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making journal entries that might help me rediscover deen; having fun and gaining inspiration while chronicling the world of hijabis!

Monday, August 3, 2015

Life is about withering away...
At an undecided pace...
We are but dandelions at the mercy of the winds...

Monday, November 3, 2014

LIFE IS ONLY A FLASHBACK...

BISMILLAH IR RAHMAN IR RAHEEM
Life most certainly goes by in a flash. There are memories to cherish, people to miss, moments to revisit and lessons that last for life. The memories, people, moments and lessons make life worth living… a complete package. Nevertheless we find it painful to have lost each one of these. We feel nostalgic and smile wistfully when we remember each of these. We sometimes wish they could have lasted.
This realization came to me today and struck me quite hard when I was actually clearing up the photos and videos from my iPhone.
 I attached my phone to the laptop and clicked on transfer photos. I chose to remove the photos from my phone’s memory as they were transferred to the laptop. Like a flashback of memories my photos started getting transferred onto the laptop. In a random sequence I began viewing the events from last year till today. My sisters first day in Pakistan last Ramadan to my father’s surgery… the faces filled with fear to the faces showing relief; the many weddings that followed with all their color and festivity; Our pictures as tourists, sometimes sleeping, then waking, next  walking and then suddenly on a train in some different clothes on a different day. The pictures were in as much of a random sequence as our disorderly recollection sometimes is.  The names of places that were related to them came and went in my mind as did the sights and sounds we encountered. I saw our beautiful sacrificial animals, our eid clothes and the many little cute acts of my kids that I like to capture.
The realization came when all the photos and videos were transferred and they started clearing up from my phone. Just as quickly as I’d seen them coming and experienced a rapid flashback, they started vanishing from my phone. They went From 463 to 400 in few seconds and to zilch in the next few seconds. I got goose bumps. This is the reality of life! The life that we believe lasts for 30, 40 80 or as many years as we live in this world is actually just a snap of our fingers in terms of Time.
Indeed we can only feel content and happy if we live each day as our first and last day in this world. Allah SWT is indeed merciful and compassionate in His dealings with His creation. He sends us these messages in the mundane acts of everyday life.
 May Allah swt make each day and every moment of life one of happiness and contentment and above all His remembrance!
I hope on the Day of Judgment I’m shown a beautiful flashback of life with all my sins deleted from it! Ya Allah forgive us and our parents and siblings and the ummah for all the wrongs that we have committed in this life and make the hereafter easy for us, ameen!


Friday, May 9, 2014

Homecoming… such a joyful time…


I went to collect my husband from the airport in the day… there were still few minutes to his landing time… in addition to landing time there is also luggage collection time... altogether I got a good half hour to watch the people arriving from various destinations… most of them coming home… there was relief and happiness and pride and nostalgia in their demeanor… the air was cool, the weather hot and humid… they were all expecting it to be that way… because this was home they had come to and you always know what to expect at home… there are those few changes that catch your eye… new blinds on the lounge windows, new covers on your old but familiar and comfy bed, a new plant in the driveway, new crockery for breakfast, etc…. these travelers who were returning also scanned their surroundings and made mental notes of the new sign at the airport terminal, the cars of news channels waiting for somebody’s arrival, the barriers put up at the cuts in the lanes leading to McDonalds, etc… I fondly observed each passenger… the pride showed in their stance and in their appearance… a boy with a fanny pack kind of travelers pouch, tied around his thigh, smiled and greeted his driver… the college education he had gone for was his pride… an elderly couple appeared… dressed in comfortable but smart outfits… their children living and earning abroad were their pride… a newly married girl coming home to see her parents for the first time was proud of having a settled and comfortable life abroad…

The boy with the travelers pouch was thrilled to see his old but familiar car… with his chauffer seated in the passenger seat now, he drove off into familiar but forgotten sights and sounds… the elderly couple was returning to their own routines… tending to plants, taking quiet long walks together and enjoying each other’s companionship like always… the newly married girl wanted to feel young and free again in the comfort of her parents home… she would call her friends over, have ice cream and chips as they watched a movie together and later snuggle in her lil bed like old times…

I sighed thinking about what homecoming meant to everyone at different times in life… and then I thought about the homecoming I recently learnt about at work… it is the day that we meet our Lord… indeed that is the real homecoming we have to prepare for… that is where we started from and that is where we will return…

I thought of moms homecoming and Amma’s homecoming… glorious moments of peace and contentment… a quiet transition that they made without creating any fuss… something that happened as naturally as birth! I hope it was as much a matter of relief and joy for them as reflected by these passengers in their demeanor on their homecoming… I hope and pray that mamma’s and amma’s homecoming felt as soothing and warm as a mother’s embrace… I hope and pray that our homecoming and that of our children and children’s children is a matter of true joy and happiness… that we find ourselves in gardens and castles and everything that Allah swt has promised for His dear ones! May Allah swt make us from amongst those who He loves; may Allah swt forgive us with His mercy and take us in His warm embrace when we have our final homecoming, ameen!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

SPIRITUAL JOURNEY



Spiritual journey is a term often used for a voyage one embarks upon for religious reasons. As for my personal perception both these terms, spiritual and journey don’t have any context with their literal meanings. Journey is the ability to be easily transferable to a place unimaginable. It is that inconceivable condition of being at two places at the same time.

 Spiritual, then, to me is something very close to one’s heart. To me it is that unreachable depth of the heart that is really your soul. Something you carry around unburdened.  It possesses us rather than us possessing it. The spirit has a way of its own and does more for us than our identity. It is much unique and significant than our whole being as it can’t be assessed. Which is why spiritual is a feeling of having the power to let go and become weightless in mind and being.

Spiritual journey is, I believe, a state; a transformation from human to supernatural; an emotion. It doesn’t confirm to any rules or abide by some worldly laws. It’s a setting free of thoughts. It is an insight into ones self. All it requires is sensitivity and reflection. All it brings is happiness and comfort. My experience on one such journey was almost unreal. Something I still feel nobody could relate to. This feeling does not make me an extraordinary human being. Neither do I imply that I have achieved something that is not humanly possible. It is just another aspect of my feelings for my dear husband, because these spiritual journeys of ours have always kept us together, even when Nadeem went for hajj.

Nadeem left for his great pilgrimage to the holy Kaaba in the year 2005. And I went with him. I was on a spiritual journey.


The year 2004 had started off very successful and beautiful. We had our first child, our son in April. My husband became manager import from being import officer. I became a graduate. And then Nadeem planned to apply for hajj. That day I felt the heavens glow a wonderful golden as compared to the cool blue I usually imagine it to be. I felt desert winds. I felt the hot sun beating on my back as I trekked the sandy earth. I began keeping my eyes closed for long periods. Nadeem had given me an aura of peace by his decision. The year went by with Nadeem taking the different steps required for the pilgrimage to be made. I was with him on every step. He was living my dream. I was proud to be the partner of a hajji in the making. I wanted to see through his eyes at this point. I wanted to beat inside his chest and run through his veins. I wanted to be his soul and be that voice that was going to rise in Mecca………. “Labbaik”. The strange bit is I was all of that.

The day that Nadeem was to leave for hajj was a very big day for me in terms of the grandeur of the trip and the essence it held. We visited his elder ailing brother in the hospital. He held Nadeem’s hand firmly in his white shapely hands and would not let go. I wept. His white beard formed a halo around his white face. He had not performed his hajj, yet seemed a hajji. I thought of all those who had left the world. I thought of mom. I knew she would be there like how she had been there twice before in her lifetime… this time she would be among the angels. Would she be an angel herself? Perhaps Nadeem’s guardian angel….


Nadeem looked like he had never before in his ihram. For me it was like falling in love all over again. Only that it was with someone else this time. There was a certain untouchable quality, a sanctified blessed look and an angelic radiance that surrounded him. I saw him off at the airport. Saw him merge into the crowd where all were equals in emotion, in appearance, in stature and in god’s eyes! I literally felt my being, my Self tear apart. I saw myself off at the airport too.

I don’t recall crying at any instance while Nadeem was away…. Because I was with him. Eerie as it might sound, I lived every moment with him. I witnessed my beloved husband performing every ritual conscientiously and felt his adrenaline flow at the first sights of the blessed streets and minarets. He was in my mind’s eye like he would have been in front of my eyes. With each passing moment and each accomplished ritual, I felt my fondness and respect growing for him and felt his heart ache in growing religious anguish. He was to me a messiah--- a long-awaited savior and above all a “muallim”, a guide, a teacher, a mentor.


We spoke to ach other often on the phone. The first time he called me was after he had performed his first umra. He asked me to stay quiet while he spoke--- while he gave color to my images with his words. He was excited, elated, and emotional. Maybe the three necessary “e’s” of hajj. I felt the mayhem of Mecca in his voice, the festivity of city- life, the glow of a holy land, the fervor of achievement, the presence of god.


For the first time in my eventful life, I was thanking god earnestly and sincerely; each drop of my blood gushed and created torrents of heartfelt appreciation and wonder. I felt love and lived love. I was praying I would die in love, too. The emotion took a different meaning altogether. It was sacred. It was personal. It was much more than what the word suggested. In fact, it had no proper term. It could be felt and imparted. But could not be said or expressed.  It could not be weighed or measured. It had substance but could not be more or less. It was as natural to me as breathing. It gave me hope. And I just knew that I was in love.


In spite of all the modern architecture that surrounded the holy mosque in Mecca and the variety of food chains scattered about the city, I knew the holy air and the spirit of the holy kaaba, the invisible presence of angels and the holy words being uttered at all times by each individual, made it un like any other place in the world. The thought of Nadeem being around a nation, a people who were descendants of god’s most beloved ones was extraordinary. I prayed for god to include my dear hajji among his favored ones. I heard the language we considered holy, being spoken casually. It was general conversation. The world felt it contained dangerous ideas and concealed devastating plans. For us it could only be divine. It soothed me to think of Nadeem living in a world that existed as desert, sand and mountain but was in reality a part of heaven.

I feared the chilly desert nights for him and the hard floor beds in mina and muzdalfah, wanting to send him some of my strength and warmth. I fretted over the stuffy bus rides and the crucial ritual of stoning the devil, hoping to relax his aching muscles and easing him through the crowds during rami. Then I treasured the little hardships and obstacles he countered, for I knew how special that made him for god. On his last day in mina, which made it the last day for rami, it rained. Nadeem was in a downpour in the holy land. He walked and bathed in the heavenly shower. God cleansed him till a pure, cherub emerged. He soaked in the rain and walked barefoot in the squishy land. Nothing could dirty him….


Sometimes I would pray to god that Nadeem would be my guide and help me seek my way to the gates of heaven. I would pray for our unison in heaven. For me to be his hoor just as I was here. I did not really count days to his return, rather I prayed for each of his days to be more fulfilling. For him to earn some extra time under the sun that shone over the holy city, to feel the winds that blew caressing the holy house, to walk the land where 124000 of those had walked who were the most privileged and blessed ones.


Nadeem once called me when it was time for Maghrib prayer in the harem. He wanted me to listen to the azan live. Live not only in the sense of hearing it while it happened--- rather, live in the sense of he and I hearing it together while miles of sea and desert lay between us.



The last eight days of Nadeem’s 22 day trip were to be spent in medina. With head shaved and beard taking a grizzly, unruly form around his face, he headed for the land of the holy prophet(s). I felt like singing and dancing in happiness like the little girls of medina who had greeted the last prophet(s) on his arrival in medina at the time of his migration 1400 years back. My soul was joyous and my heart beat a little faster than usual. The beautifully decorated city of medina took Nadeem in its embrace and gave him what nobody could--- fulfilled dreams. He was taken by the peace and the festivity of the city. More than anything he wanted to visit the prophet’s last resting place, and he did. As did I. tears of joy stung my eyes and my senses felt benumbed by the ephemeral moment I spiritually spent at the shrine. Nadeem called again that night. His voice heavy with emotion and his joy reaching unlimited heights. I was once again silent as he gave me his account of the holy mosque in medina in his quiet voice. His hushed words echoed over the phone and I trembled to hear Nadeem speak a language even he was not familiar with. He told me the inside premises of the mosque were decorated like a “beautiful bride, Sunya.” It was exquisitely beautiful and left one holding his breath in awe. It was gold and silver and shimmered and glowed. It was a jewel in itself and could not possibly be polished any further. I wished I was his hands that touched the holy shrine, I wished I was his feet that walked the harem but above all I wished I was those words that he uttered that very moment. Most of all I prayed I could be that beautiful bride he described when we would be together again in heaven. 

Sunday, February 2, 2014

ZAHIR vs. BAATIN

BISMILLAH IR RAHMAN IR RAHEEM

As sincere as my intentions are for everything I do, there sometimes exists a slight degree of pride or selfishness or worldliness inside the deep recesses of my conscience. Just as much as I offer my prayers for my Rabb and as much as I do good for the pleasure of my Rabb, shaytaan manages to adulterate the recipe to the good act by adding some impurity to it.

 Anyhow, the point I'm looking to make here is not about whether or not my intentions are always pure. Rather its a serious error in duaa that I recently started making. 

Once the realization dawned on me that my actions and intentions were sometimes contradicting one another, I began making duaa to Allah SWT, asking Him to dissolve the difference between my ZAHIR (seen) and BAATIN(unseen/concealed). I actually started begging Him SWT that I earnestly wanted my ZAHIR to be the same as my BAATIN!!

 It is all Allah's doing that He SWT first opened my eyes to the fact that no matter how intent I was on performing good deeds for the pleasure of Allah SWT, Shaytaan cleverly swayed my conscience and I ended up enjoying the worldly attention too, that I received. The second thing that my Rabb brought my attention to was the error I was continuously making in duaa. I was asking Him swt to merge the difference of my ZAHIR and BAATIN while I knew the horrors that my BAATIN held!! What a foolish duaa it was that I was making! And how clever are the ways of shaytaan! I can imagine him smirking at me as I cried and begged and asked Allah swt to, in other words, turn me inside out!! SubhanAllah!

Every human on the face of earth, whether, Muslim or not, is well aware of his own sicknesses and deficiencies. Everyone knows themselves well and can conduct a reality check for themselves better than anybody! And nobody would want the sickness of their heart to be exposed. Moreover, this is exactly what we fear for Yom al Qiyaamah as well. The fear of having our souls stripped and our limbs calling out our sins!
And, there I was, asking my ever Merciful Rabb to merge my ZAHIR and BAATIN!! Alhumdulillah for His swt's mercies and His mysterious ways through which he led me to this major realization that I should actually be asking Him protection for my soul and my intentions from the evil tricks of Shaytaan! 

May Allah SWT bless us all with pure intention and cleanse our souls and make our ZAHIR and BAATIN equally beautiful in this world and the next, ameen!

Friday, January 3, 2014

BISMILLAH IR RAHMAN IR RAHEEM

Life takes us by the hand and steers us in so many different directions. Many a times we plan, and an unexpected surprise arrives, the plan is no more. Once we welcome the surprise and completely register it in our senses, life takes a sharp turn and lands us in the middle of another unexpected situation. We fumble, rub our eyes and flail our arms searching for a support to protect us from falling face down. The only support that really sees us through is the level of our eimaan and our belief in Allah swt and His plans.


 I found myself getting in and out of strange turns and dangerous bumps a couple of months ago. I found myself feeling surprised, and sometimes amused, every time! Just as much as the reality of that particular situation would hit me hard, so would the fact that "Indeed He is the best of planners". Many months have gone by, yet I'm still wondering what messages or rather what hikmah/wisdom it is that those incidents were meant to teach me. I do realize that my Almighty Rabb doesnt always wish for us to see or know the hikmah, but the mind is a wanderer and likes to go in forbidden places. As much as my little mind wanders, it returns with the same instinct: beg forgiveness. It whispers inside my head, acting as my conscience, "Oh Re Awakened Muslimah, keep asking forgiveness from Allah swt so you may find success and happiness and a reward for all those unforeseen happenings". And the best strategy that this wandering conscience of mine suggests for me to be able to truly and earnestly ask forgiveness, is of course: submission. Blind and unquestioned submission to the One who sent Al-Burraq for the Holy Prophet(S)'s night journey, and to the One who cooled the fire for Ibrahinm (AS) and to the One who protected Yunus(AS) in the whale's belly and the One who overturned entire civilizations when they DID NOT submit!


Ya Allah swt... Indeed You are All Powerful, All Wise and All Merciful!! 

Sami Allahuliman Hamida
Rabbana Wa Lakal Hamd
Hamdan Katheeran Tayyabam Mubarakan Feehi