Self-Inflicted Loss

بسم الله الرحمان الرحيم

I remember the times
that now seem so far away
when you stood by my side
no longer a stranger

but we've grown distant
oh so slowly
and my heart still aches
that you're no longer next to me

I reach out to you
but fail to understand
others tell me that I've forgotten
and that I've failed you

perhaps I deserve this loss
but it doesn't hurt any less
love isn't cheap
I see that

your strength still moves my heart
though you may not be mine
I do hope for your return
and for clarity in our union

Until then
I have no right to grieve
I've not abandoned you
I surely haven't

One day
We will smile together
Again, inshaAllah.
For His sake alone.
For His sake alone.

أحبك يا لغة القرآن
أحبك يا لغة العظيمة
أحبك يا لغة عربية

الصلاة و السلام على الرسول المصطفى

The Essence of Weddings

Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim

As Wedding Essence launches its new website (masha'Allahu wa alhamdulillah!), I'm reminded of the beauty of families. More specifically, I'm reminded of families who support each other, bring out the best in each other, and work together to facilitate each other's legit ambitions. It goes without saying that such blessings are from none other than Allah, the Most High, to whom belongs all praises, submission, and servitude. It is by His grace and facilitation that beauty manifests itself in our lives. In families, this beauty most often stems from husbands and wives, those of them who work towards beautifying the world with their joint efforts.

So, uhm, do I speaketh of ideals? Is reality much different? Perhaps it is! As my mother taught me, "Every bed of roses has its thorns." So the next time someone asks me "When are you getting married?" I think I might send them here to stew on the insights that Sherman and his buddies in the lagoon so nicely offer.

[You'll have to click on the images to enlarge them. Sorry for the inconvenience.]

The agonizing question of when you're getting married finally pushes you to make an effort toward finding a suitable spouse. But if you decide to join the game, then make sure you at least have some game.

There must be a handbook for this process. Some people say "too honest" is a bad thing, but surely there should be a bright side to it.

You soon learn that the process is indeed challenging, but it's also very insightful. Perhaps a bit too insightful?

Those, however, who bravely persist after a failed venture might want to consider a new strategy.

But bravery and hopes only invite surprises. Be prepared.

Some of us though aren't that brave and instead the pressure only surmounts. God helps us all.

For those who make it past the meeting stage, it doesn't take much time before confidence takes the lead. Good thing friends are there to light the way.

Alas, you decide to marry...

And if you were wise enough to write the reasons down, you might want to make multiple copies. Maybe even hang one copy on the fridge too.

Okay, okay... a few peculiar preferences can be indulged, especially when your partner tries so hard to impress you.

Some surprises are better shared before the moment of truth. Otherwise, it's important that couples have effective methods for resolving conflicts.

Marriages do reach some strange plateaus. Love? What's that? Does it come with dip?

But through all the drama, selfless consideration shines through in its own uniquely beautiful way.

Marriage and fatherhood is sometimes a bit overwhelming for men, so let's take a peek at Hagar's scene for a reflective moment.

You see, wives are dependable. You can always count on them to set the record straight. Be prepared.

Men eventually learn to embrace the role of a father...

...ensuring that they impart their wisdom.

From singlehood to marriage to parenthood, we surpass those familial challenges. We then find ourselves being weighed down by the other demands of life.

But through it all, there are always friends who we can count on.

Alternatively, professional help will have to do.

Amply sufficient...

Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim

حسبي الله

A few months ago, I was officially required to get involved with society again. I had tried, rather unsuccessfully, to prepare myself mentally for the demands that awaited me in terms of interacting once again with society at large, a society that I've grown up in and know well enough to know that they still don't understand me, a Muslimah. Nonetheless, Allah placed me in this, and it has benefitted me tremendously to not forget that.

In Allah's generosity, kindness, and grace, He has made all practical considerations easy for me. As He always does. SubhanAllah. He tests me only in my gratefulness. In the demands of this world, He sends rays of sunshine my way just when I need them in the exact intensity that I need them. Sometimes, when my heart is in thousands of pieces, He sends that comfort, untouchable and brief though it may be, to be by my side. Alhamdulillah. It shouldn't have been suprising then when a colleague greeted me with "assalaamu'alaykum" when he first saw me despite not being a Muslim or when I met a Yemeni sister who, upon learning of my attempts to learn Arabic, began speaking to me in fus7a Arabic during our brief and sporadic conversations. Ashkuruka ya Rab...

I've since said goodbye to some of those people, and continue this journey with people whose company has thus far been enlightening. The world is a large place and the differences in people are unquantifiable. Being the boring person that I am, I have only one thing with which to connect with most people, and that is our shared humanity. And for me, it's sufficient. It is amply sufficient, bi ithnillah.

اللهم صلي على سيدنا حبيبنا محمد و على آله و صحبه و سلم

Khalid Belrhouzi - The Cloak

An Ink-less Pen

Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim

Nope, today I won't write about the complications of myself. I won't write about the absurdity of consumerism. I won't write about the Hadhrami blue skies. I won't write about the voices of the heart. I won't write about the chaotic effects of selfishness and greed. I won't write about the sufferings of innocent people. I won't write about the monkey-like habits of man. I won't write about the challenges of this world. I won't write about the potential of dreams. I won't write about ineffective systems. I won't write about what is but that which we hate, or what isn't but that which we hope for, or what has passed but that which we still can't understand.

Add but a few more things to that list, and we have just about everything in my mind right now. And I don't want to think about any of them deeply. I can't, really.

If I have to liken my way of thinking as I face this world to something tangible, it would be a brick faced with the prospect of fitting through a smaller circular opening. And yet somehow it "works."

In all the ick of this life, there is so much to be grateful for. In all the illusions of this world, there is sufficient evidence of our reality. And really, that's about all I can swallow right now. To know that life is not in vain, that this world is not a place of amusement, and that we dwell here for only a short time is a great comfort for me. I want as little of it as it wants of me. It's a mutual hate-hate relationship, and tensions are just a part of the package.

Allah is Al Karim, and His graces are grand. Thank you Allah.
"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]