Firstly, I know things have been rather sluggish around here of late. Insha Allah I will be trying to produce more posts soon.
Naeem came up with a meme derived from some odd American snack food. It’s basically things to do before you are 18. Since no one actually tagged me to do this, I feel free to tweak the memo and make it more advice orientated.
In doing this, I thought back to myself when I was 18. I wasn’t Muslim, nor was I ready to be, so this advice doesn’t contain much about Islamic practice… or does it?
1)Don’t be caged by comparisons. Too many people spend their lives comparing themselves to other people and feeling bad in comparison. Try to avoid this. Find out what makes you happy and what you are satisfied with and remember, everyone is different and that is a good thing.
2)Now puberty is over, this is the body and face that you are going to live with. Accept this and start appreciating and looking after them now. A lot of people never learn to love their bodies as they are and it just results in lots of unhappiness and rich plastic surgeons.
3) Respect yourself and act accordingly. I’m going to make a big generalisation now, but I see far too many women being treated badly because they do not feel they deserve better. You do. Believe that and makes sure everyone close to you does too.
4)Don’t be cruel. When I was a child my parents used to play a lot of Roy Orbison. The big O sang a lot of sad songs, one in particular was about being left alone on the ferris wheel while his date talks to another man*. I can remember my Mum explaining to me what the song was about and telling me to never be cruel and to think of people’s feelings. Some people are nasty, others just thoughtless. Always try, no matter what the situation, to keep in mind what the other person is feeling. Don’t be insincere, play games, or make promises you can’t keep. Accept that sometimes doing the right thing may be difficult, but it is far better then the alternative.
Converts are generally meant to feel crippled with guilt about the salacious actions of their pre-conversion lives**, but what I feel most guilty about isn’t so much my actions, but some of my actions towards other people. You do not want to be in the situation, however many years down the line, where you realise how awful you were to another person and you know that there is no way you can apologise to them now.
5)Be thankful. The world does not exist for your benefit. You are an adult now, so you have to leave all that entitled “I didn’t ask to be born” stuff behind. When people are good to you, thank them. Even if they are family and especially if they are your parents.
6)You don’t know all the answers and you will fall flat on your face, at least once. Nothing worthwhile is instant and that includes maturity. You don’t need to have your whole life mapped out now. Concentrate on getting the step ahead of you right and take it from there.
Book meme. Tagged by Dave.
1. Pick up the nearest book (of at least 123 pages).
2. Open the book to page 123.
3. Find the 5th Sentence.
4. Post the next 3 sentences.
5. Tag 5 people.
So over to the bookcase. Mr Outlines is a lover of books and a hogger of the bookcase, so it takes some rifling before I find a book that is 1)In English 2) Mine.
Reel Bad Arabs by Jack G. Shaheen
“When the Egyptian returns, the clever captain provokes Easterling, saying “You (and the Egyptian) are partners, I presume.” Protests Easterling, “Partners , me eye. He works for me.”
Arabs in Hollywood. Poorly portrayed since *checks book* 1906. Although most Arab roles aren’t actually played by Arabs and what few Arab actors there are often play white or hispanic/latino characters***.
I tag LuckyFatima, Ali, Alina, ForeverLoyal and Lou Lou.
*I had to look this up. It’s called The Comedians and was actually written by the genius that is Elvis Costello. For the lyrics, click here.
**I’m being a bit sarcastic here. It pains me that there is this expectation that you can’t talk about anything in your ‘past life’ without saying “Astagfurallah” and looking suitably repentant. Insha Allah, I will write more about this soon.
*** Monk (starring the Lebanese-American Tony Shalhoub) is cool though. It’s also my Mum’s favourite tv programme, just to continue’s this post’s theme of my Mum’s entertainment preferences.