TPOS's blog

Sins and self-harm - bandages over blades

Last year, when my parents went to Pakistan for a couple of months there were times when I felt very alone. My loneliness led me to an incredibly stupid mistake, no a sin, that I vowed not to repeat. But as I find myself in a similar position today, I want to walk on the same dirty path, towards the mirage that is contentment due to sin, all over again.

That’s the thing about sins, most of the times they’re not completely void of reasoning. Not all sins require calculated thought but there is a sense of purpose to them, an end goal which we believe will elevate us. Maybe elevate our status, or simply elevate our state of mind. Alleviate our problems and make us happy.

On non-Muslims

“What if you’re cycling and accidently eat a fly?”

That was one of the questions I received about fasting, among others, some equally as silly. I did my best to answer them because I knew  the person enough to know they were genuinely interested - “it’s nice to be able to talk about this stuff, I never really learnt about it at school and if this had been school I’d have been given detention ages ago for all these questions”.

The damage caused by gossip

Half way through an Islamic course, it occurred to me that the guy sitting in front of me could be my friend’s ex boyfriend. I had little idea of what her ex looked like but the chances of another white convert, around my age, with the same name were pretty small. I went home and whatsapped her to tell her about this surprising coincidence. She in return sent me a pic of him from a few years ago and I was now sure that it was in fact him. I told her I had wanted to ask him if he knew my friend and I wanted to see his reaction. I even told her that if I get an opportunity, in the next class, I’d ask him. But I’m rethinking that idea now.

Spiritual burnout

For me the weeks and days leading to Ramadan are filled with hope, enthusiasm and determination. I look forward to the days and nights of tranquillity and a sense of unity among the ummah, worldwide.  I long for the shayateen to be locked up so I can begin my soul searching and be steadfast in my worship. Just the thought of having the chance to improve myself and gain both reward and forgiveness seems to relieve my heart and make me happy.

Amid all this positivity I can forget that Ramadan is not a magic pill. It’s not an overnight (or over 30 nights) cure for all my sins and negative personality traits. Nor does it necessarily mean that I will be able to continue the same level of worship throughout the month or after it.

Perfect imperfection

You have no way of verifying this, but I’m an average looking girl (sorry, woman; I haven’t got to grips with the fact that I’m an adult now). However, I grew up in a Pakistani community which mistook my paleness for beauty, so I was fortunate enough to be told that I’m pretty and that I’m beautiful. Maybe that’s the reason why I’m sitting here, comfortable enough in my own skin, to be writing this blog.

Worthless dreams

Me: Can I tell you about my dream? It was about you guys. 
*relates dream*
Me: I feel like I should apologise for dreaming about you lol
(It wasn't a dodgy dream, I just don't know the people particularly well) 
Secret You have no control over your subconscious, it's fine. 
Y: You should apologise to me, I'm offended I wasn't even in your dream 
Me: you're not worthy enough to be in my dreams

That last sentence was a joke and I'm pretty sure the person knew that. But I'm an over thinker and I still wondered if offence was taken. My contemplating led me to person X's comment; that I'm not in control of my dreams.

The other effect of the media

The media’s manipulation of anything related to Islam has led to the increased Islamophobia we are all too well aware of today. However, I feel like with our focus on how we are portrayed, we fail to acknowledge an important effect of the media’s narrative on Islam besides Islamophobia. Or maybe I’m alone in experiencing this … though I doubt it.

The legacy of a good Muslim

Deah, Yusur and Razan - three young Muslims killed in America

Last Ramadan was the first time I understood the beauty of being a good Muslim and its affects after death. There are people who work to leave a legacy but I think being a good Muslim alone can create that legacy.

A good Muslim will always continue to be remembered and will inspire others with their good character; by their loved ones but even possibly complete strangers. I’ve learnt enough about my grandparents and other deceased members of my family to know the former is true. The latter is what I learnt last Ramadan.

Debilitating desires

When I give in to a wrong desire – whether it be a sin or not bothering to fulfil one of my chores for the day I feel disabled to do anything else meaningful. I feel this way because I regret the wrong I have done but I fear the thing I need to will be tainted as a way of punishment for the wrong thing that I did. I believe doing wrong will affect my life so it’s almost a self fulfilling prophecy. It’s debilitating and has meant I have wasted days where I could have got things done yet doing something wrong meant I thought “I’ll do it tomorrow with a fresh start”. 

I know fearing the consequences isn’t a bad thing but then if I feared them so much I wouldn’t have given into my desires in the first place, right?

But everyone errs, right?

Blurry line

A conversation I had. With myself. It’s just showing my thoughts on the subject of normalisation of sins and how I feel conflicted. Perhaps I could’ve explained my thoughts better on but I think you’ll get the gist. I’d, of course, be interested to hear your thoughts too Smile

“What are your thoughts on underage drinking? Boyfriends?  Homosexuality?”

They’re wrong.

“Ok, your non-Muslim classmate Scott is talking about going drinking with his boyfriend Alex after the lecture, what do you think about that”

Well, nothing much. Each to their own and all that.

“What if the classmate was Suliman instead of Scott?”