A Moment of Silence

October 14, 2011

I long for the days of uncertainty, when I struggled to understand, to learn, to grow.
I long for the hours I spent studying, worshiping, growing mentally and spiritually.

I felt weakest during those times. Little did I know how strong I was! But it wasn’t my own strength, no, it was God helping me every step of the way and guiding me. و من يتق الله يجعل له مخرجا … و يرزقه من حيث لا يحتسب

It’s been too long and I want to go back. My heart and body and soul aches for the comfort and sweetness I felt at the time.

The longer I wait to get back, the darker it will get, and the harder it will be to find my way back…

 

طويل الشوق يبقى في اغتراب
فــقـــير في الحيـــاة من الصحاب
ومــن يــأمــنــك يـا دنيا الــدواهــي
تدوسين المصاحــب فـي الـتراب
وأعــجـب مـن مـريـدك وهـو يــدري
بأنــك فـي الـــورى أم الـــعـجاب
ولــولا أن لـــي مــنــعــى جميلا
لــبــعــت الــمكث فيها بالـذهاب
رأيــــت الله فــي ذا الـــكــون ربــــا
جـــمــيــع الـــكـائـنـات لـه تحاب
شـــــواهــــد أنــــه فــــرد جـــليل
عــلــى رغــم الـمجاهل بالكذاب
تــــأمــــل قـــدرة الــرحمـــن وأنظر
ســيــهـــديـــك الـتـأمـل للصواب
ومـــد الـــطـرف فــي كـل الـنواحي
سـؤالــك سـوف يـرجـع بالجواب
تـــــفـيء مـن ظـلال الأرض حـيـنـا
ولا تـــغـــتـر يـــومــا بــالـــسراب
وقــــف فـوق الـقـبـور فــرب ذكــرى
ســــتـــحـمـدها وتـأوي بـالإياب
ورتــــل نـــغــمــة الـــقــرآن تــلقـى
يـبـاعــدك الــثــواب عــن العقاب
وتــــابــــع مــــرســلا هـاد حــكيما
أشــعــة حــكمــه مــن كل باب


Absolutely Amazing Gems!!

August 13, 2011

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 .


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)


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.


A Journey…

December 11, 2010

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October 15, 2010

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No, I’m not…

August 5, 2010

“You’re Syrian right?”

“Yes, but I’ve never been there”

I wish I can go back to two days ago to change my answer above. I wish I had said: “No, I’m not”.

What is it that makes me “Syrian”? Is it the way I speak the Arabic language? Is it the way I cook my food? Is it the way I dress?

The time has come to mark a line, a very clear line may I add, to outline the differences between culture and religion.

When your religion becomes your way of life, your “culture” ends up being shaped by your religion. You take from your culture what you want and you leave what your religion does not allow you to do.

I don’t think I have ever been more disgusted with the Syrian government than now. Granted I’ve never been to Syria, yet I’m known to people as being Syrian, because of the two things mentioned above I believe…

And to that, I say:

First of all, the reason I speak Arabic in the Syrian dialect is not because it is right to do so. It is because I am too lazy to speak in the true fusha Arabic…

And when it comes to food, honestly, especially in my current state, I hardly eat “Syrian” food. Besides, the only reason “Syrian” food is “Syrian” and “Chinese” food is “Chinese” is because Allah blessed the people living in the area where Syria is with different foods from those living int he land where China is. So people, depending on where they are and the food that is available from the land they inhabit, have developed their own cuisine. So wherever you are, you’re bound to eat the food that’s there. It’s globalization that has allowed us to have whatever food we want from all over the globe whenever we want it… and that’s why, I’ve been able to eat my Za3tar and Labneh and Kibbeh whenever I want to wherever I want to, not because of any other reasons. The fact that I grew up eating those foods is the reason why I miss them… Take anyone though, from any culture, and raise them in a place without ever introducing them to their cultural food, they will not grow to love it or miss it… and they will be happy with whatever the land they live in gives them.. It is because I was raised eating that food that I miss it, not because I am Syrian and therefore I eat Syrian food…Food is food.

So, next time someone asks me where I’m from, I don’t know whether I’ll reply Syria, regardless of what my genetic make up made me look like. My genes were a gift to me from Allah. And to that I am thankful. He made me look a certain way like a certain people who lived in a certain land and married and multiplied with people who look like them until it became known that people from that area look that way… If they had mixed early on, there would not even be a certain look for a culture! Take that!

So, what was my point again? I was trying to get to something… Oh yeah… My love for the Syrian land comes not from being “Syrian”… but because my Prophet peace and blessings be upon him liked Bilad Al-Shaam (currently Syria and other surrounding areas). It is because he did his businesses there and traveled there that I love that land. It is because of what the people who used to live there stood for that I love that land… (And no, they didn’t stand for being Syrian, they stood for their religion, their faith)…

And that’s why, next time I’m asked where I’m from, I will say, “Earth, but I was raised here and there and everywhere and hold dear to my heart many people and nations of all shapes and colors”.

I will always hold close to my heart the benefits I got from living in Saudi Arabia during my early childhood. I will always hold close to my heart the benefits I got from being raised in Canada. I will always hold close to my heart the opportunity to further my studies I was given in the USA. I will always be thankful for being able to live in different places, at different times, to experience this land and that land, these people and those people, this food and that food, this entertainment and that, this crappy government and that disgusting government… For all of those, have taught me lessons and shaped me and made me who I am today. So Alhamdulillah.

And I will say that because I am proud. I am proud to be a citizen of earth, following my religion and respecting myself and others.

So… No, I’m not Syrian. I’m a Muslim who has been places and hopes to go to even more places around this earth we were blessed with.

My religion defines me.

P.S. this post was inspired after a discussion of the recent ban of Niqab in Syria and a reflection of the current news of the mosque trying to be built in Ground Zero. It saddens me that I have lived to see a day where a Non-Muslim has stood up for the rights of Muslims while a so called “Muslim” government has banned something of the religion. Oh the irony, oh the sadness…

Niqab Ban

Ground Zero Mosque



Of summers and watermelons..

July 27, 2010

Why is it that we always crave watermelons at summer time? Is it the thirst? SubhanaAllah… That fruit is truly a blessing!

*crunching a cold watermelon*

Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime.

I stole the quote from my sister’s facebook status. I’ve heard it before, but this time, it had a different meaning to me.

SubhanaAllah, Allah azza wa jal teaches us many lessons, it’s up to us to apply them and benefit from them…

Yet we always want the fish from Allah…and forget the lessons He blessed us with…

Heck, we make duaa for the fish, we think of nothing but the fish, we look at all the people with fish, we wish we had fish, and more fish, and more fish… YET what we DO NOT DO, is work for the fish.

GO WORK FOR YOUR FISH. sigh.

On a different note, as I walked out of the hospital today at 9:30 p.m. wearing my jilbab, a man on a wheel chair said to me:

“Good night”

“You too”

“Are you a dental student?”

“Yeah!”

“Alright!” 🙂

You gotta love NYC randoms.

I think, if I could write my personal statement about why I want to enter dental school all over again, the primary reason would be: for da3wah purposes. That’s all. Oh, and to help the ummah. lol.

Alas, a 50% radiology midterm starts in about 12 hours from now. I shall retire to …um…not bed, but studying inshaAllah.


الوحدة لـ الشيخ علي الطنطاوي … من كتاب : من حديث النفس

July 24, 2010

ما آلمني شيء في الحياة ما آلمتني الوحدة ، كنت أشعر كلما انفردت بفراغ هائل في نفسي ، وأحس بأنها غريبة عني ، ثقيلة علي لا أطيق الإنفراد بها ، فإذا انفردت بها أحسست أن بيني وبين الحياة صحاري قاحلة ، ويبدأ مالها من آخر ، بل كنت أرى العالم في كثير من الأحيان وحشاً فاغراً فاه لابتلاعي ، فأحاول الفرار ، ولكن أين المفر من نفسي التي بين جنبي ، ودنياي التي أعيش فيها ؟

ان نفسي عميقة واسعة ، أو لعلي أراها عميقة واسعة لطول ما أحدق فيها ، وأتأمل جوانبها ، فتخيفني بسعتها وعمقها ، ويرمضني أنه لايملؤها شيء مهما كان كبيراً ـ ـ ـ وهذا العالم ضيق أو لعلي أراه ضيقاً لاشتغالي عنه بنفسي ، وشعوري بسعتها ، فأراه يخنقني بضيقه ـ ـ ـ

إني أجمع العالم كله في فكرة واحدة أرميها في زاوية من زوايا نفسي ، في نقطة صغيرة من هذا الفضاء الرحيب ، ثم أعيش في وحدة مرعبة أنظر ما يملأ هذا الفضاء ـ ـ ـ

إني كلما انفردت بنفسي ، فتجرأت على درسها ، والتغلل في أعماقها ، بدت لي أرحب وأعجب ، فما هذا المخلوق الذي يحويه جسم صغير ، لايشغل من الكون إلا فراغاً ضيقاً كالذي يشغله صندوق أو كرسي ـ ـ ـ ويحوي هو ــ المكان ــ كله ، ويشمل ــ الزمان ــ ، وينتقل من الأزل إلى الأبد في أقل من لحظة ، وينتظم ــ الوجود ــ كله بفكرة ، وتكاد الحياة نفسها تضل في أغواره ؟

من المستحيل أن نفهم هذا المخلوق الذي ندعوه ــ النفس ــ لذلك نخاف الوحدة ونفر منها ، إننا نخشى نفوسنا ، ولانستطيع أن ننفرد بها ، فنحب أن نشتغل عنها بصحبة صاحب ، أو حب حبيب ، أو عمل من الأعمال ـ ـ ـ ونخشى الحياة ، ونحب أن نقطعها بحديث تافه ، أو كتاب سخيف ، أو غير ذلك مما نملأ به أيامنا الفارغة ، وإذا نحن اضطررنا مرة إلى مواجهة الحياة ، ومقابلة الزمان خالياً من ألهية نلهو بها ، كما يكون في ساعة الإنتظار مللنا وتبرمنا بالحياة وأحسسنا بأن الفلك يدور على عواتقنا ، أفليس هذا سراً عجيباً من أسرار الحياة ، وهي أعز شيء عليه ، ويسعى لتبديدها واضاعتها ؟

عجزت عن احتمال هذه الوحدة ، وثقل علي هذا الفراغ الذي أحسه في نفسي ، فخالطت الناس ، واستكثرت من الصحابة ، فوجدت في ذلك أنساً لنفسي ، واجتماعاً لشملي ، فكنت أتحدث وأمرح وأمزح وأضحك وأضحك ، حتى ليظنني الرائي أسعد خلق الله وأطربهم ، بيد أني لم أكن أفارق أصحابي وأنفرد بنفسي ، حتى يعود هذا الفراغ الرهيب ، وترجع هذه الوحدة الموحشة

انغمست في الحياة لأملأ نفسي بمشاغل الحياة ، وأغرق وحدتي في لجة المجتمع ، واتصلت بالسياسة وخببت فيها ووضعت وكتبت وخطبت ، فكنت أحس وأنا على المنبر بأني لست منفرداً وإنما أنا مندمج في هذه الحشد الذي يصفق لي ويهتف ـ ـ ـ ولكني لاأخرج من الندى ويرفض الناس من حولي ، وانفرد في غرفتي حتى يعود هذا الفراغ أهول مما كان ، وترجع الوحدة أثقل ، فكأنها مانقصت هناك إلا لتزداد هنا ، كالماء تسد مخرجه فينقطع ، ولكنك لاترفع يدك حتى يتدفق ماكان قد اجتمع فيه ـ ـ ـ فماذا يفيدني أن أذكر في مئة مجلس أو يمر اسمي على ألف لساان ، وإأن يتناقش في الناس ويختصموا ، إذا كنت أنا في تلك الساعة منفرداً مستوحشاً متألماً ؟

وجدت الشهرة لاتفيد إلا اسمي ، ولكن اسمي ليس مني ، ولاهو ــ أنا ــ فأحببت أن أجد الأنس بالحب وأن أنجو به من وحدتي ، فلم أجد الحب الاء اسماً لغير شيء ، ليس له في الدنيا وجود ، وإنما فيها تقارب أشباح

أعانقها والنفس بعد مشوقة
إليها,وهل بعد العناق تدان؟
وألثم فاها كي تزول صبابتي
فيشتد ما ألقى من الهيمان
كأن فؤادي ليس يشفى غليله
سوى أن يرى الروحين تلتقيان

ولكن أن تلتقي الأرواح ؟ وأين هذا الحب الجارف القوي الخالص الذي يأكل الحبيبين كما تأكل النار المعدن ، ثم تخرجها جوهراً واحداً مصفى نقياً مافيه ــ أنا ــ ولا ــ أنت ــ ولكن فيه ــ نحن ــ ؟

فنفضت يدي من الحب ، ويئست من أن أرى عند الناس الإجتماع المظلق ، فعدت بطوعي أنشد الوحدة المظلقة

صرت أكره أن التقي بالناس ، وأنفر من المجتمعات ، لأني لم أجد في كل ذلك إلا اجتماعاً مزيفاً ، يتعانق الحبيبان ، ولو كشف لك عن نفسيهما لرأيت بينهما مثل مابين الأزل والأبد ، ويتناجى الصديقان ، ويتبادلان عبارات الود والأخاء ، ولو ظهر لك باطنهما لرأيت كلا منهما يلعن الآخر ، وترى الجمعية الوطنية ، أو الحزب الشعبي ، فلا تسمع إلا خطباً في التضحية والإخلاص ، ولا ترى إلا اجتماعاً واتفاقاً بين الأعضاء ولو دخلت في قلوبهم لما وجدت إلا الإخلاص للذات ، وحب النفس ، وتضحية كل شيء في سبيل لذة شخصية أو منفعة

وجدتني غريباً بين الناس فتركت الناس وانصرفت إلى نفسي أكشف عالمها ، وأجوب مافيها وأقطع بحارها ، وأدرس نواميسها وجعلت من أفكاري وعواطفي أصدقاء وأعداء ، وعشت بحب الأصدقاء وحرب الأعداء ـ ـ ـ

إن منن حاول معرفة نفسه عرضت له عقبات كأداء ، ومشقات جسام ، فإن هو صبر علبها ، بلغ الغاية ، ومالغاية التي تطمئن معها النفس إلى الوحدة ، وتأنس بالحياة ، وتدرك اللذة الكبرى ، مالغاية إلا معرفة الله

وسيظل الناس تحت أثقال العزلة المخيفة حتى يتصلوا بالله ويفكروا دائماً في أنه معهم ، وأنه يراهم ويسمعهم ، هنالك تصير الآلآم في الله لذة ، والجوع في الله شبعاً ، والمرض صحة ، والموت هو الحياة السرمدية الخالدة ، هنالك لايبالي الإنسان إلا يكون معه أحد ، لأنه يكون مع الله


Mirror On The Wall

April 23, 2010

Picture this…

Girl complains about being sad/annoyed/angry/frustrated/insert whatever uncomfortable feeling you want.

She shows her upset feelings to her friend.

Her friend suggests she looks in the mirror to be reminded of how attractive (you can imagine this was not the word used) her body and appearance is and everything will be alright.

Now, picture this…

Girl complains about being sad/annoyed/angry/frustrated/insert whatever uncomfortable feeling you want.

She shows her upset feelings to her friend.

Her friend suggests she relax, go make ablution, offer an extra prayer, remember God and seek His help and guidance.

True Stories. And their moral is, …well, I’ll leave that up to you to reflect upon and just hope it serves as a reminder to myself and everyone else…


The Best Ten Minute Reminder

April 3, 2010

Eve teasing (Huh?!)

March 27, 2010

I mentioned to a relative the situation of the subways during rush hour. A can of sardines might be a better suited word than subway.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words…Here’s one I found using google images…

Our conversation about the crowded subway led to the obvious: Touching of the other gender accidents.

I noted how they have signs that say something about how, just because you’re on a crowded subway, that doesn’t mean inappropriate touching is allowed. I actually laughed at how sad that sign felt to me when I first saw it. I thought about how the structure of a more halal subway would be. LOL.

Anyways, I can’t remember where, but I found this picture and saved it:

It’s a WOMEN ONLY cart during certain hours. SubhanaAllah. Some countries are just so ahead.

And believe it or not, there’s a Wiki about it too!

But then again, mention that here and your head will probably be bitten off by the feminists. When in fact, it should be the opposite…The feminists should be asking for this in my opinion. It’s an honor to be protected 🙂

So, what’s Eve Teasing you ask? Why not ask Wiki? It seems to be getting more knowledgeable these days! Check it out here

It should be an honor to follow the commands of God.

That’s my ramble for today 🙂


Corrected+My new game+the little things

February 3, 2010

1. Corrected.
This morning, my sis was like “where are the car keys??” and im like “hung up, downstairs, like always!” and she was like “they are not here!”, and im like “Yes they are!!!” (and they were). And I dont know if I said this or thought this but I’m like…of course they are there. I never ever ever ever lose the car keys cuz im sooo predictable and alert and I always always put them where they belong…

A few hours later, im walking out of a store, and I open my bag to get out those same keys. they are not there. no seriously, they are not there.. “walduha, walduha…” i read and search frantically but they are not there…. so i check my pockets: cell phone, tissues, extra buttons, ipod, headphones, more tissues….no KEYS! okay..don’t panic let me just walk up to the…..
where is the car?
I can’t see the car either!!
okay let me check my bag again…no, no no keys!
And then of course I panic. I had hung up my coat for a while inside, someone must have found the keys in my pocket, took them and is now cruising happily along while I am about to go into cardiac arrest!

And then I see a Muslim sister I know in the parking lot… She smiles, “assalamualaikum!…” and she sees me pale and emptying out everything and she’s like “malek? (what’s wrong)” .
And I’m like “I cant find the keys or the car!” (Drama, anyone??)
“Okay, calm down…” and she starts half hugging me half checking my bag…panic within me rises and then-
I pull the keys out of my pocket.
They were there the whole time but I guess I was just blinded to it….
I think I was temporarily blinded from them for a lesson. To be corrected. I don’t always always always put them in the right spot. I don’t never ever lose them. Because im human and prone to error.

With her arm still around my shoulder, she leaves her car and stuff and starts walking so we can now find the car… But by this point, I am already relieved. I just needed to find one item: the car or the keys so that the nightmare image of the happy crusin’ thief could fade away. So finding the car should be no problem, inshAllah. And then, panic no longer clouding my vision or thought, I see the car…I parked it a little farther than usual- but it seems to be part of the plan that I was unaware of.

I feel humbled and stand corrected.

(And I love when you see random Muslim sisters you know in times of need. It is like the barakah of Islam that radiates everywhere 🙂 That sister also gained a special place in my heart…SubhanAllah …)

2. My new game. I found a new game…on my iPod, under ‘games’ (which i never before bothered to check out) there is a ‘music quiz’…of course it quizzes you on whatever is on your iPod. Alhamdulilah right now mine is mostly quran so what happens is it lets you hear like 20 seconds of a random part in the surah and gives you five choices and you have to pick the right one as fast as possible…. (and then if i get a nasheed its like a freebie)…oh and as the time counts down, some of the choices dissapear, so the faster you get it, the higher you score. Anyway thats one beneficial activity for the plane ride.

3. It is the little things in life that make it special. Like the snow, yesterday. It was really, really sparkling. Like sparkling, and smiling, and shining. And beautiful. It was like diamonds falling from the sky….so soft and so sparkly… All this khayr keeps coming down and subhanAllah so much shar keeps rising up…and khayr too…but only khayr desecends.. And seriously, if your heart no longer takes delight in the small things, like snowflakes, and sunlight, and (travel reservation glitches that earn you a couple more days!!! alhamdulillah! which also leads to the missing-a-day-of-school-small-delight)… Anyway if these small, simple things don’t bring you happiness…then…well, you are missing out. And if you want to rekindle your small-things-are-the-best-spirit…hang out with any little unspoiled simple kid and see things from their eyes!