Peace

It’s okay, I have made peace with myself and the past. I’ve made peace in my heart with those I once knew, embracing their successes, overlooking old animosities. From here on, I will try not to glance backwards to wonder at what could have been. Instead I embrace all that came to be. I have wandered two decades on this path, accompanied by my beloved, this companion at my side. Alhamdulilah, what blessings. Let me strive harder to be of the Saliheen — those who live in harmony with the rest. Peace it is.

Ambition

Last evening, I met with an old friend from university on a flying visit to London. He has spent the last twenty years expanding his firm’s international business. Me? I’ve spent it just finding my feet. For sure, we don’t have much in common anymore; perhaps we never did. But he was a gracious host, good enough to make time for me in his very busy schedule.

Continue reading “Ambition”

Your honour

It shouldn’t be the job of women’s support groups to put an end to violence against women and girls. These are messages that should be articulated and promulgated by groups working with men. Instead of focussing on peripheral issues and mere rituals, our khutbahs, halaqas and family conversations ought to be reorientated to address the grave societal problems of our time.

Continue reading “Your honour”

Vigilance

Man must forever be vigilant to the diseases of his soul. After years of trying, it seems God enabled me to vanquish one set of sins and bad habits that had plagued and harangued me since my youth. Alhamdulilah. But into their place, unnoticed, settled another set. Rancor, the short temper, that shouting rage. All of life is a test, we forget, as our children perpetually wind us up. I am hardly reformed, it occurs to me: I have simply replaced one set of sins with another. May Allah have mercy on me. Be vigilant for your soul.

Replacement

O believers! Whoever among you abandons their faith, God will replace them with others who love Him and are loved by Him….

Quran 5:54

If we abandon the path, we will be replaced. This is quite clear. It does not matter if our forefathers followed the path for generations; if we abandon it, it will be taken away from us. Likewise for each of us in our own lives. So hold fast.

Sleepless

I could not sleep again last night. All night long, memories of my sins, stacking up before me. I wish I had chosen the path of righteousness through all those years, instead of heeding the calls of my scheming self. I’m not very happy these days. I blame that on the realisation that I spent most of the past three decades subsumed in sin. If only I’d had the piety of my companions. If only I was refined like them. If only I had understood the nature of the world, and of the life we live. Here we are, asleep, just dreaming. Soon we will awake to the true reality, and then we will discover our loss. It will be as if we had been asleep only for an afternoon, or a part of it, all of a sudden wide awake, alert to the accounting that awaits us. Perhaps it is a blessing that I have been granted such great regrets during this dress rehearsal of the sleeplessness to come. May the Lord of my soul enable me to repent and reform, before the curtain’s close.

Wanderer

Wandering one: do not lose hope in the mercy of your Lord. You are doing well. Stay strong. Take it slow, but stay strong. Allow your living faith to sustain you. Hold fast.

Feed the poor. Clothe the destitute. Provide shelter for the homeless. Be an ally to the orphans. Walk humbly on the earth. Strive for peace. Spend your wealth in the service of others. Let that living faith of yours sustain you. Try your best and leave the rest.

The challenges of our time

Our activist friends this morning are sharing Yasir Qadir’s talk at Cambridge Central Mosque, lauding his insightful observations on the clash of ideas taking place in western civilisation. Actually, I was already aware of the talk, for I had seen it appear in my YouTube subscriptions at the weekend, but I passed over it, for I knew it would only wind me up. In that respect, it did not disappoint.

Continue reading “The challenges of our time”

Polemicists for life

My first encounter with the polemicists of Hyde Park’s Speakers’ Corner occurred in the basement cafeteria at All Souls, Langham Place, just across the road from Broadcasting House on London’s Regent Street. I think it was Sunday 3 August, 1997. In the company of my maternal grandmother and brother, we had just listened to John Stott preach the second of his series of sermons on the four faces of Christ, as purportedly expounded in each of the four gospels. This one was entitled, The Suffering Servant.

Continue reading “Polemicists for life”

Callers

Are the callers really calling people to faith? It doesn’t look like it to me. Rather, they are chasing them away, with their bullying cries and denunciation. Who would want to jump aboard this ship, knowing that they would soon be made to walk the plank and be thrown into the sea? Who is there who will call the callers? Who will call back to a noble way?

Neither east nor west

Righteousness is not that you turn your faces toward the east or the west, but righteousness is to believe in God, the Last Day, the angels, the Book, and the prophets and to give wealth, in spite of love for it, to relatives, orphans, the needy, the traveler, those who ask for help, and for freeing slaves; to establish prayer and give zakah; to fulfill promises; to be patient in poverty and hardship and during battle. Such are those who have been true, and it is those who are the righteous.

QURAN 2:177

Regret

For the majority of my life, I have been driven and dominated by my lower self.

If others knew all that I have done and what I hide inside, they would disown me. I disown myself.

All I have to hold onto now is hope in the mercy of my Lord. “And who despairs of the mercy of God except one who has gone astray…”

Now my only prayer: that He forgives me, guides me and reforms my soul. This my daily prayer. Hope in His mercy, but perpetually in a state of regret, fearful that my remorse can never be enough.

Nightly I recall all I have done. Nightly I call out for His clemency. O Allah, have mercy on this wayward soul who has wronged himself and others.

O Allah, shower me in mercy, rectify for me all of my affairs and set me on a straight way.

Without the One who created me, time, the universe and every atom, all I am left with is regret.

Contentment

Be content with what you have. You never know what blessing will come your way, nor when they come, nor where they come from. God will provide, whether through unexpected gifts or self-seeded plants in the garden. Daily, Allah will surprise you. One day you may think to yourself, “I should get myself a something or other.” When, the following day, one is gifted to you, though you mentioned it to no one, how else could you respond than to utter praises of the exalted Lord? Alhamdulilah, alhamdulilah. Be content with what you have, and God will take care of all of your affairs.

Clowns

Will nobody say something to the scholars, preachers and callers of YouTube, demanding that they abandon their risible antics? Here one clown, preaching his own peculiar wisdom, and here another firing back with a refutation. Here a pair of clowns, jumping up and down with glee. Here another clown reproaching them. So many clowns, expertly clowning, except it is not funny. The circus has come to town, and they perform before all the world, self-absorbed in their own buffoonery, entirely oblivious to the impact on all who witness this churlish spectacle.

Continue reading “Clowns”

The fraud of fools

If your spiritual companions demand that you oppress others, I’d dare surmise that they are not spiritual at all. If those professing to have reached a high station arrogate to themselves permission to do what has been clearly prohibited, I would dare surmise that they have reached no such station at all. Don’t abdicate personal responsibility to those who abrogate the path they claim to excel in. Don’t be taken in by the fraud of fools. Use your intellect, as you are commanded to by the Lord of all the worlds. Worship your Lord alone. Be loyal to the truth alone.