Archive for the ‘Personal’Category

‘Don’t worry, third time around you’ll have a boy’

To Allah belongs the kingdom of the heavens and the earth.
He creates what He wills.
He bestows female (offspring) upon whom He wills,
and bestows male (offspring) upon whom He wills.

The Holy Qur’an, Surah Ash Shura, ayat 49


Man is surely a selfish creature. Never satisfied with what he has, he is always on the search for more and more.

We are told to always think of those who have less than us. Thinking of this will teach us to be thankful.

I recently had my second daughter a few months ago and while I am blessed to have given birth to a healthy and happy child, there was a time when she was still in utero that I had a desire for a boy. I tried to push this thought aside because all every parent wants is a healthy and sound baby. But we are human, after all. And the human part of me wanted a little boy because I already had a girl.

When I had my ultrasound and found out it was a girl, I had to ask, “Are you sure?” The technician said, “Yes, pretty much.” A part of me was a bit disappointed but that feeling quickly subsided as I began thinking of names and started getting giddy at the thought of buying dresses and cute accessories again. Girls always are more fun to dress up.

Read the rest of this entry →



12 2011

Reflections on Our Work: Distractions and Detachment

Our work is primarily focused on alleviating problems, on jumping hurdles, on solving puzzles.

Our work, in many ways, depends on the existence of these problems. In some ways, perhaps, this distracts us from purifying our selves. Of course, you can embark on both paths, or achieve purity through dealing with such problems.

But what if this isn’t supposed to be the way of life? The fact that we attempt to fix problems shows us that we seem to think that it is not.

The paths to attempting to solve these problems often complicate our lives. What would we do if life were simple? Could we adapt to a situation of relative calm? Could we maintain worship?

Of course, struggle will never cease. The struggle with our selves and with others and even the struggle to reach equilibrium with the [natural] World will always persist.

Read the rest of this entry →



10 2011

Islamic Literature

I recently read “Minaret” by Leila Aboulela as part of a book club. While discussing the novel, we brought up the notion of a Muslim voice in American literature.

The book deals with Najwa, a girl forced to leave Sudan as her father is executed for corruption after the fall of the government. She settles in England and leaves behind her life of short skirts and infatuation with Western culture and embraces hijab and the stricter aspects of Islam.

The book had a clear message: Najwa had a fulfilled life because she devoted it to her religion. She’s very vocal about this throughout the story, and her views of others is shaded by whether or not they’re practicing Muslims.
Read the rest of this entry →



10 2011

Gallery #3

Walking the street, pacing
the pious venerate, worship, diker
in Gallery #3

Those that have been waiting
pacing, revelation, visions
Gallery #3

Even I am
where, I
cannot find me
pacing, diker, revelation
Gallery #3
Read the rest of this entry →



08 2011


Force of a million souls—marching
force of a million souls—chanting
the force of a million souls

Revolutions hold us silent
between the chanting streets
a mother’s warmth comforts
a child’s fingers grasp
silent children
child silence

Eyes that escape us now
lost amid a mid-evil tapestry
those eyes



08 2011

Muslim Girl Problems

My current obsession is the Twitter site

Some samples of her tweets:

love when a muslim grl announces her engagement to nonmuslim friends & they say”we didnt know u were dating someone!” #thatsbcwemet4daysago

my cousin got yelled at by her parents because she does not know how to iron and cook properly #shesaneurosurgeon

We all remember the day when someone told us we shouldn’t eat Lucky Charms and marshmallows bc there is pig in it. #wehatethatperson

I know there are people who aren’t happy with her observations or don’t think she’s funny, but I think she speaks to the majority of Muslims.

There are certain issues that come along with being a Muslim, and it’s fun to read someone else reflect on them in a “I totally know what you mean” way.

I’ve read plenty of literature written by Muslims, and my issue with these books has always been that I can’t relate to the experience that they’re putting across. Muslims tend to gloss over any realities of growing up with Islam and sugarcoat it for a non-Muslim audience. Read the rest of this entry →



07 2011

Coexist For a Good Cause

I work at a Christian-based non-profit organization called Mobile Loaves & Fishes, which feeds and houses the homeless in six cities across the U.S.  It was originally founded as a ministry of the St. John Neumann Catholic Church in Austin, Texas.  I applied to work here because I wanted to go home at the end of the day and feel like I’d made a positive contribution to the world.

The person who interviewed me is member of the Catholic clergy.   As my affiliations with Muslim organizations are very prominent on my resume, it was amusing to watch him choose his words delicately.  With great effort to avoid breaking employment laws, he attempted to find out how comfortable I would be working in a Christian environment.  I assured him as best I could that it would not be a problem for me.

Read the rest of this entry →



07 2011

T.S Eliot and Ezra Pound Degrade Life

In Washington Square Park–I purchased 1951 collection of poetry from one of my favorite poets Pablo Neruda. It was published by a leftist magazine called Masses & Mainstream, and sheds some much needed light on two modern paragons of poetry–T.S Eliot and Ezra Pound.

The introduction states:

As Neruda has said, before the warhawks of Wall Street and Washington can hurl the atom bomb they must first annihilate men morally. That is the mission of of their poets–the T.S Eliot and Ezra Pounds who degrade life and stultify the will to resist destruction. To this literature of decay and death Pablo Neruda opposes an art of moral grandeur…

Read the rest of this entry →



07 2011

Conversation with the Beloved

I said: “I will become the lover and you will become the beloved”

You glanced with kindness: “Are you sure?”

I said: “You’ll see”

You said: “I will be the lover, you the beloved”

I said: “No don’t say that … I’ll get upset”

You said: “You’ll see”

I said: “Doesn’t matter, you the lover and me the beloved or the other way around, let’s begin”

Read the rest of this entry →



07 2011

Can You Believe What She’s Wearing?

Just last week, when I went to the local masjid to pray jumuah, I was told I wasn’t dressed properly. I left the house thinking I looked perfectly appropriate for prayer, but apparently my sleeves were too short. It was a hot day, and I chose to wear something a little shorter than I normally would have. The sleeves were a little revealing, sure, but probably not something you would notice unless you were looking for fault with someone. And there’s definitely nothing scandalous about my wrists, I assure you.

I’m also working on a project at the same masjid, and one of the other volunteers was worried about the way she dresses. She’d never been to this masjid before, but she wants to get involved. She has some great ideas and is very enthusiastic. But, her one worry is that someone will call her out on the fact that her shirt may be deemed too tight or that strands of her hair are showing.

While I’ve tried to reassure her, there’s no hiding the fact that Muslims can be pretty judgmental when it comes to other Muslims. I know it’s not too much of a stretch that someone at some masjid has probably told this woman that she’s not dressed properly.

Read the rest of this entry →



06 2011