Notes To Self

Dear Ruqaiyah, this moment you’re in right now, this is the moment to do something. To start something. Stop waiting for tomorrow, next week, or next month. Start now.

Dear Ruqaiyah, happiness is here. Right here, where you are now. It’s not a destination you need to reach ‘someday’. It’s not some place you need to travel to, or arrive at. You simply have to be here, now; you simply need to breathe in, breathe out, and remember your Lord. Here, now. Be happy.

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NaPoWriMo Day 4: A Fine Disregard for Awkward Facts

A Fine Disregard for Awkward Facts

He walks past her

She looks at him

He says nothing

She rages within

She opens the door, takes a peek

He shuts it tight

Too much hate to speak

She looks around

Sees all his things

She knows nothing of it

The absence stings

 

He asks for her help

She is sure a second chance she has been dealt

She hesitates not a second

It is like old when she was beckoned

But redemption is not meant

He came and then he went

Anger in his heart

And pride, the cement

 

They live past one another

Too much hurt to uncover

 

Every word unsaid impacts

Pain attracts

Anger reacts

They live in a fine disregard for awkward facts

There can be no going back

They’re set on this track

 

He walks past her

She looks away

He shuts the door

No forgiveness today

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Share your thoughts with me below.

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Love, As We Know It

I’ve never before fully understood how love really works. Growing up, I loved my mom, my dad, my sisters and my brother. I loved them because they were my family. I loved them because I had to–as cold as that sounds, it is the truth. I didn’t know what ‘love’ meant, I just fell into it (excuse the unintended pun). Being the last born, I just had all these people in my life, and I had no choice in the matter. Love was compulsory. Even while hating them and fighting with them, I loved them. Later in my life, though, I met some people, some amazing women. And I love them–I love them with a love so strong that, almost from as soon as we met, we stopped being strangers and became sisters. A sister–a woman who I had just met! Can you imagine that? And what’s more is that, this love that I have for them, it’s not the kind of love that I just ‘fell’ into like I did with the sisters and brother I was born loving; this is a love for the sake of Allah. Now, for a long time, this was mind-boggling to me. Love for the sake of Allah. Love for the sake of anything other than ‘I-love-you-just-because’ seemed unfair to me. Why should I be loved for someone else’s sake, and not just because I am great and amazing and loveable all on my own? I was jealous. I’ve always been a selfish person when it comes to love. But do you know what makes this jealousy even more ridiculous? I was jealous of Allah! That is downright laughable! SubhaanAllah (Glory be to Allah). What kind of silly do you have to be to be jealous of your own Creator, the Creator of Love itself? But the only reason that I was jealous was because I didn’t understand what it meant to love and to be loved for the sake of my Lord.

After much pondering on the matter, I eventually understood. To love for the sake of Allah is to love someone because you love Him, it is to love those who love Him and because they love Him. Love for the sake of Allah is not selfish and it is not about the individual, it is not about loving someone because of what that person brings into your life, superficially, or because of how great and amazing and loveable that person might be. Ultimately, it is about loving Allah. If we love Allah, we love those who love Him and those whom He loves, without expectation and without discrimination. A love borne out of a love for Him only strengthens the relationship between two people, and that relationship, in turn, serves to strengthen your love and your relationship with Allah. It is a beautiful cycle, indeed. A love like this ends up being a form of worship, subhaanAllah. Can you imagine that just loving someone for the sake of Allah is a form of worshipping Allah?

So, last night, my love for these women, whom I love as sisters, sent my blood pumping through my body. We met for supper, (almost) the whole gang of us (after each of us being absorbed by our own separate lives for far too long) and it was amazing to be reminded of why I love these women so much, and to be reminded of how indescribably blessed I am to have them all in my life. Our sisterhood was founded on a Divine Love, and it is only because of this love that it works. We’re all different–different personalities, different ages, different stories–but we’re bound by one, single Love.

Abu Hurayra (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Messenger of Allah (may the Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) said:

 “Allah Almighty will say on the Day of Rising, ‘Where  are those who loved one another for the sake of My Majesty? Today, on the Day  when there is no shade but My Shade, I will shade them.'” [Muslim]

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What is your understanding of love?

Playing it Cool

I’m not cool.

There, I said it.

Most of the time, I’m a bundle of thoughts and emotions. I have all these things running through my head; thoughts I want to say out loud, but there’s a voice inside my head that keeps saying, Be cool. And then there are my emotions. Don’t care too much. Okay, you can’t help it if you care that much, but, for goodness sake, don’t let them know how much you care. Okay, cool it with hugs already! Don’t show that you’re upset. Don’t let them know you’re hurting. Don’t hug that hard. Don’t laugh that hard. Don’t love that hard… Just – play – it – cool.

It’s exhausting.

But, like I said, I’m not cool. So, I go ahead and I care a lot about things and people who matter to me, and I try to let them know it, because what’s the point in caring about someone if they never know they’re cared about? And I get upset, I get hurt; I hug hard and I laugh hard (though, still trying to maintain my lady-like, hijabi composure while doing it… uhem…). And… I love hard. Sometimes it ends up leading all the way back to getting hurt, but how do you stop yourself from loving without losing out on all the fun and most amazing parts of loving? And we can’t control how much we love someone–believe me, I have tried (when I was still naïve enough to believe that I could ‘play it cool’).

Sometimes, I still have that little voice in my head telling me to ‘play it cool’ in certain situations, but I shove it away, because, why would I want to play? This is not a game. Life does not have a scorecard keeping track of how hard I hug you in contrast to how hard you hug me back. If I love you, and if I missed you, I’m gonna hug you–and I mean really hug you! And you just better deal with it. And, in addition to giving suffocating hugs, I often say (really) silly things, and ask (really) silly questions. No, I mean, like, really silly. And, back when I was in high school, I used to keep them all in my head, wonder all these weird things only to myself, never letting my thoughts see the light of day. But, now, I’m a little more grown up and I understand a bit more about how the world works, and, with that, I’ve been blessed enough to have friends along the way who laugh at the silly things I say and the silly questions I ask, but love me anyway. And they’re kind of silly, too, so I laugh right back at them.

So, ultimately, I’ve come to learn that life is not about playing it cool. Life (or maybe just one small part of life) is about opening yourself up to being hurt and being laughed at, because that’s the only way you learn to feel, and the only way you learn to laugh at yourself. And I sure do enjoy a good, hard laugh at myself.

And, in conclusion, after all this talk about not playing it cool, I’m not going to play it cool and pretend that I don’t care how many people read this blog, and how many people comment on it. I WANT COMMENTS!! If I didn’t want people’s feedback on what I write, I’d open up a document in MS Word, type all this stuff in there, and save it in a folder on my laptop where I save all my other writings and poetry that I don’t particularly want to share with the world, because I don’t want people’s commentary and feedback on those pieces of myself. This blog, however, is designed for the purpose of people reading what I’ve written, and commenting on it.

So, I look forward to reading your comments 🙂