Sabr

Sabr or patience is something I often struggle with. Not because I am always impatient but because I struggle with how people define it and as a result what they say people should do in situations that require you to be patient.

Yes patience means that we endure the hardship without complaining about why you have been put through this, it’s a test from Allah and we all know the ayah that speaks about hardship. We are never given hardship without also being given ease.

“Verily, with hardship there is ease.” Quran (94:6)

But what I find astounding is how many people use that in situations of abuse, of someone living in a toxic environment. I have even heard people say that a person should patiently live in an abusive situation. It is something I often hear directed at women, stay and be patient, do it for the sake of the children. And I could never wrap my head around this. Why should she stay? How is staying equated to being patient?

Sabr is one of the greatest virtues to have as a Muslim, we all know this but sabr is not suffering in silence.

I think one of the reasons is that we forget that sabr is much more than patience, it also means endurance, perseverance and persistence. To know when to respond and when not to respond. Arabic is a much richer and complex language than English so words can lose some of their meaning in translation.

So sabr is not passive, we aren’t supposed to just stay in that situation that is toxic or abusive, it means we stand firm, that we take action to change our situation. So to take action, to stand firm, we need sabr, so we can persevere.

It reminds me of the hadith:

The Prophet (saw) said: Whosoever of you sees an evil, let him change it with his hand; and if he is not able to do so, then [let him change it] with his tongue; and if he is not able to do so, then with his heart — and that is the weakest of faith.” (Muslim)

This is how we should respond to abuse, and that means that if someone brings up the courage to come to us and say that are being abused we should take action. We should help them get out of that situation, not tell them to be patient.

It makes me so mad when I hear of situations where women aren’t given support and told to just endure it, using children to shackle them to the abusive husband. It goes against what we are taught and it will not benefit the wife or the children. How can children grow up safely in an abusive environment and how can that be better than living with a single parent but safe?

Sabr is not standing still. Sabr is not being passive. Sabr is the endurance necessary to make the change needed to move one step closer to where Allah wants us to be. – Yasmin Mogahed

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The Hate U Give Book Review

Hey guys so I wanted to share a book with you all that I read recently called The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas.

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To say I loved this book is an understatement! This book is a YA contemporary book inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement.

It is a brutally honest, heartbreaking book but is something that is so needed in today’s society. It was inspiring, insightful and empowering for all those who read it.

We all know what is happening in America regarding the Black Lives Matter movement and this explains everything so well. It follows a 16 year old girl called Starr who witnesses a police officer shoot her friend Khalil. From that we see from her point of view the way people react, how it’s portrayed in the media and what she and her family go through in the aftermath of this event.

The characters are so relatable and well fleshed out that you can’t help but feel for them and being muslim I can totally relate to so much of this book. There are assumptions and prejudices made about me because I wear I cover my hair. People think I’m uneducated, just there to serve my oppressive husband or even that I am a terrorist. But I’m none of those things but there are people who never see who I am because they never look past the scarf on my head. And like Starr I feel I can’t truly be me in front of certain people.

This book discusses police brutality, it discusses the oppression and prejudice that black people face and so much more. It is an eye opening read and I recommend everyone to read this book.

*This part is a bit spoilery*

One part of the book which really stood out for me was a conversation between Starr and her dad about why her friend was shot. Another part which was so well written was how people dehumanised her friend because he was suspected of being a drug dealer so in many people’s eyes it was justified. There are so many important scenes in this book, another part is how Starr is conflicted between how much she fears the police and the fact that her uncle is a police officer.

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I also had the pleasure of meeting the author Angie Thomas at a book signing and she is honestly such a lovely person. This book is something so close to her heart as she grew up in a similar environment to the main character of the book and she wants more people to widen their perspectives. This was her way of fighting the oppression.

The only part of the book I didn’t like was the swearing, it’s a personal preference that is something I dislike in all books.

If you have read this book do let me know what you think!

What’s the point of having a voice if you’re gonna be silent in those moments you shouldn’t be?