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Welcome to this week's 5-Minute Friday where we share highlights from our week - a curated selection from things we've read, watched, pondered over, eaten, loved or picked up that inspire peace, purpose and productivity.

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Wave goodbye to Ramadan. Say hello to your new plan:
We're revisiting one of our most popular blogs from the last year which we wrote in the afterglow of Ramadan 2020 called 'How to prevent your Ramadan mansion from collapsing'.
What we're reading:
We're pretty sure that like us, your minds have been spinning trying to process what's going on in the Middle East right now. The sheer levels of iniquity, hypocrisy and human suffering are scandalous. Not only that but how should one respond in such circumstances? As a brand we opted for something that harnessed our creativity. It's difficult not to feel helpless though but we take heart from the powerful Qur'anic narratives of cyclical history involving transgressors as well as from the personal experience of the Prophet (saw) himself who was blessed with the mi'raj (heavenly ascension) after his unbelievably tragic Year of Sorrow. "For surely after hardship comes ease" - Qur'an (94:5)

Regardless of your response, being prepared to have difficult conversations is pretty much a prerequisite. We found this document entitled 'How to talk to just about anyone about Israel-Palestine' by My Brother From Another Mother to be a useful starting point in examining our own position and articulating it empathetically. Saqi Books went above and beyond by making several e-books available online for free. The offer has now ended but it's a great list of books to empower and inform.

What we're watching:
Dr Faraj Hasan is doing some truly extraordinary work helping people connect with the Qur'an through his 'Recite With Me' initiative. This contribution has got to be one of the cutest Ayat al-Kursi recitations we've ever had the joy of stumbling upon.

What we're listening to:
We've just started Colum McCann's Apeirogon* on the recommendation of master calligrapher Samir Malik. The novel of a lifetime about two men and their daughters, divided by conflict, yet united in grief.

What we're loving:
Are you an unpublished, unagented Muslim person of colour that’s based in the UK or the ROI that wants to get a book published? MFestUKMaslaha have launched the MFest Short Story Competition Prize with Hajar Press to give 6 shortlisted writers the opportunity to develop book proposals, and to give one lucky winner their very own publishing contract and a place on a writers retreat⁠

Jeem Juxtapositions:
Thank you all for continuing to frequent our Jeem Essentials* reading list. The list is a curated selection of reads that have featured in this newsletter, been mentioned in one of our Instagram Stories or have simply tickled our fancy. One thing's for sure: they resonate with our desire to inspire peace, purpose and productivity.

Quote we're pondering over:
Surely my Lord is with me. He will guide me through — Qur'an (26:62)

All best wishes and duas,

Tauseef & Sarah

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