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Friday, June 18, 2010


As a short introduction to this new column, we would like to say that it came about because of a lady we came across recently who let out some of what we felt, was a string of unpalatable words about Allah. My husband and I had gone to our residence’s swimming pool and we were chattering away as we swam around and she must have picked up on what we were saying, although our words were not loud. She passed by us and said ‘do you realize that Allah is not a God and he is the devil’ etc etc and carried on in an unpleasant tone. I turned to her and said, ‘Madam, you are entitled to your opinion but please excuse me’ and we swam away. The lady was, of course, entitled to her opinion. So in our chat about this incident later, we thought that a column based on all aspects of all religions and the history of religion and religious places could be an interesting write and read.


Do you ever talk to the big-G, in other words, the man upstairs as I’ve heard Christian folk call him? I find it infinitely comforting. Sometimes I fall asleep before saying my prayers and a long time ago my late mum was walking past my room one evening and she came in and said ‘who are you talking to’? I replied ‘God’ and she in turn said ‘you were a bit short on the job’. I said ‘yes, I know but I am so tired I can hardly keep my eyes open.’ What I had said was – thank you for this day, goodnight – she never forgot this and neither have I. I had just wanted to say something before dreamland overtook me and I was preserving my conscience at the time. My husband, bless him, often says his prayers on his way to work and has lengthy conversations with God about various subjects. He found the big-G a while ago and has a very comfortable relationship with the ‘man upstairs’. God is like this dude, this great friend who has been around in my life for (beyond) ever. If I say a bad word (not nasty ones but strong enough for me to feel guilty about) I apologise to the big-G by usually saying sorry God or Lord. When I hear that someone I know of be it a personality or acquaintance has left this earth and gone to infinity, then I ask God to bless them and send them on their way in a calm manner to their next life. It has always been a habit of mine that if, in the course of conversation, the name of a person who has passed on is mentioned, then after the mention of this person’s name I say God rest their soul and carry on with the conversation. There are a myriad of religions around the world that each has their own way of saying prayers and chants and have rituals surrounding those prayers. These are wonderful to learn about and observe. To pray, in your own style, is so comfortable, it’s a real boost to the inner mind and calming to. It’s positive and gives you energy to carry on with your next task. I have closed this column with a prayer I learnt many years ago when I was living in Australia and in the course of reading a magazine, came across it. For whatever reason at the time it appealed to me (it still does). Take care out there and God bless you.

In a very special way
I shall need thee Lord always
I know how full thy days will be
But everything depends on thee
But keep an eye on me I pray
Though far from thee my thoughts may stray
Whatever happens be thou there
Keep me in thy loving care
Lord I know that there is room
For everything and everyone
Pardon all that I have done
That was grievous in thy sight
Trusting in thy charity
Always Dear Lord, remember (my family,
my friends, my pets and) me.

Here is a wonderful picture of the inner roof of the Hagia Sophia mosque in Istanbul. These wonderfully decorative ceilings were built so long ago and remain in splendid condition to this day. They are a tribute to the crafts people who built them.

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