I have been hugely neglectful of my blog lately, something I promised myself never ever to do! With good reason though: since London: all has been chaos: let me explain for those of you still listening in!
The trip to London was good, all useless shopping was done, friends were met, dosa was munched, churrian changed: and most importantly, the programme was a huge success by the grace of Allah (SWT).
I was certain it would flop: I was all nerves and fear: so bad in fact were my nerves that we were in Asda only moments earlier having me spew my guts out in the bathroom! But when we reached there I just said ‘bismillah and went for it! though the topic was supposed to be ‘equality in Islamic thought, the presenter tended to focus exclusively on my disability equality and campaigning work. This turned out to be such an unexpected blessing: not only is this the area of work I am most comfortable with, it also seemed to generate a huge amount of interest: more than I ever could have anticipated in fact! I don’t know how many of you managed to check it out, but if you did I’d welcome your feedback: (good, bad or indifferent!).
I must have done something right: as only 2 days later they called me and asked me to come and present some muherram programmes!! I really didn’t want to do this: since returning home, I’ve had a violent attack of food poisoning/gastric flu which I seem unable to shake off completely. Not only that, I couldn’t understand where I would stay, how I’d manage the commutes etc, and with it being so close to Christmas, I was hugely fearful of bad weather high flight prices and what my parent’s reaction would be! After a few short sharp discussions with friends, I was reassured thoroughly and told (quite rightly), that to refuse the opportunity to talk about Imam Hussain (A.S) and Karbala to the world, is a great honour and should not be refused: such things happen for a reason and such opportunities may not come again. Moreover, deep down inside I do pray that these programmes might lead to more structured, continued or sustainable work for the channel. Its not about the money: it never has been! Its to do with having purpose, direction and meaning to your actions, and to the paid work with which you support yourself: nothing would give me more pleasure and satisfaction, than to work for my imam full time, please, please pray for me!
So: with that in mind, I fly off to London tomorrow! This will be a very different muherram for me, (the third I’ve known), and I think this one looks set to be about the will of Allah (SWT) as apposed to the things I try to lead on myself!
Any way, if you want to tune in, the programmes go out between 10 AM and 11 AM daily on Ahlulbayt TV, and I’ll be discussing the following topics:
1. Physical and spiritual preparation for muherram.
2. The Message of muherram: Equality, justice and human rights.
3. Conveying the message of muherram to non-Muslims/misconceptions about muherram.
4. Hijaab, haya and gender segregation.
I’d dearly love your company for a journey of exploration together in to these subjects. Insha Allah on my return, we shall begin a special muherram series here on the blog: a series of perhaps 10 posts discussing various aspects of these months of sorrow. If you are new to what muherram is all about, or if you are just curious, please do check back to read those!
For now, excuse me: need to get back to my packing: wish me luck, offer me your prayers, and join me for the first programme on Saturday, Insha Allah.