Walk With Me - Part II

BismiLlahir Rahmanir Rahim

... a continuation

When people ask us "What's it like being a twin?" we can only respond with a similar question, "What's it like not being a twin?" It's the only way we know. Our sisterhood is something we can take for granted, but our friendship, though transient in nature, is something that not all twins share.

It's not easy trying to articulate the specifics, and a part of me really doesn't want to. But for the sake of making a clear connection, I will have to try.

Our sisterhood, as with other familial relations, means that we'll eventually forgive each other. If we really need the other, we can eventually find the other helping. If we need someone to listen to our confusion and offer some insights, we can find this person with ease. If we need the reminder of another's compassion, care, and love, we need only spend some quality time together. If we need something as drastic as a kidney, we need only ensure that the doctors are prepared to perform the surgery.

Our friendship, as I've never seen in any other (parents excluded), means we forgive each other before the wrongdoing is complete. If only the thought of some basic need comes to mind, we find the other already facilitating its acquisition. If we speak to each other, any angst or distress present soon vanishes. We never seek a reminder of the other's love, compassion, and care as its evident in all our interactions. And if we ever need something as urgently as a heart transplant, we would only settle on sharing that one heart knowing that one's loss would be too great for the other to bear.

You might think that I'm exaggerating in my descriptions, but in essence, it's the complete truth. The friendship we have shared indicates that we care for each other more than ourselves and the other person's pain hurts us far more than our own. Our individual successes are shared by us both with equal enthusiasm, and we embrace being true to ourselves while in each other's company. Perhaps this is exactly what is meant by sakinah - tranquility, or to be at complete ease with another. It's a beautiful thing, alhamduliAllah.

But how does this all relate to marriage? In her life, it means that her best friend needs to be her husband. Their relationship is eternal in nature, unlike our own, and necessitates their complete commitment. In my life, it means that my closest attachment has to be beyond the tangible. Let me elaborate.

God blesses marriages with love, mercy, and tranquility (mawadah, rahmah, wa sakinah), and by virtue of such blessings, one might expect that married couples share all that I described above. We do not doubt, not for even a nanosecond, that God's promises are true. He has equipped all marriages with these essential items of true companionship that will hopefully be utilized by both husband and wife as they strive for something greater than the superficial and ephemeral.

Marriage is nothing other than a means to helping us achieve our goal of coming closer to our Lord and serving Him as He invites us to do, and yet, this beauty of sakinah and companionship is not easily visible among most married couples. Yes, I know, marriage is difficult. Growing up, my sister and I bickered enough for me to know that discord is a part of life. But how often do couples get through it and use it to improve their relationships? God only knows.

Again, I readily admit that I am in no position to speak about marriage. But if I can articulate my hopes in this regard, it would be that husbands and wives are also best friends. It goes beyond their obligations to each other as spouses and it embraces love and mercy manifesting itself into a life of tranquility, God willing.

The difference between marriage and friendship is that Shaytan prides himself and his people on destroying marriages, and he will fight couples relentlessly to achieve this end. As I've heard from teachers, the way to combat his interference is for both husband and wife to unite as they fill their home with dhikr, the remembrance of God. Shaytan is repelled by this, and it will deter his hopes. Please don't give him the pleasure of destroying a relationship that has the potential to grow into a beautiful abode in this chaotic world.

Sometimes though, some marriages just don't work. And God knows best why that it is. If such should occur, it still remains an obligation on both husband and wife to separate in a good way. As my father says, "Start with dignity, and end with dignity."

For those who are single and may never marry, there is something profound in it too. Should Allah will for you to marry, you will marry. And if not, you won't. It's as simple as that. But do you think that Ar Raheem, The Most Mericful, does not have something sweet for you too? Kalla, no. Have a good opinion of your Lord, and you'll always find sweetness in front of you, God willing.

As I tell myself now, there are two doors from which we (married or single) can enter into this sweetness - the love of the Quraan and the love of HabibiLlah, the beloved of God, Prophet Muhammad, may God's peace and blessings be upon him and his family. In fact, we all must strive to enter from both doors, and know that Allah will send us what we need, be it marriage or otherwise, if we truly seek success with Him alone.

For more information (this is my very polite way of insisting) about developing a relationship with Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, listen to these lessons (and this one in Arabic), insha'Allah.

Walk With Me - Part I

BismiLlahir Rahmanir Rahim

So let's combine my idealistic and peripheral observations with my continuously unachieved hope for worthwhile reflections. It's a dangerous combination given my lack of both direct experience and a suitable personal frame by which to place these thoughts. Consider yourself forewarned. You'll get only what you want to get from this, God willing - nothing more and nothing less.


Parenthood aside, marriage seems to be inspired by romantic ideals. But it takes a lot to keep the flames of such fanciful notions alive given the daunting task of trying to live with someone after some 20 or 30 odd years of not having to deal with that person, his habits, personality, interests, family, and moods.

For others, the dominant appeal in marriage seems to lie squarely on religious progression. But that too cannot be taken for granted, especially when you find that your significant other is struggling just as much as you with his spiritual aspirations and neither of you have any idea how you can help yourselves let alone each other.

Financial and worldly ambitions aside, there remains the hope of finding a companion in one's spouse. And it is from this point which I hope to make some leaps in my thinking, bi ithniLlah.

By God's grace, I am no stranger to companionship. Before I was born, I met my playmate, my confidant, and my best friend - my sister and my twin. To strangers, our faces are one and the same. To intimate acquaintances, we delightfully compliment each other. And to family and loved ones, we are complete individuals always playing on the same team.

There aren't words sufficient enough for me to thank God for this great blessing of companionship, and I'm sure within in too He has a lesson for us both.

My twin sister is a wife, a mother, and a step-mother of a few loving and beautiful (masha'Allah wa alhamduliAllah) children, all of whom are gems and gifts from God. She is a selfless woman with a big heart who attempts to raise her children with high moral and ethical consciousness. Her strength, perseverance, vision, and hearty sense of humour (that often keeps me laughing) are few of the many beautiful characteristics that Allah has blessed her with (alhamduliAllah).

However, the inherent nature of this world is change and this blessed relationship must endure the same. But as with everything in life, we must face these changes with complete confidence in God and His plan for us.


Were my writing aids pen and paper, the ink in my pen has suddenly run dry and will remain as such until I can reclaim the balance between heart and mind. Only with that can I hope to find the clarity which I seek, by the infinite grace of Allah.

...continued here

Acquire knowledge.
It enables its possessor to distinguish right from wrong;
it lights the way to Heaven;
it is our friend in the desert, our society in solitude, our companion when friendless;
it guides us to happiness;
it sustains us in misery;
it is an ornament amongst friends;
and an armour against enemies.
-- Prophet Muhammad
....may God's peace and blessings be upon him

If I may...

BismiLlahir Rahmanir Rahim

Excuse me for a moment, I want to complain. Yes, I just want to complain.

I want to mention something and tell whoever might bump into this insignificant portion of the web hoping to pass some of their precious time in a fruitless pursuit that the random thing which I choose to mention is annoying and irritating me. That's a complaint, right? To whine about something because it's bothering you or maybe because you just want to hear your own voice so you pick on anything or anyone and attempt to start a case. (It takes too much energy to find good things to say, so why bother, eh?)

But you see, I'm too boring. And I currently can't think of anything to complain about. Not even myself which is usually a good place to go to get a good and decent topic for a complaint. But no, I have nothing. Zip. Zilch.

And you know what? It feels great! Just great!

But say something happens, and then I do have a complaint, and I voice it out to you. Yes you... No no, not you, but you. Clear? As clear as mud. I hoped as much. You can add that to your list of complaints. Yes, say I was to present a complaint to you, what would you do? Because you know, I'd only tell you if I trusted you enough to be able to respond to my complaints in a worthy way.

Don't listen to me whine for the sake of my whining having an audience because then your being would be easily likened to a worthless board which my whining rebounds against and comes back to me exactly the same way. Noise. I might as well complain here, on the world wide web where everything bounces back even uglier than when it leaves my grasp.

If I should so burden you with my complaints, please listen. And then, offer some fruitful feedback.

Why? Because whining for the sake of whining is a waste of time.

So quit yer whining sweetheart!

A Brief Second

BismiLlahir Rahmanir Rahim

It was, as always, in the midst of the night
When the shadow that danced upon the walls
Ceased to complete its infamously graceful steps
In concern, or was it despair, I arose to discover its purpose
Silenced, it could not be discerned
Where its steps ceased to exist, so too did its form
I waited
One second
And two
My breathing pausing alongside my anticipation
And then, there was motion
But only slight enough for the proctor to notice
And I did
And it hid its presence again
We had only just started the choreography
Of a speechless symphony
And as I stared into the darkness
Searching the walls for any sign of permanence
The world became clearer
For a second
A brief second
I knew that my waiting was in vain
The certitude of history beckoned acknowledgement
And the suspected guarantee of failure enlightened
The journey will be solitary for me

As hope cannot flourish in mere shadows
And in the deep crevices of the night
I still search for some strength

For a chariot of some sort to help carry me
To the abode of promises fulfilled
For it is by His graces alone
That in this world we can live

O Ramadhan

BismiLlahir Rahmanir Rahim


Ramadhan was finally upon us. Any thought of it in the months preceding its arrival was difficult to bear. I wasn't sure of what the changes that year would mean to me. Suffice to say, it has almost been two years since then and thoughts of it still linger.

The location was breathtaking in the day, but especially so at night. How I loved the nights! The stars stood overhead, each smiling brightly. The moon giggled and when no one was looking, I'm sure she winked too. We were living with the stars, and it was spectacular.

The night sky has its way of stealing me, and so it did that very night as we sat in pitch darkness, the electricity cut again, on the porch of the neighbour's house. Her front yard boasted a small farm, one small enough that the house which I was then a resident of was easily visible.

For some years prior, my sister and I developed a tradition of singing a Ramadhan song together upon the arrival of Ramadhan. I probably hadn't had the chance to speak to her yet, and as I gazed at the beautiful night canopy, I thought of the song.

As the neighbour and her sisters fussed in the dark preparing coffee and snacks, I sat in silence savouring the beauty of the moon. I debated over the temptation to honour the family tradition alone, but I really didn't want the others to hear me. I soon gave in and started singing the song softly to myself while enjoying the splendor of the night sky.

My humming, unfortunately, caught the attention of my companions who quickly started 'hushing' each other so they could hear me better. I, of course, stopped. They asked that I continue, but being acutely aware of their full attention and my preference to minimize it and disappear into the night, I refused. They pleaded. I figured that it was God's blessing that the electricity was still not working, and with darkness as my cloak, I indulged their request allowing myself to embrace the meaning of the words. After which, I butchered the song in my attempts to offer a translation.

I relate this story because the fifth new moon that appears in our skies from now, God willing, will mark our beloved Ramadhan, and perhaps it's time we start preparing to meet her. I know I tell myself this every year, and every year I fail, but it seems to be about the only thing glowing on my horizon, and I owe it to myself to do something about it, insha'Allah.

One beauty of writing is that thoughts can be preserved, so I remind myself about these suggestions which I wrote a few years ago in attempt to prepare for Ramadhan's arrival.

May the Almighty allow us to live long enough to meet Ramadhan. May He help us as we try to renew ourselves for His sake, may He forgive our sins, and may He shower His infinite blessings upon us and our loved ones, ameen.

"Happy to Meet, Sorry to Part, Happy to Meet Again"

BismiLlahir Rahmanir Rahim

Pain is a part of life, and it was a part of the life of our beloved Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him. Beyond the physical challenges that he met in his life, be it hunger or illness, he also experienced a great level of emotional pain.

I wonder how it was that he responded to each situation. He experienced the loss of many who were not only close to him, but they were beloved to him. God placed them each as a source of comfort in his life, and these people included his mother Aminah, his grandfather Abdul Muttalib, his uncle Abu Talib, his wife Khadijah, his daughters Ruqayyah, Um Kulthum, and Zaynab, among many other significant people, may God's mercy and peace be upon them all.

I'm sure he wept, and yet I'm also sure that none of these many incidences in his life caused him to falter in his focus on reality and the purpose of life. After all, he is the last and final Prophet of God, peace and blessings be upon him. He was aware of the nature of this world, which inherently includes joyful meetings and sorrowful partings.

We need to reflect on his life and his way of doing things so that perhaps we can have some share of a grasp on reality in our lives.

Most don't like saying goodbye to those whom they respect, care about, and love. It's hard to let go of the joys of such company, and yet sometimes it's necessary. I can recall, quite vividly, the most difficult goodbyes in my life, and still, there are more ahead, by the will of God.

I can face them with the thought that I'm losing something, or I can face them with the affirmation that peace and contentment is with God alone. And as I say goodbye to those I love, I must acknowledge that I have been blessed by the Almighty to have tasted such a sweet connection in the first place.

I remember my last face-to-face interaction with one dear sister. We had only met each other a few months prior to our parting, but time did not play much of a factor in connecting our hearts. As my departure time neared, she came to see me to share some parting words which started with, "You know, I really don't like goodbyes." We then decided that it would not be a goodbye, but rather it would be an "until we meet again, God willing" moment. It was a slight reframing of the same concept, but now it offered so much more.

This life ends, but souls do not perish by God's will. God, Most Generous is He, unites people again, and we pray that He unites us with our loved ones in the best of places, in Jannah, with the most beloved of creation, Al Habib, Al Mustafa, Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him. 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]



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"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]