It is my hope that you and your families are in excellent health and finding more excuses for love and joy in life.
I am trusting that everyone will be forgiving of this mass communication, and hopefully pass onto others our brief update. Needless to say, it has taken me a while to be able to form the ideas of what this crazy experience has been like for us here in Abu Dhabi. A lot of processing going on. lol
It is hard to believe that I have nearly completed my 2-year teaching contract here. Prayer is an incredibly powerful tool, but one could have never expected it to be answered in the way it was–Wow! Not only has this opportunity provided for us financially, allowing Ryan the chance to work on his degree as well as availing us to travel to places that we NEVER would have thought that we’d visit, but it has been such incredible spiritual fodder. Living in a Muslim country has been such a tremendous experience for us, and we are ever so grateful for being able to experience Islam first hand. Prior to moving here, we, like many folks, thought that the Middle East was a place full of angry Muslims who were trying to impose their radical beliefs on others–I mean, that’s what the media tells us, night after night, right?? — everyone is Taliban and women are silenced and imprisoned by Islam. Whoa, so NOT true!! As Donald has said on more than one occasion, the news reports on the “exception” and not the “rule”. I don’t think I could possibly articulate the Peace and Love that I experience here, as people are so friendly, so hospitable, and so respectful. They don’t gossip, but laugh at their petty complaints and shrink from confrontation. It’s almost the complete opposite of the Western paradigm, which has probably been the hardest part of coping with this culture here–accepting that I have a lot of areas to improve on. lol Naturally, living in this environment has impacted my consciousness greatly, and I often wonder in awe what prayer I made to create this wonderful experience.
I just want to share a couple of Arabic words that are sprinkled into nearly every sentence here, and are so attuned with New Thought/SOM teachings, that have had a profound impact on me.
- In’shallah: directly translated, it means “God willing”. It is almost synonymous with the word, YES, and it implies a promise, a trusting, a knowing that something is going to happen. Whenever something in the future is described, “In’shallah” ends the sentence. When someone asks you to do something, this is your response. Even though this expression seems commonplace, I don’t know if I can really articulate what a powerful word this is. It has personally reminded me that every intention is prayer that Spirit is eager to manifest; and it is not an “if….” but a matter of “when…” So I love hearing that “God is willing” to do something for me when I make a request.
- Alhumdiallah: This means, “Give thanks to God”, and is the response you give when someone asks you ” How are you? — How’s it going?”– Whoa! — isn’t that interesting? I love when someone asks me this question, because it gives me a moment to pause and feel grateful for this body and this life that I have. I think, “Yea, thanks to God, I am here, having this breath and sharing this moment with you. Pretty cool.”
- Asamalakum: This is what you say when you want to say “hi” to someone, and it means “The Peace of Allah Be Upon You”. How cool is that? I remember when I went to Catholic mass, the part of the service where everyone shakes hands and says “Peace” to each other used to be my favorite time. But now I get to do it ALL the time! It is wonderful to be in the awareness that you are offering Peace to people you meet, recognizing that the Spirit of Life is “upon them”. I think this is my absolute favorite Arabic expression because of this.
As you might imagine, we are in no hurry to leave the “sandbox”, our amusing term for the UAE. We are content to stay at least another year, or at least until Ryan completes his degree–In’shallah! lol However, we hope to see many of you when we come to visit this summer in August. We may only be able to come to one Sunday service because of our schedule, but we feel hopeful that we might be able to meet up some other time to officially catch up. Know in the meanwhile that you are always in our prayers and thoughts, and that we love you very much.
May you continue to enjoy your journey into your Divine enfoldment, as I know you are a blessing and a joy to this world. We look forward to seeing you soon!
— Judy Imamudeen