Reciprocity

I am repeatedly awed at my human-ness.

My tasawwuf lessons have kind of drilled into me the meekness, neediness, and utter rebellion of the nafs al-ammarah. So much so that I sometimes forget the other aspects of our humanity — the joy in companionship and delight in simple laughter. Not that I don’t enjoy these things, if any, I partake in them a lot. But many times I feel like I view myself as something to be fixed and to be on guard against the nafs.

Anyway, after a long day spanning two countries (ha ha), I laid my head on the pillow and scrolled. I got an email — one of those notifications for a new blog post — so I opened and read.

I actually positively teared. I didn’t think much of it when Iffah asked if we could join her for the dinner. I was happy of course to be able to see her and Abbas and Imran again. And especially to celebrate her birthday with her. But to be referred to as “best friends” was quite heartwarming.

What a funny thing reciprocation is. I never really associated that word with anything out of a romantic relationship but what a lovely thing when friends also reciprocate your love and tenderness for them! Ahh, my heart.


We were in Port Dickson since Friday but I cajoled and managed to convince F to take an early flight back so that I could make it in time for Mami N’s daughter’s wedding.

When she saw me and hugged me at the entrance of the hall, it made it all worth it. She was so surprised and touched that we even made the effort for her.

Isn’t it such a wonder — this ability that God gifts you to make someone so happy? I don’t mean to sound so self-important because I don’t think it comes from us obviously. But how amazing that the things we do or say, the choices we make, like taking an earlier flight, could mean so much, when it took so little from us? And how many chances that we not take to make a difference in someone else’s day?

Oh human, you continue to amaze me.