Seedo gave me my prayer mat when I was very young, and it is one of the few possessions the loss of which would break my heart. It’s small, and beautifully handwoven, made of silk and worn so thin where feet and forehead place themselves. This is where you can find me when I am at my lowest.
Since the beginning of this sabbatical, I have written about how anxiety had gripped me at different times, most especially leading up to and the beginning of the sabbatical itself.
A reminder that anxiety is primarily defined as worry about the future. [I just cited myself, like men in academia; thanks for the lesson, fellas. (Source: Men Set Their Own Cites High: Gender and Self-citation across Fields and over Time, Cornell University, 2016.)] Two hadiths which I learned today, and which resonated on all levels – “Anxiety is half of growing old,” and “Righteousness will increase your age.” Two sides of the same coin, these.
Their interpretation is simple: anxiety shortens your life (science has raised its hand and said HI, YES CORRECT), and possessing tawakkul in God will remove your anxiety.
Tawakkul is the sincere belief that Allah has got you. No matter what future calamity you might fear, tawakkul is knowing that you will be okay, because you are relying on Him, always. Note: This is not meant to be understood as an excuse for you to either sit idle or to be stupid, but rather it is for you to do, while believing. All information in Islam is intended in two parts; knowledge / awareness, while putting into practice. Also, it’s meant to be approached with intelligent thought. Meaning, you can’t have tawakkul that you will not die if you fall off a cliff, right before you chuck yourself from said cliff-side. I mean, you might survive, but chances are…
Many people, believing that they are super clever, call religion / belief in God, a ‘crutch’. I’ve never quite understood why or how this was supposed to be slanderous, because it is a truth. I absolutely am in need of Allah. I don’t know what would happen to me if I didn’t have Him in whom to trust, and Him, to whom I might entrust all of my worries and fears. What would I do if I didn’t believe in His abundance?
I struggle enough as it is; I would fall to complete pieces if I didn’t have Him as crutch.
This reminder though, that Allah has got me, this one is an important one of which it is so easy to lose sight because this dunya can be so overwhelming in its pain. Please remind me if I lose sight in future, which I will, because weakness of heart.
Today, I am grateful for:
1. My sad attempt to make samosas. I tried to make them into triangles and failed so miserably that I just started making random shapes, one of which is a pentagon, and another something sort of like a square. No matter, because they tasted amazing.
2. Humans such as Karen Armstrong, with such noor in her heart, and whose purpose is to build bridges. More like you, please.
3. Sponge Bob. Uhm. I know that I am really late to this party, but have any of you ever watched Sponge Bob? He is this sponge full of heart and drama, and he is such a fun little situation to watch. Really, do yourself a favour and watch an episode; you will want him to come to life and sit next to you on the couch while holding your hand when you are sad.
Ottawa | May 7, 2019