Seeing

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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

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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

You’ll find it where it hurts most to look

ReviewCaffeine coursed veins

Lead to empty hall brains

With no lights on

But echoes of chains

The pains, the strains

The soul drained.

No we’re not at all insane

Just wanting higher plains

Trying to leave our mark, our stain

Not wanting to be contained

Trying to unshackle

The rein

Until none of me remains

And my ego does not complain

My spirit can soar, unrestrained

My attention to The Real

Not the profane, not the mundane

And I no longer feign

-ME

Kindness trumps intelligence.

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Jeff Bezos recounted a story where he was taught a lesson by his grandfather. You can read the story here or watch it here but the gist of it is, he was being a clever young man when he happened to use his wit in a harmful way. His grandfathers words to him were:

“Jeff, one day you’ll understand that it’s harder to be kind than clever.”

For three days now those words have haunted me. Every now and then you read or hear something that rattles your bones or stops you dead in your tracks. Upon hearing those words, I took one of those deep sighs like when someone smacks you a good one in the thorax. My heart felt heavy and breathing slowed right down as I put myself on trial.

How often I let my intellect beat my forbearance, overcome my mercy or hold hostage my kindness only for it to be let loose like a rabid dog gnawing at someone else’s inability to retort back or playing a silly tit for tat should they be a worthy adversary.

I felt so bad for all the fights I’ve had, verbally or electronically.

It daunted upon me how rotten we are as humans, using ‘gifts’ as Jeff calls them to our detriment. Using intelligence to put someone else down, using intelligence to garner a favourable position even though it may not be honourable or imbued with integrity.

Why do we place so much emphasis on intelligence and so little on kindness? Would you rather a spouse or partner that could prove the sky is pink to you with philosophical rants ad nauseam or would you prefer a person shrouded in kindness and mercy? Is intelligence really that attractive when put in that light?

How many a husband or wife have used their intelligence to cut through the marital fabric, the carefully evolved tapestry of love between a couple that has survived the ages?

How many a daughter has spoken ill of her mother because she doesn’t fit into her social construct of what it means to be a woman, forgetting the kindness and patience her mother afforded her as she developed and was allowed the freedom to develop into the person she now arrogantly displays to the world as sophisticated and powerful?

How many a father has shattered the dreams of his son when he longed to build things with his hands when instead he was forced into a field he bore no passion towards.

The examples can pour on forever, but the take home message is, put yourself on trial and think about the things you’ve said to win an argument, to appear cool, intelligent, gather attention or rise to a position by using your intelligence and your gifts in a negative way then account yourself and make amends. Apologise, return the rights of the person, seek forgiveness, vow to change, apply yourself by the maxim of ‘Unless you have nothing good to say, then remain silent’. In the words of the noble Prophet Muhammad,

“Be kind, for whenever kindness becomes part of something, it beautifies it. Whenever it is taken from something, it leaves it tarnished.”

I’ve watched oldie a few times and I still get pleasure out of it every time.

The life dilemma

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There’s a conundrum concocting in the cauldron,

It’s the most real and visceral recipe known to man.

It makes takes life and supercharges it,

Gives it an overdose of steroids,

Rocket boosters even.

Nothing on earth makes you feel more alive than death.

Perhaps why the Prophet reminded us to make much remembrance of the destroyer of pleasures.

That conundrum brews a mighty stew,

Burns the belly of the beast,

But it’s hard to digest.