Sunday, November 17, 2013

Spiritual Friday: Giant Pears Remind Me of Rehab Al-Buri

Hello All!! I know it's not Friday, but I didn't want the week to pass without at least one spiritual reflection post, especially since it's been a long while since I last posted a reflective post. What sparked today's reflection was a giant glass pear I've been spotting for the past few months. Have you ever seen a giant decorative glass pear? Does it make you think of anything in particular? Probably not, but for me it does.

When I first stumbled, and continued to see these glass pears at the store I would think of two things: wooden pears from Target and Rehab Al-Buri, may Allah have mercy on her soul. Rehab's name is an Arabic word, it is not the English word that means 'to get better'. Coincidentally though, she was a cancer patient who was trying to get better. So she started a blog called Life in Rehab. Clever lady from the start! She was also an aspiring journalist and a "young Muslimah trying her best".

An assortment of glass pears and a pumpkin for a hint of extra temptation lol.

I stumbled upon her blog less than a day after she passed away. I was heart broken to see her go, but happy to catch a glimpse of all that she learned from her journey. She reminded me that as a human I will struggle with temptations, but it's never too late to start working on those temptations. She learned to be patient and not complain. She was an epic reminder of how short life is and used her short time to reflect on EVERYTHING in her life. She shared one of her struggles with shopping in her post, Hijab Swap, which stuck with me forever. 

"By far, my biggest offense occurred several months before my surgery when I told my husband I was going to Target to buy a few essential items...and that's what I was doing, until I stumbled upon this giant wooden pair [sic] in the kitchen aisle. The little shopping monster in me (aka my nafs) ordered me to buy the good-for-nothing giant pair, [sic] and I followed the orders obediently. Needless to say, my husband had a ball teasing me about how "essential" giant pears are- I couldn't say anything because, as creative as I can be, I couldn't think of a single use for it."
The giant glass pear that always reminds me of Rehab.

"I think for a long time, I took the habit of needless buying lightly, as if it was just a fun little quirk I had. But slowly, I allowed myself to be consumed with consumption. I was on a mission: I needed to find the perfect throw pillows, then I needed to find the perfect throw, then I needed to find the perfect luggage set. My life became a never-ending shopping list. Just as soon as I attained one "perfect" item, another shot up in it's place. How did I let this happen? How did I allow what I owned to become part of my identity?

What a wake-up call, don't you think? It's so easy to be a slave of consumerism especially when we grow up in such a consumer society. I mean sales left and right, and coupons and specials. That giant pear was 25% off! But you know what's better than 25%, 50% or even 75% off? 100% off. Meaning don't buy it at all and you'll save 100% of your dough! lol. 
Rehab continued with...

"“Doomed is the slave of the dinar, doomed is the slave of the dirham, doomed is the slave of fine cloth and doomed is the slave of velvet. If he is given something he is pleased and if he is denied, he is angry. Doomed is he!...” said the prophet (PBUH). I had allowed myself to become a slave. After reality came crashing down on me I saw what little good all my stuff had done for me. I looked upon most of my stuff with disdain, realizing how much time, money and mindshare it had all occupied.""

That last sentence really left a dent in my brain and I always keep it in mind when I go shopping now. I hope you don't take this as a judgement on your actions, but more of a stimulant for reflection or questioning of the true "need" of the things we buy. I love home decor and interior design, but I don't want to be sucked into the superficial aspect of it. The best part of DIY is finding things I already have in my home and altering them into something new for as cheap as possible. It just doesn't make sense to spend so much money be it one lump sum or an accumulation of small costs, on things that don't have much purpose. 

"It's so liberating now to go to the store and know that the nice things I see cannot tempt me. I try to make my purchases very deliberately, and when the new spring line at Pottery Barn rears it's pretty little head, I tell myself something Ali ibn ibi Talib (and one of my best friends taught me), "يا دنيا غري غيري " or roughly, "Oh world, go tempt someone else!"'

I love the quote she shared by Ali Ibn Abi Talib and just like Rehab, I feel so liberated when I can look at something I like, don't necessarily need, and walk away without purchasing it. Now maybe you'll remember to buy less every time you see a wooden pear or in my case, a glass one :o) 

Read the rest of her post, Hijab Swap to find out how she "freed herself" from all the stuff she felt weighed her down. 

Thanks for stopping by, but if I could ask you to recite the Fatha on her soul or say a little prayer that God have mercy on her soul I'm sure she as well as her entire family would appreciate it! 


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