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Archive for the ‘Islam’ Category

I have such a deep respect for the art of quilting and for precise, professional quilters. My jaw hits the table when I see things like this. What an eye for colour and detail; what a mind for form; what patience and craftwomanship.

This is also adorning my table at the moment. Such a useful book – such a generous gift. Everything you need to know about making anything. Has given me a lot of ‘ah hah THAT’S how you do it’ moments. Coming from a non-crafting background everything is a learning curve for me. With this reference book I feel like I’ve got someone to consult now – the teacher I never had to show me how it’s done; saving me precious (and much needed!) brain power and fabric figuring it all out myself

And isn’t this medium of blogging amazing; I have met so many amazing people through this blog – from all over the world, united by their beautiful souls, generous natures and extended hand of freindship. People who started off as ‘readers’ who are now ‘friends’. So cool.

And this…

These bits of loveliness are sitting on my table too. Batting their lashes. Calling me over to the dark side of fabric obsession.

Someone {Shukr. It was Shukr} let slip that our department store now had Amy Butler fabric, and I beat a path to their escalators to see for myself. Oh my. Yes. Yes they do. Yes they do indeedily do and how.

Just miles and miles and MILES of Butler heaven – pink, aqua, blues, oh dear.

Now, I am indecisive and a fabric addict, so I surprised myself by a) only staying there part of an hour rather than half a day, and b) by choosing only three fabics worth a yard.

When it comes to fabric I have learned the hard way that the best way to buy is to go with your gut. Sure, these aren’t new prints and they aren’t really spring/summer colours, but boy, they certainly had me tally-hooing.

I have seen these prints online before and passed them by, but seeing them fo’ real just blew me away (can you tell I’ve never been to a decent fabric store before?!) – the colours are so subtle and beautiful. I would love a whole outfit in that gold number above. Although I’d prolly have to sell a kidney to pay for it…

The colours are really autumnal, but I make no secret of my love for mustard golds and greys all in the same thing. Grey and orange and gold and mustard. Yum.

I told you I love this print?

Just saying.

And this book

Can you believe I have two of these wonderful books? Such a waste. This one is new and just sitting there feeling sorry for itself so an impromptu give-away to one of you. If you would like it leave a comment and I’ll pick a recipient Friday insha’allah.

Now, cuppa in one hand, books and fabric to drool over and some knitting shoved under my arm. Think I can make it to the sofa before the midgets commandeer me??

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Have a good one!

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And so do we. And after a long time I feel that re-alignment shifting back into place. Khair mubarak.

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My youngests’ first ever iftar. Aaah.

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Ramadan. It starts.

So Ramadan is starting and for those of you who might have been living under a rock or on another planet, Ramadan is the month that Muslims around the world fast from sunrise to sunset. No food, drink, consumption of any kind from sun up to sun down.

But of course, like with any part of Islam, the outer contains a rich inner, and the dogma gives rise to an inner essence and there is so much more to fasting than simply not eating. Fasting, in the true sense, is abstaining – abstaining from bad habits, from sin, from things which sever us from God. This month we try to purify ourselves inside and out. We are getting ready, so to speak for the Hajj season in a couple months. We are responding to Allah’s call. We turn from the illusory to the Real, from the World and materialism to the Source of Everything. We re-align ourselves with the rest of creation which naturally obeys and submits and we detach ourselves from the lower animal appetites of want, greed, lust. By silencing the body we allow subtler elements to grow strong. By turning off the gross and obvious, we attune to the subtle. We silence the body and allow the soul to sing. In many ways it is a good month and if Allah allows a person to fast He intends nothing but goodness for them, and there is something in fasting that cannot be replicated or “payed for” in any other act of devotion or purification. It stands alone. And to fast in the prescribed manner at the prescribed time also has benefit which cannot be attained in any other way.

So. It’s going to be a month long. And I don’t know how this will affect my blogging. If I rattle on about it then you’ll just have to lump it for a while. And if I don’t post, you’ll understand, right?

Wishing you well. If I’ve offending anyone here please forgive me, and I forgive you. Let’s start the month afresh shall we?

And for anyone who might want to try the fast for themselves then I’ll just add:

1. You must eat a meal (I recommend pasta!) before fajr begins (not sunrise), and intend to fast for the sake of pleasing God.

2. You cannot eat, drink, smoke, have sex, swear, backbite etc etc until maghrib (sun down)

3. Reading Qur’an whilst fasting, or listening to recital has it’s benefits.

To find out where maghrib (sun set) is in your area you can click here to find your town.

Peace
Q
xx

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There is something undoubtedly soothing about the colour green.

I’m no gardener but the need for greenery around me is a constant need. For a couple years now we have been encouraging the hedges in our garden to overhang to grow thick at the top whilst leaving a little “arch” for us underneath. Partly this was for shade, but since seeing the benefits of attracted wildlife we sustain this as our little helping hand for nature, as viceregents and caretakers.

And this year not only nests of sparrows and thrushes but even more awesomely:

A goldfinch. I’m really honoured.

Green has special significance in Islam; it has mystical overtones and undertones and what-have-you. But you don’t have to be very deep to find satisfaction in a lush garden. Just hold off raining a little while so I can get this dry and back on the workbench??

Thanks!

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Not that it’s bad, I’m just averse to unnecessary changes. You just get used to something, then bam, someone hides the ketchup behind the weetabix and I’m all fingers and thumbs. And rheumatism. No idea. Carry on.

ANYWAY. Trying to blog despite being in a very non-word place right now. You know how it is. You get to a point where all this transitory illusionary non-Reality just can’t do enough to paper over the cracks, and Something just makes Itself obvious to a point that nothing else gives pleasure. Words become barriers and life itself becomes nonsense and what we call life and reality become like a form of madness and you start to wonder why you are wasting your time shoveling crap from one end of the world to the other when you should just be offering tahujjud and dhikr and waiting for the time Everything becomes manifest.

… *tumbleweed blows past* …. *hear crickets chirruping* … *wind blows*…

No? Just me then. But had quite a surreal experience sitting in the bank this afternoon; had to wait (lovely comfy sofas) and so invested the time in dhikr and it was all a bit much. On the one hand I had to stop myself from LOL at people getting wound up about this stuff we call ‘money’ and how it consumes and blinds us; we are the equivalent of dung beetles fighting over elephant crap – it has no Reality! It’s all dust in the making. And on the other hand I had to stop myself from blubbering and tearing up with total love and compassion for complete strangers. This is what happens when you leave the work of the heart for very long – you get bombarded by all these ‘transmissions’ when you start it all up again.

… *tumbleweed blows past* …. *hear crickets chirruping* … *wind blows*…

I’ll shut up now shall I?

Except ooh I never knew that banks scan every single cheque that gets deposited! (Front and back!) and can photocopy them from any part of the planet. In’t technology wunnerful? A few leccy wires and some fairy dust and hey presto we have wirelesses and telephones and this that and what have you. Next step will be teleportation and phones that don’t need wires – I bet they’ll call them “talkalongs” or “mobile phones” or summat.

ANYWAY. It just struck me, as ever, that all we need is knowing the Path to Reality and knowing how to live out our reason for being here, and as per usual I am constantly diverting myself and my children from Reality by concentrating on illusory objects. Dinosaurs *puh* – who cares? Why are we reading this? Painting and gluing and day trips and blah blah blah. Oh if only it was all used for the sake of Reality and increasing our consciousness rather than blinding it…. building Bridges rather than erecting barriers between ‘us’ and Allah.

Oh dear. I said the “A” word. *Alienates readership*

Allah. You say it: A-llaaaaaaaaaah. And if you say it with your hand on your heart you can almost feel the jump start. Allah, the Reality, the Ipseity. How sad most people have lowered the Ipseity to that which can be comprehended by creation. How small and pathetic and tribal we clever monkeys are, thinking we can have a handle on Reality; thinking we can put “Allah” into a neatly labeled box; thinking we have all the answers when really all we ever have at best is the very beginnings of how to put our feet on The Path and how to ask the right questions and what to do with the answers if they are ever given.

When will we, as a species, realise that we are babies pretending to be men? When will we realise that being “human” is a challenge to work on the Self, and that what we are now falls far short of what we are capable of and what we were created for?

Right. Back with a more profane post possibly later. Or tomorrow. Or maybe not. I really can’t tell which way anything will jump.

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