Grief

Death is not sadness. It is a new found emptiness. Tears attempt to fill the irreplaceable void, so the darkness of the abyss is not as near frightening.


10th January. She hadn’t spoken in days and doctors are sure she will not make it past this weekend. Everything has stopped for her fraction of this Dunya, whilst our work, family, duties, bills – the components of livelihood, compel us forward. Force us to rejoin our unraveling Dunya, no matter how much we ignore it, it will spill out until we notice the mess and clean. Completion of overnight watch duty; it was time to head to youth work. Left for 3 hours. On the platform to 3 stops back to the hospital. No signal. No network. Just Wi-Fi. A single message broadcasted. One whatsapp call. 1 minute. 3 it’s true and a lifetime of tears. 


Tears flooded and gasps for air frightened commuters as several trains left me stranded. A woman in a hi-vis tapped the shrouded shoulders and caused a momentary return to reality. 


“Are you alright?”

“Yes, sorry” 


As if my sadness required an apology, it did not mean to infringe on your happiness.


To escape the torment of crying in public, scurried on the train and held the pole of the central line. With no where to bury my head, I let single tears stream down in the hope they were invisible.


The last time I cried in front of her was as I sprinkled rose water over her body.


27th October. Her lungs are being lousy. She needs forced oxygen. No talking today. I stayed the night. all alone. Turned my head for one minute. Her chest stopped moving. “No” echoed through me. I felt her heartbeat slip a way. Read the shahadah. 5…3..2…….1. Then she comes.


“Am sorry honey. She’s gone”


2 minutes of internal screaming. 10 minutes of trying to utter the words. And a lifetime of a chipped heart.


When she stopped breathing I did to. My lungs forgot how to operate. I now choke on the very oxygen that left her. 


The last time I cried  in front of her was just after the Janazah prayer where I refused to leave her. 


Anyone can rationalise death. I’ve done it both times. No amount of explanations and understanding can ease the pain of lost future memories or the permanent imagery of a vessel with no soul. But what comforts is the beautiful reel they left in the wake of their life. The sweet moments like when she saved you from your mum, who loved shoving shampoo in your eyes or when she told you a story on Eid and you fell asleep with a handesh in your hand. Death is inevitable but what is unwritten (in essence) is how we decide to live our lives. I choose to be present. I choose to love relentlessly. To forgive before being asked. Let my life be a beautiful story, let generations tell my story at campfires, where the warmth of the lingering ghost of my soul keeps hearts from catching hypothermia.








































Journey

We are a long way away from home. So far. Some further then others. The further you get the less it feels like home. Until His words become unclear and forgetable.

Eventually you only walk in one direction; the opposite. If you make it, on the rare occasions all the way back round to home; the final destination is the same as it was first intended. But life is not that simple, the avoidance of obstacles extend your trip. Some do not make it to the end of their journey, remain forever lost in the jungles of their desires. There is mercy in rainfall and calamity. They force you back; they remind you of your destination, your abode. It does not exist on this Dunya. We chase the dunya to get a negligible fraction of what Jannah will feel like (our real home) and to satisfy our needs and wants.

This journey I speak of is one that I’ve undergone. I too could not see my home no longer. My connection, my network weakened so I started to forget. That’s when I said hello to mercy. I’ve been struck by calamity several times and each time I remember Qadr and Jannah. This is not the end. This is the character development, the training and preparation. The grafting and hardwork are needed to appreciate the view. May Allah bless us with this view and not that of fire.

“O my people, this worldly life is only [temporary] enjoyment, and indeed, the Hereafter – that is the home of [permanent] settlement.”

40:39

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Musk of Time

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Image courtesy of IslamicartDB.

Musky night sky,
With the lingering smell of yesterday,
And the perfumed scent of tomorrow.
The wrongs of the days passed,
Will be the rights of the days to come.
Lest we waste the time of the past on the condolences of the future.
Be today, to be alive.
Be the seconds, for they add up to the minutes.
If that is true then truely your hours will be your days.
With ownership – lead your life.
With remembrance – He never promised a tomorrow.
With steadfast – like the wind which never stops blowing in spite of its destination.
With Sabr – believe in His plan, and disappointment will steer clear.
With eemaan – illuminate your darkness.
With eyes – lower in humility and modesty.
With tongue – be wary of its evil and keep Dhikr alive.
With hands – give. Always give. Help. Always help.
With heart – Keep Him at home and remain determined to discourage any replacement.
With love – find your way back, call Him, read His words.
And may He unlock the chains around my heart. Ameen.

Temporary (Friday Reminder)

Everything comes and goes. Even the old man who has lived at that same address since he was born. He has come and gone. Every time he breathed and moved, he changed. So the man he was a moment a go was not the man he was now.

We think of forever, always assuming we have another day, another second. But you do not know your Maker, death could be around the corner or in the near distant future. Yet we foolishly think we will live for longer. Dreaming about the day when we will get married, have kids and watch them grow and start their own family. How ideally sadistic we are. Living for something we have no control of. Winding our days out for that special moment, only to meet your soul snatched and see your future become a once upon time. There is only life and death. Death is a certainty, but life is a privilege.

What became a common phrase amongst the people a few years ago ceases to be mention “The motto is YOLO”. It truly did only live once. Yes you only have one shot at life but for every day you wake up refreshed and revitalised that’s another shot, because this temporary world hasn’t come to an end.

Living for the forever moments, waiting for the key of happiness to be found in hopeless fulfilment and endeavours. We only live for the moments that make us happy in whatever form that is. No one lives for sadness. If you’ve ever glanced at an article about self-improvement or being a happy, most, if not all, say one thing “Happiness is within you”. Emotions were placed in you from the dawn of time – love, sadness, jealousy, anger and yes, happiness.

Love is one that exist between two entities. It only fathoms between two identities. Loving yourself is not the same as loving someone else. It’s a different kind of devotion. It is also the only one which can invoke all the other emotions. Our mere existence is based on a ‘act of love’. I say that loosely as I am aware it may not be the case for all. As a Muslim and as many others from Faith background we believe we were bought into this world due to the love, mercy and kindness of our Creator – Allah. But clearly Islam says love for Allah was placed in our hearts, because when He granted you life, blew your very soul into your body you fell in love. Fell in love with the Al-Muhyi (Giver of Life).

Allah is not temporary, so you will never lose Him. You may lose your way, but the beauty of Islam is it reiterates rahmah (mercy). Just like a coursing river if it bends and turns away, if its waters become dirty – it finds its way back. The fine droplets evaporate leaving the dirt behind and eventually returns to the sea free of its debris – its burden. Be as the river, shed your debris (whether that be in tears or physical objects) and slowly but truly your heart will find rest it will find its way back. So the tears you cried, will in the end be the sea in which it finds its freedom. You can love whom you please and whatever you please but this love should never replace the love you have for your Lord – that is your gravity keeping you centred not to this dunya but to the fate to accompany you in the Hereafter.

One question posed many time is the belief of one God and Hereafter. How can I believe it without seeing it? I can feel it but I can’t make you feel it. I can tell you how it feels, I can bring up all the arguments from the Quran, from the time before Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him) and from my surroundings which even though I do not need proof, give me confirmation. But there are more knowledgable people out there who provide better explanations and reasonings. All I can say is my soul is caged in the prison of this Dunya – this is a prison to our desires, lusts, wants and greed. And I found freedom in knowing this is all temporary, I found peace in my soul when I went looking for my dear eemaan (faith). Whether you believe in any form of religion or not – know this world is not everlasting science has proven that. One day the Sun will collapse it will die and with that all life on Earth will cease to exist. Eventually a black hole will swallow it alive with physical being and time surrounding it disappearing and a universe will stand where nothing remembers there was once an Earth.

So knowing nothing is lasting, arm yourself with the knowledge that whatever pain you are going through it will pass. Friends and family you hold dear will pass whether in death or distancing – that’s okay. Life goes on. The world will always keep turning and changing. Do not expect something to last forever, just enjoy what it is offering to you today. Live everyday without the regrets and apologies of tomorrow. It is easy to become comfortable, which leads to idleness. But that time which you sat in comfort could have been the time you found another smile, another crest to add to life experiences and another moment when your soul danced freely amongst the beauty of the world we have been bestowed with. Never become stuck to the temporary, nothing was given a forever pass.

These are my words for myself, I speak from what I have only discovered recently and I talk of ideal state of mind which I am still striving to achieve. In all honesty I know nothing but these are my observations and take from them what you will.

“Be in this world as though you were a stranger or a traveller/wayfarer.” – Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him) –

Lemon drops and crystal falls,

Shahe

Wonder and Wander

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As humans we wonder and wander. We think what could be and has been. How it comes to be and will be. From place to place. From destination to destination. Naturally then locking yourself in doors kills the soul. Dampens it. And here it comes… The dreaded sadness. Feeling of incomplete, isolation and lack of self worth. Because if you were worth anything you would be out?

Interesting. No? Our minds are continuously active and give them nothing to ponder over, they will ponder over you. Overthink, anger, sadness and jealousy become entities within your soul and begin to shred it apart. BUT… when you stick your head out, when you tumbled out of your room and the first drops of rain hit your face or the sunlight creeps under your skin and sleeps – ALIVE. That’s when you feel it. The beauty of the world. The coarsing energy of the earth. You don’t need to go far to travel. But just far enough – outside your comfort zone, outside the four walls that contain you. Spectate the world, feel it’s goodness. I am Muslim, so going out into the world seeing its beauty reminds me of my Lord. It settles my spiritual part of me. Finds comfort and resolution and all I say is ‘Subhanallah’.

Have you tried to read a book outside, make dua whilst engrossed in grass and comforted by the shade of a tree. Believe me it is amazing. The moment you shout your problems in the rain mentally and you feel the pool of rain on the floor seeing it has cleansed you of your pain. The moment you use your finger tips to catch a raindrop. Push your head back so the drops can slide down your face. Or when you want every part of your body to soak up the sun. That the parts which the skin is exposed feel priviledged to be greeted by light. I look at trees and see struggle and growth. I look at flowers and see the beauty of being different. I see animals and see that humans are no different. I hold a greenfly and beg it fly away because am scared but I don’t want to clip it’s wing. I stare at the marvels in front of me and I am grateful to be able to see, smell, taste, hear and touch it all. Soul is enriched. So if you do anything go out. Doesn’t matter where. No music. No distraction and just wonder and wander.

Day 11 – Exam help #100DaysOfIslam

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This is such a powerful dua. Prophet Musa (Alayhis Salaam) said this before he went to see the Pharoah. He didn’t ask to remove his obstacle, he asked for strength to overcome it. I found it really useful to recite during my revision, with the intention that Allah opens my mind and allows me to remember what I need to. Also, to allow me to articulate myself during the exam. Our problems are nothing new; the people, maybe and even the situation. But some one before us has faced the same problem. The prophets are the greatest examples of facing their trials and challenges. Whether you are a believer or not, remember people before have gone through your troubles and they have survived as will you, for the future generations.

Day 10 Friday Reminder #100DaysOfIslam

Haven’t done a Friday reminder in a while. Been a little down for a while but making sincere dua, counting my blessings and remembering that I am the change; has got me through it. If Allah believes I can get through my troubles no other endorsement is needed. As it is said “Verily, Allah does not burden you with more then you can handle”. How many times have we heard this phrase…? Countless number of times but how well do we understand it? Well think back to the last time you was in difficulty and in that moment of time you thought it would be impossible to surpass the hurdles and the pain but somehow you managed to find yourself on the other side. Our difficulties don’t break us, they don’t kill us. We do.

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This is failing miserably but I want to persevere. If I stop now I lose. Inconsistent as these posts maybe by the will of Allah I will keep going in the hope that eventually it will flow and be daily posts.

Leave a comment below and if you found it useful don’t forget to press like.

Day 6 -9

Majority of humans place happiness in the object whether it be physical or an objective they set them selves. It’s the idea of ‘If I get…. I will be happy’, ‘When I get to ….. I will be happy’. Placing such emotions on an event, object or even a person will always leave you in the end dissatisfied and greedy for the next Happy fix. Have you ever heard the saying happiness is a drug? But if you are of the believers, a Muslim then know if you looked to have the source of your happiness in Allah it will be limitless and eternal. It will no longer be a fix but bring you peace. Those religious folks we see whom are so devote to Allah, no matter what life throws at them they smile and react to any news they receive with  poise.

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Day 5 – Dawn #100DaysOfIslam

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Peace it is until the emergence of dawn.

Guess the Surah I got this gem from?

On the odd nights of these last 10 nights stay up if you can until dawn. During this time do tawbah (repentance), dhikr (remembrance of Allah) or read Quran. Am sure there are many more things you could do but these are what I try to do. Watching the sunrise is the best; especially if like me you have a forest-like garden.

Day 4 – Mercy #100DaysOfIslam

Adam (Alayhis Salaam)

 

Recently my friend’s sister had a baby boy whom they named Adam coincidently I was in the midst of reading the story of Adam and Eve. I love the way its pronounced by Arabs and Muslims (There is a heavier sound on the ‘A’ at the beginning of the name, which originates from the back of the throat). For those whom have never been to a monotheistical establishment, Adam and Eve were said to be the first humans to be created by God. Whilst at primary school I was taught the biblical version of the creation of Adam and Eve and then learnt and heard a few things here and there about the Islamic version. So evidently I wanted to learn the Islamic version of events.

Allah announced to the Angels His intention to create Adam (stated in Surah Al-Baqarah 2:30). He moulded him out of mud (clay) and breathed into him a soul He created for him. It is breath-taking to think the fundamentals of nature and science mimic the creation of Adam and the subsequent human race, by showing the creation of anything starts with one and then binomial expands. For example, a living object starts as a single cell, a population starts with a single person. If we are to believe that we exist due the creation of one man and a woman (made from the rib of Adam) people may question our differences and lack of similarities. Just like the animal and plant kingdom, humans have evolved and adapted to their environment. Genetic variation always occurs, allowing species to continue in their survival. But within a species there is a base sequence that connects them all and that is where they are the same.

Once Adam’s soul had reached into his head, he sneezed and said “Alhamdulillahi Rabbil Alamin” (Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the worlds). Allah responded by saying “Yarhamuk-Allah” (Allah bestows His mercy upon you). As discussed in Day 2 post, one of Allah’s names is Ar-Rahman which means the most merciful. Another one of His names Ar-Raheem which also means merciful. If you didn’t get a chance to watch the YouTube link I provided last time Majed Mahmoud after doing his research said the difference between the two is Ar-Rahman is the overall mercy that Allah places on the earth and Ar-Raheem is mercy bestowed upon those whom are believers (or ask for it). That is what I have found from my reading as well. However, he continues to say another definition he found is Ar-Rahman is the mercy bestowed by Allah and an exclusive attribute to Himself, where Ar-Raheem is an act of mercy, therefore Raheem is an act of Rahman. If this sounds all confusing please watch the video, it will make sense.

Going back to Adam, the first conversation to take place between Allah and Adam, Allah bestowed mercy on Adam. The first man of our existence had mercy bestowed on him then what of us. For my Muslim brothers and sisters does this not melt your heart. The world is full of acts of mercy you see it in our eyes (the way a mother loves her child after suffering for months and the pain of labour), the animals (they look after each other) and even plants (Ability to bend towards sunlight). We forget to be thankful because there is so much we couldn’t have but we do and that in itself is by the mercy of Allah.

3. Ar-Raheem

Ar Raheem

 

If you are not of the believing kind, take away from this our sheer make up and ability to survive is something to be thankful for no matter what situation you are in. Some will say this too optimistic but life is too short to strangle it with sorrows.

 

 

I have tried to be as accurate as possible however mistakes do occur, feel free to mention corrections in the comment section below. At the end of this Allah knows best and this is my interpretation of the information I have at hand. This post does not tell the whole story of Adam (Alayhis salaam) but just the beginning.
The book am reading at the moment and used to construct this post is: Stories of the Prophets by Ibn Kathir. Published by Darussalam. 
Also the YouTube lecture by Majed Mahmoud  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9cEw9TiLhyg