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


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
"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]