Between my shadow and my soul

Byeeeeee :)

Howl Wolf

We were always on the border of the fence,
Armed and muddy, all for honour and love.
Somewhere in between ricocheting shots
You sneaked out to the other side
Our border exposed, my men flailed
And hid in shadows of shame

So now, when you ask for our loyalty
I resist the urge to hang you on the fence
Parade your wounded comrades before your eyes
And leave you to their memories' wrath

Wandering hearts within butterfly nets

Source of pic

The soft, beat, beat, beating
Of butterfly wings against a net
Is the symbol of Life
As long as we beat, we breathe
When this ceases, our wings lose
Their need to live, and our hearts
Forget their need to beat

Dear 2008 and Mistress of Linguistics

I take my frames off your wall

Sandpaper my name off your ceiling

Each movement tingles a bit,

Like a plaster stuck on a fine hair

Now, when I drive past your street,

I will be just driving past.

These are just things, you insist

We will always be the same

But no, like a wise lyricist said,

“You can have the past, I’ll

Keep the Change”.**

So we must embrace this

I will not cry, this is His will

And you shine with anticipation.

Like a phoenix burns to ashes,

The buzzkill** singes, then arches

Like a solar plexus balancing on the

Pilates ball of Taqdeer

**Thanks to Waseem for these

World Aids Day

Bloggers Unite

Aids. How it has spread. When I was six I had no idea what it meant. And now it has become an everyday term. I wonder what my children will think of the word.

What does Aids mean to me everyday?

Well in my work as a counsellor at a university of technology I hear stories of children growing up with the scary relaity of having to look after their sick parents. Of boyfriends dying and leaving their girlfriends with a terrible reminder of the relationship. Of amazingly beautiful women living with the disease for years and having boyfriends and dreams of white wedding gowns and laughing kids one day. Of paranoia over burst condoms and drunk one night stands. Of children being looked after by their grandparents in rural areas while their parents fork out a living in cities. Of clinics with pre and post test counselling services that are neglected by those in denial.

When i wrote this poem i was livid, I had become too emotionally involved with my clients, and someone rightly criticised it as playing right into moralistic stereotypical views of Aids. I admit, it does. But this has been my experience with the disease. Perhaps you have had others, more enlightening?

I am just a moth with many lives

Moths have many lives

Each flame is a Life

Each time, the pure light

Captures, dilates the eyes

Enthralls imprisons the mind

No breath, without the flame

Each breath to such a rhythm

Until the death, and the next breath

Awakens to a new flame

Click click living

Inspiration for this post: I met a girl today at a Sanzaf meeting. We started chatting and realized not only that we had loads in common, we had many of the same social circles as well. As I was saving her number on my phone, an error message came up, I already had her number!!

Without having ever met her before. One of my friends must've suggested I call her up for something. This made me start thinking about how the six degrees of seperation has been dramatically decreased to only maybe one or two. Most of the people reading this have friends common with me on facebook running into the double digits. What does this mean for life as we know/knew it?

Another scenario: a friend sends out an email asking people for support at work. Somehow through repeated "forwards" and totally unintentionally, it ends up at her boss. Information is no longer sacrosanct. Technology has made the getting to know people game much easier, and much much more slippery. A friend in his late 30s tells me that the "apartheid generation" would flip at this. In those days you were hectically paranoid about your movements because of Informers.

At the same time, think about the advantages of blogging, euphemistically sometimes called citizen journalism. We get to hear stories from people on the ground living in communities instead of hearing things by word of mouth which has the same effect as playing Chinese Whispers. You can google or wiki EVERYHTING and get some kind of an answer for it. Is there not some beauty in the sharing of humanity in that? Yes people lie on the net, create avatars and citizen communities that are artificial. Does this not happen to some degree in real life as well?

I still believe the internet has more yays than nays. What say you?


Chubby cheeks, our most treasured bond

A slideshow shadows my memory This Day

Of her first toothless smile, her first sleepless tooth

Her first red-circled A, her first red bra I chose

Both days she looked down, finding certainty within,

The first tottering steps towards this aisle

Those days I rejoiced, but Today I fear

I want her to run, jump, fly, but under my guise

Yet she is magnetized by some other presence

And I fear its foreign and bewitching attraction

He does not understand, he looks through you to your shoes,

The leather suits his taste and he likes your voice

She too is beyond me, so I must appeal to you

My body, my sleep, my patience all given to her nurture

And now I ask nothing in return for all I forsake to the past

Except.Do unto her, as if you had born my trials, my labour pains,

Become Me for her,

Remember the nausea, the fear within her birth

The joy, the sacrifice in her growth.

By taking her you take some of Me,

Remember, I am accountable for my precious Amanat to Al Hameed…

Dear Para*Nooj* (I hope)

Saaleha's post made me feel like writing one to myself.

I realized I'm kinda ambitionless.
Which is scary. Anyways. Here goes.

Dear Nooj

This is FREAKY.
Ok, now that that’s out.
I wonder if you’re alive. Three years is a long time. If you are dead I hope our parents are dealing with it OK.I hope u haven’t died before you made an awesome google entry though. Oh also I hope that if you are dead you died in a noble way. Or at least donated your organs.

Ok, operating in the assumption that you have survived.
Where are you? I hope you have hopped a coupla countries by now.
And have saved a few lives or at least made some better.
This whole writing a letter thing about the future is a bit anxiety provoking.
I worry that maybe you haven’t found a way to LIVE all the butterflies in my head.
There’s nothing concrete I want you to have done.
Just made the World a better place and made some amount of Difference.

You’re probably curious about me. Well I’m very idealist and a little confused at how to apply it. I don’t have a Plan, but you probably don’t have one either. It’s the way we are.

This is weird to say to yourself, but even if you have mucked up or married one of ur distant cousins or failed your dissertation or have gotten a job in Accounting, it’s ok. I’ll still love you.

Peace :)

Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow

The luckiest thing about my life is that my sister stays on my way home from work. So, before I get home I get to meet my gorgeous 2 year old nephew. His excitement when he sees me makes me forget about everything.

That's why when I was overwhelmed by negativity this evening I found 2 sparks of hope. Watch, Read and Believe:

Generation To Generation

In a house which becomes a home, one hands down and another takes upthe heritage of mind and heart, laughter and tears, musings and deeds.Love, like a carefully loaded ship,crosses the gulf between the generations.Therefore, we do not neglect the ceremonies of our passage: when we wed, when we die,and when we are blessed with a child;When we depart and when we return;When we plant and when we harvest.Let us bring up our children. It is not the place of some official to hand to themtheir heritage. If others impart to our children our knowledge and ideals, they will lose all of us that is wordless and full of wonder.Let us build memories in our children,lest they drag out joyless lives,lest they allow treasures to be lost because they have not been given the keys.We live, not by things, but by the meanings of things. It is needful to transmit the passwords from generation to generation.

Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Wallow Me Whole

Maybe I breathe

When I want to gasp

Maybe I smile

When I want to laugh insanely

Maybe I care

When I want to die in selflessness

Maybe I am

When I want to cease in ecstatic pain

Maybe, maybe

Is not enough

Jannah Lost

Something, the roll of a dice

Is Success

Somewhere, a Word before dawn

Makes sense

Sometimes Brownies

Feel like Forever

We break dummy doors,

Shoot painted windows,

And kiss desperate dreams

All to lose “The eternal and unchanging amongst the

chaos of the transitory and the illusory

My labels didn't fit at the bottom : Sleepovers with semi-comatose blubberings, crappy tautologic poems, If you feel like you're never gonna win the game, you're not meant to be playing it; How could there be any question of acquiring or possessing, when the one thing needful for a man is to become - to be at last, and to die in the fullness of his being- Antoine de Saint-Exupery ; I probably wont finish my dissertation this year :(

Photo blog i.e lazy cut and paste thingy

MAKING THE INVISIBLE, VISIBLE” is a collection of photographs on the lives of refugees in Malaysia.

Refugees in Malaysia live in urban cities, neighbours of Malaysians, yet they remain invisible to most of us, and thus, the problems they face remain invisible too. This collection offers a glimpse into the hidden lives of refugees in Malaysia – not in camps, but in urban settings, in low-cost houses and flats in cities like Kuala Lumpur, Penang and Johor Baru. It depicts images of refugees in their day to day life in Malaysia, images that remain largely invisible to the Malaysian society at large.

Malaysia has been plonked among the 10th worst places for refugees, according to an annual report released to mark World Refugee Day today. The World Refugee Survey puts Malaysia alongside nine other countries as 10 of “the worst places for refugees” in 2007. The survey, commissioned by the US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI), has Malaysia standing shoulder-to-shoulder with poverty-stricken Bangladesh, war-torn Iraq and authoritarian China for their violation of refugee rights.
20 months ago: Myanmar refugees protest in front of the U.N. office in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Thursday, March 8, 2007. The United Nations said Thursday it has registered 43,000 refugees in Malaysia, mostly from Myanmar, and called on Malaysians to stop thinking of them as migrants and criminals.

Our Stories are Singular but our destinies are shared

This is a post about stories. The stories our parents told us to make us finish our food . The stories we tell ourselves when the world falls apart and the one thing we were hoping to make everything right does not happen. Whether it be entry in to a course, or our dream job, or a salary increase or an amicable settlement in zimbabwe...And also the stories other people tell us about themselves. Like Obama says, in my title, there is one huge overriding shared story. Even in the Qur'an, the punchline is Tawheed. It underlines and highlights and brings to life every other ayah.

Going back to the stories we share publicly. Like on blogs. The story that inspired this post was published in the Laudium Sun. Now, I grew up in Laudium. I will be the first to criticize the materialism, love for wealth, extravagance and judgementalness that goes on in my community. They are stories I have lived since birth. But there is also a huge sense of ubuntu in the community, of Ikhwaan. When someoen passes away, or there is a funeral or a function, or any joyous or sad or particular event, people will show they care. Also, having worked with community organisations in the area, there are loads of people who are generous when it comes to a good cause. I digress.

The Laudium Sun started a while ago to publish a Punchaat column. Words are insufficient to explain the childishness of the writing, or the absurdity of the issues that are raised here. Here are some excerpts of the latest edition. I don't read this column, although a lot of people in my community love it. I heard about this story from Safs in the work kitchen and decided to make a stand about it here:

Wife Makes Brother turn against parents

My heart bleeds when I see how so many married women show disrespect to their in-laws and pull their husbands away from their families. My sister-in law Mrs SSS who stays in MMM Street in Erasmia is one typical example.

OK I can't type any more of this drabble.
She then goes on to include details of her brother and sister-in-law, which in a small community like Laudium would identify them immediately. She insults her sister in law's behaviour at musical shows, for not cooking for her husband for not buying her in laws any gifts. She then curses her sister in law with a daughter in law that treats her badly.

f we are all part of the same story, is this the way we want it written. Would you not want to say, on the day of Judgement, I treated my parents well without having to point fingers at those who did not. Are we not advised to cover others' faults so Allah SWT will cover our own? This is perienent as well because of some of the cheap personal attacks aimed at and by bloggers. Allah tells us so beautifully about the story of A'isha, and how quickly the rumours flared about her. He says to the ebelievers at that time, and for us to apply today:
And why did you not, when you heard it, say? "It is not right of us to speak of this: Glory to God, this is a most serious slander" (24:16)

Every week stories are published in the Punchaat column. Some of my friends and I wanted to make a petition against it, but lots of people told us that they enjoy reading it so we shouldn't. Like riba, both parties are to blame.

Wikipedia's entry on Life, Love and Everything else

Thanks to h for directing me to this beautiful poet.

Light Is More Important Than The Lantern by Nizar Qabbani

Light is more important than the lantern,

The poem more important than the notebook,

And the kiss more important than the lips.

My letters to you

Are greater and more important than both of us.

The are the only documents

Where people will discover
Your beauty
And my madness.

Blog Meets World © ZubHab

***This is a copy of the mail I sent out to all whose mail addresses I had. Please see this as an impersonal monitor-blocking invite. I might turn out to be scarier than you believed. But come to satisfy you voyeuristic curioustiy anyway :P***

Peace all


On saturday 8th november at emmarentia botanical gardens there will be a freak meeting of the crazy loopy sub humnaoid species called bloggers.
Authorities have advised all to stay far away.
As it is saturday I say we don't be too ambitious and make it for 10 am.
Meaning you WILL have left the parking lot by 11am.

I'm bringing 30 seconds, maybe bring along fun games, sports stuff etc.
But stuff that encourages interaction i.e NO laptops psps etc.
You can bring some humans with too so we can stare at them for fun.

Also bring snacks to share with everyone.
Erm yeah. If anyone finds the prospect of leaving ur monitor phobic, i'm available for counselling. Paid in kind of course


PS plz forward if i've left anyone out

Would u rather invest in a whirlpool or loamy soil

What does this picture mean to you? Take a moment before you read further.

For me, it is giving this woman the dignity to earn her own living without having to beg for a loaf of bread, a bar of soap.
I haven't properly blogged about the empowerment initiative we are part of in a township in Soshanguve, thanks to the inspiration and support of Sanzaf. Sanzaf has found, through decades of working with underprivileged communities in SA, the rise of an ideology of entitlement. You are privileged Indian Muslim, I am unfortuante Black Muslim, I hold out my hands and you pour, Unfortunately hands that don't work for their keep don't look after it either. This is not the case everywhere, but it is a reality in most Muslim communities.

Sanzaf has sought to redress this by developing amazingly creative initiatives. Freak, I sound like a telemarketer. I'm not on their payroll I promise. They do stuff like bursaries. But they don't only give you the bursary and say Salaam. They provide you with textbooks, and involve you in community projects and excursions to educational places etc.

Their initiatives are based on the Grameen Bank model by Mohamed Yunus which works on the principle that the "poor" in society always have some resources. So, for example we give these women gardening tools and land. They use their physical energy and gardening expertise (which is waaay more than ours) to make a harvest.

The point of this post was to explain how much hope these projects bring to my life. But I can't explain it in words. Spending the day with the kids at the zoo. Seeing the community raise funds for their own Eid festivities. Participating in Qurbani with them, and teaching them how to slaughter their own sheep for the first time ever. There are so many amazing people involved. So I think the point of this post is, you can become one of them. Someone who does not just give out hampers or a meal and then go back to your enclave of comfort. Share the feeling of Shade you have, by empowering another person to feel capable. Befriend the woman sitting on the garden patch that is one step closer to her paying her daughter's school fees. Not that feeding schemes don't have a place. But in Brazil they give you fruit and veg per kilogram of waste and dirt you bring to recycle......

If you're in Jhb you can call Hoosen Essof- 083 313 6208
or Imthiaz Jhetam 084 45 786 30

Anywhere else enquire at the Sanzaf office.

Silly Kitty Hibbie Jibbies

This sounds so silly even when I say it to myself. When I tell it to my friends they laugh out loud. But I can't hide it any more. I am terrified of domesticated animals. Well dogs and cats to be specific. Developmentally, I blame my mum. I went through a phase around 6 when I reeeally wanted a white kitty with blue eyes but it was just a conditioned response to major gender role identification from my environment. Anyways my mum refused us pets.

This would be cool if a cat hadn't entered my life recently. This I also blame on my mum (Jeez I'm turning out to be a real Fraud, Oops slip of the tongue). Anyways my mum saw this stray cat outside and she had just listened to Mufti AK on CII and was therefore feeling a little lightheaded. And this cute greyish mixture cat miaows at her while she waters her herb garden. And she immediately imagines it's a farishta (angel) testing her generosity and she thinks about all the bala happening recently and decides feeding this cat could be the one small good deed that makes her look Albino on the day of Judgement. Of course this thing is conditioned to think like a Hillbrow squatter and now won't leave us alone. PS I know the Prophet SAW loved cats an looked after them. He also was awesome at archery whereas the one time I tried I skinned off half my forearm and killed some ants.

One morning in Ramadhan we were praying Fajr after Sehri and the darn thing sees the lights on and starts making a racket like it's in labour pains. And then it finds and open window and nearly attacks me while in Ruku. Okay maybe that's how it looked from my side. It just came really close with this I'm so hungry I could eat you look in its eyes. Lucky my screaming made my mum break her Salaah so peace reigned.

The thing is no matter how much I whirl high pitched shrieks of terror at the cat (I'm the one terrified) it refuses to leave me alone. The other night I was going to visit my neighbour and it followed me. And it gives me these puss in boots looks every time it sees me. And the scariest thing is that I'm realising that if I wasn't scared that this thing had rabies or lice or some other Ebola-like abomination, I would not mind feeding it. And I think, do I fear the cat, or do I fear the attachment that comes with caring for it.

To those everyday Wonders

People I know ask why my blog isn't filled with hilarious stories about my "patients".
Cofidentiality issues aside, the way Hollywood notoriorizes (my word) mental health issues is fare removed from the actual reality, warmth and respect of the time I spend with clients.
If I am laughing in a session it is usually due to a wisecrack made by them, as life's difficulties allows one an above average grip on humour. Here is something these wanderers of my soul have taught me:

Depression, to my nuanced sight,
Appears as my experiences of driving alone
Through a voluminous thunderstorm

My usually firm grip quivers
From the force of this unrelenting
Jaggedly shaking pressure

The roads that I usually whiz through
Singing at the top of my voice, become
Sinister, slippery, arduous with danger

The thunder assaults my ears and the lightning
Reflects the fear in my runny eyes
I am too weak for this, it is too strong

I need a safe rest stop, away, away, with
My doors and windows Locked. To protect
Me from what I cannot control

Our Room

Our room is cosy like a square four foot cottage
Hewn into a slumbering cave
With one entrance yet many exits
And they wonder where we come from

Our room has a lush orange carpet
On which we sit cross-legged like maulvis
Searching for truth yet creating fatwas
That refuse to leave when we do

Our room has a roof pregnant with cherry bunches
Each cherry bitter-sweet and tingling
Filled with some intoxicant we have no name for
That leaves us prancing and dizzy

Our room has a neighbour, a middle aged artist
Whose mixture of qur’an verses, old Indian songs
And the santoor sends shivers down our spines
Tomorrow, we sing back, there is always tomorrow

Our room travels in suitcases, in wallets and memory cards
It is where we still sit on walls and throw astros at boys
Or come home late or kill all evil or make everyone happy
It is, wherever we go, we are with me, mon cherie

Ummahatul Roohy

Ummatur Roohy

Ummatur Roohy, Mothers of My Soul,

Sisters of my thoughts

Daughters of my ideas

Keepers of my dreams

Our relations born out of improbability

Our bonds preserved implicitly

There is Ngara, beautiful, quick witted

Pure and perseverant as a Malian princess

Her healing spirit soothes.

Elizabeth, grounds us with sarcasm, innuendo

And opinionated debate

In her I see illusions of me, and am disillusioned

Itsweng, the nurturing Teacher, guides our hopes

With experiences of breeding worms, tantalizing men

And nourishing crowds, she is Strength

We are all leaders of our milieu, philanthropists of our Love

Celebrating the Peace we imbue


I like just before sunset
When the world sighs

I like the sound of grass
Crawling into my ears

I like movies with less dolby
More expression and space

I like when They forget
And I can bungy freekick

I like when They step back
And I See Love

I like when We do

My heartbeats skip
In Silence

Celebrating with WIP- Happy birthday Dillu :)

Financial Times Headline: World renowned CFA Graduate imparts her knowledge with an 8 year old.

Here's to intelligent kids, low maintenance dudes and hopefully one day a Halaal Woolworths delivery service :)

Ping Poing

Pic pic pic clatters a keyboard
Poc poc poc thoughts and letters unite
Pic poc pic poc pic pic poc
the song of sounding ideas and resounding comments

Mind My Language

Do you feel Aids?

It feels soft, like a thin blanket that is the only source of comfort for an infected child in a nasty smelling hospital,
It feels hard like the erection he just couldn't help satisfying with whomever, whenever
It feels wet like the newborn baby's head, born with a halo of stigma
It feel dry like the mouth sores on the B Com graduate's lips that refuse to be cured,
It feels callous like the stale bread that was all a 15 year old could feed her toddler brother,
It feels smooth like the legs of a seasoned hillbrow hour of guilty pleasure away from your wife,
It feels like nothing, like the thoughts a youthful brain riddled with dementia can produce,
It feels like everything, like the future parents take away when they die prematurely

And yet it is only when we change what Aids feels like
That it can stop being the bitch of Death

They will take our lives, and yet also our Freedom

The mourners sweep pavements with heartache
The one thing lost no one could break

The petals are dry her mhendi has faded
And yet until yesterday they had been radiant

So many miles her back was elevated straight,
These momentous steps someone else holds her weight

Tears splutter breathlessly, swallowing all air
Like our Laughter mercilessly slain to despair

To All, With Love

Maybe it's the economic or political mayhem but all I'm feeling right now is hate and anger and blasting of others on blogs. There is More. I know OH doesn't think much of arguments based on religious texts but bleh. Stumbling across this made my day:

Prophet Muhamed SAW said:

"The most beloved to Allah among the people are those who are most beneficial to others. The most beloved deeds in the sight of Allah are bringing happiness to a Muslim, removing his or her difficulty, paying off his or her debt, and removing his or her hunger. Going out with my Muslim brother [or sister] to take care of his [or her] need is more beloved to me than spending a month of i`tikaf[spiritual retreat in the mosque]. For those who control their anger, Allah will cover their shortcomings. For those who subdue their revenge that they can carry on, Allah will fill their hearts with happiness on the Day of Judgment. For those who walk with their brothers [or sisters] to take care of their needs, Allah will establish their feet on the Day when the feel will stumble. Bad temper spoils the deed as vinegar spoils honey." (Reported by At-Tabarani in the Kabir and by Ibn Abi Dunya. Al-Albani said it is a good hadith)

Everyone anticipates the relief,
Love story, greatness, Zuckerman odyssey,
Anything to put a star on the back of your palm,
A satellite to point out in the midnight sky
Something to stop life Going By

I shrug the Expectation for what it is
Play and amusement, no real gist
Stopping my freefall at its pinnacle
No autographs, biographies, free dvds
Will eclipse the ‘little” that is Me

Cursed heritage

I apologise for the banging heads
When you use my guts for your screeching violin
A phantom trauma playing out its last act
And never resolved, perpetually comes back
It is attracted to my innocent Stare
Whose unquestioning Love makes its insecurities flare...

Seven Counter-clockwise stirs

When we make tawaaf around the House of Allah in Makkah (the ka'bah) we imitate the actions of 70 000 angels that daily worship Allah at Baytul Ma'moor, situated in the 7th heaven directly above the current position of the Ka'bah. I imagine it as a process of winding up, of revitalising, of remembering the reason Allah created Men and Jinn, this purpose so simply illustrated in this action, yet forgotten in the millions of actions we perform elsewhere.

When we walk away from tawaaf, we have to remember how our footsteps were determined in a way that pleases Him, and start applying this principle in the actions that are not so straightforward. You would imagine the closer you are to this powerhouse, this core which encompasses so much of Islam's history, the easier it would be to live this purpose. To my horror, I see Makkah forgetting the honour it has been bestowed with. I see it being a city that has the Ka'bah and yet all of the Ihsaan that is supposed to emanate from this structure, based on man's repentance and revival is lost. Instead of breeding Knowledge, Wisdom, Learning and Power, around the Ka'bah we see rampant materialism, the purpose of which breeds the sanctity of this city into a dry stalk instead of the vibrant palm tree it has the potential to become.

Just a few steps away from the Ka'bah is Abraj al Bait, encompassing a multi-layered Dubai-styled shopping complex with international fast food outlets and branded clothing shops galore. Muslims meet in this place from all over the world and instead of sharing knowledge and creating bonds, as even the pagan Arabs did during the pilgrimage of the Jahiliyyah period, we bargain for items that help us little in our quest for Jannah and Allah's Pleasure. There is one tower to be built still, and plans are in check for it to have a bowling alley and health club. No matter that the best exercise one can engage oneself in is a few steps away. All around the current centre are LCD screens with ads of women without hijab, and as you leave the sign greets you with a pleasant "Have a nice day".

Imagine what else could we create in these blessed spaces while embracing the advantages of technology. I would love to visit Makkah and go on simulated tours of all of the Prophet's lives as Disneyland does so well. Infotainment, and yet the Wahaabism that allowed a Fir'aun-like castle to be built here, would label this bid'ah. How children would enjoy engaging in games that tested their Islamic knowledge, we could have conference rooms filled with people from all over the world attending lectures in their language and creating the bond of Grass mentioned in the Qur'an about the Sahabah RA. My ideas are breaths of carbon dioxide in a raging fire, yet I do not see how an Islamic Revival can be created when the source is so bereft.


Sometimes it feels like I've created this huge circular track with intertwining lanes and I'm playing a game of bumping cars with everything in my life. Unlike Important Person 01 whose trajectory is like a rollercoaster up which she propels herself and the downhills swirl her in unexpected momentums of bliss. Or Important Person 02 who was born on an eagle and spends most of her waking hours trying to tame it and the rest enjoying its jittery fells and swoops.

Cut and Paste

Explanation for Hijab

Unsettled breeze of musk, roses and grilled chicken...

Celebrating Ramadhan in a non-Muslim country has added challenges. When your colleagues come to chat holding steaming mugs of coffee and your eyes become a little glazed, when the traffic doesn't get that carb-deprivation is directly proportianl to road rage, when the doughnut lady walks past, etc. yet I believe all these challenges make our Imaan (faith) and Iradah (willpower) stronger. In isolation and through temptation we persist and soon it becomes easy to resist conformist urges and just Be.

There are downfalls though. Having to wake up for work means that you don't get to stay up as much at night and pray as much as you want to. There are so many distractions, obligations, responsibilites, courtesies we fulfill in the time when we could be engaging in deeper remembrance and contemplation.

Alhumdulillah I will be reaping the benefits of both worlds this Ramadhan as I leave soon to complete Ramadhan in Saudia. Here there is no distraction and ample opportunity for Qiyamul Layl (standing up in prayer throughout the night) as during the last ten nights they complete over a tenth of the Qur'an in Salaah every evening. I have realized that if you memorize some of the Qur'an and read the English as you are going over it, you pick up a lot of Arabic words. Even if you simply read the Arabic and then the English you begin to understand some of the gist and this helps me greatly in Taraweeh to keep my concentration

Anyways. Please forgive any whatsoevers. I'm going to make like a generic du'a that Allah grants all of you your wishes that He feels will be good for you, and keeps those things that are not good for you away from you. Any special spin offs can be mentioned in the Comments.

Have a peaceful, plateau-ful month and love-filled Eid

There is a Time...

A shadow trails the Wind.
Ascending on Her momentum,
Ecstatic in Her rush,
it bides until She returns.

Fearing the genesis of
its own forceful motion, it
Hides in disappointments and
Forgets its own powerful potential

Eyelashes: Interrupted

This is an exhibitionist blog on what makes me wake up in the morning, totally coerced by Prixie :P
I have to write 5 things in no particular order:

1. Travel: I am no bint battuta :( But I awesomely want to be. The thrill of a different culture and setting, even if it's rural Scandianvia. I like places. And not visiting. Travelling is slugging over a month in the same vicinity learning what bread is in their language and looking good in their clothes.

2. A Good Ray of Light and Associated Moonbeams: The company of Angels, Taraweeh trackers, Msa kids and all species of Grass.

3. Noojettes: There are currently 8 of them out there that can lighten up my day. They are the only humans that I experience extreme Unconditional Positive Regard around. The analyst in me calls this insecure but wth as long as I have them...

4. Pomegranate and Blueberry Juice at Iftaar: Looks and tastes like Gummi Berry Juice. I love pomegranates not only because they are mentioned in the Qur'an but also because they are purple.

5. Sleeping the next evening- nafsul pleasure to the max!

You're tagged!

Appetizer - Island of the Raped Woman

Maybe this poem appealed to me because I like dessert.
Or because I want to go home now.
Or because every human has an island.

Island of the Raped Women

There are no paved roads here and all of the goats
are well-behaved. Mornings, beneath thatched shelters,
we paint wide-brimmed straw hats. We paint them
inside and outside. We paint very very fast. Five
hats a morning. We paint very very slow. One hat
a week. All of our hats are beautiful and we all look
beautiful in our hats. Afternoons, we take turns:
mapping baby crabs moving in and out of sand, napping,
baking. We make orange and almond cake. This requires
essence and rind. Whipped cream. Imagination.
We make soft orange cream. This requires juice
of five oranges and juice of one lemon. (Sometimes
we substitute lime for the lemon. This is also good.)
An enamel lined pan. Four egg yolks and four ounces
of sugar. This requires careful straining, constant
stirring, gentle whisking. Watching for things not
to boil. Waiting for things to cool. We are good
at this. We pour our soft orange cream into custard
cups. We serve this with sponge cake. Before
dinner, we ruffle pink sand from one another's hair.
This feels wonderful and we pretend to find the results
interesting. We all eat in moderation and there is no
difficulty swallowing. We go to bed early. (Maybe, we
even turn off lights. Maybe, we even sleep naked. Maybe.)
We all sleep through the night. We wake eager from dreams
filled with blue things and designs for hats.
At breakfast, we make a song, chanting our litany
of so much collected blue. We do not talk of going
back to the world. We talk of something else
sweet to try with the oranges: Sponge custard.
Served with thick cream or perhaps with raspberry sauce.
We paint hats. We paint hats.

By Frances Driscoll- Rape Survivor

Until the Rope rips through my Skin

Looking back at the events of today feel like watching a movie.

Visiting the extended family with gifts of dates and catching up on stories.
Smiles and laughter- the spirit of Ramadhan
Children running in the park- all excited for the coming celebrations
Reacquainting with the first juz- familiar grooves beckoned
The silvery dust of Taraweeh, among old travellers
The victory of having the first juz and a quarter accomplished
And then

Just when your popcorn becomes more interesting than the plot....

The Cavernous Split
Faces filled with horror
Phone lines vibrating with shock
A plummetting realization
The "Was Wasa" have struck

May God (Glory be to Him) save us all

At 4am on the windy morning on the 1st of September, the siren announcing the beginning of the blessed month of Ramadhaan rang through the streets of Laudium. The evil whisperings of discord were momentarily silenced in the rush of housewives to fry express rotis at last minute notice. For now the Ummah is engaged in the usual riffery of 8 raka'ah duas and beards, ankles and household furniture. And so may it carry on. I am not looking forward to a sequel.

Red Magic

In your Eyes
My heartbeats were
As mercury in a thin tube

____ ing
__ ar
P l
__u m m
______e t t i n g

An affirmation of your presence,
is all.

Belittled Youth

The runny chocolate in dipped chokits
The aroma of grass in your hair
Or freshly baked bread or crisp fajr air
The melted caramel deep in a sundae
Sprinklers on a blistering summer’s day
Sweet Ice down your throat at iftaar
Many many layers of my Id
Waiting for the Shade of His pleasure

Inspiration here

Get them Axes! Oops this is SA, how about a bag of hangers?

20 virtual coolness points to whoever deciphers the "Axes" reference in the title...

It's been a long, wow, year of firsts. To add to this, this is the first year I am taking complete responsibility of my duty to my Creator to disperse the wealth He has blessed me with. According to Zakaah experts, it is firstly an act of an Ibaadah as, 28 out of the 30 times it is mentioned in the Qur'an it is mentioned in conjunction with another compulsory act of Ibaadah, Salaah.

Everything in this post is mostly what I learnt in a pre-Ramadhan Zakaah seminar today.

I leant that once you have acquired a certain minimum amount of wealth known as Nisaab, it is your God-given responsibility to care for those who do noty have as much as you. I learnt that Zakaah can be distributed in several ways and we should be striving for exellence in the use of this beautiful tool. I learnt that there were 2 periods in Islamic history where the Islamic economy and Zakaah system were functioning so well that there were no poor to distribute Zakaah amongst.

There are 8 categories of people who are eligible to receive Zakaah, and we need to take this into a contemporary perspective. For example, there is a category called "Fir riqab" which means those in bondage, or captive. To me, this would mean for example using Zakaah money to hire lawyers to plead the case of those in Guantanamo Bay. However, the Malaysian government uses part of the one eighth allocated for this category to rehabilitate prostitutes, using the logic that they have become captive of their circumstances. The breadth of the impact of this social system does astound me at its healing potential.

The specifics of Zakaah calculation although superficially complex, seem to me very logical in their application. The most important part of course is your pure Niyyah to fulfill your obligation. It saddens me at how people believe that they can cut corners in this duty when from a spiritual and material lens, the more you open your fist, the more delectables it contains (S.2 V. 261).

What is left for me to decide is how exactly to distribute this money that Allah has given me to help my people. The easiest and most fail-safe it seems is to give it to a respectable organisation like Sanzaf who is transparent about how they use the money. Or I could use it for the upliftment of a needy community, through empowerment projects. I could also simply give food and clothes to the less fortunate but that is contrary to the "Axes" principle I believe in. I could use it to pay for someone's school or university fees, if they are eligible or many other noble endeavours that are sanctioned and encouraged by Shari'ah. How are you planning to utilise this blessing and duty?

Arrival of Snarling, Raw meat chewing Nooj

Right now I'm the type of angry that could cause me to swing a samurai sword firmly with both pairs of triceps strengthened by making pizza dough. Swing it through the neck of this monster and cut it clean off and then yes burn this head in slick black oil. Jesus will appreciate me on his team.

We went for a comedy show this evening at my alma mater. I love live shows, theatre, sports events, parades, anything that I experience in the moment.

It was horrific.

The ampitheatre was packed to capacity with students. And they all laughed. Since when did inserting "Fuck" and "you ma se poes" in every sentence become hilarious? Joined with blatant racist jokes such as white people rot after 75 (accompanied with raucous laughter) as well as constant outright explicit (this tautology is for emphasis) references to sex.

These were comedians that I have heard in other settings as pretty funny. But they danced to their audience's whoops and so defiled their profession.

These are students who have fell into the slick black oil that is their current dominant discourse- of clubbing and house parties and drinking and promiscuity. Our future, bright as a used condom.

I do have the ability to influence these students in my current capacity. It is just that after an experience like this I feel so very demotivated.

Hamish Bandwagon

Jarred Apology

Mixture of camphor, masala and lime
Pristines you for a journey sublime

Bending Lines

The following lines by Abu 'Ali ad-Daqqaq strike a chord currently:

"Each day that passes, a portion of me it takes away,
On the heart, a bitter taste it leaves, and then glides away."

Yes enchanted has bewitched my poetry reading:)
So much has changed in the past 4 centuries, 4 days, hours, months; for me, for you, for all of us.
I look at my student card of the cute girl with rosy cheeks and I want to laugh with her, tell her you don't know what's coming but you will enjoy it. I think I am at the age where I still have so much to look forward to. What about those parents who have lost children, what future do they anticipate? Or is life for them as it was for Macbeth, a reel of endless, haunting tomorrows?

Loss has fascinated humans for forever, because we hold on. It is the nature of this earth, we want to create, we forget that the energy balance is constant, newton's 3rd law as goldmimbar told me recently. Al-Kindi, one of the first psychologists said, "if we do not tolerate losing or dislike being deprived of what is dear to us, then we should seek after riches in the world of the intellect. In it we should treasure our precious and cherished gains where they can never be dispossessed…for that which is owned by our senses could easily be taken away from us". The psychodynamic movement in psychology was just an echo of Al-Kindi, where depression is seen as inner grieving for an object that has been lost: a breast, a teddybear, a loving caress.

I also fear loss. Baghdad is gone, erupted in fumes of self-aggrandisement and lack of pre-emptive action by Muslims to preserve our heritage. This is one of the reasons I yearn to study in Syria, it is one of the few places left where one retains the wisom of the ages. In its atmosphere, the bazaars, far away from the dreaded mass production gallows of Mr. Price, Edgars and Woolworths, leave you with a sense of delight as you search for treasures. I am a scavenger when shopping. I look through that which everyone else has discarded and create something. Um, I digress.

The only way, I believe, to counter loss is to seek it. Give of that which you want, says Deepak Chopra. It sounds crazy and illogical but there is some attraction to it. The hadith that says that no day should be the same as the following confirms this. The less mice the eagle keeps in its talons as it ascends, the faster it reaches a better destination.


Boys like greasy burgers
Sauntering with sauciness,
Flaunt their floppy lettuce,
Slime your lips and
Leave a taste that itches
Of thirsty regret


There you are
Hiding between cursive lines
And tennis biscuit-coffee cereal.
Please turn around,
Your shoulder blades trembling
From your adventure self-destructing.
Blink away your fear
Believe in me
I remember, there is more......

There's something about...

This post will NOT begin with I. Ok that's over with :)

An issue that's been vibrating in many of you guys' minds has affected me too recently. Of peter parker and hidden identities and anonymity. It started with my colleagues saying that for someone in my profession blogging is not a great idea. And I look at other people's blogs and I admire their candid use of imagery and creating this persona that they use just here. It's beautiful how everything is linked and expressed. Unlike my idea for a blog- hey, let's use my name- flipping original innit? So I thought of taking someone's advice and omitting it. But that would mean I'd have to delete everything I've written because it's all related to Noorjehaan in some way and I would have nothing else to write. I'm a remix without a filter right now and I do believe that my honesty will hurt at some point and then thenooj will peace out.
I like Saaleha's header- "I wanna be a famous writer". Famous to me means you and at least one other person in the world thinks you made a difference. Everyone wants to be famous at something, don't you? I wanna be famous at facilitating. Just faciliating. On the floor , under a tree, in a classroom, in an office, at the beach. The thing I wanna facilitate is specific but I haven't named it yet. Also my header is childish but it is the only image I could create without cutting and pasting someone else's stuff so it's cool.
I painfully yet noisily supported Amakhosi on Saturday in patriotic vein. It makes more sense than supporting a team beased on players striving for higher pay. Like the fan thing on facebook, you support a product like Google which just wants to make money out of you. However, you support them based on quality and service, which I can identify with. Football players however choose a team based on pay and not the principles of the team. Football teams I guess strive for the best game plan and teamwork, but it's motivated simply by money- and so is Google. I think it's cool to support them but not to go crazy. Unlike a brand like Grass Rocks which I will put money and almost everything into. I am trying to avoid sentences that begin with "I" :P

Chinapit in an orange

Eons beyond
Jihad lost and won
Uranium breathes
Inner in,
As Lucas’s Darth
Or Harry’s Tom

A reminder
Of breaths
Not returned,
Now polluted,
It is important, to me
They be kept, not left

Stumble or More

The butterfly will pause wistfully on a branch. She will spy on the sand and the roots, in the few seconds she has. Then she will reluctantly flutter and lift off. Butterflies do not only care about making money for insurance adverts through the graceful arching and troughing of their delicate wings. They do not just enjoy being lightweight and miraculously beautiful, and having access to the most awesome experience ever, that of flying. They also remember a time, before the insidious cocoon, when looking for the next drop of nectar or a tree branch, or another butterfly was not their life’s purpose. They remember a time when they were content in their little world, close to the ground, surrounded by all they needed. A time when they weren’t exposed to a world that was higher and sweeter and freer. And they stumble.

A Mashed Mint

Circles that drown your abdomen
Instead of infusing whirls

*I am uncertain about the value of nariyah khatams

Leaves This Earth

The thing I like about my “culture” is
When someone leaves this earth
Dozens of people, knowing someone
Knowing that person, or not,
Come to support and pray and console
And even though it was my first time
Meeting this person’s memory, I think perhaps
The prayer-verses I sent for him, mean more
Than all the smiles and gratuities I would offer
In this Life.

Green Dust and Purple Steam

Ok so anyone with email will know this is a pic of the Northern Lights and not the Msa Camp.

But the last day to me looked like this. The entire thing was much like the wall climbing we did. The first three footholds drained all my energy. From then onwards I scrambled up and hit the silver roof with a bang so fast that as I was jumping back on my rope on the way down I had to blink to make sure it wasn't all a dream.
Time was the craziest thing it just kept slipping away. Most of the time I felt like Hammy from Over the Hedge when he drank Red Bull. Making decisions for up to 50 people made me have to think and act 50 times faster. And it was so worth it on the last day to see the green dust sprinkled all over. This is embodied in the quote by Eric Hoffer which is a friend's email signature: "In times of change, learners inherit the earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists" . And seeing this materialise loosened the grip of Unfulfilled Responsibilty from my heart. Not that I don't have so much more still to fulfill. But since my first camp I have needed to give back this life changing experience to others. It sounds like I'm romanticising Msa here but Msa is just an arbitrary bunch of letters put together. It means different things to different people and at different ages. Like the AnC its meaning can change in less than a decade. What we needed to punt was the objectives and goals of higher striving as youth. On that note I wish the AnC would invest in camps like these so that to prevent the creation of more Julius's and Fikile's. We can't bitch about the state of the next generation when we're doing fluck all to change it.

I love the architecture and vibe at Sun City. We go as families together and stay in chalets and swim and braai and chill in the relaxed atmosphere. The decor is facinating combining the heritage of Africa with a modern feel. The landscaping, greenery and facilities are so well planned that even though you no it is not natural you can't help be mesmerised by their beauty. But then you enter the entertainment centre and you look at the core purpose of all of this wowness. Pensioners feeding hundred rand notes into machines lovingly as if feeding leaves to a deer. We justify things that cannot be overlooked.

Personal Prayer

I seek refuge in the Lord of the Dawn

In His calm on my irascible impatience

His miracles in my desperate dreams

His mercy on my insurmountable insecurities

His pleasure reaping pliant purpose

How to Take Over the World

On days like these, on weeks like these. When strangers become the Malaaikah of the Battle of Badr and the cosmos tests your every insecurity, you need to own something. Light up some universe. Bless my subjects, the loyal epsom salts, radox lavender and deep heat bubbles; citizens of the noojverse that explode and implode at my will.

Colours or Twilight Wanderings

Black and white photos are sometimes so beautiful. Their simplicity highlights their lines and expressions and you see so much more than you usually would. But God created colour to make the world vibrate and buzz with life. Life is seldom black and white and things are seldom easy to see or figure out. Colour is magic.

I sometimes wonder if everyday there are different colours of magic dust floating around. These are the colours I have experienced:

Bright green: the magic you get from true friendship, pruned through experience and loyalty. Pliant, lively and mischievous, like a tree imp.

Regal dark purple: the magic of blood, kindred traditions, obligations and duty. Keeps you going beyond etiquette and formality, when all bonds are broken, those of kindred hold strong.

Bright red: an attractive magic; filled with power lust and feelings of superiority. This dust is experienced when those with power yield it mercilessly and it fills their head with a certain illusion of grandeur and importance.

Shiny yellow: superficial, glittery magic, found when buying a designer pair of stillettos or being surrounded by opulence and luxury. What a high, yet with no inner substance.

Misty grey: the magic of demisting; that ethereal sadness when fog clouds your heart with despair, you feel like life cannot carry on yet the magic lies in the human will to survive and overcome. Misty grey magic dulls the senses and makes life effortful, teaching us what we should be grateful for when it has been swept away by the wind.

Magenta purple- the magic found in romantic love. Causing the skin to glow, and the eyes to shine, this magic dust keeps the nerves skipping and the world dancing. Its depth is endless and holds many secrets not readily apparent.

Turquoise blue: Calming, the magic one finds in faith and divine belief. It descends on one’s soul like a balm during the least opportune moments and refreshes your outlook and actions.

**This colour thing is ultra subjective. Do you agree with mycolurs or have you created your own?
**** Click here for Dawud Wharnsby Ali's awesome Colurs of Islam song

On Fantasy: Watching lord of the rings for the first time made my love for Harry Potter waiver since so many of the ideas are similair. In the movies, Gandalf resembles Dumbledore, Harry resembles Frodo, Pippin and Merry resemble Fred and George, the ring is like Harry’s scar and also like a horcrux, etcetera. Yet I realised at the end, Rowling’s genius lay in taking these fantastical ideas and embedding them in a modern Muggle setting. However, this could also in the long-term be her downfall since the modern world is changing so rapidly. By creating a fantastical world removed from reality, Tolkien’s Middle Earth and even Pratchett’s Discworld keep themselves accessible to the imagination over generations.
On another note, Samwise was my hero. The shire lifestyle reminds me so much of how I grew up, in a sheltered, narrowminded comfortable environment not embracing the apartheid struggle or being instrumental in political affairs The reaction of the people of Gondor to the threat of Sauron reminds me much of our current suburbian citizens to the threat of crime. We retreat into complexes or emigrate which just exacerbates the ever-growing threat. It is only when we stand up against this injustice, hopefully with a leader such as Aragorn or Gandalf, that crime can be defeated.

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