There’s a story behind those eyes.

There’s a story behind those eyes.

The sun sets differently,

and the moon shines in the other

Secret gardens blooming in each alcove

with underground troves of words and memories

too deep to rediscover.

Be generous, oh eyes,

cry and cleanse the treasure beneath them

the treachery witnessed has flooded your ponds

wrecking havoc and drowning your gardens.

Weep away the dirt you forgot to sweep away

before they fossilize and erode the wisdom

you’ve been polishing over the

silent, exhausting, and broken years.

Beneath those eyes there lies a hero

fighting the mirage of a ghostly, ghastly, phantom devil

always watching and peering through

at all the scenes you see and do

collecting all the reasons for you to falter

digging ditches and setting traps for you to fall for

These are your nightmares, mirages that don’t exist

But the hero within, is real and persists

waging a war, a single warrior waving a flag

and waiting for your order

as You are the commander

and the phantom awaits your surrender

But the hero- the warrior, remains ever standing

for the call to finish your battle

every night.

ready to gift you

your due victory

and rewrite the pages

of your story.

 

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Patience in the past 

Sabr is knowing your value

And not giving up or giving in

It’s to believe that Allah is there for you

Regardless of what others claim your sin

Perhaps you have no control in this world

But you have the universe to call your friend

And those who have already reached their end

because although they are memories,  you remember them.

So remember their efforts in turbulence

And how they waited for droughts to sprout the sea

Or for shackles to be removed only to become king on a throne

You are witness to their stories and you are witness to your own

you have paths to follow from the past

And knowledge to understand your own

So be patient and be free

And keep climbing until you reach the other side

Because your real treasure lies in the shadows, beyond what any human can see

How to be a good Imam

Bismillah

Man the things that Allah swt teaches me with amazes me.  I’m thankful for all the sour people that come in my life.  It teaches me to stick up for myself, it teaches me morals, and it teaches me how to grow.

Based on a strange encounter I had with whom I had no idea was an Imam because of his lack of ethics, I decided to list out things I wish I was able to be treated with as a girl seeking help from a leader.

1) Take some counseling/ psych courses

Please learn how to approach a broken person.  Learn how to talk to someone, especially if they refuse to discuss confidential information with you.  If you want to help them, RESPECT THEIR BOUNDARIES and keep it HALAL.

If you are an Imam, learn to be professional in social work rather than to start abusing a victim and forcing them into your advice.

2)  Never insult your client

First thing they told me is that I’m bitter. Why? Because I wasn’t giggling or sweet-talking. I wasn’t smiling. I’m a survivor and trying to get my work done.  As a woman, I prefer to be straight-to-the point when talking to someone.

You don’t know your client.  You don’t know what they went through.  You don’t tell them they’re messed up for sticking to the rules and sharing their opinion

3) Never use religion as a weapon against them

This shows your lack of understanding of Islam.  Are you advising someone by threatening them?  That’s a form of abuse in itself. It’s messed up and doesn’t ever help someone.

4) Listen to what your client is saying

Truly listen to them. Emphasize with them.  Imagine what their context is. Understand them. Open your heart to them.  Be kind to them.  Look at what they’re going through.  Look at their struggles, their circumstances, give them credit for the effort they’ve put into.

5)  Believe in them.

When they tell you their crisis, don’t take it for granted.  It’s not something to be taken lightly.  Don’t slap them in their face and tell them their crisis is nothing, that people are going through worse things.  Believe in what they’re saying.  Help them get better, help them heal.

6) Allow them their freedom and options

Allow them to choose their path.  After-all, they’re the ones who are struggling, let them choose their struggles. Let them take their time in things.  There’s no time-limit or deadline on how they should progress.

DO NOT FORCE your advice on someone. YOU COULD BE WRONG.  You could be misunderstanding something. LET ALLAH CATER THEIR PATHS AND DESTINY.  NOT YOU.  YOU ARE NOT GOD.

 

HasbiyAllahu wa ni’mal wakil.

In the end, Allah swt is everyone’s Wali. Allah is everyone’s protector. Allah is the one who provides refuge. Let Allah be Allah and let you be the Imam.

JazakAllahukhairan.

 

 

Motto for Living in a Trump Era

nothing better than getting a healthy dose of the Masjid at times like this( Trump Era) This is what I have to share after listening to a lecture by some really awesome learned scholar phD dude, a brilliant educator of our young Imam.  This isnt all what the lecturer said, rather it’s my reflection and way of relating it to myself.
1) change our focus from falling for our desires, trying to get more of everything we want. more of our distractions, more of the shiny things, more of excess -basically anything -that signifies wealth for you.  the excess. the  extravagance.  the greed.   Be real with yourself and what matters
2) dont let circumstances make you take away your consideration for others. care for others, help others, ponder about others and their pains and how you can be there for them, expand unity beyond your personal borders.


3) bare through it patiently. it’s gonna be hard, scary, and ugly but we have to be our best especially in this time. no matter how much you wanna go off on someone, you gotta play it cool bc that’s what will hit the hardest if you wanna win. cuz the point of this all is that you wanna win and you cant win without controlling yourself and being humble

Jug of Milk

Adjacent vulnerability welling up my throat.

I saw in a full  clear jug of milk

fresh grass pile up and float

It was the mourning of my past

and my heart’s ill hope

that something for his future might just slope

This was the fresh grass, like a fresh cut

that polluted my jug

for my mourning and my cut would always rise up fresh

and ruin my morning drink

my afternoon drink

and my evening drink

and my night drink

to the point- that I would not think.

the sadness in my desires

for wholesome love to light my fires

spoiled my every drink

depriving me of pure happiness

and the pure willingness

to focus on God

thus leaving me flawed

 

Just like the grass in my milk

 

 

 

Angels, I whisper back

Oh angels, I’ve given in

Your guiding whispers were never misguiding

It was me who always chose my own decisions

You were always right, voice of Iman.

I wish it were easier to abide by what you’d say

But you’d only speak once- or I’d only hear you once- for my own distractions and fervor would blur your song away.

Without you, my heart would be dead

and leave no goodness to plan ahead

If only I can take your hand when you lend it

and accept the offer to see what you see

But I guess it’s a matter of a leap of faith

from my own stubborn emotions

to actually make the will to further into your world

of patience and peace

It’s my lack of courage

to escape from my confusion-

afraid to face my very own delusion,

my ego,

my arrogance.

 

So angels, I’ve given in

because all the same- it never made a difference in the pain

except that with you I actually had something to gain!

I’ve come to your doors

to give you my message

that I actually

want to listen this time.

thnx-

 

Footnotes-

http://www.islamweb.net/emainpage/index.php?page=showfatwa&Option=FatwaId&Id=87539#vot

Iman- Islamic term for faith and belief