Wisdom of the Ignorant

When posed a question, they feared in answering.

When not bothered, approached, or even looked at, we jump at the chance.

Many times, I feel almost like its more of an internal issue of kibr, an arrogance that leads us to answer because we “know” best what should happen in a situation, or we would at least like the ‘other’ to know that we know.

I used to think knowledge was a definite word, but now more and more, I think its as relative to the beholder as beauty is.

The one who attains the smallest portion of knowledge assumes themselves a scholar. After the attainment of a second morsel, they are humbled. But the one who attains a third portion of knowledge knows that they are truly ignorant.

-Imam Ghazali

If we knew our ignorance, we wouldn’t speak.


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Don’t Cry for Me Tom & Jerry

like humans, rats have “tickle skin”. These are certain areas of the body that generate more laughter response than others. The laughter is associated with positive emotional feelings and social bonding occurs with the human tickler, resulting in the rats becoming conditioned to seek the tickling. Additional responses to the tickling were those that laughed the most also played the most, and those that laughed the most preferred to spend more time with other laughing rats. This suggests a social preference to other rats exhibiting similar responses. However, as the rats age, there does appear to be a decline in the tendency to laugh and respond to tickle skin. The initial goal of Jaak Panksepp and Jeff Burgdorf’s research was to track the biological origins of joyful and social processes of the brain by comparing rats and their relationship to the joy and laughter commonly experienced by children in social play. Although, the research was unable to prove rats have a sense of humour, it did indicate that they can laugh and express joy. (Laughter in Animals, Wikipedia 2010)

the rats laugh and anxiety overwhelms the human….what a strange world.

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53rd & 6th… I Have a Dream.

53rd & 6th

salaam. be in peace, for i am not.

i love new york. what offends me most is that when NY is mentioned, muslims expend all energies to bless you with knowledge of the cart on 53rd and 6th…i personally don’t care much for it.

how can the culinary treat of what is “New York,” the expansive taste retreat that it is, be shadowed by the expectations of what lie in that cart?!

it never ceases to amaze me. but perhaps our tongues, tortured by the constant ‘pleasuring’ of charcoal kabob deserves no better rest.

one day, i dream for better.

dare i hope?

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Beneficial Speech. الكلام المفيد.

الكلام المفيد : أن يَحْسُنَ سكوتُ المُتكلِّمِ عَلَيْهِ

Beneficial Speech: When silence is the speaker’s best option.

…in Arabic grammar, what is known as ‘beneficial speech’ (speech that makes sense and conveys meaning), is what can be understood without needing further explanation. In other words, a statement you can put a period after, and has meaning. So, “I wanted” is not ‘beneficial speech,’ but “I wanted to go home,” is.

Yet in another light, it still seems to hold true. Sometimes, the most “beneficial” of speech, is ‘when silence is the speaker’s best option.’

Its been said that the End of Times will be when speakers outnumber the learned.

Reflecting on my life, I’ve learned very little and have spoken very much.


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The Chai Response:

In honor of the previously established Official Anti-Invaider blog, the sole objective from which what you see here had developed from, I have responded, in defense of chai:

you avoided me and so i’m gone
your sugar rush and highs are done
starbucks and carribou,
ha, tis the price you pay when you
audaciously drink lipton too!
cry for me, no more, you see
you did this, you all killed me
pakistani white-milk-tea
with english biscuits and crappy bree?!
keep this up and then you’ll see
no more culture, no more “me”
it started when you hung the loongies up
thats when you dumped out my first cup
followed by an acquittal of gowns and thobes
and a desire to hang metal on your lobes
punk rock, rap, country, or easy listening
each one was another christening
go ahead, leave the panjabis and salwars at home
no more east and west, we all are Rome!
Eid day comes and the focus is my new Tommy,
what happened to the day being spent with mommy?
her culture slept, then died, and now your on your own
don’t cry for me, you leave me alone!

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Fruitless Knowledge

I was wondering today, how little, in our search for ‘ilm,’ we appreciate what we’ve learned already. Many times the nuances of information sometimes overshadow the mountain loads of meaning behind just a few words of our Beloved Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم .

The same words we’ve memorized so long ago, sitting in the banks of our memories, when uttered once, stir the hearts of others. I wonder what the condition is of the one who parts his lips to share the words of the Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم, shaking the souls of others, while leaving the speaker with no effect. Or the one who recites beautifully, squeezing tears out of dry eyes, yet reflecting little past the domination of their tongues.

A man who never used to pray, walked into the Masjid one day.

He never prayed, but thought on this friday, “Let me just go to Jummuah and see what’s there.”

When he walked in, he heard the Imam say,

“There are two words, easy on the tongues, but heavy on the scales on the Day of Judgement, and are beloved by Ar-Rahman: subahanallah wa bihamdihi subahanallahil adheem”

The man who never used to pray was awestruck by this comment and remained for the rest of the khutbah.

After the salah, he went straight to the Imam and asked him if ‘those words’ were true.

The Imam, befuddled by the question, asked which ‘words,’ in particular, since the khutbah had many words in it.

The man said, “You know, something like, ‘habeebatan, khafeefatan, Ar-Rahman…'” (“two beloveds, two lights, The Ever-Merciful”).

The Imam responded affirmatively and said, “Ah yes, from the hadith of the Prophet PBUH, he said…..”

The man who never prayed, interrupted and asked him, “These were the words of the Prophet ?!”

The Imam confirmed, but then was interrupted again by the man…

“Are you sure, these were the words of the Prophet ?!”

The man just couldn’t believe that these beautiful words came from the Prophet PBUH, he was in utter disbelief.

After another confirmation, and reconfirmation, again the man, standing shaken, asked once again,

“The Prophet Muhammad PBUH ?!”

The Imam, now awed at the man’s disbelief could only answer once more, as he had before…yes.

That night, the man who never used to pray, went home and gathered his family.

He then asked them,

“Have you heard…?  …that there are two words….that are light on the tongues….and heavy on the scales…and are beloved to Ar-Rahman? 

They are: subahanallah wa bihamdihi, wa subahanallahil adheem!”

After that moment, the man resolved himself, and his family, to take up the five daily prayers….religiously, in the truest sense. 

The man who never used to pray, went on to inform his entire family, asking each of them, “have you heard…that there are two words….that are light on the tongues….heavy on the scales…and are beloved to Ar-Rahman? 

They are: subahanallah wa bihamdihi, wa subahanallahil adheem!”

That man then asked everyone he worked with, “have you heard…that there are two words….that are light on the tongues….heavy on the scales…and are beloved to Ar-Rahman? 

They are: subahanallah wa bihamdihi, wa subahanallahil adheem!”

In every street, in every path, at every gathering, at any chance, the man, who never used to pray, asked the people, “have you heard…that there are two words….that are light on the tongues….heavy on the scales…and are beloved to Ar-Rahman? 

They are: subahanallah wa bihamdihi, wa subahanallahil adheem!”

…This man, had no idea that these few gatherings would be the last of his life, and so when he was on his final death bed, and the agonies of death overtook him, as he was going in and out of consciousness…his loved ones surrounded him.

When he awoke, he would have his last moments with his family, only to faint back into the final stages of his death.

The doctor came in and lifted his hand to feel the pulse on his wrist. 

As he did so, the man who never used to pray, awoke again, this time, to see a strange face, a man who who he had never met before in his life. 

So he asked the doctor,

“have you heard…that there are two words….” 

…and so, this Caller to Ar-Rahman was taken by the Ever-Merciful.

 

I’ve heard this hadith a few years ago, I took from it what I did, and the man took what he did.

 

May Allah have mercy on the Muslims and allow us to be effected by the words of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم and the Quran, as true believers should.

May Allah protect us from fruitless knowledge, an unaware heart, and duas that are not responded to. Ameen.

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A Butterfly in Egypt

A saw a butterfly today. Well, I glanced at it. I did take a second look, but it was maybe for half-moment and not much more.

Immediately reminding me of the fields at Hutchison Elementary, at recess, the site of my early holding grounds.

A rush came over me, particularly about the different sense of time back then……every thing took so long. Relatively speaking, of course, it did–compared to my young age. As I passed through the bustling streets on my way to wherever, I thought, the last time I remember seeing a butterfly, I was 10, and I remember just watching it for a while. Not this time though, I had to go nowhere, but I know I needed to get there quickly.

Senseless rush.

My first week here turned into 6 months. Now, on my second trip, Cairo feels more like returning to a distant memory than to a far away distant land. Not really sure how much I’ve gained, or for that matter, how much I’ve lost, but I’m here. Inshallah, this next round will be much more fruitful, now that I’ve been reminded of how quickly ten becomes twenty-four, and how short a year becomes after a few moments. 

But alhamdulillah, at least a saw a butterfly today.

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What a difference a day makes

Inna lillahi wa inna elayhi raji’un.

To Allah we belong and to Him we return.

 

Ain’t that the truth.

 

‘Eid Mubarak’ and no more Siyam.

No more waking up early to get in a few prayers before fajr.

No more meeting up at ihop with the boys to sneak in the last few bites of the day. 

No more eager fasts that leave you wondering how you actually have more energy now than before.

No more fajr wake up calls, that end with, “inshallah!!” The real type of ‘inshallah,’ meaning, ‘i-bet-i-get-there-before-you-cause-i’m-already-in-my-car’ type of ‘inshallah.’

No more planning the days around the prayer time chart that you have crumpled up in every corner of the world that you may be in during iftar time. 

No more endless dua sessions in the dark, hoping that maybe you caught a moment of khushu as you got up from bed, or got out of the car, or walked to the mailbox, or tied your shoes, or..or….or….or……no more.

No more constant dua for a writeousbumette…..or maybe thats just me. 

No more remembering others in your calls to your Lord in the hope that the Angels may say Ameen.

No more excuses to do an extra good deed, or even to smile.

No more random acts of kindness, generosity, and mercy.

No more.

 

Inna Lillahi wa Inna Elayhi Raji’un.

…and ain’t that the truth.

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Looking for love in all the wrong places

I sought her, I thought I did.

Dreams of romance on Alexandrian beaches

I thought I’d wed her, to marry, I said.

Love may live, but may die, too

In situations out of our reaches.

So, as I sit now, reflecting on my day-trip to Al-Iskandaria (Alexandria, Egypt), I think now of all my intentions, and how if only—if only my intentions were for higher purposes, I may have benefitted more. 

Instead of those lofty reasons and goals that people may travel for, I journeyed for a more base goal. I think now, why, why do my desires run me, ruin me, lead me to places I thought I’d never go. I hope I’m forgiven for my transgressions, and that my reflections will lessen my addictions, but the truth is…I still love, and for love I have traveled. For love, I had traveled.

If the situation were different, perhaps my joy would have bled through the words I’m transcribing…but its not. In failure, in defeat, this is my domicile now. Energy lost, money spent, time taken-never to be returned again…and yet, no love met at the end of my expenses.

For those that know me, they know the nature of my trip, they know the reasons for which I travel, they know that there is no restaurant too far, nor dish too expensive, nor taste too acquired–that isn’t worth acquiring, or at least an attempt. And so as I left what I’ll be calling ‘home’ for the next year, in search of my passion, my yearning, my love…I left with a deep desire to end that day…fulfilled.

Alhamdulillah, ala kully hal. The brothers were fun, the scene was amazing, and the city was beautiful. But where was my love? You know how in the most terrible of moments, in a place desirable to no man, when all hope is lost, and only fear, or anxiety, or shame rule…only that special love could make your worries dissipate. You know, when its cold outside, but you think, no, you know, for certain, and with no doubt–you have the month of May. That’s what I was looking for…my May.

I was told of a nice little restaurant, far from the hustle of Cairo, and bustle of the lives ones live. In a place known to the world as Alexandria, but here…its Al-Iskandaria. Tales of a spectacular dish, of fish no less, were spread after a few had journeyed once there. Stories of how it would shame the cooks of other lands, how, over there…there were no worries, only food–damn good food.

And so, I travelled.

I’d like to tell you my experience was similar, and in its enjoyment, alhamdulillah, it was. But in reality, my tastes have outgrown that of those less known to tastes of the orient, the arab, the latin, and the like. Knowing of good food is one thing, but definitely, experience is another. I have experience.

 

sometimes what you want, is not always what you get.

 

And so, as I write this, saddened by my own foolhardy trust in the tongues of others, I wonder when my naivety will sway to the cynical trust you only give to those closest, those who’ve experienced what you’ve experienced, those who know. 

I wonder now, how I could have ever betrayed the one who was so good to me through all my struggles. The constant, the one who never left me with ill, but rather came to me at times of need and pleased me in times of joy. How could I have forgotten?

How could I have been so shortsighted. 

Of my feeble attempts at apologies, here is my ode, to my love:

My Love | محبوبتي

انا أحبه الدجاجة
و في نفسي حاجة
البيضها عزيزة
ولحمها لذيذة

 محبوبتي | My Love

I love chicken
And in my soul is a yearning, a need
Thy eggs are the best of things
And thy meat is of the tastiest

 

-An Unknown Lover, Who Knew What Love Was

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Who says you don’t need wudu for al-Mawrid?!

One afternoon, as I was with a dear friend of mine, his sister reached for the ‘Mawrid,’ a dictionary. Immediately, we both jumped up to scoldingly ask her if she had wudu. Knowing it wasn’t the Quran, she apologized profusely and admitted that she was bereft of ablution. Obviously, we laughed at the situation…

…but today as I search in my dictionary, I am lost.

استطاع … to be able.

Simple enough. The light came in the darkness when I was searching for something to clarify my situation. My problem was simple enough, what is the meaning of istaTee’? I searched page after page, read through word after word. Guessed at the root, blamed its branches and wondered if I’d ever enjoy its fruits.

…then it fell, like the acorn upon chicken little, from out of sky, the sky was now falling. It had fallen on me. 

It was under طوع , ‘to obey.’ 

استطاع was from طوع. Its root was obedience. The root of ability is obedience. 

…and then the darkness was lifted.

Traveling out here, literally into the middle of the desert, trying to grasp the sharpness of the arab tongue, sometimes its easy to forget, there is no ability nor positive change, except from Allah. We strive hard, but its only from Allah that any success can be derived. 

So what prize is given to the uncooperative slave? He disobey to expect reward? Awkward in thought, but almost too real in action.

لا حول و لا قوّة الّا باللّه

‘There is no ability, nor positive change, except from Allah.’

Make dua.

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