is funny when serious, and serious when funny :)
12:38 AM me: did u start work with joomla?
me: that project u were doing...
12:39 AM Hafsa: yeah, the canadian space society website..i know of php..
but who's joomla?
12:40 AM me: mambo?
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
is funny when serious, and serious when funny :)
Monday, March 26, 2007
From Ruby's forwards... I should probably have a separate category for her forwards.
The most useless thing to do ... ........Worry
The greatest Joy....................... ........Giving
The greatest loss.................Loss of self-respect
The most satisfying work................Helping others
The ugliest personality trait......................Selfishness
The most endangered species...................Dedicated leaders
The greatest "shot in the arm"..................Encouragement
The greatest problem to overcome.............Fear
Most effective sleeping pill..............Peace of mind
The most crippling failure disease.........Excuses
The most powerful force in life......................Love
The most dangerous pariah.................................A gossiper
The world's most incredible computer......The brain !
The worst thing to be without...................Hope
The deadliest weapon.... The tongue.......
The two most power-filled words..............."I Can"
The greatest asset.................Faith
The most worthless emotion................Self-pity
The most prized possession................Integrity
The most beautiful attire...................A SMILE!
The most powerful channel of communication........Prayer
The most contagious spirit.................Enthusiasm
The most important thing in life...............GOD
Sunday, March 25, 2007
The most important part of your 'person' is your inner self. This inner self the Qur'an calls the qalb or the 'heart'. The heart of the Prophet pbuh was the first recipient of the Quranic message:
You will therefore reap the full joys and blessings of reading the Qur'an when you are able to involve your heart fully in your task.
The heart in the Quranic vocabulary, is not the piece of flesh in your body, but the centre of all your feelings, emotions, drives, aspirations, remembrance and attention.
It is the hearts which soften:
اللَّهُ نَزَّلَ أَحْسَنَ الْحَدِيثِ كِتَابًا مُّتَشَابِهًا مَّثَانِيَ تَقْشَعِرُّ مِنْهُ جُلُودُ الَّذِينَ يَخْشَوْنَ رَبَّهُمْ ثُمَّ تَلِينُ جُلُودُهُمْ وَقُلُوبُهُمْ إِلَى ذِكْرِ اللَّهِ ذَلِكَ هُدَى اللَّهِ يَهْدِي بِهِ مَنْ يَشَاء وَمَن يُضْلِلْ اللَّهُ فَمَا لَهُ مِنْ هَادٍ 39:23
or harden and become stony.
see post: Stones
It is they which go blind and refuse to recognise the truth
أَفَلَمْ يَسِيرُوا فِي الْأَرْضِ فَتَكُونَ لَهُمْ قُلُوبٌ يَعْقِلُونَ بِهَا أَوْ آذَانٌ يَسْمَعُونَ بِهَا فَإِنَّهَا لَا تَعْمَى الْأَبْصَارُ وَلَكِن تَعْمَى الْقُلُوبُ الَّتِي فِي الصُّدُورِ 22:46
for it is their function to reason and understand.
وَلَقَدْ ذَرَأْنَا لِجَهَنَّمَ كَثِيرًا مِّنَ الْجِنِّ وَالإِنسِ لَهُمْ قُلُوبٌ لاَّ يَفْقَهُونَ بِهَا وَلَهُمْ أَعْيُنٌ لاَّ يُبْصِرُونَ بِهَا وَلَهُمْ آذَانٌ لاَّ يَسْمَعُونَ بِهَا أُوْلَـئِكَ كَالأَنْعَامِ بَلْ هُمْ أَضَلُّ أُوْلَـئِكَ هُمُ الْغَافِلُونَ 7:179
أَفَلَمْ يَسِيرُوا فِي الْأَرْضِ فَتَكُونَ لَهُمْ قُلُوبٌ يَعْقِلُونَ بِهَا أَوْ آذَانٌ يَسْمَعُونَ بِهَا فَإِنَّهَا لَا تَعْمَى الْأَبْصَارُ وَلَكِن تَعْمَى الْقُلُوبُ الَّتِي فِي الصُّدُورِ 22:46
إِنَّ فِي ذَلِكَ لَذِكْرَى لِمَن كَانَ لَهُ قَلْبٌ أَوْ أَلْقَى السَّمْعَ وَهُوَ شَهِيدٌ 50:37
In hearts lie the roots of all outward diseases
فَتَرَى الَّذِينَ فِي قُلُوبِهِم مَّرَضٌ يُسَارِعُونَ فِيهِمْ يَقُولُونَ نَخْشَى أَن تُصِيبَنَا دَآئِرَةٌ فَعَسَى اللّهُ أَن يَأْتِيَ بِالْفَتْحِ أَوْ أَمْرٍ مِّنْ عِندِهِ فَيُصْبِحُواْ عَلَى مَا أَسَرُّواْ فِي أَنْفُسِهِمْ نَادِمِينَ 5:52
they are the seat of all inner ills;
فِي قُلُوبِهِم مَّرَضٌ فَزَادَهُمُ اللّهُ مَرَضاً وَلَهُم عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ بِمَا كَانُوا يَكْذِبُونَ 2:10
hearts are the abode of Iman
يَا أَيُّهَا الرَّسُولُ لاَ يَحْزُنكَ الَّذِينَ يُسَارِعُونَ فِي الْكُفْرِ مِنَ الَّذِينَ قَالُواْ آمَنَّا بِأَفْوَاهِهِمْ وَلَمْ تُؤْمِن قُلُوبُهُمْ وَمِنَ الَّذِينَ هِادُواْ سَمَّاعُونَ لِلْكَذِبِ سَمَّاعُونَ لِقَوْمٍ آخَرِينَ لَمْ يَأْتُوكَ يُحَرِّفُونَ الْكَلِمَ مِن بَعْدِ مَوَاضِعِهِ يَقُولُونَ إِنْ أُوتِيتُمْ هَـذَا فَخُذُوهُ وَإِن لَّمْ تُؤْتَوْهُ فَاحْذَرُواْ وَمَن يُرِدِ اللّهُ فِتْنَتَهُ فَلَن تَمْلِكَ لَهُ مِنَ اللّهِ شَيْئًا أُوْلَـئِكَ الَّذِينَ لَمْ يُرِدِ اللّهُ أَن يُطَهِّرَ قُلُوبَهُمْ لَهُمْ فِي الدُّنْيَا خِزْيٌ وَلَهُمْ فِي الآخِرَةِ عَذَابٌ عَظِيمٌ 5:41
فَأَعْقَبَهُمْ نِفَاقًا فِي قُلُوبِهِمْ إِلَى يَوْمِ يَلْقَوْنَهُ بِمَا أَخْلَفُواْ اللّهَ مَا وَعَدُوهُ وَبِمَا كَانُواْ يَكْذِبُونَ 9:77
It is the hearts again, which are the centre of good and bad thing, whether it be contentment and peace,
الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ وَتَطْمَئِنُّ قُلُوبُهُم بِذِكْرِ اللّهِ أَلاَ بِذِكْرِ اللّهِ تَطْمَئِنُّ الْقُلُوبُ 13:28
the strength to face afflictions,
مَا أَصَابَ مِن مُّصِيبَةٍ إِلَّا بِإِذْنِ اللَّهِ وَمَن يُؤْمِن بِاللَّهِ يَهْدِ قَلْبَهُ وَاللَّهُ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ عَلِيمٌ 64:11
ثُمَّ قَفَّيْنَا عَلَى آثَارِهِم بِرُسُلِنَا وَقَفَّيْنَا بِعِيسَى ابْنِ مَرْيَمَ وَآتَيْنَاهُ الْإِنجِيلَ وَجَعَلْنَا فِي قُلُوبِ الَّذِينَ اتَّبَعُوهُ رَأْفَةً وَرَحْمَةً وَرَهْبَانِيَّةً ابْتَدَعُوهَا مَا كَتَبْنَاهَا عَلَيْهِمْ إِلَّا ابْتِغَاء رِضْوَانِ اللَّهِ فَمَا رَعَوْهَا حَقَّ رِعَايَتِهَا فَآتَيْنَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا مِنْهُمْ أَجْرَهُمْ وَكَثِيرٌ مِّنْهُمْ فَاسِقُونَ 57:27
وَأَلَّفَ بَيْنَ قُلُوبِهِمْ لَوْ أَنفَقْتَ مَا فِي الأَرْضِ جَمِيعاً مَّا أَلَّفَتْ بَيْنَ قُلُوبِهِمْ وَلَـكِنَّ اللّهَ أَلَّفَ بَيْنَهُمْ إِنَّهُ عَزِيزٌ حَكِيمٌ 8:63
إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يَغُضُّونَ أَصْوَاتَهُمْ عِندَ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ أُوْلَئِكَ الَّذِينَ امْتَحَنَ اللَّهُ قُلُوبَهُمْ لِلتَّقْوَى لَهُم مَّغْفِرَةٌ وَأَجْرٌ عَظِيمٌ 49:3
ذَلِكَ وَمَن يُعَظِّمْ شَعَائِرَ اللَّهِ فَإِنَّهَا مِن تَقْوَى الْقُلُوبِ 22:32
or, doubt and hesitation,
إِنَّمَا يَسْتَأْذِنُكَ الَّذِينَ لاَ يُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الآخِرِ وَارْتَابَتْ قُلُوبُهُمْ فَهُمْ فِي رَيْبِهِمْ يَتَرَدَّدُونَ 9:45
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ لاَ تَكُونُواْ كَالَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ وَقَالُواْ لإِخْوَانِهِمْ إِذَا ضَرَبُواْ فِي الأَرْضِ أَوْ كَانُواْ غُزًّى لَّوْ كَانُواْ عِندَنَا مَا مَاتُواْ وَمَا قُتِلُواْ لِيَجْعَلَ اللّهُ ذَلِكَ حَسْرَةً فِي قُلُوبِهِمْ وَاللّهُ يُحْيِـي وَيُمِيتُ وَاللّهُ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ بَصِيرٌ 3:156
وَيُذْهِبْ غَيْظَ قُلُوبِهِمْ وَيَتُوبُ اللّهُ عَلَى مَن يَشَاء وَاللّهُ عَلِيمٌ حَكِيمٌ 9:15
Finally, it is, in reality, the ways of the heart for which we shall be accountable, and only the one who brings before his God a sound and whole heart will deserve to be saved.
God will not take you to task for oaths which you may have uttered without thought, but will take you to task [only] for what your hearts have conceived [in earnest]: for God is much-forgiving, forbearing. (Baqara 2:255)
The Day on which neither wealth will be of any use, nor children [and when] only he [will be happy] who comes before God with a heart free of evil!” (As Shu'ara 26:88-89)
Source: The way to the Qur'an by Khurram Murad
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
I think verses 177 and 189 in Surah Baqarah are the only 2 ayahs in the Quran that talk about what Birr is not, and what it is. Very beautiful.
لَّيْسَ الْبِرَّ أَن تُوَلُّواْ وُجُوهَكُمْ قِبَلَ الْمَشْرِقِ وَالْمَغْرِبِ وَلَـكِنَّ الْبِرَّ مَنْ آمَنَ بِاللّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الآخِرِ وَالْمَلآئِكَةِ وَالْكِتَابِ وَالنَّبِيِّينَ وَآتَى الْمَالَ عَلَى حُبِّهِ ذَوِي الْقُرْبَى وَالْيَتَامَى وَالْمَسَاكِينَ وَابْنَ السَّبِيلِ وَالسَّآئِلِينَ وَفِي الرِّقَابِ وَأَقَامَ الصَّلاةَ وَآتَى الزَّكَاةَ وَالْمُوفُونَ بِعَهْدِهِمْ إِذَا عَاهَدُواْ وَالصَّابِرِينَ فِي الْبَأْسَاء والضَّرَّاء وَحِينَ الْبَأْسِ أُولَـئِكَ الَّذِينَ صَدَقُوا وَأُولَـئِكَ هُمُ الْمُتَّقُونَ
Righteousness is not that you turn your faces to the East, and the West; but righteousness is that one believes in Allah and the Last Day and the angels and the Book and the Prophets, and gives wealth, despite it's love (or, out of His love), to relatives, and to orphans, the helpless, the wayfarer, and to those who ask, and (spends) in the (freeing) slaves and observes the prayers and pays the Zakah; and those who fulfil their promise when they promise and, of course, the patient in hardships and sufferings and when in battle! Those are the ones who are true, and those are the God-fearing (2:177)
Mufti Shafi Uthmani writes in his tafseer:
Birr is an umbrella word in Arabic used for what is good in the absolute sense, and which combines in itself all acts of righteousness and obedience, inward or outward.
Often, we're so busy perfecting rituals. We're so busy gaining all the knowledge we can, yet our actions and intentions don't seem to synergise.
This verse comprehensively presents the Islamic injunctions:
- First, the articles of faith
- Then, dealings with people
- Finally, mention of morals.
Such are the true Muslims, and they are the ones who are God-fearing.
-> Spending wealth should be out of love for Allah, or/and, spending from that which you love. One should also be satisfied with what he spends: not that the hands spend, and the heart aches.
يَسْأَلُونَكَ عَنِ الأهِلَّةِ قُلْ هِيَ مَوَاقِيتُ لِلنَّاسِ وَالْحَجِّ وَلَيْسَ الْبِرُّ بِأَنْ تَأْتُوْاْ الْبُيُوتَ مِن ظُهُورِهَا وَلَـكِنَّ الْبِرَّ مَنِ اتَّقَى وَأْتُواْ الْبُيُوتَ مِنْ أَبْوَابِهَا وَاتَّقُواْ اللّهَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ
They ask you about the new moons. Say: They are indicative of time for the people, and of the Hajj. And it is not righteousess that you come into your houses from their backs but righteousness is that one fears Allah. And come to the houses through their doors. And fear Allah so that you may be successful.(2:189)
During the times of Jahiliyyah, people used to enter their houses from the back, as it was forbidden to do so from the front in the state of Ihram. This ayah adds 2 more injunctions:
And we should not undermine the importance of the lunar months. Know your dates.
But the most important message is to keep fearing Allah, so that we can hope to have the best of both the worlds.
For further reading, the tafseer is here: Maariful Quran
Please pray for my uncle who's in the hospital since yesterday. Uncle and aunty are very close to me.. My mother knows them since her first day in UAE after her marriage, and aunty has played a significant role in our upbringing. They're a part of every celebration in our lives, every ocassion whether sad or happy.
I hope uncle recovers and is out of the hospital soon...
Sunday, March 18, 2007
It's never poured in Al Ain so much as it has been pouring since last night. There's stagnant water on many roads, and the air is simply beautiful. I went to our rooftop and took pictures of the neighbourhood from there. Not much of a view though, of the neighbourhood since our house is between 2 date palm tree farms. And it's rare to have farms in the middle of residential areas, so Alhamdulillah!
Saturday, March 17, 2007
However, this is a real "house" of a family in Sri Lanka. If you would like to get information on donating to them to rebuild the house, please contact me. The father has 4 children to take care of, as his wife has been diagnosed with a mental condition, and he's refusing to remarry, in hopes that she will be cured. But he doesn't have the means to pay for the medical. Imagine, if your young daughter or sister had to use an open toilet like this. I don't have to say more.
And which of the favours of thy Lord will ye deny?
I wonder how many of us know the rules of how exactly this happens? Last Saturday I went to a session on this topic with my mother where they did a demo using a doll.
Seeing the whole process in front of my eyes was very frightening. The speaker talked about the importance of washing your own relative- if it's your daughter, mother, sister- do it yourself. Just because the person now is a lifeless body, doesn't mean you hand it over to a professional to do it.
Towards the end of the wrapping, the top part of a woman's body is left untied, in case people want to see her face one last time. I wouldn't want that to be allowed for me, but then, does it really matter?
Here's the process from ISNA's website:
A female's body should be washed by a female.
PROCEDURE FOR WASHING THE BODY
- Place the body on the washing table.
- Keeping the private parts of the body covered, remove all other garments from the body.
- Gently but firmly press the stomach and clean out by a towel or cloth any excertions that may have resulted by stomach pressing.
- The body is to be washed three times, five times or seven times-always an odd number of times.
- For each washing, first place the body on its left and wash the right side using warm water and soap. Then place it on its right side and wash the left side. Female's hair should be gathered into two braids, with loose hair at end of each braid.
- For the final washing, scented water (non-alcoholic scent) can be used.
- Now perform ablution (wudu) for the body. Do not forget to clean the teeth and nose also.
- Generous application of non-alcoholic perfume can be made on various parts of the body. Perfumed cotton can be placed on the front and the rear private parts and the nostrils.
- For women, five pieces of clean, cotton preferably white cloth should be used. Each piece of cloth should be large enough to cover the entire body.
- Apply non-alcoholic perfume to the kafan.
- Use a piece of cloth and tie the top (head side) and bottom (foot side). The two tie knots should be different so as to recognize the head side.
Name of the Cloth piece Approximate size
1. Kafan 4 feet x 12 feet
2. Head Wrap 4 feet x 4 feet
3. Body Wrap 4 feet x 6 feet
4. Chest Wrap 4 feet x 4 feet
5. Body Sheet 4 feet x 8 feet
- Tear a one inch strip from the length of the Kafan sheet and use it as strings to tie the body.
- For wrapping an adult male body, three pieces, i.e., Kafan, Body wrap and Body sheet are required.
- For wrapping an adult female body, all five pieces are required.
- Tear a one inch strip from the length of the Kafan sheet and use it as strings to tie the body.
- Spread the Body sheet on a flat table, a firm bed or floor.
- Lay the Chest wrap on the Body sheet about two feet each from the top and the bottom edge.
- Then lay the Body wrap on the Chest wrap about one foot each from the top and the bottom edge of the Body sheet.
- Fold the Kafan sheet over in half, so that its size after folding is 4 feet x 6 feet.
- At the crease in the middle, cut a hole big enough for the head of the body to pass through.
- Unfold the Kafan sheet and lay it on the three sheets prepared earlier in steps 1-3 above; the cut hole will now be in the center of the Kafan sheet.
- Lay the body on its back on one half (which is on the other three sheets) and pull the other half of the Kafan sheet over the whole body, making sure that the head comes out through the hole; except for the head the rest of the body should now be covered inside the Kafan sheet.
- Comb and brush the hair in two groups loose or braids; spread one group on the right side of the chest and the other group of hair on the left side.
- Roll the upper half of Kafan sheet from both the right and the left sides to gather in the center of the body.
- Wrap the lower long sides of the Kafan sheet over the body from both the right and the left sides (from shoulders to feet).
- Then unroll the upper half of the Kafan sheet to spread it over the lower half wrapped previously on the body (as above) and wrap it along both sides of the whole body. To do this ,the whole body will have to be tilted on its side to push the Kafan sheet under the body; first on the right side and then on the left side.
- Fold the Head wrap in half; raise the head and upper part of the body to slip about one half of the Head wrap under the body.
- Then fold the other half over and around the head so that the face is not covered and the lower edge of the Head wrap covers the hair on the chest.
- Now wrap the left side of the Body wrap over the body and cover it by wrapping the right side of the Body wrap over the left side on the body.
- Next in alike manner wrap the Chest wrap with the right side of the wrap over the left side of the wrap on the body.
- Use the Kafan strings to tie around the body; one just below the shoulders, another in the middle on the navel, and third string a little above the knees on the thighs.
- Cover the face with the Head wrap.
- Lastly wrap the Body sheet all over the body with the right side over the left side on the body; gather at the head and tie a string and then gather at the feet and tie a string. If necessary tie a string in the middle of the body also.
Friday, March 16, 2007
It is mentioned in a hadith that when the Surah An'aam was revealed, Rasoolullah (saw) said, Alhamdulillah. And then he said:
"By Allah, so many angels came to convey this Surah that the corners of the heaves became covered with their great numbers".
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
Monday, March 12, 2007
Frequency: 3 to 5 times per week with day off to rest and to recuperate!
Intensity: 55 to 85% of predicted heart rate (consult with an exercise specialist). ALWAYS – start slowly and build endurance over a long period of time!
Cardio Time: 20 to 60 minutes per session. The time you spend exercising will depend on your fitness level. Build up slowly over time to longer exercise durations.
Type (mode): walking, running, swimming, cycling, hiking, dance, aerobic classes... etc.
F.I.T.T. Strength and Endurance Training
Frequency: For Increased Strength Gain (heavier weights) – 2 to 3 times per week - muscles need more rest! DO NOT EXCEED 3 SESSIONS / WEEK
For Increased Muscular Endurance (lighter weights): 3 to 5 times per week. DO NOT EXCEED 5 SESSIONS / WEEK
Resistance Training Intensity For Strength Gain: Lift 4 to 8 Repetitions / set based on approximately 50 to 80% of your maximum lifting capacity
For Increased Muscular Endurance:15 to 30 repetitions 25 to 50% of your maximum lifting capacity.
Type (mode): Target muscle groups. Don’t waste your time in the gym! Have a plan and stick to it! Select appropriate exercises for the specific muscle groups you wish to train. Train reciprocating (both front and back) muscle groups Balance muscle development throughout all parts of your body.
Time: Allow your body time to adapt – this will reduce muscle soreness, fatigue and potential injury to your muscles! Increase the amount you lift slowly.
Progression and Adaptation: rest between sets or alternate upper and lower body.
Wednesday, March 07, 2007
I had a million thoughts come at me from every direction. And I've become a piece of an exhausted, burnt out engine. I just wanted to travel very far, on a spiritual journey. And so I did.
With every step I took in my journey, I wanted to forget a moment in the past. Yet, my Exhaustion was too great to even help me forget my memories.
It seemed as If I had too many realities in life. A virtual reality, that I lived by, day and night. A physical reality that made me eat, and sleep. And an emotional reality that made me do everything else. Yet, I was so lost in these "realities" that I'd look for signs and reasons in everything.
Just like the other day, when I caught something falling out of my hand. Why is it that, I can catch them some times, and not at others? Or, when I stare out through the glass in my house, and see the trees, yet, when I stared at the wall, I saw nothing?
My sense of perception was uprooting my fears. Fears of my own thoughts. Sometimes, I couldn't sleep at night, scared, that I'd close my eyes, and my world in the dark will start to haunt me. I wasn't just scared. I knew that was the reality. Another kind of reality.
Today my friend said she didn't know how she lived all those years without her baby. She was on the journey of motherhood. I was on the journey for something else.
And so I reached the shore of time. It was strange. This shore. I mean, it was strange, because the time was a shore. Instead of a road. A road would seem more likely, wouldn't it? After all time is one dimension. We can only lose it, never again it.
I looked at the shore. I was so crushed. I fell to my knees. I was so ashamed of myself. In so many months I didn’t ask My Lord for my needs. All I did was to praise my Lord, hoping that, he knows my desires, he will give me what I want. But nothing changed. I was so overcome, I wanted to cry. But my Exhaustion refused me. How strange that my Exhaustion and my brain don't go together. I thought about all the people I had trusted.
Today in my journey, I witnessed the shore of time. And wherever I looked, no matter how hard I focussed to find the events in my life, the deeds I had done, the people I had met, the places I had visited- I would get a vision, and a wave would almost immediately take it away. There was nothing. Perhaps a speck here... but it was gone.
Oh Lord... I know what You're trying to tell me.
I see nothing because I wasted my time. And the amount of time I wasted, is very vast compared to that which I used. I could collapse. In fact, I wanted to collapse. My Exhaustion told me that I worked very very hard. But the shore said otherwise.
I didn't want to see, I didn't want to hear. This is not the journey I wanted to make. I wanted to lighten my burden. But now my Exhaustion is making me crumble.
In a flash, the little energy I had that allowed me to move, I was in a different place. There was no shore. I rubbed my eyes, because I thought I couldn't see well. But there was some light. It would dim, and sometimes flicker. Sometimes, I'd see more than one light, and that would give me some happiness. But all the lights would flicker, and all the lights would fade. I was quiet. I wanted to see what happens. Somewhere in me, my Faith was talking to my Exhaustion, "Look. You could have been worse, had it not been for me. Sometimes you have to think, right? Where would you be without me, and Hope?”. Faith and Hope were my two stones. They were so strong, that they imparted strength in me, though they were very very far away. I would often have to think hard, before I got to them. Faith, Hope, and Love were a unifying force. But again, it was a very strange force. Love would always let me down. I almost distrusted it. But then Faith and Hope would tell me not to. I always knew my Faith was the strongest, and my Hope was the most confused. So sometimes, my Faith and Hope together would tell me something different, and I would understand something else. Yet, I had to believe in them. For, if I didn’t, what other choice did I have? I really liked the lights, I thought to myself. I wished they were brighter. I wished that they were all around me. I wished that they were a more beautiful colour. Yet, I was happy. These lights were my knowledge. And my knowledge made me happier than my time did.
It seemed as if my time was up. I had to find my next destination in my journey, and I used these lights as a guide. Eventually, in my million thoughts, I forgot about following the lights. I was too busy thinking that “these sure are very strange trees!”. The trees had the characteristics of trees I had seen that were tall, and only grew in forests- the same leaves, the same bark texture. How strange. I walked around them. Wow… they’re mostly stunted. I had grown wise through my journey. And this wisdom told me that which I didn’t want to believe. My wisdom said: “These are beautiful trees. They have fine leaves, and strong roots. Your deeds in this world were beautiful, and amongst the best. But, when you would start the deed, you would doubt yourself. You would mix your intentions. Your intentions are your most important asset, you forget that sometimes. Your Hope would confuse you. And you distrusted your Love. So, they didn’t grow. These trees…” I stopped listening to wisdom.
I was sad. I wanted to return home. I wanted to stare through the glass and at the wall, and I wanted to discover what made them different. I wanted to think about all the times I tried to catch a falling object, and I missed, and it broke.
My Exhaustion on the other hand, had enough. How could it, after seeing the shore, the lights, and the trees?
Tuesday, March 06, 2007
This book was recommended to me by Saleha Khan, who's an instructor with the Ontario Police College. And my friends gifted it to me before I left Toronto.
The style of the book is very simple, and the story goes very slow, so you're forced either to (1) think, or to (2) read really fast. I did a bit of both.
The entire book is trying to explain just the concept of self-deception; and if you can get it right, then you're set to be a leader. The book tells you to how to see people as people, and not as objects, so that you do not justify their attitude towards you as an excuse to cover up for your own shortcomings.
I really like the way they have put examples from all the realms of life- personal, family and work- to demonstrate the same concept. Also, the way the book starts off is very intuitive- Tom walks into his manager Bud's office not knowing what he's going to expect, except that some of his colleagues told him it's something wonderful about a discovery that solves people's problems, how no one really focusses on results, and so on. That's exactly how my thoughts were. What is this really all about?
However, because this book is only focussed on one thing- Self-deception- it idealises the concept too much and makes it simple to achieve. The reality in life is far from it. It doesnt talk about dealing with dishonest people, low performers etc.
Nevertheless, I would definitely want to get my hands on the other books by the Arbinger Institute.
The changes in life are projections
of decisions that know no influence
and those that are mine
Once I lived a life that drives
inspiration in those around me
Humbled was the soul
when effects of relentless efforts
did not get reflected on the self
And that's when doubts arose
And that's when thoughts diverged
Forced to think to self
'There's no motivation'
Hope lies alone in close relations
In my dark, dusty unrealities
He lights the fire within me
Amidst my uncanny doubts
His spirit interferes to revive me
Yet again when my heart drowns
The essence of his time fills me
And when I hold up my weak hands
His strength pushes them higher
'O Soul! Will you be my downfall?'
'O Soul! Won't you pick me up?'
'O Soul! Test me not this way
for I will sure fail'
'My Lord, have I earned from Your Mercy?'
'My Lord, have I accounted for my soul?'
'My Lord, when the end is near,
Can I not be told?'
the whispers say 'fear not,
'You have certainly fashioned indelible footprints
But you will only be raised in spirit
if you continue walking in your wavelength
And you continue to lead by example'
ya Allah, strengthen my burdened heart
I can't seem to carry further
There is weakening in resolve
I want to give up
My hands want to take up matters
I feel they are being satirical
My self refuses to wait
I want it to end
Yet I don't want to lose what I don't have
And I don't often feel this way
This life is grieved by the spear of contentment
Every moment it is embezzling the rich taste of martyrdom
If I attain the wealth of grief in Your path,
I'll be free of the grief of both the worlds.
ya Rabb, you are the Over-Turner of hearts
Illuminate my heart and soul
Make it firm on your path
dear Lord, You have in the days of my life winds of beneficence
Make me benefit from them
ya Rabb, You are the Creator of all that's Beautiful
Make me release what I hold on to
Oh Allah, You are the Most Merciful
Make me taste the fruits of forgiveness
I was tested with you
and you with me
You failed the test
And I was left broken
Stand by the ocean side
The future beholds what the eyes see
Like the sparkling foamy rich water
Infinite in love
Infinite in care
You were dear to me
Are you now collecting
Shattered pieces of glass
While the affair of my heart
is disowned by me?
You slipped into your tomorrow
And made me of the past
You were the moonlight in my window
The last crimson sun rays
The silhouette of mountain edges
Today all I have are dreams
Would they end without you?
The eagle set out
to conquer great heights
Spanning its majestic wings
from horizon to horizon
It swoops high and low
And in all its grace
cinches its preys with every launch
challenging the rules of time
Yet the pride of the eagle
brings its own downfall
Beneath all that grandeur
Lies the deluge of all that it expounds
In an artless dive for glory
Its wing ricochets the side of a rock
A loud cry reverberates through the valley
And leaves the eagle with a broken wing
With my broken wing
I have lost all strength
Every ruffle in my feathers
Reminds of the onset taint
'I must soar', I acclaim
Yet the end is here
End of great journeys
And my voice drowns in my fear
I am but a grim portrait of despair
Against the bright canvass of space
No longer able
to accomplish remarkable feats
To it belongs the conquered lands
To it is attributed all power
This creature smaller than beasts
Yet perfection it doesnt possess
Allah (swt) says in the Qur'an, 'And eat and drink but waste not by extravagance' [7:31]
Excess food is considered extravagance, and brings about ailments to the body. These few words are the key to staying healthy. How often have we eaten our full, and then continue to eat, just because of taste? Not thinking twice about what really goes on inside our body. Not thinking about stopping and thanking Allah, that he has given us bountiful, and that we have overcome our desires.
Al-Bukhari narrated in his Sahih:
Rasoolullah (saw) said: 'Two bounties regarding which many people cheat themselves: Health and free time'.
Preserving good health depends on many factors: eating and drinking sensibly, and on utilising one's clothes, place of residence, the air, sleep, being awake, mobility, idleness, relationships in the best possible manner.
Abu Bakr (ra) said that he heard the Messenger of Allah (saw) say, 'Ask Allah for certainty and good health; for indeed, no one will have a better possession after certainty of Faith than good health.'
This statement of our beloved Prophet (pbuh) joined the well being of this life, with the next life.
The Prophet (pbuh) did not restrict himself to eating one type of food. This would be harmful to one's nature. Abu Hurairah (ra) narrates that the Prophet (saw) never criticised a food, even if he disliked it.' If he did not like it, he would refrain from it. Once he was offered lizard meat, that he declined and said, 'No, but this food is not among the foods that my people used to eat, and I do not have an appetite for it', when asked if it's disallowed.
The Prophet (saw) used to especially like eating the arm and upper parts of the sheep. (This was also the part that was poisoned and offered to him).
The lightest part of the sheep is the neck, arm and thigh, and is most easily digested.
The sunnah method of eating involves:
- The food should be beneficial and helpful to the nature
- Light on the stomach
- Quickly digested
Meat, honey and sweets are the best foods and the most beneficial for the body, liver and various organs.
The Prophet (saw) used to eat bread with whatever type of condiment was available- sometimes with watermelon, meat or dates.
Eating barley with dates is one of the wisest decisions.
A lot of the times only vinegar was available, and the Prophet (pbuh) used to praise it.
He also used to eat the fruits of the season. Allah's wisdom has it that every land has it's own fruit, in every season. Eating fruits from your own land is very beneficial.
Fruits should be eaten after the food has been digested, to avoid constipation.
The Prophet (pbuh) said:
'I do not eat while leaning on m side.' He also said, 'I only sit like the slave sits and eat like the slave eats'.
He used to place his knees on the ground and would place the bottom of his left foot on the upper part of his right food in humilty for the Lord. This is the best way of eating.
The Prophet (pbuh) used three fingers while eating. How beautiful. If you used lesser fingers, the food in a bit would not be enough, and if you used all five, it would be more than the stomach could handle.
One final note before I depart- The Prophet (pbuh) never mixed fish and milk, milk and sour foods or two hot dishes, or two cold dishes, two sticky dishes, two constipating dishes, two laxative dishes, two heavy dishes two liquid foods or two types of food that produced the same condition.
He did not eat salty or rotten foods, such as pickles. Also, he neither ate a food when it is rather hot, nor old food that was heated for him the next day.
He did not join foods that cause opposite reactions, such as diarrhea and constipation, dry with fresh foods, eggs and milk or meat and milk, easily digested with heavy foods broiled with cooked foods.
All these types of food are harmful and cause the health to change for the worst.
La ilaha illallah.
Let go, and set yourself free
Let go, and fill yourself with ecstasy
Let go, you only feel you need it
Let go, and the future's brighter without it
Let go, 6872.26 miles away from you
Let go, it's time you have to
Let go, for you're worth more than this
Let go, because your chronic situation insists
Let go, for these are your fears
Let go, and don't test your tears
Let go, life is begging you to move on
Let go, and you'll be long gone
when life will reveal
this step wasn't a big deal
and you're meant for better things
Sunday, March 04, 2007
- Drink warm water in the morning
A warm cup of water first thing in the morning (and even better with a squeeze of lemon) goes right through the bowels and cleans the mucus out from the day before.
- Lubricate, don't flood
Your stomach needs to be lubricated, not flooded. Therefore, drink fluids, juices, perferably water, 30 min away from meals, before or after.
- Chew slowly
Chewing slowly untill food becomes liquefied is very important. The chewed food will then pass easily through your digestive system with maximum nutrient uptake.
- Eat when calm
It's difficult to digest food properly if you are upset or have just had an argument.
- Not too hot, not too cold
Ice-cold drinks weaken the organs. Eating piping hot-foods that burn your palate injure moth membranes, damage gastric stomach lining and degrate taste buds.
- Decorate your plate
Attractive food will stimulate your digestive juices!
- Rotate foods
Eating the same thing over and over again can lead to food allergies, sensitivities and intolerances. Eating a variety of food will nourish your body with a broader array of varied nutrients.
- Listen to your body
Take note of the foods you crave. Walk down the vegetables and fruits aisle and identify what smells good to you. What looks refreshing? What looks healthy?
- Enzymes, enzymes, enzymes!
Sprouted seeds, raw vegetables, raw fruits, nuts and seeds are loaded with live enzymes, the key to nutrient absorption and vibrant health.
- Break the fast
Always eat something substantial and healthy for breakfast. This is the time period when your stomach energies are at their strongest, and your digestive enzyme juices are ready to go- fresh fruit, oatmeal, millet or quinoa porridge are all good morning choices.
- Nimble @ night
Eat your last meal of the day at least couple of hours before bedtime. When you eat too late, you stress and wear out your body. A meal is not digested effectively when you go to sleep on a full stomach.
- Choose cruciferous veggies
Eat a lot of cabbage, broccoli, brussel sprouts or cauliflower. These will help you detox and energise your blood.
- Drink your greens
Once a week, make yourself a green juice- That's right, with vegetables. Here's one option, you can experiment with others: 1 carrot, 1 cucumber, 4 celery sticks, 1 fennel stalk, some spinach leaves, a tiny piece of root ginger, a parsley sprig and a handful of alfalfa sprouts (optional).
- Food combine
Fruit + Meat/Fish = Gas
Fruit by itself = No gas
In other words, eat foods together that don't compete.
- Kidney massage
Kidneys are the most important organs for overall vitality. At the end of each day, treat yourself to a kidney rub. Before retiring to bed, find your kidneys by placing your hands on your back below the waiste, but above your hips. Visualise a warm white light coursing through your body to your hands. Your hands will begin to feel warm as you transfer that heat and light into the kidneys. Massage the kidney region. Then lie down atop a ready-prepared hot water bottle.
- Light exercise
Any form of regular moderate exercise, stretching, walking, cycling, swimming tai chi- even dancing- will help move lymph, expel toxins, motivate teh blood and revitalise the body.
- Rub a dub
Before you get into the shower, take a body cloth, soak it into hot water and rub it all over your body, starting with the feet, and working all the way up.
- Skin brush
Brush your skin with a dry skin brush once a week to get your lymph moving.
- Early to bed!
The earlier you go to bed, the better you'll feel. The liver and gallblader conduct their detox work generally between 11pm and 2am. If you're not in bed by then, you disturb the natural cleansing process, and as a result, you'll feel sluggish. Follow the sunnah people!
- Just be.
Take 5 min of your time to "just be". Stop and reflect, before you start rushing for the day. These valuable moments will help to balance your biochemistry for the rest of the day.
Dr Gillian McKeith is the author of You are What You Eat.
Friday, March 02, 2007
This is one of the best changes ever.. towards creating environmentally aware citizens. I'm so happy, Alhamdulillah and I bought my first bag as well!
In a push to reduce the millions of plastic bags that pollute the UAE's ecosystem every year, MAF Hypermarkets (Carrefour) today introduced reusable bags at their checkout counters as an alternative to plastic bags.Shoppers will be encouraged to purchase their own big reusable bags from Carrefour at the checkout for 2 Dirhams (cost price). If damaged at any point, the bags can be replaced at any Carrefour outlet free of charge.
Thursday, March 01, 2007
"My Lord I am not worthy that you should come under my roof. But only speak a word and my servant will be healed".
Jeewan said the Alchemist was a really good book from the Tazkiya point of view. That surprised me. In fact, when I took up the book, I was suprised that the main character in the story meets a lot of Muslims, and goes through Muslim lands. However, there's no mention of the name of Islam, or anything of that sort. The author does write some very interesting things about Islam, such as a crystal merchant's dream to go to Mecca for Pilgrimage; the tribal leaders' talk of Yusuf (upon him be peace) and his interpretation of the dream; and that Allah created all this in 6 days.
The backdrop in the story is superb. The blend is very smooth. You don't have to remember a single name. The destination is the Egyptian Pyramids. And personally, having been to the pyramids, the journey the shepherd makes through the dangerous desert to see the Pyramids is definitely worth it.
The story is very simple, and nice. The elemental forces in nature speak to the shepherd, and it's for the reader to reflect.
As Muslims, we should already know all this from our beliefs, and the book should serve as a pleasant reminder.
The underlying theme of the book is to realise your dreams no matter what it takes. Even if you have let go of all the gold you have.
In the first few pages of the book, the shepherd's father says that people come back to the town after all the travelling, and they don't change. And in the Qur'an, Allah encourages men to travel so that they may reflect and learn lessons. And that's what the shepherd believed in, as he started his journey. A journey where he was tested again and again, but he always always shown signs, that once you make a decision, the best thing is to stick to it, to get through it.