Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Getting Ready...

I remember a nazim/song that we learned in Madressa. "Ramadan is coming, Ramadan is coming..." I hated that song. Not only because that it has a melody that is displeasing to my ear but reminds me of not a very nice time in my life.

I love Ramadan. Its just a feeling. A comfort that comes over you that you want to hold on to forever. You remember your purpose. Your destiny. You remember all the things that the long days and nights of normalcy make you forget.

I am reminded that all life is connected. That I am a spec of light on thread of the tapestry of life. Interlinked and interwoven into a greater universe. One that I cannot comprehend. I realise that all of time is just perception. My understanding of what moves between one second and another is determined by what I am feeling at that particular time.

And it normally sways between hunger and exhaustion. Frustration and anger is not far behind. Sprinkle a little sadness and tears and you have melting pot of all the things that you shouldn't be doing while you are fasting. But, alas such is the human condition.

This morning I sign into facebook and every second status talks about trusting the Lord of the worlds. Yes okay I got the message. I need to trust. But the day goes on and my mood dips and I remember that while I worship a Loving and Forgiving Lord, He is also a tester. He is also punisher. And I feel like the whole world is weighing down on me. Like I just can't handle one more sad story, or more 'bad news' or things that are never going to happen. Like death would be a great relief right now. So later I'm Internet surfing and came across this post, please note the date. How apt it talking about fasting. And its like the Lord spoke to me again.

Okay, I get it. No more wallowing. Trust your Lord. Change yourself. Have Patience. Message received loud and clear.

On a more social note:

I went out this past weekend and it was like Muslims where enjoying what they can of their freedom before they went to jail. There a two schools of though on this matter, one that thinks people going out in droves before Ramadan eating as if all the food is going to finish in one month, is wrong, and those who think its okay. I use to come from the first one, but now I think I agree with the second much more.

As South African Muslims 'celebration' of ones religion is...difficult. We haven't learned how to do it yet. To eat? But over-eating is bad for you and against the Sunnah. Zoo Lake? Parading around while you should be with family has been officially condemned by the Ulamah. We don't drink, we don't dance or listen to music...'officially' anyway. So how do we celebrate such as awesome month? South Africa's go shopping and walk around malls.

To the naysayers I say, give us a break! Being a Muslim is more than just being in your family. Being a Muslim means that you a apart of a greater family, society. Going out and seeing all types of people with their family's eating at a restaurant, or shopping for last minute Ramadan groceries gives us a sense of camaraderie. That we all going to do it together. And isn't that what the whole point of Islam is? To bring people together in the worship of the one Lord?

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

To Know

This is not about pain, all pain is relative. Everyone experiences it so no one can tell the other how good or bad they got it.

But the breaking of the very fabric of reality is something that you will never understand unless you have been through it.

Unless you have been through that moment, where everything goes silent, the world stops and you can literally hear a type of crack. A breaking of sorts. The wind is knocked out of you. You go numb, then bombarded with every emotion known to man and then numb again. All in a blink of an eye.

You think back to the moment before, the moment you didn’t know and it’s like you can’t understand how it happened. How can reality crack, break, change, split, disappear with just Knowing?

Everything is different. And nothing will ever be the same again. And you try to hold on, but it slips away from you. And in your heart you can feel it. Not just experienced, not just lived through…you Know.

I can notice it the minute I meet someone, whether they Know or not. Some try and hide it. Some wear it like a badge of honour. But I can see it in their eyes, in their step, in the lowering of their voice. I think they can see me too. The Knowers.

People talk about pain, sacrifice, doing what you want, freedom, liberation and independence. As if they know what that means. As if they have paid the blood price for Knowing. They talk, but they don’t Know.

In truth I envy them.

What I wouldn’t give to not Know.