When you journey with Turning the Tide, you’ll find a space of comfort, hope and affirmation, of homecoming. You can set aside the tools you toil and labour with in your daily lives and enter this replenishing ocean.
Deep beneath the surface of the ocean lies its soul; the sea life, flora and fauna, igniting coral – an endangered world. Deep beneath the surface of another body – our physical frame – lies our souls; the delicate and enduring, the unseen as it teems with eternal life – an endangered world. Beneath the body of both waters, what lays hidden is prone to being forgotten.
This edition of Turning the Tide emphasises the inner, the struggles, the hairline fractures in our soul that no one other than Allah subhanahu wa ta[ala knows about. In the time between the first edition and this, the fourth one, the world has moved in unanticipated new directions. The exterior, the momentary ‘image’ of people’s lives has become a new form of existing, which many subscribe to without question. In contrast, daily, real life is what it always has been: a delicate shift of tones, unflattering and murky on one day, transparent and lucid on another. The changes made in this edition peel away at surface layers to uncover raw honesty.
This edition adjusts the mast of this ship we call life, to sail towards the simplicity of the ayats (signs) around us and find inspiration in what is easily overlooked; the shoreline, those drops of rain, the clouds. Any good that comes from this book is from Allah subhanahu wa ta[ala, and any mistakes are mine and I seek al-Ghaffar’s forgiveness for those. Ultimately, I seek His acceptance for the intention behind this work; this, and this alone is all that really matters.
There are several layers to each chapter of Turning the Tide, which makes it a bit unusual or unique – depending on how you look at it! I’m often asked how this mixture of parallel sections came about. So here you go, here are five reasons why… (remember, for some context, the original idea came about roughly twenty years ago!)
1. Inspiration not prescription.
Years ago, I had conversations with many women, young and elderly who expressed their lack of being able to find inspirational books that were faith related. They also expressed that from where they were standing, much of the literature they encountered came across as too didactic and prescriptive. I wanted to create something that was easy to engage with.
2. Nature and faith
There’s generally a disconnect between different areas of our lives; nature is for outdoors; faith is a personal ‘religious’ pursuit; beauty is sought in physical objects. Yet, in the sacred sources, there isn’t this distinction. The beauty of nature reinforces faith, replenishes it, strengthens it. This is something I wanted to capture in this book.
3. Mums and infant children.
Mums of young children don’t have much time to spare! When I started sketching ideas out and researching for this book, I had two little girls and then our third baby on the way. It was a hectic time and I managed to ‘work’ on this mainly at night, or during their naps in the day. I’d use any opportunity to scribble bits down in small notebooks wherever I was. I wanted to put something together that busy young mums could access as easily as the general readership, where they wouldn’t have to wade through pages of discussion to get a few gems.
4. I love bodies of water!
The idea of using water – one of the most miraculous ‘ayahs’ or ‘signs’ - as it is translated, as a metaphor for the stages of life came through gradually. It certainly wasn’t there when I’d compiled most of the quotations. It was only after writing lists and lists of associations that I realised water was the most natural and magnificent comparison.
5. Call it ‘Poetic license’.
I studied English language and literature for my first degree and then qualified as an English teacher, so it was second nature to approach the structure in an experimental, creative way.
Turning The Tide by Suma Din - Published by Kube Publishing