Soon to follow...

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

There she is, the Rajab moon, looking upon us as she reminds us that Ramadhan is coming soon. I look to one side and see the comfort of the world I'm in, the one that can mute the rest of the world out, unconcerned and unmoved. I look to the other side and I imagine their fears, their tears, and their unrest. My unrest is unwarranted compared to theirs.

The other day, as I lost my thoughts in two hours of kitchen duties and the sounds of Arabic nasheeds, I found myself in a pendulum moving from thoughts of joy to reminders of struggles. I remembered the people who I once called a friend. Those who were upset with me when I failed to share reasons for my sadness. Those who I spent hours with in unexhausted conversation. Those who considered my ears worthy of their woes. Those who offered me a hug when I needed it the most. Those whose advice and insights I always seek. Those who I hold near and dear to my heart, and the one or two that I dare call a good friend. Some have since moved on, married perhaps, perhaps just better settled in the comfort of their families. Others are a hand's span away but utterly unreachable.

Despite using a fan strategically placed by my father for my comfort, the heat of the day and the stove was still ever present for me. "Not quite desert heat," I thought with a smile "...but heat nonetheless." The scent of freshly barbecued kebabs wafted its way to me as family members opened the oven and helped themselves to lunch. I smiled. If I closed my eyes at that moment, I could have almost experienced a step in Sana'a bustling streets, perhaps passing a street vendor as I contemplated lunch options.

I'm blessed. My family is well, but they're not my only concern. Violence in Sana'a, in Cairo, in BenGhazi, in Damascus, and other places enter my mind. A smile cannot survive such thoughts. I hope for some correspondence that will inform me that those who have touched my heart are well. A selfish hope, but a hope nonetheless.

Years ago, as my friend and I discussed travelling overseas to study at a certain school, we talked about the difficulties that singlehood could offer. "You're a hopeless romantic!" she said to me. I still haven't figured out why. It just didn't seem easier to travel with a spouse and have him staying in one school while I had the opportunity to pursue my studies in an adjacent school. Practically speaking, I said to her, "How would I know if he was ill? Or if he had eaten well?" For me, these concerns have nothing to do with romance. They're simply a part of caring, even if only considering a hypothetical situation.

Romance... caring... love... perhaps they all add up to the same thing to some extent. I then thought about the infamous Layla (Majnoon's Layla). Few look at her perspective on things, perhaps because of the enticement of Majnoon's eloquence. Undeniably impressive eloquence, but kalaam nonetheless. What did Layla's silence say? Perhaps this question is worthless, but I'll indulge it all the same. Given the option to marry him but to also bring shame to her family due to his open declaration of love, she attempts to disengage her feelings for him and instead marries another. Her emotions eventually get the better of her (and him no less), and they both die of broken hearts. Quite the drama indeed, but I credit her effort of sacrificing her desires and her beloved's for the sake of greater good. It's not an easy task, but life sometimes requires that we walk firmly on the path of self-denial.

The question is simple, "What do you want out of life?" But the answer is one of the most difficult to provide while being ruthlessly honest with one's self. A dishonest answer will only lead to a tangled web. I realize this now. In my attempts at answering this question, I find myself saying, feeling, thinking, and living different things. While this stems from my weakness, I must stand by the strength in my kalaam and hope that the rest will soon follow, inshaAllah.

اللهُمَّ إنِّي ضَعِيفٌ فَقوِّ في رِضاكَ ضَعْفي، و خُذْ إلى الخيْرِ بِناصِيَتي، و اجْعلِ الإسلامَ مُنتهى رِضاي
اللهُمَّ إنِّي ضعيفٌ فقوِّني، و إنّي ذليللٌ فأعِزَّني، و إني فقيرٌ فأغْنِني، بِرحمتِكَ يا أرحمَ الرّاحمين... آمين

هي جنة - حمود الخضر
"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]