Lounging around in the garden, my wife and I have had a day reminiscing, reflecting on all the strange coincidences that brought us together.Continue reading “Coincidences”
We have in our tradition the notion that you marry a woman for one of four reasons: for her beauty, her wealth, her family or her religion. It’s then said, “Marry her for her religion and the Most Merciful will take care of the rest.” To which my response is: “So true!” The divine sense of humour is unmatchedContinue reading “That crush”
There are no couples that are not tested. This is the natural order of this testing realm we refer to as life. All couples will be tested by their relationship with each other, and by their children or childlessness, with good health or poor, with wealth or hardship.Continue reading “The content couple”
I feel like I am only now coming to terms with the impact of my character on my ability to function socially. It’s certainly easier today to access research papers on the condition than it was when I was diagnosed eighteen years ago. At that time, the information available to non-specialists was negligible, with just a few resources providing a very generalised overview of the condition.Continue reading “Social charter”
At college, I had two friends of Muslim heritage. The first of them resented the Muslim tag and pretty much rejected the faith completely. The other one was slightly more serious, fasting in Ramadan and being careful about eating halal. The first of the two would get annoyed with the latter for telling him to give up his daily appointment with a sausage roll from the canteen.Continue reading “DJ Strange”
What do I want? Vengeance? Compensation? Validation? No, nothing like that. I don’t really want anything actually. All I really want is the best for people. That’s the only reason I can think of for these notions to have been injected into my mind this past winter.Continue reading “Remembering”
The difference between the victim and the perpetrator is that the victim remembers absolutely everything and the perpetrator remembers nothing at all. That’s probably why I remember every slander and pervasive lie so vividly.Continue reading “Rumour mill”
Atherton Place, Southall: that’s where I was introduced to my wife-to-be. Allingham Close, Hanwell: that’s where I was living. Between the two, Brent Lodge Park and the Wharncliffe viaduct.Continue reading “When we met”
As parents, we naturally worry about who our children take as friends. We’re worried about unserious mates who will distract them from their studies. We’re paranoid about county lines drug gangs targeting our sons. We’re frightened about groomers targeting our daughters.Continue reading “Good friends”
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”
It’s not really fair that I credit (or blame) particular individuals for the chain reaction set in motion back then. It was an accumulation of factors, going back long before I even met them.Continue reading “That chain reaction”
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”
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”
How the years come and go, ebb and flow. How relationships blossom and then perish. All those moments socialising long forgotten, no longer even remembered, loving couples now bitter enemies, their children all grown up, setting out on adventures of their own. In two decades we have transformed from cherished friends to total strangers. Such are the tragic trials of life.
I am a fool, I know it. I have been unjust, it is true. I jumped to conclusions unwarranted. I was blinded by my ignorance and an immature sense of entitlement. Self-absorbed, I couldn’t appreciate reality. I couldn’t see beyond my blues.
This is another of those letters I’m writing from the future. I wrote to you previously, but it seems I didn’t go back far enough. I feel like the Terminator, going after Sarah Connor when she’s a fully autonomous adult, instead of a foolish girl just finding her feet. So here we go again.Continue reading “Second letter to Timothy”
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”
We are like dust, blown by the wind. Like leaves falling from the autumn trees. For brief moments, we might bring others pleasure, but nobody remembers us afterwards. We are forgotten.Continue reading “Oblivion”
It’s okay, I have made peace with myself and the past. I’ve made peace in my heart with those I once knew, embracing their successes, overlooking old animosities. From here on, I will try not to glance backwards to wonder at what could have been. Instead I embrace all that came to be. I have wandered two decades on this path, accompanied by my beloved, this companion at my side. Alhamdulilah, what blessings. Let me strive harder to be of the Saliheen — those who live in harmony with the rest. Peace it is.
When I think of the tests we’ve been through in our lives, I feel blessed to have had this companion at my side. Those tests might have broken many a relationship, but somehow they made ours stronger.Continue reading “Grateful”
Genuinely, truthfully, honestly: I’ve never been more grateful that I was the geek kid than I am today.Continue reading “Jigsaw pieces”
Advice to the young and timid: never, ever get your mate to sort anything out for you.Continue reading “Nah mate”
It used to hurt me so much that others ostracised me. It happened a lot for the first twenty years of my life. I really struggled with it. First because I was the shy kid. Later because I was the geek kid. Even later on, due to sectarianism. I suffered many a bout of depression, dealing with these anxieties.Continue reading “What makes us”
A migratory lifestyle is not easy. We attempted it five years ago. For a time, we had a high standard of living in some respects, but the emotional impact was too great for it to be sustainable in the long term.Continue reading “Together apart”
If I had the opportunity today, I would apologise to all who were troubled by my youthful gaze. Yes, I would apologise to serious students, whose focus was set on making the grades for university and setting the stage for a bountiful future, who had to put up with a weirdo glancing all around. I wish I had been more cultured then, and had chosen my companions more wisely.Continue reading “The youthful gaze”
Shock horror: that really hilarious [/sarcasm] billboard and viral media campaign featuring a bloke asking women to save him from an arranged marriage turned out to be an advert for an online matrimonial business.Continue reading “Billboard”
I’m sorry. I’m sorry that we drove you out of the religion. I’m sorry that we drove you from the path you once embraced with sincerity and passion. The one you once pursued with all that inner strength of yours, that forced you to sit at the feet of those you thought would guide you, enlighten your soul and raise you to great heights. I’m sorry that instead we trampled you under our feet, and slandered your name and spoiled your reputation everywhere we went.
Dear crusader against the times,
We hear you loud and clear: feminism is the great scourge of our times, apparently set to undermine our faith — along with modernism, scientism, liberalism and materialism. Thus must you argue at length in every post about the dangers they pose to orthodoxy, irregardless of your simplistic reductions. Continue reading “Fragile masculinity”
For all those who liken themselves to Yusuf when the wife of al-‘Azeez tried to seduce him, it is worth pondering his retort:
Joseph said, ‘My Lord! I would prefer prison to what these women are calling me to do. If You do not protect me from their treachery, I shall yield to them and do wrong.’ — Qur’an 12:33
When pursued by one who would try to seduce him, he instead sought the protection of God and fled, remaining chaste and obedient to his Lord.
Several years ago, a teacher and friend told me of a dream he had once had, in which one of his noble sheikhs had decided to pay him a visit at his home. Most people in that situation would undoubtedly roll out the red carpet and take the fine china from the cupboard, honoured to be blessed with such esteemed company. But in his dream, my companion told his sheikh when he arrived before him: “With all due respect, please do not come to my house when I’m not here.” Continue reading “Honest boundaries”
Marriages are complex. In the relationship not just between husband and wife, but also with parents, in-laws, siblings and children, are manifold dynamics. When things go wrong, it is hard enough for those intimately involved to apportion blame, let alone those on the outside looking in. Continue reading “Soul mates”
A sobering, harrowing, important read: www.mwnuk.co.uk … UnheardVoices.pdf