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Posts posted by Zimbabwe

  1. Moose wasn't talking about that though, he was talking about the new age "spiritual but not religious" identity which has become trendy to adopt. Plus, true tasawwuf is to adopt the Sunnah... Like that famous saying went:


    He who is a Faqi without being a Sufi is deficient


    He who is a Sufi without being a Faqi is a heretic

  2. Moose, our interactions:


    Moose: Blurts long rambling dialogue with some question phrases thrown in sporadically. Solicits opinions


    Queen Zimbabwe: blurts out a counter ramble, vaguely - but not entirely related to the first. End on a new random tangent


    Moose: Hmmm yes, I think my first ramble was quite ramble-y. I realise that reading your counter-blurt. Thanks!

  3. Sorry, that turned out a little longer than planned, but it was originally going to be really long lol.


    Also, one more thing: I've really rethought my views of new-age and *feel good* religion as of late, whereas I used to be very dismissive. I think they're genuinely interested in seeing how religion can address some of the ills that people today face. And I think if someone were able to come at that from a more scholarly tradition--as I said before, blending Sufism & modern psychology--there could be something special there. Ideally, it would produce strong believers.


    Yes, but they're not designed to produce strong believers. They're designed to produce "happy" or contented human beings without the commitment of orthodox religion and the heaviness which that carries. They don't want to branch out into scholarly traditions because that eliminates the "feel good" (nafs) and adds a discipline which the untrained nafs would shy away from.

  4. Sorry Moose, I was going to respond to this yesterday, but decided to leave it 'til I had time to do it properly!

    I've been thinking a bit about this, and I had this whole elaborate post I was going to write up, but have decided to scrap that (I'm sparing you all!). Instead, I'll say this: while I have found Sufi teachings (present and past) on tarbiyya very beneficial, I'm starting to realize it could also be lacking. For example, I personally think low self-esteem is a much greater plague of our modern condition than egotism, and yet the way in which the two display themselves can be easily mistaken for one another.

    It could be argued that low self-esteem comes under the bracket of tarbiyya. I can actually also see it having a relation to egotism because your study of the ego can address questions around self-worth, where we draw it from and whether low self-esteem is giving other people's opinions a misplaced emphasis in your life? When it comes to "root causes" of low self-esteem, I seem to be surrounded by people who reference the way they were made to feel by family (particularly parents) growing up. Their idea of who they are in the world and having validation for being an important and valuable human being can be greatly reinforced or hugely stunted by negative comments and attitudes in childhood- arguably the first home of tarbiyya for human beings.

    Much Sufi literature is focused on battling the ego--and indeed the battle is a similar one--but I could see many people being tricked into thinking their problems stem from egotism and arrogance rather than low confidence and poor self-image (which seems to produce a level of self-fixation that can make true religiosity near-impossible).

    I think the tarbiyya should come with a human guide/spiritual teacher. Knowing you well enough will help them prize out exactly where the cause of a person's issues are- the hope being they can be given a tailored "spiritual prescription" for their issues. But like you say, low self confidence is just one example, I can think of sooo many other problems relating to the self (nafs) which could be mistaken for egotism. However, I can also see if you peel back the implications of these problems- they are traced back to the ego. I say this because a carefully trained and self-aware ego would be able to identify and work on these inner issues with the help of a teacher.

    I really wonder whether a solid grounding in modern psychology and traditional Sufism could work wonders. At the end of the day, Sufism really is a form of pre-modern psychology.

    Yes, it depends really where you draw the circles between psychology, spirituality, self, etc. Tasawwuf, at it's core, emphasizes the integrated and holistic nature of the human being- where all faculties should be working in harmony towards a united purpose to produce a person at peace. I feel the calibre of the teachers is something which is a huge factor in the success and failure of the "spiritual wayfaring" of a student.

    I really feel like there's something highly problematic to the field of psychology from a religious perspective--as in, dealing with one's internal state and priorities should be the domain of religion and spirituality, in my opinion. However, I'm not sure many Muslim theologians and thinkers have stepped up to the plate to fill a void, and I would say that is because they have spent most of their time studying spirituality on the ideas of traditional thinkers, and while they might try and adapt those ideas to the current context, they seem to carry actual identification of the ills of the nafs (which I think we are learning are not necessarily universally identical) from eras that were plagued by many of the same, but also different problems.

    I think there's a two-fold almost dichotomy when it comes to the ills of the nafs. I feel like as time progresses we just have different (and often alarmingly extreme) manifestations of the same spiritual maladies. It seems a regular exasperated claim to think "we're at a unique juncture in history", "we have never been confronted with the kinds of problems we see today" or even basic claims like "the challenges of Muslims in the West is something never seen before". A cursory look at history will show that the same and often worse situations have played out and affected Muslims again and again throughout history. Even things like social media, may be unique in that we have never been able to communicate like this before, but the risks to the nafs (and everything else) that this medium affords is traced back to the same primal spiritual diseases which have always existed. I feel personally what is missing more than "bridging the gap" between spiritual thinkers of yesteryear and modern psychology is for people to have a clear understanding of the base nature of our nafs and the components which make us human. Then an idea of how to gain mastery over these things. And like my most favourite quote from Dr Zhivago, to be helped (by a human teacher) "to call each thing by it's right name and put each thing in it's right place".

    On a slightly side point, I'm not sure if you've read (the translation of) Talbis Iblis - Deceptions of the Devil- by Ibn Jawzi? I find it sooo interesting because it is a classic text where he is narrating and then critiquing many of the Sufi practices he sees around him in his own age. And he spares no punches. For example, he writes in one section about the routine practice of the Sufis of his area to starve themselves of provision, but to cook really delicious-smelling food and leave it where people outside could see and smell it so they would think that the Sufis themselves were well-fed. The aim of this was apparently to rid the nafs of riyaa and to purify the person who is voluntarily hungry from being praised for his ascetism. Ibn Jawzi says however, that not only is this practice antithetical to the Sunnah and an extremism- but also, it doesn't actually aid them in their fight against riyaa....since they KNOW they are making others believe they are well fed when they aren't, and this knowledge creeps into their ego and amplifies their self-appraisal as people who have fought arrogance. It was an interesting read.

  5. So part of the initial tarbiyyah (nurturing) training which is apparently given to new students of a tareeqah is simply to pick off various aspects of character and spiritual development. So depending on what you are most personally in need of at a certain time, your Shaykh will "prescribe" something like "do not raise your voice for 40 days" or "pray all your prayers at their earliest times for 40 days"... At the end of which you check on with your progress. If you have "broken" your agreement, then you reset it again for 40 days.


    Many people are actually able to do this on their own (using their own self discipline), but you can see how a Shaykh and personalised advice on those matters would be hugely useful too.


    Ah cool, I'm very interested!


    Have you gone to any of their events?


    Yes, he's part of the Tijani tareeqah and there is a strong base of West African/completely non African Muslims in a certain part of London who regularly invite him round for lectures and talks. He's a favourite during mawlid season too.

  7. Zimpoopweewee-head, do you follow a a schedule of what you're gonna cook on each day and then shop accordingly?


    Yes, when I'm being good and organised- this is one of the best ways to reduce my stress and increase my efficiency in the week. So on a weekend, if I can list out 5-6 different evening meal ideas, then I'll check if we have the necessary ingredients and if not, make a shopping list for the supermarket, butchers or fish mongers (as appropriate). Then if I know at the beginning of the day what I'm making, on my GOOD days, I'll cook lunch and dinner at the same time. And for extra points (and if it's possible with the type of food)- I'll cook dinner for tomorrow aswell and put it in the fridge. It saves a lot of money, wasted ingredients, wasted time and also lets you schedule in advance so you deliberately plan your veggie days, your fish days, your lighter meal days and your "treat"-ish days. So you don't end up cooking the same things 2-3 days in a row because you're out of inspiration. Meal planning is great if you can develop the discipline to do it regularly........and it doesn't require more than 10-15 minutes thought and listing when you sit down for it.

  8. Desis butcher vegetables like no other cuisine "style" I know. If it's a "salad", it's literally shredded onions and a a bit of cucumber if you're lucky. If it's actually meant to be a vegetable starter/main, then it's either fried or cooked to death until it's mush and then coated in a jug full of ghee to completely seal it's demise. In a vegetable curry, you will not be able to tell the difference between the 4 different potential vegetables it contains- neither in appearance, texture or taste.


    I've found the Japanese and general Oriental method of either raw, al dente or 'flash frying' vegetables to be the best for preserving the nutrients, taste and also features of what the actual vegetables actually are.

  9. and yes i will find a way to fit fake wombs into every thread


    Fake wombs would literally rid me of my only superpower.


    in that sense spider is right about 9/11 and you are living in the standard box.


    btw, I am reading the book by that israeli historian and I am developing unpositive opinions on him very fast,


    "Unpositive" is not a word you beeping beep!

  10. Yes I agree with you... Also however this rigidness and inflexibility with uncommon perspectives is borne from a fundamental reserve/fear as a result of ignorance. I don't mean ignorance in a condescending or judgmental way - I mean a very literal ignorance around what legitimately exists outside of the narrow prescriptive lens we've swallowed our whole lives. Many people falsely assume that it's people with little knowledge who veer towards unorthodox interpretations, however its often people who have been on a long journey beforehand which allows them to confidently settle within different views/approaches.


    Good cookware are easy to work with, but are not essentials. We got cheap(est) cookware from Walmart and my wife still can cook to impress.


    Get her on here to pass on hints and tips. And yes, I agree- skillz r skillz and not dependent on the pots and pans :(



    We have an instapot, it's quite worth it. The book that comes with it is a good start. you can set the timer and forget.

    We even made baked chicken in it and it came very nice. There are lots of online resources for pressure cooking things which are traditionally not cooked that way.


    How often in an average week do you use it? I imagine it being useful for stew and saucy-type things (and slow cooking)- but we also grill and oven-bake quite a bit, so I'm wondering if it will be an expensive but redundant purchase. I am so tempted though because I've burnt so many potentially great dishes because I've been too busy/distracted to stand at the stove and watch over them. The last and most sad case was a Malaysian laksa curry I was making where I got the base to PERFECTION. Then I had to run off to break up WW3 and came back to it incinerated like tar. It was almost as sad as GOTF :(

  12. It was a depressing assortment of random, badly-taken pointless images. Now you give it fancy pants names like a FIRASHA dress (lawlz), we're supposed to forget all of that?

    For continuity, why don't you upload some of today's snaps? Do you have an up-the-nose selfie or an accidental photo of your feet?

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