What I learnt from being around an Orthodox Jewish community

jews

My husband was raised for a number of years in an Orthodox Jewish neighbourhood, my in-laws still live there so I visit quite often. From all the communities I’ve been around I’ve learnt the most from this one. I’m going to write down some points of benefit that I’ve learnt.

They hold fast to their religion – No matter what. Their religion is not easy to practise but they follow it without compromise from what I see and they believe in it. They dress a certain way which looks ‘funny’ to others and for a long time in the area have been a target of abuse, (just recently i seen a Polish man driving through the area doing a Nazi salute). They’ve been mugged, physically attacked, bullied but it doesn’t deter them. They don’t change the way they dress, they don’t try to assimilate, they don’t try to change their religion to fit in and appease people, they don’t shy away or hide. Muslims need to learn from this and hold fast to the teachings and commandments of their religion, instead of trying to change it and ourselves to appease people.

Instead, what they do is they look out for each other and take care of one another like a true community. If someone is having a problem they will come to help them. They have set up a security neighbourhood watch which works with the police, it benefits the general community also by deterring crime and anti social behaviour. This is great proactive action.

They financially support each other as a community – A while ago a store was opened in the area selling children’s clothing by an Orthodox Jew. I went in the store, it’s expensive stuff i mean really high prices for what it’s really worth. Ever since it opened it is always busy full of Jewish people. Pay attention they’re clever about this. They keep the money circulating within the community thus raising everyone and are not selfish or jealous and help each other to succeed.

Imagine knowing 100 per cent that when you open a business your own brethren and community will have your back and definitely support you. What kind of confidence, psyche and mindset does this give a person, that you are guaranteed customers. What kind of community relations does this give. Success would be built into your DNA. Heck if the Orthodox Jews were on Twitter they would be the one’s rt’ing and purchasing from each others affiliate links.

Many other communities and people cannot stand to see others succeed, there is a lot of disdain like another person’s success will take something away from them, even if they are already very successful! They don’t want to give a helping hand like someone is taking money directly out of their pocket.

I seen not too long ago some tweets about Habiba Da Silva. She’s a make up artist, YouTuber etc that has been successful and has now started selling scarves. Some Muslims online ranted about the price of the scarves, how it’s overpriced, how they’re not going to be buying them, mocking her, the whole lot. All in all being very jealous and petty about the whole thing, also not forward thinking.

The same type of people will spend over £100 on multiple pairs of Nike trainers, spend money on haram (forbidden) items, have monthly sports and Netflix subscriptions, buy designer gear just because it has a little logo on it at an extortionate price. Paying money towards these corporations but can’t for a minute support their own Muslim community members?? A simple RT would have sufficed if you didn’t want to purchase instead of trying to drag the sister down because they don’t agree with something and others are just being plain old jealous. The Jewish community regardless of the price supported the children’s clothing store. Imagine if we thought like this for a minute as a community.

Helping others succeed is part of our religion as Muslims. We are brothers and sisters and one ummah (community) and the famous hadith tells us that ‘None of you truly believe until you wish for your brother what you wish for yourself’, Bukhari & Muslim. How many of truly feel like this? We need to give to receive, as the saying goes ‘putting holes in another’s boat will not make yours go faster’. So let’s learn something and support each and support my blog too 😉

They know where to spend their money – They have very nice expensive houses and old, damaged cars. Only recently some of them started driving new cars but regular reliable one’s like a Volvo brand. You don’t see them in a flashy Mercedes or Range Rovers and i find this interesting because you know they are successful but choose not to do that, unlike a lot of people who spend monthly on a car and get into debt for the latest flashy car. They’re much less in number in comparison to others but in an area there are a lot of synagogues and they spend towards setting them up and maintaining them.

They are out from dawn til dusk – I always see them out early, being productive. Taking their children here and there for their education or religious learning. They’re working and not wasting time hanging out ever but they do spend a lot of time together as families and a community and they finish late and repeat this daily and this is continuous for years. Success doesn’t come over night and comes with a lot of hours of work.

They get themselves into good positions – Work wise, they’ve done it for themselves. They have educated themselves and put themselves in important positions which has benefited their community like positions in government, top educational institutions, banking, real estate, the diamonds trade, top law firms.

Traditional Families – Men are usually the bread winners and women stay home and raise the children. Not only that they have a lot of children and it is a religious duty as Judaism can only spread by giving birth to the next generation and not conversion and they choose to uphold this religious duty. The children are extremely mature from a young age and are given responsibility from a young age, they looking after siblings, take them to and from school etc..

My husband also thinks they’re brilliant, you cannot help but be impressed if you are honest with yourself and you yourself want to succeed and have good family and community relations and practise your religion. They’re not without fault but I take the good and leave the bad.

God has honoured them because of their values, they support one another, work hard and prioritize education, they keep family ties and good community relations, they commit to their religion. These are commandments from God and irregardless of religion they will be honoured for fulfilling this.

These points of benefit can be taken, adapted and implemented in our own lives for benefit because anytime you see someone successful you want to know how they did that and try to emulate it.

Also, we are an ummah and need unity because their in is where the strength and success lies.

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Greatness, Lies Within YOU

rocky

I woke up on Saturday morning, not too early and this blog idea came to my mind so I got out of bed grabbed my notepad (got back into bed) and jotted down two pages of notes.

There are many blogs and articles that tell you to believe in yourself, to take the first/next step, ‘achieve greatness’ but what IS that exactly? It’s interpreted differently to every single person. It can be hard to gain inspiration, they’re becoming generic. The positive words are one thing – ‘you can do it’, ‘hang in there’ but not much practical and systematical advice.

I get inspiration from a lot of places, Babar’s blog post about him starting his honey company is for sure one of them. I see disabled people all the time, they don’t let their disability stop them getting out and about by themselves to do their daily duties and living their life.

I’m currently reading Nelson Mandela’s autobiographyLong walk to freedom and I’m extremely inspired by this man and the way he conducted his life. I will write a few blogs on the book God willing. One of the main things I take from the book is that life goes on  and we must continue to do good in the hardships and struggles and continue to keep striving and bettering ourselves. An example, when Mandela was in prison on Robben island for 27 years, he still studied for his law degree, took on legal cases in prison and never stopped fighting for their rights in prison.

Muhammad Ali – The Greatest

Muhammad Ali was the greatest and the greatest example that comes to my mind of someone projecting that to others to make them believe it.

He projected to the world that he was the greatest and we all believed it, inside the ring and out. To his opponents in the ring he made them believe how dare they even have the audacity to believe that they could beat him and they didn’t 🙂

Ali said that he didn’t believe he was the greatest but he said it, in turn making us believe then working hard and becoming that.

ali

We HAVE to believe in ourselves

Without self belief in ourselves and our abilities, we cannot achieve what we want to achieve. Also with that we have to LOVE ourselves. If we do not believe in ourselves and love ourselves how will others? It is not their job to do that. We have to project this self belief so others will believe in you, for a job position, as a parent, a husband, whatever it is we want to achieve.

People want value from you and what you have to offer and bring to the table and every single person has that, just everyone doesn’t believe they do.

This is also coupled with confidence, self-esteem and working hard. There’s a line between confidence and arrogance. We become more confident with things we are familiar with, so if it a subject or a craft, we have to study and learn it to understand it and become great at it.

If one is lacking in areas of confidence and self-esteem, there are many videos online and books that one can watch and read to help themselves. If you do not help yourself seldom few will. A book I’m currently reading that I have found useful practically and for my mindset is emotional first aid, it has chapters on different areas that I find very relatable that I struggle with.

Don’t let them tell you, you can’t

I’ve noticed, that people are often negative about someone doing something for two reasons, either they’re fearful that they themselves cannot do it and they’re projecting or jealousy.

Everyone is created weak. Some may hide it better than others but for sure they have their weak moments and spots. Don’t let others make you feel you are weak and they are not.

Everyone has bad days, we know this but what do we do in those bad days?

You might often feel like you’ve taken one step forward and three steps back, one day for you five against, knocked down repeatedly but as the cliché goes we don’t stay down. Even when we’re down we have to do something, anything, something small, you may slow right on down but never stop.

Visualise this, building blocks, some days you may have many large one’s, some days just one tiny one but you add it to the pile and it keeps building and it SHOULD feel like you’ve achieved something TO YOU. Forget what others say, many don’t really care anyway and people don’t ever stop talking. Don’t get me wrong this is not an overnight thing but a consistent building up of ourselves overtime with a lot of effort and hard work.

What CAN you do

I believe a dream has to have a thorough plan and we all need a purpose.

It starts with ourselves first, then our families, then our local communities and then farther after that. We cannot be in any position to do anything for anyone else till we help ourselves first.

So start small, micro – do something daily that will benefit you or write a list of 3 things you want to achieve and do it every day and when you have achieved them, tick it off. Do this consistently and build. If you want to get fit start going for walks, then increase to going for jogs. If the current climate is bothering you and you want to have your say start a blog, write 250 words or 1 or 2 pages in a notepad. I started reading a page of Quran everyday and now I can’t go without it, I’ve been doing it for a while, small but consistent.

You don’t need to be in the public eye to make a difference, you don’t have to be a Linda Sarsour or a Haitham Al Haddad but our daily actions and interactions matter. A simple smile can make a difference, it can diffuse tensions that we feel on the streets daily because we are Muslim, create conversations it is also a good deed. We need to get these things into our system, smile at just one person today, I know for us Brits it can be tough 😉

What can one person do? A lot, we are all one person that need to work on our talents,  united we are an ummah that can benefit, so be proactive not reactive everyone is needed.

If everyone was a doctor we would all be walking around in dirty streets.

Jealousy and envy of others will not grant you success quicker but just affect one’s own heart.

I started this blog with one post with just over 600 words in August 2016, I’ve been posting consistently since and now I’m thinking of expanding upon this and it all stared with just one blog. UPDATE – I’ve bought a website name & I will be starting to create my own website in July 2017 God willing. Almost a year from when i published my first blog. I’ve come along way and I’m proud of my consistency and what I’m trying to build and as i said it all started from one blog… SO GO DO IT!

Btw I’ll rate you if you know where the photo at the top is from..

SO, WHAT DO YOU WANT TO ACHIEVE TODAY?

 

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Martial Arts for Women

belt

In the current climate of negative media coverage and attention towards Muslims and Islam and the targeting of Muslims via governments with legislation and policy, it has created Islamaphobia, particularly in the west. Especially against overtly looking Muslim women that don the hijab (head scarf) Niqab (face veil) and Islamic attire because we are the weaker more overt subject. Self defence has been brought up with people saying that women should now learn it so they can defend themselves if they are attacked, this is due to the rising number of physical attacks on women.

It is scary the number of attacks that have been happening on women by mainly males, white males at that. This is extremely psychologically damaging, in a lot of cases more than an attack itself is the fear that something may come your way when you leave the house because of the way you are dressed, making women feel especially vulnerable, so I want to talk about self-defense and Martial Arts for women.

I started Martial Arts at the age of 15, my mum took me to a class or two of karate when I was younger but I never stayed. My best friend asked if wanted to attend a TaeKwon-Do class near us so I went. I didn’t know what it was about, I wasn’t into martial arts and the hype had died from the Bruce Lee days. We went, I wasn’t into it, I found it funny what they were doing/wearing but I joined the class. I liked it but didn’t take it too seriously. I would skip classes, I was doing gradings to achieve belts but I was taking much longer than necessary and I wasn’t that good.

My teacher was annoyed by me and my attitude, I would be doing patterns poorly to the point that other students would laugh but I never left and persisted for some reason and something clicked for me. I had a Mr Miyagi Wax on Wax off moment (for real) and I just got it and became super dedicated, also a black belt (male) broke my nose with an axe kick when we were sparring and this seemed to be some sort of catalyst for me.

I came back to training two weeks after I had it realigned in hospital and I went HARD. I figured it out with lots of training and practise. My body just got it being tall, lean with long limbs were an advantage.

My Training Schedule

I trained a lot, many many hours and by my ridiculously high standards it wasn’t enough. I would go to school, go for a jog after school on the street for a short period, I also started boxing because I love boxing. It was in a male club, my best friend did it also (we were the only females) and the teacher’s son from TKDO who was the best martial artist I had come across in real life.

I would box (I had braces at the time so I couldn’t compete) spar, do bag work, skip for 20 minutes minimum, speed ball, shadow boxing, sit ups (many 100s), medicine ball etc.. That would be Monday, Wednesday, Friday.

I would go to TKDO on Monday and Thursdays. I would attend the kids class to help to teach or train with other members – warm up, stretching etc.. Then I would go to another class afterwards with some of the members which was a more intense class for sparring, boxing, kicking techniques etc.. I would train from 4pm-10pm and on Saturdays go to the gym to do cardio vascular, running machine, rower, cross trainer, light weights etc..

I would also do regular park runs and when I started work go for runs in the summer, wake at 4am go at 5am in the street then go to work at 7am and to TKDO after work. I was seriously dedicated and I loved it.

I also did circuits classes, boxercising and other martial arts a little bit but those were the main ones and I did it for YEARS. My friend stopped after a while, she won some boxing competitions and trophies and got to Green Belt. I competed in TKDO and won some medals, I loved the buzz and adrenaline off of competing. The TKDO I did was for the world championships (ITF) and the other one you see at the Olympics is UKTA which has more padding when you fight and is semi contact, my one was less padding more contact.

medals

I achieved my Black Belt and I am a certified instructor. My goal was to get to 3rd Degree Black Belt but after I achieved that goal there wasn’t much to train for in lessons and I was helping to teach children etc.. There was squad training lessons on a Sunday for black belts only which were intense, to train up for the world international competitions.

At that point my hunger for the sport was diminishing and I had many other things going on, I had to up my training even more for world competitions so I ended up stopping TKDO, I still enjoy boxing and do it minimally and I still have a love for TKDO and miss it. I’m hoping to get into practising Gracies JuJitsu/Brazilian JuJitsu at some point as well as putting my son into it soon God Willing. UPDATE – My son has started BJJ in my local area at the age of 7 and is going to classes once/twice a week. He’s not keen on it but he’s just started and has to persist for a while to see if he will like it and pick it up properly. It’s a Gracie affiliate and I’m happy with the club.

PAY ATTENTION!!!

I’ve seen posters on social media and around showing images of what to do if a man attacks a woman or tries to grab her hijab to pull if off;

A WOMAN WILL NOT BE ABLE TO DEFEND HERSELF BY JUST LOOKING AT THAT AND THINKING SHE WILL COPY THAT, NO. Let’s get real about this.

Yes it is good to show what you can do but I am extremely skeptical that anyone will remember much In a surprise attack, you are not Jackie Chan, it will not be choreographed fight scene, there will be a lot of variables.

A woman will NOT be able to defend herself by going to a couple of self-defence classes against a man that is stronger, you need to do CONSISTENT training and practice and be dedicated to it like anything to put it to use.

BUT

I do advice women that if they ever get attacked, you must try to do whatever you can do to get out of that situation, using whatever means you have to hand – bag, an object, clawing at eyes – whatever goes, I’m serious!

So What Do I Recommend

When I did martial arts I wasn’t practising Islam so I trained with men, there wasn’t that many women doing martial arts either compared to now, I didn’t find many good enough and I wanted to be good so I would train with those better than me and that was men.

Women will have to do it in the correct setting and with it being much more popular with women, God willing it will be easier to find the appropriate classes and the younger the age the better, ideally age 7 so it will be easier for them to learn it and for it to be built into their muscle memory but you can start at any age.

TaeKwon-Do is very expensive to do, monthly costs, the suit, grading money etc.. I loved it but to be able to defend yourself on the street you really have to be an excellent martial artist and that consists of a lot of training, from a very young age with superior teachers and most street fights end up in close contact with grabbing and on the floor.

Boxing – I would recommend, it’s great for learning how to punch and fight with your fists and becoming more strong with your arms and understanding the best places to hit an opponent, with all there are pros and cons.

Judo, Karate, Kung Fu, Krav Maga, Muay Thai, Wing Chun et al – All are popular martial arts around the world and popular in different areas. They have their pros and cons and it’s a personal preference. What is local/popular or people do it because family/friends are doing it and it’s passed down. It’s a persons own preference and these with other martial arts should be looked into and decided upon what they like and what’s best for them.

Kick Boxing – Good for basic training of kicking and boxing, high energy and fast paced, less theory and more practical, I would recommend.

Self Defence that will help you practically

Gracies Brazilian JuJitsu, Brazilian JuJitsu, JuJitsu, Mixed Martial Arts – I came across a video on The Deen Show on YouTube – Royce Gracie, he was talking about Gracies JuJitsu and I was blown away.

GJJ started the ultimate fighting championships in Brazil pre 1990s. All of the top fighters across the martial arts would come to compete and ultimately see who and which martial art was the best overall and who came out on top. There was no weight division, no rules, no time limit and Gracies purposely put the smallest guy in to compete to show the effectiveness of it against guys that were much bigger. He won in a fashion where he didn’t smash the guys face in but he submitted him and controlled him and I was completely sold.

It is the most complete martial art that is especially good for women who are smaller and weaker. By using techniques to disarm and submit an opponenent and control the situation. It specifically has self-defence for women, anti bullying for children (I’ll put links at the end) there are clubs in the UK. Gracies, Brazilian JuJitsu or the sort would be best to practise to learn a self-defence to be able to use in a real life situation.

It is also the least violent and allows a person to get a hold of a situation with proper technique, you just want to protect yourself without having to suffer the consequences of doing damage.

Martial arts gives you confidence and gives children confidence because they have the know how of what to do. It gives you confidence in your stance, walk, talk, it certainly gave me a ton of confidence and doing sports is good for ones mental and physical health and martial arts are one of the most popular in the world for a reason.

gloves

Prevention Is Better Than Cure

Prevention is indeed better than cure and women need to be smart about it. Obviously when possible travel with a mahram (male relative) I can tell the difference when I’m by myself and when I’m with my husband.

Be aware of your surroundings, don’t go to places you don’t know of that are isolated or when it’s dark e.g. the park. Plan ahead and plan your journeys and let people know where you are going, be prepared and be organised with your belongings – keys have them ready, phone, if you carry an umbrella or such in your bag because it is illegal to carry mace or weapons in the UK.

These are just the times we live in and we have to adapt and ultimately Allah is our protector, say your duas before you leave the house for protection and you WILL be in his protection because whatever is going to happen to us is not going to miss us by his decree and try not be scared, be confident because a more confident self-assured person is less likely to be attacked.

Some Links – More Gracies videos on YouTube and channel

Graciesuniversity.com – Home study programmes (so we have no excuse).

The Deen Show – Royce Gracie talking about the beginnings of Gracie jujitsu and winning the ufc defeating a HUGE 3rd Degree TaeKwon-Do Black Belt by putting him in an arm bar and he tapped out (this is where I submitted because TKDO is my sport).

The Deen Show – Rener Gracie talks about Gracies JuJitsu and how Bruce Lee would have become a believer, also their anti bullying programme for children.

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Two pieces of advise from my lawyers

bob

Yes, I was in court I’ll write on it to a further extent in another post, not too much the ins and outs of why but rather what one should do if they are arrested especially nowadays with the onslaught against and the targeting of Muslims in the UK; we need to know our legal rights. It was an extremely stressful and worrisome time not just for the fact that I was facing the possibility of prison but other significant factors at play in my life at the time which I may also elaborate on further in other blogs.

My lawyers are gems and some of the most phenomenal men I have ever known, May Allah grant them every good and success in this life and the next. They were more than just lawyers that you hear about they are brothers in Islam and genuinely care about their clients and justice. I had a main solicitor (lawyer) who did the work (along with me, I put into my case) and I had another senior solicitor who was over seeing the case, between them I received different things and different advice and it was extremely helpful and beneficial because they are so different from each other and I got different perspectives.

I would speak to them a lot because I was so worried and they didn’t even mind even though they were so busy with other cases. As I said my main solicitor at the time, I was so stressed I was not paying attention to him at all and didn’t even know he’s Muslim for a while. He’s a revert, maybe that’s also why I didn’t think about it. I was speaking to him on the phone and he said Insha’Allah (God willing) and I was like WHAT???! (in my mind). I was thinking why is he saying that, is he taking the mick out of me, so soon as I got off the phone to him I called the other solicitor and said so and so (person’s name) said Insha’Allah to me??! why? he said “oh yeah, he’s Muslim, revert, he graduated Madinah University!”. I was shocked, so after establishing this me and my main solicitor spoke more Muzlamic like. One particular conversation we were having, it was nearing the time of my trial, I was speaking about my worries and he said “look Sundas, Allah is however you perceive him, if you think good of him you will receive good and have a good outcome from this and if you think bad of him you will receive that”. This advice still resonates with me and I still ponder and reflect over it and to elaborate a little further, if you think good of Allah you will find good in your situation even though it may be perceived to be a bad one and if you think bad all you will see is the negativity in everything.

The second piece of advice was from my other solicitor, again we were having a phone conversation I was asking him how he doesn’t get disheartened and disappointed by all the injustices he and his clients face and how does he even continue with all this. It was nearing my sentencing and I was worried what the judge was going to do, he said “as long as we try our best and do all that we can do it doesn’t matter what they do, the Qadr (decree) is from Allah and not from that judge or anyone else”.

These two pieces of advice was much-needed at the time and still motivate me today and the second one motivated me to carry on pursuing the path I am interested in which is aiding those in need especially the muslims, just like these two brilliant awe-inspiring men, what motivates you?

‘The people who are trying to make this world worse are not taking a day off, how can I? Light up the darkness’ – Bob Marley

 

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Why I find Babar Ahmad, Shaker Aamer et al so Inspiring

shakerGrowing up it was difficult, very difficult. I’m not sure how I survived it to be honest as does my husband. Not only that but manage to achieve anything that I did. My brother didn’t. I’m not sure how much I will blog about the going’s on, I’m a private person, it’s hard for me to talk about things that pain me and hard for me to share them with others. So much so that I’m ‘careful’ with the words I use when talking about such things but after all these years things have come to such a head with my emotions that there is a need for me to address it because it is hindering my life. I also came across literature & lectures by a man named Guy Winch, I’ve found it very beneficial in helping me understand and deal with my emotions in a practical way. I’m currently reading his book – Emotional First Aid: Healing, Rejection, Guilt, Failure and Other Everyday Hurts, I plan on reviewing it for my blog.

I can’t remember how I came across Babar Ahmad, Omar Khadr, Shaker Aamer et al maybe it was the infamous images coming out about Guantanamo Bay. Grown men hooded with ear muffs on in the orange jumpsuit that has become synonymous with the detention centre and the war on terror the world over. Forced to sit on their knees and legs in stress positions in cages in the heat with guards walking around and I was wondering what the hell is all this. A relative’s husband also works for one of the organisations and would talk about the organisation and the plights of the people they were trying to aid. I also ‘discovered’ Islam after a series of events, I’m not a revert but wasn’t raised in an Islamic household at all.

I did further research and reading and further and further, hearing and reading about their plights and the extreme difficulties that they have been through that hardly any of us would ever experience, God willing. I saw that in spite of all of this they still have a wonderful character with a positive outlook on life.  Wanting to not just exist after all of it but to make something positive out of their lives and others, still treat people with respect and kindness after so many have hurt and harmed them.  This made me gravitate towards them and be very inspired.  After all the damage done it is so easy to look at life negatively, full of anger, hurt, questioning why me repeatedly, resentful rejected and dejected, your mind can take over your whole body but they refuse to live like that. They refuse to just exist but to seek out good deeds, still have a firm belief and trust in God that everything good and bad has a wisdom behind it even though we may never understand we trust that God knows what is best for us and they to continue to smile 🙂

Growing up, I asked why me all the time and felt very isolated. People around me seemed to have normal happy lives and I was going through difficulty. It made me angry, I still have a lot of these emotions it doesn’t all just go away but I do think to myself if people like them that have been through far worse than me CHOOSE to live their lives trying to make the best out of their circumstances then so should I because being unhappy, angry and bitter is just harming me the most.

The latest with Babar, he currently has a blog and is writing a book about his experiences you can find him on social media. I highly recommend reading his blog, fascinating awe inspiring stuff. Omar has received a $10 million settlement and an apology from the Canadian government for their terrible treatment of him and Shaker is being Shaker helping people at every turn he gets, Allah bless them and us.

Also, please make a Dua for my brother who died, it’s strange, he died when I was roughly 14 I can’t remember properly but I still think about him and pray for him and still miss him, his name was Babar.

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First blog post

An incident in a supermarket.

It was a hot day in summer and as a Brit, when we say it’s hot in summer we mean it’s HOT. Our summers are usually rubbish full of rain and cold. It was morning, I was shopping in the supermarket with my daughter who at the time was a lot younger and was sitting in the trolley chair. I was dressed in an abaya (long Islamic dress) and dressed summery ^.^ underneath, I was sweltering.

I was walking around the supermarket, pushing the trolley as I turned the aisle the bottom of my abaya got caught and stuck in the trolley wheel I mean really jammed. the Muslimah (female Muslims) know about the long abayas that sweep and clean the floor and get caught in anything like escalators but we still love them. In my mind I instantly freaked out I thought I wont be able to get it out of the wheel and if I do I’ll rip it leaving myself over exposed.

Almost instantly two elderly white women appeared next to me, “your ‘dress’ is caught, we’ll lift up the trolley and you try to pull it out”. They both lifted up the trolley, I bent down trying to pull my abaya out, at the same time they were entertaining my daughter by baby talking to her. It was really wrapped around the wheel I managed to pull it out and didn’t rip it! I stood up, put my hand on one of the women’s shoulder relief, “oh my God I was gonna have a heart attack”, she laughed, “is your dress ok? have you ripped it?”, I found this incredibly warming not only had they just went out of their way to help me (don’t forget these are elderly women picking up a trolley with my shopping and daughter in, it’s not easy) they were also concerned about my clothing. I also have no idea how they spotted it was caught. I said “don’t worry about it I don’t care”, I was so exasperated I gave them my thanks and gratitude then carried on with my shopping as did they.

I realised I was so freaked out that I didn’t even look at them in their face or their eye and I didn’t even know what they looked like, if I saw them again in the supermarket I wouldn’t even be able discern that they were the two elderly white women that had just helped me.

The moral of this story

The current climate in the UK and the world especially in the West towards Islam and Muslims is a very negative one and women are at the forefront of Islamophobic attacks. Due to all of this hostility I already have my preconceived notions. Even though the women had just helped me i still thought they were going to make a comment ‘why would you wear that thing when something like this can happen’ but they didn’t they were more concerned about my abaya then i was. The negative attacks are in the minority but have been brought to the forefront which cause a lot of fear. There are a lot of kind, caring and helpful people in society that do kind acts for no other reason then that is their nature.

The small act of kindness from these women helped me more than just that mere act, they shattered my preconceived notions about people’s prejudices towards Muslims and mine towards them.

Our religion Islam

Our religion Islam teaches us mercy and kindness to others, if we want the betterment of this society then we have to seek out ways to help or just like these women did, when we come across someone who may not necessarily be in need, help them without even offering.

Thank U for reading my 1st post 🙂