One Hour

If I only have an hour to get out of town, I’d try to not think about the reasons why I’m being evacuated, and just pack up.  Anything.  A few pairs of clothes, some water, granola bars, and hopefully my cell phone battery won’t be dead…  Really though, if there’s something drastic taking place, would I really have the chance to pack up?  Wouldn’t I just pretty much check if there’s a bottle of water near me and run, in any direction?  That’s why we’re supposed to have earthquake preparation kits, so that in the moment of crisis you’re not running around like a chicken with its head cut off.  Although, even if I had the kit, I’d most probably be still running around like a chicken with its head cut off.  But that’s just me.  Hopefully millions of others aren’t like that.  Because we’d all be running into each other at that rate…

Speak up

I can be an immature nut around my siblings, but in public I’d much rather people didn’t notice me.  It sorta, kinda sucks when the attention does land on me, and they decide to ask me a question.  They’re really just trying to be polite because my mother and sister do most of the talking, so naturally I must feel left out.  Or when I’d be in class and the teacher decided it was really boring to have the same students answer over and over again, and would a point her finger anywhere and somehow it would land on me. Yay! Not!  Sure, I knew the answer, but it’s just not fun.  Especially when you’re wearing niqaab, and it feels like everybody expects that when you open your mouth you’re supposed to have a foreign accent.  The only time it was hilarious having the spotlight shine on me was when everybody was visibly bored with fellow classmates sign language presentations, and somehow I went up and everybody sat up and paid attention.  In the moment, that really sucked, because I was counting on them not to pay attention.

It goes without saying that I would not be the one standing in a line who wants start a conversation.  Nor do I want the other person to start a conversation, since that would mean I have to reply.  I wish I could entertain harmless chit chatter, but clearly I’m a just a bit awkward.   Thankfully, the most a person can do is comment on the weather outside though, and I don’t know if they want a conversation or they just feel a compulsion to say something, anything.  All I want is to buy my bags of chocolates, get outta there, and get home to watch an episode of Bones.  Because eating chocolate while watching Bones is a spudtacular combination!

2012

A year from now, 2012.  Things will have changed significantly in the world.  It always does, but we don’t really notice, do we?  It takes events like what has happened in Egypt and Tunisia to come around and make sure you notice.  Suddenly catching up with your favorite TV shows isn’t so important, and the mere idea of the news showing the daily life of some celebrity in rehab leaves you in shock.  Waking up every single morning and wondering what’s going on, but having that positive feeling and hoping that whatever is happening will be good is refreshing.  In such a bleak world, it’s almost surreal to imagine that things can become better, if we just make the effort.  It’s a no-brainer, but most daunting tasks are.  It actually feels unreal, and while you’re cheering them on, you have that fear in the back of your head that something could go so massively wrong.  Failure isn’t the end of the world.  People loosing their lives is the end of their world, though.  It’s that courage to stand up and face the reality without fear that deserves recognition and has the world gripped.

May all those persevering towards good be blessed with good.

Oh-so-annoying

There’s not really one person that bugs me.  Except for my brother.  But that’s out of love, as he says.  It’s a group of people.  The ulaama.  Whether they’re in this country or another.  They’re all collectively pretty much equally uninspiring*.  Their blind followers are equally silly.   There are other people too, but the list might be way longer than we’ve got time for so….

I was reading some anti-protest statements made by some scholars.  What happened to promoting good and preventing evil?  What happened to helping the oppressed as well as the oppressor?  I’ve said before that I hate protests, because their aim is one of passionate stupidity.  Until the pro-dictator crowd entered the scene, we’ve seen the opposite in Egypt.  It’s easy to say don’t protest, but when you’re living under a misguided monarchy do you expect us to believe you’re not issuing a fatwa that makes your dictatorship feel at ease knowing that they still have full control over you?

I know that the Four Imaams and others  never stood up against their leadership.  Ibn Taymiyyah (Rahimahullah) stated that for a people to endure 60 years of corrupt rule is better than one day without rule.  However, even though they did not overthrow the leadership, never for a moment did they make it seem that their leaders were upon the right path.  They called out those in power without reservation, including this same Ibn Taymiyyah when he said to Qazan the Khan of the Tartars:

“You claim that you are Muslim and you have with you Mu’adhdhins, Muftis, Imams and Shaykhs but you invaded us and reached our country for what? While your father and your grandfather, Hulagu were non-believers, they did not attack and they kept their promise. But you promised and broke your promise.”

All served prison time, and endured the torture that came with it, such that Imaam Maalik (Rahimahullah) had difficulty in tying his hands in salaah and Imaam Abu Haneefah and Ibn Taymiyyah (Rahimahullah) passed away in prison.  I’m not saying that I want every sheikh to be imprisoned, because I don’t.

All I want is for the shuyookh to do is what they’re supposed to do.

Guide the people towards doing the right thing, whatever they believe the right thing is, instead of telling us we cannot do anything.  If protests are wrong, then what is right? What are people to do when they live in fear of being beaten, and not knowing why they’re being beaten?  How are people supposed to live in poverty, while the privileged few enjoy life?  There’s only so long you can tell a person who’s starving for a dignity to have sabr.  Every human being, Muslim and non Muslim, is worthy of dignity.  Say otherwise, and you’re no better than Mubarak.

I don’t know whether things will change for the better in Egypt.  I don’t know whether they will place somebody better to lead.  They’re trying though.  May Allah set them upon the right path, purify their intentions, and may He bless Egypt and the entire world with peace.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

On an entirely different issue, is there be no level of shame in how much of a business Islam has become?  Every imaam deserves to have financial stability, to put food on his table and educate his children.  And buy chocolates.  Oh and add a cool Prius, or something.  However, to sell yourself and what you believe in, in exchange for the high life, seems really low.  To be 30+ and act like a teenager because that’s who’s paying you, lacks a small dose of intellect.  Only a small dose.

When you’re a leader, you act like a leader.  You never stoop to another persons level, you bring them up to your level.  You can comfort them in their time of distress, you can make appropriate jokes to lighten the mood, you can play basketball with them for the sake of encouraging them to be athletic.  But to come across as a hyper, overgrown child is just…wow.  Sure, it’s attractive to the Facebook crowd.  That crowd more than anything needs to learn to behave with much more maturity than they currently do, and if their imaams are going to be on there validating them, then how will they change?

All the annoyances aside, I really love the ulama.  :)

*This excludes those who have served to promote a moderate view as well as defend good.  The fact that there are a few, makes me jump for joy.

Music to my ears

The other day I saw these words, but I didn’t know then that they were lyrics and thought it was just a poem.

Fathers, be good to your daughters
Daughters will love like you do
Girls become lovers who turn into mothers
So mothers, be good to your daughters too

Then I read that the person liked the song, and I go Oh it’s a song!  Before even listening to the song, I spun a peppy sounding thing in my head and was like that must be a cool song.  Just for the heck of it, I went to listen and see if I was right.  Dead wrong.  The dude sounds drunk or something, it’s traumatizing.  I guess that must have been the only way they could get him to sing something so mushy.  *snicker*

On the topic of music, NaBloPoMo’s prompt the other day was about music and whether I prefer music with lyrics or music without.  And yes, it lasted about 3 days before I figured prompts are pointless for me.  I like nasheeds, so it’s really all about the lyrics which I mostly don’t understand because I never learned Arabic. *sniff*  But still about the lyrics and never about the music.  I don’t get the logic behind listening to a song where you can’t understand what they’re saying, or in some cases screaming.  If it requires captions to be on, there’s something wrong people!   Does it get cooler than this?

And then there’s always the songs my brother makes up, and those lyrics…  They’re just wow, and nothing would be more fun than to record him, but I might get in trouble for violating the copyright. ;)

Friendships don’t go on forever, silly

Without suffering the boring details it’s pretty easy to say my friends from when I was 10 aren’t my friends today.  And alhamdulillah for that.   The concept of friendship never really worked out for me.  I’ve made friends pretty easily many times, but it was keeping friendships through distance that was darn right difficult.  I also simply never cared to.  They were great to meet up wherever the regular place was, usually the masjid or school, at a time I was used to.  But going out of my way to meet up with them?  Nah…  It’s not that I’m not sociable, okay, maybe I’m really not.  It’s also the lil issue that I’m the type who gets along better with non Muslims than with Muslims, but not the type of kid to ask my parents if I go hang out with friends.  I did that once, and the outing felt a bit shallow, not to mention after a while we didn’t really have much to say.  I decided it was not worth keeping up with the friends because I’d have to keep hanging out, and if I couldn’t hang out that meant I’d have to create fancy excuses.  Not worth the hassle.  I do think of those friends occasionally, they were actually pretty nice, down to earth, and funny.  Yet still, I would much rather just do what I do best: sit at home playing around on the computer and read a good book occasionally.

On another related note, sometimes I wonder how people manage to handle friendships with just random people who come in their life.  They can hit it off with pretty much anybody and just keep talking non-stop.  It’s a freakin talent, or something pretty darn close.  I don’t sincerely care to adopt that talent, because I’m happy as a loner as long as I have the few nice people around me.  But I guess it would be helpful to learn to say the right things at the right time with people I don’t really care to talk to and better yet, ask the right questions to get the opposite person to do all talking.

PS: I’m offended that NaBloPoMo ditched a prompt for Monday.  But whatevaaa!

G’bye!

It was nice knowing you 2010, and thanks for leaving as fast as you came. It’s pretty odd when you realize it’s the end of a freakin decade. I was only 12 in 2010, and if somebody told me that I’d pretty much kill the next years, I think I would been devastated, especially since I did visit the most amazing place in the world, and that really should have changed me for the better. That may be why it’s good that we don’t know the future and maybe it could help to forget the past in some instances.

I used to be pretty chilled about money related stuff. I don’t spend too much anyway, and it doesn’t take much effort for me to limit my spending to chocolate and the occasional lip gloss.  (Although the hat in Wal-Mart could cause me to splurge.) Then I woke up one day and somehow noticed: my parents aren’t young anymore.  Jee whiz, what a genius.  So, I spent most days this year wondering, what the heck am I goin to do with my life if all my plans don’t fall through?  I don’t have an answer yet.  We’ll just live it one day at a time but try not to chill too much.

My mother’s method of course is the opposite.  She definitely does not chill.  Her perseverance never ceases to amaze me.  Even when it lands me up in a 36 hour road trip through the canyons, rockies, and sprawling mid-West.  The road trip was amazing, and since we never travel just for the heck of it, at least we had the excuse to make the road trip.  We hated it in the moment, but at least looking back, I am grateful.  What is more surreal is that we literally fled from there, and following us was the heavy clouds.  The hail stones hit in the colorful state, but we tuned in later to find out that Allah really saved us from a scary flood in Dorothy’s land.

With a state in a crappy budget, never take 50 cents for granted.  Yes, the library will make a block on your account and prevent you from signing up classes.  But I did learn to cook as a result.  And made a lot of soy milk.  What could be more fun?!  (I am not being sarcastic.  Soy milk vs. Statistics, you do the math.  Haha. Ha. H..a..)  Stuff happens, and much worse than this has happened, so no regrets.

Eid was cool this year.  Both of ‘em.  Eid al Fitr was the only Eid I ever had alone with just my parents.  It was weird, but fun.   Eid al Adha was the only Eid I ever had that many sweets.  It took a month to finish.  But it was awesome.  At least we make it different every year.

I’m a picky eater

My mother makes the most terrifical pumpkin and rice.  It really truly rocks.  When I was a kid, I once told her if she made it every day, I’d never get bored of it.  That still remains the case.  Same goes for pasta and doughnuts with milk.  That’s quite a variety there, in my books.  Apparently, I’m very much into starches, and I’d like to think I’m not a very stiff person, but who knows…

Although I don’t really hate any specific food, excluding pork but it’s pretty obvious why I’m averse to that, there are very few things I can’t stand to put in my mouth.  And when they do land up in my mouth, like a larger than life, slithery slice of cooked onion, I will go wide-eyed and then proceed to grab a glass of grape juice to wipe that taste out of my memory.  I will also poke around my plate ensuring that such a horrific occurrence does not repeat itself.  I don’t care if it means I’ll be at the dinner table longer than everybody else, the onion was simply not meant to be eaten.  But I don’t hate it.

There are some foods that are just too bland for my liking, and though are not bad, they just aren’t likeable enough. Like eggplant.  I attempted it once, almost eleven years ago from a street vendor in a foreign country, in the city of my dreams.  Although I forgot the taste, I know I wasn’t impressed, and if the city of my dreams couldn’t alter my perception then I guess nothing will.   The same would go for tofu.  It’s great for non-meat eaters, but I eat meat, so why oh why would I eat a bean cheese?  Meat is meat, cheese is cheese.  When I want them together, I make a cheeseburger.  Duh! ;)

The only thing I have never eaten, thankfully, and never want to try is sushi.  I’m not particularly into fish as it is, but I will eat it for all it’s fishy goodness, but the idea of raw fish just has me at a loss for words. Literally. I sat here for five minutes thinking about I could put into words what I feel about raw fish, and I just can’t.

But at least I have my pumpy umpy umpkin, and that’s all that matters at the end of the day.