Between my shadow and my soul

Puncturing Rhythms

Death punctuates Life S.t.o.p. Pause, Belong' Feel! Ponder? Accept... Once again I feel indebted to my culture for the Ritualised mutterings and the close-knit boundarylessness That makes this Real Followers, we are generations Generating and generated Interdepending genesis with nemesis

Spring Garden

Credit for pic

In the midst of a meadow of sand, she sowed some seeds

And woke early to prepare them for the sun’s rays

Humming soothing remedies for their aches and tender caresses

When they drank, water she collected from the middle of the lake

Such crystal, vibrant beauty a creation never created, and of course

The story begins with the meadow she sought, in a hardened land

Cracked and dry, her coarse fingers knead and crumbled, and of course

She could not know the meadow was surrounded by angst, the bi-annual quakes

She swiftly overcame and toiled and toiled and toils still, underestimating

Her own perseverance, and the Valley’s molten terrored core

"Poetry is to be slurped up"

The Examiner
by F.R. Scott, A poem written in the 1940's in Canada concerning
the American schooling system

The routine trickery of the examination baffles these hot and discouraged youths

Driven by they know not what external pressure, they pour their hated self-analysis, through the nib of confession, onto the accusatory page

I, who have plotted their immediate downfall, I am entrusted with the divine categories: A, B, C, D, and the hell of F

The parade of prize and the back door of past, in the tight silence, standing by green grass window, watching the fertile earth graduate its sons with more compassion

Not commanding the shape of stem and stamen, bringing the trees to pass by shift of sunlight and increase of rain

For each seed, the whole soil; for the inner life, the environment receptive and contributory

I shudder at the narrow frames of our textbook schools in which we plant our so various seedlings

Each brick-walled barracks, cut into numbered rooms, black boarded, ties the venturing chute to the master's stick

The screw-desk rows of lads and girls, subdued in the shade of an adult, their acid sub-soil, shape the new to the old in the ashen garden

Shall we, shall we open the whole skylight of thought to these tip-toe minds, bring them our frontier worlds and the boundless uplands of art for their field of growth?

Or shall we pass them the chosen poems with the footnotes, ring the bell on their thoughts, period their play, make laws for averages and plans for means, print one history book for a whole province and let 90,000 read page 10 by Tuesday?

As I gather the inadequate paper evidence, I hear across the neat campus lawn the professional mower's drone clipping the inch-high grass.

On finding something that starts endorphins popping madly

That light of understanding in your eyes makes the stars shiver at your beauty

The secret of infinity

Explanation of pic

We need to watch the nafs, the ego, like a cat watching a mousehole. We need to grind it down, so that we become like light.

Abdul Hakim Murad

*whisper in the trees*

Credit for pic

Seconds before the rain
with the sweetest smell ever to alight
the fragile sense of scent

The earth shattered

Roots and mortar, hearts and joints,
we fled. we had to. into, those crevices
of mihrab and ostracism,
and decayed. and hid. and cried

Centuries of tears lie within your soul dear human,
forget us not, repress us not, regret us not,
for through us you may taste abundance

All I wish for Us

"The point is, I'd much rather have my time consumed making my own bread outdoors than kill it watching some reality TV show in a so-called "living" room. Where money once provided me with my primary sense of security, I now find it in friends and the local community. Some of my closest mates are people I only met because I had to build real relationships with others based on trust and kindness, not money"
Read it all here

Post Mortem

It is only in hindsight that you see how innocent and beautiful
some of the things that scare you in life are.


I am acutely aware of the creeping in of agedness,
In my exasperation at their excitement based on ignorance,
In how I can predict the blooming of flowers, from memory,
In my marvelling respect for those who filled in the clouds,
In my letting go to give their ideas space,
And in my deep sense of responsibility,
To be remembered by Right, and to leave them with Good

Between you and I

"It was not her fault. She was like the water that freezes inside a rock and breaks it apart. It was no more her fault than it is the fault of the water when the rock shatters" One Stab

This is a secret. We do know. As women we are aware of how we smile and how we look away and how we move towards you. We notice the look in your eyes and your eyes following us across the room. And sometimes, we want more than we need, more than we can appreciate. We can love three different people at the same time, in different ways and want them all to be enraptured by us. We can make our tears hurt more than your pride being wounded. This is more than about relationships. Beyond the world of men and women there is a world of women. Where we have Khadija's, Aasiyah's and Maryams and Bilqees's. They fight, not only for their own salvation, but for the world of women to move beyond games, towards battles, towards purpose and towards independent and free-spirited achievement. And it comforts me that somewhere out there, there is also a world of men that aspires beyond.

The One Comfort

You have to dream about it
Even when you do it every day





Love, Doesnt

Parasputing and Khadija challenge:Tick tock

she can't wait for him any longer. the buses will have stopped and home deserves her more right now. yes, we must be optimistic, we must be open to this. mums are right but not ever at the precise second when they say it. the days seem to get longer and yet time less tangible. ah but clocks are a fetish she shall not deny. let's stop at kitsch kool on the way home, it's always a pick me up. and it was the inkomazi one more so, she bought it for her domestic, not sure if it was appropriate but spontaneous gestures have more credence, instinct is something deep and yet so altogether stupid it seems. heathen, primitive, lower order, id. who does not love their id. can love exist without an id. she doesnt believe so, love is surrendering to and fighting the id at the same time. loving humans is so silly though, and base and relative and easy. loving ideals, loving for the sake of something that you can taste in the fountain of heaven, like the ability to have pink streaks brightening your morning this is...

Time's up.
I doubt I would have gotten anywhere but where I did though.
I tag Fatima but she must do it in 2 weeks.

Staring into the tiger's eyes
Forces her to cower, purr and
Roll over for her belly to be rubbed

Don't hide from Love,
Deceived by her apparent repulsiveness.

Beyond appearance lies Faith

*Sometimes you get gobbled up. Life is worth the risk.

I've learnt

That good intentions are never enough. Here, and there.
You're going to need some resolve and some love and some talent and some absolute surrender and some fighting when you have nothing to stop your good intentions from being fucked into smithereens, and to be your propeller when your toes let go of the clouds.


These are two of my favourite actresses based on the sole criterion of loveliness. I don't think its queer that girls can find girls lovely and vice versa- it's just an indication of the type of beauty we appreciate. I deliberately chose a "natural" picture of Keira, I wish the majority of pictures of her on google images didn't feature artificially inflated boobs, she has pretty enough features. Winona has always fascinated me- I remember as a young kid I had those CNA diaries with all the movie stars and she was my favourite, despite the shoplifting charges that came later on. I like how she stars in the non mainstream stuff and didn't go through the "Jennifer Aniston complex" for fame. Edward Scissorhands and Girl, Interrupted for example. I love Edward Scissorhands, I think Tim Burton type humour flushes Judd Apaptow type humour down the toilet. There is no point to this disjointed post, I just found it interesting that the two actresses I find lovely resemble one another, gives credence to evolutionary theory.

I think

Half of love is

Resting your shoulders and eyes

From flying the kite

(Link with scarecrow explained in this story)

The Hidden

Cancerous blood clots gather in the dusty corners of your soul,
where Fear says you cannot, are not, explore not
The More, the Other, the Me you cannot Feel

Weddings are...

and Giggles in fitting rooms.

The Breathing

Now, you have two choices. To huddle within and be who you were, or to let go and allow Life to decide who you can be...

**Blog format ripped from my latest fetish

Potholing cerebral grooves

On my way, passing the library, as always, I detour past your shelf
Agriculture magazine racks disguise it today, if it was there at all

Typing out a report I click on your playlist, needing some rhythmic rejuvenation
A stuttering burst of jazz perplexes me, did I misplace it?

Smelling pineapples in the fruitress I remember your craving,
Out of season, dearie, smiles the kindly old cashier

Friends take me for Italian, I eagerly turn to the starters for your speciality,
But all I see is a bevy of foreign-sounding soup mixes

Anxiety waves through my spine, am I dreaming? No, I realise, it is just folly to believe
Your presence can exist in my life, yet out of my heart

Being a guest at the Prophet SAW's mosque in Medinah- Picture blog

The electronic umbrellahs that shield visitors from the sun close after Maghrib in Medinah

Iftar outside the Prophet SAW's Mosque in Medinah- not one person goes hungry in this city during RamadhanJust before fast breaking (Iftar) in Medinah


It seems a blogger vogue this year to find an image that conjures the Ramadhan feeling for you and try to atriculate that, a chic spin off from Rorsharch projective techniques. I tag all those that haven't yet to try it. The pic above comes from here, it is a Saguraro or Harvest moon that was named so because it allowed farmers to harvest crops by moonlight. the The moon has great resonance with Ramadhaan for me, as we search for the Hilal and as it keeps us company during the qiyamulalyl. My favourite time of day during Ramadhan and also during Spring and Summer generally, is the half an hour before Maghrib when a content tranquility settles over the earth, as the rush of the day eases, and we can breathe deeper and reflect on our actions for the day. In Ramadhan that time of day for me is a transition from Sabr to Shukr, from submission to Allah's will, to gratefulness for His bounties. We are grateful for having the mental and bodily strength to serve him, we are thankful for his Mercy in allowing us to break our fast with the food and drink He has created specially for our enjoyment.

The verse is also special for me, perhaps because it has the word Noor in it 5 times. It is very positive, encouraging us towards light instead of reprimanding us for darkness. I enjoy Ibn al Qayyim's beautiful commentary. The entire thing is a bit long but here is the excerpt most applicable to me right now:

It is about this light-its abode, its bearer and its fuel-that God has coined the parable of the niche, which is like the breast. In this niche lies a globe made of purest glass, like a glistening planet in whiteness and purity-a similitude for the heart, likened to glass inasmuch as it possesses the qualities of the believer's heart: clarity, fineness and firmness. By its clarity [the believer] sees truth and direction; by its fineness he acquires kindness and mercy; by its firmness he combats God's enemies, and stands firm in his resistance to them and upholds the truth.

In contrast to this heart, there are two other reprehensible types. One is the heart that is hard like stone, devoid of compassion, generosity or social good; devoid, too, of the clarity by which God may be seen-a heart dominated by ignorance, with neither knowledge of the truth, nor compassion for fellow creatures.

The other is the heart that is as weak as water. It is devoid of strength and firmness, accepts any idea, but lacks the strength to stand by what it accepts. It is devoid of the power to affect anyone, but is itself affected by everything it mingles with-be it strong or weak, wholesome or tainted.

May this Ramadhan be a process of compassion and strength for all our hearts Insha Allah.

Something I never thought I would understand

No one talks about this part, the being a leaf in the wind part.
So I'm saying it. You will not care, you will get to a point where nothing can take this away from you even if it just left five minutes ago. And it's totally out of character for your need to control. You haven't become someone else, or forgotten who you are, you just have learnt a new coping mechanism.
If the first person who discovered fire had just put her hand over it to own it, she would have burnt her fingers and put out the fire. So you must be alright with exposing it to the wind, it can only get stronger or fly away and you have no choice in the matter.
Without thinking you trust the wind, because otherwise you'll miss out on the scenery. And that will be missing the whole point of jumping. Jumping with your eyes closed out of fear or ignorance means you didn't really want to jump.
I'm sorry if I appear a little removed from it all right now, because until I crash land there's nothing that can make me care.
Ila yawmil waqtil ma'loom

**A lovely, talented and wordphiliac friend has just joined our cult. Please welcome her here

100:1 is not a War, It's a Massacre: Prof Norman Finkelstein

Keffiyeh Day: 14th August 2009

In Jerusalem by Mahmoud Darwish
In Jerusalem, and I mean within the ancient walls,
I walk from one epoch to another without a memory
to guide me. The prophets over there are sharing
the history of the holy . . . ascending to heaven
and returning less discouraged and melancholy, because love
and peace are holy and are coming to town.
I was walking down a slope and thinking to myself: How
do the narrators disagree over what light said about a stone?
Is it from a dimly lit stone that wars flare up?
I walk in my sleep. I stare in my sleep. I see
no one behind me. I see no one ahead of me.
All this light is for me. I walk. I become lighter. I fly
then I become another. Transfigured. Words
sprout like grass from Isaiah’s messenger
mouth: “If you don’t believe you won’t believe.”
I walk as if I were another. And my wound a white
biblical rose. And my hands like two doves
on the cross hovering and carrying the earth.
I don’t walk, I fly, I become another,
transfigured. No place and no time. So who am I?
I am no I in ascension’s presence. But I
think to myself: Alone, the prophet Mohammad
spoke classical Arabic. “And then what?”
Then what? A woman soldier shouted:
Is that you again? Didn’t I kill you?
I said: You killed me . . . and I forgot, like you, to die.

Nil magnum, Nisi bonum- No Greatness without Goodness

I found this in Life of Pi. And it encapsulates a lot of my philosophy of life I feel. This post isn't about me but somehow all my posts need to have an "I" in them. This is called metacognition, I tell students. Focus. I'm trying to find a further origin of that quote without success. But the meaning is still Great, that unless we can feel good about what we do, there is no Greatness in our actions, despite outward fame and glory. A Christian friend once found it incongruent how I can be so conservative yet not judgemental in my religious beliefs. And that for me is part of goodness, of being accountable to Him only no matter and soemtimes despite what others do. This post is about Someone by the way.

A person whom no one realises is great because he is too busy being Good. A person who cares and doesn't ask for caring back. A person who always has more to give. A person who now needs to be recognised because there is something wrong with the world if we don't recognise Goodness. A person who has so much person in him that I fear he might let it go to allow People in. Please, don't. We care for you and want you to keep your Person. Don't let us down ;) *jowk* And in true Khadija style, who has person and opinions enough to go around, and whose island I will always ambush, I leave you with words that shine with colour more than my waffling: "Greatness lies, not in being strong, but in the right using of strength."- Henry Ward Beecher (who is that btw?).

Hey I started blogging again :)

And what he has created in the earth of varied hues most surely there is a sign in this for a people who are mindful (16:13)

The flora of Malawi and Namibia.

"There are so many colours in the rainbow,
so many colours in the morning sun,
so many colours in the flowers,
And I love Every One"
Dawud Wharnsby Ali


Please excuse my overalls :)

Useless skin

Mein ruh ist hin, Mein herz ist schwer


Tear his skin under your fingernails, but
The ferocity of your hate
Boomerangs your shoulders into convulsions

A woman's body is a temple, wash your hands and feet,
Remove your shoes, but this was a half-drunk opportunist
Posing as a begar just to urinate on the brocade

I am no Prophetic example, I will not kill
But I cannot forgive

Why I don't have balls

One of my friends is doing a thesis on a sexist model that paints women as timid and non-confrontational. He has made me aware of what a "girl" I am. So this model says that women would prefer to "tend and befriend" any threatening object instead of the traditional fight or flight model. They say that from an evolutionary point of view it would be cleverer for a woman to look after or become friendly towards things that are out of control based on their roles as carriers of the next generation as well as their relative muscle inferiority. When a stressor enters the environment men will kill it or hide away (sound familiar?) and women will look after it or become its friend. This model has been shown to have many flaws. For me, it all depends on the object. If it was a mosquito, or excessive facial hair, or crime, I would kill it or escape from it. However with humans I'm different. If I kill the bitchy cashier for example, who's going to ensure I get what I want? Running away's not very goal-orientated either. Anyways fighting takes too much effort and is usually the least emotionally intelligent response when it's done in a hostile and confrontational manner. Lol I'm imagining how OH is scrunching up his nose right now. I must comment on his sweet post dedicated to me. So the point of all this babble is I won't kill you or ignore you if I sense you can hurt me. I will accept your existence and try and up the friendly atmosphere. This is in my "sheltered" environment. I hope if I'm getting raped I'll gouge the bastard's eyes out. I dont't know if this makes me a girl or an emotionally intelligent human.

On Music- I accept sometimes the best thing about it is what Was calls poetic license. For example, I love Sunona Sunona in Chalte Chalte even though it was the suckiest relationship ever.

Joie de vivre is also...

When u discuss Surah Feel and God's images make you visualise the beginning of the battle scenes in 300 and LOTR and you can hear the elephants' hooves moving to the drumbeats.

And you discuss how raindrops were created so mercifully like parachutes and tingle our skins instead of like anything else that reaches terminal velocity would pierce it.

Hearing a story of the rich miser who had a beggar pestering him all the time. He finally relented and got the beggar the yoghurt he was asking for. Then the beggar asked for bread and he got angry. That night he dreamt he was in the beautiful gardens of paradise and he was hungry and he looked and looked and looked for food. And finally an angel brought him some yoghurt. And he said I'm really hungry I want bread too. And the angel said that's all you sent here...;)

And Ibraheem AS abolished human sacrifice, God needs no sustenance.

And snapshots in my head that don't project here.

I think my Joie de vivre obsession is about understanding life through living it instead of letting the understanding stop me from being alive.

Joie de Vivre....

Pic: Amelie (my supposed alter ego) as a child.

is a freshly baked rye slice sprinkled with canola, layered with cheese and garnished with a home made organic fig preserve, presented with the utmost sneaky intent.

It is also making assembly lines at fruit and veg and wanting to bury your masie's jewellery box in the garden to be a pirate.

Where is now?
Be there

Fragmented but not fiction

Sometimes when the world locks you up in your own mind,
It's the safest place for you to be.

Act 24 Scene 1

This was our soundtrack in the first year of Uni.
All reflections through my other life anniversaries were as a typical rollercoaster ride.
This is different in one respect. There IS more.
Instead of the usual agonizing climbs and thrilling rushes towards the ground, there were more climbs. Just when I wanted to stop and catch my breath, out of nowhere appeared higher peaks with no reverse options. I learnt patience. I learnt fear. Fear that my body would kill my soul. Fear that there would be no confidence to translate opprotunity and potential into success. Fear that the peaks of responsibility and obligation were insurmountable. These fears shall be my companions forever now. But I have got my wish, there is more to Life...

Act 23 Scene 365

Elysium leaned in the doorway.

She looked up and immediately down again, to hide the shame of the angry blush that rose to her cheeks. "You lied", she said the words slowly, determinedly, to hide the desperation of needing him to prove her wrong, to live up to her heart's desires. "All that you said, you never became. When I was in battle with all you taught me, you were nowhere to be seen. Deceitful hypocrite."

"You cannot believe in people, komitrou. Remember Dumbledore and Mandela, the countless humans who were just one rung. What you call deception I call being gentle. What you believe to be your enemies, would remain so in my presence as well as my absence."

"I began to love you," she whispered, "I mended your flaws with my every precious and painful emotion".

"That was not my intention." He left her chamber and they never met again.

Of poisonous projective identifications and cathartic castrations

The paradox of Buridan's ass as Kyria Pelagia knew well enough was that there was a lack of roubola and her father's literary travails in the rum cake for the goat. Rosemary hair does not always conceal a brain that is better left where koritsimou Lemoni digs in the ground for snails and yet does not get sent to Piraeus. The day was a paradox because she realised that Antonia was the closest she would ever become to being alive and also because hate was just as misplaced as hurt. We direct them at others and they boomerang back with the velocity invertly exponentiated by Mussolini's honesty. Va fanculo is all he can say when I confront him in my mind.

Imagine having Greek and Italian blood. Imagine fleeing religious or political persecution instead of economic. Imagine.

On the 8th of June 2009

Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it.

Dwight Eisenhower

My greatest leadership failure.

It was a cold blistery afternoon...

when Mikaeel decided to look after me as I was "fick". We switched on animal planet, and cuddled undet the blanket. And the conversation went summin like this:

M: Look, Look, Look, Look!
N: What?
M: Bear. I bear. Roaaaaar!!!!
M: Hide now! I bear! Roaarrrr!!!
I go under the blanket, he comes under with me.
M: Bear coming. And wolf. Roaaar!!!!
Pulls my by the hair out of blanket.
M: Look, look, look, look!!
N: What?
M: Pretty hair
Points to my hair.
M: Vrrrom vrrrooom (squashes his knuckles in a circular fashion on my hair)
M: I drying hair. Hair wet. Hair shiny, smells nice. I wash it.
Vrrrooom vrrrroom.
N: Look, loook, look!!
M: What?
N: Nani!! Nani wants to watch TV with Mikaeel now.

Inspired by Soul Soap Season One Episode 4- The Clot

I Pray Openly (to the tune of Natasha Bedingfield's I bruise easily)

The world is a prayer mat, with one centre

I expose my shame, but it’s so uplifting

So I cover up, banish arrogance, my body is a shroud,

I fall in Your Love, trust easily, leave the world to be

I pray openly, let them stare in incredulity,

There’s flight in my bowing, like nitrus on a Ferrari,

I pray openly, don’t ignore the submission you see

Everywhere, I pray openly, I pray openly

My knees imprint on the stone of a parking lot,

Fitting rooms, restaurants, even the outside of a movie theatre,

But this is my truth, my flame I return to, away from the cold,

So I can’t miss one Salaah, there’s no other truth calling me

This prayer, keeps me alive, living

This prayer, keeps me alive, living

God is great

Forget the world

Far away

I will fly

The world is a prayer mat, with one centre

I expose my shame, but its so uplifting

So I cover up, banish arrogance, my body is a shroud,

I fall in Your Love, trust easily, leave the world to be

I pray openly, let them stare in incredulity,

There’s flight in my bowing, like nitrus on a Ferrari,

I pray openly, don’t ignore the submission you see

Everywhere, I pray openly, I pray openly

not Practising what i Preach to students bout Procrastination

I want to be eating Dew's cake and cackling with her and Saals :( Instead I'm, proofreading words that have ceased to have meaning. I bet if I do a graph my posts are positively correlated with thesis deadlines. Sorry, Dew hope I get this opportunity for food poisoning again ;)(jj I'm sure Dew trumps Nino's desserts. Empirical evidence Saaleha?)

Ta to Waseem, Jauhara, Rae, Mj, Shaaista and Mazozo for the great-looking and tasting food and unstoppbale banter. One memorable moment is when Was is describing the high of inhaling tobacco and tasting caffeine at the same time, and Mj says 'Two vices, thats hardcore, man ' :) Oh and Saaleha is saying something about space cakes and Mj says: "But they're artifically vacuumed so that they can exit earth's atmosphere" :) Disclaimer: these are not exact words, coz I forgot to try out Joe's dictaphone.

Waseem tagged me in the 25 Movies meme that Azzy started but I don't get very attached to movies as they're part of the illusory reality that marshmallows and jelly beans create. Then Mash asked me for book recommendations and I decided to do a top 25 books. Speaking of Mash he's presenting Soul Soap online tonight if anyone wants to join please message me for details. Here are my top books in approximate order of when I read them:

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - 6 years
A Summer to Die by Lois Lowry - 9 years
Rainbow and Mr Zed- 12 years
A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth- 13 years
Moving Pictures by Terry Pratchett- 14 years
Good Omens- Neil Gaiman and Terry- 15 years
The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand- 19 years
All the Harry Potters- campus years
Running in Heels - 20 years
I dont Know How She does it by Allison Pearson - 20 years
Desperately seeking paradise by Ziauddin Sardar- 22 years
Shantaram - 23 years
Journey to Makkah- 23 years
The Other Boleyn Girl - 23 years

Perhaps one could devise correlations between my ideological views and the books I have read at certain periods. I freaking hate AND love correlations right now. I tag everyone who loves books including Khadija, Dew, Waseem, Saaleha, Mash, Zub Hab, Azmarita, Irfaan and h and whoever wants to procrastinate with me.


I practise in front of the mirror. Conjure up my most horrible memories. And they stare back at me, clear, unblinking, victorious.

But when it happens (and it always does),
They swell like bulbous poisonous mushrooms, oozing out stinging venom...

Do we get what we take or do we take what we get? (Ala Daniel Francois)? A Confusing Call

These are the conversations that could be avoided by nicotine-induced mini-euphorias. I don't smoke, you see. That's why there are these tricky questions itching up and down my cortical wiring. Only one answer: It just feels right. No postgrad theorems or corollaries or freaking citations. Just a simple plea to my inborn insticts. That my Musallah (prayer mat), my hijab (head covering), my beautiful intonations in Arabic, they all feel right, like this is what I'm supposed to be. Yes I will admit it is a question of identity, of things stirred up in my mother's body before my conception and every second thereafter. Yes that is not very convincing, a social psychologist will say, this is just a simple function of the human need to belong. And so I internalise these things because I want to belong. I do want to believe there's more. I do feel a universal truth here. But I cannot promise more rationale or logic or evidence. There are scientists who have proven these things over and over, but for now. I pray that if I had been born in a different era, in a different caste, in a different faith, my Path would lead to total Submission to the Mighty Power- in other words Islam. This is all for now.

A squirrel

I want to draw a huge, cold icy cage.
Inside is a squirrel scratching at the bars.
Remembering rabbits and chipmunks and lots of other furry things.
But no squirrels.
And yet believeing without ever having seen another squirrel, that they do exist.

Sticky Tape Friendships

I declare it the most wonderful act in friendship, the offering to share a book one has read with another. More so when spontaneous, taking the time to imagine what they would enjoy, and then trusting them with something that had co-owned your self. With your fingerprints and coffee-stains and little markings...Thank you.

Irfaan always cheats

In Jannah I want to crawl around inside people's minds. Starting with this one.

Namesake or Happy Birthday Aysha J!!!!

You know the world loves you when Cape Town gives you awesome weather on your birthday :)

I met Ayesha when I was young :) at my first Msa camp.
She was quiet and unassuming and little did I know the courageous personality that would be unleashed. Like her namesake Aisha Radiallahu Ta'ala Anha she is a courageous warrior. Also she has a travelling spirit. A'isha (R.A) migrated with the Muslims to Abyssinia before they then migrated to Medinah. Like A'sha RA, she is always ready for adventure and having fun, at the same time as having scholarly prestige.
Marriage to the Prophet SAW did not change Aisha RA's playful ways. Her young friends came regularly to visit her in her own apartment. "I would be playing with my dolls," she said, "with the girls who were my friends, and the Prophet would come in and they would slip out of the house and he would go out after them and bring them back, for he was pleased for my sake to have them there." And likewise even though Aisha found her soulmate at a young age, she always stayed real and accessible to all her firends. So many of the stories of A'isha RA remind me of you. When the Muslims were favoured with enormous riches, she was given a gift of one hundred thousand dirham's. She was fasting when she received the money and she distributed the entire amount to the poor and the needy even though she had no provisions in her house. Shortly after, a maidservant said to her: "Could you buy meat for a dirham with which to break your fast?""If I had remembered, I would have done so," she said. Her nephew Urwah asserts that she was proficient not only in fiqh but also in medicine (tibb) and poetry.Aisha not only possessed great knowledge but took an active part in education and social reform. As a teacher she had a clear and persuasive manner of speech and her power of oratory has been described in superlative terms by al-Ahnaf who said: "I have heard speeches of Abu Bakr and Omar, Othman and Ali and the Khulafa up to this day, but I have not heard speech more persuasive and more beautiful from the mouth of any person than from the mouth of Aisha."

Dear Aysh, may you always be my inspiration and my comfort, wherever and however we exist Insha Allah.

At Her Feet: Humour so tight is makes you cry, pain so unbearable it makes you smile...

It began with movement, like a puppet on strings, rituals of necessity that defied the dominant domains of dance

There was anguish, a toe into the netherworld of compassion, where only psychotics fear to tread

There were truths, that racked the core of my identity so quakingly, raucuous laughter had to disguise my tears

There was pride, reincarnated through the array of beauty and dignity in her voice, in her tears, in her belonging under her hijab and her defense of justice through faith

There was resonance, in her full-bodied hip-swinging voice, that drew us in and around the room, echoing what we fear to say out loud in vibrant witty street poetry

There were friends, awe struck by her talent, yet disappointed with her message, fearing that which she had dared to embrace in a narrative battle of doubt and questioning and criticism and isolation

There was conflict, exposed for them all to see, that maybe Madressahs are fucked up, that maybe the world is changing that maybe we need to accept and yet not accept, to both arise from under the sand and create, that maybe we can criticise and love

There Is Hope.

Post Script (1):
What would be the first thing u do in Jannah?
At one of the Yellow Brick sessions a tuff DiscoveryChannelholic friend said she'd ask God to show her a video of the whole world from beginning to end. Like dinosaurs and world wars and everything.
I would want to have time to do all the right things I want to do here but get distracted from. But maybe since there is no finite energy in Heaven this won't be possible.
I wouldn't be sad to just forget this world and see it blown to smithereens though.

Post Script (2):

I've noticed a common thread running through "story"lines.

In Star Trek when the ultra hot dude bursts into the "cockpit" and says they are going into a trap.

In Angels and Demons when the Carmelengo enters the Conclave and implores for openness and honesty.

In Harry Potter when Harry returns from escaping Voldemort and tells the wizarding world that the darkest wizard is back.

On Mount Safa, when the Prophet SAW gathered the Quraysh and told themthere is only One God, as the Qur'an had said he should: "And warn thy tribe of near kindred, and lower thy wing (in kindness) unto those believers who follow thee." [Qur'an 26:214-15]


The music must go on and
On, like the tinny swan lake
Music in my first jewellery box
Where a ballerina pirouetted
repetitively, our roles rotate,
hips distanced in the dramatic
crescendo, and when the lilt returns
we whirl into each other, and smile
to the ghastly rhythm


I feel like an Alzheimer's patient.

I make lists for everything.

I even like to write in bullet points.

Anyways I'm doing Kay's challenge as well as one I set up for myself.

Coolness of My Eyes (1):

My controversial view on marriage can be summed up in one sentence: I don't think it's compulsory on me unless I meet someone worth it. This has led to many heated arguments with many people I love but I am not willing to negotiate on this. In the spirit of having standards, I have decided to come up with criteria. I used to believe that marriage should be the natural accompaniment of the feeling of having a ten year old crush, you just wake up one day and realise without it being too compliacted that this person is someone you don't want to live without. But I never just meandered into that situation, and yet there are opportunities that I need to consider. I think if you reject a marriage proposal you should have clear ideas on what are your reasons for and against this, as you owe it in a way to the other person and yourself to know what your decision is being based upon. The following is a list of things I pray Allah SWT grants me in a partner and if these things are not what He intends, He give me the strength to accept it.

1. Respect: This is not something that should be demanded or even hinted at. From the first moment of our acquanintance I would like him to bestow the rights my Creator has ordained, to know thast women are metaphorically clothed in silk of the highest quality and jewels of the most precious minerals, and should be treated with the utmost humility.

2. Admiration: of what I do, who I am, what I love. This is more than just blind infatuation, it is an acceptance and enthusiasm of the things that I consider essential to my being. It must be that he looks up to his wife’s accomplishments and is proud to support them.

3. My family: they have nurtured me in every way possible, good and bad. I think this is a mutual thing in that I should also respect his family for all they have done to make him what he is.

4. Dignity and integrity in all he does such that every one who knows him admires the character

with which he executes his actions. I don’t care about recommendations based on family status, or wealth, or lineage, or popularity. Just as the Quraysh of makkah would call the Prophet SAW Al Ameen and As Sadiq, I would want those who know him to say that there are qualities about him that have left an impression on them.

5, Passion for himself and all he is and all he does. How can I love someone who does not intensely love himself?

I do not need to add Islam as a category because his Islam will be reflected to me in all the above.

Coolness of my eyes (2)

  1. I want them to have lots of cousins (which alhumz is the case)
  2. I want us to have long huge family brunches on Sundays where the whole morning and half of the afternoon goes in eating and talking
  3. I want them to read the stories of the Sahaba instead of messed up Disney fairytales
  4. I want them to choose their clothing based on colour and texture and personality instead of supposed brand names or fashion
  5. Whether they are adopted or not I will fight for them to have a sense of Be-Long-Ing.
  6. I want them to laugh in the face of all types of fear except that relating to their Creator. I know this will never be the case.

The Skies of My Jannah

Bahz ibn Hakim's grandfather said, I asked, "Messenger of Allah, to whom should I be dutiful?" He replied, "Your mother." I asked, "Then whom?" He replied, "Your mother." I asked, "Then whom?" He replied, "Your mother." I asked, "Then whom?" He replied, "Your mother." I asked, "Then to whom should I be dutiful?" He replied, "Your father,and then the next closest relative and then the next."

Why do we publish, Antonio asks

We publish I think not because we think we are Plaths or Picasso's.
Not bacuse these words are any grander than those scribbled by a toddler using a pencil for the first time.
But because our writing is the one thing we can fully own, and that we all can try.
Not that we don't "borrow", God knows there is no copyright on inspiration save for His bounty.
I publish because from the time I could write there were scraps everywhere.
Until high school of course, Puberty makes things seem preciouser, how can you expose any more when life feels like a constant spotlight.
And until Waseem told me this is something you do,and not some thing you are given, I began.
And every click on publish affirms I am thinking, moving. Not ground breakingly, but there is evidence of activity.
And blog activity for us is inextricably linked to something alive in our minds.


I am more like them than I have ever cared to admit. It struck me in the corridoor today as I was muttering to myself and bumped into Henry. Embarrassed I apologised for being crazy. Smiling he replied that after working with me for so long, he knows I can't be still. I need to be running around or doodling or chatting to myself. And I realised I get that from my dad. And sometimes, it really gets to me that he's not chilled out but now that it's a trait we share, I like it more. I think part of growing up is accepting this is where I come from. That I learnt or inherited (the answer to the nature or nurture debate has always been fixed in my mind as nurture/nature), to be timid and gentle from my mum makes me smile now. For so long I have wanted to "be my own person" and now I realise it is the coolest feeling ever to understand how you are what you are.

At the same time I am intrigued by, and anticipate, a sojourn of tabula rasa. A place of being known as nothing and no one. No "I grew up in the same building as your dad" or "I served on Cancer Care with you mum" or "You're the fourth of the pretty sisters?" or "Mariam's other half" or "the MSA Halqa girl at the coffee shop". I know it will sting and burn and I will hate knowing that others do not know me. And yet at the same time it could be the greates test of who I am, to fight for all I have become....

I Shut My Eyes in Order to See- Paul Gauguin

i want to type as i did experience
i enter and the colour fades, i scrunch
my eyelashes together and pull, pull
to revive it. the colourless is a relief at first, yes
but then i must make meaning, must colour
and so on the tip of my arched toe sprouts yellow
slivers of sweat, puffs of purple carbon dioxide
rise up and down my shin, and with the hollow of my back
suspended in black tar, the pain red and hot and lively
bounces on my flourescent pearls and i know i am am am...perfect

The Jerkoff Guide

I've always prided myself that most of the "experience" I've had with guys has been on the soccer field and at the shooting range. However every girl has had her encounter with what we politely term the Jerkoff. The dude that slurks (my word) around looking for prey with a bag of painstakingly thought out moves to hook your attention...for the heck of it. Azzy is usually awesome at this sort of thing but I thought I'd give it a go: Nooj presents:

The Jerkoff Guide

*Disclaimer: There are sincere dudes who do these things without slurking intentions.
However be aware that these are a dying species and cannot be relied upon to be bona fide*

He compliments your friends when you've only mentioned them once in passing

He sms's you just when you have forgotten of his existence to say he's been waiting for a hello and couldn't take it any more

He remembers arb weird details of your life to make you think your every word is precious to his heart

He asks you arb weird details of your life tourettes-etly (my word)

You make a dumb joke and he says that was the cheering up he's needed all day and he is the happiest person ever right now.

He sometimes re-uses the same lines because he forgets that he used it on you already and not someone else.

Not a day passes without him finding a way to say how you think like no one else he's ever met.

He finds a reason to bring up how lost and lonely he is in every conversation, which of course leads you to make the dumb joke, which of course makes you his saviour...

Confession of a retired wannabe g33k

Ok everyone sit down.
I give up, I can't any more.
The truth is... I sometimes ignore stuff.

Thing is, that I don't want to keep up any more.
I've discovered space.
Like gigs of ram.
But freely flying around waiting to catch my attention to mesmerise me.

Yellow Brick Road-Yin Version

I am ecstatic about what Irfaan would call The Zawiyah one of my belovedest
people started a few weeks ago.

It just reinforces my current quote-fetish:
"The type of human being we prefer
reveals the contours of our heart"
Ortega Y Gasset

Which by the way was said a long time ago by a brilliant
amazing superextraordinary human being:

Abu Hurairah reported Allah's Messenger
peace and blessings be upon him) as saying,

"Souls are troops collected together and those
who familiarized with each other
(in the heaven from where these come) would have affinity,
with one another (in the world) and those amongst them
who opposed each other (in the Heaven) would also be
divergent (in the world
)." (Muslim)

Which is knowledge we should treasure as the
One who has Copyright on the Soul says:

And they ask you about the soul.
The soul is one of the commands of my Lord,
and you are not given aught of knowledge but a little.
)(Al-Israa' 17: 85)

There were times in my life where I cared for people based on my
parents' ideas. And then in more difficult times, based on them
embodying values my parents had neglected.

Now all I seek (and find Subhanallah) is respect.

An Image a Day- 27th April

Freedom Day- I have so much to think and write about.
Not tonight.
Tonight is sacred for another reason.
Yet one anecdote in the aftermath of Elections 2009-
The day before the elections I went to wash my car, which is somthing I'm a little OCD about.
And standing outside my preferred filling station, with a large green palisade fence surrounding my air from that of the taxi rank half a metre away, I thought of what Azad talks of in his election post: I'm not old enough to vote.
About how I am standing here in an area that was previously reserved for Whites, looking at the people whose sweat built this country and witnessing their cheerfulness in spite of having been systematically left out. In an area that is close to freeways and mega malls and all types of amenities and resources, witnessing the majority of our land commute to far away bantustans in transpost that was supposed to take them far away, whether they reached their destination or not.
And I think of Palestine.

Viva Mzansi, we love you and will fight for you with all we have.

PS: Meeting Dew and Azad was really cool. Hope it brings our friendship closer :)

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