Now Blue October

August 5, 2011

I love this poem.. especially the line I bolded…
***

Now blue October, smoky in the sun,
Must end the long, sweet summer of the heart.
The last brief visit of the birds is done,
They sing the autumn songs before they part.
Listen, how lovely—there’s the thrush we heard
When June was small with roses, and the bending
Blossom of branches covered nest and bird,
Singing the summer in, summer unending—
Give me your hand once more before the night;
See how the meadows darken with the frost,
How fades the green that was the summer’s light.
Beauty is only altered, never lost,
And love, before the cold November rain,
Will make its summer in the heart again.

~Robert nathan


16.67%

June 23, 2011

16.67%  is not a random number.

It means something, though I don’t know what yet.

But I have hope in the future.  Something special out there.

It wall all fall into place.


Disconnect

May 23, 2011

The papers had been waiting patiently in my bag since the morning.

Trapped in the post-examination time-out session, I pulled out the blue file and began to read.

Behind me, I could hear the chaos of question-reviewing.
“It was A!”
“No, B!”
“Neither!!”
And other bits and pieces regarding the perineal body, enteroccous species, and cervical intraepithelial neoplasia. But with a few words, I became disconnected from my surroundings.

I was far, far away. And I was much more than just a spectator: I was sitting cross-legged listening to the Friday sermon myself, admiring the exquisite design of the pillars of the mosque myself, and I too met the Sheikh who had a white beard borrowed from the clouds. He was just one of those people you feel comfortable with upon first encounter, and I took a piece of his silent wisdom with me forever.

They were in Amman… they were in a small, cramped-up, dull room.. some revising mistakes, some gloating over their clever answers, and some adamantly making a case for why they put “All of the above”.

Meanwhile, I was in Madinah, where some were reading Quran, some standing in prayer, and some engulfed in prostration whispering supplication after supplication. I too was in the Prophet’s city , being torn apart, fighting the lump in my throat trying to say goodbye. I entered Rawdet Al-Jannah to pray two rak’ahs myself (although my recall of the experience was more traumatic, as the space was extremely limited and packed). I too, left in unbearable tears.

They were still in Amman. Still arguing that the correct answer was “C” without doubt.

I continued on to reach Meccah; reliving my countless visits there. I could feel the cold, white tiles underneath my feet. There I was, circling around the Ka’ba, the only place where one walks in circles out of unity and not out of confusion or lack of direction or purpose.  Then my eyes fell upon the black stone, our blessed connection to heaven, and I wondered whether I would be able to approach it up close. Fortunately, everything was unfolding smoothly today, and I made my way through the crowds to greet the stone our Prophet   once marked with his own lips.

My eyes had welled up with tears, my lips had parted many smiles, and my feet almost felt tired from all the walking…

Soon enough, it was time to be released from their custody (back in Amman) and leave that small room. I looked around and realized how detached I’d been while we were all waiting for our freedom.

Just as he pulled out the Siwak from his pocket, I pulled out those papers from my bag.

For there are memoirs that can take you away… small, unexpected objects, that allow you to peacefully disconnect-to enter another time, another place, another state of mind.


It all started with a breakfast downtown…

April 28, 2011

My close friend wrote this in response to something I wrote for her…
I just had to keep it forever:

“وضعت عليها قطرات زيت”
بخط طفولي يترجم أرواحنا التي لا تكبر , وبقطرات زيت زادت الطفولة طفولة , بكلمات بسيطة مثلنا تماما , خطت أحلى
المشاعر .
قرأت لي الورقة , وما ان انتهت حتى بد المطر يتساقط علينا , وكأنه يروي وردة صداقتنا لتكبر أكثر ,
في كل يوم نضيف لقصتنا سطرا أحلى من السطور الأولى , فمرة نخط سطر تشابه بيننا غريب , تشابه ليس بكلمة عادية أو بتوقيت تخرج فيه الكلمات , وانما تشابه تفكير وتركيب ورؤية للحياة , ومرة أخرى نخط سطرا نتغنى فيه بأمر لفت نظرنا الاثنتنين , كاسوارة مثلا او بلاحرى هي فقط الاسوارة دون امثلة أخرى .
وما زلنا نخط في قصتنا السطور
فيارب أكمل لنا هذه القصة بسطر نخطه معا على ضفاف الكوثر وفي أنوارك تحت ظل عرشك .


Forgiveness

April 26, 2011

You see when we are mistaken,
It’s not that we are faking,
It’s just that we are mistaken,
So please don’t be taking,

Impression the first,
Because sometimes it hurts,
When you know what’s inside,
So much goodness to hide.

And you are not trying to cover,
Or pretend you’re another.
It’s just hard to uphold,
that picture-perfect mold.

Because at times we forget,
Or out of weakness neglect.
We want to be our best,
But we all have our stress.

And yet we all mean well,
even if you can’t tell.
So let forgiveness spread between us all.
And with our unity we stand tall.


The Fountain that Pours

April 24, 2011

They ask: “If these
walls could speak,
What secrets
would they leak?”

But I wonder
what the water-fountain would pour
If it were only questioned..
Of what it witnessed and endured..

The fountain in the basement,
of the library, the main
The library we study in for hours
(and hope it’s not in vain)

The first secret it would share
would describe the sound so sweet
Of the call to prayer daily,
It hears within two feet.

You see, he stands
whoever he may be.
And at the time of prayer
He calls Athan clearly.

Water it gives so sacred,
so that humanity can last.
Speaking of which- I wonder:
if it ever broke someone’s fast.

So, we have, the call to prayer..
The faster’s delight..
What else does this fountain
Whisper to us tonight?

It must have so much wisdom,
As it sees countless students passing by.
I bet it knows who’s stressed,
And why it is we sigh.

Water fountain history
has really come a long way.
King Jr. will tell you of
Discrimination’s sad day.

But this fountain relieves all,
whether the day is cold or hot.
Whether the drinker has come to pray,
or simply come to take a walk.

Islamic history will tell you,
This great mark, “Al-Sabeel”
for travelers, for the distressed,
Open without previous deal.

Andalus, stone lions.
When a fountain could tell time.
From Italy to America’s Parks,
They promise wishes for a dime.

The water fountain speaks,
so listen when you drink.
It bestows two essential gifts:
Water, and a reason to think.


Just Beneath

April 1, 2011

I saw a..
Tear.
Tears, tears, tears-
water.
Drops, drops, drops-
river.

Rivers.

Rivers running from beneath,
only in this world,
and we delight in them,
as they run from
beneath.

But in paradise,
they run beneath.
Just beneath.
Allah holds the source.
And the rivers flow.

May the Angels
welcome you with peace.
You and everyone you love:
the company you please.
To eternally reside,
where rivers run beneath.
.


Perhaps the Crown

March 21, 2011

This once crowned king has lost his kingdom.
He’s lost his position, he’s lost his freedom.

He can still remember the castle’s endless luxury now,
He wonders if he will survive as a peasant.. and how?

What’s a king without his precious shining crown?
Without his robe and without his gown?

He must find what they call inner wealth?!
Why, that’s harder to earn than gold itself!

You see, It’s hard: when a king is not king.
Being royal.. was always his thing.

Though, looking back, was he ever even grateful?
Was this a lesson for him- planned and fateful?

Maybe he had to learn who bestowed him that crown,
and put for him love in the hearts of the people of town.

Who first gave him a reason to smile and to forgive..
Who guided him to the best life he could live..

Was it his merit, when he had no worries, no doubts?
When he couldn’t comprehend what weakness was about?

Was it his credit, when he had no anxiety or fear?
When people he cherished were available and near?

Perhaps the king is never meant to be king again,
In that case he aims to be the most wise of  men.

Or perhaps the king is meant to rule another land,
Either way- he’s learned that his fate lies in Allah’s Hands.

And perhaps, perhaps, he is no king at all.
But maybe a Queen, recalling her fall.

And perhaps, perhaps its not a Queen, castle or crown!
But a woman, her strength, and how life turns around.

***

( قل اللهم مالك الملك تؤتي الملك من تشاء وتنزع الملك ممن تشاء وتعز من تشاء وتذل من تشاء بيدك الخير إنك على كل شيء قدير ( 26 ) تولج الليل في النهار وتولج النهار في الليل وتخرج الحي من الميت وتخرج الميت من الحي وترزق من تشاء بغير حساب ( 27 ) )


Humpty Dumpty

March 18, 2011

 

All the King’s Horses, and All the King’s Men.
Couldn’t put Humpty together again.

***

……….”And know that if all the people gather to benefit you, they will not be able benefit you except that which Allah has preordained (for you); and if all of them gather to do haram on you, they will not be able to afflict you with anything other than that which Allah had pre-destined against you. The pens have been lifted and the ink of the pages has dried up.”

-Hadith of the Prophet (salla allahu allayhi wa salam)


Chuckles from Across

March 18, 2011

This is a story of a hideous man so despicable
Who has all the world’s riches and seems all-invincible.
His wealth he uses solely to show-off with and flaunt
Dares you to want it, allows his possessions to taunt.

He lures most citizens and they blindly follow.
They never realize his core is plain dark and hollow.
Some walk, some march, and some run after him.
He seems to offer every last desire and whim.

They chase after him with no intention to stop.
Maybe some jewels into their hands he will drop.
So they have their hands open waiting for the fall.
Of some of his riches, and hope for it all.

Even the rich, prestigious and well-off of the town.
Suddenly become beggars following him around.
Those who were independent at once become needy.
Those who once donated become evil and greedy.

The man’s evil laugh crackles as they chase.
He knows that none of them will win the race.
They become deaf to his laughter,
his stretching shadow they keep after.

Some warn from the sidelines, for they’ve understood.
He’s here only to mock, he’s not any good.
But the crowds gain momentum, and his laugh grows louder.
They are all so weak, and he only gets prouder.

Then at the outskirts of town, they reach a sharp ridge.
His carriage floats across, without need for a bridge.
Some come to their senses and halt in their tracks.
Others, arms outstretched, run and fall down into black.

The likes of this Dunya is the story of this man.
Still laughing and chuckling, still ridiculing his fans.
Never follow his tracks or allow your soul to be sold.
His wealth glitters much but it’s a heap of fool’s gold.


Big Picture

February 19, 2011

It is to easy to get sucked into it.  The hard part is to realize how small this environment is, dettach yourself and see the big picture, without looking down on people.  Just being with them but observing from afar.  With them and close to them and at the same time far away.

I mean sometimes I look at them, not with pity, and think, for them, this is as far as their horizon stretches.  So when they are one of the top students: they’ve done it.  They’ve reached the “ultimate”- the borders of the circle.  For them, the circle is magnified as a globe.  But for me, this circle is just another limited circle.  I’m outside the circle in so many ways.

I don’t blame them.  I easily get sucked in sometimes too.  Take grades, as my prime example.  I easily get sucked in, I want that grade.  My stomach churns over the answer I knew-but why? Why did I change it?  I KNEW it.  But I’m trying to rise above that.  I want to aim for that perfect grade, but I hate this becoming materialistic over grades.  It really is so material.  Material too me is anything to which we ascribe value that without our deciding its valuable means nothing.  Imagine if nobody had ever decided that gold was valuable, then it really has no innate value.  And money, in another world, is just paper.  But some concepts: independence, faith, love- they have innate value.  They are not material.  But exams, grades, if we choose not to care, if we choose to see them for their true value, they are not more or less than what we, society, ascribe to them.  Knowledge, on the other hand, like independence, cannot be risen above- its value speaks for itself.  That’s why when we say “the most important thing is that you understand the material”, it is more than just a pitiful pat on the back.  It is a philosophical truth.

This “ultimate” of theirs- when I examine its parts- not to try to defend myself or make excuses- but it is not of great caliber really or supreme at all.  Why sweat over questions that are faulty to begin with?  The doctors think their questions are so great.  Think they decide who is a good student and who is sharp and who is not.  And for some reason, we fall for it.  We hand them that authority.  But really, and not look down on them, but they too have become sucked in their own false belief that their horizon is the farthest, their pinnacle the highest.  But no, I’ve been around the world too much to know that this is a small microenvironement, barely representative of anything worth caring for.  They are like many ants, and not in an undermining way, and this is their anthill.  I chose to be the eagle who soars above the whole landscape.

I’m not giving up, but from now on I’m going to see things differently-as they are.  I will still aim for a perfect grade everytime, but what should matter to me is not the 30 or the 23, it’s did I understand, did I persevere or not.  Because the former is of a relative, ascribed value and the latter is of a universal, undeniable caliber.

Egypt, Feb 11, had a big role in helping me see this, realize the greatness of core value, help me once again see how far this Earth stretches.  The fact that I travel so much also helps.  So many of my petty worries seem to fall in the Atlantic Ocean back and forth, that I’m forced to see the big picture.

And that’s why I’ve decided to let this black hole suck as hard as it wishes, but to stay nonchalant on my own planet, admiring the universe in its greatness, its vastness, and its true beauty.  It’s like this is their world, their entire world, but then you compare the Earth’s size, which is already more massive than we can imagine, to the Sun.  And you realize how many times the Earth can fit into the Sun and your perspective is altered entirely.  Then you take our Sun, that big, ball of fire (plasma, actually) and compare it to the greater, much, much larger stars of the universe and again your perspective is altered.  Then you realize that even stars have long been put out, and not only is your perspective altered, it is expanded.

Then you look at the universe as a whole.  As a sum of its parts.  And you gasp.

How materialistic, how narrow-minded, how deceived we have been.  And for how long.


Goosebumps for Heroes

February 13, 2011

Goosebumps rise,
as I see the crowds’ uproar tonight.
These are the crowds
that will finally set things right.

Goosebumps rise,
as Egypt stands tall and graceful after Tunisia.
History, do record!
Let the oppressors desperately wish for amnesia!

I hope Goosebumps for heroes,
will rise on our children’s arms and hands.
When they hear of our victories,
And live content in their lands.

Our spring has sprung,
our fall has fell.
Winter’s frost has melted.
Soon in summer we dwell.

We will once again be heroes:
no shame, no weakness, no remorse.
Our peace will not be silence,
And our wise silence will not be forced.

Viva la revolution!
This uprising must not fail!
I don’t want to soothe my children,
with history’s lonely tales.

Nay, let our lullabies be:
The past holds much strength and glory.
But know this o child:
Our present has a very similar story.

No longer:
We were, we were, we were.
No longer:
We lost. We suffered. We endured.

Yes, for too long there was oppression.
But this is how we spoke up.
This is how our Ummah rose,
This is when we all woke up.

This is how we retrieved
our long-deserved but forgotten rights.
This is how we earned respect,
Peacefully, but with all our might.

This is how we drove out the oppressors,
Displayed what strength was truly about.
Freedom’s Match first lit,
then Revolution’s Flames burst out.

This is how you may now sit safe,
under the shade of Justice’s Tree.
Now tend carefully to our pride,
and always o child…. always be free.

Written: January 30, 2011

Egyptian Freedom:  February 11, 2011


Bright Freedom

February 8, 2011

Egypt…  Seeing the poverty, the injustice, the impossible circumstances they live under… all we can think is how miserable we feel for them, how necessary this revolution is.  Indeed they are seeking life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  Three words well chosen, three values well abandoned.  Now comes a test of whether all men were created equal, and how sacred democratic values really are.  But we see in favor of personal interest, many have marginalized the three ideals the constition of the world’s main power was built on.  Shameful.

But what gives us pride is the crowds.  The masses.  The heroes out there demanding their rights.  Liberty Square- I wish I could join.  They have created their own community, their own “republic”.  They have a ‘lost and found’ stand, an entertainment stand, they are now singing their strong protests.  A couple had their wedding there- I wouldn’t be surprised if they met in that micro-environment.  As they persist, we wonder if we would be able to do that.  Put all else on hold and seek what is most important.

But then you look at them and realize: Really, what do they have to lose?  Yes, their poverty is unnerving- deeply upsetting actually  considering how wealthy their country is- but when it comes to revolution that poverty is their strength.  They have nothing to lose- only freedom to gain.  They don’t have the superficial matters that clutter our lives.  They have Tahrir Square and they have each other.  It is one of the greatest lessons of how less is more.  Much more.  Less, for them, is everything.

It reminds me of Hajj.  It is the same spirit of Hajj- when so many people are crowded together for a noble purpose- only a deep, loving connection can result from that.  Maybe its resemblance to Hajj is what makes me almost envious to be with them in that honorable square.

I would offer anything in my possession to ensure that Egypt’s victory is hastened.  That it arrives this very moment.  But Allah knows what we knows not.  Maybe they need this time to strengthen their brotherhood.  To protest at the top of their lungs so that the resonating air becomes a resonating wave of freedom- liberating them after all these years.  Maybe, if it comes too soon they won’t solidify this strongly.  Won’t have enough time to inhale the air of freedom… after all these years.

Please Egypt, don’t give up.  Don’t go back home until he leaves- really.  Because your chants are liberating us, too.  We are all Egyptian, we all want freedom and justice.  Your presence in the Square ignite in us hope.  Don’t let the hype fade.  Freedom should never fade.

Show us, show the world, how bright freedom really is.


Yasir Qadhi | A Brief Statement Regarding the Situation in Egypt | MuslimMatters.org

February 1, 2011

Yasir Qadhi | A Brief Statement Regarding the Situation in Egypt | MuslimMatters.org.

Very well put mashAllah…


Typical Mood Swings

January 23, 2011

Lol this part was hilarious…