The Planting

When you hear a Muslim describe a thing as Sunnah, what they mean is that it was the way of our Prophet (sAws) – things that he did, means by which he lived, behaviours he displayed.

To keep a garden is sunnah. Two reported ahaadith (the plural form of hadith) report that he said –

“If the last hour comes and in your hand you have a date palm seedling, then if you are able to plant it before that, then do so.” (Source: Imam Ahmed)

I believe this one is to be understood in both its literal and metaphorical sense, and I love how it is pregnant with such hope and never-ending possibility.

“There is no muslim except who plants a seedling, or cultivates crops and then the birds animals or men eat from it, then it will be an act of charity for him.” (Source: Al-Bukhaaree and Muslim)

This one too, it is meant to be understood both literally and metaphorically (as most all ahaadith are, in fact). Here, the intention is the sustenance of creation; that we are all responsible for maintaining and keeping one another and all animals over which we have stewardship.

Religious lesson aside, I spent a chunk of my day repotting succulents, which I have come to love over the last year. They are such hearty, and beautiful creations; their symmetry is really something to behold, and I can stare at them for hours. Mostly, I really love how they appear to be stuffed with water, reminding me of the bubble stickers from childhood.

Though Canada doesn’t provide ideal outdoor weather for them, they are still a viable option potted, and moved indoors, as they demand.

Should I one day reside full-time in warmer climates inshAllah, my garden will be all fruit trees and succulents.

I zoned out with potting, and realized that any residual stress with which I’d been grappling sunk itself into the soil without my knowledge. Clearly, this is the work my soul needs.

Today, I am grateful for:
1. The taste of wood, which comes at the end of a Fudgsicle. Because it means that I’ve just had a Fudgsicle.
2. National Geographic. You are the only magazine which I purchase regularly – thank you for always teaching me so much with every issue.
3. Gaza Za’atar (not ever NEVER EVER to be confused with the Jordanian kind). Because it is my go-to food, and because it means that I am home.

Ottawa | Day 263 | August 20, 2019

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