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


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!”
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