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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As-Salaatu Khairun min…

اللهم ربي أفت� لي يبواب الر�متك

In a few short days, I’ve realized how unnatural our daily lives are. How we neglect our own natural states and deny the natural rhythmic patterns of our bodies.

Current Lives:

Fajr. Sleep. Breakfast on the run, if any. Commute to work, possibly late. Stress out on the way to work. Worry about every ring on the cell phone being your boss. Drink coffee Get stuff done from three weeks ago, which you should have done three weeks ago. Lunch, late lunch, or no lunch at all. Wind down from lunch, usually ate too fast or too much. Pray dhuhr, possibly late, or close to asr, since you were too exhausted from lunch to do it earlier. Guzzle more coffee to make it to 3. Wondering at three if you’ll make it to five. Wake up at four and wonder what happened since three, and how you got away. If you got away. Finally at 5 realize that you need to do asr. Maybe you can do it when you get home. Maybe you’ll make it home in time. Get home…bring home stress…maghrib….isha…sleep….wake up and repeat.

Just you think it:

What if we lived by the rhythm of our hearts? Waking for fajr, and staying up to live life. Minding the day, yet eagerly awaiting salah. Eating the necessary, and sleeping the necessary. Productivity would rule. Energy would flow from every limb, instead of exhaustion. Goal-driven, salah-based, stress-free…life.

What if we lived by the adhan?

Alhamdulillah, there’s a few places in this world where people actually do.

I’m beginning to think this is how it was designed to be.

“…and nothing will satisfy the hunger of the child of Adam (AS), except dirt.”

-The Illumination of Guidance (صلى الله عليه وسلم)

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Marhaban. Welcome.

مربا بكم في مصر

Been in Egypt for two days now, settling in. Trying to get a grasp of how life works around here. But so far, its comfortable.

Still exploring, still getting lost, still venturing into the unknown.

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Which Way is Nasr City?

to nowhere

 

So, London in two days…

Had the fish and chips.

Rode the double-decker buses.

Heard Big Ben blaring at the hour.

Faked the accent to see if I could fit in with the ‘locals.’

Felt really really American. Felt really really foreign. 

…gotta do the essentials 🙂

 

Alhamdulillah, my trip to London was a very delightful experience, and now its onward and upward….to the land of Musa (عليه السلام). 

Make dua.

 

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My Bum’s in England!

My journey on the path towards knowledge as begun, first stop, London, England. I need to be careful around here…’bum’ is taken in a totally different way 😉

Two days without parents, friends, family and…the internet. Its been a tough travel.

Alhamdulillah, as I meet more Muslims around these parts, I’m realizing the different nuances that make up our Ummah, and alhamdulillah ala kully hal. Day two on my journey and I’m already missing my community back home.

Off to the underground now (that’s the subway around here), see ya lata mates!

Cheers! –I believe thats the British equivalent to ‘salams,’ Allahualem 😉

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