Day Twenty-Five

What I have learnt, Episode Twenty-Five: I didn’t go to Peppa Pig World (Al-Baladul-Khinzeer) and… ‘Low Latent Inhibition’.

Well, today, guess what? I woke up. Sometimes, waking up for Fajr (and going downstairs to do Wudhu) is especially hard. But it is very worth it — the prospect of being able to sleep until whenever you want, afterwards.

This morning Siyana’s family, and Dawud’s, came to ours. They all got ready to go to Peppa Pig World. Apparently it’s in Southampton.

Siyana: we call her Aana for short. Hackerman, also.

Dawud: sometimes Saif calls him ‘Duh-woood’. Saif’s best friend at school is also called Dawud, and apparently their teacher mispronounces it ‘Duh-woood’.

Dawud asked Alexa to play ‘Gangnam Style’, but Alexa misheard it as something… really dark. Something like ‘Die in Style’. Dawud then watched his new favourite show, so it would seem: ‘The Fox Family and Friends’: a bunch of cartoon anthropomorphised foxes who talk nonsense. Or, as Sweetie might put it: they “chat breeze”. Dawud abbreviates the show’s name to ‘Friends’; this is extremely cute, especially since both his parents are ardent ‘Friends’ (i.e. the American sitcom, which just released its reunion episode) fans. Ranga Mama loved this show so much that he had CDs of all the episodes, and has basically memorised every line. He then got Stomami into it. And then Moosa got into it also.

‘New Girl’ is also a shared favourite sit-com between Ranga Mama and me [I relate to Jess quite a lot]. ‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’: Moosa, Maryam, Ranga Mama and me. ‘Modern Family’ as well.

I just learnt that ‘Hal antum bi khayr?’ means “are you [plural, I’m guessing] okay?” This would probably sound great when you’re jokingly disagreeing with people on things. “Are you guys okay?” I am really very excited to learn Arabic Insha Allah. And if I am to start properly, then I need to do so as soon as possible. Conversational Arabic: Ms. Maisoun did say that she would happily teach me. But I’m really shy to actually take her up on the offer: I don’t know why. Right now, I have a really good app (‘Arabic Unlocked’. Amazing for learning Qur’anic Arabic) and two workbooks that tend to be pretty highly-recommended by scholars I think.

What about that other language that I sort of know — Spanish? I love the Spanish language: it is one that feels like it just flows. Makes sense. Sounds… salsa-like. It’s a wonderful feeling, to be able to decode things written in other languages: like you hold the keys to something that not everybody else does. I don’t want to neglect learning Spanish better, but Arabic is my priority. The Qur’an is in Arabic. Hadiths also. Exegetical works. So much of the Muslim world. I do not want to feel like a tourist in my own religion.

This weekend, while my parents and brother are away, I’m here with Nanu and Khalamoni. So I can basically do whatever I want. I have some work-related things to do: planning for the coming half-term. Some of the things I believe in, for encouraging as part of the ethos of the school:

  • Educating them on such things as colonialism
  • Informing them that they should not be anti-Semitic in criticising Zionism
  • Encouraging true security – flourishing – in their Muslim and (for a lot of them, at least) Tower-Hamlets-ian identities
  • Encouraging personal development; the nurture of their individual personalities and strengths
  • Promoting curiosity and wonder, and critical thinking
  • Encouraging emotional intelligence
  • Muslim values, such as those of home and family
  • For them to be challenged, to grow and develop. And, also for school to feel like a second home; not merely, or solely, some means to some imagined ends. Presentism.

From el top of my head [‘el’ and ‘al’ meaning ‘the’: who did it first? The Arabs, or the Spaniards? Seems like the Arabs did it first. This is so very cool.] these are some of the things I would like to always, piece by piece, drop by drop, day by day, work on, with Allah’s Help and Permission:

  • Prayer. I would like to pray my Sunnah prayers more often. And, Witr and Tahajjud. Such a rewarding prayer.
  • Knowing Arabic. To understand the words of the Qur’an; to know and feel what I am reading, when I read.
  • Reading books. Developing my mind; my vocabulary; my ways of expressing things and such
  • Writing. Articles. Books, perhaps, Insha Allah.
  • Diet! Diet! Diet! Not to lose weight or something. But goodness generates more goodness. Halal and Tayyibāt tingz. Good for energy levels; for skin; for mood. A lot of things.
  • [Drink water, woman.]
  • Morning and evening routines. I need to re-design mine.
  • University. I need to make some choices about that ASAP.
  • El español
  • Tidiness. I need to tidy things up [mentally, and in terms of things I have ‘put away until later’], and work on keeping them that way.
  • I always feel I want to be the best teacher I can. These students are absolutely amazing, Masha Allah. Such potential, and Allah has chosen me to help them nurture it! I find making presentations quite fun; I find marking fun (when there aren’t one-hundred-and-eighty books in total to mark. Like last time). I find presenting fun; writing on the board.
  • I want to be the best Fuldi/friend/everything else, I can. Not in an obsessive sort of way. Just, organically: I am always going to be developing, Insha Allah, and there are always things to work on.
  • I have so many questions about myself, and about life, which I feel I must ask Allah. And Tahajjud is probably the best time in which to ask them.
  • Life is a lot of things. It is worship, and it is maintaining bonds with people. It is maintaining your living space; your body. Working, paying bills. Errands and that; tasks. Food. Weaknesses, strengths.

If I want to do these things above, then I need to fix. Up. Now. Work on it every. Day. Not over-industriously. But still, determinedly and hopefully. Moving, actively, with life.

I just learnt the Spanish word, ‘hispanomusulmanes’. Meaning: Spanish Muslims, ‘moors’. So, my friend Aya es una hispanomusulmana. Might go ahead and change her current nickname from me — Anteayer [meaning: ‘the day before yesterday’] — to this. Ayyo chica, hispanomusulmana!

An observation: people tend to love a) eating cake. Little bites of it. Sometimes, almost entire cakes in one sitting. And, b) people also really love to nap. But perhaps these are not always the most ‘Instagrammable’, flashy and fiery, of hobbies.

“If you see beauty in someone, speak it”. I believe in giving people flowers – literal, figurative – as much as we can; as much as is true. Give them their flowers while they are alive; while you are able; while they are able to receive them. Even if it feels a little embarrassing in the moment, or whatever else. What, really, do we have, to lose?

I can’t believe that it is Friday already. I just have this weekend left, and then it is back to work, Insha Allah. For what may just be my last half-term there. [Nooooooooo

ooooooooooo

oooooo

oooo

o.] Now I’m craving cake. Tomorrow: Waitrose bakery section, Insha Allah. Or maybe not. I want to try out an ‘anti-inflammatory diet’, maybe. ‘Twill take willpower. But, for example, writing these blog entries every day is taking willpower. And it feels extremely rewarding, Masha Allah. The struggle, the sweetness. Like the cake I am currently craving.

Dear reader,

Have you ever felt so filled with an intuitive sort of hope about things? It’s not tangible; you don’t know exactly what will happen, and when. But putting my trust in the Almighty: I have never done a better thing, and I know this for certain.

I do love it when I think I know certain things. And I just don’t. I’m on this journey, encountering things that have been Written for me: I have not written them for myself. [R.M. pointed out that I tend to go off on tangents a little. Or a lot. It’s true: I do. I think it’s sort of integral to my personality. ‘Ordered chaos’.].

Two big questions that I am truly enthusiastic about finding the answers to, moving forward: those of free will and determinism. And those pertaining to the links between (what is termed) autism, ADHD, creativity/intelligence, dyslexia and dyspraxia. It all fascinates me so much; there really are distinctive connections between these things. Anxiety, social anxiety, depression.

Sensitivity. People on the autism spectrum tend to also have digestive conditions associated with sensitivity. Food intolerances and insomnia as well, apparently, according to this girl’s book [the one who sent me a copy!]

And, with things like chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia. This is all very, very interesting. What a mystery to be further unravelled over time, Insha Allah.

My personal view is that it is all about sensitivity. I think that intelligence is sensitivity though. People who are especially good at maths, for example: it’s perceptiveness, isn’t it? Being sensitive to, being able to pick up on, the patterns that others aren’t really able to, in the same way.

Sensory overload. ‘Low latent inhibition’: something I heard from ‘Prison Break’, while Maryam had been watching it next to me, last year. It’s the idea that some people notice and register aspects of their surroundings far more than others, more quickly and all at once. The constant processing of lots of stimuli.

“If a person has a high IQ, probably 130 and above, his low latent inhibition can manifest in creativity, while people whose IQs are lower than average can undergo psychosis [as a result of it].” [Source: ‘InfoBloom’].

When Tas and I went to Nando’s (ChickenLand) those three days ago, she asked me whether I think intelligence is learned, or innate. I think it is innate. Exam skills and such can be taught, but high intelligence, to me, seems to be in-built. A gift from God, to certain individuals. It does need to be nurtured well, for it to flourish, though. And I do think it is linked to the ‘autism gene’, but I would like to learn more about that, Insha Allah.

While we were at Nando’s, also, there was a couple sitting at a table near us. And when the waiter asked the guy what he wanted, the guy also ordered for the lady, and said, super exaggeratedly, “my GEWL would like…”. And I just thought, it’s cute that you seem so outwardly proud that she’s your GEWL, but… it’s okay, my brother: the waiter probably does not think that she is your sister.

This evening, I had my final meal of the day by candlelight. And then I put a knife over the fire, and the metal burned a little. But in a really cool charcoal-like way: I just wiped the black marks right off, afterwards.

Ay, you: whomever you are; whatever it is you may be going through. At this moment in time: 01:11 AM, and while I should probably… get ready to pray Tahajjud… it is Qadr for you to be reading this, right now. It is going to be fine.

“I don’t know what //

You’re going through,

But there’s so much life, ahead of you. And it

Won’t slow down, no matter what you do.

So you’ve just gotta hold on.” [to be sung just like how Shawn Mendes sings it].


With Salaam, Sadia, 2021.

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