Am I Boring Because I Love Libraries?

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Some of my earliest memories are of my father dropping me and my siblings off at school. On the short journey he would tell us stories and teach us prayers. He has been a practicing Muslim from a very young age. He is small in stature but is a big character with a booming voice and a hot temper. I have learned much from him.

An Intelligent Child at Primary School

The primary school I went to was attended by only Bangladeshis and Pakistanis, I had two close friends who I spent my dinner and breaks with. They are called Khaled and Lutfur, we rarely see each other but remain friends to this day. Khaled was funny, always cracking jokes and laughing and Lutfur was the sensible one, thoughtful and mature. They would listen attentively when I recounted tales about Islamic heroes.

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I remember the head teacher relating stories to us in assemblies. I can recall to this day how interesting her stories were to me. Even at that time, I was quite talented, intelligent and very studious. I recall playing different games at break times, including tag, cricket and football. Now as I look back after the twists and turns my life has taken I appreciate how easy and happy life was during my childhood years.

My friends were addicted to computer games on the now defunct Mega Drive and Gameboy which were popular at the time. They would talk constantly about the latest computer games and Jackie Chan movies. In contrast, I preferred to read. I would get so excited before starting a new book, I still feel like that now. I used to fall ill regularly and had asthma so I would often miss PE and swimming classes. 

“Due to my sister’s influence I grew to love books. “

There was tension between Bangladeshis and Pakistanis even at primary school and fights would sometimes occur. There is still hostility between them because of the 1971 war. Pakistanis feel they were betrayed and Bangladeshis feel like they were oppressed.

Living With My Huge Family

At that time all my family lived together, we were and still are a very close knit family. My two eldest sisters looked after the younger siblings and helped mum to cook and clean. My mum is the most kind and gentle person I know, she suffers from arthritis and other ailments but never complains. She is more concerned for me and my brothers and sisters than for herself.  I have learned the lesson of patience from her.

I have five brothers and three sisters. Due to my sister’s influence I grew to love books. We used to visit the library every Saturday and take out seven books on our library cards. Over the week we would read the books and return to the library the following weekend. I used to get so excited on Saturdays before going to the library. I loved reading about the adventures of Tintin and Asterix and fantasy and science fiction stories.

Family are the closest people to you in the world as they share the same blood, arguments do occur but it is an unbreakable bond. I thank my family for standing by me through dark and depressing times, visiting me in hospital and supporting me financially and emotionally. South Asians have very close knit families, have you been supported by your family through difficult times? Please share. 

I wrote this short poem for my family.

Dear Family

Dear family, with you there I never feel lonely
Over the years, you’ve always cared for me
In hospital and out, even when I used to scream and shout
Love and care, that’s what it’s all about
When I was down, you raised me up
When I was low, you’d lift me up
I am grateful because you’ve been so faithful
You have always made my life happy and full
Dear family, don’t be sad,
I am happy it’s not too bad,
Every day, without miss or delay,
Mum calls to check if I’m ok
After every hardship there is ease
I’m looking forward to my upcoming release

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26 COMMENTS

  1. I’m really proud of you! You are always in my duas, and I regularly give sadaqah for you and mubashir to get better!

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  2. People say that books are lyk ancient, but books r the closest thing to thought we have. However, books won’t replace the words and stories in your mind… Lyk typing compared to writing. Choosing fonts on word, or writing in your own unique way? I do sumtyms spell wrong, but I don’t intentionally do it because it’s cool, being 34. Just a bit younger than you bro, but very different to one another. I remember reading ‘hobbit’ when I was just 11. The first book I finished. ‘whats in my pocket’, I can still picture the book whenever I remember. The trolls, and the ring. That book was great. Tolkien. I remember tryin tu write, that strange language at the beginning but got confused…

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  3. Alhamdullillah, this nearly made me cry, I miss you bro, maybe one day we will be happy as we were when all of us were together. But lyk all families we drift apart like ripples of an endless sea of joy and despair…come back soon ‘sut’!

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  4. Absolutely fantastic read, beautiful poem. Thanks so much for sharing. Keep them coming.
    السلام علیکم

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  5. The outstanding features of this piece are it’s short, emotive poem to conclude, a brief introduction with a glowing vision of your father figure, and the small but substantive traces of personal and familial history.

    The Islamic themes and tropes in your piece engender a religious perspective that colours your outlook on life. May Allah, the Munificent, adorn you with true faith and exposition.

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  6. Always in awe. Always inspired. Always amazed. Your unique style of writing never fails to make me smile. This is so beautiful. Whilst I was reading the poem it took me back to the days I would eagerly show you the poems I would write. Supporting you every step of the way

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  7. A love of libraries shows you have a thirst for knowledge and an ability to concentrate; these things make you an interesting person to engage with. Quiet people, or introverts, are seen as boring when in the company of extroverts and vice versa; however, what it really means is that different things stimulate different personalities so no-one is a “boring person” it’s just that the two people don’t have a shared interest.
    I’m enjoying your positive blogs each week.

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  8. As a family we used to always love reading books, I remember my next door neighbour friend used to come and take me out to play, when I was in my room enjoying a good book. We never had a TV in our house growing up, but the books we read made us what we are today, my kids hate reading, no matter how much I try, it is sad, technology is killing their imagination and intelligence. We are all proud of you Muhammad, may this blog reach every corner of the globe and be a means of hope to all those who are suffering but are not able to pen their thoughts. We are with you all the way.

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  9. Oh my dear Sasa

    I remember coming back from madrasah, looking forward to seeing you 😊

    The smile on your face and the calmness in your voice would really make my day.

    JazaakAllah for this, looking forward to reading more ❤️

    Keep us in your duas please

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  10. A beautiful reflective piece. Lovely to hear how you were inspired by your sister to read and have clearly loved books from an early age. The poem is beautiful. Thanks for sharing 🙏

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  11. Allah accept! I could hear your voice in my mind as if you were talking to me face to face! Jzkkwj!
    Can’t wait for more!

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  12. I look forward to reading your work and it always exceeds my expectations. My favourite part of the piece was the poem. Know that I am very proud of you and will support you in everything you do. I always pray to Allah He keeps you safe and grants you success in this world and the hereafter.

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  13. I’m so proud of you. I love you so much. I love this article. It brought tears to my eyes. I pray to the Almighty Allah He grants you success in this world and the hereafter. You’ve made me a proud sister. I look forward to reading more of your work.

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  14. Keep up the good work. This piece touches on the themes of family and love and is based on inspiring people. Your work really touched my heart and brought tears to my eyes. I look forward to reading more of your work and I wish you all the success.

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  15. This made me feel like i was sat with you in them assemblies. Reading this has really inspired me to read more books. The poem really brought tears to my eyes. Looking forward to reading more 💛

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