Some thoughts on Obedience

Bismillah Rahman Ar-Raheem. Obedience is an interesting thing. In the West it used to be considered good, but these days is mostly regarded as bad but with limits. Rebels are revered but the rebel shouldn’t be TOO rebellious in that the rebellion pushes the unseen boundaries of respectable rebellion, the rebel becoming a criminal. For example […]

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What to say?

Bismillah Rahman Ar-Raheem The times are turbulent. Needless to say. There seems to be no end to suffering. Everyone is the injured one. People dying on the streets in cold blood. Death falling from the skies. Each person, government, behind the trigger, behind the button justifying their acts of violence. Who do we feel most? […]

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A Simple Life

Bismillah Rahman Ar-Raheem. Walking away from the comforts of consumer lifestyle is not a step to be taken lightly. Yet people living in cities often tell me when they come to the desert their soul feels something that is missing in their home. There are many things we do without here, which come as granted in […]

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What would you do?

Bismillah Rahman ar-Raheem. Today I am feeling a loss of hope in humanity. When I think of all the suffering that is happening right now, my stomach turns. How can I sit here in my quiet little corner, living in the luxury of peace, of safety. My children have not experienced the terror of bombings, […]

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Portrait of a Matriarch…

A short sturdy lady came towards me. Exuding strength, warmth, kindness, generosity, and an uncompromising self. She smiled greeting me with the booming greetings of the desert. At least 3 minutes dedicated to the ritual. Allah hayki, kaif haliki, shlownki, Al-hamdulilah, Allah maki, Halla ya halla, Allah HAYki. She kisses my cheek, grasps my head, then […]

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The Liebster Award

Thank you very much to dbushra for nominating me for the Liebster Award. I feel honoured to know what I have written has been of some interest, and I am happy to discover lots of great new bloggers out there through this award. So here goes:  dbushra’s Questions: #1: Why did you start your blog? I […]

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Wilfred Thesiger – Across the Empty Quarter

It is characteristic of Bedu to do things by extremes, to be either wildly generous or unbelievably mean, very patient or almost hysterically excitable, to be incredibly brave or to panic for no apparent reason. Ascetic by nature, they derive satisfaction from the bare simplicity of their lives and scorn the amenities which others would judge essential. Although, on the rare occasions that offer, they eat enormously, I have never met a Bedu who was greedy. …. Bedu set great score by human dignity, and most of them would prefer to watch a man die rather than see him humiliated.

Always reserved in front of strangers and accustomed on formal occasions to sit for hours motionless and in silence, they are a garrulous, lighthearted race. But … they can become uncompromisingly puritanical, quick to frown on all amusement, regarding song and music as a sin and laughter as unseemly. Probably no other people, either as a race or as individuals, combine so many conflicting qualities in such an extreme degree

Across the Empty Quarter – Wilfred Thesiger, 2007, Penguin.p.46-7. This short book consists of extracts from the novel: Arabian sands, 1959

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