Heartfelt-Letter IX

Asalam o alaikum.

Hope you are healthy there. Last three days been careless with dietary choices. I am heart broken at the departure of Ramadan. I haven’t talked to you about it much; I tried to fast (except a few days) despite having the leave from Allah SWT for His Pleasure and out of awe and fear of His displeasure. The joy that this month brings to a believer is priceless.

My last few Eids have been different; that’s the essence of life. Struggle. Waging Jihad inside and trying to smile on the front; pretending everything is smooth and calm.

Pain is bittersweet; it brings you closer to Allah. But the test lies in not letting the positivity go. The frequency of dua shouldn’t decrease despite the controversial circumstances. These are big things; I am sorry I can’t be someone who will talk about her wishes and desires for her children and keep it all “disney”. Candies, clothes, cars- that all is capitalism in disguise and I don’t want your standards of wisdom be so low.

Next Ramadan, I will have you with me in sha Allah. Before your birth, I am praying day and night to Allah SWT about a thing that gnaws at my heart everyday.

I am still unprepared; many must be preparing their hospital bag but I am worried about you. Allah SWT has created you perfectly. You have complete belief systems inside you; I am scared of ruining them or being reckless in letting you be governed by sources that shake one’s mere belief system.

The point of sharing my fears with you is to express love. They aren’t meant to be a source of pressure or burden. Another purpose to share my fears with you is to instill the love of deen in you. I pray I acquire the skills well before time.

Eid this year will again be hard; hard because it is difficult to look serene and satisfied on the outside. May Allah grant me patience and gratitude.

The way I share my core concerns and weaknesses with you today, I am looking forward to a heartfelt from you as soon as you gain the skills to talk.

 

Love you.

Gotta go.

Mama.

Eating with Awareness-Letter VIII

Asalam o Alaikum.

You’re growing up Alhamdulilah.

On and off, guilt and regret set in. Before marriage, whenever I thought of motherhood, I could’ve never imagined eating carelessly. I have ignored and not utilized the knowledge Allah SWT gave me about holistic health and nutrition. I prayed for beneficial knowledge and Allah SWT gave me access to various Prophetic Medicine and Holistic health resources which busted many mainstream, conventional myths but then I got weak in motivation and was influenced by people around me.

I wanted to share with you two ayaahs from the Quran that are on my mind since I am getting high blood sugar scores day and night since a few days. Through my carelessness, I am able to reflect over them with more focus and attention.

 “[ Allah said], “O messengers, eat from the good foods and work righteousness. Indeed, I, of what you do, am Knowing.”

This ayah is number 51 in Surah Muminoon, the 23rd Surah of the Quran. Firstly, this is a command. Secondly, it is being given to the Messengers. The Messengers were wise and healthy in each of their era then why did Allah SWT had to command then to eat of the Tayyib (good) foods? Thirdly, the link between righteous deeds and good foods is absolutely clear in the ayah mentioned above.

Hence, I have wronged myself when I have not taken care of my health instead of listening to my body, I have submitted to my desires.

Farhat Hashmi in her lecture explains the phenomenon in the same light. Remember the ayah is coming from the chapter titled “The Believers”. A believer ought be mindful when eating; he/she has to determine if the food is nutritious, healthy, hygienic and pure (meaning of tayyib).

I kept ignoring my instincts and gave in to the social pressures that come with eating and let the anxiety of the last 3 to 4 years take over me.

Son, this isn’t good. This is a weakness. I want to share my weaknesses with you too not just highlight strengths. It is by overcoming weaknesses, that people become warriors of strong will.

 

Whenever my sugar levels soar high, I think of you. I am sorry. Parenthood began from the womb and I have been careless.

I have learnt the most about health and wellness from Dr Shagufta Feroz’s work, Tibb e Nabwi texts (Prophetic Medicine), thorough research of my own, digging into journal after journal to reach the truth of the matter. May Allah open the reality of the world for you along with the medical and the food industry quite earlier in life.

I want to educate you about everything under my control or knowledge. Don’t take that as a burden. I have climbed a few steps up; when your senses are fully develop, you can take my hand and teach me as well. I am open for correction. I love you very much.

I hope my mindless attitude towards health would not impact you in anyway. I will repent and true repentance erases every wrong doing.

You’re going to be such an amanah-a trust that the reckoning sometimes scares me to the core.

I hope and pray your father also realizes the magnanimity of this amanah. Satirically speaking, there will always be gender differences.

Before I end the letter, ponder over the second ayah. It is one of the most profound ayahs. Everytime I make a mistake, I quickly think about the dua that Allah SWT, our Creator, taught Prophet Adam a.s Himself.

رَبَّنَا ظَلَمْنَآ اَنْفُسَنَا وَإِنْ لَمْ تَغْفِرْ لَنَا وَتَرْحَمْنَا لَنَكُونَنَّ مِنَ الْخٰسِرِينَ

Our Lord! We have wronged ourselves, and if you do not forgive us and have mercy upon us, we will surely be amongst the losers. (Al-A’raf:23)

May Allah endear Faith to you, beautify deen in your heart and make disbelief, transgression, shamelessness and immorality hateful to you.

Love,

Mother.

Acceptance….

Accept me as I have transformed

May Allah make you the leader of Al-Mutaqqun

Understand the turmoil I go through

I miss my crown;

I want to please my Creator

I want to be on the path of Messenger’s daughters and wives

May Allah enter you into the light of the verses of Ahzab and Nur

I miss my crown.

Hold my hand and accept me.

Accept me as I have transformed.

The expression of your love is empty without acceptance.

The expression of my love is in prostration.

Accept my transformation.

I miss my crown.

Please don’t frown.

That’s my identity there.

I have bidden farewell to my youth of ignorance.

The Book I read, gave me the willpower to wear the crown.

It is about us; it is not about me anymore.

I miss my crown.

Why doesn’t it give you a spiritual uplift?

Why do you feel bad about it?

It is my crown.

It is time to bridge differences.

It is time for acceptance.

Time for gratitude and prostration.

I can’t see myself lost in nothingness.

I am a warrior like those female companions.

Hold my hand, like you mean it, oh Qawwam.

Accept me as I have transformed.

The expression of love is through worship.

For the most memorable day in my life

It was when you stood by me

When I wore my crown.

That moment lasted a few minutes.

I miss my crown.

Together in worship and submission.

Together forever.

Distant in worship and submission,

A similar storm will await us.

Let’s hold hands like we mean to please our Creator.

I miss my crown.

Let me be.

 

FB_IMG_1495602952382.jpg

No wonder why Islam has put utmost focus on social attitudes; they have far reaching effects. If there is anything we need to be careful about FOR the society and IN the society, that is our akhlaq.

Akhlaq is not just manners; it has a wide meaning in Arabic. Like what can you grasp from the following dua which is based on seeking refuge from ‘bad akhlaq’

اَللّهُمَّ طَهِّرْ قَلْبِىْ مِنَ النِّفَاقِ، وَ عَمَلِىْ مِنَ الرِّيَآءِ، وَ لِسَانِىْ مِنَ الْكَذِبِ، وَ عَيْنِىْ مِنَ الْخِيَانَةِ، فَإِنَّكَ تَعْلَمُ خَآئِنَةَ الْأعْيُنِ، وَمَا تُخْفِىْ الصُّدُوْرِ
اے اللہ ! میرے دل کو نفاق سے ، میرے عمل کو ریا و نمود سے اور میری زبان کوجھوٹ سے اور میری آنکھ کو خیانت سے پاک کر دے اور بےشک تو آنکھوں کی
خیانت اور دلوں کی چھپی ہوئی باتوں کو جانتا ہے۔
O Allah! Purify my heart from hypocrisy, my deeds from any kind of Ria (show off), my tongue from lying and my eye from treachery. For indeed only You know the treachery of the eyes and what lays hidden in the breasts. (Al-Baihaqi).
This dua is adding to the meaning; hypocrisy, arrogance, lies, deception or treachery and the secret evil motives of the heart. We can’t sometimes see beyond a certain lens; we either need for change it or modify it.
If we study social psychology in depth we will be able to understand clearly why Abraham Maslow calls them forces for the creation of psychopathology.
What does one person’s hypocrisy have to do with the other person’s mental health? Why do we need suppress anti social elements in the society? What is the relationship of the highest level of faith of a believer to the prevalence of mental health?
Each word or deed has its consequences. A believer can’t just talk about everything for the sake of fun; he was born in toil with a social responsibility. Remember when I explained the term ‘khalifa’? A representative from Allah SWT.
If small forces in the form of good akhlaq combine, the society will heal. How much? That is not the question. There is already so much suffering in the world to calculate the effect of affection or warmth.
A believer has to work on his speaking and listening skills; sometimes I wonder what will we do without the Quran?
We see the essence of Maslow’s words but fail to have an insight into the Quran.
Why am I insisting on having a relationship with the Quran? Because I believe that we will be able to become psychotherapeutic forces through that Book.
There! I see a huge responsibility as a parent to be. The parent has to ensure that they immediately leave the forces that lead to psychopathology as Maslow mentions. Children aren’t objects but rather amanah, that is trust. Unlearned parenting may lead a mother or father to satiate their needs of power, control and dominance over their child considering the toil they have been through in giving birth to them upto the age of two years handling a toddler.
But they scientists in cribs! Maslow’s words should be engraved on every parents mind. This can help them make sense of a lot of hardships coming their way.
The effect of hurting or humiliating others is so far-fetched, that it can’t be ignored. The tongue is indeed a sword.
It has to be used as tool to secure a better Hereafter.
P.S I still have to memorize this supplication from the Sunnah. It is my first step to be a psychotherapeutic force. What’s yours?

Qawwaamoon~

A time of immense bonding, of exclaiming our Lord’s bounty,

With the welcome of little toes and fingers, Clasping trustingly at our giant sized thumbs

A chance to nurse and be the hero,

A chance to let down your guards

And thrive on being you

To gain love in its full capacity

A family of your own

Proud but not arrogant

Responsibility and duty

Not without equal respect, joy and laughter

Your supportive arms embracing me,

We’re meant to pave the way

For our tiny little feet

To curl up in the warmth of my lap

And from there to take its foundations

For a healthy and vibrant future.

“We are vulnerable and at your mercy, my dear companion and care is what we need most.”

 

As I grow old, the years etched into my skin

All alone now, your little feet have grown

Into strong and solid imprints

I depend on you now

Your warmth, affection and tenderness

Keeps my heart alive.

Knowing my work is almost done

But needing some last bits of companionship

To reminisce upon the days of old

To share the twinkle in my eye with.

Not much else do I ask for

Not wishing to be a burden

Content to be returning to my Lord

“Don’t let me loose my dignity, As I kept yours in your weakness, Embrace me with gentleness my child, Keep me nestled against your heart

As I did you”.

 

Taken from “Qawwaamoon-Protectors and Maintainers.

By Rahmanara Chowdhury.

 

 

In love with the book!

Letter VII- Shunning Prejudices

I am very tired today; trying to learn something new. I am not much of a homemaker.

Laziness, you know son, it is a disease. We find supplications from our Messenger’s ahadith; he sought refuge from laziness and being unproductive.

I just don’t want you to learn a few lessons the way I learnt; the hard way into my adolescence. Don’t get me wrong here. You will experience life but see your mother can’t see you suffering and drowning in misery to learn lessons. If you are well-read about our deen, you will save yourself from a lot of biases and distorted perceptions.

 

Listen, we all have our vulnerabilities and this is why I am writing to you. This very letter is very important and can make you go a long way.

Listen, I love you and each word I write to you months before your birth is dripping with the most genuine form of love you will ever know. Please read and absorb. I want you break the shackles of such perceptions before the society imprisons you.

Don’t judge women. Please vaccinate yourself against any patriarchal viruses that have come down your collective unconscious. I have been through the worst kind of ridicule which was least expected; my religion was questioned, blamed, labelled, judged and ridiculed. It is a lifelong trial but on the flipside it occurs due to sickness of our hearts. What is the first thing that this sickness makes us do? Judge. The petty tyrant is stuck in a vicious blame game cycle.

Never look down upon any human being based on an authentic act of worship they are practising from drinking water the Sunnah way to Jihad. Reflect inside yourself before you naturally come to a conclusion. I sound a mother here but I have to save you from this spiritual-caridological disease that you can catch from the society.

If on a road, make way for all women. Not just ‘covered women’. Lower your gaze and repeat self-control statements rather than blaming a woman. Read about all the incidents where our Prophet interacted with women (believers or non believers). Also, try to draw an analogy between the Queen of Saba mentioned in the Quran and the incident of the slander of the mother of the believers’ Aishah (may Allah be pleased with her). See how our Prophet dealt with old women and young female children. I don’t see prejudice. I don’t see bias. I see mercy to mankind. I see the epitome of righteousness.

I love you baby. I can’t let you ignore our goal: the pleasure of our Creator who created us as a representative. You cannot mistreat a woman in the name of poverty, immodesty or freedom of expression. The closest friends of Allah on this planet fear their Rabb with regards to treatment to women. No privileges in this case. Only massive responsibility!

Never judge a women by her dress. May Allah make you learn quite earlier in life who the Judge is. He is Adil. We can’t make just judgements; we tend to err. We don’t have any detection instrument with us. If you feel helpless and can’t lower your gaze please don’t blame the female (whatever her age).

I am with you when you take your stance of immorality and immodesty from the Quran and Hadith. I am with you! We as a society need sensitization for modesty, piety and morals. However. Judging women is not the way.

I wanted to write about various reasons we shouldn’t judge but let’s just don’t make excuses. We have no license to judge until there is injustice around and we have to play a socially responsible role. For that too, we need an intense amount of training and knowledge.

Go by the book; don’t go by the people. Hate the sin, not the sinner. Preach self-control before freedom of expression. Respect all before judging.

If you learn this, Allah will put the love of people at your disposal. Earn respect by practising deen not by pinpointing the one who isn’t doing it.

You are going to go to social places and meet people. I can’t let you be; can’t let you be full of biases and faulty perceptions about women.

I pray that you never become part of any judgemental conversations or discussions that can ruin your psyche. May Allah save you from being brainwashed. May Allah save you and protect you with Islam from front and back, top and bottom, left and right.

Work on becoming someone who can shun the biases and vacuum them out of this community. I am always here.  Love you.

I would love you more if you talk about your vulnerabilities and your slips. We can work on it together. The best part of this relationship ought to be when you and me sit together to reflect on things we cant reflect with anyone else.

 

Letter VI- Signs in the Creation of the first Khalifa

The first human being perfectly created by Allah SWT was Prophet Aadam  (alaihysalam). You would find many points to ponder over in his story particularly the verses in Surah Baqarah and Surah Saad.

I pray that you become a reader; dialogues are very intriguing. The dialogues mentioned in the Quran are awe-inspring indeed. Like the one following Allah SWT talking to his angels:

And [mention, O Muhammad], when your Lord said to the angels, “Indeed, I will make upon the earth a successive authority.” They said, “Will You place upon it one who causes corruption therein and sheds blood, while we declare Your praise and sanctify You?” Allah said, “Indeed, I know that which you do not know.” (V:30)

They (angels) said: “Glory be to You, we have no knowledge except what you have taught us. Verily, it is You, the All-Knower, the All-Wise.” (V:32).

Allah shared His plan with His angels. First, do you see that the perfection of Allah’s plan starts from here. There are signs in Prophet Aadam’s birth, mama”s birth, your birth and even the birth of the last person on this planet. Secondly, my love, it is enough for me and you to know that Allah SWT planned to make me, you, your father, our families and each generation to come a Khalifa (successive authority, representative). This is defining the purpose of our Creation.

The angels weren’t very satisfied initially but then right after Allah SWT assures them, they submit humbly with utmost respect for Allah’s attributes. He knows.

 

Allah knows why he is going to create you, son. I might not understand the decree but he knows what is best for you and me. My genetic makeup of the personality along with the hardships and miseries that have shaped me are in perfect combination with yours to come. I love you!

I wish I was good at explaining parables. May Allah empower my writing. The one who breathed soul into Aadam and put you (a miracle) in my womb, can do anything!

I want you to reflect over what Aadam alaihysalam was made from (clay) and what he has been called (Khalifa). This is the case of the entire humanity.

Do you know what came next in this dialogue? Prostration.

Allah SWT first blessed Aadam alaihysalam with knowledge; taught him the names of everything. Aadam alaihysalam presented in front of the most humble of creations-the angels and they were then commanded by Allah az wajal to prostrate to Prophet Adam.

Is there any doubt that man is intellectually the greatest amongst all creations on earth? Sadly, when you would delve into history and the mechanisms of this deceptive world, you will see how lowest of the low man has become.

So each human being particularly a Mu’min blessed with the light of knowledge has a surprising amount of potential. That’s divine! We can’t waste the potential in disobedience, ignorance and making those choices in word and action that displease our Creator who planned each and every breath we take, the steps we take, the morsels we put in our mouth to the words we learn and the amount of hardship we can tolerate.

I love you so much. I can let you make mistakes and learn but I can’t let you do everything without discipline. I can’t keep deen on the back seat and see you suffer as I did.

I can’t suppress the “intellectual greatness” in you by being ignorant of Tawhid, Sunnah and the lives of the greatest achievers in the Akhirah. You magnificent miracle in my womb! I dedicate you to our Rabb who created us with such perfection. May Allah ease my reckoning and empower you with unique talents (the likes of the Prophets). May Allah be your Protecting Friend.

Love,

Mother