This Instagram from strengthen_aakhirah arrived this early morning: “The biggest enemy of Islam is the ignorant Muslim, who ignorance leads him to intolerance, whose actions destroy the true image of Islam, and when the people look at him they think that Islam is what he is.” Sheikh Ahmed Deedat. I did respond:
Me: Ameen!! I so agree. It has become a curse upon the faith which is worsening. Particularly in the Middle East actually through Instagram at times.
Strengthen-aakhirah also pictured a man in a hard hat, clearly a construction worker. The caption: The Prophet said: Give the worker his wages before his sweat dries.”
It does not happen here in the Middle East – thousands of workers are ‘imported’ to improve the fortunes of the Rulers – their sweat is probably extremely dry before they receive their paltry wages.
Then another the photograph of a little boy giving money to a poor man. The Proper said: “Whoever pays (Zakatu-Fitr) before the (Eid) prayer, is an accepted Zakah, and whoever pays it after this (Eid) prayer is (an ordinary) Charity.
I did pay my Zakatu-Fitr before the Eid prayer but you will never, in a million years, ever guess how I was able to do this, here in Abu Dhabi, home to the Grand Mosque. Payment was made through the Al Rashid Mosque in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. I am on their mailing list and this morning opened by email and everything was there. The Al Rashid Mosque in Edmonton informed me that Mecca confirmed that Monday, May 2, 2022 will be the first day of Ed and that Zakafu-Fitr should be paid before Eid. Payment could be made online and the means provided, so I did. Then the email helpfully told me of the behavior expected on that day. I take a bath, wear a best dress and fragrance, eat an uneven number of dates and recite Takbir until the beginning of Eid prayer. Two prayers will be held at the Edmonton Islamic Academy. I shall not be able to attend those prayers as I am in Abu Dhabi at this time – but someday I shall be able to pray at the Edmonton Islamic Academy. This year perhaps I can sync the time and pretend that I am there in Edmonton and not in Abu Dhabi.
I shall not be able to pray in the Women’s Prayer Room of this hotel as it is closed because of Covid restrictions. The government of the UAE has not had the time (apparently) to issue an order allowing such prayer rooms to be opened. However, government workers get ten days off at this particular time. Hmmmm. I came to the UAE to reside in a Muslim majority country, fleeing the USA where I faced discrimination because I was a Muslim This, for many reasons, has not worked out. Refuse to return to the USA – I am not stupid and have no desire to go through that again. But I am a citizen of Canada, and am able , of course, return to the land of my birth. Hmmmm
But back to Zelda Fitzgerald, wife of F. Scott Fitzgerald, the famous American writer. I did get off on a tangent yesterday and failed to complete my thinking and inform you of my further research. I do suppose at this point we should define tangent.
Tangent is a completely different line of thought or action. Used in a sentence She quickly went off on a tangent about wrestling.
When I used the Internet to learn more about Zelda, I found a fascinating New Yorker article written, way back in 2013. It was a book review of several books that had been written about Zelda. The books had all taken a different approach, examining her from different perspectives. The review can be found at https://www.newyorker.com/books/page-turner/saving-zelda?utm_source=onsite-share&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=onsite-share&utm_brand=the-new-yorker.
There is something rather timeless about this, it was written by Molly Fischer in 2013 and begins in the following fashion:” Zelda and F. Scott Fitzgerald seem to be excellent characters for novels, but this impression is somewhat misleading.They did many things and had big, messy personalities. But their particular big, messy personalities meant that they wrote about everything they did, causing anyone else attempting to write about them to seem like an imitator, and to risk sounding overly dutiful or redundant or just inferior. And, perhaps more problematic for novels about Fitzgeralds, the couple did everything with such awful pacing. It’s awe-inspiring that lives can be structured so cruelly. There’s hardly time to anticipate the couple’s success before they succeed, or to enjoy their success before they start going to hell, and there’s no meaningful respite from their hell once they’ve arrived. There they remain (mired in alcoholism, marking time in mental institutions) until they die; young, but not glamorously so—forty-four in F. Scott’s case, forty-seven in Zelda’s.”
Fischer goes on to discuss the aftermath of their lives. Happily for F. Scott Fitzgerald, his literary reputation enjoyed a posthumous revival. “The Great Gatsby” went to war with G.I.s and came back an American classic; its most recent film adaptation, of course, opened this month. Things have been tougher for Zelda, although not altogether without bright spots. Modern criticism has made her look more like a thwarted artist than a harpy, and modern psychiatry has made her seem significantly less insane. Yet, if revisionist biography has established her as a person of promise in her own right, she still seems in need of rescue—from F. Scott, from herself, from slander, from oblivion. Whether it’s a critic restyling her as a feminist martyr or a novelist salvaging her story, the impulse to save Zelda animates the efforts of those invested in her legacy.”
This sentence says it all: “And saving Zelda Fitzgerald is no simple proposition.” Fischer discusses three novels that came out during the spring of 2013 – favoring one, Fischer summarizes beautifully: “Age is the central issue for both Zelda and F. Scott. Not many people get to be young as hard as they did, or have to suffer the aftermath of youth quite so painfully. In a way, it’s like they’re doing it so we don’t have to—adventurously, experimentally, like the Curies handled radium. And they acquit themselves poorly as characters in novels, because the very explosiveness that makes them transfixing also makes them remote. Besides, they’re too doomed to envy, too insufferable to love. So what they inspire instead is a sort of defensive sidestep, a desire to affirm the value in all the mundane, grownup things that the rest of us get instead of incandescent youth: responsibility, personal growth, caring about other people, feeling rueful self-awareness. Rather than capturing F. Scott and Zelda’s power, Fowler, Robuck, and Spargo bear us sensibly into adulthood.”
Indeed!!! The mundane grown up things that are extremely important responsibility, personal growth, caring about other people, – and rueful self awareness. The authors of the three books about Zelda “bear use sensibly into adulthood. Rueful is an interesting word, the absolutely perfect word. Its meaning: expressing sorrow or regret, especially when in a slightly humorous way. Some synonyms are: regretful, apologetic, sheepish, hangdog, contrite, penitent, conscience-stricken, woebegone. In a way an antonym says it best: unrepentant. The self awareness gained as an adult is rather apologetic, sheepish, hangdog and woebegone. It is absolutely not unrepentant.
Repentance Is a topic addressed on Wikipedia (of all places). “ Repentance is reviewing one’s actions and feeling contrition or regret for past wrongs, which is accompanied by commitment to and actual actions that show and prove a change for the better.”
These days it involves a commitment to personal change, with the resolution to live a more humane life, being sorry for one’s misdeeds. Repentance plays an important role in Judaism, Christianity and Islam.
The Islamic concept of repentance is Tawba, It is direct – between the person and Allah – with no one in-between. There is no original sin in Islam. So it is he individual’s act of leaving what Allah has prohibited and returning to what Allah has commended. Stated simply: Repent, believe, perform a charitable act. Or remorse, resolution and repentance – if one sins against another person – restitution is required. Muslims can be ‘helped’ along the way – Messengers can appear, telling individuals and whole communities that they must Repent, Believe, Perform a Charitable Act. They have a chance, but if they are warned and do not comply – then woe onto them. The Messenger’s responsibility is only to clearly communicate – it is up to the sinner to either obey or not.
Am admitting to being most serious, but I do also have a lot of fun. The two accompanying photographs illustrate the fun times. Two wonderful women, employed by Da Joie, came to my hotel room as they do home service. I had a mani, I had a pedi, I had a blow dry, I had a neck and shoulder massage. One woman was singing a silly song while blow drying my hair, we were laughing so hard that we did not hear room service knocking on our door – they had to call and bring it up later. The non singer took a picture and a reel. You do not get to see the reel as I am in a state of undress but you can see the photo.
The other photo was taken in the lobby of the Premier Inn. A Muslim woman, in a beautiful abaya had the most glamorous shoes that ever I have seen.
Me: Could I please take a picture of your shoes. They are SO glamorous
She: Of course! But yours are attractive too.
Me: Okay. I will take a picture with your shoes and my shoes and this stupid thing on the floor of the lobby from Covid days.
These fun times do not require repentance as no prohibited acts were performed during the jolly moments. So there!