Saturday, January 23, 2010

A lifetime in a day

Assalam Alaikum

Starting a blog is easy. Anybody can do it. Maintaining one; ALAS! Now there is the hard part. It’s is all about consistency and commitment, two variants that seem to be perpetually absent from my life. Additionally, this blogging business requires creativity and creativity can not be mechanical nor manufactured. I can not decide to write two hours a day when the material I would eventually put down would turn out to be absolute crap. I ought to write when I am inspired to so.

But why write at all? Some may ask. Well it is linked to the concept of Allah being a creator. One of the characteristics of Allah is that he creates; therefore creation must exist in order for this characteristic to be a manifest truth. Otherwise, how could we believe that indeed he is a creator? In fact, even if we where not to exist, he would simply create another being capable of witnessing that without a doubt, he is a creator.

I am a writer. Or rather I aspire to be a writer. However, I can not slob about claiming to be this very thing without ever producing something validating the assertion. I must write in order to be a writer. Even if I am a very lousy one who only types up trivia at inconsistent intervals.

Anyhow, I guess I am trying to apologize: to my none-existent readers and to anyone misfortunate enough to wonder across this blog. I apologize for failing to do better.
In this entry I want to introduce you to my ‘Bestest Best Friend’; my BBF for short. My BBF is someone of tremendous significance in my life who is endowed with profound moments of wisdom. Nevertheless, my BBF is an odd sort of character who is very reluctant to believe that anything my BBF could have to share can be of any significance to humanity. I have taken it upon myself to propagate my BBF’s words to the best of my ability so that life lessons acquired over a life of strife and trial do not go to waste. So that someone else may learn, so that such contributions may be useful, so that they may help me in my path to understand.

My BBF had a Buddha moment and came up with an interesting theory: We, the believers, are born everyday at Al Fajir and die at Isha.

At Al Fajir we are like new born babies. Allah has given us the gift of life for that single day and we have no idea weather or not we will make it to the end of it. At al Fajir we ought to be fresh, new and excited. We should be enthusiastic about life, eager to learn how our day will unfold and keen to believe we can do it all. At Al Fajir we have the opportunity to start from scratch, to do it again better than we did it last time, to forget about the mistakes of yesterday, to refuse to speculate on the adventures of tomorrow. At Al Fajir we are given the gift of focusing on the present. We are given the gift of one more day to live.
We ought to be grateful, grab it in full force and set out in the pursuit of the Sirat al-Mustaqim. Some of us do, but most of us fail miserably: by not making the most of the moment or simply by not bothering to get up.

We should live each day that we are given as if it where a life time. A baby at Al Fajir and a young adult at Duhoor. At duhoor we should look around and double check that we maximizing our youth. Our energy levels are at their peak and we should make the most of this. We had the responsibility of maximizing our productivity throughout the morning. We should come to our musualahs grateful to have made it that far and resolute to continue positively through out the rest of the day.
If at duhoor we are young adults then at Asir we are middle aged. We have the benefits of maturity alongside the vitality of sufficient energy to still get things done. We should be in a good place; A place of comfort, with a list of most things achieved and with the commitment and dedication of living the rest of the day with the same focus and passion.

It is Maghrib and we’ve hit old age. Our body is getting tired. The day has been long and there is still a little bit further to go. We start to tie the loose ends, to gather what is important around us, to measure our success according to our ambitions at alfajir. We begin to accept that we will not live for ever. That we have limitations and that if we failed to do the best we can, we may never get another chance.

At last it is Isha and we have made it to the end of a life long lived. Perhaps it was a rich life filled with as many things as could be packed into it. Or it was a wasted life filled with moments of emptiness and tasks we’ve failed to achieve. We should be able to look back at the time of our infancy at al fajir to our death beds at Isha and be certain that we gave it a good run; that we used Allah’s gift to the best of our ability and did not take it for granted. We should not doubt that should Allah never present this precious gift again, then we shall die as Muslims. We should be grateful and content. Should we be fortunate, we will be given the gift of being reborn to enjoy a new lifetime the next day.

And so we should live our days until the day the gift comes to us no more…

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Who hijacked my religion?...

Assalam Alaikum Ramahtulahi wa Tahala wa barakatu

You know, in order for this blog to truly work and achieve some sort of plausible outcome, I will have to get to a point where I no longer give a damn about what people think. Believe me, it is not easy. Surely I will pay a high price if I dare to be outspoken and truly speak my mind. If that were not the case, then a whole lot more of us would dare speak the truth.

Religion is not meant to be owned by individuals. Islam is not meant to be owned by individuals. It is not meant to be owned by govertments, freedom fighters or terrorists. It is not meant to be owned by persons who believe they are entitled to be God’s vicegerents on earth. It’s not meant to be possessed by people who at the heart of their souls have only their own interest and agendas in mind. When that happens, it happens at the expense of the faith’s followers.

In the country in which I live Masjids are owned by individuals. Individuals who are petty, vindictive and self righteous. They use the Masjids as a platform for the propagation of an Islam that is obsolete, highly archaic, and based on their traditions, culture and history. They are a new form of religious hijackers; the kind that highjack religion not for political gain, or doctrinal manipulation but for sheer economic purposes. They’ve hijacked Islam in order to fill their pockets at the expense and ignorance of those less fortunate and learned. The weak and feeble must pay the price for their greed. They profess a faith they do not understand and has little relevance to them. They must regard the ritual and repetitive as the core of their belief and ignore the emptiness it brings. All because individuals believe they are entitled to their whims no matter what the cost.
It is difficult to be a Muslim today. It is difficult not to doubt that indeed you have chosen a path of righteousness and peace. It is difficult to look in the mirror and still be believe that your creed is adding value. Especially when you look around and realize that it is being devoured and destroyed by groups of individuals.

Friday, January 8, 2010

...and so my fate on the web beggins

Assalam Alaikum,

Call me brave, call me a fool, call me pragmatic or what ever you wish. One thing is certain; there comes a time in life when coasting and expecting things to fall onto your lap is a sign of absurdity. And lazyness. And so I am bloging. For many reasons, I assure you, most of which I will be more than happy to elaborate upon this evening, but perhaps most importantly I am blogging because I desire to make some sense of it all: Of what it means to be black, female and Muslimah in todays world. Of what it means to be a believer in something grater than myself when most of mankind of overly preocupied with