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In the Name of God بسم الله

Hayy ibn Yaqzan

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  1. Salaam un Alaykum, Lately, I have needed to face up to some challenges & demons which have been affecting my Mental Health negatively. Not wanting to dwell on the specific details right here & now; I have another related question in mind, which hopefully will help with my decision on what steps I should take next: I would be very interested to hear from you, if anyone is willing to share, your opinion on how comfortable you are as a Muslim (or a person of any faith), in talking about your Mental Health needs with a professional? At present I feel a strong inner conflict brewing, which has at times stopped me from taking action; a choice between reaching out for human advice/help, or in developing trust that Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) is near, and Islam provides the necessary lifestyle and tools to overcome any such problems. The reason why this is a question at all to me, is that on some level, I feel as though the field of 'Mental Health' and Islam, emerge from totally different paradigms. As practical and superficially helpful a counsellor or psychotherapist's help might be to us, should we trust them not to compromise some fundamental Islamic values - like reliance on Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى)? Hope this isn't a downer of a post - and please do take a deep breath before answering, if you choose to. (Maybe make a Salawaat for my sake too )
  2. وَعَلَيْكُمُ ٱلسَّلَامُ , This is so cool! Masha'Allah, it's brilliant to see how your practice is developing - I had very little visibility into Pyrography until you mentioned your kit here. I've seen work done with fancy Laser-Cutters before, but they don't have the same charm & heart, that you bring by doing something by hand. I wonder, did you use your Brown Paper drawing like a transfer/stencil for the design? Or was this a freshly drawn piece? Definitely, as an Artist, when you do something that uplifts you and gives you joy, by expressing your faith, it's going to hone your skills at the same time. Those skills could come to be a route to Rizq / sustenance & income for you in time. Wishing you success & steadfastness Keeping an eye out for your ongoing journey
  3. Alhamdulillah, Masha'Allah, How could I not be grateful, that by Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى)'s grace & permission, (to the best of my knowledge); My limbs are responsive & under my control, My tongue & mind are unimpeded in communication, My eyes & ears allow me to witness to the signs that he has sent for me to consider. I mean, these are some of the basics - but I'm really glad that you've prompted me to remember these tonight. I have not been tested with involuntary disconnection from a community of Muslims, or from Family - which is a significant fear that I have. Insha'Allah, we are all protected from this, unless it leads to some better path for us, in the eyes of Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى). I have not been tested with significant discomfort or isolation. Shukran'Lillah. Even while I am not deserving of his mercy; he is himself worthy of showing it to me. Astaghfirullaha Rabbi Wa Atoobu Ilayh.
  4. I would be really interested to see your interpretations of those things you mentioned! and please do preserve your works of ballpoint on brown paper bag. Maybe you can keep them safe in a private folder, or sketchbook? To me at least, I consider these really beautiful. There are other creatively inclined people I can think of who would gain inspiration from these too - even though (and maybe because of the fact) they seem so temporary, raw, fragile and 'off the cuff' - straight from your heart & mind, onto the brown paper. The idea of 'biblical themed trading cards' resonates closely, to how many imagine the standardised "Tarot" was compiled. But with the Tarot, there is a different philosophical tradition, often one that we don't agree with as Muslims, but certainly interesting as a topic of study. I find your fresh approach really preferable - and the way in which you are more interested in showing a 'non-figurative' image i.e. no images of humans. You mentioned that this is because of the constraint you feel in 'not being able to draw people or animals' - however, it's exactly this limitation that makes your images so interesting. Especially when you consider the many Muslim artists through time, who felt similarly constrained - often because they did not want to attempt to depict something that only Allah(سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) had a right to fashion. Thank you for sharing these, I find your work really interesting.
  5. Wa Alaykum Salaam, Your posting of your concerns on this forum, really says something! (That's my initial thought). Alhamdulillah, so glad to hear that you've been accepted into Medical School, and that it was something that you were hoping for! Masha'Allah - surely you must be in the position you are now in, for a purpose? (Also just want to take a sec. to celebrate your achievement & Allah ((سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى))'s support for you to get here- sometimes we don't celebrate our youth & Ummah enough when they achieve something so positive, and recognise that it would not happen without Allah's (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) express permission). InshaAllah, you will continue to get good advice, from great mentors - as long as you seek it. As for what I can say, from my humble corner & little bit of experience: You sought out after a goal, and you reached it. What happens going forward is still entirely your choice, as long as Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) permits it. Whether that means that you will seek to strengthen your confidence, and build calmness within, and a voice that knows you are capable of handling this path. Or if you keep alert to that inner, vigilant voice, telling you that there is a challenge ahead - but you do not let it take over you and waste your efforts. Remember that Doctors are simply servants of Allah - like all professions. In our lives, we put our talents, skills & Halal desires/ambitions to good use, to please our Lord best. There will always be lessons along the way! (and you have plenty of time insha'Allah, and evident capability to face them) Wishing you every success & steadfastness in Imaan & purpose, in service of the Almighty one, by tending to his creation. You got this. And He's there for you whenever you feel you don't - to pick you back up.
  6. Those interested may appreciate this talk by the Sheikh, given to a mostly Shia-identifying audience, during Shahre Muharram. The detailed style of speech does require one to be attentive & awake, in order to follow it (a soothing & detailed lyric, one of the virtues of being a British academic). My observations & appreciation mostly comes from noticing the large amount of work that he has put into cultivating an 'authentic Anglo-Islamic tradition' (paraphrasing here) - and I'm not so well read on his theology or other views. Hope this is informative & useful.
  7. اللّهُمّ صَلّ عَلَى مُحَمّدٍ وَآلِ مُحَمّدٍ وَ عَجِّلْ فَرَجَهُمْ Allah Humma Salle Ala Muhammadin Wa Aal-e-Muhammad, Wa Aj'jil Faraja Hum Oh Allah! Send Your Blessings to our Prophet Muhammad and his Ahlul Bayt and Hasten the Faraj. My thanks to Sister @Hameedeh for bettering my understanding of the Salawaat, a long time ago.
  8. Salaamun Alaykum, The way you flesh out a scenario for consideration, I find quite useful, and helpful, when approaching economic & social behaviour questions. It brought my mind back from the nebulous abstract principles being discussed, into a more practical frame; so you have my thanks. I haven't been in the Crypto/DApp/DAO space for a while - but to my understanding and knowledge - you're exactly right in your scenario. There are real, known, and well understood disparities which are inherent and currently unavoidable for Decentralised Technologies - Even though arguably, the fundamental principles and ideals for these projects is to flatten hierarchies and uneaqual power structures found in 'meatspace' (IRL). I'm not inclined to say that it's doomed to repeat the same patterns of every preceding idealistic technology designed by humans - but it is sensible to approach it with caution, and care, which sometimes gets thrown out the window when someone overzealous only sees one side of the opportunity. Promotion, marketing, adoption, public trust etc. leading to monopolies; does pose significant ethical questions (as being raised with projects like FB's Libra) - but even before you get to that stage, there's fundamental disparities between crypto projects, like sheer computing infrastructure, development time & skill, efficiency & governance structures. Keep in mind that 'blockchain' originates as a project from deep within very specific internet subculture, and debatably has a lot of ideology built into it's function (whether this is compatable with Islamic Values is a matter of even further debate). Also that it's uses are not limited to Cryptocurrencies, but can extend into providing more individual autonomy in a wide range of applications; Public Utilities; Property Ownership; Public Governance Strutures; Community Coordination;... Ultimately I can sumamrise my thoughts as: You're certainly wise to not jump on the hype, make careful criticisms and analyse how things might develop. I'm glad it's been raised in this thread, where we consider how methods of exchange & the power structures we live in as Muslims, can be navigated to please our creator (however close to the heart, or lightly this is taken - it will be different for everyone). I'm not sure that overall, in wider Islamic discourse, I see much serious time being given to considering the nuances of Decentralised Tech's. which is slightly worrying since; a) Muslims could stand to benefit hugely, as minorities in many parts of the world, by having more autonomy and say over how their services & governance are run. b) part of Muslim heritage is pride in serious scholarship, to delve into big questions, and sometimes mind-boggling fields which stand on the cutting edge of knowledge. It doesn't seem right to neglect this, just because a field feels trivial, or dubious. I welcome any corrections/observations from those who are more knowledgable & experiences - or just equally interested, Alhamdulillah
  9. Out of Iranian Cinema, the only feature I remember having seen is Taxi Tehran by Jafar Panahi It was a lot of fun - and while it isn't necessarily Theological in its content - it is an interesting social commentary on life as a filmmaker in contemporary Iran. If you're looking for high-production value film/TV with Islamic themes - but you're not picky about the nationality, I can enthusiastically suggest the "Yunus Emre" & "Dirilis: Ertugul" series, made in Turkey. (I wrote a mini-review in another thread, here)
  10. Not really playing anything on a regular basis anymore - but I kinda want to be... I suppose I'm feeling a bit alienated by all the current gaming experiences that I'm aware of (except weirdly maybe the Civilization series? ) It could just be that life at the moment leaves little room / justification for spending time on virtual worlds and playing in cyberspace; But I also have a niggling feeling that if there was a title or experience available, that did resonate much more strongly with where my thoughts are in life right now - then I would totally be dedicating more time to it - and recruiting friends to join me. Anyways. Nothing suitable out there that I can see right now - so either I upskill and get off my ass to work on making the Game that's missing in my life; or just find another hobby. On a related but not exactly matching note- I have been watching a lot of "Extra Credits" recently.
  11. I would really like to understand a variety of views on this topic; I think that this might be one of the core ideas that we grapple with, day to day, as Muslims. For sure there are individuals through history who have been able to discuss this with more eloquence & depth than I have put forward - but this phrasing of the question seems significant for our contemporary context. Some views that immediately come to mind (although there are many more than these): A) Self-Interest is a natural & emergent part of human nature and the way we have been created (Fitra) - so there is no issue with acting in Self-interest on every occasion. B) Our individual desires & needs are less imperative to the needs & desires of the collective society. It is always better to behave in a way that serves our social authority (Government). C) There will always be a struggle throughout existence, between the Individual & the Collective - it is necessary to serve both, but neither will ultimately be totally content. D) The most urgent imperative is to serve the Moral Authority (God), however individuals will always differ on their interpretations of how to do this, so there will never be a true understanding of cohesive society. Do you agree or disagree? How far would you agree and with which parts? Would you combine any views differently? Do you have any recommended reading / listening / watching / art / thought experiments for me?
  12. I think that there's some good advice to really take to heart, from some of the earlier answers; If I was to make an observation on your elaboration of the situation brother @SeekingHeaven - Life at the moment, as you're experiencing it does not seem to have a lot of Love in it. (Although you yourself may have a great capacity for love). Intimacy & connection is natural and vital - connection between brothers, family, friends. Being able to look around you in life and say "Alhamdulillah - I am pleased with this solidarity that my Lord has provided me with". In that intimacy, we also learn how to be a loving servant, and come to know Allah ever better. Experiences that I know of, that involve a struggle against Zina (sexual gratification outside holy & sanctified marriage); almost have the act being a like a simulation of Love - a tempting way to "fill the feeling & need" without strings, or without making one's self Available for a committed marriage, in a full way. Sometimes even filling in for lost intimacy between family & platonic friends - because the brain chemistry of trust is similar. Honestly I think that distraction from the urge is sensible - just as willpower building, self-work & exploring the depth and unknown vastness of spiritual existence is wise. However, just from my observation & experience, it is intimacy and love in your life - opening up to deeper & meaningful, honest relationships. Escaping isolation, by finding closeness with those who share your beliefs - that is being tested & will save you. When you find yourself failing - you're conscious - up against the wall so to speak - Shaytaan's looking at you, you're looking at him, fists drawn & done wrestling. You're looking up at your Lord and thinking "You'll forgive me right?" - and you know that the inevitable answer is "Yes" (inshaAllah), if you make it to Tawba... But you know that it will cause disappointment if you do disobey - to Him, and to you, and possibly your future partner, and for all everyone if you're uncovered, when you're seen on Judgement Day. My view is that it's helpful to imagine that, & look back from that point in time and consider; what could I have done to redirect that urge? To have used it for something Halal? To have pleased my Lord in that moment instead? My apologies if this seems rambling, or unrelated - please remember me in your duas - as we know that the struggle is familiar across mankind, May Allah protects us all & guide us to each other, in good community & loving relationships, in His name, Salaam Alaykum!
  13. Wa Alaykum Salaam, I have the feeling that the English phrasing in the passage is accidentally ambiguous and can be unfortunately read in different ways. My understanding would be that it should be read as: That is to say that in 80. - it is stated that it is Makrooh to sit for urinating (and other excretion actions) WHILST facing the wind, or on a road side etc. Not to indicate that the sitting is the issue, but that the context and place of the sitting is significant. My reading of 81. leads me to understand that the issue is with the urinating while standing itself. As well as on those materials stated. I hope this reading of the material helps to clarify; I am no scholar - but this reading fits with my upbringing and Islamic education also. May Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى have mercy on us,
  14. I don't know what kind of facilities you have available; From what I understand by anecdotes though, there are huge psychological lifts & benefits, that come with Bouldering / Rock Climbing; As well as the functional strength, resilience & flexibility that you gain. You're reminding me I need to pay attention to my fitness JazaakAllah Khayr!
  15. I find that sometimes the most assertive stance you can take, is one which respects your limits, and the expectations of who you're talking with. This is like, an explorative stance - where you give yourself the gift of time and clarity to make a full reasoned decision with no immediate commitment - and you are also showing the other party what is needed to make things work. It's exactly as the two previous posters @Hameedeh & @AbdusSibtayn demonstrate: Being able to respond with a: "I hear what you're saying, so tell me more about X, Y & Z" Or other more appropriate phrasing - can lead to great results - and open options for you. Just a thought from my experience Hope this helps, WaSalaam,
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