His Birth

 

Soon Muslims will celebrate the birth of Prophet Muhammad. He was born on the 12th of Rabie al-Awal (third month of the Islamic calendar). To be honest this is more cultural than religious event, as in all my studies, I have never heard that Prophet Muhammad, his friends or followers had celebrated his birthday simply because Prophet Muhammad will always be in our hearts. I think may be these celebrations started in the Fatimid period  but I am not sure.

I like some of the poems and songs that have been written and repeated on this day; I feel it’s just different in meaning, tone and performance. This occasion always takes me back to childhood years when I was in primary school. Every year, before the Prophet’s birthday, we usually have lots of preparations and rehearsals to offer a good musical performance at our school for parents and visitors. I don’t remember anything more than the poem we were learning by heart as well as our kind teacher that had made a great effort to help us do our best on that day. She was a Christian but she loved singing that poem with us. She was very enthusiastic and sang with all her heart. She was always smiling, a dove flying with her accordion and leaning towards those shy little ones. I still remember those precious tears in her eyes though at that young age I did not understand why?

Was not that great?

By the way the poem was a praise song written for Prophet Muhammad ages ago. I will try to translate the simple lines we used to sing at that celebration:

All the hearts have always longed for the remembrance of the Beloved

I have my evidence and witness

When you say the name of Muhammad,

The tears flow freely from the eyes of those loving The Beloved.

I remember how we, as little boys and girls, used to wear long white shirts; the girls with white head scarf and the boys with white skull caps, standing next to each other facing the audience, and were always supported by our wonderful teacher.

May Allah’s peace and blessings be upon you Prophet Muhammad and upon all God’s prophets and messengers!

This one is one of my favorite, hope you like it

Alsamlamo Alyka

Maher Zein

 

Wishing you all the best,

Nahla

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Tastes differ!

 

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Yesterday I read a couple of interesting posts about food which inspired me to join the club and write something about the same topic but in different way.

Sometimes parents force their children to eat certain food even if those little ones’ tears run down their innocent faces asking for mercy not to eat it. But we ‘parents’ believe that if we don’t do that we won’t be good parents and we won’t be caring that much about our beloved children. We also wonder if we like that food, how come they don’t like it? We think if it’s important and healthy for our bodies, they have to eat it. And we keep thinking a lot ignoring the fact that the child might get all that benefits from another source of food, something they like its taste and smell.

My older son doesn’t like mango at all and hates its smell; I really couldn’t understand how come he wouldn’t like this juicy sweetie fruit which I adored? One day I forced him to eat a tiny bit just to know its taste hoping he might change his mind. But this was the worst idea ever because he felt sick and was very upset. What was for me juicy and sweetie was for him slimy and gross, it was as if all his senses hated it and refused to welcome any of its nutrients to get inside his body. But at that day, I wondered why I forced him in the first place especially as I had similar experience with another kind of food?

When I was little; I didn’t like the smell of cooked liver; it made me feel sick and I would definitely never taste it. The day we had cooked liver for dinner was my worst day ever as everything would smell liver: bread, rice, salad, plates, spoons, towels, etc. I don’t remember that my parents had forced me to eat it, but my mother used to make some tricks like changing the way she cooked it or giving her dish a new name. But I would always find out the truth even before tasting the meal as its smell is so distinguishable; something that could never be concealed. When getting older, I learned about the function of liver in science class and I really felt grateful that I had never tasted it. Honestly, I have never cooked liver in my house for my husband and children and I don’t know how to buy it. But they do eat it at their grandparents’ house; just little portions and I would never ask them to have more.

I know different stories about people of different age group who don’t like other kinds of food, for example: milk, fish, cheese, tomatoes, etc but this doesn’t mean that it’s the food being tasted is itself bad or horrible. It’s just something inside our bodies that do not accept that food. There are taste preferences and aversions and there should be a space for letting others make their own choice as what you adore, others might abhor!

What do you think?

Wishing you all the best,

Nahla

Asking about you?

 

Today I’m delighted and I am going to ask about you

I want you to be delighted too

But you say people never do

What about me?  I do!

But, alas, you would never hear me do!

And keep talking, you do

One day, you will do.

Exchanging warm greetings, we will do

But then complaining, you will do

Life becomes unbearable you told me so

Asking for a favour, you will do

I say sorry I don’t know

You say I always don’t know.

I say sorry I can’t help you;

You say I would never do.

How was my day? Would you ever want to know?

Happy, sad or worried; would you feel how I do?

Next time I want to ask about you

I pause and ask; should I really do?

My heart would say please do

My brain would say please no.

Listen to my heart, I have to do

Because this is the best I can do.

 

Wishing you all the best,

Nahla

 

Parents’ evening

Parents’ evening is a good opportunity to know about your children progress at school and to know what their teachers and friends see and tell about them away from their parents’ eyes.

Academic achievements is always the main concern of most parents. Most of us would probably ask; how far my son or daughter is doing in Math, science, English and other subjects? what does he/ she need to get better? However, as well as children’s reports would be different, also parents’ attitudes towards these evenings are different. Actually, this is very interesting for me.

One of my friends told me once that her parents had never attended any parents’ evenings; they were more concerned about the end of year results or the marks she got at any exam and because she was doing well; they had never attended any of those evenings. This does not mean that they didn’t care but their point of view is that everything will be reflected in their school reports.

Other parents, would never miss out any parents’ evenings. They get their golden opportunity  to explode with all those negative thoughts about their children or the school. This group usually take more than the expected time for a meeting. Last year, my husband told me that one of the parents kept arguing and arguing; apparently he was complaining either about his child’s performance or the school in general. Those parents also care about their children but this is their way to complain to make sure that their children get the best of everything even if this was not possible either from the perspective of a school or the abilities of children.

Is there other group? Yes there is those parents always happy to attend and to meet with the teachers; they might be a bit late but it does not matter, they come any way. For them everything is positive and wonderful and they can not wait to spread the good news about their children’s wonderful performance at school ignoring that there was a tiny missing part of the story about their children being a bit behind or any other educational issue. They also care but they have their special way!

Who else do I see? Actually , I see us, and there are many like us, who also would try to attend all meetings as far as we can, but who also do not talk too much. We usually finish within the time or may be earlier. We listen more than we talk and this is why I think we usually finish early. We, and many other parents, believe that the academic performance is important but we also believe that the way teachers talk, and the expressions they show about our children is important too. I feel happy when I see their teachers’ big smile and feel the affection and joy in their voices while talking about my children which is the best thing any parent should be proud of.

Next time when you have a parents’ evening at your children’s school, remember to watch how parents would act while waiting for your turn.

Parents have different philosophies, haven’t they?

Wishing you all the best,

Nahla

She is my mother

 

She is my mother, when she was young, beautiful and strong.

She is my mother, when she was old, disable and weak.

She is my mother, when she was alive.

She is my mother , when she is dead.

My eyes see her eyes, my ears hear her voice and my soul knows hers.

May God forgive you my mother!

May God replace every bit of your sufferings and pains in  this human life with endless pleasure in heaven!

You’ll always be in my heart.

Once upon a time…

old-age

 

Have you ever noticed that most of the wise tales and sayings are narrated by Old people? Even in movies, it’s usually old people who advise, guide, support and make sacrifices? In other words, they are people of wisdom.

Do you think old people, sixty or seventy years ago, had ever suffered from depression or anxiety?

I don’t think they know about depression or neurosis and I don’t think they were 100 % mentally stable either.

However, in old days, old age was respected and reverted . It was an honor to help an old man or woman; their respect was a must, being surrounded by family and relatives was a popular custom and being important not useless was how they felt. It was not wrong to be old, it was not a defect, and it was not an illness. It was a bless to have old people in your place, exactly as it is a bless to have young children. Babies make our life happier and old people makes it wiser. In return, young people around them and the whole society share those sentiments of importance and goodness, appreciate the life of old people among them, and learn from their experience and pass it on to following generations.

As far as I can remember, my grandparents looked always old though I don’t think they were that old as in their days people used to get married at an early age. They always had a walking stick, were sleeping too much, talking a little, telling weird tales, hearing everything, yelling at any noise, keeping all their old stuff, and knowing everyone. They were too cautious, too secretive, and too powerful too as their words and demands were always obeyed. Honestly, I used to think about them as scary and in most cases I would avoid them.

But, on the other side, they were gathering the whole family with its different generations. They were happy and proud to have us and we were happy and proud to have them. When they died, their whole extended family never gathered together; they did see each other on social occasions and they did call to ask and say hello but there wasn’t such an abundance of everything even in feelings.

This is why I don’t think old people, long time ago, had ever suffered from any depression because it mainly resulted from our inability to face realities, to accept our age limits and overcome our fears and worries (this is my simple understanding). In this case, why would they be depressed? They already had  accepted the idea of being old, their society honored this stage in life, and more important they did not fear it.

Do you remember that once upon a time a wise man told the king that…

And do you also remember that one day  your grandmother wisely said…

Wishing you all the best,

Nahla

 

Hairstyle

There is a well-known saying: “ the only person you can change is yourself” 

Although it always used in the context of challenging oneself to be better. When i read it today i remembered my sons’ hairstyle. 

Last year, my sons decided to have a new hair style; something completely different to how we used to see them. At the beginning, both their father and I angrily said “we don’t like this and we don’t see anyone we know have this hair style even your friends?” They both have the same answer; “ Exactly! This is what we like, we don’t copy anyone else.” 

I told my husband it’s just about time and they will change it. But he said “ No, they won’t” and it was true as for more than a year now they haven’t changed it. 

Do you think i give up? No. Sometimes, i said i am not going to pay for your haircut. Sometimes i said look what others are telling me about your hair? Sometimes i send them their old photos.
But nothing has changed. 

It’s us who decided to change. Honestly, we still don’t like it but instead of being angry, we take it as a joke giving names to their hairstyle and every now and then we check its length and texture! And my sons laugh and reply; “thank you, we like it and won’t change it.”

It’s really hard to change any person even if they are your own sons! 

With all best wishes,

Nahla