Allah is Beautiful, and Hu Loves Beauty!
When the primordial Question, "Am I not your Lord?" reached my perception, I remember, I had said, "Yes! And You are Beautiful! And I love You!" That became the anthem of my soul. Then I was put to sleep. Now I wake up. This is a chronicle of my awakening.
Monday, October 31, 2005
Two days ago, I woke up real late after Sehri. Cursed my sloth. As I brushed my teeth, I wondered if I had any chicken curry all this Ramadan? No? Why not? I deserve to eat chicken curry.
Something told me I was being ungrateful. Something also told me to go ahead and ask anyway. So I did.
Five minutes later, I found chicken curry in the fridge. Lots of it, which is a rarity in our home after three men have feasted during Sehri.
Last Wednesday, I called a caring friend in a holy land. He was also very busy, but Something told me, I can push. I requested him to perform a pilgrimage for me, and pray for my forgiveness. He would, he said, but I knew it’d take him time. It was urgent! I wish I could fly myself!
Surely, the One who hears can manage to do things faster. He heard.
Today, I got a message from M. T., my dear, dear old pal. The message read:
Salaam. Today, here at umra. In Madina Paak. You and your family members are being remembered in prayers. May Allah bless all of us.
In a few days, InshaAllah, I will also get a dedicated Umra, just for me.
Meray Allah Mian kitnay Cute Cute Cute hain! :-*
Saturday, October 29, 2005
- Being sick for over a week; falling sicker over nasty stuff and not doing my work.
- Writing two mazaidaar posts today, and losing them. Thanks to a rare Mozilla Firefox breakdown. And these were the best I wrote in months. Photos included. Don’t we hate losing work this way? Back to paper and pencil, is that where I should go?
- Not doing my work. Enough of wimpi-ness. Back!
Thursday, October 27, 2005
Robert Frost's Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening is one such poem. I was just unconsciously humming its last lines when I realized how many, many people has it inspired. How many have gone on to fulfill their promises, spurred by the simple strength of the message of these lines.
The poem are the words of a postman. The postman, once unaided by computer-enabled "logistic systems," was a symbol of dutifulness and character. And of course he brought those personal letters that many waited for to hear from their loved ones. He had to but go on, no matter what the weather. Here are the words to this famous poem:
Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.He gives his harness bells a shakeTo ask if there is some mistake.The only other sound's the sweepOf easy wind and downy flake.The woods are lovely, dark and deep.But I have promises to keep,And miles to go before I sleep,And miles to go before I sleep.
I dedicate these lines to those who wait for me to deliver my promises; you are my strength. Our world will, one day, be better. Seven years! Give it seven years!
I direct this as an answer to those who sap everyone's energy and expect them to fall so they may never fulfill a worthy promise. Envious, weak, energy-sapping black-holish ill wishers. You know who you are. My world is all the better without you!
Wednesday, October 26, 2005
Met Insi tonight. She listened to the many things I had to say. Why won’t I ever thank God? Thank God for Insi and other people who give me love? Just simple, blank, Thank God?
Alhamdolillah. I am beginning to see You. In the many ways in which You manifest. You are The Matrix.
I told Insi I will take things. Take them as they come. I told her of the many stories that relate to my life as of now. The stories of three Prophets.
I told her that I think of the story of Prophet Is’a [Jesus], peace be upon him. He cried in the prison cell before he was lifted to the skies to be sent again. He cried, and perhaps the words are: “Ilahi! Why have You forsaken me?”
And my heart echoes in anguish the prayer of God’s messenger: Why have You forsaken me!?
And I told Insi that in the depth of darkness, I cry out the prayer of Prophet Yunus [Jonah], peace be upon him, who left his duty in frustration before God him ordained. By God’s command, a fish swallowed Yunus and in its dark, wet envelope he remained for forty nights until God heard his prayer. From the depth of the darkness of the ocean and the fish’s bowels, so had cried Yunus:
“La ilaha illah anta subhanaka; inni kunto minaz-zalimin!”
"There is no God but You, Allah, and all praise returns to You; (indeed) I have wronged my Self!"*
And have you heard the story of Prophet Zakariya [Zecharia], peace be upon him? (Actually, I mis-narrated and made it the story of Yahya, John, peace be upon him.) When persecuted by a bloodthirsty mob, Zakariya reached a tree. In desperation, he asked the tree for refuge. The tree opened and enveloped Zakariya in its trunk. It is said the hem of his cloak protruded from the tree, to which the Devil brought the mob’s attention. What is not said so often is that the hem was left out beckoning on God’s command.
God said to Zakariya, “Why did you ask the tree for refuge, when I am the One who gives refuge to all? So stay quiet, as they kill you, if you are to remain a Prophet (and not be reduced to the ranks of ordinary men who pray to things for help).” So silenced Zakariya and became he quiet, until the tree was halved by the Israelites.
I told Insi what I feel.
Ilahi has not forsaken me. I did zulm on my Self. I feel, in my heart, I should stay quiet as Zakariya and endure this. Until it over. Until it is over.
* The precise words are “zulm on self.” Hurt my self; given pain to myself. I find no adequate translation for the concept of “zulm.”
Saturday, October 22, 2005
God’s not the only one with the sense of Justice and Fairness. If I retain a bit of dignity, God, I have a sense of justice and fairness, too. So I’ll tell You this. It’s okay. You know when I built my house I never really said, “Thank You!” I said I built my house, and for anyone who cares to listen, here’s how and what I saved. They should invest in this place at that percent return too. And oh, I didn’t notice that You say, in your scheme of things, there is no space for profit on money. And other little things. They accumulate over time, aye, I heard that somewhere, but what care do I?
I don’t account for little things that accumulate.
And I didn’t care. But I see now.
And so I have a little dignity. And a little justice and fairness. So it’s okay, God. I don’t feel angry. I’m okay. And I’m sorry I never really said, “Thank You! You built this home, and You will take it down.” Sorry. Really.
In response to the silly comment that guy made – about not asking for donations for EQ victims publicly because that’d be against the hadith that says one hand should not know what the other gave out (discretion) – and then his reminder of what ‘his organization,’ I just thought this line up, and laughed. No actually, I laughed when I thought I’d just record my trademark, “Baaaaaah. Very baaaaaaaahhd!” on an mp3 and send it along. That and the sound of baaaaaaaaahhhhd made me laugh.
But that’s not the point. All this is not the point. The point is that I laughed this morning. For no good reason really – a deep, silly laugh.
- To raise funds for reconstruction phase..- To raise funds for immediate direct relief for various allied NGO's working in the disaster areas.- To train volunteers to send to the affected areas for emergency relief and works.
JAAG PAKISTAN will be an open forum for all to contribute towards the relief effort. A collective platform where all organizations work together.
JAAG PAKISTAN is a transparent fund raising effort and its activities can be monitored throughout on our website.
JAAG PAKISTAN will be a continuous effort to be replicated across Pakistan and the Karachi chapter as the initiator will forward its format to like minded people across Pakistan.
JAAG PAKISTAN Karachi, has selected Hill Park as the central venue for its activities in Karachi , for its high visual prominence and accessibility.
JAAG PAKISTAN will come alive whenever there is a calamity in Pakistan.
Jaag Pakistan is also planning to have a blog meetup on their first event, which is Farid Raziuddin Qawwal - Live at Hill Park, 9pm October 22nd 2005.
Thursday, October 13, 2005
There are thousands of people under the rubble. Mothers crying to save the bodies of their dead children from being eaten by dogs. Tons of donated goods waiting to be moved, when transport is bought. Thousands of volunteers working without stopping to eat or drink.
We can no longer say: These people SHOULD/ MUST be helped.
Say: I CAN help them.
Help Now. Donate at ANY charity of your choice. If you know or trust me, donate here to GIVEPakistan! We are organizing a ground-based relief effort. You can help. Donate. Just a little $ 5, 10, or 15. It's less than worth a good cup of coffee, but it can save someone's life NOW.
Don't wait. ACT. More details at http://helppakistan.net/.
HELP SPREAD THE WORD! COPY THIS BUTTON ON YOUR BLOG & LINK TO THE FUND!
Note: Copied this post from NEXT> by Ramla. This fund is endorsed by me!
Sunday, October 09, 2005
As the death toll rises to 18000 and more than 40000 injured, fears are that it could rise even more. The victims of devastating earthquake desperately need our help. Please react quickly and generously. Don’t forget it could be me or you too.
People living in Pakistan can donate cash, packed food (wheat and rice for example), blankets, winter clothes (since it’s really cold in northern Pakistan) and any other thing which you think can be useful. People from abroad are may send cash donations since it’s the best way to help.
An Emergency Coordination Centre has been set up in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and will be manned 24 hours. For any information, the officers on duty can be contacted at duty room: Telephone: 0092-51-9207663; Fax: 0092-51-9224205, 9224206 & 9205571. Just call in or fax and check how you can help.
You can also send in donations through Mir Khalil Ur Rehman Foundation (http://www.mkrf.org). It’s the charity organization of largest News Paper Group in Pakistan (Jang Group: http://www.jang.com.pk)
United Bank Account No: 0102598-5 (for international transfers also give in Swift Code: UNILPKKA)
Please click on the ads on this site to generate funds for the earthquake hit areas in Pakistan.
http://helppakistan.blogspot.com/ [Note by TheProphetess: Practice not endorsed.]
You can also contact Pakistani Embassy in your country for information and help.
Btw, there is an athletic ritual called "Sa'ee" in Umra (in Masjid-e-haraam, Makkah). Sa'ee means "effort, endeavor" in Arabic and Urdu. It's a 3.15 km run between two hills, now paved with marble. So one actually paces up and down an air-conditioned gallery 7 times from the hill Safa to hill Marwa. It is to commemorate Hajra's run b/w the 2 hills for the search of water and food for Ismael.
It's a tough run after other Umra rituals. While I was doing it a second time in 3 days, I just gave up after the second round. My right foot is bent inwards due years of back injury and strain. I almost thought of the wheel chair rides that are available. (The ritual is a must, of course. And one can't quit in the middle and go home, though we can rest as long as we want anywhere on the route and on the two hills, now covered with air-conditioned domes.) I sat down at Safa the first hill and cried. You can cry without shame in that place. People don't really notice. And they think you're crying for the love of God. You know. I cried because I felt very disabled. Then I realized the Hajra didn’t run here in Nike runners, in an air-conditioned gallery.
That's when the lesson of that ritual was clear to me: MAKE AN EFFORT. The story goes that Hajra's effort was rewarded by the miracle of the issuance of water from between the hills - now known as the Water of Zamzam. So after a half hour of crying and massaging my feet and back, I got up and walked. I just then remembered something I read in 7 Habits: that just after an athlete has reached the limit of pain, s/he is rewarded with a tremendous release of energy that compensates for that muscle ache. I gave it a try. I limped. It is ugly to have to limp when you're so young - and it's hard when the pain is just jolt-jolt-jolting through the body. (I guess no one can know a backache and a headache until they have one.)
Then I noticed an old Pakistan man, around 70, pushing his wife on a wheel chair. And I noticed many other people. And I visualized these mountains, 1000s of years ago, naked, hot, scorched. And I imagined I am running between them barefoot, looking for water. (I passed up the temptation of the many sprays and coolers of Zamzam that line the corridor.)
It was stunning the effect that visualization had on me. Suddenly, my pain was much, much easier. My feet were actually thankful. (The entire Umra is done barefoot.) I also felt that making an effort is something that comes with, well, effort. I realized that I have so many gifts, as a person and not just socially, that hardly anything has been an effort for ME - though it might have awed others. It was time, finally, to test my character.
There are seven rounds to be made between the two hills, and the total walk is 3.15 km according to one estimate. I had an unbearable pain by the fourth round, to the extent that my mind was blacking out. But I held on to Stephen Covey's wisdom, and my life's wisdom, if any, and the visualization of Hajra. The blacking out helped, perhaps, as I imagined a huge rock in the place of Ka'aba, and the real scene disappeared. To my memory, it still seems that I ran on bare, sun-hot rocks.
My foot was ever so slightly bent inwards, but whenever I walk fast, there is a feeling of a tight string about to break from my back to the toe, and this has prevented me from extensive walking for the past many years. By the fifth round, while I was struggling to straighten my long-bent foot by placing it firmly and evenly on the ground , something happened.
My mind was really blacking out, when I thought I had completely lost it, and the pain wasn't like THERE for a second. And suddenly, a click-click sound came. Some long-displaced bone just fell in place. My foot was okay.
Do you remember the Forrest Gump's moment-of-release from his leg braces? It just happened! My foot just fell in place! What I read in 7 habits about an actual athletic phenomenon really happened. There was suddenly a tremendous rush of energy and whatever was blocking energy (blood and oxygen to be exact and more scientific) just let go of its ugly grip.
It was one of the deepest emotional moments of my life that happened without a drum roll. It just happened, and I had no one to tell this to. I walked on. Whenever I now have an "uphill" task in front of me, I will remember the little lesson of Sa'ee and of having a little but helpful amount of faith.
A little faith in a better tomorrow makes the present a lot easier, for us and for our loved ones. :)