Day5: Once upon a Spring ((5Days 5Photos Challenge))

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It’s been four years today. Four years since she held me firmly in her hand with hopes so high. Four years since my ink sealed her choice and a dream of a better tomorrow. Four years since the ballot paper made history for the first time in forever, in the jewel of the Nile. Yet today seems ever so distant from that sweet spring day.

They called it an Arab Spring, and what better fit for me to have blossomed. The peoples voices have been heard and the dictator ousted. My role in this play was refetrendum day, when a hasty amendment begged to be approved and over with. Yet she believed in change. She believed in a new beginning, a new beckoning of power by the people for the people in a constitution. Normally, different views are the makes of democracy, yet politics fueled fast a deafening divide. The roots of the ousted were far too deep for a flower like me; it conquered hearts and minds. The people were soon labeled, in templates so demonizing each from their focal lenses. And soon enough the spring was painted in crimson, and burnt in the blazing heat of hatred.

Every man for himself, the unite was broken, and more pacts and deals were made with the fire blight despite common sense and values. They blame my thorns for the blood shed, they say my Spring should have never sprung, they twist the tales and branches, sentence hundreds to be hung. They want to start anew oblivious to the past, but my hope in justice is blooming and my evergreen will last…
In’sha’Allah

Memories of that funny flower pen of mine in a darker note of a conflicting Egyptian reality.

Day4: Swimming Swan ((5Days 5Photos Challenge))

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As you lead the way in our harmonious swim, I look back at the day you were but a hatchling. A tiny fuzz of feathers so full of life. I remember your first swim, your hesitant paddles, and your tracing my every move. Today your confidence is gaining, and the clinging is waning, quite enough to speed the pace, leaving me behind; reassuringly there but independently flowing through the stream. I know you’re not that settled yet, gradually discovering the lake, carefully peeping over your wings to find me nearby.

A milestone for you but more so for mummy, as emotions beyond my words soar inside. They grow so fast, and Spring won’t last, feeling blissful beyond compare. I’m proud to call you my own, not mine to keep, but mine to hold in my heart and release in the wild, into the water, into the wind. I pray I never fail you, and never lose sight of the bounties of this blessing.

I’ll miss that grey ‘duckling’ never ugly in my sight, as joy and wonder takes me in the follow of your first white flight.

Day3: My Deer ((5Days 5Photos Challenge))

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My deer you may be different
As white as winter snow…
My deer they’ll treat you different
And in a way that’ll show…
Some people will take photos
In wonder and in awe…
But deer will just see ‘different’
Is a threat to all they know…

To stand out in the herd
If danger lurks below…
In the shade of golden brown
You will shine and you will glow…
But to every story, perception
Is key to friend and foe…
So don’t you drive away deer
And don’t you scare the doe…

At times you will be tested
As once a time ago…
You wished you’d be the same
As all the deer you know…
But blessings in disguise
Are hard to spot although…
Quite soon enough they’ll realise
You are a ‘dear’ so “beau”

to the sweet white deer I spotted in the park that day, Subhan Allah forever and always

Day2: Baby Shower ((5Days 5Photos))

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Photo taken by Hassan Kassem

Those tiny socks have a whole new meaning. A whole new feeling. As a little kick goes on inside me, my heart jumps. The miracle of life. Subhan Allah.

I can’t wait to meet you, hold you, hug you and cry. Tears of joy, yet maybe there’s some worry too. I wonder if I could ever be worthy enough. If I could ever be grateful enough. Alhamdulillah forever and always.

These past few months have been a transformation, both physical and emotional. I stand on swollen feet I can hardly see, as you block my view in this little bump you are. For once I have only imagined how selfless a parent can be, today, your father and I both know it now for real. “And Allah has made for you mates (and companions) of your own nature, and made for you, out of them, sons and daughters and grandchildren, and provided for you sustenance of the best” this verse rings in my ears loud and true, praise be to Allah, may you be raised in His guidance. Waiting, anticipating, appreciating your grandparents with a mere metre in their shoes. Such a joy, such a journey and such a responsibility.

I sense a new chapter of my life unfold, still to be told. I fear I might not be up to the challenge; and the change might be overbearing. But this is the only constant there is, change. I pray I may get the chance to be around and watch you write your own story, as you may grow out of my arms but never out of my heart.

photo credits go out to my other half, and his wonderful photoshoot in my ninth month… May Allah bless us, guide us, my little family.

Day1: A Date with Dates ((5Days 5Photos))

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Muharram, Saffar, Rabee el Awal…” Khadija could hear that cute voice singing over and over the months of Islam, it was always a bliss to listen to little Fatima learning anasheed. But there was something special today that her mother just couldn’t make out. She decided to take a short break from the chores and walked slowly into the living room to see what her daughter was up to. There she was, reaching out on tippy tip toes, planting those delicious dates in a pattern on the table. Just to get a closer look, Khadija peeked over those tiny curly sunkissed ponytails. “MashaAllah Fatima, what’s this sweetie?”. “Ummi, It’s a surprise! It’s for my date” It was hard to get round that answer with those pearly baby teeth smiling, but Khadija got ever more curious. “Is it someone I know?” She asked, “could you please give ummi some clues?” All Fatima could do was giggle, pointing at her finished work of art, and pausing her nasheed at “Ramadan!”.

There at the table were two number nines as tidy as can be for a six year old, bejewelled in black brown majdool. Of course, a calendar countdown, 99 days to that silver sliver of the holy month. Emotional with cuteness overload, Khadija couldn’t help but feel excited, and embarrassed at the same time. It took her quite a while to realise how oblivious she would have been otherwise to the fact. Time has kept her hands full, blessed really alhamdulillah, but busy. The twins, Fatima’s full time school, her being ‘back to school’, parenting has been a journey to catch up with for both of them. Routines had crept into their normal days once more, that too many Ramadan resolutions slipped through. The spiritual high was not the same, those night prayers of qiyaam were harder to get up to, those pages of Quran were slower to read through. Backbiting was back, and even make-up fast days were just a habit food diet. Not before long, Khadija’s light mood got dimmer, she just wasn’t sure she was ready for the holy month, she wondered if she ever was ready at all.

Catching her mother’s teary eyes, yet not making full sense of it, Fatima squeaked with a smile, “they told us all about it in the Masjid Madrasa; to be prepared for this honoured guest, it only comes once a year you know,” Her ‘matter of fact’ voice was much too wise for her age, but indeed it was a wake up call for her mum. Khadija went from reminiscent to rejuvenated, she shed off that hindering hopelessness, and kissed her positive ray of sunshine. She remembered how the Sahabah (RA) used to pray 6 months ahead that they may blessed to witness the fast, and prayed 6 months later may Allah accept their good deeds. “iyyaka na’budu wa iyyaka nasta’een” “إياك نعبد إياك نستعين” The words rang true in her heart as they do in her ear over 20 times a day, but this time with full meaning, Thee alone we worship and thee alone we seek help . The will to worship, the help to put her heart into a good deed and the barakah of beautifying the soul came from none other than God SWT. And that far end of despair came from Shaytan. Renewed with niyyah, Khadija focused on the big picture, the Creator of this month and the next and the next, and picked up where she had left on those past promises. No more seasonal ups and downs, though they would happen naturally, but it’s as the prophet Muhammad PBUH reminded persistence is key “The most beloved deeds to Allah’s are the most regular and constant even though if were little” [Narrated by Al Bukhari]. By noon, she and Fatima had worked out their project for the month of mercy, waiting, anticipating, little by little, adding up, competing for good deeds to keep each day in a safe diary written by an Angel on her ‘right’, while trying not to keep the Angel on the left half as busy, both Noble Recorders. When the whole family gathered for dinner that night, there was one duaa in mind and in echo: ” Allahuma balleghna Ramadan.”

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=wZza5DVJCw4
an animated episode as a reminder of those meanings, with English subtitles

Many thanks to sister Shaqeena Raheem for nominating me to the “5Days 5Photos Challenge”. I chose a series of Black &White photos to intensify a theme, all photos original and credits to pinkperla 🙂 I would like to nominate sister Fateema Abdullah for this challenge next, should she choose accept it, no pressure. Please feel free to pay both sisters’ blogs a visit through the link, and sharing is caring

Liebster Award

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First of all WOW! I am most honoured and humbled by this award, thanks to the wonderful Shaqeena for her generous nomination http://www.chubbychupz.com. She’s truly amazing with her honest humour and cool character, displayed through her thoughts and words. I am so excited and flattered to be part of this blogging sisterhood; hoping that I may post more miscellanea well worth your reading.

So here are 11 random facts about PinkPerla, aka Ingy,

1. My real name means Pearl in Turkish
2. I’m not Turkish though, I’m Egyptian, yet proud of my alleged ancestry roots.
3. I used to teach to undergrads, then young tweens, and now a full-time toddler masha’Allah… Teachers rule!
4. I’m eager for knowledge; Islamic knowledge of Quran and Sunnah should be my priority inshaAllah.
5. I used to be that geeky smarty pants in school, now I change pants and nappies for the little guy.
6. I LOVE animation movies (cartoons), Disney, DreamWorks, the works. Embracing my inner child.
7. I’m an only child, yet have been blessed with ‘sisters in Islam’ near, far, from every colour and every hue.
8. Being a coastal girl born and raised, I’m sometimes a fish out of water in landlocked London.
9. I’m a shopoholic, especially online shopping.
10. I’m a book-worm; yet not as much as I want to be.
11. “Allah above all & family first.”

And now to answer those cute questions from Shaqeena. Here goes;

Why did you start blogging?
It was a golden advice from my soulmate and from my mummy, to channel out those doubts and dilemmas I had as a first time mum. Between a pass time and a passion, I found blogging both liberating and celebrating words and emotions beyond the 150 character limit, outside the boundaries of that Facebook friend list.
What is your dream career?
Islamic marketing professor, professional and practitioner with an amateur baking business venture on the side. God willing, time permitting and of course family first
Who is your inspiration?
Khadija (R.A) among the best women who have ever walked this Earth. She is an exemplary role model that I can only humbly aspire to, in her faith, her family and her entrepreneurial fortune gained and spent for the greater good.
What would your dream writing office look like?
Big window with a sea view, sunny sands and palm trees; actually the office should be that chaise on the shore 😀
Do you prefer to write in the morning, or at night?
It depends on Hamza’s mood, but normally I’m more fresh in the morning, I might jot down ideas, then edit through the day.
What is your favorite dessert?
CHOCOLATE; chocolate everywhere. Seeing it’s in the questions, I would have otherwise included it in random facts.
If you could pick up and move anywhere in the world, where would you go?
Home is where the heart is; so as long as I have my family in my hands and in my heart we can set wherever, although I’ve been looking forward to a tropical Bora Bora since GCSE.
What is your guilty pleasure?
Charms, those beautiful beads that go on bracelets. I am an addict… It all started on our first anniversary; and now I fall for almost every new collection, silver tones with cute pink details; one for every occasion. But… must… stay… strong… resisting… temptation.
High heels or flat shoe?
Flats, I like to walk comfortably in a simple sandal rather than going barefoot halfway through a wedding 7 inch heel (true story).
If you were to be a color, what color would you be? And why?
Pink; hence my blog name. It is the passion of red with purity of white, in a tone of feminine floral fancy.
Describe your style in 3 words
Passionate, Compassionate, Personal

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My set of questions is for the fellow nominees:
1. What’s your favourite thing about blogging?
2. If you could travel in time; where or when would you go?
3. Who is your favourite author?
4. What is your least likely colour of dress? Why?
5. What is one of your pet peeves? Things that annoy you.
6. Snow or Sun. choose one.
7. What is your most cherished childhood memory?
8. What is your favourite quote?
9. What would be your favourite pet? No limits.
10. What would your ideal CV look like?
11. Describe your inner essence in 3 words.

And the winners/nominees are:
https://mahamuslimah.wordpress.com
https://sister2sisterfillah.wordpress.com
https://memoirsandreflections.wordpress.com
https://mommymuslim.wordpress.com
https://phenomenalmuslimah.wordpress.com
http://muslimgirlinlove.com
http://www.multiculturalmotherhood.com
https://theoutsidermuslima.wordpress.com
https://journalxmuslima.wordpress.com
https://marwaelnaggar.wordpress.com

Alhamdulillah first and foremost, and Thank you 💖.