Between my shadow and my soul

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.