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Accidental Reflections

So I’m here, my foot pressed on the clutch, gear- ready to move, slightly revving, waiting for clearance at the traffic signal. The front vehicle clears and I get an orange and I know I can get through to the other end without a ticket but just as I spring into action and move forward, the traffic on my left heads straight for me, I swerve to the right to avoid hitting that bike that is heading squarely to my left, seemingly oblivious to the danger. All I can hear in that split second, is a terrible thud, honks blaring, brakes screeching and people gathering around the car in a frenzy.

I knew I was safe, Babu Bhaiyyah sitting next to me was in one piece but I dreaded to look behind and check on the status of things I was a meter away from. I could feel the pulse beating frantically, my heart doing double takes or what felt like long trapeze jumps with breathless spans in between each beat.

No one was hurt.

That is what I’d craved to hear, my teeth stopped chattering as much, the motor cyclist came and gave an amused quizzical look of inquiry at me. The policeman couldn’t care less, the traffic signal was recently set at that stop and they had gotten the timings wrong, so these brushes were reaching a count of hundred since the installation. The local crowd were mostly youth who wanted to firstly, preserve the fragility of a woman’s state of mind, that being moi. They kept shooing away the spectators while they themselves stood around and chatted with me politely, while there were others who were plain pigs. They snorted about women driving ANYTHING. I did roll my eyes as I continued to shake.

Babu Bhaiyyah was truly gentlemanly about the whole thing, he ironed out the wrinkles, paid off for the necessary repairs and we left the the motorcyclist grinning on the sidewalk just short off waving us goodbye. SubhanAllah! Indeed Allah SWT is the Greatest! He takes care of all our affairs in the most minutest of details that are far, far, far beyond our grasp.

I replayed every split second of that incident through out my drive back to Bangalore like some obsessed director who wanted to orchestrate everything finitely. I picked apart the incident like pieces of a puzzle, reshuffled this and that and wondered how things could’ve been different. He could’ve been killed, na’oodhubillah, either one of us would’ve been hurt unimaginably, so many other horrifying things could have ended this story differently, but that’s where Allah SWT is indeed Ar-Rahmaan and Ar-Raheem.

I remember making this du’a before leaving, “Ya Rabbi, protect us from our own follies and from others’ follies”. I also learnt a lesson that has left me faltering for ground in the alternating dimensions of paradigmatic shifts. I always wondered at the nature of that person during the time of the beloved Prophet (Peace be upon him) who was guaranteed paradise on account of his nature to forgive everybody at the end of the day without an ounce of resentment in his heart. I asked this dua, hoping I’d be affected by it by Allah- Al-Aleem’s, Al-Hadi’s directions in my everyday affairs.

“Allahumma waslul sakheemata sadri”
“Oh Allah cleanse my heart of resentment”

In the immediate aftermath of the accident, was I holding the resentment I was shamefully aware of holding against so many of my family, friends for their little faults, quirks, eccentricities? No.
Everything just faded into a blank canvas of need. Need for their support, need for their understanding, need for them to be around and just plain, need for lives to go on as they are. I’d gladly run to that as if it were a true blessing. All their faults seemed absurd in comparison to , be it the unintended mistake of being responsible for a person’s death. It made me seem petty and small. I’m certain that this is not the way in which everybody learns to let go off resentment but I learnt it this way.

I returned home and my hugs were full of gratitude, I felt my smiles towards those people of afore faults blooming into genuine pleasure, the feeling of guilt that kicked in every time they were surprised by my lack of inhibitions. I can’t change how they are, I can change how I want to be in this world and how I want to be in the next, bi’idhnillah.

Genuinely Muslim.

Thought Cloud

I’m in the middle of this program, ITEP (Islamic Teachers Education Program) conducted by the University of Toronto, online and I love the introduction to a new way of thinking. Last week we had assignments to read up on different Islamic philosophers, I chose Mulla Sadra. I couldn’t help but agree with most of his teachings and find it remarkable that they had that kind of insight centuries ago, much before our double blind experiments and regressive analysis :P but I did find it difficult to agree with those bits that adhered to the concept of ‘wahdatul wujood’, oneness with god. I mean, how can scholars of such insight overlook what can be not just impossible but violate the very relationship with the Divine when we corrupt it with our own aspirations that Allah SWT and His messenger (peace be upon him) have warned about over and over again?

I did speak up about the problematic nature of engagement with such thought streams especially when you’re working at establishing something that is firm as opposed to whimsical, human as opposed to angelic,plain honest as opposed to circuitous. I’m coming to terms with my own understanding of this enormous responsibility towards the nature of aqeedah, fiqh, revealed sciences and the Islamization of all fields which is impossible to perfect in this lifetime but whatever attempts that be made in this short span, May it be of a beautiful testimony, Aameen.

Heart Strings

In the middle of a shift, it’s Riyadh to Dammam now, InshaAllah. Walhamdulillah, it has been an adventure so far, my to-do list is endless. :D I can’t say I don’t want a long holiday back home, just basking in the love of the good ‘ol troop is therapeutic, MashaAllah. <3 Yes, that's how much I louwe them that I can't speak of them without the less than arrow and a 3 union :D ! I can't believe it's a year now, healing is such a slow process but I know one thing that's true for myself, dealing with the loss of a loved doesn't mean the tears won't come when you remember them but the sentiment is accompanied by an overwhelming gratitude for the little time you spent with them, the shared memories and also the possibility of a meeting that we can look forward in a place far, far more beautiful than anything we can imagine.

May you grow up in the shade of the Divine with unrestrained joy my lil Yahya! Aameen!

What is Dhulm?

I’ve always read that one of the strong motivators that drive people to achieve is the attitude of ‘showing it to them that I can do it!’, I’ve always felt somewhat lack luster in the face of such enthusiasm because I doubt the credibility of the source of such motivation itself. I’d rather do something because this is how one should be, achieve because any other way to live is to short change oneself, what islamically I’ve come to understand is a form of ‘Dhulm’ upon oneself, to oppress oneself. 

Allah SWT constantly warns us that He does not favor the Dhalimeen, the oppressors. This oppression is always envisioned as something outside of us, political, territorial, religious, etc but I think as a self-reminder I need to put this down, dhulm can come from within oneself. When we fail to check our nafs, when we neglect our souls, when we aren’t completely committed to tasks, relationships, living life to the fullest, there is dhulm happening right there. Subhan Allah!

May Allah SWT Protect me from external and internal oppression and I pray for the entire worlds that they be free from such oppression by the Immense Mercy of Allah SWT. Aameen ya Rabbul ‘Alameen.

Homicidal Posts

Long time ago, I read this in a creative writing how-to- bulleted flyer, ‘Start with anything, even the chair you might be sitting on right now’. So I shall attempt to go homicidal on my procrastinating monster and start with the chair.
It’s a pretty non-committal chair if you look at it, does not make it any easier for me here. It is your regular textbook illustration of a straight-backed chair with ‘CHAIR’ underneath it. But the story it might tell you only if it could. :)

It all begins on a particularly bright day, the day felt alive, if you know what I mean. It was the day I was lined up to meet this one ‘suitable boy’, the alarming ‘prospective’. heretofore, I had ranted and raved about the ‘traversities’ (traverse+adversity- (personal sic!)) of a matrimonial mart but I was being dragged into it sullen and mostly rude. Everybody kept tsking at this behaviour, especially the ones who were under the illusion that I was a ‘good girl’ which automatically equates to charming acquiescence to anything proposed by the elders.

On this day, I was ready for him, he didn’t know what was coming his way! Wants to meet me, does he? Oooh, regret will be something that he’ll warm up to over the course of our meeting. I rubbed my hands in glee (every such apparent display occurs mentally of course- Ally McBeal has got nothing on me). I took extra care with my attire, patiently switching from one to another, until finally the family settled on the perfect coming together of colors, the perfect Abaya with the perfect scarf, draped in just that way. No matter the flourishes, I still had a chipped tooth to show. Like the static screech in the middle of a good scene, the tooth was a memento from an overzealous match sometime during middle school. I ‘Hah!ed’ with passion when I last checked my reflection in the mirror. The tooth shall speak for itself.

As I approached the designated hotel archway, I didn’t feel so sure. WHAT was I doing here? and that was the only intelligent string of words in my head that played over and over again until I was seated in front of the smiling lad. At least, I thought he was smiling, having most inconveniently forgotten the lens and being forbidden to wear the glasses, I just realized that the much angstipated (sic) meet was to be with a smiling blur.

I responded with what in my books should pass for a smile. I ahemmmed a couple of times, the lad wasn’t speaking up to begin the tirade as I had planned with a direct opening from the blur. I ahemmmed some more, clearly awaiting the demise of my well prepared argument. The blur was still smiling. Annoyance. Much.

I’d have to take things into my own hands then. ‘You had a few questions for me?’, I asked in what I thought was my best frosty voice. It came out sounding more shaky than I’d ever care to admit.
‘Questions?’, the blur asked in a perplexed voice. ‘Yes, questions. That was the purpose of this meeting, yes?’, I asked slowly, in my reason-with-the- toddler voice.

Random

What is with with wispy voices and delivering the truth in that level tone? I could never talk about something close to my heart without a pitch that went *khirrrr* on the ears. Noam Chomsky, I need lessons.

Giving people too much importance has gotten me no where, except for the healthy amount of scepticism that I reserve for everybody’s vehement convictions and that has served me well.

I must still learn to live that one profound hadith of the Prophet(peace be upon him), ‘Overlook’. That’s just one word but it teaches a lesson so deep that encompasses a whole life of wise, compassionate and enriched living, only if I can master it now.

Life should always be on a ‘more than this’ quest but never on an ungrateful latitude.

Rightfully Yours

I love the header! :) Give it up for Zaufishan for the colors and her awesome Muslimness! :D

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