The End

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

It takes courage to speak plainly, and rarely do I do so except when answering an honest question. Writings here have been no question's response but rather the effects of a mindful notion or a heartfelt emotion. The two often fused in abstract incoherence, metaphorical conceptions attempting to incite gainful comprehension. Alas, the inkwell is dry, and each letter remains evidence of an ambition guiltily forsaken. To be and to be better. To live and to live better. To serve and to serve better.

May the One who guides guide me. May the One who forgives forgive me. May life's purpose be realized and vain endeavours cease to exist. May truth be our companion and sincerity our goal. May Allah - the One deserving of all praise and loyal servitude, our sustainer and provider -  guide us to good, protect us from all evils, and make our final moment of life be our sweetest. Guide the believers to You and Your good pleasure ya Rabb, and please protect us from the evils of ourselves and others, ameen.

اللهم لك كل الحمد و كل الشكر....اللهم امتنا على دينك الاسلام
.آمين

Forever Incomplete

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Nothing new here... The same sentiments have since been observed, realized, and written. But perhaps variance in articulations will inspire strength... and change.

I can hear the unexpected sound of rain upon rooftops. Their pitter-pattering forms a lullaby as souls move freely and bodies enter the realm of silent sleep. I wish to be among them, but the rain rarely sings me to sleep. She usually awakens me and begs from me a thought or two. Why are you as you are? What is your world all about? Are you ready for your end?

I fail in my answers tonight. I know very well that I hold an unruly amount of shawq for that which concerns this world. I didn't ask for it, and yet for many reasons I consider it a gift. Regardless that my longing is for something that is grand it in its own right (at least in my opinion, but this could be the point of error), it's not for me and it's not my place to want for myself other than what my Lord wants for me. So I ask myself, what does my Lord want of me? What should I be doing? Where should I turn my heart and how? Is anything of this world supposed to serve as a cushion during these aspirations? I try to test myself to see if my heartfelt inclinations are at all legit, but I never really know the truth of them. I have no certain resolution regarding them.

Instead I try to focus on what I do know. There is door is in front of me, and whether I want to or not, I have to open it, and I have to enter through it. I want be eager to do so because this door was put in front of me by Allah, and I should be grateful. I am. I don't want to use the word "but" now, though it is the only word that fits the sentence. But something is missing. This entryway is a trifle, in my opinion. Do what needs to be done and then close it and move on to that which is food for the soul. That which is a struggle in an envelope of sakinah or tranquillity. I'm not seeking ease or ideals since my life is already no one's definition of ideal, but I seek peace and purpose and the confidence to know that my aspirations and efforts are worthwhile and not found to be burdensome on the day when we will see the true weightings of what we're engaged in.

From this depth, one would naturally advise having a great concern for one's intentions. They need to be guarded, rectified, and refreshed repeatedly. But there is still a missing link. I now know its name but I won't name it here right now. First I must learn its true value and then I must be convinced that if it was from among my needs, truly, then it would be provided for me. As it stands now, relief is far because the difficulty of the situation is embedded in my thoughts and are being transferred to my heart. This is the result of weakness and lowliness.

And from where shall there be strength? Well, now this is all sounding quite cyclical. Did the chicken come first or the egg?

What is it that we want from our lives and this world?

Written on December 6, 2011

Random Pauses

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم


It's like an encompassing gaseous cloud. Embedded within the cloud are experiences of all sorts including delightful, challenging, terrifying, and neutral experiences. Those who enter this cloud soon forget that it is a mere cloud. The availability of varied and seemingly infinite experiences causes them to delve from one endeavour to the next. But sometimes, if we are so fortunate, we come across some segments that are free or sparsely filled with either invitations to experience or with evidence of negligence. These are where jewels are born and maintained. These are rare pockets that must be sought and cherished.

February 22, 2011

***


How freely we throw around words, labels, and names. Calling one this and one that, defining them by choices in letter arrangements. Friend or foe, but one syllable yet a world of difference. Is "human" not a sufficient compromise?


September 13, 2011

***


What does it mean to have a home? It is a place of sakinah that is very easy to take for granted. A home is not only a roof over one's head nor is it only a table laden with familiar foods, but rather it is a place of comfort. It is where strangeness escapes and hearts settle. It's where one's mask to world rests and one's heart eases. Homelessness, as I'm framing it now, is not the absence of necessities as much as it is the absence of sakinah.

May 7, 2012

***


A woman might look at her beauty as a thing of her own accord, her personal quality to boast about, and yet she had no choice in the matter. Neither in the shape of her face nor in the ovals of her eyes. Her choices of adornment, though her own, are meager efforts to flaunt her beauty. Her character, however, is something that she governs, and only in its expression can we find the strength of her being and the value of her self-mastery.

July 22, 2012



A Glass of Water

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Now we share the same bright sun, the same round moon, why don't we share the same love? Tell me why not. Life is shorter than most had thought. Hold my hand..."
- Maher Zain

Written on May 22, 2008


Last night, as I drifted off to sleep, I was thinking about my life over the last year compared to the life that I’ve known for most of my years and which I’ve returned to now. SubhanAllah. I often think of the differences…

“Which is it of the favours of your Lord that you deny?”
- Al Quraan – Chapter 55- Ar Rahman


My thoughts…

As I went to bed last night, I was cold, and I was ever-grateful for comforter that kept me warm. I remembered one night while I lived in a boarding school this past winter when I felt almost unbearably cold. In those days, my immune system was unusually weak, and I fell ill for the second time in that month leaving me with severe chills followed by fever. I didn’t have enough energy to leave my room to ask anyone for an extra blanket and my roommate was out of sight, so I wore the warmest clothes I could including socks and black gloves meant to be worn by women who observe niqab, and I crawled into my sleeping bag hoping to warm up.

A few months prior to that, when I lived in an apartment, I returned home wet from the rain. I’m not sure if at that time I had a hot-water tank in my bathroom yet, but if I wanted a hot shower, I would have to turn it on and wait at least half an hour before I could expect to have hot water. I had no stove, and any thought of having a nice warm mug of milk was out of question. But at least I had a sweater, and in that I found my comfort.

There are so many things that I enjoy at home that I can easily take for granted. Take, for instance, drinking water. Over the last year, I avoided drinking tap water for about six months until I entered a boarding school. The tap water that is at the school comes from a well and has a high content of minerals making it faintly yellow. A lot of my fellow housemates drank the tap water, so I figured I would do the same until given a reason to do otherwise. And besides that, there were some taps with chilled water, specifically for drinking, and I prefer chilled drinking water (or at least I used to until I learnt to do without it). I was fine drinking tap water for the first two months, after which my body outright rejected any amount of that water. My next best option was to buy distilled water, but due to some miscommunication, my jug of water took two months to get to me as opposed to the usual three-day wait. I learnt the value of clean drinking water at the time by knowing that I couldn’t open the tap and take a drink despite my thirst and how much I longed for a bit of water. In Allah’s beautiful way, He taught me the value of drinking water among many other things.

.....More thoughts for the days ahead of me, insha’Allah.

I then wondered why it is that as privileged people of the world, we tend to look at these luxuries at ‘entitlements’ while many other people in the world live without them. If we don’t have these basic things, then it’s a breach of our human rights, right? What about the people in Palestine? Don’t they have rights? Or how about in Iraq? Or Sudan? Or Kashmir? Name any place, and at least recognize that what we have is not our right because if it were, we would be damn sure to work towards establishing the basic rights of others, right?

Last night, as I wondered about the ways of this world I decided that our position of privilege leaves us in a position of responsibility, and responsibility leaves us in a position of accountability. Accountable to who? Well, I'm sure you're smart enough to figure it out...

And when you do figure it out, attempt to do something about it, and please invite me to join you because I’m still trying to figure out what it is that I need to do.

May the Almighty guide us all, fill our hearts with love of Him and His Habib, peace be upon him, and let our hands begin and continuously remain in work that is pleasing to Him, ameen.

Pray for me please.

To Care

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Above all, I'm indebted to her for her friendship. In all honesty, I don't think she'll ever consider me a true friend to her, but in a time when we were both far removed from friends and family, we spent much of our time together. We were classmates, housemates, and travel companions whenever possible. I do wish that I am able to write about our time together, but all my attempts thus far have come to naught.

There was one occasion, during our walk home, when she picked a flower for me from a blanket of purple flowers that adorned the side of the street. Though my heart sank at the thought that I would soon witness the flower's demise, I carried it carefully as we continued our walk. It was a beautiful flower that I treasured very much. [Hmmm...It seems a peculiar repeat that I'm enchanted by one flower that is picked on impulse by a friend made in foreign lands.]

I kept the flower on my bedside table without water or any particular comfort except for my occasional attention. It survived, quite surprisingly, for at least eight days after which I placed it in a flower bed to breath its last. My friend was slightly amused by my care for the flower's end, and in fact expected it to have wilted before arriving home the day she picked it. Such was the fate of flowers of the same type that she had picked previously.

As I reflect on the life of an endearing flower, I consider the impact that care plays in the lives of all living organisms. Flowers require sun and rain to survive. We require food, water, and shelter. But that does not, in the least, optimize our existence. They are the incumbents, or the faraidh if I can say. I don't believe that we were created for only that, the bare minimum. Beyond the essentials, we beautify our existence by acts of goodness, much like the sunan, and through them Allah favours us with His graces as He wills.

If this world and all its inhabitants can be likened to a flower-filled garden, how might it look?

اللهم اهدنا الصراط المستقيم... آمين

Attempts

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم


"In a time of darkness and greed, it is your light that we need. You came to teach us how to live. Muhammad, ya Rasul Allah. You were so caring and kind. Your soul was full of light. You are the best of mankind. Muhammad, khayru khalqi Allah. Sallu 'ala Rasuli Allah, Habibi-l Mustafa. Peace be upon the Messenger, the Chosen One. From luxury you turned away, and all night you would pray. Truthful in every word you say. Muhammad, ya Rasul Allah."
Maher Zain - The Chosen One - Al Mukhtar


Last winter, I was offered a good job at the same time that an opportunity presented itself for me to study Arabic overseas for about three months. As per my usual practice, I consulted my family and attempted, with little success, to consult a couple of other respectful souls whose opinion I value. Suffice to say, after much strife, I turned down the job. Some may call me a fool for doing so. Though penniless, I don't regret it.

Those who know me could well expect that I would want to extend my trip to longer than three months. My return ticket was booked for this December, but Allah's plan has already come to pass. Perhaps accepting the job was a good idea because I couldn't afford the fees that were quoted for private study. The tentative plan was to study for three more months privately and then to find a school to enroll in. None occurred. Though it was a seemingly quick decision for me to return home, it was a sad day for me. Its memory remains as such, but it too cannot be regretted.

Interestingly, one day while at school, after greeting one of the directors (if I can call him that) at the Arabic institute, he asked me if I was happy."Do you want the honest answer?" I asked. He did. I told him I wasn't. But happiness has never been my goal. It's not a thing of this world.

I turn 30 this year, inshaAllah, marking 30 years of life lived. While this blog stands testimony to my efforts to define my world and to check myself, I'm still lost in the darkness of my nafs. It's an ugly place to be. I have no way out of it except by His mercy. Allahumma irhamna... irhmana ya Kareem.

I'm changing my ways, tweaking them where I can, as best as I can. Minuscule attempts, but attempts nonetheless. I'm changing up my approach. I'm taking the time to breathe freely. But I don't trust my steps. Atawakkalu 'ala Allah. Perhaps I'm falling into the worst of my errors in the name of an attempt. But I'm not interested in playing the game of life. Most will fault me for it, but I won't try to explain myself. None know what's in my heart. I prefer to get to the point, and while that definitely requires going through the motions of life, it can never be trivialized. In all my attempts, at least I can say the errors are my own. When they fall upon my face, it will be for me to deal with alone.

Allahumma ihdina....ya Rabb Al 'alameen...

****

There are no words for this...

U7ibuhum fi Allah. Allahumma ihdina faghfir lana. Allahumma farij 'ala al muslimeena wa al muslimaat fi kulli makaan. Ameen.



The speech of the grand mufti of Syria at his son Sarya's funeral.

Strangers

X

None are familiar and none have the potential to be more than strangers. What can we say of another? This and that, the trivial and frivolous. Favourite this or that, inclined to and repulsed by. All ineffectual details that make the mundane, the every day, seem more familiar, more controlled, more owned. Deeply buried is the heart in random details. Can its flavour ever be shared?

Of utmost importance is how little we know of our own selves. Occasional discoveries are made from time to time on our own. Sometimes we embrace the boxes that others put us in, other times we reject them, and yet other times we respond with indifference. The box of another's musings need not our attention when the framing of our own introspective attempts are obscure and distant.

Who are you?

Really, who are you?

From dust to dust, what is there to boast about in between? What is worth claiming in the short interval of our worldly sojourn? We are all strangers to each other and more severely to ourselves. There are none to diagnose this vagueness, and perhaps that's the point entirely.

For what can a stranger be praised? Nothing. A random act of friendliness or kindness is praised, but the stranger himself is not, in essence. We, too, have nothing in ourselves worth crediting because we can't know that what we find in ourselves is truly from us and truly a part of us. But we can know, and must know, that what we find in ourselves and around us is by Allah's will, grace, and generosity.

Our strangeness points directly to Allah's sole existence. Only does He truly exist. That is to say, only is His existence worthy while ours is entirely dependent on Him. Only He has definite characteristics. Only He is without need, and only He can be praised. And really, only by Him can we know, in truth, who we are and what purpose our beings serve.

We are foremost heedless of our covenant. بلى Distracted by pointless information, we miss the very point of our existence.

May we be guided to renew this covenant in mind, body, and spirit. May our actions, thoughts, and words be adorned with sincerity and humility, and may they be proof of our servitude. Ameen.

اللهم إنا نسألك رضاك والجنة، ونعوذ بك من سخطك والنار
آمين
****

Imam Ahmad narrated from Anas bin Malik who narrated from the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم, saying:

يُقَالُ لِلرَّجُلِ مِنْ أَهْلِ النَّارٍ يَوْمَ القِيَامَةِ: أ رَأيْتَ لَوْ كَانَ لَكَ مَا عَلَى الأرْضِ مِنْ شَيْءٍ أ كُنْتَ مُفْتَدِيًا بِهِ؟ قَالَ: فَيَقُولُ: نَعَمْ، فَيَقُولُ: قَدْ أرَدْتُ مِنْكَ مَا هُوَ أهْوَنَ مِنْ ذَلِكَ، قَدْ أخَذتُ عَلَيْكَ فِي ظَهْر آدَمَ ألَّا تُشْركَ بِي شَيْئاً فَأبَيْتَ إِلَّا أنْ تُشْركَ بِي


It will be said to a person from the People of Hell on the Day of Judgement: "If you had all that is on the earth, would you have ransomed yourself by it (from what you are in)? He will answer "Yes." Allah will say, "I had wanted from you something less than that. I took the covenant when you were in the loin of Adam, that you should not associate with Me anything. However, you persisted in joining associates with Me."

[Al Bukhari 334 and Ahmad 3/127]

Breadcrumbs

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

It's late, and I should be sleeping. I have been been coughing severely for a few days with lingering signs of illness. A concoction of oregano and thyme seeped in hot water encouraged me to leave my attempts at slumber. I detest the flavour of the beverage, but it is a means through which Allah may grant shifa.

Be warned, my speech henceforth will seem all the more misplaced, but there is a moment I must attempt to capture in words.

****

It is not in words nor on paper. It is not in experiences or encounters. It is like sweet honey that can only be retrieved from bees that frequent desert vegetation. The mirage is as easily accessible as ‹‹كُن فَيَكُونُ›› and as difficultly removed as ‹‹وَخُلِقَ الْإِنْسَانُ ضَعِيفًا››.

For the one hoping for a share, it's worth remembering ‹‹قَالَ كَذَلِكَ اللَّهُ يَفْعَلُ مَا يَشَاءُ ››.

What a dreadful state it is to find oneself in internal opposition to His will. Perhaps it is not opposition to His will, but wondering if His will coincides with one's own and where the two meet or at which point one must change it to be like His.

Does everyone leave a trail of breadcrumbs? If so, what becomes of them? Are there any who eventually find the trail and join it? If not, should one bother with the trail?

Feb 14, 2012
11:41 PM - Agdal, Rabat

*So many months later, I no longer have any idea what breadcrumbs is referencing, but perhaps in years to come I'll give it a new interpretation, inshaAllah. Now I know how readers feel when or if they read this blog.

Problem Solving

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

"Keeping in touch is the simplest token of love." - Sara B.
Problem:
With two equal values, how do we get to The One?
1 ☐ 1 = 1

I over-think things sometimes. I can't help myself because if things are not right, then they must be wrong. And if they're wrong, then there has to be a reason. In the case of relationships, I potentially carry half the responsibility for the errors. Thus, I need to figure out my role in sorting things out. That sounds easy enough on paper, but it never really works that way for me in reality.

Relationships, regardless their type, increase in complexity alongside an increase in intensity until they eventually (or rarely) hit a plateau of mutual understanding, shared conflict resolution, and a commitment to sincerely care. For me, a friendship, by definition, means mutual care. An overly simplistic and naive thought perhaps.

I've been trying to make sense of balancing friendships and really all relationships in my life for most of the last year, and I think now, as sleep mocks me, I have some insight into it. Simply, perhaps it requires that I figure out how to maintain a sincere distance. By that, I mean to possess a sincere concern for another while having enough of an emotional distance to not expect the same in return. This is quite the challenge because relationships, by design, are two way streets.

While I speak of friendships, I must acknowledge that I have failed others in the meaning of a true friend as much as others have disappointed me in my expectations of our supposed shared friendship. Nonetheless, when I consider relationships, I often recall a tidbit of wisdom that a sister once shared with me. I think it comes from the likes of Imam Al Ghazali, but I could be entirely mistaken. It is said that if you ask someone "Kayfa haaluk?" or in everyday English, "How are you?" and he expresses distress or is having trouble with anything, then the questioner is obliged to help (to the best of his ability). Why? Well, what's the point in asking the question if you don't care for a truthful answer? And if the truthful answer is one of distress, then doesn't one's humanity oblige one to care enough to try to help remove that distress? Really, it's something to think about. I think this entire idea is filled with treasures that are useful in understanding sincerity and the beauty of relationships.

Relationships are a place for giving, not getting. While a mutual concern would be a beautiful thing, it is a high expectation that I think is misplaced in some ways. Why? Because Allah is He who gives. When we serve His creations, it is in service of Him. When we receive from His creations, it is a gift from Him. This has nothing to do with individuals, but only has to do with Him.

Broken hearts need only be repaired with the glue of iman. As for the rest, consider it water under the bridge. Life is too short to expect others to be what we cannot be even for our own selves.
Solution:
1 - 1 = 0 ✗
1 ÷ 1 = 1 ✓

1 + 1 = 2 ✗
1 x 1 = 1 ✓

∴ To reach The One when dealing with two souls, each weighing the same in the eyes of man, multiply the good and divide your love for His sake. Addition and subtraction are futile.

"This isn't about me and never has been. It's about Allah, and nothing else."
- A voice of wisdom




Maher Zain - Number One For Me

****

Update:
This needed a home, so I guess it's going here.

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

When that door was open, I had every indication that it was a threshold of value, a friendship that was beyond superficial political correctness, one that enjoyed good, discouraged thoughts of weakness and error, and turned away the threat of poison amid a sweet spring. Surpassing all, its words called to excellence with an air of respect, humility, and gratitude. I miss it a lot.

Feb. 16, 2012

Do we...?

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

We take it for granted, that we do.That we can smile or blink. That we can run or cry. That we can chew or jog on the spot. That we can read a word, both forwards and backwards. That we can contemplate and evaluate. That we can congratulate and regret. That we can bow and prostrate and stand with complete stillness and attention. Yes, we take it for granted. That we do.

This course of life is change. We hope that the change will mean improvements as moments fold one into the next - days turn quickly into weeks, months, and years. Sand in the time glass seems determined. For many, however, life does not always bear improvements. Logic suggests then that it is a waste, but I have to see that even utter failures are tools or lessons that can eventually force a wrong turn to move the right way.

I don't search for some of my wrongs as enough are blatantly obvious, but perhaps I dwell on the worthless symptoms while missing the root causes entirely. Some diagnoses are much too heavy to acknowledge inwardly, nonetheless, a window should at least remain open should one hope for their existences to be realized.

This moment, though brief, can and should at least be an expression of gratitude. It is only the beginning, but perhaps it will eventually lead to servitude.

اللهم اجعلنا من الشاكرين و من الطاهرين و من عبادك الصالحين، آمين

Selfless Anger

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

This afternoon, my almost-9-year-old nephew was quite predictably the last to finish his meal. As he chased the spaghetti and meatballs around his plate with a pair of chopsticks, I asked him how he responds to anger. In response to my hypothetical scenarios, he said,

"I would do everything the same except I wouldn't be as happy."



يا الله
لك كل الحمد و لك كل الشكر
اللهم اِغفر لنا و اِجعلنا و أولادنا و أحبابنا من الصالحين
و اِهدنا الصراط المستقيم
آمين

Footprints

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Sometimes we are all alone - even in the midst of loved ones, even at the feet of our teachers. Sometimes there is no ear that will understand the ways of the heart. Sometimes we have to be alone. Sometimes we must feel alone. How then will we remember that eventually these claims we make of companionship in this world will vanish? The moment the horn is blown and we are summoned to stand before our Lord we will know that we cannot hide behind the weaknesses and errors of others. We will stand alone to face what we reaped on this earth for ourselves.

And yet we seek companionship. We seek understanding. We seek the advice of those we trust and love. We love because it makes us better people. We sleep better at night knowing that our hearts are concerned about the well-being of other than ourselves. We were not created to live alone.

We came alone. And although we journey with millions, at some point we must know that our journey with them is fleeting and again we will be alone.

I hear the rumble of thunder, and I anticipate glorious rain. It washes and nourishes this earth with such brave elegance, forthright and beautiful. Likewise, there is a rumble deep within us that calls us to a glorious existence, in coexistence and cooperation, not isolation. To live and to serve. To quench the earth and to leave footprints of strength. Faces will be etched with weaknesses, but as long as the feet keep treading, the footprints will be of strength, inshaAllah.

I may not rise to meet the next day, so let these few lessons be articulated now.

For those looking to get married, you have to challenge what it is that you want to marry for and what you seek in a spouse. Yes, I know the textbook answers. I know the ideals that society calls to. I know the feelings that write the lines of the script, but they must be challenged until you find truth in them. Challenge them before they lead you to error. It is one of the most important decisions of one's life, let it not be made in the face of deception. Let it not be made with the mask of superficiality. Let there be depth in our choices of companionship.

The only reasonable expectation of "compatibility" is the direction that you're travelling in. The goal must be the same, not the minor details. I'm afraid that I'm being more ambiguous than I intended, but I suppose this lesson manifests itself to everyone in its own time and its own way.

Be true to your origin, your journey, and your return - words that are all too easy to say but not so easy to live.

الله كريم و هو الذي يعرف حاجاتنا. هو الذي يهدينا و نسأله الهداية و الصحبة في الطريق إليه. لا نعلم يا رب إلا ما تُعلمنا فعلمنا و انفعنا بما علمتنا، آمين

ربي زدني علما

Half Full

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

I have been wanting and even attempting to write something decent and sensible for quite some time. For better or worse, I've been unable to lend words to my thoughts. Given that I'm not a person of too many spoken words, it has been a time of contemplative silence.

Alhamdu lillah wa ash-shukr lillah, I returned home a few weeks ago after almost four months of another attempt to make some advances in Arabic. I hardly consider the fruits of my trip much progress given that I'm more challenged in the language than a grade one student. In fact, I could almost call it a failure, but it definitely was an experience of personal growth. Three things became apparent to me in my life. The first is that I really missed not having interactions with children. The second is that companionship is invaluable. And lastly, I learned that in my almost 30 years of life I've achieved nothing.

My grandmother returned to her Lord during this time, الله يرحمها و جميع المسلمين و المسلمات آمين and it was another opportunity to pause and consider what it is that I want from life and how I'm attempting to achieve my goals. I don't think I have been at peace with myself since my return home from Yemen about four years ago. But now, with the acceptance that those things that I hope for myself are things that I am not capable of achieving, I realize that I will only do what Allah allows me to do. I will only have what He favours me with. My peace is not in achieving or even articulating beautiful goals, but it is in reminding myself that I live for the moment when I will stand before my Lord. I will stand before Him impoverished, but inshaAllah with the hope of His good pleasure. I don't belong anywhere except where He places me.

I felt a strangeness in new lands despite that I now miss aspects of it, and likewise the strangeness continues here at home despite having missed some things when I was away. Every situation requires sacrifices and yet it also offers a unique treasure. It really is up to the individual to recognize those treasures and their source - The Source.

I have no plans ahead of me except to live one day at a time. Perhaps I'm now digesting my understanding of the ideals that I've often articulated on this blog but that I've neglected in practice. Nothing is really as it seems on the surface. There is no "other side;" but if you think you're there, you'll see that it is not greener. There is only now to live and serve, to be and to be better. There is no perfection. There is no ideal. There is no forever in that which meets the eye.

I ask for your du'as for me, my loved ones, and this entire world. Be strong. Allah, Most Glorified is He, will be for us as we hope.

حسبنا الله و نعم الوكيل

A Constant Reminder

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Loneliness is not a part of who we are, nor can it be a part of who will be. A most spectacular phenomenon of the heart is that it doesn't forget who or what it loves. When I see my watch, I remember my brother who gifted it to me. When I put on my shoes each day, I remember my sister from whom I took them. When I open my pencil case, I remember my other sister who gave it to me. When I see the simple ring I now wear, I remember my friends on the mountain top who gave it to me on Eid. When I brush my teeth, I remember my aunt who gave me the toothbrush when I forgot mine during a visit. As for my parents, every experience is connected to them.

اللهم بارك لأحبابي و جميع المسلمين و زدهم في كل الخير، آمين

But these connections don't require tangible reminders. Other claims to my heart are manifested in random smiles as I recall some interaction, be it insightful or some regrettable words that only exemplified my foolishness.

These thoughts beg the question then, upon each breath, who must be remembered? With each tear, who is my heart connected to? For each moment of peace, where do I turn my attention? Only One is worthy of such, most glorified and praised is He, He who gives us everything without exception.

No matter how far we go from Him and what He desires of us, we still find Him close. His name falls easily upon our lips, moving our hearts and ennobling our beings. Every breath hopes to be the one to carry the reminder of His majesty and transcendence. Such an honour it is, and yet it is bestowed on even the vilest of individuals.

As time moves on and everything is forced to change, we know that there is always a Constant in our lives. May Allah, the Almighty, draw us closer to Him, and may He make us among those whom He is pleased with, ameen thumma ameen.

Courage

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

How do you know if this love that you claim to have is really a part of you?

Has it been tested? How do you know if it's true? Is its return conditional? Or does it suffice to remain only inside of you?

Is love the thing that inspires change? Is it at the root of longing and hope? Does it beg for loyalty and defy the signs of impossibility?

Is love a thing that must be shared? Will it last in seclusion?
How do you know if the love that you claim to have is sincere? How do you know that it is true?

Sometimes I want to know.

Most times I'm too afraid of the answer that I never ask the question.

Dec. 13, 2011
"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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Inspiration

"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]