Relevant. 

Though she be but little, she is fierce – Shakespeare 

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Ramadan diary: day 22-23

Only a few days left! I can’t believe how quickly this month has flown by. And what a difference a month can make!

Despite the gloom that is my last post, and the continual increase of attacks I am hearing about, I have been feeling a little more hopeful today. I guess I have accepted the inevitable changes that are to come and have decided to instead focus my energies of two things – being happy with myself (and this is on both a spiritual and worldly level) and doing all that I have energy for to improve the world around me.

But they plan, and Allah plans. And Allah is the best of planners. – Quran (8:30)

Yesterday I attended the London rally supporting Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader. I don’t think Jeremy is the messiah. I believe in his politics. I believe in his mandate. I believe he can provide an actual opposition to the same kind of politics we’ve heard year in and year out, ever since I can remember.

We are continuously told he is a decent man but not a good leader. The 10,000 people gathered with under 24 hours and over 200,000 signing a petition would say otherwise. He is a leader. Just not the type we often associate with politicians.


I then went out for Iftar with old friends and new. Saying the food wasn’t great would be an overstatement but alhamdulliah the company made up for that. Again, reenergising my happiness battery.

Reflecting on yesterday I realise though the actions of people can make you loose hope in humanity, equally they can fill you right back up again. I am under no illusions that we have a fight in our hands and the country is in turmoil.

But at the very least we have our friends, our families and Twitter banter to keep us going.

And on that note here are my favourite two from the tragically beautiful Euro loss last night –

How we live now

Seconds to minutes to hours to days to weeks to months to a whole year. A whole year has flown on by and here we are in a world void of so many that filled it with their breath and voice and movement.

It was in last Ramadan that the world mourned for our dear brother, our leader and our friend Bashir Osman. Those who had met Bashir, even once, will tell you how they fell in love with his warmth, his humour, his character. He made everyone feel like his best friend. And for how well he was known and how much he achieved he still remained grounded and humble.

The response after his death was equally warming and numbing. He had messages from scholars across the world, people who did not even know him got to know him. People donated to the building well project he had started. It was truly exceptional to witness.

As I remember him now I remember one of his last tweets, hope simple yet so powerful.

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When I think of Bashir I think of the amazing life he led. But in all he did – leading FOSIS, all his charity work, the immense friend he was – he did as a student. A young person just like you and I. I wonder how I will be remembered after my inevitable demise. Will strangers sing my praises and wish to know me? Will my acquaintances mourn me even after a year? Will my loved one be proud of me? Will I have a legacy that can live on?

Bashir fills me with hope. We all have the potential to be like him. So let us take heed of his advice. Take advantage of today, worry not of the past.

The Prophet (pbuh) said: “Allah said: ‘O son of Adam, so long as you call upon Me and ask of Me, I shall forgive you for what you have done, and I shall not mind. O son of Adam, were your sins to reach the clouds of the sky and were you then to ask forgiveness of Me, I would forgive you. O son of Adam, were you to come to Me with sins nearly as great as the earth and were you then to face Me, ascribing no partner to Me, I would bring you forgiveness nearly as great as it.’ ” [Narrated by Tirmidhi]

This is my entry for Ramadan diary: day 15. 

The beginning

It’s strange how a second can be the difference between a whole new period. How I can now say next year I will be 25 when just a few hours ago I would be 25 in two years time.

I know the seconds don’t change us. I am the same person now as I was then, in the same position and living the same life. But time has a funny way of working. We can feel different. We can feel stronger, braver, taller. An illusion of change is just as motivating as change itself.

Make this year everything last year could not be.

Happy New Year!

“The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones that do” – Apple’s advert, 1997

 

Those Monday morning pickups 

These things happened:

  • People boycotted Star Wars because white fagility. But John Boyega has been keeping it real and killing it. I’m going to watch it today – very excited

“I’m grounded in who I am, and I am a confident black man. A confident, Nigerian, black, chocolate man.

They are merely victims of a disease in their mind.

They’re stupid, and I’m not going to lose sleep over people. The presale tickets have gone through the roof — their agenda has failed. Miserably.

I just don’t get it. You guys got every single alien in this movie imaginable to man. With tentacles, five eyes. Aliens that, if they existed, we’d definitely have an issue. We’d have to get them to the government and be, like, “What are you?” Yet what you want to do is fixate on another human being’s color. You need to go back to school and unlearn what you have learned. I think Yoda said that, or Obi-Wan”

  • Stormzy in the running for Christmas #1 and it is causing white tear tsunami
  • So many radical activists are running in the Labour Youth Conference – Corbynites taking over
  • I found out Hermione is being played by a black women in the new play – giving so much hope to so many women of colour
  • I found 3 beautiful shades of nude lipstick (getting over my red phase and moving into nudes). They were called things like cappuccino and not nude because I ain’t white but they were on sale so I’ll take it

Braaaaap – John Boyega (watch video)

Back with no bangs

Life has been quietly hectic recently. Nothing out of the ordinary yet extraordinary. Being the mum of the house takes a lot more time and energy than I ever thought it would so I decided to take an impromptu break. Even the post from a few days ago was scheduled a month ago and I didn’t have time to edit it before posting – oops!

But the house is still here, the kids are alive and the everything is clean! I’ve surpassed all expectations – especially my own. The individual tasks themselves are not what I struggled it – more so the combination of all the them together, the constant need for something to do and the balancing of my social life.

But I’m back now with fresh ideas and hope to be blogging more regularly. But in the meantime, I’ll be spending the rest of today catching up on my reader. And popping out for some much needed cookie dough this evening. But mostly reading.

I can’t believe I only have 2 weeks left until I start my new job. How did 53 days of summer evaporate so quickly? I only completed three out of ten of my summer plans! But upon reflection I’ve achieved way more than I had planned – working on new projects, spending time with my family and of course being the mum of the house.  Have you been sticking to your summer plans?

Rather than worrying about what I haven’t done, I’m going to enjoy the rest of my freedom – despite the horrible weather we’ve got going on.

My rock and mattress

My not-so-little brother completed his GCSEs today. It got me thinking about the day I got my own grades and I realised this is now seven years ago! As it turned out I achieved the best grades in the school that year, and set a school record (which has now been beaten). Looking back though, what should have been one of my proudest achievements actually brings me shame.

Now, I think many children of immigrants will know the overbearing parent who will be happy with nothing less than the best. But that wasn’t my mum – she was supportive and always told us that so long as we tried our best, we would have nothing to regret. She installed in me the need to be independent, to only rely on yourself and to love everything you do so you do it well. Continue reading

Our Voice Matters 

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”- Dr Seuss

Sometimes we mute ourselves. We worry about saying something that will sound like we’re making a fuss. Our voices as women are quietened and as women of colour silenced. We are reminded we sound bossy. We sound aggressive. We don’t know what we’re talking about. We don’t sound like that passive, attractive women of their dreams anymore.

If something makes you feel uneasy, sends a pulse down to your stomach, does not sit right in your mind – you are not making a fuss. Your voice is important. You are confident. You are brave. You do know.

Because only you will know what your experience has taught you. It should not be ignored. You are not just the other.

So that comment that sounds a little racist or sexist, that joke that wasn’t so funny, that question simply inappropriate – call them out. Our voice matters.

Perhaps they will tell you you’re making a big deal out of nothing. Perhaps they will call you bossy. Perhaps they will call you aggressive. It may hurt. People those who you thought you trusted betray you. Allies broken.

But you’ll feel lighter – having done your bit – trying to make the world a better place for everyone. You’ll surround yourself with people who genuinely care. People who love you. People who empower you. And not those who clip your wings and muzzle your mind. Your voice will have mattered. And for that at least you can be proud.