Archive for September, 2008

Living Alone: A Single Brotha and Ramadan
September 10, 2008

What is the answer to the following equation…

A single brother + Ramadan+ Living Alone=

Math was never my specialty but this equation was one of those that I had given much thought, long before Ramadan had approached. The answer to the equation, I will inform you at the end of this post inshAllah.

     It all started about four months ago, I decided, after coming to terms with the fact that my mother had gotten re-married (and boy, letting mama go was the hardest thing I had ever done) but at first, my brothers and I weren’t too optimistic about the idea of letting mama go, especially the idea of releasing mama into the hands of another man. See, what you probably wouldn’t understand is, we LOVE our mom and it’s not that we didn’t want to see her happy; NO, it was the thought of some other dude who ridiculously thought he could (somehow) bring our mother happiness because, in our own little world, my brothers and I believed with certainty that we were sufficient for our mother. If she needed to be loved, we did not think all of the men of the world could provide her with the same level of love that our youngest could. So maybe love wasn’t the reason she got married so was it companionship? Maybe. I know months leading up to my mother’s remarriage, we were all busy living our own lives but that didn’t mean we didn’t make time for our mother, we did. It’s just with school, work, sport teams, friends, not to mention, Islamic classes and Almaghrib here and there, time became an issue. It seemed like, we were seeing our mother less so maybe that’s the reason she wanted to get remarried? Maybe. Anyways, after DEEPLY rinsing the file of the man our mother married (not to mention, some serious background checks with the CIA and CSIS), we decided it was within the best interest of our beloved mother to let her go and we did. And with such a decision, reality became known to me. The one woman I loved dearly in this world, was now under the care of another man and with such a thought, I realized it was time for me to move on with my own life. Shortly afterwards, I moved out. Now moving out was an experience within itself and among the experiences, I remember three in particular…

1) When I first moved out, I needed to decorate my new apartment. I needed my new place to fit my needs and therefore, I decided, despite female family members (aunts, sister, cousins) offering their female creavity service for free, I decided to ignore such ‘help’ and follow through with my original thought which was, NO wife, no need to consult anyone regarding what and where such and such a furniture should be bought from or should go. So one morning, shortly after I had moved into my new place, I departed from my house and about 3 hours later, I returned to my apartment with just about everything I needed ( not literally because I had to wait like 6 hours or so for delivery but can you believe all I needed was three hours to do all that shopping?) And when I say everything I mean EVERYTHING! New furniture set, bedroom set, a few tables and carpets (and Oh my..I got myself the BEST carpet EVER) not to mention, a few other things. In fact, I remember one of my friends who came to visit me the day before I bought all my new stuff and subhanAllah he had returned the very next night to ‘chill’ and upon walking into my newly decorated place (or semi-decorated place) he said, “Boy, what happened; did you get married..?”. Why did he ask such a question? Maybe it was because just the day before, I didn’t have much (after all, I had just moved in right..) and about 24 hours later, I had everything I needed (walhamdulilah). So the experience of decorating my place was new and an enjoyable one to say the least, although to tell you the truth, for the last three months, I haven’t slept in my room at all so I really don’t understand why I needed to buy a bedroom set if I wasn’t going to use it.

2) No more noise. Coming from a big family, I was always use to hearing people talk and debate but at my new place, it was silent. At first, I was like, okkkkkkk (as I looked around) but with time, I guess I got use to it. Another thing about living alone, when I was living at home, I would hear the house phone ring and normally I wouldn’t answer it because, with such a big family, I never really got the opportunity nor was it asked from me to answer the house phone. On the rare occasion that I found the house phone on my lap and lets just say, it rang (often times surprising the heck out of me), I would look at it like a cave man would look at the new Iphone (not knowing how to use it), and 99% of the time, I would just let it right out. <-Not good right, I know, I know, I know! But to my defence, later, I would find my eight year old niece who has labeled herself “the secretary around the house”, and I would tell her, “hey listen, the phone rang on my lap about 30 minutes ago so can you do me a favour and find out who it was for?” That’s when she would take the phone, walk around the house showing everyone the caller ID number in order to determine who the phone call was for, but now living alone, I know every phone call that rings on my house phone is for me so I really dont have an excuse not to answer it. For the record, I’m becoming really good at answering the house phone. But other then the house phone issue, sometimes, around the apartment, it does get a little too quite for my liking and if it wasn’t for the fact that my neighbors have many rights over me, my boys and I would have caused so much noise in order to entertain ourselves but Allah has saved my neighbors 🙂 . Oh Neighbours, if you can hear me, Allah has SAVED YOU! 😉 

3) I didn’t know what to expect from this Ramadan. It is my first Ramadan on my own and alhamdulilah, so far so good. While I’m at work, I’m able to pray at the masjid near my work place and if need be, break my fast there (if I’m working around maghrib time) but what about the rest of the days? My mother, may Allah be pleased with her, calls me almost everyday since Ramadan has begun and asks, “Mohamed, what are  you eating? Why dont you come over and break your fast here?” but since I’m such a simple guy, I break my fast and I dont really stress that issue (although, I try to visit the family as much as I can). The thing about breaking my fast at home (other then, I cant cook) is, I have plenty of food! (and subhanAllah, my mother still doesn’t seem to understand this point 🙂 ). Nevertheless, she makes a good point when she reminds me that I cant cook, which in return I tell her, I’ve been practising and the only way I’m going to get any better is through more practise. Although food and making meals has been a challenge for me so far, my eemaan has not. My eemaan has been solid this Ramadan walhamdulilah. I was worried for along time (and since its only ten days into Ramadan, I shouldn’t get over-confident with my level of eemaan) once Ramadan has approached, in the midst of running to work and from work, to the family and from the family, my overall eemaan level would suffer but alhamdulilah it hasn’t thus far. So the answer to the above equation, “Single brother+ Ramadan+Living Alone = So far so Good walhamulilahi Rabil Alameen!”

Ramadan Mubarak
September 8, 2008

I know we’re almost at the ten day mark, but it’s never too late to wish my fellow brothers and sisters a Ramadan Kareem so take my glad tidings for you as a sign of peace and love (for the sake of Allah) and may Allah accept our good deeds. Please keep the Ummah (as well as myself, our parents) in your dou’aas.

The Poet Speaks
September 8, 2008

     The poet speaks and I draw close to hear his latest words. Perhaps, I remind myself, his words may inspire me to write another page into my own works, or perhaps, his words will remain amongst mankind far after we depart and with such thoughts, I release my mind from useless thoughts. I have known of men, not personally, but whom I’ve found their poetic works on the shelves of local libraries and it always amazes me as to the reason why Allah has allowed their work to remain many decades after they’ve departed off into the next life. It is not my intention that I question the Wisdom behind such a decision from Allah (Woe to me if I were to do such a thing, and never would I do such a thing) but rather, it is only the curiosity of a man who has writen thousands of unread pages that reflects over the works of such that have managed to survive (with the permission of Allah) the storms of ‘the historical pages’. For some poets, I can attest to this fact, it is their primary goal to write material not only for you and I to read, but also for the generations to come, while for others, they write to please their own souls. The latest works from a man who is from the former of the two groups mentioned, he powerfully writes….. 

The bullets hit your hearts like the stings of a bee
You fall on your face as all you can see,

Are the Gardens so wide when you’re put in the ground
You’ve been searching for years and now you have found,

The Ultimate Prize, so sacred, so sweet
Your bargain with your Lord is finally complete,
Because you are all martyrs without fear or grief
Who gave all you had for your precious belief,
You promised Him your souls and He promised you much more
Now you can enjoy what He’s kept in store,
An endless reward for those who stood by
The covenant they made that towards death they would fly,
While graves burn the sinners and squeeze them so tight
You’re shown your places in the Garden, so spacious and bright,

On the Day when Great Terror shall steal all their words
Your souls will rest in the hearts of green birds,

Under the Great Throne with beauty beyond measure
At you ar-Rahmaan laughs, expressing His Pleasure,

Sufficient is this as a heavenly prize
But prepared for you is that never before seen by the eyes,

On your head is placed a crown, one jewel of which is worth
More than all of the jewels contained in this Earth,

You are brought to a gathering with companions so beautiful
The Prophets, the righteous and those who were truthful,

Al-Firdaws, where those of the Right Hand shall meet
Where the soil is white musk, so smooth and so sweet,

You scoop up a handful and throw it in the air
You are relaxed by the rivers flowing everywhere,

Water, milk and honey gushing forth non-stop
So thick and delicious you want to devour each drop,

You drink so much you almost end up falling
Into the flowing current, then you hear voices calling,

You turn and behold! The voices are singing
Coming from Maidens so fair and enchanting,

These are the Hoorees with round and firm chests
Pure untouched virgins, they’re better than the best,

Seventy-two in all, with large eyes of dark hue
Each one created especially for you,

They call out your name asking where you are
But to their disappointment, from the battles you are far,

Your heart is intoxicated by the pleasures of this life
Fear (of death) has wounded your manhood like a sharp knife,

A knife sharpened by the callers to Hell’s every door
Who pulled the sword from your hand and threw it to the floor,

And given you women, children and money instead
Convincing you ‘this is better than ending up dead,’

Lo,the Martyrs are alive, rejoicing and provided for!
When asked what they desire, they will answer no more!

So be from the cream of this heavenly crop!
Shake off your fear and let your doubts drop!

Pick up the sword and grab your horse’s reins tight!
Throw off your armor and jump into the fight!

Make your path be none other than Islaam’s high peak
Whose mountain is climbled by making death what you seek!