Friday, June 20, 2008

Fate is Sure

It is not knowledge keeps a man secure -
With all his understanding, fate is sure;
Each moment we receive a different guest.
And each that comes presents another test

- Farid Ud –Din Attar, The Conference of the Birds -

Monday, June 16, 2008

Clear waters

I was swimming one fine afternoon. As I did my laps, I was besotted with its silence, clarity and beauty, for I have a love affair with anything-water. For a moment though, morbid thoughts struck me. I could easily drown. Our limited beings are weak, dependent on none other than His Favour and Mercy.

And He it is who sends forth the winds as a glad tiding of His coming grace; and [thus, too,] We cause pure water to descend from the skies, so that We may bring dead land to life thereby, and give to drink thereof to many [beings] of Our creation, beasts as well as humans.
25: 48-49

Have you ever considered the water which you drink? Is it you who cause it to come down from the clouds - or are We the cause of its coming down? [It comes down sweet - but] were it Our will, We could make it burningly salty and bitter: why, then, do you not give thanks [unto Us]?
56:68 - 70

Say [unto those who deny the truth]: "What do you think? If of a sudden all your water were to vanish underground, who [but God] could provide you with water from [new] unsullied springs?"

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

To the Virgins, Make Much of Time

Got another surprise after lunch, with a bunch of sweet smelling white lilies (one of my favourites) on my desk; from a colleague to brighten my mood during my last few days here. I love gifts for non- occasions – be it a chocolate bar, a stalk of flower, a pretty note, a sweet email. Many of which I have gotten in my two and a half years here (especially on highly stressful days), forming sweet memories and friendships that I will always treasure, insya allah.

The sweet flowers reminded me of one of my favourite poems (from one of my favourite movies). As I move on to a new career, may I make much of time; touching lives and healing hearts. Mine included.

To the Virgins, Make Much of Time - Robert Herrick

Gather ye rosebuds while ye may,
Old time is still a-flying,
And this same flower that smiles today,
To-morrow will be dying.

The glorious lamp of heaven, the sun,
The higher he's a-getting,
The sooner will his race be run,
And nearer he's to setting.

That age is best which is the first,
When youth and blood are warmer;
But being spent, the worse and worst
Times still succeed the former.

Then be not coy, but use your time,
and while ye may, go marry;
For having lost just once your prime,
You may for ever tarry.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Of Gangs and Alleys…

Last night, I was just done with my Maghrib and was about to leave the mosque when I heard a commotion, which sounded like a gang fight. The pakciks (uncles) at the mosque immediately rushed out. I looked out from the musollah and saw a group of young men running away frightfully into the dark walkway.

When I went out of the mosque, I saw a Bangladeshi lying on the ground and pakciks standing around. I asked if he was stabbed. Nope. I contemplated between calling the police or the ambulance. I wasn’t thinking much but I thought maybe the man needed an ambulance and went with my instincts. I hope he is well now.

Fear crept into me as I walked into the dim walkway that the young men ran into just a few moments before – overpowered by 5-6 big sized men, I could be easily stabbed or worse. I decided that I should put my trust in God, and coaxed myself – it ain’t that bad to die while walking to a class in which you are seeking His ‘ilm.

I have been thinking about it ever since. Maybe I should’ve called the police. Maybe I should’ve gone out the moment I heard the commotion and gave the salam to these young men. Maybe…Maybe…

What is clear though, is that I need to do something more...

May God give me the strength and guidance in doing so...

Insya allah.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

i'm yours. jason mraz.

I had a huge crush the moment I heard it. A closer look at the lyrics and a sighting of the music video depicting his journey sealed my love for the song (and the singer?).

Simple yet profound, it can be largely interpreted to be a lover’s realisation, journey and conversation with his Lord. Spending too much time on non-events, we are indeed distracted from the reality that we belong and will return to Him. And once we know the real reason for BEING, we will not hesitate to realise our purpose, potential, and our chance to be with our ultimate love.

* * * * *

Well you done done me and you bet I felt it
I tried to be chill but you're so hot that I melted
I fell right through the cracks
and now I'm trying to get back
Before the cool done run out
I'll be giving it my bestest
Nothing's going to stop me but divine intervention
I reckon it's again my turn to win some or learn some

I won't hesitate no more, no more
It cannot wait, I'm yours
Well open up your mind and see like me
Open up your plans and damn you're free
Look into your heart and you'll find love love love
Listen to the music of the moment maybe sing with me
i love peaceful melody
It's your God-forsaken right to be loved love loved love loved

So I won't hesitate no more, no more
It cannot wait I'm sure
There's no need to complicate
Our time is short
This is our fate, I'm yours

I've been spending way too long checking my tongue in the mirror
And bending over backwards just to try to see it clearer
My breath fogged up the glass
And so I drew a new face and laughed
I guess what i'ma saying is there ain't no better reason
To rid yourself of vanity and just go with the seasons
It's what we aim to do
Our name is our virtue

I won't hesitate no more, no more
It cannot wait I'm sure
There's no need to complicate Our time is short
this is our fate, I'm yours

Well no no, well open up your mind and see like me
Open up your plans and damn you're free
Look into your heart and you'll find the sky is yours
Listen to the music of the moment come and dance with me
A lá one big family (2nd time: A lá happy family; 3rd time: A lá peaceful melody)
It's your God-forsaken right to be loved love love love

I won't hesitate no more, no more
It cannot wait, I'm sure
There's no need to complicate
Our time is short
This is our fate, I'm yours

No please, don't complicate
Our time is short
This is our fate, I'm yours
No please, don't hesitate
no more, no more
It cannot wait
The sky is your's!

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

.: mermaid :.

I watched the movie, Mermaid (2000), over the weekend. Based on a true story, it is a heart wrenching tale of a young mother and daughter coping with the sudden death of their beloved husband and father. The 4 year-old daughter writes a letter to her dead father and attaches it to a balloon with a picture of a mermaid, which miraculously ended up in mermaid lake, a few thousand miles across the country. She receives a reply from a family who found the letter, and managed to overcome her depression.

Besides the beautiful story/miracle, what struck me was the mother’s struggle to cope with her husband’s death; wanting to move on and socialise and yet feeling guilty for not continuing to live with memories of her husband for months.

I realised then, that in Islam, we have the perfect solution – iddah, a period after divorce during which the woman is not able to marry another. Time bound, it gives time for women to cope with grief, and a guide (and license) for them to move on with their lives.

Whoever from amongst you dies and leaves behind wives, the wives will hold themselves [from marriage] for four months and ten days. Then, when they have expired this period, there is no blame upon you in whatever they do regarding themselves, according to the recognized traditions. And God is fully aware of whatever you are doing. And there is no blame upon you in proposing [marriage] to these women or in keeping such proposal to yourself - God is aware that you would mention it to them - but do not make with them any secret commitments, except that you say a noble word to them. However, do not commit the marriage-contract with them, until the law has reached its prescribed time... (Al-Baqarah 2: 234 - 235)

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

.: hearts :.

I was at a train-the-trainers session with our consultant from u.s. yesterday and we were discussing what qualities are essential for a good trainer. The usual “confidence, good knowledge, ability to engage” and etc were aired.

But he highlighted that what is most important is SINCERITY - It is difficult to deliver what you don’t believe in.

Yet, there is no denying that there are those who are able to sell (and sell well) what they may not necessarily believe in.

Does it matter, really? For it is not our business (or ability?) to know whether one meant what one says, or whether one truly believes.

But the heart doesn’t lie, and He knows it.

"Whether you conceal what is in your hearts or bring it into the open, God knows it: for He knows all that is in the heavens and all that is on earth; and God has the power to will anything."

Al – Imran 3:29

And, I was reminded that what comes from the heart will touch the heart of another.
Very important in this business of “touching hearts, changing lives.”