Between my shadow and my soul


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 :)