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She's learning how to drown

Posts tagged Allah

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A personal rambling: loneliness and longing

I woke up this morning not feeling too well (partly due to the start of my period but mostly because I’m feeling low). I’ve spent the best part of this entire day wrapped up in blankets and drifting between wakefulness and very light sleep.

I had half a mug of hot milk for breakfast and couldn’t bring myself to eat anything. I just went back to bed.

My aunt - who lives across town - had come round and popped into the room at one point. We weren’t expecting visitors. I was drifting, eyes closed, huddled up close to the wall. She planted a warm kiss on my cheek and I opened my eyes to see her face floating above mine. She smiled and I smiled back. I thought it would be Mum so it was a nice surprise.

She asked how I was and I replied honestly. “Not great.”

Not too long after, Mum asked if I wanted to have lunch with the family or if I preferred lunch on my own. The thought of summoning up energy for social interaction (donning my hijab in front of my aunt’s husband, having to put up with his ‘playful’ jibes, maybe having to explain why I look so rough or why I’m so quiet today) didn’t appeal to me so I asked for lunch in bed.

Mum took pity and brought me a small tray of food. Alhamdulillah it tasted good. In fact, I’m sure it would have tasted delicious if I wasn’t feeling so crappy. There was a cup of mint tea (infused with thyme - good for cramps) and a bottle of cool water to wash everything down.

Now I’m lying in bed again. My teeth feel furry (I need to brush them), my feet feel cold, my body doesn’t feel that tired but my soul does. The motorbikes outside are muffled by the closed window. There’s one fly lazily winding its way through the air. The clock ticking is pretty loud but only if you focus on that particular sound. Mum’s on the other mattress waiting for slumber to overtake (Moroccans will let you know about the post-lunch siesta). She looks like she’s in a world of her own, too. She is starting to snuffle a little, now her eyes are closed.

I am breathing. I can see. I am waiting.

Waiting for this absence, this chasm within, to disappear or be filled or…

This is the hard part. The part where patience has to kick in. It can’t last forever. It won’t last forever but you have to see it through.

I’m yearning for completion. There is a part of ‘me’ that is aching for something more. It is an endless void that can’t be sated by any worldy thing. It is a loneliness that is all-consuming. The sun is shining and alhamdulillah I am outwardly safe. But inwardly, I am teetering.

I think it must be easy to find God in a pair of strong arms that hold you close. It must be easy when the one, through whom God manifests His Beauty, kisses you on your forehead, looks into your eyes and tells you it’ll be okay. It’s easy to see God in that security, that moment of warmth and mercy and compassion. It might not even be your significant other, it could be your mother or a sibling or a friend.

Harder perhaps to find God in absence. In pain and fear and loneliness. He isn’t any less Present but we are veiled by dualities. We’ve trained ourselves to see the ‘bad’ as beyond God, as if it’s not Him that has created every thought and feeling we possess. We ask Him to heal us of it as if it’s some external thing, a power that isn’t His. He is beyond ‘good’ and ‘bad’ but we’ve forgotten or we can’t see.

He is closer to us in our moments of weakness not because He has changed - He Is as He Was and Will always Be - but because *our* perception has changed. We have realised our desperate neediness, our feeble existence, more fully when at these low points.

As one friend put it, if you believe you are any less in need of God when you’re in your own city surrounded by your luxuries and home comforts (running water, electricity on demand, food in the fridge, warm house, phone reception and Wifi, etc) than when you’ve broken down in the middle of a desert with no water for miles and no means of calling for help, then there’s something wrong with *you*.

So yes, I am waiting. To see and understand - heck, not even understand - what’s on the other side of this lonely desert. Insha’Allah this isn’t an idle waiting.

P.S. I would have put a Read More but I don’t know if that can be done on my phone.

P.P.S. I know I’m not making much sense, contradictions and competing ideas abound.

In summary, I want to be loved and to know that I am being loved. I want to love and let it be known that I am loving.

Filed under personal deeply personal love loneliness finding God seeing God Allah

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In the space of two days the exact same phrase has been echoed to me by completely different people, each person manifesting different facets of God’s Beauty and Majesty, His Jamal and Jalal. It’s strange and beautiful because they are positioned in complement to one another without even knowing it.

The exact same phrase, word for word, tying in with an ayah that I had asked the meaning of, on Friday night. It’s coming through different channels but I think I’m finally starting to recognise, to actually *see*, it’s all coming from the same source.

The goldsmith is putting me in this raging fire, this fitna, to purify me. This is where my true mettle will show. At your absolute lowest, when your heart is constricted, discomfited, squeezing tight, that is when the molten gold pours out.

Searing hot and completely malleable, the gold is struck into far more beautiful forms. The hammers fall, sparks fly and the metal literally rings out.

If I would only appreciate the opportunity better.

Ya Allah, take me and give You.

Filed under personal Allah strike while the iron is hot

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The Presence of God

imamabdullatif:

The only Unconditional Presence is God.

Unquestionably.

The limitation of space and time which are both inherent to presence are of no consequence to Him.

He is beyond any specific extent whether it be in one, two or three dimensions.

So, even in Deen, which is expressed in three dimensional…

Filed under God Allah Islam Iman Ihsan IMAL

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Valley of Roses

She is dreaming of a valley of roses –

Separation so bitter to bear –

Cast your affairs into the stream, Mother of Moses,

Sing Prince Solomon’s Love song with cheer!

Pluck the day with the slave of the Subtle,

Black beads clicking, voices singing aloud.

The blooms and breezes will whisper their secret,

“Let Love’s sharp thorns be your crown.”            

Sipping patient, lips moistened with liquor,

She tugs at the veils of this life.

God willing, she dies – in remembrance –

And slits her throat with Abraham’s knife.

Filed under poem personal Valley of Roses remembrance trust Allah

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On the Merit of seeking Forgiveness

'Ali, may God ennoble his countenance, said: “It puzzles me that a man should perish when he possesses the means to save himself.” When they asked him to explain, he said: “The Prayer for forgiveness!”

He also used to say: “God, Glorified and Exalted is He, never inspires a man to seek forgiveness if He intends to punish him.”

An excerpt from Al-Ghazali’s 'Ihya 'Uloom-ud Din (or ‘Bringing Religious Knowledge to Life’), trans. by Muhtar Holland.

Filed under Sayyidna Ali alayhi salam forgiveness istighfar Al Ghazali Revival of the Religious Sciences Inner Dimension of Islamic Worship Muhtar Holland mercy Allah

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Tell me something

"Tell me something.

If every person on the planet, if everything in the Universe, every atom worshipped Allah like the Prophet (saw) worshipped Him - absolutely perfect worship: would it increase His majesty in the slightest…?

And if (au’dhoobillah) every person, every thing, every atom were to be disobedient, like Shaitan - cursed and cursing - tell me: would it decrease His majesty in the slightest…?

You see, Allah doesn’t need our actions, He doesn’t need us.

But we need Him. Our hearts need Him.”

   - Ramadan Reflections with Imam Abdul Latif Finch.

NB: I’m just paraphrasing what Imam Abdul Latif Finch said above. I didn’t have pen and paper to hand and it’s been a week since he delivered this particular talk.

A reminder that we only worship to our own benefit and when we sin we only wrong ourselves. We’re not doing Allah ‘a favour’, either way - rather it is Allah’s favour upon us, that He made us from those who (try to) submit. May Allah forgive us for our shortcomings. Ameen.

Filed under worship Allah arrogance harm benefit Shaitan ego Imam Abdul Latif Finch Ramadan Reflections IALF