Dec 14, 2012 - islam op-eds    Comments Off

Hope

hope

I read this little essay/love letter/epiphany/reflection-not sure what it is really… going around the interwebs recently: http://thoughtcatalog.com/2012/the-soulmate-you-deserve/ The interesting thing is all the comments were like ‘this is a fantasy’ ‘what is this garbage’ ‘no one has relationships like this’. Well perhaps true. But I like the sentiment and feeling evoked. Perhaps not everyone will achieve this romantic kind of love, but they feel kinds of it from their parents, their friends, their children, even from Allah (swt). Everyone deserves love. And everyone should believe they DESERVE love.

Allah has love for each person, regardless of the gravity of their sins. Regardless of their actions and thoughts toward Him. Every day we say ‘Bismillah ir-Rahman ir-Raheem’. Many scholars believe one of the names here is a general Rahma translated as MERCY, COMPASSION _AND_ LOVE towards ALL creatures, Muslim or non-Muslim. The other is a specific love He has for the Believers.

So Allah (swt) does love us. How happy is He when we turn to Him, even in our darkest hours of despair. We are showing our dependence and trust in Him. And that is returning our love to Him.

Reading about Muslims and non-Muslims who have committed suicide recently is truly heartbreaking.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/9740514/Muslim-woman-committed-suicide-after-lifestyle-attacked-on-Facebook.html

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/jacintha-saldanha-nurse-found-hanged-after-royal-hoax-call-left-three-notes-inquest-hears-8412585.html

Both Reem and Jacintha lost the faith they both should have had as a Muslim and Catholic respectively. I am sure mental illness and extremely desolate circumstances added to their despair.

We always need to remind ourselves that Allah does not test us more than we can bear. That there is relief with every hardship and that this life is only temporary. Allah does love us despite any horrible things we have done or have thought or the difficult circumstances of our life. We need to hold on to that love and never let go.

As Sh. Suhaib Webb recently tweeted, “While there’s life there’s hope.”

 

Dec 7, 2012 - poetry    2 Comments

Censure

censure

so many years have passed
and again i stand under this tree
staring at the river
passing me by

the tree, the same
i, from girl to middle aged
how did this happen
i ask myself

as i move a strand from in my eyes
carefully hidden white hairs
are never permitted to show

why didn’t you tell me
why didn’t you warn me O tree
that you would stay the same
and i and the world would change
all around

 

 

Nov 30, 2012 - londonista    5 Comments

Thoughts on US and UK

One of the more interesting aspects about living in both the US and the UK is seeing how both countries are so different philosophically. I think in America most of us have inherited that Protestant work ethic; that every person should try to work hard in order to succeed in life. People still believe in the American dream; that someone who is a janitor’s son can one day grow up and go to Harvard, that an immigrant with nothing can soon have a big house in the suburbs, a flat screen TV and an SUV along with everyone else. Although I must say, this has dissipated a lot under our current economic woes it still flows through our blood. Republicans rant and rave about big government and how poor people are bleeding the public, but we can’t disprove this American dream regardless of how much of a ‘fantasy’ it may be.

 

In the UK, they don’t have the concept of the ‘American dream’ but they do believe that each person has rights that should be provided to them, like medical, social and job help to those who need it. Although again there’s a lot of hatred towards “immigrants” that come in and try to take advantage of those rights, they still have a completely different idea of what their state should be. It’s rather fascinating that every person here has access to healthcare no matter what, that each area has a job center which does everything in its power to help get people work (including tweeting new jobs on an hourly basis), and that workers have a lot more fundamental rights from their employers.

 

As an American it kind of feels nice to have that ‘safety net’ of the state there. It’s nice to think if I get very sick or lose my job, I won’t lose everything to medical costs or be on the street dying and that someone will be there to help me. The only problem is the very rigid race and class lines in British society tend to ruin the niceties of living here. London is sooo multi-ethnic and cultural and incredibly beautiful, but there is just no shared society here, no ‘friendliness’, no culture of progressiveness. I say this as a foreigner coming in, of course, but when Europeans lament over how foreigners (and especially Mozlims) can’t integrate, they’re not kidding. They just can’t integrate even if they wanted to. It just does not have the ‘melting pot’ American history and culture. Part of it is big city living, everyone out to survive in the urban jungle, but part of it is fundamental racist and classist history. There are no suburbs because it is too expensive and too racist to move out!

 

I’ll be honest, unless they fix this, their country is just not going to survive in the world. Their society will always be divided and conflicted. The riots last year showed definite deep problems here but seem to have been glossed over. Thirty years ago my father made the decision of the US over the UK solely because of that reason. Can you even fix hundreds of years of colonial thought and manifest destiny? I guess it remains to be seen!

 

PS. Hope this doesn’t offend any UKers here! Still trying to figure out your country and it does have a lot to offer ;D

 

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