Monday, May 17, 2010
Bagh-e-Firdous (the Garden of Firdous)
in Alexandria, VA
Firdous = highest level of paradise
this is the cemetery my grandmother is buried at...Allah Yarhamuha
when we go to visit her grave we also go past the other graves and pray for them as well....i always look at the years on the plaques and gravestones...some of them were just kids...
i recall dramatic stories i heard from the mothers...like of the boy who didn't listen to his mother and stormed out of the house which made his mother 'bad dwa' (to make a bad dua/supplication) him...and then on his way home he died in a horrible car accident, after which the mother blamed herself and went insane...
then i make dua they are at peace and hope that the angels will say Amin for me...
May Allah give us and them all Jannatul Firdous
Subhanallah...i still catch myself saying 'when i grow up...'
i'm turning 23 at the end of the month...in another 23 years i'll be 46...
i can barely recall the past 23 years of my life...where will the next 23 go?
This earthly life no one retrieves
He enters once and once he leaves
So do not spurn
Your first and only turn
The water bubble you should pay
Attention to, if your own days
You wish to count
They come to that amount
Saturday, May 15, 2010
you know how in movies they have someone who is sitting alone outside under a tree calmly reading a book..? i can't do that. there are way too many distractions..like the bug on the side of the book, or the grass scratching at the bit of exposed ankle, or the cars driving by, the squirrel that's staring at me, or the way the sun makes shadows on my pages...
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
Is it just me, or is something wrong with that chart above?
Too fuzzy? Here let me clear it up for you:
$1 U.S. = £.6708 (British Pounds)
$1 U.S. = ₱ 45.085 (Philippine Pesos)
$1 U.S. = $2024 (Columbian Pesos)
(per May 11, 2010 via Yahoo Finance’s Currency Calculator…Unfortunately I couldn’t find the rate of the Ghanian Cedi)
Now granted those statstics were as of 2006, and these exchange rates may have been susceptible to given socio-political/economic, changes, but I think it should still provide a clear picture of the situation. BUT, if it’s still a bit fuzzy, here lemme try something else:
At least 1 billion people have inadequate access to water
· Almost two in three people lacking access to clean water survive on less than $2 a day, with one in three living on less than $1 a day
2.6 billion people lack basic sanitation
· More than 660 million people without sanitation live on less than $2 a day, and more than 385 million on less than $1 a day.
Close to half of all people in developing countries suffer at any given time from a health problem caused by water and sanitation deficits
(The 2006 United Nations Human Development Report 2006, Beyond scarcity: Power, poverty, and the global water crisis)
Almost half of Sierra Leoneans have no access to improved drinking-water facilities, and about 7 out of 10 citizens are without adequate sanitation facilities
In India, 128 million people have no access to improved drinking water
(UNICEF’s, The State of the World’s Children Report, 2009)
A mere 12 percent of the world’s population uses 85 percent of its water, and these 12 percent do not live in the Third World. (Maude Barlow, Water as Commodity—The Wrong Prescription, The Institute for Food and Development Policy, Backgrounder, Summer 2001, Vol. 7, No. 3)
Is the picture still a little fuzzy?...here, maybe this will help:
The struggle for access to water is one of the most intriguing issues of our time. I’ve always been baffled as to how arrogant people can be, to think that they can actually lay claim to “owning” water. Historically, when the Americas were “discovered” by some of the Europeans, the native inhabitants of these lands couldn’t conceptualize what it meant to “own land”. Today, it is the same idea, but the actors now include multi-national corporations.
When I was in Pakistan about 5 years ago, my mother took me to a stream in her neighborhood. She told me that when she was growing up, that stream was so clear that you could see the fish swimming in the water. If you look at it today, it looks like JIF Peanut Butter.
It saddens me.
But what saddens me more, is the lack of awareness.
I mean sure, there has been progress. Improvements have been made over the years. But I just don’t think it’s enough. I don’t see it talked about often. Even amongst a lot of kids whose parents immigrated to this country, I just wonder if they actually think about what people who lack access to something so simple (yet so important) really go through.
HOWEVER…the problem isn’t just in a far off region in Pakistan…or a city in Bolivia…or a village in sub-Saharan Africa…it’s hitting close to home…
Last month, the Huffington Post reported how water privatization could effect Chicago:http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/04/19/forum-on-water-privatizat_n_543205.html
It would be ignorant to assume that there is nobody in this country who lacks access to water…Just ask anyone who was down in New Orleans and suffered through Katrina.
Instead of spending billions of dollars on war efforts, wouldn’t it be worth to give, at least one, of those billions of dollars towards combating water-related issues?
I’m sure the $2024 Columbian Pesos would be quite beneficial.
If you have seen or heard any goodness in this note, that goodness comes from The Preserver, The Sustainer and you should be thankful to Him for that. If you see any weakness or shortcomings in this note, than that weakness is from me, and I ask The Possessor of Majesty and Honor, and the people, to forgive me for that. Ameen.
Thursday, May 6, 2010
In Everlast’s song “Maybe” he says “I love you are three words that are overused when we’re talking….” We hear the phrase “I love you” or “I love…” too many times. It’s been said so many times before that it has lost its meaning and weight. Much like the usage of “wallahi” and “inshallah,” such beautiful and heavy words on the tongue are thrown around so loosely and lightly.
Many times we find ourselves expressing our love for something or someone with the terminology of “Oh I can’t live without…” or “I love…” Often times the person or the object of your affection is not loved for the right reason or intention. When we begin to love something or someone with the sole purpose of feeling better about ourselves or having that particular object of affection make us feel better, then we’re missing a lot in that relationship.
First, the object of affection is being loved for the sole purpose of our nafs. We seem dependant on that object of affection, be it your other half or Starbucks coffee.
Fair in the eyes of men is the love of things they covet: women and sons; heaped-up hoards of gold and silver; horses branded (for blood and excellence); and (wealth of) cattle and well-tilled land. Such are the possessions of this world's life; but in nearness to Allah is the best of the goals (to return to). (3:14)
"And from among mankind there are some who take for themselves (objects of worship as) rivals to Allah, loving them as they should (only) love Allah. And those who believe are stronger in their love for Allah."
When we become dependent and reliant on something other than Allah then that’s where the purity of our love is put into question. Are we truly loving that object of affection for the sake of Allah or because it’s satisfying our worldly desires? Allah is the one whom we must love to our utmost and His Prophet SAW. He is Sublime and Irresistable and is the only one who won’t let you down….everything and everyone else is fallible and will let you down to a certain degree. Why put your trust, faith and dependency on other than One who’s consistent and Everlasting and constant? Everything else will fade away in time and is unreliable, so why put your faith, trust and love into the unreliable and inconsistent than with the Most Consistent and Everlasting? This is not to say we cannot trust, love or rely on someone who we trust to be trustworthy, but we should ultimately rely on, trust and love Allah in all times and places. Just look at the story of the Prophet SAW, literally everyone closest to him was taken from him and he relied on Allah alone in his moments of greatest need.
Secondly, we find that often our love is misplaced and in question when we see a lot of divorces unfortunately happening to a lot of young Muslim couples. This is due to not only a lack of patience and understanding, but also a purity of intention and purity of that love. Love marriages do exist, however more times than none does this love get adulterated by the nafs and desires of an individual. And it’s funny that these love marriages quickly become loveless after the “honeymoon stage” is over and hardships come and the love eventually fades away…thus leading to divorces and/or cold marriages. If our love for the other was truly pure and for the sake of Allah, then the love would grow (inshallah).
We all want to feel like we’re accepted and adored, that’s our nafs speaking to us, ultimately we want that boosting of the ego by another when they shower you with compliments. We all love to hear the words “You’re such a great…” or “You’re so…. (insert compliment here).” Yes, it’s ok to compliment others, but if that’s all you want to hear or you’re letting it get to your head, then check the power of your ego (nafs). A true spouse will not only appreciate you for your good traits, but help you better yourself on your bad traits and characteristics. A true spouse will be a mirror for you and you will be a mirror to your spouse. When marriage occurs it’s a completion of half your faith, thus the other half is meant to be a support you in your pursuit to get closer to Allah.
At the end of the day it is crucial that we purify our intentions and learn to love Allah as He is the only one deserving of our love, dependency, utmost trust, fear and longing. Anything that is loved for any other purpose other than Allah is void of purity.
Narrated byAbdullah ibn Abbas
Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) said, "Love Allah for the favours with which He provides you, love me because of the love of Allah, and love my family from love of me."
(Al-Tirmidhi 6173 )
As we see in this hadith, even love for the Prophet SAW relies on your love for Allah. You must learn to love Allah, then love others and ultimately through this love you begin to appreciate Allah’s other bounties He has bestowed upon you and you become more grateful for them.
But this love does not come without conditions; we must work hard to prove our love for Allah by following the commandments in the Quran and Sunnah. Often times the Quran and Sunnah speak against our nafs or what we perceive to be unrealistic or unreasonable, but that’s where the ultimate form of submission occurs when you submit your nafs and intellect to Allah and do it for His sake alone and out of love for Him (inshallah). The mere struggle to wake up for fajr is a challenge in itself. But through this submission love for Allah will come to fruition or if you are already at that spiritual state then love for Allah comes easy as well as submission to His commandments. Before thinking of a relationship (marriage) with others look to your relationship with Allah are you reading Quran, making keeping the communication open (dua and salah), keeping yourself pure from all He does not approve of?
So before even thinking about the prospect of marriage or a relationship with another…. love Allah then love others. Love Allah and He will love you for loving Him. And who better to be loved by then Allah?
Narrated byAbu Huraira:
The Prophet said, "If Allah loves a person, He calls Gabriel saying, 'Allah loves so and-so; O Gabriel! Love him.' Gabriel would love him and make an announcement amongst the inhabitants of the Heaven. 'Allah loves so-and-so, therefore you should love him also,' and so all the inhabitants of the Heaven would love him, and then he is granted the pleasure of the people on the earth."
(Sahih Al-Bukhari 4.431)