Seagulls play with the ferry


Assalamu alaikum, peace be with you all,

By God’s grace I am returning from a magical journey, a retreat you could say, to Vancouver Island. Being a girl who grew up on an island myself (even if it was half a world away!), there is always a special indescribable feeling I experience when I visit the island.
The journey has been magical for many reasons. InshaAllah I will share more of why soon. But since this is the first time I am blogging from my phone and more to the point since the ferry I am presently on is about ti dock(!), I will leave you with this picture taken of seagulls as they played catch with the ferry and danced with the wind. Brave and joyful souls! Birds remind me of the ayat in surah mulk

أَوَلَمْ يَرَوْا إِلَى الطَّيْرِ فَوْقَهُمْ صَافَّاتٍ وَيَقْبِضْنَ ۚ مَا يُمْسِكُهُنَّ إِلَّا الرَّحْمَٰنُ ۚ إِنَّهُ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ بَصِيرٌ
Awa lam yaraw ila attayrifawqahum saffatin wayaqbidna mayumsikuhunna illa arrahmanu innahubikulli shay-in baseer
Sahih International Translation
Do they not see the birds above them with wings outspread and [sometimes] folded in? None holds them [aloft] except the Most Merciful. Indeed He is, of all things, Seeing.
Quran (67:19)

Facing Depression

You know in the Muslim world, where we are people of faith, we often don’t feel comfortable acknowledging that we too can get depressed. We feel admitting that is tantamount to admiting that our iman is weak. But it is not. It is merely aknowledging that we are going through a bad time, not that we don’t hope it will get better. The trick is to ride the storm and do it with stoicism. I was tempted to say ‘do it with a smile’ but that is a cliche and really belittling the situation. I learned all this listening to this Jumuah khutbah by Sh. Yasir Fazaga, who I heard, was also a registered counselor. I think we in the Muslim world need more professionals in the area of mental health. Teaching us to cope, to say, yes it’s okay, I’m human…I go through ups and downs. There is a beautiful, profound and very wise du’a taught by the prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) related in the khutbah. Let me paraphrase here…’O Allah, by your knowledge of the unseen, O Allah, by your capability and ability over your creatures, O Allah, extend in my life so long as living is good for me, and O Allah, put an end to my life so long as death is what is best for me’. This du’a is mentioned along with the circumstance of it, about minute 4.00 in the video.

There are a couple things I wanted to express of thoughts on this du’a. First it brings profound peace, in that it aknowledges that life is hard. So it is not wrong to say that. But the wish for death…that should not be the case. Rather give the control over to Allah and believe that if He almighty is keeping you alive, then there is a good reason for it! So it is a trial of patience to wait to know why! :). But the du’a also carries the message that life is a good thing and tells us that we Muslims are meant to enjoy life so we ask for it to be long, and ask Allah to keep it good for us. But look how much more wisdom in the du’a – for we continue by saying that give us death if that be better. There is such a degree of trust in this du’a. Trust that Allah will only make death a better state than the life we lived in the dunya. What this equates to is asking for Jannah…really. It’s that we’ve lived in this world well and now it is time to move on to a more permanent iteration of existence. One, united with our Maker! in complete peace and rest… Subhahanallah! …and with our beloved prophet (sallalaahu alaihi wasalam). InshaAllah may this be the case for all who read this and more. What a beautifully wise, balanced, du’a. Not belittling the sufferers worries, not talking down and preaching patience, but offering a real solution;-put your trust in Allah and give the control over to your loving Lord. Always watchful over you and kind to you. Trust that! it may take time, but don’t loose trust.

May you benefit from this talk as I did and please keep me in your du’a. May Allah remove the oppresion from all those oppresed and may Allah help those in need and help us. May He be closely with us always and we always aware of the deep cherishing nurturing protecting Creator, our Creator and Lord.