The misunderstood

For the past several weeks in our household, weekend evenings have been spent watching the touching Turkish drama, Yunus Emre, on Netflix. It has become something of a family affair, to be keenly anticipated throughout the week. Some nights we watched episodes back to back for hours on end, hooked on the quaint storytelling. In the past week we finished the final episode, and now we mourn its passing. Continue reading “The misunderstood”

Language barriers

Yesterday, as I wandered through the graveyard on my way home from Friday prayer, a fellow visiting his father’s grave decided to share his interesting insights with me.

“You are not alone in not being able to understand the imam,” he said. Apart from a handful of old men, nobody can understand the imam! If he momentarily skips into Punjabi, then there is hope for the second generation, now in their 40s and 50s. But the Urdu flies over their heads. As for anyone under 30: they understand a little of the mother tongue, but are too embarrassed to speak in the language, their grasp of it too broken.

In short, the imam is a leader of men who cannot understand him. In this, we are all in the same boat. There may have been a conclusion to follow, but alas our conversation ended there, for he arrived at his father’s grave and we went our separate ways.

I took his words as encouragement: chin up, perhaps. Or: you’re not alone.

One God

Were it not for the question of monotheism, I might well have ended up a Quaker or a Methodist. Had I been seeking an identity, it’s likely I would have chosen a home closer to my character. I might find myself part of a different kind of community: unaggressive, softer, calmer, more progressive, socially constructive. I think about this quite a lot these days. Continue reading “One God”


I feel like I have wasted years of my life with this thing we call traditionalism, which in reality is just an invention of the internet, imagined to frame the context in which we find ourselves.

Continue reading “Inventions”

Living faith

To live a life, holding no malice. These are the sentiments that occur to me, wandering back home from an old man’s janazah (funeral).

He was a good man, always smiling, always friendly. Rarely did he miss a prayer in the mosque. He would be there at fajr, watching the sun rise on his way home with friends. He would be there again at isha, as night fell. To all who knew him, he was a breath of fresh air. Even to the doctors that treated his cancer in his last days stood in awe of his serenity and optimism in the face of pain. He died content, prepared for death, confident that he had wronged no one.

As I wander home these thoughts occur to me: if only I could live a life like that. To live a life holding no malice towards anyone, friend or foe, and to return to my Lord in peace, having done no harm to anyone.