The story began when I decided I can’t be normal. I was pretty young, and just like any teenager, I started to wonder who I would be. Between searching for who you are and actually creating who you will be, I was always there.

In the beginning, I thought I started that track where I will be the best or at least better than all the other options out there. People differs in tracks they try to take, yet somehow we are all trying to Be. We change and change to reach this far away vision of who we really are, yet this vision changes with time.

In the beginning, I was visioning my changes in terms of whats harder and what’s impossible and simply what’s up normal for the society. So I thought I am stronger when I can wake up at Fajr, study while I hate studying deep inside, reading everyday when I was anti-reading for full 16 years earlier, wearing more modest everyday and reviewing this daily, not watching movies and entertainment everyone enjoy, deciding to go away from music although I think its acceptable and beautiful sometimes, deciding to give myself a blame when my being be through what I buy, deciding to give me a bigger blame when eating is luxury while some other people can’t even eat the minimum, going to the slums when I am living beside villas, teaching when I can just relax..and many many other struggles. Even deciding not to work full-time and not to be working-field-oriented sounded as a struggle in our world!. Many struggles, I decided to go through, fully aware of how much these will change me. Yet, it was all worth it.

What amazes me today, is that although I thought I would be up-normal in a good way or more awesome or better person when I can do all of this..It turned out these stuff just turns you into a normal person. I can’t get it deeply when I think about it. How did this really happen? I thought that the whole thing was a struggle based on that people would see me as up-normal -in a negative way-. Yet, it turned out that It’s me who is seeing them as up-normal people. It’s not in the same up-normal way I thought I would be. But suddenly, it is me who looks at them and wonders how much they struggle to live in this way! It is up-normal in a negative way how people live. The negativity is not in the essence of being different from the surrounding, who are the surrounding anyways? It’s totally negative in being different than how things normally would be.

In terms of waking up early, it is not a struggle in the sense of doing something hard anymore. It is being with nature..burning and being energetic with the sun, and getting relaxed and enjoying tranquility of the moon. If someone was living in an open area in the best landscape in earth with no internet or electricity, It would be a huge struggle for him to not sleep early and wake up by Fajr. So waking up early, is helping the body to go for what’s normal. You actually have a daily struggle when you go against your own nature.

In terms of eating, I have stopped artificial sugar and Fried food, junk food for sure and I had some rules on most of my eating habits. And again, it turned out I am turning into the normal person. Suddenly, the fruit that was tasteless for years, became the most delicious thing ever! I never loved strawberries when I was younger, they were okay, I would eat them, but they always tasted normal – in a negative way -, I used to even put some sugar on strawberries and wait it to get some of its juice out, and that’s how I would enjoy strawberries. Yet, now after 7 months of stopping artificial sugar, a one strawberry is a heaven for me. This change turned me into someone who enjoys and feel blessed for what’s normal!

I thought I would be up-normal when I do this, but it turned out totally the opposite. It’s is not about getting fit or healthy, this is just a result. It is about being along with whats really your nature. Eating normally. I don’t need a big bar of chocolate that contains all ingredients of the world created in a lab to feel happy. I simply would feel satisfied in a normal basis. I don’t need to have a lot of luxuries to just be living normally. It would sound normal if we used to have luxury in our eating from time to time, but to have all our eating habits depending on luxury. Okay, this is up-normal for me now.

Music, although I am not following that music is prohibited. I got my own belief about the whole thing, but it is not the topic. The thing is that I decided to stop music 9 months ago, all music, even the human music. I mean that I wouldn’t listen to even Nasheeds unless it was into a very normal way. I used to listen only to very limited music before these 9 months anyways. As I stopped normal music and songs people listen to since 2008. Yet, the music industry is very deep into our lives. So no SoundCloud’s tracks, no YouTube’s URLs..I would only listen to music if it came up into a normal way like someone I know is singing something for me or there is an occasion out there. I may sing myself for myself at home, just having fun while doing something my hmmhmmm..

Anyways, one of the goals of this experiment, is to get used to that you don’t need a soundtrack for your life. I stopped watching movies and TV shows long time ago. Yet, part of the effects of media earlier, that you learn that you need a soundtrack sometimes in your life. Like, if it is a romantic scene, a specific music is out there, if it is sad, then sad music. While normal life wasn’t like that. You never really have someone to play a soundtrack for your life, lol. Yet as soon as music became accessible for everyone, things changed. You start to get bored of silence. Silence is normal. so what’s normal became boring, and It turned out for me that normal should be the most relaxing point, as normal is what your nature goes for. You don’t need all of these musical instruments to feel romantic. Imagine a wedding without any music…if you can’t see the couple feeling romantic, then it is stupid!. It’s love what makes them romantic not the surrounding music, the soundtrack.

YouTube videos of normal people speaking, now it must be with a soundtrack, why? because they think that – they are right mostly – that you will get bored and you wouldn’t listen to all of this and get into the feeling without music. So you listen to this stupid hmmmhmmm in Islamic normal tracks! It feels good sometimes, but it is stupid. Why wouldn’t just the words affect me? Why would my ears get bored of whats more natural. Imagine if before our century, a guy needed someone to do this humming in the background while he is talking to this friend? And now return and imagine doing a movie with 0 music? okay this sounds boring. why? because we believe our lives need a soundtrack!

And, the other crisis for me about music, is getting used to not appreciate words. Words are powerful and their meaning change everything. We are creatures of meaning. Everything got a meaning for us. So when you get yourself into this heedlessness, you start not to appreciate a lot of -normal- stuff. In the same way I was not appreciating strawberries. So you get amazed and happy harder with time. It is like when you get used to very loud voice, so even when I talked in normal loud voice, you would feel it is low. So same to our expectations of normal life. And you may tell me that listening to them all the time, doesn’t mean not appreciating them. Yet, what I am talking about is what about when you listen to the a track that contains both a happy song, and a sad song?. I always felt weird about how singers got both types of songs in the same album. A song about his love and how they will be forever, and another one who broke his heart and I am like, okay so you are in love or no? I want you to sing the wedding song in the wedding..the sad song, in the sad moment? ..so singing would just be a human nature! Not an up-normal thing done in weird times.

I was in Istanbul a year ago and I was frozen after praying Zuhr in Eyüp Sultan Camii. The Imam was saying prayers out loud, as Turks don’t know Arabic, so it was a tradition over there to pray aloud to help people pray with you. I was totally amazed by how awesome it is! I was like, I can’t go I want to listen to this awesomeness! While he was just reading some verses of Quran and Dua!. So it was normal..but I believe that not being occupied with a lot of stuff, gave me a chance to listen quite more. Actually I appreciate normal voices now more, as I don’t need million of instruments and a whole music production to love someone’s voice and appreciate his words.

TV and Cinema, the header of my upnormal changes. Many people treated me up-normal when they knew I don’t ever watch movies or TV series. Yet, today I would fully tell that it is really normal to live my own life other than watching others life!..it is not even others life, it is a chuck of thoughts and concepts poured in our brains prepared by a huge industry that got many crisis. So in the time you think I am not enjoying my time because I am not watching someone’s life (the artificial sugarish dessert prepared in a lab), I am enjoying my own life ( the strawberry).

And the last paragraphs were just an example on some points, it is quite the same for all the rest. I wake up daily to discover that all what I am trying to do is being normal. This reminded me of a post on Human of New York on 2015, a guy was saying: “I’m trying to find a way to be happy without being the best.”. We were raised in a world that makes you struggle daily to think you won’t be happy unless you were the best. While it turned out that being normal, might be the best for me. A world that is based on the modern economy and greediness, wants you to think that being the best is with buying and having more of everything..watching more movies, so the industry goes higher, listening more music, so getting this industry higher, and both to serve other industries, even more food, more work in their industries to serve their industry..everything to serve them..to discover in the end..you make them happier! not you!. You tried to struggle to be everything they told you to be, while all what you really needed was to be simply you, normally you, with all the very natural nature created for you. We became like those people who would find artificial flowers made from paper or whatever else more beautiful and better than normal real flowers. Just because normal real flowers need real care and struggle. Real flowers are not forever, it is part of nature. But would artificial flowers ever be better than the real or even comparable? 

As usual, the post shouldn’t be against your every thought, it is just a way to show you how different it might be from the other side. Yet, the world is not that black or that white.

It is sad, how you need to struggle, to go opposite to the world struggle.

 

Featured Image: Fruits that would get rotten and uneatable, if not appreciated in time. Fruits that wouldn’t always look that bright or giving you a high rush of sugar and happiness, yet it is exactly what you need, it is exactly what’s normal. Without re-editing in a lab to satisfy your thoughts about how normal stuff should stay forever.

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9 thoughts on “The Essence Of Being Normal

  1. dear daughter
    Al Salam Alikum
    I really had a good time reading your words , also enjoyed how hard you tried to define the term ” normal ” not only theoretically but by practicing a hardship of refraining to live what others think is normal life , doing so you should bear in mind that Islam teaches us that imperfection is a human quality .
    I liked the most your idea of the normality of silence and not the vice versa but , can the world really be salient with all those birds chirping and dogs barking and the crackling sound of rain ? we can’t be wrong if we describe the sound of nature to be a full orchestra in its own right .
    I consider reciting of Holy Quran as a beautiful form of music , also I look at movies as human cultural product we can benefit from the thoughts and experience they contain and as grown ups we can tell the good movie when we see one ( here is a link of 10 movies with no music or sound tracks : http://cinemaquest.com.au/lists/2011/10/ten-great-films-without-musical-scores)
    thank you very much

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Perfect! This comment balances the post in a perfect way. That’s why I added this note in the end: “As usual, the post shouldn’t be against your every thought, it is just a way to show you how different it might be from the other side. Yet, the world is not that black or that white.”

      And I commented on not listening to music/singing but in normal basis..Not telling that Music is refused at all or even that as just experiment.

      Food, movies, music and all of this would be human cultural outputs as well, in the way explained in Islam Between East and West: Alija ‘Ali Izetbegovic and I agree.

      But what the post is talking about is not the normal cultural way, it is as clear as stated in the end, the industrial way..the way the modern economy let it be.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. and actually pointing at the orchestra’s example. Many of my generation would need a headphones with music if they were out there in the orchestra you explained :)..

      That’s what I am talking about.

      and for sure music halal or haram would be by fiqh and scholars so that wasn’t the topic =D

      Liked by 1 person

      1. one last note on your good article , you write better or let me say you are more comfortable with English language , of course I don’t know to whom you address this but I wish if you struggle a little with Arabic , 🙂

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      2. تستحق اللغة العربية أن نكافح لها :)..من عيوب الخلل في مجتمعي أن يخرج من مثلي ليعبر عن نفسه بطريقة أفضل بلغة غير لغته اﻷم وغير لغة القرءان. شكرا على النصيحة، كنت قد قررت بعد نصيحتك اﻷخيرة على مقال سابق محذوف أن أتوقف عن الكتابة حتى أحل هذه المشكلة. فبداية الكتابة بالعربية الضعيفة في مقالات الهجرة والتغيير ومقالا عديدة منذ بداية العام كانت جزء من المحاولة الجادة في تعريب كلامي وأفكاري. ولكن اللغة من اﻷشياء التي تحتاج مجهود ووقت كبير للتغيير عندي.

        وقد كنت قررت التوقف عن الكتابة ولكن تذكرت بعض اﻷصدقاء اﻷجانب اللذين يقرأوا ما أكتب..فتذكرت طلب أحداهم مني أن لا أعرب كل مقالتي حتى تستطيع المتابعة من وقت ﻷخر. https://nuhakhaled.wordpress.com/2016/02/10/sense-of-ummah-adrena-jalen/

        شكرا على النصيحة، جاري تعلم النحو اﻵن في الواقع =D

        Liked by 2 people

  2. سلام الله عليك ورحمة الله وبركاته

    حبذا لو تمتعينا بالمدونة نفسها باللغة العربية )لمن لا يتقن الانجليزية مثلي

    بوركت ودمت بخير وقلم سيال

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  3. ماهية أن تكون طبيعيــًا المقال جميل جدًا الحقيقة و لي تعليق على جزء صغير متعلق بالإحتفال بالزواج فبيستحب فيه الغناء و ضرب الدف من أجل إدخال البهجة و السرور على الزوجة بغض النظر عن كون الأمر فيه حث على الشعور بالعاطفة من الطرفين من عدمه و وجهه النظر الخاصة بالمقال جيدة في هذه النقطة ,و هي أن مشاعرنا حتى أصبحت تتأثر بشكل كبير مع الموسيقى, فأصبح تأثيرها في الوضع الطبيعي -كما يحاول المقال تعريفُه- أصعب, و تدريجيا نفقد الشعور بغير وجود نغمة توصل لنا ما ينبغي أن نشعر به فقط من خلال الكلمات

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    1. تعليقك على أمر الزواج صحيح، ولكن مراسم اﻷحتفال النبوية تكون بشكل تفاعلي..أي أظهار البهجة والسرور..ولا العكس. بمعنى اﻵن ينظمون اﻷفراح بشكل يتطغى على العفوية والسعادة بالفطرة. لكن أكيد مظاهر البهجة كلها جميلة.

      شكرا

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