Tuesday 7 May 2019

Are we blind to abuse?

Asalaamu Alaykum & Welcome Readers,

It's been a while since I popped in here and shared my thoughts, and with the start of Ramadaan I felt I really wanted and needed to share my musings. Firstly, things have been really crazy with the launch of our travel agency, The Travel Connexion as you may have seen on social media, and of course life continues in between. This meant that we have literally been working 24/7 to get things off the ground, and at the same time I am trying to balance that, my own work, home and family life. So unfortunately the blog took a back seat, but with the start of the fast, which is my time for reflection and introspection, I wanted to drop you a few lines.

My topic may seem a bit heavy for the start of Ramadaan, but this has been something that has been sitting with me for a while. And this post has actually been in draft since January. Abuse comes in many forms, and I have seen it and experienced it in every sphere of my life. What is disturbing is how blind we are to it, and how normalised it has become in our interactions with each other. Rather than talk about the more common versions which we all know without a doubt is abuse, such as domestic abuse, child abuse, emotional abuse and so on, I would like to highlight the more subtle versions which are carried out every day without anyone batting an eyelid. 

My belief, and I have said this many times, is that every single person needs to be treated with respect as a human being first. Therefore any violation of an individual's basic human rights is a form of abuse, this refers to malice, disregard for a person's humanity and feelings and emotional warfare. I refer to emotional warfare, which is actually launching a full on personal attack without having the decency of having a discussion first. I have been at the end of vindictiveness without even knowing the rhyme or reason, and while I am very clear that this says more about the other person than it does about me, I find it totally unnecessary. 
The not so subtle digs in the virtual realm is another form of abuse, where the person dishing it out cannot say or do it in person, and hides behind a screen. Furthermore, slander or gossip (or fitnah which is a serious sin in Islam) is another form of abuse, and strips the dignity of the one perpetrating it, Subgaanallah. Cyberbullying and feeling entitled to the right to tell someone off in a public space causes more harm than good, and has resulted in really dire situations for our youth. Spreading fake news and rallying sensationalism and anger are further ways of violating someone else's dignity, it is even worse if the information has not been verified nor addressed with the individual in question. 
Basically, abuse is perpetrated when one uses power and influence in an underhand way, when one intentionally sets out to harm another in a malicious and venomous manner. I cannot condone this behaviour, and truth is the only panacea for this kind of violation. I am raising young men, future generations of leaders, and to show them that it is OK to stand by an accept abuse would be to fail in my Divine duty to my Creator. It is also not OK to allow abuse to be perpetrated when it is within your power to say or do something, this too is a Divine order

As the month of Ramadaan approached, I found myself in the space of wrestling with this concept. And my guidance came when I supplicated and performed Tahajjud salaah (prayer performed in the last third of night and before dawn) : "Speaking the truth may not be the easy thing to do, but it is the only thing to do to end abuse." And furthermore, I needed to accept that whichever way my Lord has decreed it should happen, I will accept with Grace. I have also had to sit with what my role in any form of abuse is and has been, and to rectify this as best I can. It is not enough to point fingers and say that others are meant to rectify something when I am not prepared to step in and do the same. Accountability starts with me and it is the only way to open the heart to forgiveness. Afterall, I cannot ask my Creator for Mercy or for Forgiveness if I am not prepared to sincerely make room for this in my own heart. 

So as I enter this month, with a clear heart and conscience I will continue to reflect and introspect, and ensure that I engage in the world from a place of truth and authenticity. Knowing full well that whatever I expect on this earth is something I am willing to do myself. 
My motto: "Check myself first."

One of my favourite Hadiths:

On the authority of Abu Sa’eed al-Khudree (may Allah be pleased with him) who said: I heard the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) say, “Whosoever of you sees an evil, let him change it with his hand; and if he is not able to do so, then [let him change it] with his tongue; and if he is not able to do so, then with his heart — and that is the weakest of faith.” [Muslim]

This look was clearly from two weeks ago, and I'm sharing it as it's a piece from the Huemine Image label, owned by my dear soul sister Aysha. This yellow python print piece jumped out at me when I popped into her studio. We've had this conversation around abuse many times, so I felt a little piece of her in this post is appropriate.💛

Outfit Details:

Lasercut Leather top (Old)
Huemine Image skirt
Shoes & Bag (Old)
Ralph Lauren sunglasses
Earring (Old)
Raw Silk Scarf (Old)

Caio for now, 
RuBe xoxo

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