Me Handling Me…Amidst Teaching Crochet

Today I went into a community center to teach crochet. Three students awaited me with happy, smiling faces full of light on couches. I rushed to be on time for them–I only had a few minutes to spare and couldn’t be late after that post. You know the one. They followed me into the room. A woman came in with them who wasn’t signed up for the class. She had no knowledge of a crochet class going on. But she sat down, paid for the class, a hook, two skeins of yarn, and learned the craft. Another student came in a little late, but got right to work quickly and it seemed to be logical for her. I had one student working on a pattern, and the rest were all absolute beginners, but they all learned to make a slip knot, chain stitch, and single crochet today. While I may have to reteach some stitches, I can’t imagine spending my Saturday mornings without these ladies. I pray they stick with crochet–I think it can be a little frustrating in the beginning, especially when your teacher can’t be one-on-one with you during the whole class, but I pray that I did them and the craft justice and that they’ll stick with me through it all…pregnancy brain and all (man, was I chewing some words up!). Overall, I’m amazed…at their drive, timeliness, and ambition to enter my world…a world that is as much in the past as it is in the present and future. A world that too few dare to enter. They are right on time.

Sr. Halima, I handled me. They handled them. And we handled some crochet stitches with smiles amidst the furrows in our foreheads! And what I’m thinking now is the possibility of the fruition of an idea that I’ve held in the back of my head and my heart for a long time…maybe this can be our Zaynab’s Circle, a circle of sisters crocheting together for charity in the example of Zaynab ibn Jahsh…but first I need crocheters. I know, I know…my high hopes…I’m getting ahead of myself, but if all goes well…hey, why not? No one’s committed to the idea but me…yet…so I can’t make any fuss…yet….:)

The Seventeen Benefits of Tribulation, Milk, or H.L.M.

Image courtesy of iLookiListen blog

I’ve been yearning to write this post all week to you, but alas, there was no time. I still needed a little self-help after last Saturday, so I started listening to Hamza Yusuf’s The Seventeen Benefits of Tribulation audio lectureI believe I’ve actually heard this lecture before, but it all sounds new to me now, and I just had to share with you the little bit that I heard the other day on our car ride…

The lecture is actually from a booklet that “Sultan Al Ulema” ‘Izzudin AbdelAziz bin Abdus-Salaam Sulaymi (Egyptian scholar, died in 660 AH) wrote to point out the benefits of having tests and tribulations in one’s life. He was actually a kind of anomaly, mashAllah, as he was a master of both the Shafii and Maliki madhabs, (Usually scholars are masters of only one school of thought in Islam). But to get to the good part, Hamza Yusuf breaks down some Arabic terms that totally opened my eyes. I’ll let you draw the connections before I tell you…just look at these definitions, all from the same root word…

Haleem=person who has forbearance

Hilm=intellect

Ahlam=intellect/dreams

Halama=nipple

Halim=dreamer

Hamza Yusuf then questions the audience about why they think these words are connected. Somebody out there was smart enough to figure some of it out, and Hamza Yusuf gave us the rest. The man of intellect is someone who has forbearance…stability. Intellect stabilizes you as it helps you not to get easily disquieted or disturbed. A person cannot dream in a state of disquietude. Dreams need a state of quietude…of stability to occur.  And what do nipples have to do with anything? Well, they are the source of quietude for children. Babies get calm immediately at their mother’s breast. And here’s the real big one:

Ghowiya=to go astray…actually means the inability to digest milk! Subhanallah!

And being haleem is the hallmark of the Prophet (saws). He did not get perturbed with people. Getting easily perturbed and disquieted is the opposite of the character of the Prophet (saws). I must say that I did dream last Saturday night, so I must not have been that perturbed, but I do perhaps need to work on my forbearance…so that things don’t eat away at me for so long before I get over them. At least I wasn’t mad for three days like other things make me ;P…mashAllah, and my dear Sister Halima is the first one who responded to my venting post. Wow. Smiles. There are signs everywhere. And as Hamza Yusuf says in his lecture, the believer will find good in whatever state he finds himself in as he will find benefit through it and know that Allah is teaching him something through it.

I am not lactose-intolerant. I dream every night. And I will be in class on Saturday morning…inshAllah….

I will let you know how it goes…

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