Know, my sons.

code for my boys

Know my sons, men have codes.

Bravery is calling fear a liar.

Courage is proving fear a liar.

Chivalry, is knowing when to use courage or bravery.

Nobility is having the fortitude to follow through your conviction in both.

Honour is not straying from the code.

Honesty is the light that the code is illumed by

Truth is the gnawing at the soul that flat lines your ego.

Love is the energy that fuels all.

I hope that whatever I teach you or whatever I leave behind become firm foundations for you to build mountains upon and your progeny to build mountains on but no matter how mountainous you all may become, you remain grounded in the valleys of humility,

with people,

serving them,

being exemplar with the codes of being men,

of being human.

Do not forget that to be harsh when it is needed even in the face of relentless scrutiny is far nobler than laxity to please the lazy folk,

the unmotivated,

the detached,

the deprived of soul.

Know that kindness and gentleness in the face of a storm of violence and ridicule is more praiseworthy than siding with the masses.

Do not slip boys,

Hold to each other,

Hold to the above codes.

-ME

Beyond silence, beyond me

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Photo Credit: http://brownguymakesart.tumblr.com/post/52033467142/an-nafs-the-crossroads-of-human-disposition

If silence is the absence of noise,

Then take me to the place where even silence vanishes.

Maybe there, I, will cease to exist.

-ME

Ode to father carries on

unnamed

 

Continued from: Here

 

Now that I’m drained, now that he’s drained, bare, naked and stripped of our attributes. Attributes that kept us upright, but here we find ourselves fallen, ironically towards each other, two towers leaning on each other and yet holding each other up. That’s what it took. A baring of our sacredness, a stripping of our egos, no fight left in us both, guards down, ready to cop it on the chin and embrace it, embrace each other, even so, chins exposed, none have the power to knock the other out, none have the power to even throw a one, two. The array of combinations we’d let loose before, and now, nothing, both satisfied not to hurt the other.

I can see his humanity, always have, I couldn’t admit it. He never saw mine, so how could he admit to something he knew not about? I had to write the first ode, I had to let him know I saw him. I had to let him know I saw that he thought that no one saw him. How many fathers are like him, toil away and none of what they do gets noticed, gets written about, gets exalted. Oh the station mothers have enjoyed, and the deprivation the fathers have endured, this is not fairness, this is short sightedness, this is human shortcoming.

The tears that don’t stream down their cheeks burn pathways in their hearts as they hold themselves together as forts. Sixty six years is enough, eventually it burned down into his bowel. The pain of not being seen. Not only by me, my family, but his direct family.

Now illness manifest, reality cannot lay dormant and like the lion that it is, it roars and wakens the jungle of ignorance up. His family can hear, can see, can feel. They all flock to him, his illness an expiation for all. We know man is expiated for his sins even if a thorn to afflict him. My fathers illness expiated everyone as they all flocked to him, eyes in hands, catching their tears as they acknowledged him.
His illness returned their sight, his illness broadened mine.

I made sure my mother read and translated the first ode to him. When I came home that day, he had tears in his eyes, he begged and asked me how I knew, how I saw. I later found out that he and my mother wept together as they read it.

Maybe my job as a son was to document some of his accomplishments. So many men are remembered with their life’s work when they pass. Artists, writers, gnostics and so. Superficially he is none of these. Hidden and un-manifest, he is all. His craftsmanship, his prose and his art, was sacrifice. It wasn’t relegated to a material thing, something bought and sold, marvelled at on the walls of the mundanely inspired, no his life work was – passing on life. Chiselling away at himself to give to me, to my brother, to my sister and now to our children, he continues a new generation. Bits and pieces falling from him, and into our bellies. We are fortunate to see it, we are fortunate to be aware.

So here I stand, attempting to put into words but failing, how do I write about being a human? I cannot, the only way is to do as he did, sacrifice, pass on the bits of myself, chisel away, chipping until someone grabs a remnant and keeps it alive.

I have a lineal record of all my ancestry. We’re of noble blood, but noble blood means nothing without action. It cannot save me, only sacrifice will save me. Letting go of all the unsightly traits, the soil that is not presentable before God. Perhaps that is why my father preferred the company of the earth rather than of men. A reminder of what soil is beneficial and what soils us.The life giving soil and the soil that is ugly and not fit to present in front of His Majesty.

His health improved, for a week. I couldn’t believe it. Slowly but surely he digressed back and other ailments took over. My fear of exposing him to the myriad of unnecessary tests and prodding, of poking around and enticing. I know what happens to the body when you push and push. I’ve been there, self inflicted I push until something goes pop. Something always goes pop. So a few weeks later he’s back in hospital, his body drained. God’s work, God’s way of reminding us all who we are. Pray dad, pray. Nothing else matters except your devotion. Stay devoted. Stay true. It’s hard though with your body and carnal self calling the opposite way. ‘Don’t worry’, they say, ‘God is forgiving, just indulge’. Oh the oft demanding self. It clings on to every opportunity of weakness to keep you abased. Our masters have taught us to talk to it, to demand of it, to command it, to whip it into submission and servitude to us so that as a whole we can remain in servitude to our Lord.

The next saga begins, trying to make sense of it all as a scientist sifts through real data and pseudo data, as an investigator skirmishes through every last bit of observable evidence and delves deeper into his gut. There’s that line. That line I have to cross where I tap into a different unobservable realm to make a decision for him, for me, for us all. I can feel the weight on my shoulders. This is not going to be easy.

 

Seeing

mountaintop
photo credit: http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/public/yourworld/article3696638.ece

How ignorant is the man who stands atop the mountain,

Bathing in his glory of accomplishment

Forgetting the sacrifice of the rubble beneath him

-ME

Silence, the slayer

silence3

Sometimes, the greatest action, is inaction.

The future will reveal the veracity of your claims,

Of my claims,

Of all our fanciful talk.

My sword will be silence.

It will slay me or slay you

-ME

Selfish love

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I’m asked to pray in congregation wherever I am able to do so,

But everything in my body and mind pushes me from this.

How can I want to share my relationship with you,

If I claim true to seeing ONLY you.

It does not enter in my heart for a moment,

To expose myself before others to you.

What we have is ours alone,

Call me selfish as you may,

But never has a lover shared their beloved.

What am I missing here?

There is something I cannot grasp,

Something which doesn’t make sense.

Allah sent His Beloved to mankind,

He shared him with us all.

The best of creation

And how did he love his Beloved back?

Maybe I truly am selfish

For he prayed in congregation

But he also stood until the earliest hours of the morning,

Feet swollen, conversing with his Lord and when asked why,

“Should I not be a thankful servant?”

Perhaps my thoughts on love are thwarted,

And I am misguided

And all this time,

The secret is just in gratitude.

Love expressed in gratitude.

A thousand thankful servants are better than one.

We search and ponder through the Quran

Page after page,

Secret after secret,

Hoping to find something that no one else has,

And all this time, it’s in the first word.

Alhamdullillah.

A cure for anxiety – Extract from Remembering God by Charles Le Gai Eaton

Anxiety

 

I have revisited this quote countless times this week and I feel I will visit it countless more. A reminder of the nature of affairs.

Fatalism, as an attitude to life in general, is retrospective. Only when something has happened can we say that it had to happen. The notion that it makes people inactive is disproved by experience. The courage of the Prophet’s Companions, going into battle against overwhelming odds, must certainly have owed something to the conviction that the outcome of the battle was in God’s hands, not theirs, and that they would die not a moment before or after “a time appointed”. If their time had not yet come, the enemy’s weaponry would prove to be no more dangerous than a child’s toys; if they were fated to meet their end that day, nothing they did could prevent this. In our time, countless men and women suffer extreme stress in their work and this is often due to the belief that “everything depends on me”. For the Muslim, everything depends on God; nothing “depends on me”. Paradoxical as it may seem, the conviction that all is pre-ordained is liberating, whereas belief in total freedom of choice creates, for those who hold it, a prison of anxiety and uncertainty. It is for us to act. The outcome of our actions is God’s business, not ours. It is for us to do what is right under all circumstances. Subsequent failures does not mean that right action was, after all, wrong.

From Charles Le Gai Eaton’s book Remembering God

A supplication taught to Muslims by the Prophet Muhammad. On reflection, it is easy to adapt this into your life no matter what your religious inclination.
hammi-wa-alhazn