Archive for March, 2008

Facts without Fiction
March 28, 2008

1) Its embarrassing when you think about it. We (that includes you and I) go days at a time without making dou’aa. We walk up and down the streets and sometimes make a right or left turn (depending on where you wanna go) without pondering over our life to come. Or what shall become of us when the inevitable moment of our lives approaches. Shamefully, we don’t remember to make dou’aa even during those period we find ourselves sitting in front of the television screen, looking upon it not knowing what the heck we’re watching.  A dou’aa as simple as six short words; “O’Allah, forgive me for my sins”. But just remember to say those words with sincerity and not because a shiek told you to say them or you found such a reminder reading Ameen’s blog.. Unless of course, you have lived your entire life without committing a single error and in that case, HOLLA at cha boy. SubhanAllah, can we be friends? 🙂

2) Throughout my education, I’ve always found myself seated in a lecture where the teacher or professor states important factors on how to become a (better) writer. He (or sometimes a she) would stand in-front of the classroom with their middle aged, semi cocky attitudes and find the urge to remind us “(O’)Students, to become a better writer you must be able to read”. If only you could see me, holding myself back from jumping out of my seat with laughter due to the words of the professor who couldn’t state his point clearly. Sometimes the students in the room would look at one another with a dazed look to their faces that screamed out “What the heck did he just say..? Be able to what?” and there I would be, ready to rescue them with my statement. I would stand and proclaim, “like really though Sir, its quite clear that we know how to read! but its your job to teach us how to write”. Of course…I would stand up and utter such words in silence 🙂 (People, a man’s got to do what a man’s got to do…) Other times, the professors would state their focus points using the most basic terminology, desiring for their students to understand the issue at hand. Such professors would say, “students, reading improves your overall writing” and just as those words entered one ear, would soon depart from the other. I would think to myself, “obviously Sir! why not just tell us…without food, our bodies can not survive” LIKE DUH!…but I would never find the courage to speak those words  out loud..fearing a dramatic drop to my overall mark at the end of the semester. Only years later, when I started to develop this so called “talent” to write (which if you ask me…what TALENT! 😦 ..) that I realized, I had indeed taken the words of my teachers and put them into practice. I started to read and as my reading increased, my writing improved. I didn’t spend hours in creative writing classes and when I did, I broke all of the rules on how to write 101. After all, I over heard my teacher once say, “if you know the rules to the game, then you can break them…” and I thought to myself…”man, this guy is a rebel..I LIKE i LIKe”….so I never missed his class and because of that…my writing also improved. I took my teachers advice and I started reading more and more…but you wouldn’t believe what I was actually reading..? I wasn’t reading famous ancient books from poets such as Edgar Allan Poe or the works of other “famous figures”, no that’s not my style. Instead I opened the Quran and I spent more time reading from those pages and By Allah, my writing improved. I cant really explain it but deep down inside, I know I developed my “talent” to write by reading through the pages of the beautiful Quran. The words of the All-Wise.

3) *Breaking News* We are in trouble. Both as individuals and as an Ummah. We need some serious help. Our problem is so vast, we shouldn’t allow our weak minds to limit the issues holding the Ummah hostage to the borders of Iraq, Afghanistan or even Palestine. The problems of our Ummah are so widespread, they reach to presents themselves on our very own door steps. So how come we find ourselves addressing these issues that bring shame to our Ummah. Issues such as, terrorism or woman oppression. For the record, you and I both know only about a hundred years ago, women of the West weren’t allowed to vote, let alone “been given respect”. When the pages of history make it clear to us that over 1,400 years ago, women of Arabia were granted to right to inheritance and to be judged on her minds and not the length of their legs or the size of their bras. All these blessings for women became possible due to Islam. What about the issue of terrorism? Hmmmmm then again,  HA HA HA…I almost can not stop laughing. Listen, if we were to play the numbers game for a second and realize that they’re 1.6 billion Muslims in the world and if a small percentage of them, took issues into their own hands to cause mischief…why label the vast majority of Muslims “terrorists”? I’m certain every group of people, from the beginning of time to today, their were individuals who didn’t represent their “cause” as was required and even with Islam, such individuals do exist. However, labeling the vast majority of innocent, law biding Muslims something they AINt, well my friend, thats where the line has to be drawn. So less living like animals that live for the moment and more collective efforts to bring about change. Wow, now Im starting to sound like Barak Obama.

4) Friends. This issue has to be addressed. For the wise among us, they can be excused for the next few sentences or what not, because for them….they have already mastered this art known as “selecting your friends wisely”. Can you believe, after all of these years…I still have trouble selecting friends? But the thing with me is…I do not rush to replace friends that I’ve grown apart from or have lost with time but instead, I use that period of time for myself. Its funny how we often spend so much time trying to get to know this person or that person when we dont even know our own souls. Whether the issue is…what do you want to do after you complete your studies? Where do you wanna live after university? What qualities are you looking for in a potential spouse? How are you going to become a better worshipper to Allah? and so on and so forth…we often dont have the answers to these questions. Why? And dont give me the answer “Because” cause thats a soft answer. Instead just man UP (or if you a woman, Lady IT down 🙂 ) and admit that we havent given our souls enough time to understand them. So how about this…without sounding too self-fish…I propose…we create some time for yourselves. In other words, create a life plan with yourself and not with a friend or a family member but do it all on the lonely. Never forget though, always seek Allah’s assistance and place your trust in Him. And if we were talking like they do in the hood, I would say…”Shawty, do YOU! Nothing more and nothing less” 🙂 So after you’ve given yourself some time, now comes to tricky part on how to go about selecting a companion. To be real, you never really know what type of person you’ve taken as a friend until problems present themselves. Through problems, what was hidden from you becomes apparent so be patient until Allah makes it clear to you and until then…here is a small list on what you should look for in a friend.

a) Honesty. Without it…what can I say….the friendship wont last. But with honesty comes reality and you may not like the truth so be prepared to deal with the saying “truth  hurts” cause often times, it really does.

b) Trust. Like honesty…its a trait needed to take the friendship to the next level. You may need to take a risk with lending your trust to someone until of course…things dont work out the way you planned for them too… 😦

c) A religious companion. Some of your might read this and think..”man, what is homeboy talking about?” But seriously, the most foolish amongst us is one who takes friends that never remember Allah. Not only do they distroy themselves but they take you along with them in that trip. Hense why the Messenger of Allah (saw) said, “choose your friends wisely for you will follow the religion of your friends”. The religion? Yes. So dont take this factor to be one of light importance when it might out weigh all of the other qualities that I may or may not mention.

d) Forgiveness. Listen, the truth of the matter is…we all make mistakes. Sometimes, those mistakes comes at the price of someone else’s feelings but when selecting a friend, take one that understands this component. Understands that Allah bring trails to very situation and one problem shouldnt push two companions away from one another. For me, I need to take this opportunity to apologize to a friend regarding my efforts to be clever and the result of that situation caused my dear friend to take back what they had given me. Im sure you’re reading this apology F.O and if you are…I really do mean it.

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The Fever of Marriage finally GONE!
March 26, 2008

Have you noticed that recently there hasnt been much talk about marriage? 

I haven’t heard many brothers complaining about “oh, its so so hard to find a decent sister these days..” or the best line of them all, “Yo..I’m saying though…I look in the mirror everyday and I see a good MashAllah brother so how come these sisters cant see the same thing..?” (makes me laugh every time). In fact, I haven’t heard much about marriage at all. So the question that comes to mind is, have we survived the fever? Was marriage just a cloud floating over our heads while we waited patiently as to how much rain would pour down from its foundation?

Well..personally, I guess since Im not married, I most of some how survived the storm of marriage. Many of my boys got married and some are happy while others are going through the growing pains (which is normal) but myself, well…I’m just doing me. Counting the stars, going where I go, doing what I do (whatever that means). 

Its like, I take so many trips from Toronto to Ottawa and I think the main purpose of such trips is to change my environment for a bit. I notice in Toronto, I hear (or use to hear) brothers talking about “getting hitched”, however in Ottawa, its a different story. Or to be fair, not as much talk about “entering that stage of life”. Maybe its just my Ottawa crowd or maybe its their level of patience when it comes to that issue. It seems like in Toronto, many of the sisters want to get married and are making that known but that’s not really the feeling I get when I take my countless trips to the Nations Capital. However, for the record, I’m sure there are plenty of women in Ottawa that wanna get married but understandably, I wouldn’t really know that. 

The most amazing growing pain I’ve had with the issue of marriage is my experience. I’ve gone through the different stages from meeting a sister (the proper way) to taking the issue to the highest court within the family fold. I’ve experienced it all and after all of that, I’ve watched myself grow from a boy who didn’t know much to a man who is confident and grateful for his situation. Alhamdulilah, I’m alive and I believe in Allah. What else can I ask for?    

Foolishly, the other night, I recalled an ayaat from Surah Ibrahim in where Allah declares that if we were to make the efforts to thank Him for all His blessings, never would we be able to do that…and there I sat at my work place ignorantly, trying to thank Allah for everything I could remember. But my memory served little benefit when it came down to recalling all the kindness and mercy my Lord has showered upon me. Instead, I grew in shame and I wisphered in a low voice to myself, “my lord, forgive me for my lack of gratitude”. Indeed, I am ashamed and I seek His forgiveness.

Just today, I revisited the Almaghrib forums for the first time in several months and I came across a thread in which a sister titled “10 reasons NOT to get married” (what a catchy title if you ask me 🙂 ). Needless to say, it was an interesting thread. The first point she made was “Single means you can eat, sleep, study, work, go out to the park when ever you want” and I reflected on this one point for a while. So I pictured myself, single, having the freedom to eat, sleep, study and visit the part as I wish.

I mean just think about it. If I was single, then I don’t think I would have any problems in accomplishing those things but what about, if my situation was different…I mean, lets change my status from being “single” to “married”, how much would my lifestyle really change? If I was married, wouldn’t I be able to eat? Maybe? Perhaps? Or I would think the answer would be YES! I would definitely be eating homie. In fact, I would probably be exposed to different types of food. Maybe she would cook for me and that would be nice? *laughs at “maybe” lool*

Now the issue of sleep which is one that can be debated. I mean, sleeping in a bed by yourself is different than sharing a bed with someone. Which reminds me to remind all of those who are soon to get married, if you gonna buy a blanket or a comforter, buy a size that is BIG enough to hold four people because there is nothing worse than having to play tug and war with your newly ordained life partner. I’m serious. Buy it and avoid 18% of problems that started in the bedroom and grew to become one of great concern. Be proactive rather then reactive. Now seriously, the issue of sleep can be quite tricky because unlike being single, when you’re married, you actully have some duties that you might or might not be comfortable with. Such as, listening to your spouse. Their concerns, worries, reflections of certain situations and so on and so forth that occurred throughout their day. So maybe that 9 and half hour sleep that you were use to growing up, will get reduced to …lets say….6 hours or maybe if you lucky, 7. And Allah knows best. So to that sister who stated this issue, you have stated a thoughtful point so may Allah reward you.  

As for studying, lets never forget, two brains will always be better than one (some times its hard to believe but its true 🙂 ) Although one person will only be allowed to take the test, your spouse is there to help and be a source of support during those moments when studying seems like a punishment sent down from above the heavens. Studying would be a positive in my book if one was married rather than studying when you’re single.

Regarding the issue of work, maybe there is a slight concern. That’s a slim, maybe. Thinking about it,  if a brother was to work 12 hours a day for  like 6 days a week,  he would probably be spending way too much time away from home and perhaps that would translate to become an issue over an extending period of time. Likewise, if the woman was the one working such heavy hours, that would also be an issue…so what to do? Ummm…. I cant really say cause every situation is different and maybe some sisters wouldn’t care if homeboy pulled some heavy hours.

Next issue, going to the park HA! That one made me laugh (but in a good way). Since I dont really visit the park that much so I cant really say… 🙂 Although I would think, having company while chilling back on a bench starring into the fresh grass and the beautiful trees would be more pleasing to the soul than having to take that experience in while you stand all alone. At the end, I really don’t  know the difference between the two lifestyles rather than allowing my imagination to run wild with some issues.

So now that the fever of marriage is out of sight, I can finally run and grab my newly purchased Air Max and my basketball to shoot some hoops. I can stand at the top of the key and focus on making the shot rather than having to worry about a strong breeze over-powering me. This time around, I wont have to fear about catching the fever. 

Out of the Fold
March 26, 2008

Its seems like recently, I’ve closed myself off from my surroundings. From everybody. From individuals to places and this action has become so known that almost everybody has recognized it. Im often asked, “Yo, where have you been?” and “where you hiding these days..” But last and not least, “why you rolling solo homie?”. I respond…I just need my space. But dont I really? Thinking about it…I really do. I need my space. I need some time to think about the decisions that await me at the moment and issues that will soon present themselves. But the thing I find most awkward is how, despite the fact that Im not involving myself with many persons, I find my usage of time to be very poor. Out of a score of ten, I would have to give myself at best, a 6. Its shameful, I know. Its like I have no sense of time management anymore. Or maybe time is moving way too fast? That would be an excuse right? So lets not even go there.

All I know is, I wake up, do what I got to do around the house and when Im ready to leave, look over my “to-do-list” and depart from my house with confidence. Why am I confident? Why not? I just find it easier on my mind and soul to not stress issues since afterall…I am Muslim and everything has already been determined right? So why not just chill and leave the matter to Allah.

 So since the most frequent question Ive been asked in recent time is, “what have you been up to…?” I’ve decided to give the answer in my Poetic Justice. The answer is….Well before I answer the question…

Just last weekend, I took a trip to the Nations Capital (that’s Ottawa and not Toronto, although…many foreigner are under the impression that Toronto is the Capital and it should be if you asked me…BUT WHATEVER 🙂 ) and I found something there that captured my gaze. Something that woke my soul up. Little did I know, Ive actually been sleeping for over the past six to eight weeks until the moment I found the jewel. Not literally but symbolically. A jewel that shined bright. Bright enough to capture my attention and keep me awake like the firemen who always seem to be in my area saving some lives or what not, when I’m in my bed trying desperently to fall asleep. Although at times, I scream from my window at the firemen for what seems to me as “rudeful interruption”, I looked upon the jewel with silence. Complete silence. I wanted it. I reviewed how much it would cost and the price was too high. I couldn’t own it and if I wanted it, I would need to manipulate the system and that’s something that I’m trying to avoid. When I was younger, I would have this mentality that if I want it ….its just a matter of time before I would have it. And if I wasn’t going to be handed it, then I would just take it. One way or another, it was gonna be mine. But such a mentality has matured over the years and now I know, with manipulation comes a price. At times, that price could be too high for even a man like myself. So I backed off.

And on my three and half hour drive back home, the poetic words flowed through my mind. I felt the tension in my soul growing fiercely but I was an exposed writer. I was naked, in the sense, I didn’t have my pen and paper to release my tension. So I trapped poetic lines of passion that flowed like an eternal river in my mind, until I had reached home, only to find those words, gone. Nowhere to be seen. Have I lost? Or maybe, I’ve gained. Its too early to tell. All I know is, my Poetic Justice has a page titled, “My Jewel” but under that title, there are no words. 

My Experience With Love
March 7, 2008

What is love?

Its seems for generations mankind has been involved in a heated debate in regards to the topic of love. Does love exist or better yet, can you tell me about love at first sight? Let me take it one step further and ask you about our period of existence. Do you believe that our generation values love any differently from those who came before us? These and many more are the questions that run through the mind of the freedom writer. However, unfortunately for him, the answers to such questions are unknown. So at the moment, I stand strong and despite the words of the liars that exist in my time of being, I declare after some deep thought, love does exist. Thats right, it does. For most of us, we will live life without it. For some, they will become exposed to it. While others will meet death while they harbour the feeling deep in their hearts. I’ve even known of individuals, mostly women, who have become ill due to the fact that the decree sent from above the heavens prevented their pour souls from being with their love. Nevertheless, let it be known many forms of love exist. We shouldn’t grow ignorant and restrict it to the opposite sex, although that is the most passionate form and also the most common. Believe it or not, I’ve experienced the so-called feeling of love and I’ve captured our battle in my Poetic Justice.

My Love:

My heart blinds me of the realities of tomorrow
I’m trapped between my thoughts of you and I feel no sorrow
Can a love like this grow even stronger

If you were attacked I would defend you with my honour
I will be your protector and He is my supporter

Fear is but a thought that has been transformed into a feeling
I grab it by the throat and jump head first into any commotion
I will remain committed to you and forever fulfill my devotion

Now time is of great essence so I worry about the events of tomorrow
Will we be kept apart forever, if not, than how much longer

If I had one wish in Junnah, I would ask for you
And if I could intercede, I would speak on your behalf
I invite you to good and you invite me to that which is better
So let’s hasten to do good together
Perhaps we will be granted mansions the size of the heavens and earth put together

Now history is but events that follow one another
My love could be compared to the love spoken of by the Great Scholar,
He spoke in great detail of this energetic feeling
His love was directed towards a lady, whereas my love is for my father
He felt pain and sorrow
But I feel like I’ve gained and I look forward to the events of tomorrow