Education that takes one away from religion is not in your interest. It actually makes you less smarter not more.
This type of education teaches you two and two makes four. And you start believing it. That two and two makes four. Yes you are quite right it does, but what they don't tell you is: 1 & 3 and 0 & 4 also makes 4, as does 5179 take away 5175 also make four!
We get too fixated with one concept, one idea, one line of thinking, that we forgot all the rest which is just as, if not more important.
Allah has created man and woman as a blessing for each other. To find peace and comfort in one another. Allah has made sex a vehicle for this, just like he has made food and shelter also. Just as science would also tell you, Allah has made sex a vehicle for reproduction. But when we focus too much on the vehicle we lose the real plot. A child is not born because you had sex, a child is born because Allah Willed it. Like rain does not fall because there are rain clouds, rain falls if, when and where Allah Wills it; a person does not die because they are ill, a person dies because Allah Wills it; we eat food at the local restaurant not because we can afford it, but because Allah Willed our grains to be there.
We get so caught up in the whole two and two makes four that we forget it is not the coming together of the two and two that makes 4 but Allah Who allows it to be.
One can try every trick in the book to both become parents or equally to not become parents; but nothing on either side of the spectrum can, does or will work unless Allah Wills it. If you are meant to have 10 children you will have them by hook or by crook, no matter what precautions you may take including even not having sex! If you are not meant to have any (or more than one child say) than no power, no procedure will allow it to be if Allah doesn't Will it.
Understanding this most simple truth can change your life. I have hinted at this concept before as well in my Rizq series, But I thought I should indulge in this a bit further.
I know one can say I am being “irresponsible” by preaching that having sex does not result in any “unwanted pregnancies”. But it is only “irresponsible” of me if I did not fully believe in this, which of course I do. The question is what do you believe?
Do you believe in Allah’s guidance? Do you believe in Allah’s plan? Do you believe in Allah’s Rizq? Because if you did, no pregnancy would ever be “unwanted”!
Allah Always, knows and does best.
Now if you are not following Allah’s guidance, instead following your desires down a forbidden path, then yes you can and might tag a pregnancy as “unwanted”. If you don’t believe that this is the best thing for you and that Allah always knows and does best, then you might tag it as a “unwanted pregnancy”; but what really is the issue here, the pregnancy or your weakness in your faith? If you worry that you cannot afford to have a baby right now, again what really is the issue, the baby or your lack of belief in Allah’s promise of provisions – Rizq?
So you see, it is not the pregnancy that is at fault, but our lack of Iman!
I say this because often we are very much unaware of our own shortfalls, our own weaknesses. These things are not here to point fault at anyone, but rather to remind us – all of us, myself very very much included – that we need to look at what actually is the problem, not what we think is the problem; because often it is our own lack of faith and clarity that fools us into passing blame onto something else, where the “blame” actually is not upon that at all.
This is an invitation to start looking at things differently; start seeing the shortfalls in our own Iman; start exploring the real truths of the world, not what “Science” teaches us, but what Allah, His Messenger and His Guidance teaches us.
Don’t limit your world to two plus two, there are infinite ways of making 4. Unbox your mind.
This is Part Two of a Two Part Series... Click here to read part one
They say one should work smarter, not harder; but what are we doing in this modern world? Working ourselves to the bone to reach a mirage, how is that smarter? No matter what one may or may not have, the food going into us all gets digested in the same way. You can break and fry an egg and eat it that will cost you 40p or you can eat a deconstructed reconstructed egg for £90, NOTHING WILL CHANGE! Either way all you ate was an egg, either way how it will get digested in your body is the same, either way what the body will get is carbohydrates proteins and fats from it. In fact, actually in truth you probably will lose some nutrients in the process of the deconstruction and reconstruction and probably your body may have had to work a little bit harder to digest this twice processed egg. So in truth, you worked harder and paid more to actually get less nutrition and probably lost more nutrients from your body in the process for achieving the opportunity to eat the deconstructed reconstructed egg; so in actual fact you were better off just eating a “normal” fried egg earned for in a more “normal” way.
Another thing, one might say: oh but you cannot compare the taste, the £90 one tastes so much more different and better; you are paying for the taste, the experience etc etc.. Really! Go and ask any Chef, no matter how innovative, crazy and experimental, they will all tell you their favourite food is that of their childhood, cooked by their mother or grandmother. Taste does not come from ingredients, but from the hands of the person cooking it and no one can put more love in a meal than a mother or grandmother, thus no meal can taste better for anyone than that cooked by their own mother, because she is not feeding you food, but love. No matter who anyone is, how they cook, what they like to eat, all anyone is ever trying to do is replicate the taste of their mother’s cooking; but this is not something that can be bottled and sold, because what makes that food what it is, is a sentiment. Don’t believe me, well Oobah Butler, a journalist at Vice Magazine, indirectly proved this very phenomenon to us with his The Shed at Dulwich; that it’s not the actual food, but our perception of it all that makes us think something is more than it is; or conversely think something is less than it is. Ambience, presentation, cost, accessibility all deceive our senses into convincing us that what sits in front of us is so much more than it actually is. However, in truth as mentioned above, in reality it is probably less due to all the processing that it under goes; or in the case of Oobah’s restaurant, it is probably a pic of shaving cream and his foot, or that which sits in front of you is a plate of food from Iceland!
We need to distil our thinking.
Money does not equate to Rizq, we need to understand this. If you are meant to have only 5 grains of rice today that is all that you can have, no matter what you do you cannot change this. The reasons why someone has only 5 grains of rice can and may differ. For example: a person can only have the 5 grains because he is too poor to have any more; another can only have 5 grains because he is too sick to have any more; some other because he could only steal away 5 grains; another might only have 5 because they are dieting; one might have 5 because that is all that they are hungry for; yet a different person maybe only eats 5 because that is all they have time for and yet another perhaps only has 5 grains because they are in a fine dining restaurant that serves tiny portions! So you see, “wealth” cannot determine Rizq! They are not two of the same! The Rizq that is written for us is written, and nothing can change that. How Allah has our 5 grains packaged and parcelled to us may differ, but the quantity cannot increase just because someone may appear to have “more wealth”.
Now this does not mean that I am saying one should just sit lazily at home and not make any effort from their own part thinking my Rizq is fixed so why should I struggle, it will get to me I don’t have to make any effort on my own part. No, that is not true. Again let’s look at the packaging I mentioned above. The reality we live in, how much effort we put in, all make a difference on the packaging. The poor man will eat the same, but perhaps feel an emotional hunger stemming from the thought that if he had more wealth he could have had more grains of rice. The dieting person may feel emotional pains of hunger, thinking perhaps if I didn’t need to diet I could have eaten more to my satiety. The thief, likely maybe suffering from morality hunger, where his lack of morality is leading him to steal rather than work for his 5 grains. Whereas on the other spectrum, the person who only had hunger for 5 grains may feel satiated naturally, but the sick man may feel “health hunger”. The rich man, may be full on his ego and feel satiated from that rather than the actual meal; and the man rushing round probably is too hungry for time and may not even notice what food has or has not gone into his stomach. So you see, life is how we paint it for ourselves. What we need to be is a “grateful man”, one that is not hungry for something nor full on other things. One that can see that Rizq is from Allah SWT and that HE is providing me today what I need for today, however it can be or is packaged is not that important, because if I can fill my image with the right colours, then the package can change.
So how do we fill our image with the “right” colours? What are the right colours? Are there only one set of “right” colours? This is where it comes back to understanding that Rizq and earthly wealth are not connected. Rizq and work are not connected. Do in life that which you want to do, be in the world how you want to be, because that is how you wish to be. Don’t do things thinking: will this be a stable source of income for me? Disconnect from the idea that Rizq is dependent on work. When you start living life how you want to, start doing things that you want to, then you will start enjoying life, irrespective of how much worldly wealth you may have, irrespective of how much Rizq you have.
Rizq goes beyond just grains of food or money in the bank. Rizq is a concept that is far greater. From provisions to facilities, from places to experiences, Rizq encompasses all the amenities that enable life; grains of food are just easy to wrap our heads around so it is easier to use as an example to explain the concept, but it is not limited to it.
So the thought(s) that prevailed from my epiphany is: don’t confuse more money with more Rizq. More members of the family working does not equate to more Rizq. More members of the family working does not mean more comfort, on the contrary it means more struggle and strain on the family, because you have to pay for it in other ways that are most likely more harmful and detrimental for the overall wellbeing of the family and its members. There is nothing wrong with a woman working, but wanting to become a breadwinner at the expense of being a mother is not healthy (again referring to “normal” household, not that of single mothers or of those that are supporting ill husbands). Sure women can work, but not with the intention to “provide”, but rather because they want to do something on the side – this is important because when work is something they do for “themselves” on the side, it does not take “centre-stage” in their life. For men on the other hand, work is something that is “centre-stage” in their life so it should be something that they enjoy, not something that they feel is “a better bet” for getting a good stable income – this is important because coming back to the Rizq packaging, the Rizq is fixed and pre-determined, so regardless of what they do, they will get the same amount of Rizq, so one might as well do something that they enjoy that can become a means for Allah SWT to bestow one’s Rizq through, rather than do something that they do not enjoy, because this will then determine how that Rizq is packaged for us and therefore how that will be received by us – i.e. will our soul feel satiated by it, or will it feel any type of “hunger” due to it.
Its comes back to what I have talked about previously – “unframing”, in my Finding Gratitude Post. Everything in our life is dominos all lined up, what and how we face each one does not matter. It does not change the domino and what it is meant to do, regardless of whatever frame and colour we superimpose on to it.
See life for what it is unfiltered and unframed.
How we experience life, is up to us, not what will happen in our life.
How we frame life, defines our journey, how we experience each frame, narrates our story; but neither can or does change its destination…
Wishing you all Peace and Blessings.
This is Part 1 of a 2 Part series.
I just had an insight today; and it’s not really anything new per say, but what has changed is the depth of my understanding of it.
We have all heard growing up in the Muslim world that Rizq ( loosely interpreted as your income/livelihood/food) comes from Allah SWT. We all understand this, accept it, repeat it and often have faced instances of astonishment of say: how we thought one food was for one individual, but the “name” on those grains actually belonged to another. We have marvelled at this and many more such miracles of Allah SWT when it comes to Rizq. But we still often fail to understand and accept that Rizq and work are not connected. Yes it is often seen that our “work” is the primary means through which Allah SWT provides Rizq, but it must be crystal clear for us to understand that just because Allah has chosen that to be a means, does not mean that that is the only means and that this means is what is necessary in all cases to be the avenue for Rizq. No, not at all. This is where we are often misguided and confused, often without even knowing and realising that we are so. For example: sometimes we get things that we needed or wanted as a gift from someone, or we go to someone’s house and we eat a meal with them, or someone surprises us with a box of chocolates or sometimes we get more for our money, for example an item on sale – these are all examples of where Allah SWT is providing us our Rizq through avenues other than our “work”.
Just like Allah has created one frequent avenue for the route with which He provides us offspring, He has created a route that He frequently favours as an avenue for Rizq; but it is important to understand: neither offspring, nor Rizq are dependent on the route! One must be very careful as to not confuse this. One has a child not because of any physical actions of the human beings, but because Allah SWT Wills it AND that is it! No ifs, buts, or maybes! There is no room for dispute, but only if we could see this. Equally we get, and will continue to get the Rizq that we are meant to get, irrespective of what route(s) it may come from.
Now this is an understanding that I have held for some time and I fully believe, however, today the epiphany that came to me in regards to this was furthermore fascinating…
Often we think: we need more money, quite a normal widespread thought I’m sure; and often we think the remedy to this problem is, “earn” more through more work. So often as a family we think if one spouse is working and we are getting X amount, then to get more, the second spouse should work. This will mean then the household income is X + Y taking the household income to now Z.
Simple maths right? Or is it?? Now that is the question, and a question that is very powerful.
We think life is simple where X+Y= Z, so where X was not sufficient to meet our “needs” in a way where we had left over income to do “more” with, now having X+Y= Z, will give us Y as an “extra” to now meet our “needs” for all that we wanted “more” for.
Logically one thinks this makes perfect sense. BUT, what we do not factor in is that to allow Y to be, there is a cost as well! So Where X+Y=Z may be giving us “more” income, however, where x was the original out going we needed to meet when only X was the income, now we have an added expense that has come due to Y, ‘y’. So now our outgoing that we have to meet is no longer x, but rather x+y=z! SO what does that all mean in simple English, well, simply put: the net Rizq we have now is still the same as before, despite more physical money moving around. The moral of the story: to increase one’s income maybe easy, but to increase one’s Rizq is a whole other matter; one that is not a simple case of: well more people of the family must work. Because as I said above, real Rizq and work are not actually connected. One can increase the physical pennies coming into the household, but if your Rizq does not go up from Allah, those pennies will not “stay” with you. It is not how many people work in a household, it is not how much income one gets or not, because, real Rizq is not confined to money.
By having more members of the family work all one is doing is splitting the actual house’s Rizq across the different people, not increasing it! THINK ABOUT THAT FOR MINUTE, DEEPLY!
Do you understand truly what that means? What that is saying?
You are still getting the same amount of Rizq, but working harder for it as a family! Therefore you end up not only paying for it through your own healths, but also the wellbeing of your whole family.
THINK ABOUT THAT!
By letting go of the guidance and practices that Allah SWT has set for us we are making ourselves diseased. Diseased in heart, mind, health and family. Allah guides us that the man should be the breadwinner in the house and the women should look after the next generation. But in the modern world, women feel that they should be given “equal” opportunity to be the breadwinner. Now we must understand here the difference between “working” and being a “breadwinner”, they are two very different things! One is not necessarily a breadwinner just because they are working! Allah does not say that women should not “work”. Our Prophet’s first wife, Hazrat Khadeeja, was a very successful business women and she did not stop being so just because she got married, what changed however after her marriage was her responsibilities. She was still a big successful business women but she was not longer “the breadwinner”, -wait what? I hear you ask... How can she now no longer be a breadwinner if she is still earning? The difference is our understanding or lack thereof between working and being a breadwinner, they are not two of the same things. You see the biggest difference between the two comes from what each means, one is a responsibility, the other is an act. Prior to marrying our Prophet she was a widower who had to fend for herself, afterwards she became his wife; she no longer had to psychologically concern herself with her upkeep.
The problem is not with work itself or even having wealth or an income, the problem arises when the woman is put in a position where she has to chose between being mother to her children or working. Again I feel this is another concept that has been muddied and confused.
What does it actually mean to be a mother. What does it mean to be a mother to the children. It does not mean cooking, cleaning, feeding bathing etc.. No. No, the most important “job” of a mother is to give Tarbiyat to the next generation. What is Tarbiyat – now for those that do not know this word, loosely translated, Tarbiyat is giving guidance. Giving moral, social, spiritual, mental and emotional guidance/education. This is not something that is to be taken lightly. This is not something that can be done on the fly. This is not something that can or should be taken as a bolt on, an afterthought, a when we have time thing. It is something that needs to be purposeful, which requires presence of mind, clarity, commitment and time. This is the most important fundamental job of a mother’s role, not just for the household, but in and for society. The biggest problem with the woman having to be or become a breadwinner is, that when she has to shoulder that responsibility than she cannot shoulder this responsibility properly. We may have two shoulders, but at any one time they can only shoulder one thing properly. This is not to say that this is impossible. Of course it is possible to do both, I have a living example of this before my own eyes, but one must point out also that those are rare cases where the mother has had to shoulder both responsibilities, and that these women that do shoulder both are not career driven, or feminine rights activists! No, these women who have had to work, to be the breadwinner for the family, have worked for the sake of income; not for the sake of working. There is a big difference. Women who work because they want to work are a different breed to those that have to work because they are the only one who can be a breadwinner for their family. The reason why I say this is because, those that want to work will prioritise their work in their outlook on life, they will make long term decisions based on their work and career, contrasting to those that work because they are having to be the breadwinner, they will make sacrifices in their field of work for the sake of their family’s needs. N.B. these are just generalised scenarios presented only to explain the points at hand, not concrete judgments passed on any individual. I do not hold any stereo types against people, I know everyone is unique and individual, and each person’s story, situation and personality is different. Please do not get held up on examples that I am only using to explain the bigger picture.
Back to explaining the difference between “working” and being a breadwinner. There is nothing wrong with women working and earning; what is not right (in normal situations) is this work transforming into being a breadwinner role. Because when that happens the other responsibility, her real responsibility, has to be side-lined. This then is what causes moral and social problems widespread in society and we find a society that is running on over drive trying to achieve something that they themselves do not even know is what.
Men are designed to be breadwinners, that is their God given role in life, literally! A man’s role is not to be the one to give Tarbiyat. They are not designed for this role. That is why you will find men, especially in the west, can do the household chores; but what they struggle to do is be a mother to the children; a true mother. Because as stated above, a mother’s real job is not to manage house logistics, but rather to nurture healthy human beings in its truest sense, something which comes from maternal: instincts, intuition, insights and sensitivity.
We need to use the right tool for the right jobs; men are given the role to protect and provide so that the mother can be free from concern for these things and give her time to raising the next generation properly. This is how Allah has created our partnership to be for the betterment of humanity. This is why, if a women wants to work there isn’t an issue as such, the issue arises when she takes on the masculine role of being a breadwinner, which induces a silent silencing of the maternal energy. The role of breadwinner has a masculine trait and brings forth characteristics that stir up masculine energy. When this is sought after by women this throws out the delicate balance of the yin and yang energy both in oneself, the family and society as a whole. A woman who is “self-sufficient”, does not need a man to be a man for her, instead needs just a person to be next to her, so the relationship goes from a man holding the wife (and family) in an invisible embrace as a human shield, to a man just holding the wife’s hand, as “equals”; the latter being a weaker link because the need of him is also weaker. As with anything weak, they cannot stand the test of time, thus we end up with broken homes, societies and humanity.
Allah’s system is perfect by design. Don’t fight it. Understand the wisdoms in it. Embrace the guidance, even if you do not understand it.
Women have been given a very important role by Allah, thus the Jannat (Heaven) under their feet! Do not compromise this role for a mirage. More does not equate to more. The husband has been given the responsibility to be the breadwinner, trust that whatever Rizq you are meant to have, need to have, you are getting it. The wife does not need to work for you to have more Rizq. If you are meant to have more Rizq, that Rizq will find you. Like the Angel of Death will find us no matter where we hide, our Rizq will find its way to us no matter upon which Mountain we may reside!
What we need to do to increase Rizq is not work more or try to earn more, but instead, give more, be more and live more. What does that mean. Give more in charity, this comes back to us Ten Fold, that is Allah Promise; and not just our money, but time, energy, love and knowledge. Be more grateful, truly grateful and thankful to Allah SWT for whatever HE has given us, is giving us and will give us. Most importantly, do not underestimate the power of Duas, both your personal duas, duas that others give you and duas that are recommended to read by our Prophet. These are the real ways that we can increase our Rizq. And remember Rizq is not confined to money or food. It is also how we are living our life. The more we actually life our life, truly live, the more comfort we will find in it as we will no longer be fighting life, no longer be trying to achieve a mirage, we will finally be fully embracing and indulging in each moment of life and accept each moment and seeing each moment in its full glory.
Read Part 2 for the Conclusion of this Series... Click here to read part two.
It is often difficult, especially when the story is “ugly”, to see that it was necessary.
It is very easy to say and believe that things were meant to be in this way when we have a beautiful path we have walked to reach the destination we have today. However, when for example: a child is pulled out from under the rubble of a collapsed bombed building only to find their entire family has been wiped out, it is very hard to say: “it’s okay it was a part of the journey they had to lead, it is a part of Allah’s plan, it was a necessary hard life they had to lead to become who they needed to become”. The mind and heart are not willing to accept these things as “okay” and “God’s plan” or even, dare I say, an important happening in the child’s life. But would Andy Murray be the man he is today had he not been in that fateful classroom the day that the massacre took place? Would Thomas Edison have become the man he did had he not had the teacher who kicked him out and the mother who then shaped up his learning. Although both above instances possibly still not as traumatic as the above mentioned example of the child, and perhaps not many famous examples of people exist who have ‘survived’ such a horrible experience; but that does not mean to say that despite it being so much more traumatic, and despite it not having any famous “happy endings”, that it too is not a necessary happening - that it too has not forged out of a hellish fire a truly magnificent person.
Not every famous person is great and not every great person is famous!
I think back to my beloved English Teacher, may he rest in peace, when he died there was no “state” funeral, and yet he was a man (like many others I am sure) worth of such! He touched and changed the lives of so many children who then have in turn gone on and continued his legacy multi-fold into the fabric of this world. Truly the Chinese proverb holds such truth, if you plan for 100 years, teach! The impact a teacher has cannot be measured, and a really great teach weaves their essence and teachings into the fabric of society and moulds it from the inside. Some of the stories we heard on his funeral were truly mind blowing and yet only the people who met him know his name; his impact however, reaches far far beyond. His childhood although was not the rosiest; and again, for him to become the great man he was, he needed to have faced the ugly side of life.
So why am I saying these things.
I want to invite you to see past your scars (we all have our own battles we have fought and scars that they have left behind), to what their presence has enabled for you and your journey. I want to invite you towards acceptance of a different level.
I want to invite you towards Gratitude.
And before you think anything, I want you to hear me out first.
Life sometimes has to put us through difficult learning curves to shape us; to enable us; to forge us. Every metal ore needs to go into the furnace to come out stronger purer and more in its ‘element’.
I do not know your story, I do not know your scars, but the experiences you have had and the people you have met along the way, have each in their own way, helped you into becoming the you who you are today; from the ones that put you down to the ones that picked you up, each in their own way have been necessary in your story.
If we do not brave the storm we cannot cross the seas to find our island paradise.
If you did not take this exact journey you would not have found your ‘island paradise’ with its ‘golden sands’ and ‘cool sea breezes’. Sometimes we head out to sea thinking we need to go into a certain direction and end up in a certain location. But Allah has His own plan for us. He does not want us to go to the island in the East, He knows the island we truly need is in the South. So, He sends our way harsh winds and rough seas. We can try fight it for as long as we can and not make much progress; or we can learn to harness the wind, work with the wind and go in the direction that life is taking us, and also trust in the direction life is taking us is what we need today. And when we stumble upon our true ‘island paradise’ and rest in its golden sands, only then when we look back at the journey can we truly appreciate that we needed to take it so that it could lead us here. Yes, it may have been horrible and hard, and tested us beyond our imagination, but we are here. We learned to battle our storms; we learned to tie knots we didn’t know how; we learned to control our sails to best harness the winds; we discovered uncharted territory and found we could manage our way safely through; we discovered our resilience, our patience, our determination, our perseverance is much more than we could have perceived. Sure, there may have been days when brother wind got too rough and mother nature rained on us hard and threw us about on harsh seas, we even got thrown over-board a few times, but Allah sent us our “saviours” to help us back on our boat. And while there were rough days there were days of sunshine and calm too; where father sun smiled down upon us and embraced us in its warmth, giving us strength to go on and showed us the way to go forward. If we didn’t face harsh winds and seas, we would not need any saviours in our life, if we didn’t get drenched by stormy clouds we would not appreciate the warmth of the sunshine…
I don’t want you to just see the silver lining in the clouds, I want you to feel the importance of the rain too. If there was no rain, there would be no life.
When a lightning strikes a dry barren land and causes fire and “destruction”, that very fire and destruction makes way for new life to grow from that barren land. The lightning ‘supercharges’ life back into the barren lands.
But why am I saying all this to you.
I want to invite you to think of things in a different light. Because thinking is the key!
Our reality is not what it is, it is how we see it.
Yes, sure there are somethings that are facts, but in and around the facts we paint a picture of a reality that we see.
For example, when we stub our toe, it hurts! – Fact!
But we then paint this fact with our colours: “someone put that there maliciously so we could get hurt”; “someone put that there carelessly and we got hurt because of them”; “I am so clumsy, so careless, I am hopeless, I keep getting hurt everywhere by everything there must be something wrong with me”… and so and so forth, we can paint it in any way. But the truth is, we stubbed our toe, and that is it. The rest are our formations, shaping up a reality. We need to separate out the facts from the colours we are superimposing upon it. The truth is we stubbed our toe - now we can exclaim ouch, rub our toe and move on with daily happenings like nothing happened; OR we can exclaim ouch, rub our toe and sigh or get annoyed temporarily and think need to watch where we are going a bit more before we move on; OR we can become angry and vindictive and blame someone for maliciously trying to hurt us; OR we can be angry and annoyed and blame someone for being careless; Or let our low self-esteem cause us to become guilt ridden and spiral into self-pity and self-loathing… etc etc.
SO, it all comes down to our thoughts.
If our thoughts are shaping up our reality; then by changing how we see things, think about things, can ‘change’ our reality; aka reframing. Reframing does not change facts, yet it can change how reality shapes up around the facts. Reframing can and sometimes does help some people; it can, for some instances, help to step out and take a different look at the scene (NB, this is not to say that one should create false realities and live in denial. No. that is of course also not healthy).
However, I am not going to be asking you to reframe anything.
No, the contrary, when we understand that our thoughts shape up reality, then we do not need to get too caught up in the realities that our mind is shaping up.
So actually, we do not need to reframe anything, if anything what we need to do is unframing. We need to remove the colour and see truth as it is.
Our thoughts are like glasses, by changing the lenses we change the colour. We can change the lenses all we want and every time we will see the picture with a different colour. But if we understand that the colour is superimposed and actually we can take off the glasses and see the picture as it stands then we don’t need to worry about any colour we can or may see the picture in. The truth is the picture, that cannot be change. When we can understand that the colours we see in any picture is what then induces the feelings inside of us; then just like we can detach the picture from the colours, we can detach our feelings from the truths. Our feelings are personal, they are superimposed because of the reality that we shape up; they are not inherent of the experience, they are not exclusively in and of the experience. The experience, i.e. truth, is just that – an experience – it is there for you to gain something of and from. Experiences do not have colours (our thoughts) or flavours (our feelings). We attach the colours and flavours to them. So just like we can attach them on, we can detach them too.
Now what does that achieve?
You live a moment: a vey horrid, cruel and cold moment; where a perpetrator heartlessly abuses you, physically assaults you and verbally abuses you. You feel the cruelty of the moment in the moment, you feel the cruelty of the moment years on too. No matter what you do, you cannot escape the ‘truth’ of the moment as being horrid, cruel, cold and heartless. You cried then, you cry now.
Now one can try to reframe it by saying: well the person was ill in their minds, they were partly drunk, they did know any better, etc. but nothing can actually change the ‘truth’ – your truth of the experience – because how you experience something is still a truth! That is how you experienced it! And yes, the truth is: you did experience a horrid, cruel, cold-hearted physically and verbally abusive moment, which no doubt has been life changing…
Now when we look at it from the perspective of our superimposing of colour and flavour, we can pick apart the experience in a different way.
You feeling the moment was cruel, horrid, cold and heartless, is your feelings of the moment. Although true, because that is how you experienced the moment in the moment, they are YOUR feelings. They are not exclusively in and of the experience itself, rather how you experienced the experience (one person can and may experience an experience slightly differently to another). You experienced it in this way because you thought of those abusive acts as being: cold, heartless and cruel. And yes, where majority people today would hold the same or similar views of an abusive act as such as being: cold; heartless; and cruel, it still does not make it the truth. The truth is: a person hit you and said some words to you. That is it, that is the truth.
It is our social dictates, which shape up our belief systems; these belief systems then go on to make us think that an act is: “negative”, “wrong” and “hurtful”. Undoubtedly the act of getting hit physically hurts our physical body, but so does falling out of a tree; so does over working our arm muscles in the gym; so does menstrual pain, or better yet labour pain. So why is one pain branded as “good” and one pain brand as “bad”; pain is just pain is it not? Does all pain still not equally cause us discomfort? Our morality does the branding; but where does morality come from?
As humans we have created certain codes, orders, systems, acceptable norms and behaviours, but even in that we have variations throughout different generations and cultures. It is these belief systems that control our thinking, that shape our thinking – that shapes our realities and our truths; but if we can take a step back and remove these parameters and then look at a situation we will find the situation to be neutral. Because that is all it is – a situation; an experience; an event. Without which future events, situations and happening cannot follow and unfold. A situation is just a domino in a line of dominos. The dominos are all just neutral, no one domino more important, or bigger, or smaller, than the other and yet each domino vital in its own right; even if one domino is missing the show cannot go on.
So with that said, it does not matter how you experience the domino. There is neither anything wrong with how you experienced it, nor is there any need to rethink of: how where or why the domino was as it was. It just was, and that is it. It was necessary because it was elemental for the show to go on.
When we can understand this, then we can let go of the colours and flavours that we have attached to the experiences, because although that is how we experienced them and it was vital for us to experience them how we did for the next domino to fall, at the end of the day all those experiences are just dominos in a line. Whether we have tagged an experience as ‘good’ or ‘bad’ is just our superimpositions and in a way ‘irrelevant’; how we may or may not have tagged them actually bares no relevance in the grand scheme of things, they are all just dominos in a line – each the same and each just as vital.
When we can view our past experiences as dominos and allow the colours and flavours to ‘fall off’, then we can free ourselves of the hold these feelings have had upon us; allowing us to fully embrace and carry on in our life without being weighed down by the weight of a heavy heart (because that is where all our feelings live on unless we can let them go). Whether an experience was ‘good’ or ‘bad’; hurtful or beautiful; made us sad or happy; angry or worried, it does not matter now. The experience is gone, it served its purpose which was to tip the next domino in line. It was a lesson, not a life sentence, you can let go of it. Whether someone’s behaviour was ‘right’ or ‘wrong’, ‘good’ or ‘bad’, does not matter, the branding is superimposed by our belief systems. How someone should or should not behave is based on parameters that we have imposed. When a mother leaves her baby and goes to work it is branded as 'bad', but when a father does it, it is 'right' or 'good'; when a shark eats its young, its 'ok', but when a human beats their young, its 'wrong'; when parents throw out there 18 year old, it’s 'good', but when a 50 year old throws out their 80 year old parents, it’s not. The human condition is full of contradictions and nuances, morality skewed to favour one or another; the social dictates work for some and not for others, some fit it some don’t. The more one attempts to micromanage and understand, the more life eludes us and leaves one bewildered...
The key is to let go.
The experiences brought to you in life are by the Will of Allah. They are necessary. Experience them as you do, true to yourself and the moment, but then let it go. The experience is here to shape you and your life; don’t cling on to them, don’t judge yourself or others on the bases of the experience, that is Allah’s job. Whether pleasant or unpleasant, let go of the feelings you have attached to the experiences, they served their purpose in the moment, but they are of no use to you anymore; they will just keep you anchored in the past. Even clinging on to happy memories keeps us anchored in the past, preventing us from seeing what is spreading its arms for us today. Sure, visit memory lane from time to time; but remember you are just a visitor, not a permanent resident!
You can rise above your feelings.
Yes, life may have hit some really rough ones your way, but each pitch was necessary. The behaviours of some people around you, although ugly and uncalled for, has nothing to do with you. It does not define you, it does not represent anything of and about you. They were hoops and hurdles you had to jump on your journey to here, where you are at today, to enable your journey to come this way. Like the rungs on a ladder they have fulfilled the purpose they had in your life and now you can move on from the fact that you tripped up and got hurt on them, you have climbed up much further ahead from that time, it was a lesson you had to learn from, not your legacy.
One can go around with ‘sands of time’ cupped in open palms to their perpetrators to show to them: ‘look how you have wronged me’, ‘please apologise and change your ways’. One can go to these people bleeding from the cut on their finger in hope for a sticky plaster, yet not get one. One often has to tend to their bleeding wounds themselves, applying pressure till the bleeding finally stopped on its own and eventually scars over. Over time one learns they are not going to get a “sticky plaster” from their perpetrators and that one has to find their own; so they turned away from them, but often they do not let go of those grains of sand. No, instead they clench on to them in their fist(s) in hope to one day still show to them these grains of sand to make them see and realise something from them. One can try to get on with their life, but with a clenched fist(s) no doubt it is hard to do things ‘normally’.
I am here to tell you: let go of those sands of time, there is no point in clenching your fist. When you open your fist you will find there is nothing left in there; those grains of time have long slipped out from your hand. No point in trying to clench on, it won’t achieve anything, instead it is just preventing you from living your life comfortably now.
Even if you went to them and got them to admit that they have sharp edges you cut yourself on; them admitting is not going to make any difference to your life today, you have already realised that on your own and taken precautions not to get too close as to cut yourself off of them again. Them owning up to their sharp edges and offering you that sticky plaster now is not going to help you, you cannot go back in time and give yourself that sticky plaster, it’s pointless for you now; you don’t have a time machine and if you did, you would go back in time and stop yourself from getting cut in the first place – not give yourself their sticky plaster!
So let go of your clenched fist, there is no point in keeping it clenched when there is nothing left in it and nothing to come of it. Let go and relieve yourself of the energy you are having to put into clenching your fist; open your fist and relax your hand, then see how much more easier it is to live your life without clench fists…
I don’t want one to have to reframe, rebrand, rethink their way out of anything!
Like the teachings of the Japanese Art of Kintsugi, I want for one to be able to stand tall and be ok to wear all their scars out, because every scar is proof of one’s strength and what they have overcome. We should not need to pretend or gloss over any aspect of our life, they have all made us the people we are today…
Life, is the experience of discovering ourselves.
I wish for one to be able to let go of the hold their past has upon them so that they can truly arrive in the present.
One does not need to meditate to find inner peace and presence of mind, all we have to do is let go of the past to arrive in the present (btw I have nothing against mediation, I think it is a fantastic tool as an intermediatory to help us process and let go of the past). When we arrive in the present that is when we find gratitude, true gratitude, for our life’s existence – inner peace, thus wellness comes as a side effect.
We do not need to be or become grateful when we discover gratitude, it lives inside of us in the form of humility.
True inner peace, gratitude, beauty and joy are not cloaks that one can wear, they are states of being. We cannot force our way to them, like a mirage the more you chase after them the further away they get. We will not be able to find and stay there when it is force, we have to arrive at them as a side effect to better living. They are not a destination, rather a way of living and being.
Let’s live well and let the rest take care of itself.
Who are you?
What are you?
You are not your brain.
Your mind is not your brain.
Your thoughts are not your brains “random” functions. They are the projections of your mind, the projections of you.
Your brain might be the region/organ where your soul “houses” the mind, but it does not control the mind. The brain does not control the processes and thoughts of your mind. The mind however, can and does control the brain, and with it, the rest of your physical matter.
You are an energetic being which is “having an experience on earth”, through the physical body that it has been gift by Our Lord, Allah SWT.
(N.B. However, not the main subject of this post, but I will briefly below touch upon homeopathy to tie up the thinking sphere.)
Homeopathy works on the energetic plain. It looks to “resolve” disturbances on the energetic plain.
Pathologies do not start with the physical.
Its not: one day your heart decided to beat faster; or your arteries decided to collect plaque; or one day your body started to dish out more cholesterol.
Pathologies always start from the energetic plain.
From the heart and mind of the energetic soul, that is what is “us”, truly us.
When left: untreated; unresolved; uncared for; unfixed, the physical symptoms start to show up - first as just symptoms, then eventually as pathological changes. By the time there is detectable pathological change, normally when allopathic care steps in, the dis-ease has been so far gone that it has turned into a disease. It needs a lot of work for it to be reversed, a long and slow process, but that does not mean it cannot be done. However, whether this outcome can indeed be reached depend on a lot of parameters. Its not a simple case of: take this remedy for x number of years and it will eventual cure it all for you. No. It needs a lot of dedicated love and care. Years of: toxicity; self-neglect; suppression; and overlooking; bring us to diseased states, so it can takes years of: detoxing; self-love; addressing; and care; to bring us back. Usually, no singular entity has brought us to this point, so no singular entity, usually on its own, can undo it either.
As mentioned above, this post is not essentially to do with homeopathy (however mentioned), but in fact is for one to realise the true essence of ourselves. What and who we actually are. We are not the physical outwardly body that houses us, but the living soul within it, that is our true being. For us to experience the physicality of the physical world that is Earth, we too need a physical medium to experience it through. But the medium is just that, a medium, it is not us! So why are we so focused on the physical?
Allah has told us that we have 6 lives, the first was in Alamul-Arwah, where the latter of us “humans” of the human race, have lived for an eternity, thousands and thousands of years, ever since we were created by Allah SWT. There we had: no gender; no body; no relations; we were just beings that lived in sole worship of Our Creator Allah SWT. Then when Allah SWT chose for us to leave that life and enter in to our second, HE had us sent down to our second life which was to be in a womb of a person HE now destined for us to be our mother. A soul was blown into this physical entity which was once a clot, but has now by the Ordaining of Allah SWT steadily been growing to become the form of a 4 month old embryo. This HE has thus ordered to be continued to be formed into the form that HE desires best for us to enter into our third life with, the Duniya, the earthly life. How long HE wishes for us to be in this life, for our souls to be “encaged” in this physical body, only HE alone knows. And then when HE so wishes for us to leave this life to go on to our 5th; HE will order an angel to extract our soul from the earthly physical vessel, that HE had gifted to us, and once again we will be set free of physicality in order for us to go on to live our 4th life in Alam-e-Barzakh.
Here in Alam-e-Barzakh there are two worlds: Iliyeen and Sijeen. The good souls will be merrily greeted by their family in Iliyeen, where they will have a good time with all their past relatives; and the unfortunate souls who did not fair well in the earthly life will suffer on Sijeen. Here, in Alam-e-Barzakh, all the souls will live on till the Day of Judgement, when the horn will be blown and all in all the worlds will seize to exist. On the second blowing of the horn we will be resurrected back into our former earthly vessel and brought forth in front of our Lord Allah SWT. Here will be our 5th life, the life of the Day of Judgement, Qayamat. Which for some will feel the duration of the two sunnah rikhat of the Fajir prayer, those who will be in the company of The Prophets; and for some it will be 50, 000 years, but those years are not the same years in quality of earthly life. May Allah SWT protect us and forgive us and make us of the good believing souls.
(See links for more info: https://youtu.be/y58jT-YgdP0 Death - Jourey of your Soul (nasirislam.com) )
Our life on Earth is very very minute in comparison to the full life of our souls. Our souls are in a manner of speaking eternal from the point of our creation by the Ordaining of Allah SWT. The material experience of our soul’s life is but a blip in the grand scheme of things, yet we are so focused on it. Just as a mini comparison/perspective: if our childhood life is equated to our first life in Alam-e-Arwah; our second life, which is in the womb, the university years; our worldly life is like our university exams, our place where we “prove our worth”; before we head off to “live our life” in the “real world”, where we work, which can be equated to our life in Alam-e-Barzakh and that of Day of judgment; and our eternal, Heavenly life (insha-Allah), like life after retirement where we can do our “real living”. So why are we so worried about a time period that is so short? Our focus should not be to prolong our material life, but to make full use of it to achieve a better life in the Hereafter insha-Allah. Our focus should be to do all that we can to get our eternal reward and be saved from eternal punishment, because guess what, they are ETERNAL! That is a very long time to overlook and God-forbid get wrong! It’s about time we got some perspective and straighten out our goal and focus while we still can insha-Allah Ameen. May Allah SWT forgive us our short comings and our sins, help us, guide us, and make us of the pious believing souls that HE showers His choicest blessings upon both here and in the Hereafter insha-Allah Ameen Suma Ameen.
They say there are always two sides to a story, what they don't say is that both sides have an agenda. They would not be telling you their side of the story if they didn't want you to see things from their perspective, if they didn't want you to "approve" of their actions.
Always be mindful of these agendas.
The truth is always somewhere in-between both sides, our job is to sift away the agendas and always seek the truth in every story.
What is really interesting to see is how our body works and how our mind works in relationship to that.
When it comes to our health we concern most about the peripheral then work our way inwards, but interestingly our body works in the opposite way.
What do I mean by this?
So for our body the utmost important thing is the very core of us. When stressors hit us, it looks to protect the most vital, our inner most self, our actual being. Then it protects the vital organs most, then the dual organs and then the limbs etc and lastly the skin.
For our body the skin /our outer most layer of existence is the least important. It is more than happy to shift the energy of the stressors through our skin. Because for it, that means that the rest of the actual important parts are healthy safe and strong.
But for us, mentally/emotionally we concern most about our outer most selves when it comes to looking at our health: our skin, hair, weight, limbs etc.
What do I mean by this?
Well if our limbs ache we are concerned about it. If our body looks "ugly" we are concerned about it; we struggle to make our appearance how we/society thinks it should be.
But when it comes to the important stuff we are not so concerned.
When it comes to what we are feeding our body via the physical, mental and emotional. We are not so bothered.
The thing which effects our health the most is our emotions. They are at the very core of our existence. Because they are us, we are them. It is how we feel and see the world and how we experience everything that makes us who we are. It is what separates you from me and me from my children.
Everyone who can see the colour blue will see the colour as it is received by them, via the light hitting the colour bouncing off and hitting their eye and getting processed to become the image one sees it as, (which in itself could be different for each of us, but that is convo. for another time).
But what that colour does to us on a mental and emotional level in that moment is entirely unique.
And what it does to us/for us makes us unique and individual and who we are within ourselves.
What stressors do to us on an emotional level affect us profoundly and define us. What stressors trigger within us on a mental level affect us deeply.
What thoughts we feed ourselves, impact our health on a cellular level.
These things are actually what define our health and yet we concern not so much about how we feel. In fact, we don't allow ourselves to feel. We push aside our feelings and press on.
It is these pushed aside feelings that because ignored, come back in a different form. In the form of blood pressure, diabetes, tooth pain, gall stones, obesity, mood swings etc etc.
What we feel, and how we allow or don't allow our feelings to be, define our health on every single level.
Give yourself the permission to feel!
Give yourself the permission for your feelings to be accepted, both by yourselves and the rest of the world, but most importantly by your self!
It's ok to not be ok!
It's ok to be miserable, angry, sad, confused, anxious, etc.
Until and unless you give yourself permission to be that, you will not be able to get through and over it!
The only way to free yourself from a “negative” emotion is through it! (and by the way, there is no such thing as a negative or positive emotion, it is just how social dictate has labelled them. But we will go into that at another time.)
The more you learn, the more you realize how little you know; the more you see, the more you realize how little you see; the more you live, the more you realize how little your living really is.
No matter how wide you open your gaze you can absorb only a finite amount. What I see, may not be what you see; but equally what you see, is not what I see.
There will always be something that the other person knows not, that I know; but equally there will always be something that the other knows, that I do not. So what is with this imaginary egotistical arrogance and superiority over another? It is all in your head! Come out of your head and see how little it is that you truly know! Everyone is an expert in the knowledge that they hold; mocking one for knowledge that another does not seem to possess which you have been lucky to stumble upon, shows not their ignorance and lacking, but shows your small mindedness!
If you can count to 1000 in both English and French it makes you not superior to one who can count to a million in Swahili, only different.
Hypothetically, if you are currently in class 12 and you know more than a Human who is currently in grade 2, does that make you superior? The fact that you compare yourself to one in grade 2 reflects a lacking in yourself.
Any knowledge that has been brought to you is not for you to gloat, but rather entrusted upon you to share. Don't be a miser with your knowledge, share it, for with sharing it can only ever grow! And I say share it (and not arrogantly flaunt it!), because with sharing comes the concomitant act of compassion, which is humbling and cannot be achieved without love!
Life is like a game of Cricket, Allah has set up the game for us to cater exactly for our style of playing, where we can be challenged and stretched, but not strained beyond our capacity. It’s now up to us if we hit a sixer on every possible ball, or if we let them go by as a dot ball. You can live life like you’re in the power overs of a twenty20, or you can play it slow like you are in a long slog of a test match, whatever it maybe, but you have come to play; so play!
If we live life afraid of getting out then we risk not putting up any runs on the board. Yes, upon some ball our wicket will fall, but will it be a: run out, catch out, bold, lbw, caught behind etc, no one knows; but we can’t let our fear of getting out stop us from playing and enjoying the game, otherwise what’s the point of coming out on the field in the first place.
Trust in yourself, read the balls being bowled to you and take your best shots at them. You can have perfect timing, effortlessly hitting the balls for boundary all around the park if you trust in yourself. Even if you don’t have perfect timing, you can still work hard and smart, doing calculated shots still pull up a handsome score. Or you can even tune into your Afridi instincts and go savage whacking ‘em all out the park. Or maybe you like a more quick quiet singles approach, ticking the score board over quietly. Whatever your style, pick up your bat and give it a fair fight! Be in it to win it, don’t shy away from the fight! You were not brought here to be the 12th man, standing in to give others their break! You are the captain of your team, its time you stepped up and took the lead!
This space features my reflections, opinions, ponderings and from time to time announcements of what I am up to. It literally is me in my corner on my soapbox.
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