My heart is torn between East and West. I live somewhere between the present and the past. I don't know who I am.
I am launching this new segment on my blog called ‘Discuss’. Every so often, I’ll publish a question, quote, image, video etc, and ask you guys to discuss it. I would love to hear what you have to say, all I ask is that you be considerate and civil in your responses. So here goes, discuss the following:
When does a revert stop becoming a revert? (as opposed to just being identified a Muslim rather than a “revert Muslim”?)
What’s a bit surprising to me is that, when it comes to discussions of Hijab, or as much as I hate this concept, “explanations of Hijab” to non-Muslims, everything is touched upon — fashion industry, the male gaze, feminist rhetoric, female empowerment, convenience, culture, tradition, “But everyone else covers, too! [insert picture of women following 20 major and minor world religion with some sort of head covering] — just not Divine commandment. At the end of the day, we do wear this because He commanded us to. We cover, in this specific way, because this is how we were commanded to cover. (If you’re gonna pollute my askbox with anonymous demands for proof for this - don’t bother. I’m not about to pass Fatwas, sorry.)
Yes, the Hijab has liberating effects, it has empowering effects, it has a thousand blessings in disguise. But those are effects, not causes. The way prayer has a thousand benefits, yet the reason we pray is not because of those benefits, it’s because we are commanded to.
“Commandment” has negative connotations. But God doesn’t command for His own good. He doesn’t need us to pray to Him, He doesn’t need us to wear Hijab for him. A central Shari’i principal is to bring benefit or prevent harm. Look at each commandment, at each rule — it brings benefit or prevents harm.
Excellent point and very well-put.
Today at Fajr, I was clearing up in the kitchen with my dad and I found a bag of rice under the sink. I picked it up so I could put it away in one of the cupboards but my dad stopped me and told me to leave it where it was.
"Why?" I asked. "There’s plenty of space in the cupboard."
He smiled and said “It’s not for us, it’s for the birds.”
I had no idea what he was talking about. He smiled again, grabbed the bag of rice and motioned for me to follow him to the garden door. There, perched on the garden fence outside, waiting patiently for him were five little birds. He unlocked the door, grabbed a handful of rice and scattered it on the ground. The birds swooped down on the grains. More birds came to join them, chirping happily at their good fortune.
"You see these birds habibty? Allah provides for them and many others like them. Allah provides for every creature on this earth through his sources. Why can’t we be one of those sources that Allah provides for his creatures through? Why can’t we be givers, not takers?"
"Allah provides for us too, but we don’t rely on him in the same way as these birds do, unwaveringly, unquestionably."
He took my hand in his and placed some rice in it. He then looked me in the eye and said:
The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) told us “If you relied on Allah with a true reliance, He would provide for you the same as He provides birds: they set off in the early morning with empty stomachs and return back at the end of the day with full stomachs.”
"I want you to be like these birds habibty. Depend on no one but Allah, rely on no one but him. Never doubt his ability to provide or his power to bless even the smallest or the most unfortunate of his creatures. Never forget that habibty"
This is why my dad is the most special man on earth <3
It’s crazy how much we take for granted. We’ve all been endowed with such great blessings, we can’t even begin to count them. We get too caught up by what has been given and offered to us that we rarely take a step back to reflect on all that we have.
I woke up this morning because of the alarm I had set the night before on a phone that I had the financial means to purchase. I woke up in a bed, a warm bed, fully clothed and with a roof over my head. I was able to open my eyes and get out of bed with ease. I was able to go to the bathroom and run clean, hot water from the tap to wash my face with. I didn’t have to walk miles to get that water, I didn’t have to worry about getting diseases as a result of using it. I could feel my stomach rumbling. My throat felt dry but I knew there was food downstairs in the kitchen I could placate my hunger with, water to quench my thirst with. I knew there was a family living happily in that house, no arguments, no sadness, no break-ups. I was not afraid or scared of them. I did not hate them. I felt safe and loved…
I can go on counting and recounting these blessings but they only come to acquire a true meaning when we attribute a feeling of gratefulness to them. Alhamdu-lillah (all praise is due to God.) Such simple words yet they hold so much meaning. Only when we come to realise the gravity of those words do we begin to realise the importance of praising and thanking Allah through our thoughts and actions. Be humble. Never, ever forget the true source of all your blessings and never stop being grateful for them.