Tag Archives: prompt

Make Me Smile

You know smiling is a Sunnah

It makes life seem a lot funnier

But what makes me smile and laugh

are the people in my life

The moments that are carved in my heart

A new start, the birth of a human heart

The ease in a moment of strife

when things get a little tough

But even in times of hardness and sadness

keep smiling and prevailing

Know that this is a test of patience

This life won’t be smooth sailing

Let’s make each other smile

Its so worthwhile

’cause time is fleeting

so let’s stop fighting

instead extend a warm greeting

File this away for ever,

Let’s smile together.

Thoughts on my Teenage years + Childhood

Salam Alaykum,

my teenage years haven’t been over for that long I turned 20 just a few months ago. Meaning that I do remember what it was like being a teenage boy living in two countries, that are quite different but on the whole really the same. I thought I write a post a little about what it was like for me growing up as a Teenage Muslim.

This post came about through yesterdays prompt at the dailypost : Sweet Sixteen, write a post inspired by your sixteenth birthday.

 The gap between generations has been extensively talked, discussed, essayed, and researched about. While mentioned it really isn’t the main focus point of the following few paragraphs.

When we talk about our relationships to our parents, we often mention how they do not understand us or put in the effort to try and understand us. I’ve been blessed alhamdulillah, with parents that tried their best at all times to talk to us to try and discern what is going on with us and give us advice. That doesn’t mean I was never upset about them or they frustrated and angry with me, my parents are Nigerian, need I say more?

Still, this was and is a relationship between Muslim parents and Muslim children a relationship based on respect and love, where God and His messenger have the highest place. In Islam, parents deserve absolute respect, this is something we are raised with, especially as I come from a Nigerian background.  But the love to God and His Messenger is supposed to be more than that of the one between parents and children.

Everything in this world is a test, I have no doubt that I am and was a trial for my parents in terms of distraction for example as mentioned in the Qur’an. The same as I know that my relationship, my manners, my behaviours to my parents is a test.

Growing up, I guess we were like any other 08/15 German family. Both of my parents educated, my Dad working, my mother due to my sisters still studying. We children went to school then to an after school care centre till 4-6pm after which we were collected. The main differences were we only ate halal, prayed 5 times a day, fasted in Ramadan and as mentioned before went to the mosque on Friday evenings.

Due to my being one of the very few Muslims in my year group at primary school, (Montessori) my projects often had something to do with Islam. When we had a few weeks on the main religions in yr. 5, my schoolmates asked me questions upon questions, I never minded them asking though and still don’t. We visited a church, a synagogue and the sehitlik mosque, where I and the only other Muslim in my class (yr. 4,5,6) at the time prayed in front of the whole class. I mention all this to show that being a Muslim was not only part of my identity but also a defining factor, while also showing that my Nigerian-German upbringing also has a lot to do with the way I was in my teenage years as well as to how I am today.

This was also the time of my first crush, which I with nerves racking and a racing heart managed to tell my mother. Over the years I’ve taken this crush as a further excuse not to date. Something that has always been a concious decision of mine, of course based on my upbringing including the various talks with my mother and Islam, but most importantly because I could see what its effects were.

With 14-15 I had my first contact with drugs, a friend, who has since committed suicide, may Allah forgive him, brought them into the school showing them off, till now I’m not really sure if it really was cannabis. I was made aware of various gangs especially those made up of “immigrants” I often heard about various frays that had taken place.

At 14 years of age we moved not just houses but countries, I wouldn’t say I was clinically depressed but I did have bouts of it for quite some time. I just couldn’t make up with the fact that we moved away. Till this day almost 7 years after the fact I sometimes still find it kind of surreal that I’m sitting here in England looking out of the window instead of standing on the veranda in our old apartment staring out into the darkness.

The past 7 years seemed to have passed in a rush, it was only supposed to be a year then we were going to move to Africa. The company my dad worked for wanted to expand their business in Africa, in the end it took them 3 years to not go through with it.

So life went on, I went to a new school and made new friends. Friends that were in many ways quite similar to the ones I had in Germany. I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to pass time with and be friends to all kinds of people. Friends that in some cases were and are total opposites of me and some of my other mates, and also people that I have a lot in common with. My friends were and are colourful in all kinds of aspects from their skin tone to their character, behaviour or their beliefs. I cherish them and thank you all for being there.

There were some people throughout my life that guided me through it, and some that got me off the path. May Allah Guide and forgive them and myself. All were and are important for me to be and become who I am, my many mistakes as well as the few things that I did correct.

While I did feel quite bitter about the move to England, and a lot of things happened that could be seen as a bad result of moving. I realised that things might still have been this way or worse had we stayed in Germany. That I should be and am grateful for the time I’ve been living here in England.

In the end I know and I always did know that in my heart that this all was and is a test, whether I passed or not I don’t know and won’t know until the end, until I take my last breath. I pray however that I will.

Wa Salam,

Abdur-Rahman

#January – Being Thankful

Heroic

Salam Alaykum,

I don’t have much time at the moment to write a lot, or take the time to plan this post out so it might be all over the place. Today’s post is prompted by the dailypost .

When you were five years old, who was your hero? What do you think of that person today?

The short answer would be to say my parents, especially my mother and to say I appreciate them a lot more now than then. 

They taught me to be okay with who I am, and to always strive to be better. They taught me through their actions what  it means to be a Muslim. I’ve always looked up to them, was and still am proud to have them as my parents. At the same time I realise that I do not thank Allah swt. enough for them. Through Him they’ve been able to send me to school, I could read at an early age, and loved to read and they encouraged me to do so. I think even a bit too much, my father told me that I deleted a small part of his PhD thesis. I should feel guilty about this, he mentioned the welcome distraction that we were in the dedication part of the final published version, if I remember it right.

From kindergarten I skipped pre-school right into school life. Through Allah swt. Will, they sheltered me, and educated me, from becoming susceptible to a lot of the things I’ve seen some of my classmates get into. While also giving me the space to develop as a Muslim, and as a person  in my own right.

While I don’t think I was a difficult child as such, I was a loud and very active kid from what has been told to me from friends. I’ve calmed down a lot according to them, and according to my parents I’ll have to learn again to be a bit louder, to speak up. Something my father tells me, he too had to learn.

Other heroes in my life include the close friends of my family, they strengthened my identity as a Muslim in German society. Every Friday after the evening talk at our mosque everyone would sit together and talk about anything and everything. I got to learn a bit about how they grew up in the DDR as Muslims, I could identify with them, these were my  role models.

As a child I tended to, I don’t want to say hero worship, but be in awe of the adults around me I guess. As one grows older one realises that everyone is human, that everyone makes mistakes, that that is our nature. The only perfect role models are the Prophets they are ma’sum, (sinless) everyone else is fallible.

This doesn’t mean that I don’t love them as much as I did then, it just means that that love matured with me. So to conclude my heroes are my parents first and foremost, then my uncles and aunts biologically or in Islam.

I’m extremely grateful to all them, especially my parents, may Allah swt. accept their good deeds and forgive them all of their sins and grant them Janatul Firdaws.

Amin.

Also see my first post on this blog, on Heroes specifically Heroines. Also while we are on the topic of heroes; yesterday a Pakistani school boy named Aitzaz Hassan Bangesh saved hundreds of his classmates, when a suicide bomber tried to set of the bomb on school grounds. Aitzaz was late to school and made to wait outside,  when he confronted the bomber at the school gates,  he panicked and subsequently detonated the bomb killing him and Aitzaz.

He is a true hero. In the Qur’an it says ,

We decreed to the Children of Israel that if anyone kills a person -unless in retribution for murder or spreading corruption in the land – it is as if he kills all mankind, while if any saves a life it is as if he saves the lives of all mankind.

[Quran The Feast 5:32]

In an article I read yesterday, the author writes that we don’t need to have a #millionaitzaz, but should ask ourselves are we are worthy of Aitzaz Hassan Bangash.

May Allah swt. forgives us our weaknesses and strengthen us towards this Deen and towards the betterment of society. May Allah grant him entrance to Jannat ul Firdaws as a matyr.

Wa Salam,

Abdur-Rahman

Cherish life

Cherish life, forget the strife

leave sadness be, leave anger be

let the moment live, free from all restraints

let the soul rejoice

Cherish it.

Let it hoist you to heights unknown

A moment with your loved ones

the warmth, the peace, the bonds kept

The green leaves, the trees, the hot sun

The sights to see. The things to learn. The Links you make.

The friends with you. Cherished forever.

With a single breath,   Alhamdulillah.

(All praise and gratitude is for Allah)

Random Act of Kindness

Today’s daily prompt at the dailypost is Random Act of KindnessTell us about the time when you performed a secret random act of kindness — where the recipient of your kindness never found out about your good deed. How did the deed go down?

This is actually something we are discouraged from doing in Islam, to tell people about something that you did in secret. First we try to do everything we do for the sake of God, to please Him. Islam can, according to some scholars, be reduced to two essential things, which is recurring in all Abrahamic faiths, that is to worship God and to serve humanity.

We always try to live by these maxims, everything we do should first have the right intention. We’re not doing this to please someone else, or please ourselves. This removes from us a degree of subjectivity, it doesn’t matter who the receiver of this random act of kindness is. It might be my mother or my sworn enemy. We do it because we try to earn God’s pleasure above all.

Secondly, because we do it for the sake of God, it should stay between us and Him. We’re not trying to look good in front of other people, saying we did this or that, gave this amount of money to a charity etc. No one else needs to know, especially the recipient of that act. Why  would you tell the recipient of an anonymous £1000 check that you were the one that sent it? No such things in my opinion should stay secret.

So rather than telling you about some random act of kindness I may have done, I’d like to tell you about something I’ve been following over the past few days. The Project for Awesome (P4A), a project to decrease world suck, which takes place on December 17-18 every year.

How it works, is that Online Creators create videos about their favourite charity which are then promoted and money is raised for these charities. The top ten of these videos as voted by the viewers will then receive the money. Currently  $794,601 has been raised and money is still trickling in 2 days after the live event.

Last year Aiman Azlan did a video which I found cool.

As Muslims we should continuously do good, and encourage goodness. I just received a Press release by the Islamic Education and Research Academy (iERA) titled “Help Britain get through this winter!” 

Reminding us that the prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) instructed Muslims: “Whoever believes in Almighty God and the Last Day let him treat his neighbour well.” He further explained that “He is not a believer, he who eats to his fill, whilst his neighbour besides him goes hungry.” Encouraging Muslims across the UK to serve their communities this winter and giving practical tips on how to do that.

Practical things you can do to help this winter:
  1. Support the Age UK ‘Spread the Warmth’ campaign.
  2. Keep checking on your neighbours, particularly the elderly and vulnerable – offer to do their shopping for them if need be.
  3. Give out food (especially hot food) or invite your neighbours to your house.
  4. Come together and contact your local council for materials (snow shovels, grit) and help clear the snow if and when it arrives

Wa Allahu ‘Alam,

wa Alaikum Salam,

Abdur-Rahman

PS: Saying that we’re  not doing it for ourselves, also implies we’re not doing something so we can feel good about having done it.

Also there might be situations where you’re telling you did something, to encourage other people to do the same, that is fine.

A close call

It was a close call

near to the abyss, a deep fall

My partner had my back though,

held me back, held me close

We were close, both orphaned at young age

it was hard to gauge sometimes, whether we’d make it through the day

I fear the closure,

I feared the full measure of the law,

my partner bit the bullet for me

Taking a minute to say goodbye

Paid close attention, yes there was some tension

but we went through thick and thin

The world looked so dim

it was time to close down

drowning in bills, the orphanage shut down

This last heist was supposed to take care of all our little problems,

They caused us, with their close mindedness, I digress.

The kids were moved to different institutions,

they were close to my heart

seeing no other solution

tried a new start…

I failed…

Revenge is all that is on my mind now

Cough, cough the “winter” has taken me captive I’ve got a bad case of the colds…

Wa Salam,

Abdur-Rahman