Taalim socks and a spa for your heart

Mum gave me socks (to wear to Taalim) and they’re very spotty.  I like ’em.

I’ve been meaning to write about the recent Ijtima weekend away – most of us ladies spent the weekend at Rania’s house, since she lives in Roshnee. There was a lot of fun and a lot of noise (with 12 kids in the house we could expect no less).

But the best thing were those quiet moments after lunch or supper, when the kids had run away to play and the ladies were left sitting “pikking” at the food and talking. Ijtima vibes had gotten to us, so we shared stories and had many discussions about religion.  We even played this awesome board-game, I think it’s called the 5 Pillars, and it made me realise how much more I need to learn, even about the basics. In the dead of night, Maleeha told us about Qiyaamat and what she had read…why is it that night time always leads to  more ponderous thoughts?

We ate and ate (yellow maize meal even made it to the menu!) and we talked and talked.  We bombarded Rania’s house but she is such a cool as a cucumber hostess that I have no idea if we frazzled her nerves.  We tried to listen to some of the lectures and we asked the guys for summaries of the main ones.  I heard that there were even some Nikahs at the Ijtima.  It felt like school holidays all over again.  I spoke to Khadeeja about the Barbie movies and I sleepily heard a whispered argument between Nuha and Imaan.

We sang Nazms around the dining room table and we attempted to help the Roshnee ladies with potato peeling…sadly, even though we all arrived armed with potato peelers in our handbags, we kept missing the potato peeling sessions.  On our drive out, the courteous Roshnee-ans bid us farewell with ice cold bottles of water and friendly directions.  The people of Roshnee were really hospitable (something like the Ansaar of Medina).

It was good to camp out on the lounge floor, have long languid lunches and rambling discussions on Deen.

Oh, the socks, I like them…So I took them with me on a weekend Mastooraat Jamaat.  I didn’t think I would ever go on one of those, but I did… and it was awesome.  My cousin Razina said that going in Jamaat is like a spa for your soul (I agree).  Only focusing on one thing, leaving my cell phone and all other issues behind, it was like pressing the reset button on my mind.

It was nice to go out with some of the “old workers”, those ladies really took care of us newbies (especially Sweetie Khala, whose group I joined).

I heard a story about a revert travelling with a Jamaat telling a moulana that he is a “Thaalim”.  When the moulana confusedly asked why the man was calling him an oppressor, he replied something along the lines of: My parents died without Imaan, and you people had not come to spread the message yet.

This is our duty.  We need not have worry for ourselves only.  We must have worry for the Ummah.  We are not Indians, Black, White, African, European, Arab….we are Ummatis.



Green trees, black eagles and sunny sun

“Four years ago the Walter Sisulu National Botanical Garden had a crisis. Their magnificent Black Eagle male disappeared…But the female eagle took charge. She disappeared for several days, and reappeared with a young male, and the pair have continued breeding ever since.”


A few years ago I was tasked with researching the black eagles who live on a cliff in the Walter Sisulu Botanical gardens (trust me, this was not a random research assignment, but if I told you the reason for my need to look up the eagles, I’d have to kill you…)

I was fascinated by the tale of Emoyeni, the strong female eagle who had tragically lost her long time love (he disappeared inexplicably).  Black eagles mate for life, and Emoyeni spent many days anxiously searching for her lost husband.  The search proving fruitless, she went in search of a new mate (even though they mate for life, they will replace a mate if need be).  Emoyeni brought back a younger guy (named Thulani, the quiet one, because of his shy nature).  The eagles spend most of their day together, then some time on nest refurbishment.  Two eggs are laid each year (but only one survives the deadly duel that ensues after hatching).

On our recent trip to the Botanicals, the Husband and I arrived early enough to be the only ones sitting on a prime bench that had a great view of the eagle’s nests.  We got to see the eagle family swooping around quite a few times (I was surprised to see the baby too).

I don’t know if there’s a point to this post except to share the story of the eagles, who have managed to survive in Johannesburg, even through increased construction in surrounding areas.

Also, remember to get some sunlight every day (not that I have managed).  I don’t know how Hijabis do it, but I seem to be getting zero sunlight Vitamin D.  Sunlight coming through glass or a window does not count apparently. It has to touch your skin directly for the D Vitamin to sink in…the rays you get through a glass shield is somewhat less healthy.  I heard somewhere that some sicknesses that are on the rise are linked to the lack of Vitamin D (as usual, I don’t remember the exact details, but the point remains…you need some Vitamin D to be cool).