Saturday, August 11, 2012

Ramadan Reflections - Day 22 - 23

I miss the Masjid.

I miss attending Taraweeh prayer during the beautiful nights of Ramadan. 

I miss rushing to finish my iftar after Maghrib so that we could clean up before leaving the house for Isha. 

I miss struggling to find parking because no matter how early we leave, people still beat us there. 

I miss walking into the women's section and seeing that even though there is still 20 minutes until Isha, the lines are already packed and it's hard to find a spot. 

I miss looking down and seeing the rows and rows of men, waiting for the Isha Adhan. 

I miss seeing the ladies walk in late for Isha, yet still trying to squish into the first row.

I miss the feeling of frustration of getting kicked to the back line even though I came early. 

I miss the Arab auntie who always brings an extra abaya and spreads it next to her to save 3 spots for her friends right next to the door. 

I miss the Somalian aunties trying to touch my feet and moving them closer to me even if I try to move away. 

I miss the Pakistani aunties greeting me as if I am their own daughter and asking me if my mom is attending taraweeh that day. 

I miss the ladies sitting in the middle of the rows during the break and trying to squeeze into the front row when everyone stands up. 

I miss the Arab aunties turning around and shushing us and yelling 'Haram!' when they were the ones who were talking the loudest. 

I miss the standing in prayer and getting tired, contemplating if I should sit down but deciding against it during every rakat. 

I miss bending down in ruku and thinking, 'I should've worn socks."

I miss bowing down in sujood and getting distracted by the ladies who practically yell, 'Subhaana Rabbi al-A’laa.'

I miss wondering which woman is reciting surahs out loud as if they are the Imam.

I miss looking for my friends when I walk into the ladies' section and then praying next to them. 

I miss sitting cross legged in order to save a spot for a friend or family member. 

I miss the beautiful faces, waiting for the next prayer to start. 

I miss the Masjid. 

Until next time...

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Ramadan Reflections - Day 19 - 21

What is my tongue? 

Is it a mere organ, lifeless and inanimate, simply lying around so that I can taste and speak? 

No, it cannot be that my Creator would make an organ so useless and undeserving. My tongue has more purpose, more life and reason. My tongue has more use than simply being used in the dunya. Indeed, it will follow me to my grave and to my judgment. My tongue has a powerful purpose.

Is my tongue my friend, someone who says beautiful words and makes others smile? Is it my confidant, someone who doesn't allow me to make mistakes and protects me from saying things that I may later regret? Is it my teacher, someone who guides me to say what's right and only speak the truth? Is it my trustee, someone who will not speak in opposition to me or be a witness against me? Is my tongue my guide, encouraging me to praise my Creator?

Or is my tongue my enemy, betraying me when I need it most? Does it allow me to say and do as a please, only to witness against me later on? Is my tongue my adversary, letting me speak ill of whomever I please? Is my tongue my rival, relishing in the mistakes I make, the lies I tell and the gossip I spread?

The answer is simply: it is up to me. It is up to me how I choose to treat my tongue. It is up to me if I make a friend of this organ or let it become my enemy. It is up to me how I live my life. 

It cannot be that I could be so foolish, letting that which is so close to me become my own opponent. And so I pray that I am wise enough to make the right decision and befriend my tongue, make it my confidant and counsellor. I pray that mt tongue will stand with me, protecting me on the only Day that matters. 


Until next time...

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Ramadan Reflections - Day 13

"I am the next step, your future home. You may be with me for only a short time or for longer than you can imagine. I do not offer hardwood floors or stainless steel appliances. I cannot give you a bedroom or a closet for your belongings. I have nothing to offer, but a simple space. Please know, that your time and stay with me is not my choice. I have no say in how your visit will pass.

"You may find comfort in me, light and space. You may see gardens from my windows and rivers flowing freely. You may smell the lovely scent of the Heavens and feel the cool breeze of Paradise. Regardless, you will look forward to the end of your stay, anticipating the rewards and blessings that lie ahead. No matter how wonderful of a host I am, you will realize that there is much more to gain.

"On the other hand, you may find only torture during your stay, in which case I will not be able to ward off the serpents and creatures that will enter. They will eat away at your body and soul, causing unbelievable pain. You may see flames from my windows and feel the blaze as if it is right under you. You may smell the sour scent of burning flesh, yet you will not want to leave me, knowing that much more aguish and suffering lies ahead. I will not be able to help you or lend any ease.

"Frequently remember me, your future home. I hope to be a gracious host, one who offers coolness and light. But if I am told, I will be dreadful, filling myself with serpents and flames. Moving in is inevitable; it is not up to you or I. But how your time shall is indeed in your hands. Think of me a warner, hoping to spare you the misery that I have seen so many go through. Please do not blame me if things don't go your way, though I certainly hope your time will be pleasant. So be wise of the choices you make and realize the precautions you need to take."


Your Grave

Until next time...