- in the name of Allah -

Recently I came across this article on BBC about the killer of a Pakistani governor a few years back being hanged for his crime. Two things just really don't sit well with me at all about this. 

  1. the look on the killer's face when he is in police custody  
  2. the amount of protests happening against his execution
Why does his look bother me? It conveys the smug self-satisfied face of someone proud of what he's done. Does he have something to be proud of? I think absolutely not. Why? Because if I think back to the example of the Prophet Muhammad (saw), all the times he faced and heard criticism from his own tribe and neighbors, how did he react? Did he wish them death and destruction and pray against them? NO. The Messenger (saw) would pray FOR those who opposed him or did him wrong, because he was a MERCY sent for mankind! The actions this killer of the Pakistani governor are not even remotely resembling that of the Sunnah. Yet he, along with his supporters, think he has done something righteous. How more misguided can one be? The Sunnah would not have been to kill the governor but to make dua for him, to engage him in dialogue and discussion, to try and convey a better sense of the religion. It astonishes me to think that the killer and those who support him would advocate for the killing of an unarmed civilian leader who happens to have an opinion they disagree with. Is the better society a "land of Pak" aims to create, one that stifles the opinions of its officials and keeps them in line with a strict status quo? Not even in the slightest. The amount of ignorance on display here is disgusting and repulsive, shameful and without justification. In any just society, there can never be vigilante killings like this, without a trial, without evidences brought forth. It's just unconscionable. How can anyone portray him as a hero? Do they realize the bounds they would overstep in being like this assassin? 

It really is a sign of our times where so many evil actions are disguised as 'for the religion' and regarded as justifiable. This is not the way Muslims as an Ummah can find their way to Allah and expect Him to be pleased with us. Do those who would speak ill of us or our Messenger (saw) or our Rabb, deserve death at our hands or our prayer for their guidance? Islam was not meant to be a vengeance against mankind, it is a mercy and guiding light to separate the right from wrong. Any Muslim who does not understand this, knows little of the religion they think they follow. 



- in the name of Allah -

With both the past and future now something I look forward to, lately it seems I'm more able to derive meaning from normal everyday things that I used to miss out on. 

I have found that in each prayer, there is a piece of the puzzle to be found. This puzzle can vary from one person to the next, but the answer to those questions is always there, in salaah. The nature of this answer is always the same, it is part of a road leading always back to Allah, leading back to what is just and good, leading away from despair and deceit. Maybe it is how this life was made, that the soul could only find its real rest there in such deliberation, but it's never simple at first glance. There's often enough layers to our vision holding back the sight of more important things, when our own wants make things cloudy. Desire has its place in life, it's critical to progress, but like everything else, it too must bow to Allah, and not be allowed to become the focal point of life. If this equilibrium in understanding can be reached, then that's when all the answers can fit together.


- in the name of Allah -

How to begin a post like this? I want to describe my state from the past couple days, but I have nothing similar in my experiences to draw comparison from. Alhamdulillah, it's...like the deepest chasm my soul had ever known, has now closed, it's healed. When I read that previous comment I didn't expect to find this place, heck I didn't even know this place existed. For so long the backdrop to my being was one of this pain, this heartache, I forgot what anything different could feel like. The lens I saw the universe has been colored for so, so long, through an experience of subtle agony and loss. But now, there is a certain quietude, a gently flowing perspective I perceive from anything I see. There is no trial inside left to quell, no longing denied left to quench. If there was a tunnel with a white light at its end, this is what I might think of the exit. Amazing. There is no other single word to call it. Except of course to add, that I owe my Rabb many thanks and gratitude for seeing me through to this point. Not only Him, but to my friends over the past few decades, from old ones who sent a chain email with a dua in it, to the ones who gave sage advice in passing without thinking twice, to the most recent one who helped me grow and heal, all of these have helped shape the foundation for the better part of me. Alhamdulillah that I got to know them, may Allah secure their road to Jannah and reward them with what is better, ameen.


- in the name of Allah -

From across this pond, from across this rink,
Even as waters freeze, you won't ever sink.

No matter how thin the ice, or how it wants to melt, 
You'll skate on, with the grace you've always kept.

Among my hopes I keep, is one: that you'll always visit,
Whatever trials you face, here's a home you're always in.



- in the name of Allah -

Why does a person do what they do? What drives their behavior, tendencies, rationale? I suspect that many old friends of mine have always been curious why I'd have times of "hibernation" where I would not talk to people for awhile or really limit social contact to zero. One of the most basic reasons for this occurred to me, and so I think it's important enough to record here.

In life, one can always be seen as being 'above' or 'below' other people. There are social and cultural and societal delineations made along these strata, whether by biological nature (ie family as son/daughter) or structural/hierarchical (ie as boss/employee) or tradition (ie as caste/social class). Along these lines, I regard myself as 'below' my parents, who are 'above' me. This is not something I always understood, but as time passed and I reached a point of manifest equilibrium in my relationship with them, including accepting the past and them for all they are, this was something that became ever more clear.

My parents supported me when I was little and had no conception of dependency or obligation. They supported me as I got older, still fairly clueless as to what I owed them. Then, even now as I trudge through adulthood, they have my back if and when should I ever need them. If I ever needed actual, tangible reasons to justify why they should be 'above' me, I had it in front of me. Of course, that was just by the end-stage. I saw how much they had done, sacrificed, devoted, upheld, expressed, protected, admonished, guided, supported, corrected, pushed, and various other things- all for my sake. How can one possibly reach any other conclusion except that this relationship is entirely deserving of parents being 'above' and me, as the child, being 'below'? It's naturally intuitive. Not only that, but this inclination falls in line with both religious and cultural predispositions, which thankfully my own nature corroborates completely. 

That obviousness said, what does that have to do with my isolationist tendencies? The answer is that in every social relationship, there is an implicit desire or mechanism happening which people automatically use to judge/categorize/place into relative order their relationships with others. I have no desire to be 'below' anyone other than my parents. By even the laws of nature and human progeneration, in the tree existing that maps out the entire species, they came before me and I came after them. According to time itself, there is no other way it can be, except that they are literally and figuratively, 'above' me. But with regards to non-family, there are no such natural laws, only presumptions and biases and prejudices that people build up through years and years of preconditioning and conscious and subconscious choices. 

All of that is to say, when I am dealing with those non-family, when I say or do something, or someone else says or does something which implicitly creates or defines the barrier of 'above' versus 'below', there is nothing I can use from myself to challenge that conception. Not only do my worldly qualifications mean nothing to me, I don't have that many to begin with. To top it all off, I care little for the accumulation of wealth or property or social standing. What matters to me, what has always mattered to me, is all of that which cannot be seen: ideals, character, philosophy, history, knowledge, etc. I have never truly cared about the physical plane in the same way. And honestly I don't really care to challenge those superficial conceptions, except that sometimes it occurs with friends. How does the square fit into a round hole? This is the parable of me and almost everyone I've met in life. There is definitely sadness in that I have had many friendships, since high school onward, that have decayed (some by necessity), because the path I took was so divergent from the typical. There's just no way for me to be comfortable in that kind of setting, the ones that allow people to usually relate to each and find common ground and basis for understanding and friendship. What does a friend mean to me? What would I mean to a friend? The answer to these questions is totally not immune to the general human proclivity to want to categorize and label and ascertain which is 'better' or 'above'. So the effect is that I am labeled, sometimes rightfully so, and I have no response, no explanation to give to my friends that could justify my nature in context of life itself. How does one begin to outline one's existence to another, such that their rougher tendencies make sense? I don't think it's possible. I'm not even sure it should be possible, the need to explain this way about one's self to another.

All of which lead me to seek no one's company other than my family's from time to time. Had I been born into another society, I've often thought I'd be a shepherd keeping his sheep, living not far from his cave. These personal self-conceptions do little to bridge the immense gap between me and life. I have no idea how to explain these things in simple terms, for me to express it required a process and reflection that I don't think people typically have time for. I would imagine for another person to come to a similar point of understanding...either impossible or forever. Of course it's said that friends are those who understand regardless and can appreciate despite the things that don't make sense. Even this I think is an idealistic way of looking at it, but I know exceptions to my jaded thinking do exist. The only caveat is, I need to be able to give them a chance to prove it. 


- in the name of Allah -

snow, snow, why do you fall?
snow, snow, why are you so cold?

snow, snow, don't cast your pall, 
snow, snow, leaving me chilled to the bone. 

snow, snow, so beautiful a scene it shows,
snow, snow, so bright without color or tone. 

snow, snow, don't you know December's ended?
snow, snow, won't you melt & leave me your embers?


- in the name of Allah -

a partial sum of time
Sometimes it rains, sometimes it pours,
sometimes words come quite easily forth, 
while at others, one can never tell for sure. 

Sometimes it drizzles, sometimes it storms, 
sometimes water cools into an icy form,
while thunder's left behind, a sound demure.

Sometimes it echoes, sometimes it shrouds,
sometimes ears become numb to the cloud,
while lightning flashes fire, a visage endowed. 

Sometimes it reflects, sometimes it gleans,
sometimes the pool expands to an ocean's scene,
while ripples resonate, an endless reverie.

Sometimes it waxes, sometimes it wanes,
sometimes its essence emerges into our plane,
while a soul catches drift, left never the same.



- in the name of Allah -

Sometimes one has to just appreciate life, its various flavors and shades. Still some weeks remaining till the big day arrives, but never a shortage of sources for mini-epiphanies it seems. I noticed a gradual progression of profile pics since last fall, and in them, I saw something very familiar and reassuring. It's strange, isn't it? Even as new doors open and old wounds find their aloe, there is still a way to be comforted in a way I didn't imagine possible. I suppose I am no less a contradictory human being than the rest of my species lol. Definitely curious my state is, something that might normally cause one to resurface pain or misplaced longing, doesn't actually bring that out in me at all. On the contrary, I found in it only serenity and joy, both for my past and for my future. Obviously some alhamdulillah is in order, having been protected from shayateen and various otherwise-typical human failings by the grace of my Rabb. Really, it's just beautiful all around. 


- in the name of Allah -

A relationship in many ways resembles a plant. Without the right type of soil and climate, without the conducive environment and weather, there is no way for it to flourish.

This worldly existence is not the ideal fit for the kind of plant I had sought to grow in the past: its soil borders on acidic, its weather almost desert-like in rainfall, the cycles of planting and harvesting coming far sooner than previously understood. One cannot plant the seed of a dream in such a place, where only reality endures, and expect it to be able to survive. Fortunately, alhamdulillah, even if a seed doesn't continue its growth at first sight, doesn't mean it has died. There are times seeds can hibernate, waiting for better climes to arrive, until their growth can once again resume. For me, that seed of the past now hibernates, biding its time until it can find better days. 

I can fathom this because of how my future plant looks like to me, the demeanor I have, the outlook, it appears that all of these are conditioned to fit into life itself, to face the inevitability of what is to come with steady reserve. As part of my ever-continuing catharsis, surrounding delusions burn away until only the heart of a matter is left. The plant I am to grow I intend to seek passage through existence with, to find a road out of the meandering that has become so familiar..towards a point that I can look ever-forward and find that old seed's destiny manifest. 


- in the name of Allah -

trace element

slowly let out the breeze, let in the air, let what's remained within find space to breathe. can't quite tell if pillows or pariahs things to become or objects of need. in this narrow space some drips drop silently, whether blood or tear or imagined release can't tell as truth wants to stop its confiding in me. if I likewise follow honesty's suit, I'd also decline my company too. a ship overflowing with holes, to drown truly the only purpose it knows, rafts without planks remain just wooden timber, nothing outside of their shape to give their existence meaning, hence into ash they wither. your comings or goings, reading or knowing, trying to find your wisdom's sake, before I realize my ink's dried from too dark a lake. among my whispered pleas, that my Rabb keep you whole and safe, as blowing winds scatter any truth I make, upon the forest's floor a sea of kardial leaves, fractured effects of an ever-resonant dream. some parts in me remain, some parts I will always seek, no matter the tides of time, for when we met was I complete.