Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Lamb, The Lion and The Eagle

There are lambs, lions and eagles in our lives. And here in this picture.
How they may be so also depends on who you are. And really, who are you?
Plain & Simple
Though I sleep with lambs, I am no lamb,
Though I hunt with lions, I am no lion,
Though I fly with eagles, I am no eagle,
I am me, a weak servant, a donkey…
Plain and simple.
……………………….

I may appear fluffy and innocent, but alas, I am no lamb. I may sound menacing and courageous, but I am no lion and although the prose I write presume to ascend some lofty peak, I am no eagle. I am a just scribe, taking down notes and hurling them into the inner space of the internet.

Not me.
I am just fortunate to meet and know some true lambs, lions and eagles. I have people who work with me, who blink with innocent surprise and shock at my indiscretions. I have friends who are true warriors, followers of the Futuwat, the knightly code of chivalry of Ali, the Fourth Caliph of Islam. And then, I am in the company of some truly insightful people, who carries knowledge that shames me with its breadth and horizon. But none of these fellas (and females) feel the drive (or vanity) to write a blog. Hehehe. Decent and awfully nice Joes and Janes you would not mind spending an afternoon with.

Not me.
And this is generally most people I know. Of course they are not angels, but on the cosmic scale of human decency, I must confess my admiration for their principled stand towards whatever life offers them in terms of trials and tribulations. I am honoured (and not a little bit surprised) that God permits me to be with such folks. Sometimes though we are tested when our close friend or kin displays an action which makes us doubt our initial good assessment of their character. But from my experience, judgment must always be suspended since after all, who are we to judge? Often with time, fate reveals the reason behind their error which makes us reflect. As in the case of a friend who has been an absolute pain and we do not know the reasons why – only to find out much later that he has been carrying a secret sorrow for his father who may have contracted a terminal disease. Poor guy. Inevitably time reveals the truth and makes us empathize... and realize that we are in the company of real lambs, lions and eagles.

Not me.
But if you force my hand to choose an animal that best exudes my character... hmm. This requires some thinking. After all, postings online may potentially last forever so I gotta be careful not to make the wrong choice. Hmm. Ah yes. Here it is... the fitting totem for me.

Me.

Take care, sunshine. Talk to you tomorrow!

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way

Mikhail, his Baju Melayus and the Cunning Bait of Beauty - picture tell stories

Sometimes I write and choose the photos to accompany the piece. On some days however, I post the photos and let the pictures choose the words. Like today...

Mikhail is 8 years old. That lime green baju melayu johor (traditional Malay attire)
is almost exactly one year old and he is already having trouble getting out of it.
He is wearing it because he just had his weekly lesson with his young Ustaz (religious
scholar who teaches kids to read Arabic script and the Al-Quran). The Ustaz is a kind and
soft-spoken young man, unlike the fearsome fire-breathing old Ustazs in my days. 
As I was writing last night, Mika came up for a chat. He saw I was online and
asked to borrow the laptop. He said he wanted to chat with Aqheel, his cousin. He
took the laptop away and told me not to spy on him. 
Later he found an old cardboard box. And like all children he wanted to see
if he can fit in. And he did. "Look, Papa! I can get into the box!" But he found getting
out of the box a greater problem, and I had to help him out. I guess that's what
parents are for, to help our kids out of tight spots that they inevitably find themselves in.
But a Dad's job is also to take embarrassing photos of our kids and post them online,
so before I helped him out of  his box I took a couple of shots for prosperity.
He just smiled wanly and bleated, "Papaaaaa!!!" 
I think this picture is absolutely priceless. 
But you know, he does have some nice photos of himself. His mom, Gina, forked up some hard-earned money to purchase him new baju melayus for this coming Eidul Fitri celebrations (1st day of the month of Syawal, marking the end of Ramadhan and fasting) and I think in the picture below he looks like a heart-breaker. But I recall having a conversation once with Mikhail and he confessed to me, "Papa... I am not good-looking at all." And I think that is the most cunning bait of beauty, when the person does not even notice the beauty in himself/herself. And I like that. I hope such sentiments will accompany Mikhail all through his life...


Have a lovely day, sunshine. Work is knocking on my door now and I gotta attend to it.

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way

Monday, July 30, 2012

Slaying the Beast of Debt - the Crusade-Jihad against Banks, Usury and Fiat Money of all Religion


14. The Pyramid
There is no get-rich-quick schemes,
No multi-level marketing pyramids
More heinous and globally prevalent
Than the interest-banking
And fiat currency systems of the world.

And lo! Its illusion is guarded by watchdogs
Zealous in their affairs.
................

Which Christians will now complete the mission of Jesus to rid the world of the money-changers and the contagion of usury? Which Muslims will now rise to expel the new Islamic banking hegemony from the halls of power and influence?

Bankers in Jerusalem had to migrate their business due to
a regulatory change in the Temple. But they are back.
With a vengeance.

The rich nations become richer and the poor becomes poorer, and not by the natural state of human talent and endeavour. Oh no. Because if you are in the class of those who set the rules of the game, you can do anything, because you can change the rules to suit your fraud.

For every dollar of 'aid' sent by the rich north to the poor south, many times more are repaid by these southern nations back to the Western banks to service the interest payments for such loans often pushed upon the weaker countries who knew not to trust the bankers, the IMF and the World Bank.

Those who make it their vocation to study and chronicle the fluctuating fortunes of the world, cannot but be amazed at how forgetful Mankind is. Just how many times do we need to pay the price for overweening greed of the ruling rich, the banks and corporations? Only five years ago the world was shaken by the 2008 debt crisis. Worldwide, millions upon millions lost their jobs as demand dried up, and millions more will lose their homes by the connivance of banks and mortgage companies who fleece the uninformed and poor class who did not read the fine print in their mortgage contracts. Because of the sub-prime fiasco, credit dried up as financial institutions refused to lend each other, global trade froze and mighty banks and insurance companies that once ruled Wall Street fell like dominoes. And yet, it was the tax payers that paid to save the too-big-to-fail banks. Yes, I know that it is the (future) US taxpayers who is bearing the direct cost. But trust me, at the end, everyone man, woman and child on Earth will be footing the bill. Trillions upon trillions upon trillions... 

Obama has done nothing, because he is a creature of the very same establishment which caused the crisis.

So who among the Christians and Muslims are going to take the quest to slay the Beast of Debt? I promise it shan't be easy, but I can almost guarantee you that it will never be boring.

Have a lovely interest-free day, sunshine.

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way

In this Epic you are not an Extra - God the Greatest Writer and His creation that is you

In this picture, the believers are seen besieging the towers of the One Eyed King,
aka the Dajjal aka the AntiChrist. But we reckon the malevolent spirit at
the end of time will give special attention to each and every child
of Adam and Eve. So don't worry about missing the action.
He will come to you.
Like all good epic story, however big the scope of events, World Wars, Famine, Civil Wars, Aliens invading Earth... a good writer would devolve the fundamental issues to a very micro and personal level of the characters in the story, however humble or nondescript they may be - A janitor caught in a firefight with alien monsters from Planet Zorg. A shoe-salesmen saving his daughter from a burning house. Ultimately, the writer draws the audience's attention to the personal and often profound inner struggle of the characters of the piece.
 
The Caliph. 

In these heady days of Middle East crisis (has there ever been a day in the Middle East without some crisis?), the announcement of the new Caliph of Islam, His Majesty King Abdullah II of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, the bitter violent civil war in Sham (Syria) and the Arab Spring, many earnest hearts are looking towards the End of Time sequence, with the coming of the Imam Mahdi and second coming of Jesus, the Prince of Peace. All sorts of fascinating, and often frightening things are prophesied to occur.

Ancestor of the Caliph on a walkabout in Jerusalem some years back.
Shadowed by a Saint.

But much like the writer of epics, God (and let's face it... who is a better writer than He?) has it planned for all of us to play a significant part in the ensuing struggle of Hope vs Despair, Love vs Hate, Truth vs Lies and Humility vs Hubris. No one will be left a bystander in the cosmic movement of events. For however big the stake is, we will all face our own personal Dajjal, our very own personal AntiChrist... and this is how he will come to us -

97. Do I Look Familiar?
Do you think the anti-Christ shall come garbed in black,
With black crows on his shoulders,
And a robe of black on his back?

No.

He shall descend as a man of God,
Calling himself Christ,
And come to you,
As you,
Offering paradise.

O’ self-indulgent one,
Will you be able resist yourself?
....................

So, you have been informed. Follow your conscience, subdue your Ego and your Nafs (base desires), and seek God's protection always. InsyaAllah you will be alright. We wish this for all believers, whatever your faith and however you worship our One Creator.

Amen, sunshine!

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way

Sunday, July 29, 2012

The Kingdom of God is in our heart, not in the Ballot Box - a plea of sorts


83. The Village
Give me a suburb of honest sinners
Too busy with their lives and work to really
Care who I am,
Than a village full of gossiping believers
And their ubiquitous morality police.
....................

The march of political Islam is gaining new headway in Malaysia, with the proposal to create a religious scholars council within the incumbent UMNO party. Because you see, they are worried that they are not appearing Islamic enough... As if you need specific religious education to tell you what corruption and bribery is...

65. The Great Islamic Pail
Islamic courses and Islamic rules,
Islamic books and Islamic schools,
Islamic shops and Islamic banks,
Islamic bombs and Islamic tanks.
This is what my Islam is made of.

Islamic shoes and Islamic sandals,
Islamic tales and Islamic fables,
Islamic labels and Islamic rebels,
Islamic banging on Islamic tables.
This is what my Islam is made of.

Islamic banner and Islamic country,
Islamic state and Islamic party,
Islamic bread with Islamic buns,
Islamic hate with Islamic guns.
This is what my Islam is made of.

O’ Lord, we are spreading the word of “Islam”,
We have succeeded where the caliphs have failed,
All and sundry we have labeled “Islam”,
So what was once the humble bucket,
Is now the Great Islamic Pail.
.............

I don't need no busy-body peeping-tom moral guardians to tell me what's what. Had I such inclination I would move to some lovely neighbourhood in Tehran. I think people (and there are enough of them) who think Malaysia is not 'Islamic' enough to consider settling in such Shangri-la paradise as the Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Somalia or Iran. It's lovely there. Honest.

I am tired of these 'Islamic' pundits from both sides of the House of Parliament gripping my fellow Muslims in a vice of spiritual extortion and blackmail - "Follow me or be prepared for Hellfire to burn your bottom" they often say, but the meaning I hear behind their words is different, it is an ancient phrase that once condemned the most faithful servant of God into a continuing exile, when he rebelled against God's Command to bow before Adam and sought to justify his refusal thus - "Ana khairun minhu" (I am better than he, meaning Adam). Such is the rocky path of hubris that is ever tempting the lettered scholars.

But I know that this trend of political Islam shall not end. Indeed, I anticipate it will flourish. But I am just saying I don't like it. That's all.


Help keep faith out of politics. Keep faith in its natural dominion, within our hearts. God save the Caliph!



wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way

The Ultra Intangibles - the beautiful happy way inspired by the Guiding Spirit

Boy: What is humility?
Angel: It is something that you cannot possess
but possesses you. It is a tricky subtle affair.
Good luck to you mortals!

161. The Ultra Intangibles
As the Ultra Intangibles,
Humility and faith are possessions
That abandon you the instant
You think you have them.
.................

It is good to have knowledge but better to have Adab (courtly courtesies). We are all trying to get through college and university for that paper qualification. But if we do not score marks for good manners, well... it is really too bad.

But even before that, we need humility as the cornerstone of etiquette and courtesies. In my life I have met some whose humility is already a part of their existence. But God, in His infinite Mercy, has veiled them from their own spiritual station, and when one mentions this, they would inevitably (and sincerely) say, "Me? Humble? Are you kidding me?"

They are blessed. For humility and faith is not their possession, rather that they are possessed by the Guiding Spirit of God, Muhammad Habibullah(pbuh). And they are free of hate, envy and hubris, and they are happy.

But perhaps the greatest ultra intangible is our life. So certain are we
in the possession of our existence or the existence of another whom we love,
only to one day find such life returned to He from
Whom all Life and Love originates. al fatiha

Have a lovely Sunday, sunshine.

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way

Saturday, July 28, 2012

The Mirror of Our Conscience is The Mirror of God - humanists, atheists and this interesting topic of what a human being actually is...

Yikes! The mirror is getting smaller...
The Honour of Prosperity and Poverty
I met an old soul yesterday,
And he shared with me his simply philosophy,
“If I come across someone in dire trouble and worry,
I keep thinking to myself, ‘What an honoured man
To be tested this way… God and the Prophet
Sees something in him which I cannot, surely!’
And when I come across someone living
In the lap of prosperity, with children
And friends around him, in the warm bosom
Of his kin and family, then I do inquire to myself,
‘Oh what a life he has built for himself! Surely
God is rewarding his patience and perseverance
In this life and heaven knows the blessings
That he will be showered with in the next!”
……………………….

SINCERITY. Then later today, another man dropped in and I recounted the above story to him. My doubting friend asked, “That is what he says, but how do you know it is true?” And it is quite simple really. Because when the old soul finds someone troubled with some problems, he will actually try to help. And when he finds someone worthy to be envied, he does not envy but instead rejoices that there is yet many amongst us who are successful.

CONVICTIONS. And that is the key, you see. For words are merely window dressing and shop displays of the human spirit. They ALWAYS look and sound good, because after all, who wants to look bad? But the truth of our convictions is when they are tested. Tough but true...


SAY 'A' BUT DO 'B'.This is the real problems atheists and agnostics have about religion. Religious people say one thing and do another. And because such God-bothering clubs always say that their action (or lack thereof) are inspired by God and the holy scriptures, then God gets blamed. In fact the very ‘idea’ of God becomes the cause for all that is hateful and destructive in human history – this is the perception of those who disbelieve in God.

They are too smart for me. I am still figuring out
what a human is. Starting with the human
closest to me. Being... err... me. 
HUMANISTS. Atheists also likes to call themselves ‘humanists’. There is no firm definition of what this means, but essentially I think it encompasses freedom of choice and universal human rights.

WHAT IS A HUMAN? For believers, especially Muslims who are partaking in the soiree of Sufism and Tasawwuf (contemplation), the Humanists are simply jumping the gun. For mystics are at a stage in their existence to find out what a human actually is. For God has said, ’Know thyself that thou may know Me.’  

THE MIRROR... And this Knowledge of Self is not something you can just pick up in a book, and reading a couple of hours in the library. It requires Man to pick himself up from the rut and quagmire of his own ego, hubris and arrogance, and look for a mirror. And not just any mirror. There he may see the reality of his humanity, and the divinity of God.

A LIFETIME. And since ‘God, Who He Is’ is a topic of infinite similitude and concepts, it is a journey of understanding that requires a lifetime (and then some) of effort. I would worry that I would get bored, you know… standing in front of the mirror all the time. But thus far, I can confess to you, sunshine, that the experience has been, even for this downtrodden sinner, illuminating and satisfying. How it would be for a person as kind, wise and generous as you… only our Dear Loving God can tell you. But I know it would be good.

... OF OUR CONSCIENCE. Oh, the mirror? It is called our conscience. So act upon your conscience, and see the mirror become bigger and bigger, as God sees you as one of His own... Reject your conscience and see the mirror diminish until God becomes a mere whisper in your life, a small speck of dot in the far horizon. A mere sound bite that Atheists often allege Him to be... The choice, as always... is yours.

My father is 78. And he is still looking at the mirror. It is his life's quest...
And I reckon it is yours too. 

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way

Merdeka Poem 2012 - An Olympian Independence

Believe it or not, Olympians live in this small kampung house surrounded
by acres and acres of paddy fields.
An Olympic Independence
For the farmers in the paddy fields
Toiling under the burning Sun,
You are the Olympians,

For the constables doing your duty
With no thoughts of bribery,
You are the Olympians,

For the mothers bringing up
Your children with no husbands,
You are the Olympians,

For the salaried men commuting
3 hours a day to feed your family,
You are the Olympians,

For the leaders trying to make a change
In a political party diseased with hubris.
You are the Olympians,

For the inspiring teachers
Working on a paltry salary,
You are the Olympians,

For the civil servants who burn
The midnight oil while others leave early,
You are the Olympians,

For those who stand for what is right
And honour the old ways and traditions,
You are the Olympians,

For those who fight each day to
Protect our sovereignty,
You are the Olympians,

For those, right or wrong, left or right,
Who says, “This country deserves better!”
You are the Olympians,

For the Sultans of Adab,
For the Masters of Servanthood,
You are the Olympians.
……………………….

The London 2012 Olympics is here, and I guess many Malaysians kept awake into the wee hours of the morning to watch the opening ceremony which only started at 3.30am our time. Heche was one and sms-ed me commenting that the Queen 'looked cute'. Right. 


For Malaysia, or at least West Malaysia (Sabah and Sarawak joined later), we too shall be celebrating something this month - our 55th Independence Day on the 31st August.

The newspaper and social medias are clogged up with the country's aspiration for gold medal(s) in the London Games. Well, all the of best luck to our athletes.

For me, I would like to congratulate the Malaysian Olympians who are in our midst already. The unsung and unheralded ordinary folks, who make life in Malaysia not only bearable but hopeful. I say this because if we were to believe everything we read in the media and social networks, whether pro-government or pro-opposition, things are, to put it bluntly, appalling. And with the muck-raking and dirty campaigns soon to come with the approaching General Election, Malaysians would be hard put to believe that we are actually 'okay'.

Of course, there is a lot to be done. And a lot to be improved. But don't worry too much. For I believe that you are not alone. As in all things, whether you are fighting to change or to preserve the same, it is Adab (good manners) that defines your agenda and who you truly are. And this is important whether we are independent or still a colony of the British Empire.

Thank you old chum. We will continue from here on. Now... where was I?
Oh yes... Merdeka! Merdeka! Merdeka!

Cheers, sunshine. Thank you for dropping in!

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way

Friday, July 27, 2012

The Solace of Silence - love conquers words all the time...


Words and Love
Words have built empires
As Caesar exhorted his legions to greater conquests,
Words have raised glorious domes and minarets
As the Ottoman Caliph said ‘O' Sinan, build!’
Words are the crucible of invention
For someone had to teach Edison to think,
Words is a vortex of hate
As preachers, politicians and demagogues
Spout their litany of anger and bigotry,
Words unleashed the power of the atom
As Oppenheimer debated with his fellow scientists,
Words have released Man from ignorance
As Ibn Arabi and Ibn Sina
Called on people to reflect and think,
Words have killed countless millions
In the name of religion
And in the name of reason….

Words have done this
And so much more
For good or evil...
But words lose all the time
When matched with love,
With nothing to say or
Very little.
…………………………

We humans are really strange. For we can hopelessly fall in love, or fall deeper in love even when no words are uttered, and no words heard. I suppose this is strongest felt in our bond with our dearly departed. With our late fathers and mothers, sisters and brothers. Our dearly missed friends and masters.

And sometimes, this happens with our living loved ones. A touch of the hand, a glance from a pair of dark-brown eyes, an embrace, a kiss.

Some of my most dearly loved ones are no more with me. Some I have not heard a word uttered from their lips for years, decades even. While some, only recently that they fell silent.


But in the separation that saddens us and in the silence that surrounds us, sometimes we can yet sense the most loving attention, a communication without words, enveloping us like a beautiful spring morning.


I am sure you understand what I mean.

*… silence …*

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way

Want Some? asks Nigella - Chefs in the Kitchen of God

That looks yummy! And so does the spaghetti. 

Nigella and Me
Faith is like food,
What is the point of reading
Cooking books and watching
Cooking shows if we are never
Going to be able to taste it?
..............................

FOOD IS GOOD. "Ooh... what am I gonna eat during the breaking of fast?" I am asking myself every day. I am fat, you see. And it is because I like food. Nice delicious food. If God had wanted, He could have created us without the need to eat. And even if we did need to eat, He could have NOT left this Earth with so much delicious things for us. Delectable, savoury and sublime... fruits and vegetables, minerals and animals. In a manner of speaking, food is a great barakah and rahmat (blessing and grace) for humanity.

THE EGO ALSO AGREES! But our body (as one rainbow Shaykh said) is also the perfect host for our ego. Because God has also provided for our ego and has perfected a magnificent vessel and mechanism to sustain our ego - the human body. So when we eat, we are also giving food to our ego. But this catch-22 scenario covers not just our physicality, but the physicality and materialism of the world we exist in. This world too has been designed as a place to feed the needs of our ego.

A rainbow shaykh. 

MODERATION. With such odds stacked against us, what chance do we have to subdue our ego? Fat chance if left to our own devices. And that is why God has sent His prophets and messengers to humanity. To warn, to assure and to guide. To bring humanity to the path of moderation and simplicity. For mankind cannot run away from this world, after all, we bally have to live in it, like it or not. So we must take what we need to sustain our mind and body, but we are taught to do so in moderation, and not to overfeed the ego that we carry in our very bodies.

FAT MAN. As a fat man, I have failed to find the balance. Though in truth, food has become to me, at the age of 42, less hypnotic. It comes with the years, I guess. And the lessons I am learning from abusing my body as my limbs start to ache where they never used to, my sugar level is spiking, stairs-climbing becomes a daily jihad, and simply the mere act of walking must be measured and planned to avoid exhausting myself. Nothing beats pain and suffering as teachers of mankind.

FAITH AND FOOD. Another fine shaykh, one whom the rainbow shaykh likes to call a grandshaykh, a serious-and-right-proper shaykh also had something to say about food. Well, not actually food but in fact faith. Essentially, he said that the problem with this epoch is that some religious scholars and preachers often write books and give sermon about God and religion. But faith, just like food, is in the tasting and eating. It is no fun simply reading and listening. And as a avid foodie, I get what he means. What is the point of reading Nigella Lawson's book or watching her cooking show. I want Nigella to come over to my house and cook her Sunday roast beef.

A serious-right-and-proper shaykh, here with Charlie, HRH The Prince of Wales.
I am sure you have heard of him... 

KITCHEN OF GOD So look for the Chefs of Faith who can not only speak well and write books about God and the Prophet Muhammad(pbuh), but who can actually come over into your heart and bring God and the Prophet into the very essence of your being. For it is in your heart that you can taste the Divine Presence. Don't you see... The heart is the Kitchen of God. 

You do that, sunshine. While I address my health problems. Together we can make it. Together, we BETTER make it. Alhamdulillah and thank you for sharing a bit of your consciousness with me this morning.

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way

Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Door of Knowledge is the Door of Giving & Sharing - today it's all about doors. hehehe



The Door
The door is open,
The door is open,
The door is open,

I want to go in but someone hands me a pearl
And said, “No! Not yet! Throw this into the ocean!”
I did as I was told and immediately returned to the door,

But this time, the hand extended,
Handing me a beautiful rose,
“Take this and put it in the hearts of your friends and enemies!”
And again I did as I am commanded,

I made my way back to the door, and for the third time
A hand offered to me a paper on which was written a song for the Prophet
And I was told, “Find a singer and let him sing this in front of an audience!”
I rushed to find a singer, and I found one and he agreed!

So I hurried back to the door
And again a hand reached out,
This time with a pen and a bottle of ink,
“Take this and write.” The voice said.

So here I am.

Writing.

And I will not be rushing to the door again.

For the voice had also assured me...
“Don’t worry. When the time comes,
The door will come to you.

And the door itself will say - Enter! Enter! Enter,
O’ servant of God, 0’ child of Adam and Eve,
O’ Nation of Muhammad!
The time for looking for doors
And the time for knocking on doors
Has ended for thee!”
........................

What a strange little prose that came with the morning Sun today. I think this little dispatch is talking about 'that door' which mystics often refer to. The door of understanding, and the door of giving and sharing.

Say hello to MY good manners!
Whose hand is it that is reaching out from the inside? I haven't a clue. But he appears to be giving good stuffs. Can we take this prose as an assurance that we are already guaranteed salvation? Because the door will ultimately be looking for us?

The good adab (courtly manners), as one friend is sharing with me, is to to take assurance that the prose has already been written. And to take assurance that someone (I think he means you, sunshine) is actually reading it. "If this world is created to worship God and to obey His Prophet(pbuh), and to extol the wonderous and multi-channeled ways that the Divine let His presence be felt by us weak humans, is this already not good enough for today?"

Then my friend paused and smiled. "After all, who knows if there is a tomorrow for you?"

Ah. He is right. We should be happy with what we have, in the present. And we should be eternally grateful already for what the Lord has already provided for us in the past. The future? It is all in His hands, just like our past and present. And verily, if God is anything like what the Prophet, His Companions and the Saints have intimated... masyaAllah... is there anyone in all of Creation more blessed than you?!

Have a lovely day knocking on doors, sunshine. But sometimes it is God who is knocking on your door. Remember to recognise his knock!

You might guess that this entire posting is actually a riddle.
Good luck solving it!

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way

The Young Turks & The Miracles - America, the gun culture, atheism and miracles.

In this Colorado cinema, just days ago during a night showing of the latest Batman flick,
a mad gunman entered the hall with an assault rifle and killed twelve innocent souls.
The Young Turks & The Miracles
A couple of nights back
Shots rang out in a Colorado cinema,
Twelve dead, fifty-eight wounded,
Four men leaped to their death
In front of the bullets to save
The lives of their lovers,
And one woman was saved
By an unlikely illness in her brain
That allowed the bullet to pass
Through her skull avoiding
All the critical parts
Of her brain.

Her Christian family rejoiced
Saying, “Oh what a miracle (of God)!”
And yet the Atheists cry out
In protest, “Verily, it is no miracle!
And if it is so, why her alone? Why did
God not save anyone else?!”
……………………………

Smart, sassy Cenk. The Young Turk.
I am fond of the Young Turks. It is an American website and reputed to be the largest online news and political commentary show. I have been following their incisive, intelligent and often hilarious news commentaries over the past 4 years (Wow. Has it been that long?).

It is also Atheist / Agnostic inclined. Which basically means that most of the hosts do not believe in the existence of God.

I respect and find Cenk Uyger, the American anchor of Turkish descent quite huggable.

But however sincere my admiration, I find it interesting that the show, despite its pretension of progressive and liberal thoughts, has an absolute blind side to religion and God. So much so that they, in the most respectful tone admittedly, finds it uncomfortable simply because the family of Petra Anderson rejoiced in her recovery and called it miraculous. (Click Here to watch their coverage of this story)

The Young Turks argued – Why did God allow her to get shot in the first place? Why did God not save the others? Isn’t the others worth saving as much as Petra?

Well, ten years ago, my mother died of cancer. Why did God not save her? Why did God create such a lovely human being, only to take her away? Other cancer survivors made it, did she not deserve a ‘miracle’ too? Did my mother not suffer enough? Did my mother not do enough good and charity? There are murderers and rapists still alive out there in the world, why did God not kill them? In fact why did God create them to begin with???

The narrow and naïve posturing of Western Atheists boggles my oriental mind. Yes, us believers do actually use our minds, despite the direct and sometimes implied suggestions by the Atheists. When Atheists try to look into the spiritual stance of people, regardless of whether they are Jews, Christians, Hindus or Muslims,... I think it is an exercise in absolute futility.

Because they do not look at the world as believers do. Simply because Atheists see death as a full-stop in the existence of a human being. They do not see it like we do, sunshine. They do not see death as merely a comma, a brief pause in the sentence of love written by God for us, His beloved creation. I am ar-Rahman, God says, the Most Compassionate. I am ar-Rahim, God says, the Most Merciful.

Even Moses the Cat gets God.

Their material and physical-centric mind cannot accept the existence of metaphysical realities, wherein the True Reality of things exist, ergo in the Divine Imagination. They are unable to accept that human beings, this world and all the Universe (and other Universes) exist merely as a reflection of God’s Own unapproachable Power. Like a shadow on a wall. Lika a ripple in the ocean. 

And yet, if you sit long enough watching the show, you would discern much reference to love. For the Atheists still recognize human love and affection. As they did when they covered the story about the four boyfriends who died saving their girlfriends in the same tragic Colorado shooting (Click Here to watch their second coverage). But love and affection is a human emotion and rests in the metaphysical reality. How can this fit in their all-physical, all-material perception of this world?

The miraculous survivor. Or as the Young Turks would like to put it,
the 'lucky' survivor. But don't Atheists understand that even the laws of
probabilities is a creation of God?

I will still continue watching Cenk and his gang. Because despite their agnostic / Atheistic blind side, their sharp political commentary is still excellent.

Wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Driving In Neutral - The Path, The Journey and the Drivers

I was thinking aloud one day... "What is the most spiritual gear for driving if our car is our soul?" This is not such a weird question to ask, you know. Especially with some men and their undying passion for their cars.

Someone told me that it must be the neutral gear. Because it is the ultimate state of submission. Neutral. Neither going forward, neither going reverse, nor is it immovable as in parking mode. Because after all, if life is a spiritual journey, you have to be able to move.

But then another question arises. How the heck do you move along the mystical road if there is no acceleration? My friend said, "Easy. Just tilt the Earth in whatever direction you want, so you will be able to move forwards or backwards, as if you are on a slope."

Right.... I must collect a better quality of friends. Some that might actually make sense.

If my soul was a car, I would choose this as my body. The stupendously
good-looking but totally impractical Alfa Romeo 8C. 

But the truth of the matter is that we engage into all gears in our meandering through this highway of life. We drive forward, accelerating past the speedtraps. We slow down as we see the traffic jam up ahead. And sometimes we even reverse. Especially if we made a wrong turning at some point in our life. And boy, have I made some wrong turnings in MY life! I kid you not.

So I am actually quite far from the state of submission, that surrender mode which appears to be the hallmark of all good soul-drivers. I am always finding myself in tight corners, tunnels, and even road accidents as I try to make my way in this life. I struggle with the steering, I sometimes honk at other drivers, and God forbid if you cut me in a queue. I turn redder and angrier than Bezelbub's most impressive Formula 1 driver.

But we get by, don't we? For along the way, God has guided us to take the scenic route. Some views appalling and despairing, but some vistas are simply breath-taking. I am not sure really, where I am. All i know is that I am on a highway. But happily, I sometimes come to rest at a lay-by and bump into kind souls, also travelling. Also making their way home to our Most Beloved God. People just like you.


Drive safe, sunshine.

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way

Someone Has Gone To Great Trouble Building the House of Worship. We Need Just Walk In - history and reality, grace and gratitude,

My mother and eldest brother. 

Someone Left This For Me Already
I am fishing the Sea for pearls,
But someone left the pearls here already,

I am harvesting barley and wheat,
But someone planted them here already,

I am walking a path,
And it was laid by someone with great care already,

I am reaching to pluck stars from the night sky,
But someone left it hanging there for me already,

I am drinking water from a well,
But someone had dug the well already,

I am riding a donkey,
But someone harnessed 
The saddle to the donkey already,

I am singing a song,
But someone had already written the song,

I am writing a poem,
But someone had left me the paper, the ink and the pen,

I am living my life,
But the Lord has already written my life, from the beginning to the end.
……………………………….

Today is the child of yesterday, as we are the children of our fathers and mothers. And what we have now, someone else has already prepared and laid the ground works and foundation for our benefit. At the family scale, we owe so much already to our parents and grandparents, and looking further to our ancestors beyond record.

At another level, who are we but inheritors of the house of worship that has been built with single-minded focus, love and skill by the Prophets and Messengers of God, then lovingly cared for by the Saints? We did not build this house of worship, it was there and we just entered. No real hard work needed, for the Prophet Muhammad(pbuh), His Companions and the Saints have all done the difficult and onerous tasks for us already. It is the Prophet(pbuh) who overcame the tyrants, it is he who cast down the savage traditions of the desert, it is he who conquered the hearts and minds of the Arab nation, and it is he who raised the banners of Truth, Compassion and Mercy as God's Messenger and Herald to the other nations and worlds.

Yes, of course, we have our personal battles to contend with, most immediate being our cunning and clever egos. But at the cosmic level, the Prophet(pbuh) has already won. And I think we should remember this and be grateful, for gratitude is a key to motivate us in our own lives and trials. Gratitude to our kin and forefathers. Gratitude to the Saints. Gratitude to the Companions. Gratitude to the Prophet(pbuh), and of course, to God Almighty.

Grace and Gratitude. Lovely. Works all the time.

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way