I have just purged a massive project, deleting every single file and every copy on every backup disk. Gigabytes of data. Months, if not years of work.Continue reading “Sanity check”
The poor kids: dad asks so many dumb and annoying questions. I know them to be dumb because they tell me so, and because they roll their eyes at me and shake their heads. But I ask them anyway, because I think my dumb questions are important.Continue reading “Not so dumb questions”
The one in pain makes a lot of assumptions about the one they think has it all. “What would you know? You’ve never been tested by such trials!”Continue reading “Everyone has trials”
There is so much I have always attributed to a strict, Christian upbringing which should probably be more correctly associated with my undying timidity. When I begin exploring past events a bit more, it occurs to me that a normal youngster would have just asserted themselves to demand whatever their heart desired. Few would have been as passive as me, forever in fear of the consequences for transgressing the norms set out by the significant adults around me.Continue reading “Undying timidity”
Every phase of life brings its tests and trials. Once we were kids, trying to find our place in the world. Now we’re parents dealing with kids trying to find their own place. In our youth, we faced the tests of seeking companionship and finding a soulmate with whom to share our lives.Continue reading “Trials and tests”
How much easier it would be taking up this path at this juncture of life, than in our youth when we still believed we needed the approval or support of our families.Continue reading “Latecomers”
I don’t actually blame anyone for how I was treated. I couldn’t see myself and therefore couldn’t see what others saw all day long. I would keep my appointments with a mirror to the minimum, always shrouding my bony arms beneath a jumper, even on the hottest day of the year. I always wished I could flee that form of mine, but I was stuck with it, and daily I would be reminded that it was all I was. My look and temperament defined me absolutely.Continue reading “To walk alone”
For all my efforts penning tales of make-believe through the years, it turns out that reality is often stranger than fiction. Over and over, occurrences — coincidences to the secular mind — which can only perturb. Of course, the believer recognises these coincidences as our provision and decree, granted us by Ar-Razzaq, the Provider.Continue reading “Stranger than fiction”
They struggle to come to terms with what has become of me, because they neither knew me, nor the path I now walk. That I was misunderstood does not matter at all — I am just a ghost from the past, soon to be forgotten once more — but people should strive their utmost to understand the path. In it they will discover all that their hearts truly desire.
Faith is not inherited, but is learnt. To find you must seek. It is not a culture you immerse yourself in, but a path you walk. It does not belong to anyone. It is gifted to some and withdrawn from others. Seek and you will find.
A question I often ask myself — and I suspect others ask too — is why I didn’t just opt for a normal life. To be subsumed into the dominant culture, to go to the pub like everyone else. To join the rat race and obsess over a football team, just like any other normal English bloke. Why did I head off in this other direction, breaking with everything I once knew?Continue reading “Normal”
The eyes do not see the self. They look outward, not inward. They seek beauty, imprinting the heart with all they see.Continue reading “These eyes”
Dear management committee.Continue reading “Annual Accounts Mubarak!”
When people treat us really badly, it is always tempting to think when our fortunes change, “Now I will exact revenge!”Continue reading “How will we respond?”
In a community scourged by addictions, gang membership, domestic violence, abuse, fraud, dishonesty, cheating and neglect, the only example of a “sin” in need of reform the preacher can come up with is young men listening to music in their cars on their way to work.Continue reading “Tone deaf”
A month of fasting is already drawing to a close. Only a few days now remain.Continue reading “Final days”
The approaching Bank Holiday weekend now marks twenty-four years since I took up this path.Continue reading “Decree”
Whatever wrong is done to us, we still remember those that wronged us in our prayers. Whatever wrong we have done to others, we seek their forgiveness and the mercy of our Lord. Such is the path of peace.
Peace… a word from the Most Merciful Lord.
Two comforts I take from our hatim the past few days:
1) Have great hope in the mercy of your Lord.
2) Much greater men than you were ridiculed by those around them.
In my religious education at school, I learnt only of one faith: Anglican Christianity. By the time I left secondary school, I knew nothing of any other world faith; neither Roman Catholicism, Judaism or any tradition of the east. If I was going to learn anything, it would be on my own initiative, motivated by pure curiosity or a yearning to make sense of events.Continue reading “From despair”
I am stirred awake in the middle of the night by these thoughts: “Why do I still think the best of people who treated me really badly?” Why is it that, even after everything, I still petition on their behalf in my prayers?Continue reading “Forgive and forget”
How strange that in the popular imagination the path I follow is associated with criminality, terrorism, arrogance and oppression. How strange that so often it is thought of as a rebel religion, or the way of the haughty, building great towers of steel and glass in the desert.Continue reading “Unknown”
I believe — in my own limited understanding — that I fell foul of the defenders of a young woman’s honour thrice in my youth.Continue reading “For love and honour”
Continue reading “Beware of envy”
Beware of envy, because it devours good deeds just like a fire consumes wood.
Be touched that you were remembered. Of the multitudes once known, you were never forgotten. Though separated by decades and lifetimes lived, still you are recalled in heartfelt prayers.Continue reading “Sunset prayers”
In my alternative timeline, I am diagnosed in adolescence or before that, and thus access treatments which completely rewrite my youth.Continue reading “Marty McFly”
I admit that it is strange that I set out on this path. No, actually, it’s not that strange at all. Let me not rewrite history, convincing myself that I was mainstream. I set out on this path because it was my refuge. I was never going to fit into that other world I left behind.Continue reading “This refuge”
I concede that even the worst experiences — which at the time seemed utterly horrendous — turned out to be blessings in disguise. If I had not felt so completely broken then, I would never have sought to be fixed. If I had not been lost, I would never have tried to find my way.Continue reading “Grateful wanderer”
Teach your children four principles: to tell the truth and live truthfully; to be compassionate to all; to have contentment with their provision; and to be humble in all of their affairs.Continue reading “Live well”
I first learnt of fasting from two students doing a sponsored twenty-four hour fast for charity in 1995. They both held me in contempt, but I sponsored them anyway, full of admiration.Continue reading “Fasting”
Perhaps I journeyed on the road seeking faith because my heart was broken. Perhaps I innately knew these words to be true: “Verily in the remembrance of God do hearts find rest!”Continue reading “This heart”
Never act seeking the pleasure of people. If you do, you will be sorely disappointed. Always act seeking the pleasure of the One.Continue reading “This tribe”
There is no time-machine to put back what once went wrong. But there is the pen, capable of scrawling “sorry” on a piece of paper. There is humility, capable of saying, “I was wrong.” There is the heart, capable of forgiving. The soul, capable of remorse.
Forgive those who wrong you. Apologise to those you wronged. Give up wronging others. This has been my mission the past year or so.Continue reading “Sincere remorse”
About a decade ago, I made contact with a few old school friends. Our reintroductions were friendly enough, although they were a bit perturbed by my sudden reappearance, as I had just as suddenly disappeared off the face of the earth after my GCSEs years earlier. Actually, I hadn’t: I had just moved schools, and none of us bothered to keep in touch.Continue reading “Freaked out”
What is the truth? She says, he says. She accuses him. He protests, calling her a liar. We didn’t see, so have no idea who to believe. How to be just then? Let things cool off, then probe anew. Nope. She is adamant it happened. He is adamant it didn’t. Tell the truth means nothing here.Continue reading “Tell the truth”
Many of my in-laws consider themselves radicals. Radical leftists, despite half of them being hyper-capitalists. Radical atheists, despite positing the same arguments as primal religion.Continue reading “Radical”
All that is to be is written. All that was never to be was written too. We were never in control of anything. Sometimes we have no idea why we make the choices we do. Mostly they defy any kind of logic.Continue reading “Weirdness”
How preposterous to think I would host a reunion of old enemies; I barely host gatherings of friends anymore.Continue reading “Lifetimes”