Tag Archives: Love

Notes To Self

Dear Ruqaiyah, this moment you’re in right now, this is the moment to do something. To start something. Stop waiting for tomorrow, next week, or next month. Start now.

Dear Ruqaiyah, happiness is here. Right here, where you are now. It’s not a destination you need to reach ‘someday’. It’s not some place you need to travel to, or arrive at. You simply have to be here, now; you simply need to breathe in, breathe out, and remember your Lord. Here, now. Be happy.

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Writing by the ocean. I call this happiness.

Dear Ruqaiyah, it’s been done before, it’s been said before, all the stories have already been written before. But don’t let that stop you. Do it, say it, write it. Find new ways, or do it the good ol’ fashion way. Just do something. Because if we stop, what is the point anymore?

Dear Ruqaiyah, we are all good and bad and beautiful and ugly and everything in between. Each one of us. At any given moment, we can be our best selves or our worst selves. See it all, and embrace it. Don’t judge it. But always try to be your best self.

Dear Ruqaiyah, keep on trying. Keep on fighting, loving, searching, hurting. Keep on feeling, keep on laughing. Keep on messing up. But be sure you keep on learning from it and growing. Keep on.

Dear Ruqaiyah, find your people. Find the people who will take the time to know you, those who will pay attention. Remember to pay attention to them too. Find the people who will pray for you even when you don’t ask them to or when you don’t see them for a while. Pray for them too (and for everyone else, but more for them — because, well, they’re your people). Find the people who will understand your laughter, those who will join in. Find the people who will listen closely. Be that person too.

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A Strong Woman

Hi there. Hello.

Just yesterday I peeked over in my Poetry folder on my laptop and I realised that I had no poems to show for 2015. Gasp! This year, so far, has been odd. I feel like I’ve been on pause since the December holidays. I haven’t yet figured out how to press play. And that is reflected by being over 4 months into the year with no great emotion to show for it. (Great emotion = Poetry).

How boring, right? An emotion-less 4 months, stuck on pause.

So just a couple of hours ago, without me having asked for it (I promise I didn’t ask for it) some emotion came to smack me in the face. And so I have a poem. Yay. I think. Or not yay. Nay.

So here’s my first blog post for 2015 (and in over a year). And my first poem for 2015.

Strong Woman

by Ruqaiyah Davids

Yeah, I want a man I can love.

But I also want a man who will love me:

I want a man who will love my strength,

Even while he accepts my weaknesses.

I want a man who loves that I have an opinion,

And yet never feels threatened in his dominion.

I want a man who loves my sarcasm and wit,

Because, honestly, without it, I’d too easily submit—

And I’d really just be a counterfeit.

The thought of it makes me too sick to admit.

I want a man who loves that I use correct grammar.

Yes, I’m that nerd who texts with correct spelling.

And punctuation.

And I capitalise proper nouns.

But let me just announce:

Correct language use is by no means an obligation.

The absence of it, a mild irritation, yes.

But a well-spoken woman should not call for arbitration.

I want a man who sees that I am strong.

You had me doubting whether it belonged—

Does a woman’s strength put a man under threat?

No. You were wrong.

A strong woman still knows how to duet.

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P.S. This poem is sort of a sequel to another poem I wrote quite a while back: A Man I Can Love. A continuation of the conversation, you could say. See below.

A Man I Can Love

by Ruqaiyah Davids

I want a man I can love.

A man whose love for me

Was decreed by our Lord above.

I want a man I can trust,

A man who I’ll want to respect and honour,

Not because I ‘must’,

Or because obedience to him

Was upon me thrust,

But because he respects me

And honours me,

And deals with people in a way that is just.

And because, above all that,

He respects and honours the Words of our Master,

And this will make my heart beat a little faster.

 

I want a man I can learn with,

Someone to hold hands with.

Let the man

To whom I’ll give my hand

Be a man I can laugh with.

I want the little things,

And from this,

Love begins.

And with it,

Rahma and Mawaddah

From our Lord it brings.

 

I want a man who will lead me,

A man who will accept me.

One who will guide me,

Protect me,

And lovingly correct me.

 

I want a man who makes mistakes sometimes

And is willing to take some time

To admit when he is wrong.

One who doesn’t always try to be strong

All on his own,

But allows me to come along,

Stand by his side,

And be his partner,

Lifelong.

 

He should be a man with a beard—

Now wait,

I know you might think that’s a little weird,

But, even though I want a man who will love me,

I want him to love our Prophet

SallAllahu ‘alayhi wa Sallam

More than he does me.

I want that love to show on him,

In the way that he dresses,

And the way that he moves.

The way that he loves me,

And the choices he may choose.

It should be the means by which

Our life together improves.

 

I want a man I can grow with,

Someone I can sow with

The seeds of our trees

In the Gardens of Jannah.

 

I want to fall in love.

Just once,

Just him.

Forever and ever.

 

Amin.

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Are you a strong woman? Do you know a strong woman? Share your thoughts with me below.

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NaPoWriMo Day 12: Words Left Unsaid

This is a poem that I started a long time ago, but I didn’t finish it. I guess the things that I had difficulty saying were just as hard to write, even when I knew they were just between me and my computer screen. But today, NaPoWriMo’s prompt was to “write a poem consisting entirely of things you’d like to say, but never would, to a parent, sibling, child, teacher, roommate, best friend, mayor, president, corporate CEO, etc.” And then I suddenly remembered! I have an old unfinished poem about this same thing! Let’s go dig it up and finally finish that thing! And so with renewed inspiration and courage, that’s what I did. And here are some of the many things that I wish I could–but probably never would–say to the people in my life.

Words Left Unsaid

When you hug me and squeeze me tight
it really just does not feel right.
I hate the way you smooch my cheek!
Please stop doing it!
It makes me want to freak!
(And I’m dreading seeing you on Monday—
it will be post my birthday
and I just know one of those kisses is coming my way.)
I can’t stand the way you hover over me—
whatever it is that I’m doing is not for you to see.
Stop asking about my business—
it’s none of yours.

I like spending time with you
and talking to you
and sometimes
I hang around a little longer than I need to
because I like being around you.
I’d like to think that you know how much I care about you,
how much I love you,
but I don’t think I’d ever tell you.
I don’t know how to say the words—
I don’t know if there are words.
But I worry that you don’t know,
and that maybe someday you’ll decide to go.

I get scared sometimes.
A lot of times.

I need to talk to you.
I need you near.
I want to tell you about all the things I fear.

I hate it when you eat my stuff.
That doesn’t belong to you,
and to take it is just rude.
You’re blind
and unkind.
I’m close to losing my mind.

I miss you.
I’m sorry—
—that I said that.
—that I did that.
—that I hurt you.
You hurt me too.
Please forgive me?
I wish I knew how to forgive you.

I feel like I have less of you.

I think you made a big mistake.
But in life we don’t get a retake.
There was too much at stake.
Too many times
I’ve felt like we were too close to the break.
There have been too many nights
when I’ve laid awake.

Sometimes you make me feel inadequate.
And sometimes I hate you for it.
Sometimes I don’t like to be your friend.
I know that it is never your intention to offend
but a bit too often it has happened.
I love you still,
but I sometimes don’t like you.

There are many more things that I want to say.
But perhaps for now—
just like all these things that I’d never say—
I should keep the rest of them hidden away.

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Are there things you wish you could say to someone, but you don’t have the courage? Share with me some of the things you’d never tell your friend, neighbour, sister, brother, colleague… if you dare.

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NaPoWriMo Day 4: A Fine Disregard for Awkward Facts

A Fine Disregard for Awkward Facts

He walks past her

She looks at him

He says nothing

She rages within

She opens the door, takes a peek

He shuts it tight

Too much hate to speak

She looks around

Sees all his things

She knows nothing of it

The absence stings

 

He asks for her help

She is sure a second chance she has been dealt

She hesitates not a second

It is like old when she was beckoned

But redemption is not meant

He came and then he went

Anger in his heart

And pride, the cement

 

They live past one another

Too much hurt to uncover

 

Every word unsaid impacts

Pain attracts

Anger reacts

They live in a fine disregard for awkward facts

There can be no going back

They’re set on this track

 

He walks past her

She looks away

He shuts the door

No forgiveness today

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Share your thoughts with me below.

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NaPoWriMo Day 3: My Sisterhood

Day 3 of NaPoWriMo and I’ve already decided to stray from the daily prompts. I’ve spent the day with some of the amazing women in my life, women I consider as my sisters, my family. I love these women so crazily. So this poem is for them.

My Sisterhood

I’ve written about this before–

Can there be words anymore?

I hear it in our silence,

And when we speak there need be no shyness.

I feel it around us;

When we’re together there is no fuss.

I love these girls,

They’re more valuable to me than pearls.

This is my sisterhood.

When I’m with them I know I am understood.

This is a love that I am lucky to know

And each time I think about it, I cannot help but say, “Woah…”

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Share your thoughts with me below, tell me about who you consider as your family.

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Love, As We Know It

I’ve never before fully understood how love really works. Growing up, I loved my mom, my dad, my sisters and my brother. I loved them because they were my family. I loved them because I had to–as cold as that sounds, it is the truth. I didn’t know what ‘love’ meant, I just fell into it (excuse the unintended pun). Being the last born, I just had all these people in my life, and I had no choice in the matter. Love was compulsory. Even while hating them and fighting with them, I loved them. Later in my life, though, I met some people, some amazing women. And I love them–I love them with a love so strong that, almost from as soon as we met, we stopped being strangers and became sisters. A sister–a woman who I had just met! Can you imagine that? And what’s more is that, this love that I have for them, it’s not the kind of love that I just ‘fell’ into like I did with the sisters and brother I was born loving; this is a love for the sake of Allah. Now, for a long time, this was mind-boggling to me. Love for the sake of Allah. Love for the sake of anything other than ‘I-love-you-just-because’ seemed unfair to me. Why should I be loved for someone else’s sake, and not just because I am great and amazing and loveable all on my own? I was jealous. I’ve always been a selfish person when it comes to love. But do you know what makes this jealousy even more ridiculous? I was jealous of Allah! That is downright laughable! SubhaanAllah (Glory be to Allah). What kind of silly do you have to be to be jealous of your own Creator, the Creator of Love itself? But the only reason that I was jealous was because I didn’t understand what it meant to love and to be loved for the sake of my Lord.

After much pondering on the matter, I eventually understood. To love for the sake of Allah is to love someone because you love Him, it is to love those who love Him and because they love Him. Love for the sake of Allah is not selfish and it is not about the individual, it is not about loving someone because of what that person brings into your life, superficially, or because of how great and amazing and loveable that person might be. Ultimately, it is about loving Allah. If we love Allah, we love those who love Him and those whom He loves, without expectation and without discrimination. A love borne out of a love for Him only strengthens the relationship between two people, and that relationship, in turn, serves to strengthen your love and your relationship with Allah. It is a beautiful cycle, indeed. A love like this ends up being a form of worship, subhaanAllah. Can you imagine that just loving someone for the sake of Allah is a form of worshipping Allah?

So, last night, my love for these women, whom I love as sisters, sent my blood pumping through my body. We met for supper, (almost) the whole gang of us (after each of us being absorbed by our own separate lives for far too long) and it was amazing to be reminded of why I love these women so much, and to be reminded of how indescribably blessed I am to have them all in my life. Our sisterhood was founded on a Divine Love, and it is only because of this love that it works. We’re all different–different personalities, different ages, different stories–but we’re bound by one, single Love.

Abu Hurayra (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Messenger of Allah (may the Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) said:

 “Allah Almighty will say on the Day of Rising, ‘Where  are those who loved one another for the sake of My Majesty? Today, on the Day  when there is no shade but My Shade, I will shade them.'” [Muslim]

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What is your understanding of love?

Playing it Cool

I’m not cool.

There, I said it.

Most of the time, I’m a bundle of thoughts and emotions. I have all these things running through my head; thoughts I want to say out loud, but there’s a voice inside my head that keeps saying, Be cool. And then there are my emotions. Don’t care too much. Okay, you can’t help it if you care that much, but, for goodness sake, don’t let them know how much you care. Okay, cool it with hugs already! Don’t show that you’re upset. Don’t let them know you’re hurting. Don’t hug that hard. Don’t laugh that hard. Don’t love that hard… Just – play – it – cool.

It’s exhausting.

But, like I said, I’m not cool. So, I go ahead and I care a lot about things and people who matter to me, and I try to let them know it, because what’s the point in caring about someone if they never know they’re cared about? And I get upset, I get hurt; I hug hard and I laugh hard (though, still trying to maintain my lady-like, hijabi composure while doing it… uhem…). And… I love hard. Sometimes it ends up leading all the way back to getting hurt, but how do you stop yourself from loving without losing out on all the fun and most amazing parts of loving? And we can’t control how much we love someone–believe me, I have tried (when I was still naïve enough to believe that I could ‘play it cool’).

Sometimes, I still have that little voice in my head telling me to ‘play it cool’ in certain situations, but I shove it away, because, why would I want to play? This is not a game. Life does not have a scorecard keeping track of how hard I hug you in contrast to how hard you hug me back. If I love you, and if I missed you, I’m gonna hug you–and I mean really hug you! And you just better deal with it. And, in addition to giving suffocating hugs, I often say (really) silly things, and ask (really) silly questions. No, I mean, like, really silly. And, back when I was in high school, I used to keep them all in my head, wonder all these weird things only to myself, never letting my thoughts see the light of day. But, now, I’m a little more grown up and I understand a bit more about how the world works, and, with that, I’ve been blessed enough to have friends along the way who laugh at the silly things I say and the silly questions I ask, but love me anyway. And they’re kind of silly, too, so I laugh right back at them.

So, ultimately, I’ve come to learn that life is not about playing it cool. Life (or maybe just one small part of life) is about opening yourself up to being hurt and being laughed at, because that’s the only way you learn to feel, and the only way you learn to laugh at yourself. And I sure do enjoy a good, hard laugh at myself.

And, in conclusion, after all this talk about not playing it cool, I’m not going to play it cool and pretend that I don’t care how many people read this blog, and how many people comment on it. I WANT COMMENTS!! If I didn’t want people’s feedback on what I write, I’d open up a document in MS Word, type all this stuff in there, and save it in a folder on my laptop where I save all my other writings and poetry that I don’t particularly want to share with the world, because I don’t want people’s commentary and feedback on those pieces of myself. This blog, however, is designed for the purpose of people reading what I’ve written, and commenting on it.

So, I look forward to reading your comments 🙂