- in the name of Allah -

It isn't often that instead of writing questions on these pages I write answers, but that is what I find myself doing this evening in May. As for my previous post and its question about how to determine where another's place in life should be, the answer always has been simple enough: ask Allah. It makes sense that if one does not know, he should seek the way from the One who does. Things can sometimes be just that simple. Alhamdulillah for that.

Where to go from here? Should we seek the definite outline of tomorrow's plans today, or can something a little less complicated suffice? I think the latter may be possible, especially given my recent experiences. I challenge anyone reading this, that for all the planning that has been done in life, to look for contentment and reply only from Allah in salaat. It is that easy; go figure why it took me just 21.4 years to come to that precise answer. Sometimes we seek from within ourselves the definition of our soul, of who we really are, of what path of the many in front of us we should follow, and sometimes the answer cannot be found from within - not that it necessarily is in the "without" that it can be found. I wrote once, long ago, that it could be the same thing in wanting something for one's self, and wanting something for the sake of Allah; the two are, in essence, synonymous, as never can Allah be benefited or harmed, so it should follow that whatever we do for His pleasure or for our own pleasure, should only come back to help or harm our own selves. So, if we seek the answers to who we are, where should we go, and how should we get there, the circle begins with the self, extends out to Allah, and ends back again in us. This is because first we must have a question, before an answer is sought, and that question almost necessarily begins within the self. Then, finding that nearly in every case, we are unable to map out a reply, we seek guidance from Allah. The best and simplest way is istikharah, a prayer and dua explicitly seeking the best method of resolution, the knowledge of which lies with Allah, and is believed we adopt the path as long as the mind and the heart are open. The last means, is the internalization of what this request to Allah means, of accepting it in the deepest part of the soul, and allowing the truth of existence to flow from both idea to practice. We resist it at times, thinking that we can guide ourselves, that our intellect is grand enough to encompass our purpose, but it's only folly. You can only find peace and truth when it dawns upon your mind just why you were made: to worship only One.


- in the name of Allah -

so the semester is almost over, alh, and I find myself at yet another crossroads. when we meet people in life, how do we determine what purpose they serve, if they will belong in our lives for a moment, a season, or a lifetime? is the only process to finding out by random guessing, or is there another way to sift through the temporal wisps and find something truly substantial? I don't know. in other news, while observing tonight's stars in the sky, the question of destiny and purpose arose once more: just how should/can we define our existence? sure, the basic premise of humanity, taken and accepted as truth, is to worship one God, Allah. but when it comes to the more monotonous and ordinary aspects of day to day life, what is the measuring stick? do we define ourselves according to what others have done? or do we blaze our own paths in risk, hoping for some newfound reward? eventually, the issues of the past can be overcome, but can it be prevented from shaping our present, or our future? how can the distance between ourselves and our Creator be bridged, after we encounter the most prophetic truth in life: that few things are as they seem, and there are no guarantees that one good will beget another, that one justice will mean anything more than the moment in which it was displayed? one may wish the world's weight in good, and commit but one egregious mistake to potentially doom it all - how can this deck of cards be best played when all we have is but 4 cards at a time? the first step in most any answer to such kinds of questioning, is and has to be, patience. though, even that has me at times, pensive; what if all this time which I am giving is my respite, and while waiting for an answer, I meet its end, only to realize when it's too late that I could have better used it? this is why it truly sucks to die young: one is hampered by experience, and the fuller scope of life doesn't really hit you. yet, we are accountable for our actions at any given time after puberty, even in the throes of adolescence, and especially in the twilight zone of early adulthood. there is a middle line somewhere, only I haven't seen it yet.


- in the name of Allah -

Came across this link on the BBC.com front page, talking about the country of East Timor (geographically southeast of Indonesia / north of Australia) and how it recently (May 20th, 2002) gained its independence from Indonesia, who had been occupying it for years. Initially, this didn't appear to be something new, as it resembled in many ways the American occupation of Iraq. However, what ended up putting the nail in the coffin, was this quote:

East Timor will rely on outside help for many years since its infrastructure is poor and the country is drought-prone. However, vast offshore oil and gas fields in the Timor Sea hold much potential."

Is it just me or does that ring a bell? Hello oil fields in Iraq. Should anyone be oblivious as to wonder who will be that 'outside help' in rebuilding East Timor? Perhaps the same companies currently contracted to rebuild Iraq? The question of Indonesia's oppression of East Timor is almost irrelevant, and here's why: every region in the world (almost) is beset by some sort of civil unrest, some sort of movement here or there that is struggling against the governments rooted in power to found their own place/land/resources as they see fit, instead of having them controlled by proxies of other governments. One should wonder why one region is seen as more important and worthy of "aid" and "liberation", what factors preclude such decisions as political standing of one group of people versus another. It isn't a surprise that the Timorese gained their independence (let's not forget the colonization of pretty much the entire known world resulted in clear cut disparities between people of many races and ethnicities), but what is cause for wonder and concern is just how that independence will pan out. Is the price of freedom worth the cost of oppression by another's hand, the cost of being looted by those who's interests are even more vastly different from those of Indonesia (who at least has the excuse of geography and ancestry to squabble with them)? I don't know. I imagine it is the wish of every fair-minded individual observing these world events that hopes those who wish for freedom know precisely what they are wishing for, as it just may come true.


- in the name of Allah -

it doesn't take a genie or genius to derive peace from within when resistance is maximally resisted, as the guiding light sometimes burns better peered at than peered from. what's happening lately is another stage of self evolution, the footsteps destiny leading the way as precursors to resolution. what i thought to have had i don't know if it was really there, if the notions in my head were really substance or thin air, but it's the present i find myself in that has me content and well aware. demons and angels abound in our daily lives, if we only bothered to look around with opened eyes. they aren't meant to define or determine, but clarify a path that's already been internally woven. maturity, like a lens, shows me the stars and foreshadows a destiny, barely visible but inescapable from the confines of time and relativity. it's my destiny now to believe in Him, in only God, only one Creator, Originator, Sustainer, to hold this thought in the cradle of my conscience and comfort it with the seeds of my brain, letting it find roots in becoming a catalyst for change. truth is elusive these days amidst the desert of opinions, facts of dates and fate rain down on the populations, but they remain oblivious, choosing instead an image of satiation. we can't change the past or predict the future, but it's the present who's choices we rule over, the very same choices that decide an end coming already closer.


- in the name of Allah -

Came across this piece of an article from CNN.com, talking about the war in Iraq:

"[CNN Analyst Peter] Bergen says it is imperative that the United States not let that [i.e. what happened in Afghanistan] happen in Iraq.

'What we must prevent is central/western Iraq [from] becoming a Sunni militant state that threatens our interests directly as an international terror hub,' he said."

- (source located here)

Imagine if the wording were rephrased to something a bit less dogmatic, less polar, less blatant. Something like: "What we can't allow is a state whose interests are contrary to our own to come into existence; allowing people who's views differ from our own to have a place from which to rise up and rebel and 'fight for what they believe in' would be too damaging to risk."

I'm given pause to wonder: what happened during the American Revolution? Did we break away from a pre-existing empire or did a random group of people get together and decide to build a nation? What forces were necessary for America to come into being? If we can agree that the nature of this impetus was a need for something to call one's own, for a place unclouded by the feeling of oppression and injustice, then why is it so ironic, that if it is such a state the founders of America achieved, we should be the ones to prevent others from finding and founding the like anywhere and everywhere else in the world?