Sunday, 31 March 2013

Lights Out

The electricity just went out. A common occurrence in Egypt. And although this occurrence is a somewhat nuisance, I love to hear the cheer of the children outside that this nuisance causes. This darkness is somehow exciting for them, whilst us adults carry on grumbling, the kids scream and chant and shout, its a sound that is perfect, it makes me smile. 

I smile at the way these children are able to look past the dark, and remain happy and playful, whilst when the darkness of life falls on us adults, we fail to see any kind of light. Wouldn't those dark times be so much more easier if our attitude remained like a child's?  That you can still laugh and have fun and be happy in that dark time, because we know that it will eventually pass and light will return. 

But where is the fun in light? Where is the fun in seeing where your going? Imagine if we could actually see where we will end up after 1 week or one year? That mystery of darkness is indeed something exciting and perhaps even comforting. 

Lastly, there is something about the dark that brings people back to earth. With so much electricity and lights on, we arrogantly hold our heads high looking at everything and anything unnecessarily.  But in the darkness we become humble, our heads are lowered, concentrating only on that which the light of our candle hits. 

And so I welcome the darkness. I welcome that even in the dark you may smile and look forward, I welcome that we may find comfort in the mystery of it, and I welcome that it makes us more humble. 

Rumi - "What hurts you, blesses you. Darkness is your candle."

Thursday, 28 March 2013

To See Reality As It Truly Is.

I dont know about anyone elses experiences, but sometimes Allah has shown me through small signs who people realy are.
Although they have been deceitful and dishonest to me, in my naivety I make excuses for them, I hide the wrong that they are doing when really I should for once stand up for justice and face them head on, demanding explanations. But I choose not to. Sometimes its better to make excuses for you fellow muslims and allow Allah to do the rest. If they really are deceiving you, Allah will show you, and then its up to you, whether you want to foolishly carry on blindly, or be strong enough to walk away for good. Each time I gave someone a chance and made an excuse for them, some how strangely Allah showed me in ways, some ways that were purely accidental, that these people have not changed and are still dishonest. Its up to you to take notice of the sign Allah sent you, to hear Allah and be strong. There are times where we ask Allah to show us the truth, to show us which direction to turn, and when He shows us we become unhappy about it, we are in denial and we carry on making bad decisions that never will benefit us.

Deep down we all know the people and the paths that are harmful to us and the ones that will benefit us and bring us closer to Allah. We know but we are not strong enough to listen to our own instincts. Be strong enough to walk away, with the full belief that Allah will reimburse you with something so much more fitting or that those people will return to you, when they have finally realised, that they can hide their dishonesty from you - but not from Allah.

And of course the same goes for the opposite. If a person is sincere, pure and genuine, you will surely see it. Allah will not veil this from you. You will know in your heart who beautiful people are, and when you find them you should not let go of them, for they can only make your life beautiful. And you should fear that you should never hurt them, be good to them, and know, that Allah is with them, and will surely show them how ugly you are, if you are not sincere from within.

I ask Allah to help me see things as they truly are, and to show me people for who they truly are, and for the strength to base my decisions on this reality.

"In truth the conduct of our lives is the only proof of the sincerity of our hearts." -Anonymous

Monday, 25 March 2013

Prepare for the Big Test

Every single thing you do, is a test, from the moment u wake up, every small step u take, the people
you talk to, the way you talk to them, they are all tests to show one thing or another. Your adab, your aklaaq, your patience. So realise it, before you do absolutely anything, when you walk out the door, when you go to work, when you meet someone new, everything can be turned into dhikr with a simple intention before doing anything, like  "Bissmillah, I am cooking this meal, to feed my children to make them strong to become future leaders of the Ummah," or "Bissmillah, I am going to work to fulfill the rights of my family, to provide for them as a husband and father." A simple, basic every day practice, is turned into something beautiful because you change your intention of doing it purely for the sake of Allah.

Every situation you are put in, whether its a chore you do every day, or whether its a new situation, be aware of them all, especially the new situations - they catch you by surprise - keep reminding yourself, that something can happen at any time to test my aklaaq, my adab, my patience.

People, they are all around us, even when we are alone, they are still there, in your heads in your hearts or on the internet! The majority of situations are for sure going to involve people, and there are people who are meaningless to you, people you walk past in the street, your local shop keeper, ones you never met, ones who you care for deeply,  and your actions and words with all of them count, your test with each of them are different but important in different ways depending on your interaction with them. Remember: Akhlaaq, adaab at all times. whether you know them or not, or if they are good to you or bad to you, whether they anger you or excite you or make you laugh, aklaak and adab, Why? even if it means its not you.
It may not be your way, or your personality, but it was the Prophets way (may peace and blessings
be upon him), and his way never fails, our way, most certainly will and has failed us.
When your always aware of these small tests and aware of yourself, your so much more prepared when the bigger ones come right?

Note to Self:

Only when you rid yourself of all the bad, will you start to appreciate the good and simple things in life.

Rosetta (Rashid), Egypt 2013

She Still has Meaning

One day she will write. She will write that passage that explains it all, that does justice to every tear. She will write it with that pen she could never find, and on a piece of paper which wasn't already filled with randomness that was put away once before, only to find it now unfinished, though full with words, her mind remains blank, yet her hand keeps writing. Unveiling her thoughts.
Didn't you always want to know her thought? What was beyond the silence that kept her so busy? She feared she would disappoint you if she unveiled them to you, yet she kept writing. It made so much sense in her head, but struggled to put it into words for you, so she wrote it. And the words became blurred, smudged by the tears, they no longer made any sense, but the meaning remained, hidden. Would you have ever understood them, when you never understood her?

Is it a poem? is it a passage? Is it clever? is it deep? Is it for you or is it for Him?
Just Let her be, let her write, let her be angry, sad, lost in the words, let her go, and then let her return back to you again.

And although her words are never perfect, and although they are unfinished, and even though they are smudged and blurred, and that you may never understand them, remember, they still have meaning, hidden. Just like her. She still has meaning...

I closed my mouth & spoke to you in hundreds of silent ways. 


Saturday, 9 March 2013

Become Someone Who is Deserving

Realise that your failure in the past was for a reason.  Stop blaming the other person, for once, blame yourself and change yourself. And only then you will find contentment. Life is like a game at times. If you lose in the game, then you have to realise what your weaknesses were and improve your skills before trying again, only then will you be successful at winning the game the next time round. But if you don't realise and try to improve those skills (or learn new ones), then your going to keep losing, for sure.

How to change is the question perhaps. Its obvious, but only if you reflect on it. And it can be a combination of external and internal aspects, different for each individual. External being: A bad tempered, foul mouthed person, needs to work on his anger management  or someone who is overly pedantic and particular about things needs to realise that not every one is like them and they just need to chill out a bit, an intelligent person who needs an "intelligent" conversation needs to stop looking down on others, thinking they are not enough of a stimulation for them, there are so many ways to find your entertainment with people, if your willing to change and be less arrogant about it, and the list goes on...

And internally? No good will come to you if your still doing bad. And once you become straight with Allah, He will bring things to you from a path you never expected it from. The trick is to let go, of all the bad things in your life, of all the things that give you distress, worry, anxiety, let go and cut it off, close the door completely, for even if you leave it a little open, there remains a chance that it will return and drag you back down again.
Focus on Allah and believe that He will only bring you good when you are full deserving of it.

Sometimes people tell me that I ran away from all my problems in life and made out like this was a bad thing. For me I see it as a good thing, I didn't run away, it was just a way of removing myself from all the things that were causing me harm to my deen, I came to cleanse, to reflect, to change. And I am so much more happier for it. And there may be times where the opportunity arises for you to fall back into your old habits, and sometimes you succumb to it and sometimes your strong and avoid it, its all a test and its all part of the process of learning, A test to see if you are worthy yet, of the goodness Allah kept in store for you,
He is waiting to give it to you and He wants to give it to you. This is what people need to realise,
when they lose hope and believe that they will never find happiness, they should remember that its only them that keeps messing up their own happiness, (because they don't change their ways).

I deliberately ask people why they think they experienced such and such experience in their life. And some will say its the will of Allah, (although this applies) they say this only to remove any blame from themselves, because on digging deeper they will then blame the other person completely without any fault on them. I find that quite sad, if not laughable, because it shows they didn't learn anything about themselves in that lesson. And if they learnt something it was only to defend their own actions e.g "I am too trusting, too caring" etc.
I guess with young people its less irritating to hear that from, because there is still a chance for them to realise in later life. But for those that are older...? Well if they haven't realised by now at that age how to change, in order to find contentment, well more fool them.
Let them live in their own little world of perfection, whilst us imperfect people carry on with life in happiness.

*Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. 
Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.* –Rumi

(Picture: Alexandria, Egypt 2013)