Saturday, December 20, 2008
This verse pulled at me today, while flipping through the Quran, and although to understand it, you need to know that the preceding verse talks about repentance, and how God wants to accept it from us, however following our desires (hey look at that... it seems to be a recurring theme so far) causes us self-inflicted deviation.
So, what was I thinking when this verse popped up at me? A couple of things. First, I was thinking... this burden is not light!!! In my head, I was like 'you have to be kidding', but then I remember something fatima (my friend) said to me, and yes this is paraphrasing, she said: That true, God doesn't burden a soul more than they can handle, but people can burden themselves in their woes and that can be too much for themselves. And well, it's true, God does wish to lighten our burdens, but we're weak, and burdens can come in the form of wolves in sheep clothing. Desires are appealing, but succumbing to them can have crazy triggered reactions, and those can be insanely burdensome. God saves us these burdens by simply abstinence (refraining from over-indulging in our desires).
Your desires are not only a personal thing, but they can effect society at large. A decision I may make, can reciprocate into the lives of other people. I might decide today to pull an all nighter, I get in a car accident that totals my car and detrimentally hurts the other driver. This other driver, even though was participating in the accident and reacting to the situation, had nothing to do with my decision to pull an all nighter, yet he was effected (he almost lost his life) by simply me not sleeping enough. (This actually happened in the past)
I'll stop now because I can feel 15 different tangents pulling at me simultaneously, and if i started writing them all down... well.. i'd never stop..
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
I thought about it... I realized that Bush, as he's passing on the presidential torch, is trying to stake a claim. I have a theory, that once the symbolic torch is passed to Obama, give or take a few months, gas prices will rise...
(yes, i know there are other factors to gas prices dropping or rising, but i'm holding all those other factors constant for the sake of this theory)
I honestly don't know what will happen, but I have this feeling that as soon as Obama steps into the white house, maybe a toe through the threshold of a door, gas prices will sky rocket, and people will associate it with him. I hope that's not the case... but enh, what's one gonna do?
I mean, what do I believe in? Honestly, I'm for higher taxes, you know pooled resources to make a better society... but not when the taxes are used for warfare. I mean, sure, you can build better buildings and repave streets, but I'm for a system that collects taxes and allocates it to places that truly need it... That truly need development. I mean, why can't tax collection be used to create jobs?! (you know, rather than taking them away). Okay, I'll stop about the taxes thing, but really... don't be too surprised when gas prices go up... (hopefully it won't, but that's wishful thinking)... why can't we just go green...?
I wish detroit wasn't so far away... if it wasn't, i'd just ride my bike (well my brothers bike) to work/school everyday... hmmmm... maybe when the weather is warm again, I'll just depend on the bike... at least that way, i'll build some much needed muscle, you know, healthier lifestyle.
So, lets all turn to bike riding during the warmer seasons :) (i did do it a couple times to work... and well, i guess showing up at work a bit sweaty isn't that great, but i mean, show up early and get a change of clothes... you'll be fine)
well i managed to get distracted yet again...
by the by, i was in boston last week... and every time i go, it's like a stab past my spinal cord and into my chest... I feel like my greatest loss there was an amazing public transportation system... (sorry friends, but i value a big metallic tube-ish automotive over you). I hope metro-detroit adopts a well coordinated bus and train system. One day, i'll dedicate a whole post just on the pros (and cons) of public transportation. :)
anyway PEACE \\//
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
So, I'm a huge fan of Billy Talent, and honestly if there was a band that spoke the language of my soul, they're the closest thing to it. I know, it sounds weird to say something like that, but they're the one band, that instrumentals and lyrics have totally been in sync with me on all levels. Yeah, I might be punk, rock, emo and all of the above, but they're an amazing band, with such a unique sound, and I hope they continue to do amazing! I can't wait till the newest album comes out!
Anyway, so I was listening some of their songs online, and it's just amazing, so I decided I'd like to just post one.
March on, worker bees!
Know your enemy!
We take our orders given by the queen
We're not the killers, we're the worker bees
If you resist us you will feel our sting
Surrender now before the swarm sets in
Protect the hive from enemies!
Protect the hive from enemies!
Follow the herd mentality!
Can we fight to save our souls?
March on, worker bees!
Know your enemy!
A pollination coming from the west,
And in a flash we will invade your nest
Supply of honey flowing bottomless
Play by our rules or you'll be powerless
Protect the hive from enemies!
Protect the hive from enemies!
Follow the herd mentality!
Can we fight to save our souls?
And we'll march... along, with our blindfolds on
And we'll ride... the rails, with our pistols drawn
Can the Lord... above, forgive what we've done?
Can we fight to save our souls?
And we'll march... along, with our blindfolds on
And we'll ride... the rails, with our pistols drawn
Can the Lord... above, forgive what we've done?
Can we fight to save our souls?
Can we fight to save our souls?
Will we die to save our home?
Anyway, you can clearly see my addiction, they have amazing instrumentals and have these amazing lyrics with these clearly (okay, not always, but their second album was really loaded with political messages)... but anyway. I will never forget that day, when I walked into Brockton mall for a blood drive and met them there, having never of heard of them.... and getting introduced while we're lying there donating blood. Lol. and then went home and googled them, and totally fell in love with their music.
So, rock on billy talent! Cuz I totally posted a whole blog just for you guys.
check out their website at http://www.billytalent.com/
Thursday, October 30, 2008
At first i didn't get it, i honestly never noticed, i just thought band aids were the color they were because they just were (well i grew up with scooby doo band-aids and colorful ones, so i honestly never noticed)... I never realized they were supposed to match skin color (i.e. predominantly white skin color) and I was shocked!!! My professor laughed at me, because I never noticed, he was like "yeah once i cut myself on my forehead, and that band-aid just stood out as a reminder of difference" (not exact quote, but what i could remember of it).
So, I wonder, are band-aids one more example of a band-aid effect not working in our society. Have the issues of race, racial integration and equality been thoroughly discussed and cured, or have they just been hastily covered up with yet another pasty colored band-aid?
I propose we strip the pasty band-aids off, and address the real issue, find the real cure. We are constantly inculcating the "other" mentality within our children. We should be inclusive, regardless of race, class, status, gender, and what not. Exclusiveness is what deteriorates society, because society is all about people coming together! Please, please, please JUST GET OVER YOURSELF! and realize the world surpasses your tiny little bubble of a world.
Lets hope they start selling ebony (as well as other shades) colored band-aids in all stores... lets socialize society a little more effectively... hello it's 2008.... racial equality/respect/so on (in all aspects, including accessibility of band-aids) should be an undeniable truth, not something that is questioned... constantly forcing someone on the sidelines, labeling themselves "the other."
If society persists in this concept of exclusiveness, then we'll never be able to move forward.
I recently found this blog discussing the same exact issue the day before me!!
Monday, September 29, 2008
Update: Islamic Society baffled by incident at worship service
By Kyle Nagel
Saturday, September 27, 2008
DAYTON — Baboucarr Njie was preparing for his prayer session Friday night, Sept. 26, when he heard children in the Islamic Society of Greater Dayton coughing. Soon, Njie himself was overcome with fits of coughing and, like the rest of those in the building, headed for the doors.
"I would stay outside for a minute, then go back in, there were a lot of kids," Njie said. "My throat is still itchy, I need to get some milk."
Njie was one of several affected when a suspected chemical irritant was sprayed into the mosque at 26 Josie St., bringing Dayton police, fire and hazardous material personnel to the building at 9:48 p.m.
Someone "sprayed an irritant into the mosque," Dayton fire District Chief Vince Wiley said, noting that fire investigators believe it was a hand-held spray can.
According to fire dispatch communications, a child reported seeing two men with a white can spraying something into a window. That child was brought to the supervising firefighter at the scene.
Wiley would not discuss that report, but said the investigation has been turned over to police. Police were not commenting.
The 300 or so inside were celebrating the last 10 days of Ramadan with dinner and a prayer session, but the prayer session was interrupted so those suffering from tearing, coughing and shortness of breath could receive treatment.
Wiley said an adult and juvenile were taken to area hospitals and others had their eyes or faces washed on the scene. He did not know how many people were treated at the scene.
Ismail Gula, ISGD secretary, said people were praying during the weekly service when some in the audience began to cough and experience breathing troubles, then left the building. Once outside, several of them called 911, Gula said.
Tarek Sabagh, a member of the ISGD board, wasn't present when the incident occurred.
He said his daughter called and told him to stay away because of the possibility of remaining fumes. Sabagh arrived shortly after and watched from the mosque's steps as members were allowed back inside about 11 p.m. to collect belongings.
"It's very disturbing," Sabagh said. "Something like this has never happened before."
Sabagh said members moved to a Beavercreek school to finish their prayer session as police continued to investigate.
"I don't know if people will have the feeling of trust to come back tomorrow or next week or next month," Sabagh said. "I don't know how people will feel."
Ramadan is the ninth month of the Muslim calendar. During the month, Muslims fast (do not eat) from sunrise to sunset. In the evening and in the morning before the sun comes up, they eat small meals. During this month, they take extra time for family, inner reflection, and spiritual growth.
Contact this reporter at (937) 225-7389 or knagel@DaytonDailyNews.com.
Thursday, September 25, 2008
yesterday I had this conversation... literally... and it just cracked me up... only because sometimes people have no clue... but anyway... I tried to throw it into a poem...
I was asked yesterday if
I was part of the bloods or crips
in class cuz i had a bandanna on, i gripped
tightly to my desk, and felt my mind flip
over, mentally preparing myself for the conversation ahead
neither... I pointed at it and said
'it's black.. is that supposed to stand for something?'
the questioner looked at me funny and laughed
and said 'you aren't black'
skeptically my hand moved away from my head
I eyed him with curiosity, strangling the dead cat
he returned that look filled with question, stare off combat
I mean, how do you respond to with 'you aren't black'
'no shit sherlock, it doesn't take a genius to deduce that'
Instead I shook my head, side to side... and just cracked up
I pointed at my head again and said 'it's a hijab'
Friday, September 12, 2008
soo unbelievably angry that the words "i am not angry, i am anger" spoken/written by Amir Sulaiman makes me feel like he was talking about me in that poem.
Lets hope I don't go into a never ending monologue, but I'd like to say this, even though in almost all my posts, almost my poems that same point is reiterated:
PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE STOP WAITING AROUND FOR EVERYTHING AROUND YOU TO CHANGE, EVERYONE AROUND YOU TO DANCE TO YOUR TUNE, AND THE WORLD TO ADJUST TO YOU.... You need to do something...
I am so annoyed, of people who hurt others, and justify it in their heads. People who hurt themselves (whether physically by cutting, or wasting their means of life) and then expect others to salvage what is left for them. And I am so annoyed with people who turn their backs on one another. The golden rule is golden for a reason.... BECAUSE IT WORKS. If you change yourself first, and treat people the way you want to be treated then the feeling is reciprocated. If you help others, eventually others will help you. If you want change, be the change. If you're angry, (like me) then channel that anger into something worthwhile. There's sooo much in the world that needs to be addressed, you are not the only person in the world with issues. STOP MAKING MORE PROBLEMS FOR OTHER PEOPLE BECAUSE YOU DON'T KNOW HOW TO DEAL WITH THEM YOURSELF. and if someone is trying to help you find a way for YOU to solve your problem (not them solve it for you) then take that help seriously. No one will help you, if you think you're just going to keep on doing what you've been doing all along. Not everyone has a never-ending supply of energizer batteries. Eventually we all crash, we all burn out, we all get tired... eventually we all die. So, stop killing people with your problems, because everyone has their own to solve. And stop complaining about your problems if you aren't going to do anything about them...
Again, I am not angry, I am anger. Thanks Amir Sulaiman, for the words that touched my heart.
Lastly, this doesn't mean you can't turn to people for help, but when people help you, you need to be just as willing to help yourself. I am always available for a shoulder to 'cry' on, for a word of advice, for budgeting problems, scheduling problems, questions on philosophy, and editting, anything that my skills (if any) can be utilized for, I give them to you freely. My only condition is that you genuinely want the help, you genuinely want to change, you genuinely want to stop hurting yourself (first and foremost) and all the others that may have been hurt by your decisions. So, feel free to message me. If you do need help, i honestly don't care what the problem is, I'll try my best, but I'm just so sick of people not facing up to their realities.
Thursday, September 11, 2008
On a side note, did you know if your house gets foreclosed, if your homeless, or get evicted you lose your ability to vote, you're stripped of your citizenship, you lose your American identity in a way.... Hold that thought.
September 11th 7 years later
She sat in the 3rd row, 7th seat in her 10th grade class room
One September morning. She waited as the principal relayed the school news
Instead of hearing about pep rallies, competitions, and student groups
She listened to him talk about crashes, death, towers, deployment of troops
She watched as the TV was rolled in
Cringed at the sight in front of her, goose bumps erupting on her skin
Tears blurred her vision, a dam had broke
She turned to her best friend, who gave her a fearful look
She eyed her English teacher who stood domineering at the front of the class
Who’s eyes stared back at her, cutting, accusing like she caused the crash
From that moment on she knew her future would change
Sighing in surrender, hands extended in front of her, ready to give in, her life would never be the same
Between those 7 years till this very day
She waged verbal war against ignorance, battled psychological demons,
She the knight, ignorance the slay
Her words served on a tray indiscriminately to anyone who would take
Her knowledge and put it to their lips, tasting a drop of wisdom, everything at stake
Her hands were callused from holding wooden signs
Marching through the years, protesting to end the open-ended wars and fights
Her shin-splintered legs carried her through 7 years of time
She spent 7 years in worn out shoes, soles giving out, covered in the grime
She spent 7 years ignoring harassment, ignoring hate crimes
She spent 7 years fighting accusations hurled about her kind
She spent 7 years deconstructing every hurtful lie
She spent 7 years building relationships greater than the infamous twin towers
More complex, more architecturally defined, bringing hope to the hopeless and courage to cowards
Every year she stood carrying a candle into the night
Standing strong in solidarity, unifying under the banner of peace, bringing forth a bit of light
She volunteered to teach those who couldn’t afford to learn
And planted seeds of faith, hope, optimism, in those who thought that life could never turn
Around. And although she was like an energizer bunny, eventually she’d crash and burn
7 years later after all the random checks, searches, keyed cars, slashed tires, she mourned
For the increased warfare, attacks, death, deception, and the futureless youth
She mourned for the insecurity of the masses, the voice of silence, the fear of speaking out the truth
She mourned for the relapse back into the dark ages
Where people blindly attacked, with swords, cannons, guns fueled by hatred
And on this September morning she let her tears fall
For fallen angels, fallen soldiers, falls from grace, fallen women, for it all
Her tears flooded her city, hurricane the world
But no one seem to notice the cries of this hiccupping girl
She stood remembering those who were buried in the earth
Buried with merit, buried forgotten, buried heroes, buried happiness and mirth
Jealous that they didn’t have to witness freedom become a curse,
Witness love become a curse, witness hope become a curse,
Witness hatred and ignorance plague the earth
She wiped away her tears, waiting for her sobs to subside
She walked up to the people gathered, her voice clear, her eyes wide
Reminding her people of these last 7 years, she said:
“I remember a time when water was less abundant that tears.
A time when songs of hope filled the air, rather than battle cry cheers
I remember a time when people were on the rise
Empowering themselves, rather than setting up their demise
And although I stand before, a sister of this era and time
Who stood with you frozen, motionless, seeing the surplus of crime
I also stand before you as a voice to remind
That there is still more pain in the world, it has not died
Under the collapse of the two towers, not buried, it still rampant and alive
There’s still homelessness, bigotry, racism, and lies
There’s still oppression, underpay and healthcare denial
There’s still hate, manipulation, stereotyping and racial profiles
So, I stand before as a witness of these crimes
That happened not only 7 years ago, but before then and till this day, this moment of time
And I ask you to remember all those you have denied
Because injustice is not just a past moment in our time
It is recurrent, current, happening in front of our eyes
So hold that thought closely, tightly to your mind
Because the only battle that should be fought is the one with your soul
By pretending injustice doesn’t happen, remaining aloof, untouched, cold
I ask of you to remember the stories of those left untold
Because injustice is everyday when you don’t hold
She walked away from the stage, away from the crowd gathered
Prayed that change was near, that faith and hope wasn’t shattered
She closed her eyes one last time thinking this was it
Another anniversary of that infamous day, and maybe today would be the day that reality will hit.
Monday, September 1, 2008
I decided to start a second blog that is solely for Quranic reflections/ruminations...
So what does that mean?
I keep a journal (handwritten) where I randomly pick a verse of the Quran and just reflect upon it... I would say that it is NOT a tafseer (scholarly interpretation) of the Quran in anyway, but just the thoughts of day to day struggling Muslim in America.
I started keeping this journal about 3 months ago, because I felt like I was completely disconnected to the book that is supposed to guide my everyday action, my every thought, in essence, my life. Rather than reading huge chunks of it, since I felt like it wouldn't help me developmentally, I started doing this... I guess, I decided, that since I'm on a computer more than not, I should might as well start it as a blog... So, again, I just pick a verse at random and reflect, I could be be wrong... I could be right... God knows, but this is a personal thing where I'm trying to tie my personal faith to my everyday life, to the book that is supposed to guide me till the day of my death...
(oh the translation of the Quran that I typically use is "The Noble Qur'an" by Al-hilali and Muhsin Khan)
so again, i just pick up the quran and flip through till a verse pops out at me....
thanks for reading, and comment away.
Surah Jathiya (45: 23)
'Have you seen him who takes his own lusts (vain desires) as his ilah (god)? And Allah knowing (him as such), left him astray, and sealed his hearing and his heart, and put a cover on his sight. Who then will guide him after Allah? Will you not then remember?'
While I sat there reading this verse, the first thought that popped into my head was this: 'damn... i'm screwed' (and yes, just because these are reflections on the Quran, doesn't mean that I'm gonna start filtering my terminology, well to an extent).. but honestly, more often than not it is our own desires that we follow most, put as our ultimate voice of reason. The interesting thing is, even when you follow the 'desires' of other people, you are in essence following your own desire to be accepted, liked, or whatever you want to call it. The point is this: when you follow your own desires, you lead yourself. When a person follows their own desires they seal their own fate. Meaning, there is only one way or the other (in my personal opinion) you could lead yourself by following your desires or you could lead yourself by following what God wants. Both ways you lead yourself, you just put one opinion over the other.
When you lead yourself in pursuit of your desires, then you become deaf to all that is around you (not literally, but to the voice of spiritual reason). This you do see all the time. Think of the big shot CEO who will do anything to get on top of the food chain. Or the video game addict, who thinks everything in the world is just a game. Or how about that sex fiend, who spreads his potentially sexually transmitted disease, just because he doesn't think it's a biggie because getting some is more important. Or that simple person who justs wants another chocolate bar, and swipes their ATM card for a dollar, and gets charged $36 for the overdraft fee, ect. It isn't about 'really bad stuff' but real stuff. I mean not everyone is going to be an evil CEO person or sex fiend, like in the movies, but everyone has some desires that they put before everything else, without really, truly considering the repercussions of their actions. For example, I personally am addicted to soda (or as michi's say, pop) and if I don't have some, I don't care if I show up half an hour late to work, or chewed off someone's head, spit it out, stomped on it, and then dug it under the ground, I want my soda. Get what I'm saying, it's not evil per se, but I guess the verse is talking about not going into extremes where your desires become the rule of thumb.
Other than a symbolic deafness, one becomes symbolically blind, which is similar to being deaf, you really don't see what's going on around you, you aren't in tune with the rest of the world, you see everything the way you want it to seem.
I think that the scariest aspect of this verse is the concept of your heart being sealed, and the concept of not remembering God. Once your heart is sealed, it seems irreversible. Like 'hi, i'm forever heartless, no one can breach my cold, frozen heart' but the verse actually isn't saying that (in my opinion), but that this is a possibility. The reality of the situation is, when you come across a verse such as this, it is a warning of sorts, telling you that, by following your vain desires, you are sealing your fate, but if at some point you change, you can turn back, and that is through remembrance of God. If you remember God, you found the proverbial key to your locked (sealed) heart. And when you remember God, your desires become secondary.
I don't know, God knows best, but what I am trying to say, is this: the verse hit home because 1) we have a tendency to follow our desires 2) vain desires are a handicapping tool, when they become your primary expression of life 3) the way to unlock your deafness, blindness, and sealed heart is by remembering God. and finally 4) desires aren't necessarily a bad thing, but following them like a blind sheep can lead you straight into the wolf's den.
Sunday, August 24, 2008
So, before I started in political theory/philosophy, I was in love with chemistry. During my senior year of college, I switched from a biochemistry major to a political theory/science major. Totally disassociating with the chemistry between me and chemistry. Recently, i decided to go back and study the sciences and go into pre-med. Blogs, such as the following one, is the result...
So, I was studying the concept of denature/denaturization/denaturation, however the word gets declined, anyway. The concept was new to me, i don't remember ever studying it before, but then again, i don't think i've actually studied in my life before.
Denaturing a protein or nucleotide, means taking the subject and stripping it of it's complex form and letting it fall apart into it's simple form. So, with DNA, you're stripping the double-helix nature of DNA, and letting it become two random floating about strands, no longer functioning, it becomes, in essence coma-ed, a vegetable, alive yet dead.
I realized, being the philosophical geek that I am, that this applies to living human beings. When we are stripped of our complex natures, we're in essence dead. People are made complex for a reason, because it's their nature. Stripping them of their nature, is a denaturalization of their state of being. You might as well rip off their arms and legs, cripple their minds, and what not. Each individual human being is in a state of their own natural disposition, and changing their nature, denaturing them, is like neutering them, they no longer can function.
So, what is this random political theorist-slash-biochemist talking about? The fact that people react just like molecules do. They cannot be denatured, however situations, environments, catalysts can help them function faster, more efficiently, slow them down, ect. But once they are denatured, they lose purpose, they're literally just taking up space.
So, what is the process of denaturing, in biochemistry it's through the breaking of non-covalent bonds, such as ionic bonds, and hydrogen bonds. In human social life, what denatures? Well, honestly, if i knew, i wouldn't be the aspiring philosopher i want to be, since all i know is that i do not know everything. But what aids to the denaturing of human beings? Inhibitors... people who hold you back, whether physically or mentally. Being denatured is breaking the bonds that hold you together, cutting them, being forced to drown in the aftermath.
I hope no one denatures you. And in attempt for that not to happen, lets act as catalysts for people, reinforcing them, helping them, aiding them, rather than inhibiting them. Help them tap into their true nature, harnessing them for them, and letting that natural state of complication play out its God-given role.
Saturday, August 23, 2008
The amazing thing about faith is that, regardless of a person's faith, spirituality always seeps onto you, even for the moment. And i realized, even though for LaTerry, in her poetry, her faith seemed like a safe-haven, somewhere she can easily retreat to, for me, to find my faith it's always a battle. (see my older peice, called a love letter), it always happens that I write my 'spiritual poetry' when i'm feeling down. but as I was sitting there reflecting at the different expressions of faith (like J.Y.'s masterpiece), that's exactly how it'll be, different, accomodating to each different individual.
For me, I am in constant angst, you hear it alot in my poetry, things like 'i am frustration'... and well, me and my faith, well i know i love God, I know i love Islam, because it just seems so intune with everyone, regardless of the stereotypes put out by the media, for me, my faith will always be an internal struggle, a fight, and that's just who i am... and i guess this is a piece on what that struggle might look like.
I don't know how to wrap my mind around this, let alone my words
I'm running head on into battle, without a shield, and a blunted sword
Hearing banshee shrieks erupt from my throat
as I face off my demons, in my imaginary world
internal warfare, mind versus soul
skipping over a tight rope walk between reality and the unseen
anonymously wanted, convicted by angels in my dreams
someone holds me in the palm of their hand
and places me on the life-sized rubber band
sling shotted, out of the realm, out of where i pretended to be
thinking that i am everything that i appear to be
but I realize that I'm restless, pained, and in fear
because everything i was taught in Sunday school, is starting to come clear
I walk like a kid, face painted at a carnival
holding cotton candy, as my sugary arsenal
stuck in a cookie monster complex,
that i'll always have easy access to the jar
by putting out a fierce image, scruffy, blue, scarred
scared, to hand over my heart's 4 chambers
for something beyond, what my eyes can see,
what my fingers can feel,
beyond taste and smell, and what my ears hear
and far beyond what my imagination is worth
because i took a silent oath before my birth
which implanted itself in my unbeating heart
made it's way through my nerve endings
pumped away through my arteries and veins, more beautiful that Mozart
i attempt to resist this, what i see as an invasion on my soul
something that is beyond my comprehension, far beyond my control
and although i started off militarily, fighting for control
I relinquish it, step aside, and take on the measly role of
patrolling my innermost thoughts, but never understanding their words
because speaking to myself, is like speaking English in Creole
I feel like a gypsy walking on hot coal
giving off the air of fascination, when my feet are burning at their soles
feeling like a doppelganger, fighting for the fleshy body, to inhabit. this soul
makes its way, past the fighting and screams of my mind
past the rivers and pastures of this life
past the crosses and nooses and the strife
past the doctors, nurses, and midwives
who attempt to salvage what is left of me
because my EKG reads, not one beep
my heart beat stilled waiting for the skin deep
exorcism of my doubts and creeps
and the resurrection of my faith from sleep
the water is thrown in my face,
an epiphany is at hand, about to take place
and my faith makes way to it's rightful place
back to my heart, which is connected to my nerves and veins
which wrap around my organs and brain
and I realize that my limbs no longer resist me
no longer fight me,
cuz the battle was fought clumsily
the flag of surrender was raised quickly
and I inhale everything much more sweetly
because my heart is beating involuntarily, voluntarily
with a purpose beyond me
my heart is beating
la i- llaha-illah-Allah
in unison with everything
because this is a test of alchemy
since my soul is merging with everything
my heart beats in unison
with the winds caress on the trees
the suns evaporation of tears
the clouds shading of fears
the birth, death and rebirth of nature's green
my heart beats
and i just gave up what i thought was everything
for what is truly everything
abandoned my pride,
laid my shield to the side
yielded, even though i fought it my whole life
my heart beats
for those who don't know what 'la illaha illah Allah' means, it means "there is no God but God"
Saturday, July 12, 2008
Begin time 9:10am
Consider this statement: Men are dependent on circumstances, not circumstances on men. (Herodotus)
Write a unified essay in which you perform the following tasks. Explain the meaning of the above statement. Describe a specific situation where circumstances might be dependent on individuals. Discuss what you think determines whether or not individuals are dependent on circumstances or vice versa.
The statement "Men are dependent on circumstances, not circumstances on men" by Herodotus is one that puts faith in something beyond human control. He states that men are subject to the circumstances, situations, and conditions they already exist in rather than create the conditions around them. It almost seems that Herodotus is pointing in the direction that humans have no control over the conditions they are in, something like divine will, or control is some other fashion holds the reigns. But nevertheless, there are times when circumstances could be made by people. For example, a student who cheats on an exam, and gets caught rendering him 'failed', creates such a circumstance for himself, it was his own act of recklessness, that let him take the risk to cheat and get caught. Nevertheless, Herodotus would argue that there existed a circumstance before his act of cheating that lead him to cheat, such as lack of studying, delinquency, a broken home, a busy schedule, a job, or some other condition that forced the student to cheat , and therefore made him dependent on the circumstance.
I believe that arguing whether men are dependent on circumstance or circumstances on men, is just as inconsequential as arguing whether the chicken or the egg came first. There is no real way to know. A circumstance can be a product of a person's action, which in turn could have been a reaction to a prior circumstance and so on. There is no true notion of which is undoubtedly the independent variable since they both actively bounce off one another. Therefore, I would argue that men depend on circumstances while circumstances depend on me.
Consider this statement: The voluntary death by which a man puts an end to intolerable suffering is really an act of redemption (Ernst Heinrich Haeckel).
Write a unified essay in which you preform the following tasks. Explain what you think the above statement means. Describe a specific situation in which the voluntary death by which a person put an end to intolerable suffering would not be an act of redemption. Discuss what you think determines the choice of voluntary death in the face of human suffering.
The statement : "The voluntary death by which a man puts an end to intolerable suffering is really an act of redemption" is a loaded and broad statement. First, one would need to know what voluntary death means. Is it suicide, homicide, the death penalty, ect? Do we know who the executioner is? Is it the one committing suicide, an outside party, the person suffering at the hands of another, a murderer, an opposing enemy combatant, or a government? Again, we would need to know what the conditions of intolerable suffering, is it a physical, mental, or spiritual suffering, Is it a whole group of people suffering, an individual, or an ideal? Finally, the question of what redemption is being applied for. If all these quetions were specified with a specific answer, then maybe the concept could be true.
Assuming that Haeckel meant voluntary death is the killing of a person who is causing you to suffer in order to save yourself, would that be a justifiable action? Would it be okay for me to kill my neighbor's dog, since at odd hours of the night it barks like a banshee under attack, causing me to lose out on sleep. Would I not be redeemed, saved from the suffering of lack of sleep the very next day, if the barking dog was killed? The thought is atrocious, but according to Haeckel it is completely justifiable , based on his statement.
The quote makes any act of taking a human (or in general) life justifiable. Morality is something that differs from person to person, culture to culture, and religion to religion. Therefore, the quote is loaded with very loose terms that can be defined virtually up to the individual who wants to kill. The life of a person should not be subject to the justifications of others, or even a person's own deluded sense of justification at times. I believe that nothing determines the choice of voluntary death in the face of human suffering, because we were all born to live, to endure and tolerate hardships and suffering, and to adapt to life. Even Jesus, who in Christian faith, is believed to have been killed, sacrificed for the spiritual suffering of mankind, did not choose voluntary death to ease suffering, he was forced into it. (Although in Islamic tradition, we do not believe that he died, and each person self-redeems himself) Nothing justifies voluntary death for human suffering.
Finish Time 9:49am-- comment away... I need feedback... I'm taking the MCAT on September 13th and need to work on my brain skills....
Saturday, July 5, 2008
This is a random reflection on the fourth of july and the issue of fireworks and what not.
The other day, I was sitting on my porch watching fireworks... well maybe not.. but they're kind of hard not to watch, which is precisely the point of this email.
I sat outside, where I was actually watching fireflies, buzzing in and out, flying around like snowflakes, lighting up and dimming out, and I was thinking about how amazing they were. SubhannaAllah, I felt like they were the most serene creatures in the world. I went about thinking that their light will never run out until the moment they die. Sure it fades in and out, but the light is there nevertheless.
All of a sudden, explosions of thunder started to echo into my ears. Then lights broke the calm in the dark sky, and instead of the downpour of rain that I expected (given the i'm in michigan and summer thunderstorms are to be expected) fireworks lighted, to the brightness of day, then went out. It got me thinking, about the contrast of what i had just noticed. Fireflies, they dim in and out, but the light is something that is consistent. They buzz in a low voice, almost silent, but their presence is welcomed, calming, maybe even preferred. A feel of serenity engulfs you and your mind takes on an optimistic turn. Fireworks, well lets just they're bright one moment, and out the next. They're loud as heck. And I think I was at my wit's end when the ominous *BOOM* deafened my ears. Sure fireworks look pretty, but it comes with so much baggage. Loud noise, lighting them up, cleaning up their remains afterwards.
It made me think about people. Some people are like fireflies, seeping in and out, their light remains, and have a gentle calming optimistic, beautiful effect. While others are explosive, exciting, scary, pretty and elusive. I fell in love with fireflies, for the first time in the history of my life, because they reminded me of people who I see with amazing levels of Iman, consistent, and loving. And i felt a revulsion for fireworks for the first time in my life, because it reminded me of people who are short tempered, shallow, and well scary.
I'm not saying that people with firework like personalities are a bad thing, i mean i'm somewhat of an angry/explosive/short-tempered person. Maybe it's not about people at all, but life.
What I'm saying is, don't fall for the temporary. I guess, life is like fireworks.. pops up one moment, scary, exciting, beautiful, loud, but it'll end at the blink of an eye. Iman, i would say, are more like fireflies, around, consistent, dimmed and bright. When the fireworks go off, you lose sight of all the fireflies. blinded in the moment and what not.
i'll stop there for my fireworks/fireflies comparison and move along to another threat of thought
Yesterday, instead of going and watching fireworks (which i've done maybe once in my life) i went to an open mic/slam. The turn out was minimal, but i still loved it. People were there, preforming about the issues that meant the most to them. And again, i felt like i was seeing true beauty, mental fireworks. People's idea's sparking the atmosphere, moving people, exciting them, caressing their psyche. I felt that embracing true freedom, independence, and happiness, had lay within the confines of a small coffee shop. I felt like, everyone wasn't blinded by the pretty works of the world/life, but the movement towards something greater. In that room, I felt like people, rather than sitting around and watching other lights, were harnessing, feeding, and growing their own lights within themselves. So, why go for the superficial, when the real thing lies within reach, all you need to do, is tap into it.
again, you're probably thinking, what the heck is this random girl talking about?? I honestly am not sure myself. All I know is that, contrary to what people believe independence/freedom does not lie within a written scrolled declaration. Nor is it provided by other people. It is God given. After that, only you hold yourself back from being truly free.
While I was sitting in that cafe, on the night of freedom and independence, I felt a widening within my chest. I felt like, even though I was one of 3 muslims who attended the event, everyone in that room was on a path of self-freedom, self-reflection, and self-expression. Everyone outside of that room (well to an extent) who sat and watched fireworks all night long, well i felt like they were being blinded by the temporary prettiness of the fireworks, making them sell out their freedom. Allahu 'alam
I guess i went off for a bit, but khadigah told me to be my little old self when i emailed out on my-net, and i decided to reflect away.
Anyway, I hope you all enjoyed your day of freedom. because their's 364 more days that, i guess, aren't as free... unless you free your self internally.
Jazakum Allahu khairan
Saturday, June 28, 2008
I submitted this to a couple of places... and it never got posted... :x so i decided to post it onto my blog. I wrote my response literally the day after reading Obama's speech after he gave it. Honestly, I was frustrated.. and yes, this was before he told muslim women not to stand behind him during his campaign.... then apologized... (don't get me wrong.. i like obama... but you'd have to read on to get what i'm trying to say)
I write this article, not in anyway to condemn Senator Barack Obama for his speech made on March 18th of 2008, but rather to point out some difficulties regarding our American population. Senator Obama alluded to the fact that through narrating our stories to one another, one will be able to recognize differences, yet move towards the same goal. He calls our goal “a more perfect union”. He relays his story as being only one of many that people may identify with, yet as being very exclusive to the United States of America. He feeds the nation self worth, through these statements, but nevertheless, gives a remedial injection, mentioning that “words on a parchment would not be enough to deliver slaves from bondage”. Senator Obama gives his speech in order to defend himself against claims that have been circulating the media. Issues that may reflect him in a negative light, nevertheless, he casts a whole population of people into a similar shadow. What is going on?
Senator Obama is a leader, who is heavily influenced by his experiences, proposing solutions to an open-ended list of problems. He attempts to parallel his narrative of experiences to great American leaders such as Frederick Douglass, Abraham Lincoln, and Dr. King. Yet, his narrative goes haywire half way through his speech. Being a political leader who does not fit into the structured norm he must constantly be backed into a corner on the defensive. Senator Obama describes himself as being half black half white, raised both in a poor nation yet experiencing some of the best education, he places himself in the shoes of almost every person in the world. His speech seeks to unify the masses under the ideology that we all are working towards the same goal. He attempts to reconcile the differences, similar to Lincoln’s tactics of using religious rhetoric to unify the masses, but places a racial twist, nonetheless his attempts are self-destructing. Yes, we can be unified under a patriotic nation, a union, and work towards the same goals, yet his speech bends into becoming one of religious pedigree. Senator Obama is forced to defend himself against the allegations and rumors center himself based on being a Muslim. He is forced to strip himself from his father’s religious ideology of Islam, or what he calls “radical Islam”. The question is then, why do so in such an extreme?
Senator Obama sought to break the stereotypes that surrounded him about being affiliated in a black Christian nationalist movement, once statements made by Reverend Jeremiah Wright were publicized and linked to Obama. It is as though Obama wants to unite the people under the “union” regardless of race, yet if one falls into a category of being a Muslim or a Black Christian Nationalist, they suddenly cannot be a patriotic people, cannot adequately unite with others under a movement towards “a more perfect union.” In attempting to deconstruct stereotypes perpetuated in the media about himself, he reconstructs a whole new stereotype without even truly realizing it. Senator Obama, who has been heavily advocated for within the Muslim or the Black Christian Nationalist population are now being alienated do to his self-inflicted segregation of religious ideology. Senator Obama does not realize, that the majority of the political and religious leaders within the Muslim community and the Black Christian Nationalist community advocate for the same ideals he proposes, but are now excluded from reaping the benefits of the common good. He creates an “us versus them” mentality, just because of the sound bite caught from the words “radical Islam”.
I believe that in order for his speech to actually seek to unite the people, Senator Obama cannot use rhetoric that seems religiously exclusive. Yes, he may combat the rumors circulating about being a Muslim or coinciding with the ideologies publicized on Reverend Wright, but he cannot create a new stereotype. It is a simple as stating “I am not a Muslim” rather than labeling the Muslim population as “radicals”. We are in a point of time where the American public need to understand each others stories, just as Senator Obama relayed, that in order to overcome stereotypes and move towards “a more perfect union” differences must be recognized, biases must deconstructed, and the people need to build coalitions, networks, and ties regardless of race, gender, and religious affiliation, towards the betterment of society. I appreciate Senator Obama’s relaying of his story, because it makes the American public understand him a bit more, but it should not be done at the expense of excluding a whole category of people. We are an American public, regardless of race or religious ideology, and our goal is for the betterment of the society for the common good of all the American population.
Sunday, June 15, 2008
in time, in air, in fear
of everything for everyone, everywhere
Like i just backed up into a traffic jam
road blocked state of mind
stuck in a perpetual purgatory of hurt
Skidding, spiraling, sliding, slumping into an self-created inferno
Only to be burnt by lighting both sides of the candle
Lack of control, with no real handle on life
Bungee jumping into a symphony of self pity
Every smack against the dried ground like the beating of drums
Or is it my heart beating, thumping, pumping
Or did I rip out my mind
only to feel my vertebrae echo like the crack of a whip
As I continue to slip out of reality
And dip into a delusional fantasy
So that I don't have to deal with life
Because every morning is like a bolus shot
Of numbness crawling up my left arm
And my vicodin to ease the pain is the ninth stop at the coffee shop
Tuned back into being a machinated piece of the system
No thoughts, no words, no actions
Silence, the companion of static on this radio station
Our emotions as fickle as channel surfing
Suicide bomber click
Shop lifting click
Alligator bites click
Health care kills click
Play station upgrade click
Drive by click
Hunger strike click
Union fights click
Mother dies click
Guns sold click
Teenage rape click
Heroine addict click
Terrorist rampage click
Plastic surgery click
Child molested click
Prada the new click
Summer snow click
Cure to aids click
Britney fakes click
Obama's race click
Till the only constant to stick is the mind on autopilot
Because everyone is ADHD, and OD'd on Ritalin
While society creates a tunnel vision
Of what to follow, and anyone out on the periphery
Is blasphemously a threat to the very nature of humanity
The focus hones into only one clarity
Homogeneity is the source of all good
And defying the norm, means you're misunderstood
Knowing the truth, makes you a crook
And history is only one more fairytale book to be told
So that along with our minds, our bodies can be sold
Into a slavery of forgotten self-worth
And as the process continues we become processed goods
Sold over the counter, till all you could do
Is wait on the shelf for someone to acknowledge you
Maybe pat you on the head, give you a gold star
Because you forgot about how messed up the world is so far
You deleted memories of racism and pride
You were debooted, misplacing all the truths you had to hide
Downloaded a virus that made you forget
How Palestinians were stripped of their identity
Just as blacks were robbed of their identity
Just like Arabs are stereotyped by their identity
Just like natives were raped of their identity
Just like Hispanics were pillaged of their identity
Just like the Irish were forced to water down their identity
Just like Muslims are coerced to compromise their identity
Just like youth are told to give up their identity
So, even though I'm spiraling down into oblivion
I leech out the poison their IV-ing into my skin
I break my knees so I can get down and pray
For me not to succumb to their mainstream ways
Yeah, my problems chuck me down into self-hate at times
But at least I'm not one more figure stuck in the regulated lines
Because my motto is "speak your mind"(Feel free to leave comments you wild people you...)
Sunday, June 1, 2008
I am going insane with boredom... I want to do something fun.
I'm meeting up with my cousin in about half an hour at the university of Aleppo.. ooooh the excitement... actually... that is not sarcasm.
Okie I'm gonna go... because i'm supposed to leave in 2 minutes.
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
This is a random post .. and just a set of reflections I'd like to share.
So, I was listening to surat Al-asr (which means the appointed time), and usually, this surah is quoted in order to emphasize the importance of time... So, I started looking into the translation/tafseer of it... and somethign hit me like 'whoa'.
Surat al-asr is a God given mini yet comprehensive version of '7 habits of highly effective people' or books that GUARANTEE success... and you just need to look at the six things mentioned in the surah...
2- impending loss for mankind (except!!!.....)
3- Those who BELIEVE
4- and do Good deeds
5- and encourage the truth
6- and encourage patience
Those six things are the most essential factors of success, whether its "dunyawi"(within this life) success or success in the hereafter...
So, lets look at this in a 'business' mentality.
The first element of a successful business is the ability to work with time, meeting deadlines, creating deadlines, getting up early, working late... setting priorities and so on.. You're working with time!!! There has never been a successful business that didn't revolve around efficient time planning. Now, back to surat Al-Asr, Allah (swt) is giving an oath by His creation time... You know how Allah (swt) grants rights for everything?! Animals, trees, other human beings have rights upon one another? What is the rights that Time has on us as human beings?! Islamically, we cannot abuse time, because we are breaching it's rights, we are abusing a creation of Allah (swt)... So, in a business world... they say TIME is MONEY!!! meaning don't waste it... but how about outside this business world? are we granting Time the rights it has upon us, or do we neglect its importance, like a stray cat begging for a bowl of milk.
The second element of a successful business is to know that you are a potential loser. No business man starts off cocky... they have to work their way up... and even when they make it to the top of the business world, one mistake can lead to a suit that pulls away everything they worked for. It doesn't even have to be business related... the business man could accidentally disregard courtesy 'laws' and walk into a person, the person suddenly falls and breaks their leg, and your top of the line business man is suddenly a broke bum singing over fire lit garbage cans.
So, what does this mean Islamically for us, well cockiness should never be on our agenda, we need to recognize the potential slippery slope that may confront us... We need to be cautious and prudent. We need to recognize that there is always a potential for failure, because everything is beyond our control without recognizing the framework in which the world works... i.e. Allah (swt)'s world
The third element of a successful business is the belief in the business. You believe in the business and that is why you are willing to dedicate your time, and confront risks, if that belief did not exist, than your goals will be short lived. How about what Allah (swt) is telling us?! well He's telling us that belief is essential for success, other wise, we would already slip into the slippery slope of failure... moving forward is essentially pointless without faith, without belief, without conviction in what you're working for.
The fourth element of a successful business is the action, being able to take wise decisive action. It is not enough that you believe in your business, and plan your time and plan for defenses against the potential failures, but you need to execute! otherwise, everything will be left hanging, your call will be left rotating, stuck in queue, in an never ending circle of inaction. Of course we know that Allah (swt) mentions plenty of times in the Quran 'Believe and Do good deeds', just as He reminds us to do so in surat al-asr. :)
The fifth element is encouraging truth.. In a business, if you and your staff cannot be honest, then no one will be on the same page, and everyone will be holding each other back. Truth is essential for a working body for success. People must be able to be honest and upfront about everything. They must be willing both to receive and give honest constructive criticism. Competition is ineffective if people cannot be honest with one another. Often we find in business, people start competing with one another, under-handing one another, and eventually we find that their success is short lived. However, people who do honest-to-God work, well their success is based on a foundation without loopholes, without excuses, without falsifications, without faults (in a moral sense). Their foundation does not have the cracks that weaken it, because their honesty and truth fill in all the gaps. Allah (swt) says the same thing about us, He tells us in this ayah, that we need to ENCOURAGE truth, not only apply it in our lives, but in those around us as well. Because doing so will fill in the cracks and gaps between the brothers and sisters in Islam. Honesty will strengthen their relationship with one another and with Allah (swt). Honesty in words and actions leads to no contradictions (again morally :) )
The final sixth element is encouraging patience, not only applying it to your selves, but encouraging an atmosphere of patience. It the business world, if you are not patient, then the people you work with will feed off of your impatience and react in the same manner you do. Nevertheless, patiences does not mean passivity. One doesn't sit back when their company is falling off a cliff and says, well theres nothing i can do about it.. NO!!! Patience in the business world means action till you're six feet under. Inaction is not patience, it is reluctance. Patiences is WORKING WITH WHAT CARDS YOU ARE DEALT WITH! :) while maintaining a healthy working atmosphere. So, what is Allah (swt) encouraging in this ayah, well not only to be pleased with what Allah (swt) has given you, but for you to work as hard as you can, and get the people around you to work as hard as they can, in order to attain success.
These six elements are the factors that add up to success, whether it is success in the dunya (this life) and akhira (the after life). So, why did i talk about the business world? because we all live in some sort of equivalent to the business world, either as a worker or consumer. Now a day, success is based upon books written by 'successful business men'.. Yet, their books contain no more than what Allah (swt) taught us within a short surah of about 3 verses... now think about the other 113 surahs in the quran...
SubhannaAllah (glory to God), I don't know why this surah struck me so strongly today, well i kind of do, because i've been having problems with work and school, but subhannaAllah, Allah gives us the solution to everything. We probably read this surah 75% of the time during the week for our prayers, but does it really mean until a brick hits you in the face, knocks out your two front teeth, and suddenly something dawns on your that you felt like you've been looking over an entire life time....
Anyway, this post is just to say this... success is spelled out for you in surat Al-'asr...
hopefully i didn't say anything contradictory to the teachings of the prophet or the message of Allah in the Quran
Jazakum Allahu khairan (May God bless you)
Asalamu alaikum (peace)