| Faded. A blurry speck of memory at the back of your mind. You pick at it, trying to make sense of it. It nags you. You desperately recall all files stored in the dust of a universe of impressions, to set your mind at rest. But too late. The file you’re looking for has already been despatched into an archaic doom. Scattered. Lost.
When the heart quivers, and the eye tears..
I miss you, despite never laying eyes on you.
I love you, even if I never get the chance to embrace you.
“It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for, and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing.
It doesn’t interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dream, for the adventure of being alive.
It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon. I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow, if you have been opened by life’s betrayals or have become shriveled and closed from fear of further pain!I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it or fade it, or fix it.
I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own, if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, to be realistic, to remember the limitations of being human.
It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me is true. I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself; if you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul…
I want to know if you can see beauty even when it’s not pretty, every day,and if you can source your own life from its presence.
I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine, and still stand on the edge of the lake and shout to the silver of the full moon, “Yes!”
It doesn’t interest me to know where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get up, after the night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone, and do what needs to be done to feed the children.
It doesn’t interest me who you know or how you came to be here. I want to know if you will stand in the center of the fire with me and not shrink back.
It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom you have studied. I want to know what sustains you, from the inside, when all else falls away.
I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.”
–Oriah Mountain Dreamer
In an alternative universe, everything would be different.
In an alternative universe, I wouldn’t have been silly in my younger years, I wouldn’t have abused my intelligence – I wouldn’t have missed out on all the golden opportunities. I’d be in Oxford, PhD-ing, living, worshipping.
In an alternative universe, I would have learnt what it meant to ‘discover yourself’, before allowing others to discover you, categorise you, and label you. I’ll embrace my strengths, cultivate my passions – and live the way I need to in order to flourish. I’ll know that it’s me and only me who can make me a better person. I know that my success is reliant on me and only me (after God). I’ll know that it’s me and only me who needs to make me content and happy. That it’s me and only me who can pressurise me, encourage me, and love me, first. And that – in an alternative universe – would make me appreciate me more.
In an alternative universe, I’ll find God again, and start anew. Alone. In an alternative universe, I would be able to worship him the way I need to, without being questioned or challenged. In an alternative universe, my faith in Him, would be ceaselessly endless. I would find Him in every corner of the world, in all my travels, in every journey, in every step, whisper, glance.
In an alternative universe, I, as a separate entity, void of all appendages and baggage, would exist.
| If an image of (Prophet) Muhammad was gradually elaborated and transmitted from one generation to another, so was that of the community he founded.
– A History of the Arab Peoples, Albert Hourani
Sometimes people will put you down, time after time, doubting you and your abilities, and you just have to grow a stronger skin and show them what you’re made out of.
They’ll shake your will power, cast doubt in your fragile esteem and say they’re doing it for the best. They’ll interfere, they’ll cry when you want them to laugh with you, and remain brick hard when you cry.
They’ll treat you like a child, they’ll take your matters into their own hands, they’ll make you feel dependent-not-quite-there- full of mistakes and have no say in your future – these people you just have to block off. Nod, smile, and block off.
It’s your future, your life, your destiny. You make of it what you want.
When people don’t celebrate your celebrations with you – forget them. When people try to stamp on your head and impose their lifestyle onto you – block them.
Then prove them wrong. One day they’ll come back to you, biting their fingers with regret after seeing how their hard attitude hardened the softest person, and after seeing what you’re made out of and what you’ve achieved.
You’re made to do great things. Don’t let anyone or anything put you down.
Often when I try pointing out the inconsistency of people’s support to certain causes, or the blatant hypocrisy, or even just the negligence of some – I get faced back with defensive rhetoric ‘reminding’ me that it’s not a ‘who has suffered most’ contest between countries, or how ‘immature and selfish’ I happen to be — or even how naive I am for buying into Israeli propaganda who are trying to ‘divert the world’s attention from 66 years of terrorism to Assad’s destruction in Syria’.
And you know what, it’s funny, because these very people are campaigners and activists and and and.. yet they can’t for a second step in my shoes and try to understand what I’m saying.
The irony is that I’m trying to make the exact same point they’re using against me – that no struggle is above another, so treat them equally. Don’t support action on one and completely neglect the other. The selective support and ‘superiority’ or causes is rampant in our community, and pretty obvious too, so there’s no point denying it. So instead of jumping to the defense without understanding the other person’s view properly, stop a second, and contemplate. What I’m saying may well make sense at that point.
As for the whole Zionist agenda thing – I’ll tell you about Zionism. Zionism can only survive if all around it is chaos, and so plunging Syria 5000 years back into darkness, destruction and instability is exactly the medicine it needs to keep going, and what better way to further destabilize the region when all eyes are turned away, focusing elsewhere? I’m not saying the situation in Palestine is only a show to give Assad time, but what I am saying is that the ‘Israeli propaganda’ you’re telling a Syrian whose family is being massacred in Syria to ‘not buy’ is exactly the same propaganda you’re buying in to. And if you truly practiced what you preach about all Muslims in world being ‘one Ummah’, you’ll realise how what’s happening in Gaza is intrinsically intertwined with what’s happening in Syria at the moment, and Egypt for that matter too – and you’d support them all equally, just like an Ummah.
But it matters not. For someone to scold another person who has lost family in the most gruesome way in the name of campaigning for others who have lost family in the same way – in a different country, shows the level of maturity, competence and compassion they have. May God forgive you.
May God forgive you. Had today been a bad day, my duaa would have been worse. But I’m learning. I’m learning to keep my cool and respond in a better way, and not stoop down to the level of those accusing, blaming, and not having the understanding to step into other people’s shoes, nor become a ‘low’ person, as someone, not long ago, called me.
Taking a break from social media – I was forced to come back when someone told me 1000 Syrians were killed by Assad and ISIS in one day last week.
Twitter refuses to sign me in, so I search the statistic to double check the exact date of the massacre, and find similar tweets about ‘1000 Syrians killed in one week!’ for almost every week of this year since January.
Of course, we know that this hasn’t just been going on for half a year, but almost 4 years now.
I’d like to thank our politicians for resigning over our governments policy on Syria.
I’d like to thank Galloway for his heartfelt words and support.
I’d like to thank the BBC, ITV and every other news network bringing us the latest news on Syria.
I’d like to thank everyone taking instant support – be it thousands on the streets of London or instant NUS/SU action and lobbying.
I’d like to thank every Muslim whose blood boils every time a single Syrian is killed unjustly by Assad or ISIS.
I’d like to thank everyone. A deep heartfelt thank you for making us feel remembered, valued, and cared for.
And last but not least, I’d like to thank every single person who will read this and commend me for my bitterness, my selfishness, and lack of understanding of the ‘bigger picture’ which makes it much harder for them to support and remember my massacred family in Syria.
A huge thank you to you all.
| The Qur’an does not regard women as an appendage of men, but as distinct beings, each called individually, just as are men.
The Muslim men and the Muslim women; the believing men and the believing women; the men who are obedient [to God] and women who are obedient [to God]; the men who are truthful and women who are truthful; the men who are persevering and patient and the women who are persevering and patient; the men who give alms and the women who give alms; the men who are humble and the women who are humble; the men who fast and the women who fast; the men who guard their chastity and the women who guard their chastity, and the men who remember God much and the women who remember God much – God has prepared for them forgiveness and a great reward.
~ The Holy Qur’an, 33:35
I just published by 70th post on my blog wishing everyone a Eid Mubarak – and this post, is dedicated to you my Syria.
This is the seventh Eid you experience – in turmoil.
The seventh Eid you’ve been showered with the blood of your martyrs, purified in thick red, dressed with the smell of their musk.
The seventh Eid you’ve witnessed, in the shade of 200,000 martyrs gazing down at you, from the heavens.
The seventh Eid, Syria. The seventh Eid.
I weep for your newborns, who don’t know the meaning of Eid.
I weep for your children, who don’t run the streets and dress neatly, sleep excitedly, awaiting the big day.
I weep for your orphans, who ask for gifts greater than our understanding, who ask for their parents back, on Eid.
I weep for the wife, whose husband’s whereabouts remains unknown, who hides her tears and broken heart, comforting her children with a brave smile.
I weep for the husband, whose wife raped, killed, and disfigured. His children cry at night for their mother’s care and touch, and he weeps silently for his life-long partner – the mother of his children’s comfort, secrecy, and presence.
I weep for the parents, who almost blinded by tears, look for their children in every corner and alleyway with fading hope they remain alive.
And for every brother and sister, mother and father, son and daughter, wife and husband, every person who has lost their beloved – unable to spend this blessed day with them – just one last time.
I weep out of helplessness. My lack of understanding of what you go through. My intolerance and selfishness. My ignorance.
I know nothing of your struggle.
I own nothing of your courage.
But I pray, I pray that soon the gunfire will stop. The rain will cease to be red. The flowers will blossom, and the children will smile again.
I pray that Eid day will be celebrated again, truly, and genuinely, with heart-felt laughter, sunshine, and jasmine.
I pray that happy little feet will run across your beloved land, dirty little hands will caress your soil – the carelessness of young happy children will make you weep with joy as they skip to the fairground after the last takbir of Eid prayers, emanating from minarets tall and strong.
Eid Mubarak my beautiful.
Eid Mubarak Syria <3