Social charter

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.

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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.


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.

The youthful gaze

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.

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To the one we wronged

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.

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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.

Honest boundaries

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”