Posts tagged ‘religion’

August 5, 2011

My Muslim Brother…And my photography syndrome!

by Khanum

It’s another interesting day of Ramadan at home. One that is about to come to an end. Just few more minutes to go before we break our fast with the Call to prayer. Mum busy in the kitchen. Family set on table, praying. I stopped by to post few photos I took earlier today at home.

I was lucky to get a hold of my cousin brother while  performing his worship duties. Since It’s a rule for Men in Islam to offer their 5 times prayers in Masjid. it’s a rare sight at home to see any male member (either young or old) to be praying at house. This cousin of mine – after praying Jumu’ah in Masjid – probably decided to do some more worship at home. Such a noble soul these days. I luckily was free loaded with FUJIFILM. And you know there’s a saying, Where’s there’s Khanum with a camera, there’s a way!

   here I was caught with my camera! hence:  He went shy…..

 The last one I admit was hard to get. I had to ask him to sit properly. He would complaint. Then my mother in the background would say, ‘She’s the photographer of the house. Obey!’ hence, The Muslim Brother photography mission successful.

August 5, 2011

Ramadan is about finding the path to God

by Khanum

I read something very heart warming on the internet today. Here are the those words of wisdom.

“The month of Ramadan is easily the world’s largest and longest spiritual festival. Muslims strive hard in this month to mend the torn fabric of human spirituality even as political and material impulses tear it asunder.

Fasting is one of the five pillars of Islam. The Quran instructs that its purpose is to teach Muslims self-restraint. The ritual involves systematic abstinence of things normal to body, mind and spirit. From dawn to dusk the limits are clear; no eating, no drinking, no sex, no fighting, no backbiting, no lying, no anger, no arrogance, no pride, no despair. In this month the sovereignty of the spirit over the body and the mind is reasserted to restore the divine order of things.”

And the title to this piece was ‘Ramadan is about finding a path to God.’

Definitely it’s the case. During Ramadan, there’s a sudden urge to do good. To be good and to spread good. Nothing but Good. Either at home or outside, masjid or your courtyard, Ramadan’s blessed wings spread all over us They move us ,   complete us.

The writer continued…

“The great Sufi Ibn Arabi captured this longing for unity with the divine more beautifully than anyone. He wrote in his The Secrets of Fasting:

My self, had it not been for you, I would not have been

as if I were Him,

were it not for you! Were it not for you!

Indeed the sense of longing for a taste of the Divine is never felt more acutely than it is in the month of Ramadan. In Ramadan we control our appetite for the created things with the fond hope that desire for the Creator will finally be satiated.

Those who fast with genuine dedication, those who struggle to conquer the self, those who give charity — they do experience a feeling of purification that is profoundly palpable.

At the end of the month, for some there is a feeling of lightness, as if the weight of impurities that one had been carrying has been lifted. For others, there is heaviness in the heart and one prays for one more chance to maybe get it right the next time.” (Source Muqtedar Khan)

May 14, 2011

“Something Wonderful”

by Khanum

“Will you kindly take me seriously?”

He sobered instantly at her imperious tone. “I’m going to marry you,” he said coolly, “that’s serious enough.”

“Do you realise,” she said with a winsome smile as she titled her head to the side, “that you become positively grim when you say the word ‘marry’?”

When he said nothing, she laid her hand on his sleeve, as if he was her friend, and gazed into his unfathomable grey eyes, seeing the cynicism lurking in their depths. “I don’t mean to pry, but are you happy with life –with your life, I mean?”

He looked irritated by her question, but he answered it.

“Not particularly.”

“There you see! We would never suit. You’re disenchated with life, but I’m not!.” the quiet inner joy, the courage and indomitable spirit he had sensed in her the night they had met, was in her voice now as she lifted her face to the blue sky her entire being radiant with optimism, innocence and hope. “I love life, even when bad things happen to me. I can’t stop loving it.”

Transfixed, he stared at her as she stood against a backdrop of vibrant roses and distant green hills– “Every season of the year comes with a promise that something wonderful is going to happen to me someday. In winter, the promise comes with the smell of snow in the air. In summer, I hear it in the boom of thunder and the lightening that streaks across the sky in blue flashes. Most of all, I feel it now, in springtime, when everything is green and black–”

“Black?”

“Yes, black–you know, like tree trunks when they’re wet, and freshly tilled fields that smell like–” she inhaled, trying to recall the exact scent.

“Dirt”, He provided unromantically.

She dropped her gaze from the heavens and looked at him. “You think me foolish,” she sighed. Stiffening her spine and ignoring the sharp stab of longing she felt for him, she said with calm dignity, “We cannot possibly wed.”

His dark eyebrows drew together over incredulous grey eyes. “You’ve decided that, merely because I don’t happen to think wet dirt smells like perfume?”

“You haven’t understood a word I have said,” She said desperately. “the fact of the matter is that if I marry you, you’ll make me as unhappy as you are–and if you make me unhappy, I’ll undoubtedly retaliate by making you unhappy, and in few years, we’ll both be as unhappy as ……”

…………………

Excerpt from a novel, I read 6 years ago.

…………………..

It was a time when I was still a teenager. World was black and white to me. Things were always either right or wrong, It’s a age when we are  unaware of the oblivious choices and shades. Twists, and turns of faith & the most basic need of adult hours…Compromise! with complete faith in His Art.

The lines in hope of “something wonderful” have always been my favorite ones. The only reason they have managed to survive there in my mind only because: I hope as she hopes. But What could possibly drive me to write a post on it? the answer is my cousin-brother’s marriage.

At the time when he got married, I was still studying in school. My mind wasn’t a mind of an adult as it is now. It was innocent and really–straight like a line. Which is why i never understood why he and his wife never looked ridiculously in love after marriage. Or why they had issues – arguements – while they were simply “MARRIED”?

Years passed, the number of their kids increased and so as their fights.

Today they have 3 brat children. They have the eyes of their mothers, huge and pretty…the eyes my brother used to say , are like cow. Long ago, when he said that, perhaps there was a hint of annoyance in it. But not today.

“Something Wonderful” happened for both of them. “Something wonderful” that binded them together like honey is to bee.

The husband who was so thrilled and relaxed over getting a job in Dubai few months back– finally flew back to his home last month — to his wife — to his children — leaving every dime he earned in a foreign land full of promises. All this, Just to have the nearness of the one he had but never realized what she meant. And the wife, my sister-in-law , is as madly in love with him now as a wife is supposed to be in every hour of life.

Seeing them this insanely in love for the first time and that too after years of marriage is something so wonderful for all of us, that I wonder how wonderful it would be for them in reality? Are they over their differences? Have they decided to leave their prejudices and pride behind for the love of each other? And what do we know, what love is? How love is anyway?

Going through that paragraph once again after years of acquaintance with it, I noticed something wonderful in its own unique way for the first time. It’s amazing how my outlook on this conversation entirely changed. It’s like a work of art. New read. New Message.

Something wonderful does happen. No matter you’re exception or Rule. Rich or poor, Smart or dumb. Wonder is there in every second in every hour. But believing in greater miracles in your life requires a miracle within you utmost.

I’ve listed out certain points that may help all of you out there to come to better terms with your spouse. Again, let me mention I’m not an expert on halal relationships. I just happen to be a keen observer of events and people around me.  And I’ve learned, This world is a perfect place to learn about Imperfection.

Once we set goals for ourselves, we set a mind frame to like certain people based on their certain qualities. One error in someone can simply turn our good thinking mode off towards that person. But ask yourself. Is this a wise-thing-to-do?

Perfection is meant only for Allah. The Creator of the creation. Nothing after Him, is perfect in the true sense. Apply this word to the human system, “perfection” only “under limited” resources would be acquired. So whatever perfection is there offered to you by someone, are you willing to let it go , slip it away from your hands just like that? just because of some ‘humanly’ flaws?

Please, don’t! Cause you never know,  you’re praying to be with a perfect person who will lead you home, But in reality,  you’re destined to guide a misguided person to become a better person and make the most honest home on earth.

That calls for finding a miracle within you, First and utmost.

So Make du’a, Say prayers for a God fearing and caring spouse after every compulsory prayer. And then , have the heart to pray that if  you end up with a opposite character unlike the one  you wanted, then in that situation May He  makes you a wonderful guide and a miracle for that person to sober up and change.

April 7, 2011

What’s Your EXCUSE?

by Khanum

I make it a rule for my posts , not to use images or material which is not owned by me. Therefore all the pictures that you guys have seen so far were my photography. However, This time I am willing to make an exception. An Exception to make you all aware of the commitment and Allegiance of  a Monotheist to His Lord.  Either You’re Muslim, Christian , A Hindu or a Jew. Just Look at these people, how punctual and sincere they are. Isn’t that enough of a lesson to learn?

See! Its not that hard to pray when you have the heart to kneel before Him.

Muslims who prefer sitting idle and skip prayers should feel motivated by these pictures. I didn’t make the effort to copy these here and put a post together just to humiliate you. It’s like a work of Art.  I reach to you – to help you reach Him. 🙂

The category who do pray 5 times a day but skip some of them should make a note of this and never miss their Salah ever again. Its our Allegiance to our Creator! My grandmother offered her last prayer on her death bed, and she could barely even breathe or move. She kept her Allegiance to Him even then. Now that’s real love.

And finally those who are already on the path of sincerity, and way ahead of me, Should feel proud of them and continue their routine. I salute you people!!!

theres simply no shame in stopping by and offering a prayer even while you are at a mall doing shopping or sitting at a wedding with your best clothes on. Either you’r travelling in a rikshaw, a car,  or just walking on foot. Be brave enough to stop your world for a minute or two and bow down to prayer.

For those who bow down to Him can stand up to anything in this world. !!!

“Oh you who believe! Seek help through patience and Salah. Truly, Allah is with those who are patient.” (2:153)

April 4, 2011

The Virtual Grave! Facebook Memorializing Service

by Khanum

I just came across a very strange thing on Facebook Tonight.  It was like the angel of death stood infont of me, Giving me a trailer or options  for  my future Facebook account.

Memorializing Service”

“When a user passes away, we memorialize their account to protect their privacy. Memorializing an account sets the account privacy so that only confirmed friends can see the profile or locate it in search. The Wall remains, so friends and family can leave posts in remembrance. Memorializing an account also prevents anyone from logging into the account.”

Okay, So That’s what They will do  with my virtual body after  I am dead – Shift my Facebook account to the social net workers’ cemetery and allow my friends to throw a flower or two on my grave once in awhile.

Berra Ghark!!!

I  read the content of the page further. I wanted to know how the memorializing is done. (Horrible Horrible and more Horrible)

The page read:


More curiosity, more tension.
Memorializing the account:
Please report this information here, so we can memorialize this person’s account. Memorializing the account restricts profile access to confirmed friends only. Please note that in order to protect the privacy of the deceased user, we cannot provide login information for the account to anyone.Removing the account:
Verified immediate family members may request the removal of a loved one’s account. This will completely remove the account from Facebook, so no one can view it. We will not restore the account or provide information on its content unless required by law. If you are requesting a removal and are not an immediate family member of the deceased, your request will not be processed. In this case, the account will be memorialized. 

If you are an immediate family member and would like to request that we remove your loved one’s account from the site, click here. You may also use this form if you have a special request regarding a deceased user’s account.”


I had instantly scrolled down further and read the whole paragraph for two major reasons.
First :  I realized few of the people in my list are very old. I may feel the need in future to report their account for memorializing  (In case they …u know what I mean ..) so I better know how to do it first.
Secondly : My Goodness! What If I pass away and people forget to report my account for memorializing? Out of sight out of mind. We have time for status updates these days, post videos, pass random comments on random pictures but hey! c’mon!   Its very hectic already. Who has time to stop by and notice if you’re freaking alive on facebook or not.
So I kept reading it and reading it – and the more I read the more depression it gave me.
It made me think of only  one thing. If I don’t better set an appointment or some settlement with facebook  in advance today that could notify them of my last breath, the moment I say my last Allah hu Akbar, If I don’t do this now – Tomorrow I would have  my FB deadbody swimming around in this virtual pool, floating  here and there, appearing up in SUGGESTIONS corner. Lurking like a ghost.
Berra Ghark!!! I don’t want that. Nobody would want that even for the real burial. Imagine for once you are dead in real, and nobody is bothering to dig up your grave and bury you ? Nobody is willing to spend on your Kaffan and give you the last bath. Or worse, they don’t know how to do it right.  It would be a one horrifying sight.
Ha Ha and Horrible !
The fun part was over for me.  A worry more natural and basic sometimes come to us shrouded in a comical attire.
I immediately typed ‘Quran on Burial’ on google  and several pages showed up – and that was not my first time for such research but a second attempt to dig deeper. The last time I was worried over right burial procedure of a Muslimah was when my grandmother had died. Some said this, others said that and May Allah forgive us, none of them agreed for once on a single thing so a third person had to be asked.
I, at that time just knew one thing. that nothing extra , whether cloth or any other item is to be buried down with her. We  go down, sleep in peace and rest  only in whites pieces of clothes. No fancy garments to make us look good to the angels, no ornaments or precious jewels to give them as a bribe. It is simply ashes to ashes, dust to dust.
My grandmother understood this well. And if anyone is to be taken as my mentor on simplicity in family: It would be her first and foremost.  She always wore plain and simple dresses. She even offered prayer before passing away , though she was on bed and hardly breathing.  It was her consciousness of the situation.
And then, there are those people. May Allah reward them abundantly for their humble actions – who prepare for their journey to the final abode in their lifetime , they buy their kaffan with their own Halal money and never depend on others. My Uncle, May Allah give him long healthy life – bought his kafan long ago and declared he is to be buried , shrouded in the same piece of clothes when his time comes. Neither sadness nor despair, but just God fearing heart and consciousness.I had gone all teary over this. You can’t think of  ur beloved’s kafan  without feeling the pain and then when you  think of  your kafan – you get the goosebumps.
How many of us know the formalities of a janazah? and how many of us are concerned with our proper burial once we depart from this world? Shouldn’t be a Muslimah concerned with who will be the one to enter the grave and lower her body? Facebook – twitter – my space ! These are not our abodes that we worry about our graves here Or “thikaney” as we speak in Urdu. It’s just a momentary hot spot where nobody would care if your account is memorialized or not, nor they should be.
We may live here for years and years, even after while we are gone. Appearing once in a blue moon on the side bar among other faces. Whenever they will upload pictures on their accounts- face suggestion would be made and they may remember us in that brief moment and cherish the memory sometimes curse it . But  Other than that –   Nothing else would make them hold us clear and near.
Not on facebook. Never on Facebook! Never on a cyber grave.
But perhaps, If We leave behind some good words, Yes unless we leave behind some good notes,   few words of wisdom, and spiritual healing to be remembered by. Then perhaps we have a good chance to live in people’s good actions.

 

April 1, 2011

He is a Great Whisperer. Listen!

by Khanum

There are times when your heart is not at peace. Your whole daylight hours are spent worrying over some reasons. The reasons are unknown to the heart somehow but they sure vary from person to person. It can be anything at the pit of your heart , troubling your conscious. There are worries of financial nature, worries of how to pass this exam or that, Your worries on who will be your life partner, how will he or she be? Will you ever be able to get along with him, worries of a father trying to get his daughter married, worries of a family dealing with your studies expenses, your own worries concerning your ties with people related to you either by blood or by heart both, depressions over human tragedies, deciets, betrayals, long pauses and silence among friends, worries about your life , your career , your next comment on a heated discussion going on at someone’s status.

Momentary worries, All of these, and many more that I am not able to count. But Alas! No worries concerning your Akhirah in daytime at all. These kind of soul shuddering worries concerning to Akhirah usually overcome us at night. When we’re on bed, all set to sleep sound and proper and mentally counting down our victories of today and making a list of what to conquer tomorrow. There and then, Allah somehow lets a slow yet shivering thought slip into our preoccupied heads, He whispers, He warns . We think for awhile, shiver, say the Ayat ul Kursi and slip away to another world.

Dream. Dream. Dream

And the Next morning, its the same routine  all over again.

But Only, if you ever wake up again.

And He it is Who takes your souls at night (in sleep), and He knows what you acquire in the day, then He raises you up therein that an appointed term may be fulfilled; then to Him is your return, then He will inform you of what you were doing (Al-An’am 6:60).

‎‎Imagine your soul is taken away from your body the next time you’re asleep, not awake. What will you do? , What can you do ? Nothing…Nobody knows if tomorrow would be his time or tomorrow if  we’ll see our brothers and sisters . The lovely wife who takes care of you when you are home, husband who  is your reason to smile and shine, friends who are there to comfort and console to fight and get back to you at any cost, the next door neighbors , the baby you have given birth to, the person who you plan to be with in near future, your father, your cousin, or Your old and weak mother for whom you’re everything …Are you sure You”l be able to see them all the next day…? I am not sure.

I type this note, knowing there’s a chance  I may slip away to the next world while I’m asleep.  And ask yourself honestly, isn’t the thought  beyond any describe-able feeling? Do you want to die while you’re sleep tonite? Have you prepared well for the next stop? Ask yourself honestly. And let your conscious worry about it all. It is the only worry, the only depression in the entire Universe which shows you a way of light and doesn’t push you over into the pit of despair. Connect with Allah and you’ll realise while you served people tirelessly and yet they didn’t seem convinced, It only takes a moment to convince Allah of your loyality and He’s pleased.

I pray, I wish and I hope, from this day forward: Our day and night, our each hour if not each minute, is spent by remembering Allah swt. Ameen

“And the men and women who remember Allah frequently, Allah has prepared for them forgiveness and great reward.” – Al-Ahzab 33:35

March 13, 2011

Dear God

by Khanum

I write to you because I feel this need, to mention what things worry me in my life. A life which was given by you. A life in which I had no say when you deported me to this world.

There are times, when i am lost. When I have no hope left inside of me for things I want to achieve in this short existence.  I cry, I shed tears because I feel so lost that I don’t even want to call it ‘my life’ anymore. I name it as ‘Yours.’

And then suddenly, the pain seems to slow down a little. It agrees to stay on hold for awhile. I don’t know how it happens so fast , Dear God – but it does.

the moment I name it Yours, I’m relieved of my pains.

Is this a sign that in your eyes, I’m accepted ? I’m loved ?

I will say no more then. I have found my true Home.

Yours Forever,

Khanum..