Issues... They're All Ours


*Allah created beauty, innocence, and peace, and He blessed us with the children to remind us of all of these....*

One of the best sounds in the world is that of a child's laughter. It doesn't really matter if you're upset or feeling glum, hearing their giggles will inevitably make you smile. Alternatively, one of the worst sounds in the world is that of a child crying. Children have many different types of cries, the worst of which is a genuine cry of fear or pain. If you beg to differ, then I suspect your heart may need a little dusting.

So why is it that most 'normal' people have an inclination toward children? Aren't children whiny? Messy? Noisy? Pesky? Sometimes, but still they're gems, the worth of which nothing can compare. Their greatest value is not attributed to their charm, beauty, silliness, and honesty; it is attributed to their brilliant innocence. It doesn't matter how hard we try, we cannot claim as much innocence as young children.

It hurts to see children caught in the middle of adults' petty and selfish problems and arguments. One
blog makes a good point in that children do not see the intricacies of the world. Their world view is pretty black and white - i.e. heroes and villains, love or hate. It is quite unfortunate that there are some parents in the world who don't care to attend to children and their emotional and psychological needs [Of note, there are of course many more really committed parents too].

I'm not talking about the extreme view of doting on children's every whim and desire. If you did that, you'd rid yourself of your good sense and wisdom. What I mean here is that the world is a very confusing, hurtful, and dangerous place with some pockets of love and mercy. Children need to know how to understand it at their level of comprehension. Children need to be taught to develop an optimistic view of humankind, life, and death.

As always, it's much easier to talk about it than it is to achieve it. So how do we do it? The Prophet Muhammad (may God's peace and blessings be upon him and his family) exemplified the best of ways, and he taught us to approach children with love. He taught us how to appreciate children, care for them, and to teach them with a balanced hand. Best of all, he taught us how to develop our character. He showed us, throughout his life, the meaning of perfection in human existence, which of course always means submission to our Lord.

The starting point for myself and all those looking to try to make the world better for ourselves, our biological children, and our children of humanity, is based, as I see it now, in the development of our character and moral principles. Ultimately, we cannot think that we will reach a point where we can say "Yes, now I am ready to share my skills with the world for the sake of improving the world." Death may reach us before that ever happens, if that ever happens. As long as we have one inkling of good character and ethical stewardship, we have to share it with others, starting with those closest to us... our very own children.

*....Allah entrusted to us all a gift to hold so dear, to teach with love, teach how to love, Allah's command is clear.*
-- Dawud W. Ali



O beautiful world, I heard your cry
The blood-soaked Earth has released a sigh
If I could save you single-handedly, I surely would
But my excuses belie, my hands turn to wood

I fail not only you, but wrong myself
Making difficult what is easy, rejecting true wealth
Your tears are most welcome, with my own they blend
Fighting in darkness until the very end

Shine on me and melt this icy enclave
Release the shackles of a self-destructive slave
Together on the dusty path we must consistently tread
Contentment lies before us, push on, it's just ahead...

God willing.



It's a wonderful thing sometimes to experience change. A change in scenery. A change in thinking. A change in understanding. A change in the movements that we make all too carelessly as we fall victim to our habitually thoughtless actions.

Do you ever feel, sometimes, as though life is like walking on a treadmill? You're moving, but you aren't actually going anywhere. It's not the physical so much as the spiritual movement that needs attention. There are advantages to a momentous step backward. It opens a way for humility to sprinkle its dust upon us reminding us about the true reality of our existence. Do you believe that? Isn't it that when humility touches us we are moving forward, submitting to the reality of our existence? Humbling ourselves before the One deserving of all praise, and putting our hearts where often only our tongues lie. Humility is not the goal, not at all. It is but one of many arteries that eventually leads us to the heart of our existence.

On a much deeper note, Dr. Tariq Ramadan writes a beautiful concluding analysis of the hijrah (the migration of the early Muslim community from Makkah to Medina) in his book "In the Footsteps of the Prophet: Lessons from the Life of Muhammad" [peace be upon him]. He says,

Physical hijrah, the founding act of the first Muslim community and the axis of its experience, is now over and will not happen again, as Aishah forcefully explained to those in Medina who wanted to relive the experience. Umar ibn al-Khattab was later to decide that this unique event would mark the beginning of the Islamic era, which begins in 622. What remains, and is open to everyone through the ages and for eternity, is the experience of spiritual exile, which brings the individual back to him- or herself and from the illusions of self and of the world. Exile for the sake of God is in essence a series of questions that God asks each individual being: Who are you? What is the meaning of your life? Where are you going? Accepting the risk of such exile, trusting the One, is to answer: Through You, I return to myself and I am free [p. 87].
Transcendent is God!

Words of the Heart and Mind...


I wrote this over three years ago, but I thought that perhaps the essence of it may be of benefit to others, insha'Allah, so I typed it up again to post here. It could do with a lot of editing, but I decided to keep it exactly like the original, minus a few paragraphs. The Internet is no place to call home. Please remember, these are mere thoughts that at one point in life I put onto paper. My words cannot be taken as "Islamically accurate" since I have no evidence to support them.

The sun is shining a little bit differently today, not drastically enough for anyone to notice but enough for the one looking to notice. In my eyes, its shimmer is different. It is special. I think of the past, present, and what the future may hold. I force myself to not lose sight of the fact that my fate and destiny are predestined and the one thing I am guaranteed is a visit to my grave. But on my sojourn heading to my grave, what shall I encounter? I fear that I do not know what I need to know to make this trip a successful one.

Now arises the possibility of having a companion to accompany and assist me, and I him, on this short trip of life only to hopefully reach our destination pleasantly, safely, and with the hopes of enjoying it together. So what makes for a good companion on this specific journey? There are so many opinions about what makes one a true friend and a true partner in life, yet I am of the belief that while the general aspects differ we have to hold strong to some key things to make a wise choice.

So do tell, how does one know what one truly needs? How does one find a true companion? For starters, one cannot dissect a partner for there will undoubtedly be faults. There are faults with the travellers, both of them alike. The point is to make sure that they can travel with little discord and a lot of acceptance, tolerance, and mercy for each other. That's right, mercy.

And He has put love and mercy between your hearts, verily in that are signs for those who reflect. We really must reflect on the mercy that the Almighty has bestowed on us. He it is who will give us the peace we need, whenever we might need it; and if your heart is not attached to this world, you will always need to figure out the world as you live in it. It is interesting to note how most emphasize the part about love there, yet love is secondary to mercy, isn't it? Do you truly love someone if you do not show them mercy? Undoubtedly, our Lord loves us, for His mercies are bountiful. To Him do we submit.

It is He who puts love and mercy in our hearts. It is He who we must thank for that feeling. We should never show Him ingratitude for His gift of a companion [and all His gifts really] for any reason, though the worth of the gift is usually reason enough to be grateful. May He protect me from ever being ungrateful for that truly would be an awful state in which to live.

Back to what we were deciphering... what one truly needs. Logically and obviously, one truly needs a companion and friend who is on a journey to the same place. Secondly, one must consider the "indispensable" resources that this person has to offer in order to make this trip a success, insha'Allah. Meaning, the blessings which the Almighty has bestowed on this person. Mind you, they can always be taken away if not worked at and appreciated. Such things include, but are not limited to, humility, beneficial knowledge, and a kind and sound heart. A true Muslim by heart, submitting to his Lord and obeying Him without compromise. True to himself, true to his Lord.

The rest of the essence, to know for sure if this is a true companion for you, cannot be defined so explicitly and you must consult your Creator and your heart to know. Your heart is a tool through which your Creator may choose to bring His guidance to you.

You must remember that in all things there is also the sneaky, arrogant, and shameless one tempting you, confusing you, and prodding you to that which you cannot comprehend. This individual may distract you from that which is better for you. As said, something to the effect... You may love that which is not good for you, yet dislike that which is good for you. He, the shameful one, may tell you that if one lacks the things in this world that are considered superior i.e. high level of secular education, wealth, status, and the like, then this person is not "worthy" to serve as a true friend and companion. 'AuthubiLlah. Seek refuge with Ar-Rahman.

Do recognize though that the accursed one may not necessarily do things which give you a bad feeling, but he may also try to suppress a "bad" feeling that you have. You must be careful. You must figure out if he is distracting you from something good or if he is calling you to do something that your heart is warning you about. Glory be to the Overpowering Lord, for He makes truth prevail over falsehood. If we are led astray, it is but a crime we commit against our own selves. Be patient. Trust Allah. Trust your heart.

If this ends with a tear, I shall decide now to know that there is good in those tears, for surely there will be multiple tears. For every tear, there is a lesson. For every tear, I shall gain strength. For every tear that I appreciate and reflect on and submit with, I am surely getting closer to my goal - to develop a closeness to Al Aziz, the Mighty, the Creator of all things, seen and unseen.

Thank you Allah!

Release Me


Hours past midnight, memories for me to taste
A flavour so strong, my heart makes haste
But it stumbles on the way to embrace this peace
Remembering only the heartless games of deceit

Don't play with me, O Tempter, your way is lame
I won't be your chess piece in this selfish game
Words of defense eagerly spoken
Your gesture is yet another selfish token

No closure from a vague excuse
My being begs entrance into deep recluse
Victimized by the very essence of self
Resolving for security and a greater wealth

For you your way, and for me mine own
Words easily spoken, though actionless prone
My enemy moves with me from the depths within
The game is just beginning, so deceptive is sin

Will It Ever Stop?


It has to stop. At this very moment, as I take my next breath, another woman, man, and/or child is being violated in the worst of ways. Beaten, raped, and humiliated. It's not nice to hear about these ugly things that plague our world, but they're happening. Sometimes it's right under our noses.

Unfortunately, I recently watched some television shows such as CSI, Criminal Minds, and Law and Order. Most of the criminal cases in these shows refer to some crude and violent action used to kill a person. Worse still, these programs, though filled with the drama of Hollywood, actually showed the individuals being tortured and killed. I hate it. I hate it. I couldn't help but wonder if it is shows such as these that we can thank for the phenomenally high rates of rape and violence against women. I wonder, is it reality that provides the scripts for these shows or are the shows providing scripts for sick minds that are looking for sadistically creative ways to hurt others. I think it's a combination of both.

I'm not sure what's worse, the fact that people watch this and eventually become desensitized to such horrendous injustices or that people (because there are people who are responsible for this) actually act these things out, tape it, and then put it on national TV. Honestly, I think it's one disgusting cycle, and I question how it ever came to exist.

It goes without saying that some people in the world are walking around with stones in place of what was once a pure and innocent heart. There are vicious cycles of violence occurring. Often, crimes committed in adulthood are attributed to problematic childhoods. Why do people have bad childhoods? Often because their parents don't do their jobs and often even harm their children in horrible, horrible, horrible ways.

How do we change this? In one lecture, Shaykh Anwar Al Alwaki (may God preserve him and give him tawfeeq, ameen) talked about how at the time of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him), his companions would follow the laws revealed in the Quran immediately upon the revelation of the verses. He sited the incident when alcohol was declared forbidden through revelation. Those who heard the revelation from the lips of our beloved Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) took the news to the rest of the city. At the time, one of the companions of the Prophet (peace be upon him) [whose name I cannot recall] was pouring alcohol for others. Upon hearing the revelation, he immediately threw the alcohol away. Those who had alcohol in their cups, immediately threw that away. Those who had alcohol in their mouths, immediately spat it out, and some who had just ingested alcohol even went to the length of inducing vomit. Glory be to God!

Shaykh Anwar Al Awlaki also reminds us about how the US attempted to ban alcohol but failed because people became involved in bootlegging and found other illegal ways to produce and consume alcohol which eventually led to bad health conditions for the people.

The effort to ban alcohol in the US was an expensive venture that was sadly unsuccessful. So why were the companions of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) able to respond so diligently and wholeheartedly to the prohibition of alcohol? Maybe because they had a blessed Prophet (peace be upon him) living among them? Hmm.. perhaps. But had the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) told them the same in Makkah as soon as they became Muslims, it wouldn't have worked so well. Why? Because while in Makkah, the new Muslims were still learning the meaning of faith (or imaan).

What does faith mean today? What does it mean to have a closeness to our Creator? What does it mean to submit to our Creator? The companions of the Prophet (peace be upon him and may God's mercy be upon all of the Prophet's companions) submitted to the Oneness of God in the truest way possible. I pray for this submission and long to keep the company of those who have it. We need it.

This world needs a return to truth. This world needs a return to justice. This world needs a return to peace.

Shaykh Anwar Al Awlaki continued his lecture by sharing the key to becoming a successful thief namely that one should aim to take that which is light in weight yet great in value. The same key can be used by those of us struggling to open the door to imaan. One of the lightest yet highly valuable ways to achieve our goal is to continuously remind ourselves about our purpose in life and to remember our Lord (engage in dhikr) in all that we do.

For the love of God, we need to change things. It's not okay to entertain ourselves with programs that depict violence of others. It's a serious matter. Injustices must not be taken lightly.

We can't keep hitting the snooze button. It is way past time to wake up. Let's wake up!

O Lord, help us all, ameen!

Knock Knock

Bismi Allah

Sitting atop a mountain. Embracing the mysterious atmosphere. Favonian winds sweeping through. Enticing secret thoughts.

Savouring happiness. Indulging its companion. Echoing a release of emotions.

Still. Motionless. Peace.


The waves pound against the rocks. A return of the natural. Wading in water. Fighting the waves.

A sudden calm.

Still. Motionless. Peace.

The succulence of life. Salivating tissues. Fear. Hope. Struggle.

Nothing comes easy. Tap into secluded silence. Wed truth.

All nuisances, remove yourselves. All temptations, cease your efforts.

The call has been made. Respond to it. Taste it. Feel it. Engage it.

Duty Bound


There are four generations of people currently living at home now. It never ceases to amaze me that despite having some shared genes, there are considerable generational differences. One of my grandmothers was born and raised in South Africa and left the country when she married sometime during the apartheid (if I have my history right). My other grandmother was born and raised in India, and experienced a completely different life. My parents, born and raised in a British colony, grew up with priceless joys and some tough times. My generation...well.. we're a different story all together. I think sometimes the only thing that keeps us grounded is knowing that were it not for the hard work of preceding generations and the blessings of God, our lives would be no different than the millions worldwide who are struggling on a daily basis to meet even the most basic of needs. All praises and thanks belong to God, the Most High, deserving of all praise.

My parents often share stories of their young days, and they always entertain my questions about their lives and their parents' lives. I try to absorb it all, but I know that I will never truly be able to understand how it was for them. In the least though, it teaches me to appreciate the life that I have.

North America, and the West in general, is an individualistic society. The idea being that if you can do everything alone, then you're successful. I think this is a load of bologna. Of course, people must handle themselves and take care of their own responsibilities, but in a humble way.

What does humility have to do with it? Well, when I think about how my parents described their early years after marriage, I find that they were responsible for themselves, yet they were loving and connected to their parents. Their independence was out of necessity, not out of arrogance nor out of an effort to prove their maturity. Thus, to some extent, they were able to honour their parents and all that they parents had done for the sake of making their children's lives easier.

It bothers me a lot to see the elderly alone. I often see them shopping alone, driving alone, and walking alone. This is not right. As a society, we cannot keep taking... we have to give something back. I know there are people who do take care of their elders, for which I don't doubt that their lives will be enriched.

When I watch my nephews and all that their parents go through for them, I can't help but wonder what my parents felt over the years when taking care of me.... SubhanAllah... I wish there was a way I could honour them and express my gratitude to them, but nothing I do will ever suffice. Instead, I pray for them, attempt to be a better daughter to them, and I promise myself that if I live to see them into their old age, I will do whatever I can to care for them, God willing.

May the Almighty take care of our parents, aunts, and uncles in their old age as they took care of us when we were young. May He bless them and bestow His infinite mercy upon them and us all. May He cause us all to lead lives that are pleasing to Him and make us all among those whom He is pleased with, ameen!
"Do you think that you will enter the Paradise without such (trials) as came to those who passed away before you? They encountered suffering and adversity and were so shaken in spirit that even the Apostle and those of faith who were with him cried: 'When (will come) the help of God?' Ah! Verily the help of God is (always) near!" [2:214]



Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner


"Be mindful of God, and God will protect you. Be mindful of God, and you will find Him in front of you. If you ask, ask of God. If you seek help, seek help of God. Know that if the whole world were to gather together to benefit you with anything, it would benefit you only with something that God had already prescribed for you. And if the whole world were to gather together to harm you, it would harm you only with something that God has already prescribed for you. The pens have been lifted and the ink has dried."
--Prophet Muhammad [peace be upon him]