African Minimalism

not the sleek clean-cut concept of minimalism that the West has created – that I actually do admire – I mean the genuine, unpretentious, authentic minimalism.  This is the minimalism that has the power to change hearts, the one that can inspire a soul towards humility, a more tranquil temperament, detachment from materialism, capitalism, consumerism and being controlled by this fleeting world. Genuine minimalism is not supposed to cost more than it would to build or buy a regular home, is that not self-contradictory?

In the midst of the “deprived” resource rich land  of Afro Africa…

He wakes up to a chilly pre-dawn breeze, fetches water from the nearest river with a willing heart.  After he washes his limbs for Prayer, he then humbles his forehead on the grainy dust, leaving an abrasive stamp of inner-peace below his hairline. A day begins with the strongest foundation.

Xhosa landscape and dwelling

abode 3

rural Transkei an African homeland of the old South Africa-taken along the Transkei coast

Morocco

Man pouring the a la menthe from a teapot.

Man pouring the a la menthe from a teapot.

Heartfelt tea-time, green-tea aromas tint the tips of their noses as steam embraces the cold atmosphere.

Khoikhoi dwellings edged by rock border

Hottentot settlement

Little Namaqualand -- Province of Northern Cape -- South Africa

Little Namaqualand — Province of Northern Cape — South Africa

“By the sun and his forenoon radiance; and by the Moon as she follows him; and by the day when it displays him” – the day’s urgency sets in. Bath-time, not the warm soak surrounded by gold-plated taps and misty mirrors the opulent indulge in but a short cleanse that gets the job done – a moment to savour the bounty of fresh water.

Cooking fire in traditional Zulu hut

Cooking fire in traditional Zulu hut Shakaland Zulu Village in Kwa-Zulu Natal region of South Africa.

Cooking fire in traditional Zulu hut
Shakaland Zulu Village in Kwa-Zulu Natal region of South Africa.

With callus coated palms the wood is chopped. Gathered, they hover about the source of warmth, heated pots and illumination. Barefoot children hop and skip about the dusty path ways, as the warrior hunters seek prey around the rocky skyscrapers. A day’s pay consisting of a variety meat and the rest of nature’s bounties to feed the young – the pinnacle of manhood outside of the business suit.

South African Traditional Village

South Africa, Western Cape

South Africa, Western Cape

Tribal style

Handmade bags from Sudan and Kenya

Handmade bags from Sudan and Kenya

Women love beauty, they appreciate arts and creativity; living by what resources the Most High has made available to them, they put their hands to use and create for aesthetics and functionality. Their beauty lies within their spirituality, their dependable roles as nurtures, their intellect and ability to amass knowledge thus building a fortress throughout the community. They are not confined to their sensuality and designer brands – above it they rise and set the standard for womanhood.

LotImg15344After affirming their bond before the Most High, husband and wife build a  home of affection. A man not too proud to give time to his woman, he challenges her to a sprinting race, a gesture to tighten their bond, with her light frame she comes out of the race victorious. An act he adopted from an incident between Muhammad (peace be upon him) and his wife.  “The best among you is the one who is the best towards his wife”, said Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). So he does his best to help in the home, cleaning and mending clothes just like Muhammad (peace be upon him) did.

As the Sun allows the day to broaden towards the remaining Prayers, within the dusty muddy walls lies hidden treasure: Arabic script, on the family’s dry tongues lay Divine recitation. There is no progression without knowledge, strengthening bonds between our relation as brothers in humanity. This Book within their midst commands them to explore and know their surroundings, go beyond their animalistic instinct of feasting on desires and lusts – regardless of their primitive surroundings.

Timbuktu

From its grand mud structures which have stood the test of time and still fulfil their role as centres of prayer and learning, to the collections of scrolls and writings hidden in chests buried under the desert sands, Timbuktu is a treasure of African intellectual and spiritual History.

“From its grand mud structures which have stood the test of time and still fulfil their role  as centres of prayer and learning, to the collections of scrolls and writings hidden in chests buried under the desert sands, Timbuktu is a treasure of African intellectual and spiritual History.” –      Dr Hakim Quick

As the day ends with the alternation between brightness and darkness, “by the night when it draws a veil over him (the sun)“, they near closer and closer towards death – the only certainty. As time eats away at our hearts, we latch on to glossy materialism, famished souls seeking fulfilment in what will perish. We are fooled by the lights – neglectful of our purpose. “That which is on earth we have made but as a glittering show for the earth, in order that We may test them – as to which of them are best in conduct.” , says The Most Gracious, the Especially Merciful. 

Amboseli Masaai Reserve – Manyatta

Kenya. Houses are made of short poles, plastered with mud and dung.

Kenya. Houses are made of short poles, plastered with mud and dung.

Words in Italic are from the Noble Qur’aan, chapter #91:  The Sun.

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soliloquy i used to be

“winds caustic whisper 
a malleable soul times three
not the monologue
(earth used to be)”
 
~zaahidah
soliloquyimage credit: http://www.luxosophy.com

soliloquy
                                                                                                                      image credit: http://www.luxosophy.com

whispers of the accursed one overcome you in ways subliminal,

Death times three: out of earth, in the grave and after The Day or Regret.

Your body lifeless, vulnerable – malleable to One Omnipresent.

“In front of such a one is Hell, and he is given, for drink, boiling fetid water. Death will come to him from every side, yet he will not die; and in front of him will be a chastisement unrelenting” (14:16-17) 

16:48

“A corroding leaf
An intangible sign of existence protrudes below
A shadow – prostrating. “
~zaheedah
 

“Have they not considered what things Allah has created? – How their shadows turn round, from the right and the left, prostrating themselves to Allah, and that in the humblest manner” ~ 16:48

Rope

photo credits - plainmuslimah

photo credits – plainmuslimah

Let the Holy Quran be the rope to our lives

 
“Spring helps intertwine
ayah fuses with the rooh
blooming iman noor”
 
~zaheedah
 
Key
 Ayah – Arabic word for verse/sign.
Rooh – Arabic word for soul
Iman -Arabic word for faith
Noor – Arabic word for light/illumination

Holistic remedies – Honey

I’m all about natural remedies and after reading an Ayah (verse) from the Quran about the healing properties of honey, I was encouraged to explore more on this idea. The remedies I will share here are not for the Muslim, the non-Muslim, the Jew or the Buddhist – they are for the human ♥     

The Ayah reads:

“And thy Lord taught the Bee to build its cells in hills, on trees, and in (men’s) habitations; Then to eat of all the produce (of the earth), and find with skill the spacious paths of its Lord: there issues from within their bodies a drink (honey) of varying colours, wherein is healing for men: verily in this is a Sign for those who give thought”

{Quran 16:68-68}

I will begin with remedies of mild ailments then will share remedies of more severe ones at a later stage.

1. Pimples

3 Tbs of honey and 1 tsp of cinnamon powder paste. Apply before sleeping and wash off next morning with warm water. If done for 2 weeks, pimples are removed and skin is kept fresh and soft.

Tried this personally and it really works SubhanAllah!

2. Colds, coughs and sinuses

Mix 1 Tbs of luke warm honey with 1 tsp cinnamon powder, take for 3 consecutive days.

3. Toothaches

Make a paste using 5 tsps of honey and 1 tsp of cinnamon powder, apply on the aching tooth 3 times daily until pain stops.

4. Indigestion

Before food, take 2 Tbs of honey sprinkled on top with cinnamon powder. It relieves acidity and digests the heaviest of meals.

5. Upset stomach

Honey taken with cinnamon powder cures stomach ache and also clears stomach ulcers from the root.

6.Hair loss

Apply hot olive oil ie. zaytuna oil 🙂 , 1 Tbs of honey, 1 tsp of cinnamon powder before a bath. Wash after 15 mins. Also found effective if kept for only 5 mins.

7. Skin infections

Eczema, ringworm and all types of skin infections are cured by applying honey and cinnamon powder in equal parts on the affected areas.

8. Bad breath

A very common ailment, most people are embarrassed to talk about.

Gargle with 1 tsp of honey and cinnamon powder mixed in hot water. Breath stays fresh throughout the day.

*Please not that all remedies here are not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Credits: Islam4U Muslim Directory Guide.