind..

What do you say to those left behind?

How long do you keep saying it?

What support networks are needed for bereaving individuals?

Are such initiatives in place?

If your friends' parent died, how would you support your friend?

Is there financial assistance available to people whilst they are trying to sort out frozen bank accounts and paperwork?

As a community of Muslims do we visit converts who lose (Non-Muslim) relatives to offer our condolences?

Do we visit our friends from other faiths when they lose a beloved?

Socially cut off...

Do we realise how peoples' confidence can be kicked after the loss of a loved one?

Are we aware that many people may require support and assistance in basic things such as completing a form and may not have the motivation or confidence to do it after the loss of their significant other?

Many people can get socially cut off from other people and may end up feeling excluded from friends and even other family members - what is done in such circumstances?

Are we prepared to spend time thinking about the welfare of others months and years after their loss?

Bint concludes:

There is a strong need for awareness about what is to happen around the time of our departure and afterwards. These are just some of the questions which came to mind.. I have several others.

Having worked with people who have sunk into depression as a result of bereavement, I believe there is a real need for supporting bereaving individuals. We must become people of compassion as our Teachers narrate.

I hope I have given you enough to think about - and may we eventually convert the thinking into actions.
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