Neither Here Nor There

you broke the ocean in
half to be here.
only to meet nothing that wants you

– Immigrant // Nayyirah Waheed

I don’t remember when I wrote the poem below but it was a long time back. It doesn’t even have a name. When I wrote it I didn’t care for expression or choice of words or to make some kind of an impact on the reader. I just wrote this out of the pain I felt that could not help itself just wanting to find an outlet. Be it in words that did it no justice.

Today I am sad again because the world isn’t any better, may be worse. And even worse for the whole Ummah. #Brexit was preferred because that was the only way to stop immigrants (?) I am not from the UK but how depressing is that. Not to mention the political and media tirade against muslims. And I want this to encourage me to be the good I want to see.tumblr_l2q4c0ydXg1qade4w.png

I know there are still people in this world who would rather have open arms than clinched fists and hope is ever alive.

Just had to get the sadness out there so that we remember the people from our ummah who have nowhere to go and in the hope that these trials will be a turning point for the rest of us, a turning point that leads us back to Allah.

There is a Syria in each one of us

A Yemen coursing through my veins right now

My tears drip in the shape of Afghanistan’s map,

The nerves in my eyes are screaming for Gaza

And every heavy breath supposed to be an ode to Iraq

I think of the little girl who cries through the night
And when she tires of crying she falls asleep among the deafening sound of missiles

Another day spent hoping for death

This is why my body is a battle ground

And every war I fight kills a little of me, keeps a little alive

Victory is the luminous smoke from my burnt remains

Can you see a phoenix rising?

~Zara

Ramadaan hope for the underachiever

Just what I need!

slip-sliding away.....

The infant sun peeks out from behind a mountain peakThe last third of Ramadaan is almost upon us, and if you’re like me, you haven’t really hit the highs of the month yet. Personally, it’s been another low-key Ramadaan (as is the standard in recent years) – with only fleeting moments of inspiration and spiritual highs.

Personal circumstances have engulfed me – in this past week especially – but instead of feeling upset about that, I know better. I know to take it in my stride, because such challenges are a normal part of life. We cannot choose when our trials will come, but regardless of who we are, what we have, and where we are spiritually, those challenges WILL come. They’re a necessary part of life that is to be expected (as expounded upon recently).

The challenge is in being open to such events – which you know will throw you off the path you were hoping…

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Of Solidarity and Holy Seconds

I take delight in being a loner but the otherwise ignored magnitude of Ramadan isn’t lost on me.

Over a billion people fasting round the clock. Always the call to prayer going off, the prostrations, the raised palms, the empty hands somewhere.

The oft repeated invocations, the half remembered duas. The parched throats, sore legs from standing in prayer, the repentances, the remembrances, the recitations, the longing, the free flowing tears, the free falling egos.

Always someone down on their knees and foreheads begging for salvation. Or someone wetting their dry lips, water replaced with perspective.59e956e6f6ac4e4b1a298af663914e3a

Always the millions of those fasting whose fast is only between them and God. No one but God knows if there was a secret bite or a quick sip or the desperation and yet the sacrifice of both. Always someone hungry for food and forgiveness. Or someone holding their tongue, their eyes, their limbs, their whims.

Always the towering gratitude or the ocean deep regrets or the forgotten verses bought back to life, reverberating in now full masjids.

Always the Qur’an being recited somewhere, its pages turning every minute.

The short nights, the relinquished sleep, the exhilaration, the awareness, the generosity, the charity, the feeding of the poor. Or the broken hearts being slowly healed.

Someone always lagging but not the only one to do so, someone learning the intricacies of patience, the joys of delayed gratifications, the learned control. The rows and rows of famished stomachs being replenished at the same time

The transformations, the second chances, the going back, the finding the way. Always the deeds ascending and the Light descending. Infinite.

The acute sense of our humanness, the brokenness, emptiness, the loneliness, the incompleteness, the void, the faults, the flaws, the falling, the rising, the despair. And yet always the unabridged hope. Round the clock, holy seconds ticking by ever so gently, scattering mercy.

The Prophet (saw) said “The fasting person has two occasions for joy, one when he breaks his fast because of his breaking it and the other when he meets his Lord because of the reward for his fast.” (Muslim)

People united in hunger, prostration, goodness. Through ethnicities, generations, color, cultures, countries, continents, age, timezones, differences. Quietly proving God is One

May Allah accept from us. Ameen