For Lent this year

I have given up.



الأناة من الله والعجلة من الشيطان

‘Deliberateness is from Allah and and haste is from the Devil.’

It is the second part of this Hadith which crossed my mind when I in my haste, left my luggage behind.
Note to self: Do not leave big black suitcases unattended in London. People will tell you off.


One of my feel-good pastimes is collecting stunning book dedications.

“This book is dedicated to my children Saadia and Tariq, and to the memory of their sister Shaira (1996-2012). The standard biographies of Muhammad recount that seven of his eight children died during his lifetime. None of the miracles traditional sources ascribe to him impresses me more than his having survived such loss.”

The Lives of Muhammad – Kecia Ali


I live between two continents which despite being incredible in many ways, lacking a single place which I can call entirely my own, is unsettling.

As term ends, the quarterly packing begins, and with it, the inevitable clear-out. Whilst I try and uphold minimalist tendencies, I have accumulated a bank of unnecessary stuff. Morbid it may be, but whenever I pack, the underlying thought in my mind concerns my death. If I were to die before I came back, what would I leave behind. It is this that spurs on my urge to organise and tidy.

So, I order my books and label the borrowed, pile neatly in a suitcase the charity shop goods, work through my paperwork, and mourn for the one who in the event of my death would have to sort through and decipher my grammar notes.



Every time I feel the stirrings of my perceived woke-ness nudging my head up to the clouds, I like to remind myself that I too once pronounced Edward Said as Edward Sed.