Wednesday, September 28, 2011

thank you very mocha

It's 8:15p, and I know I only have 15min before the coffee shop is closed at the hospital. When I reach the counter, the coffee shop crew is clearly cleaning up and calling it a night. I order my usual. I wait. He hands me my coffee. There is no lid. Last minute negligence! But instantly I see the delicate floral design swimming atop my drink. I've been at this place dozens during normal hours, but no one ever took the time to add that subtle detail. It truly made me happy. "Thank you." My gratitude is noted. He hands me the lid.

Human kindness. You just gotta believe in it, and you will see it everywhere <3.

Brew Haha Crew Art

Sunday, September 18, 2011

one way

When I was in Makkah, the world made started to make perfect sense. There were times
when I did tawaf, and I was completely silent. I had nothing to ask for. Just forgiveness and mercy. The best time for tawaf was before fajr, of course. And then the rising sun would join us. There was incredible peace even with the inevitable pushing and shoving. I didn't mind it at all. It actually made it easy, I barely had to move my feet, the momentum of the worshipers drove the revolutions.

And the energy I had! We only ate two meals a day. One after fajr. The other late at night after isha'a. Breakfast was always scrambled eggs, lentils, olives, cheese, and black tea. But it always tasted so satisfying and wholesome. Dinner was something my dad wanted, usually a Pakistani traditional dish. I stopped taking the elevators, because I realized it was faster and more efficient to go up 6 flights of stairs than to wait for the elevator, even after a day's worth of ibadah under the Arabian sun. We would sleep at around 10pm and then get up a 2 am. I never needed an alarm clock, and I never hesitated to jump out of bed. I was high on life and so utterly happy. I became a tawaf-junkie. My father stopped chaperoning me for tawaf the first night at Makkah. "You do what you want, I need some rest."

I watched the birds. I chased the pigeons. I talked or attempted to talk to sisters from Algeria, Egypt, Turkey and Malaysia. I listened to the hum of distant Qur'an recitations. I took naps on the vast carpets. I was alone and loved it. Even with one million? other people.

And here I am, I've lost that security of peace. I knew it wouldn't last.
It was my Makkan-high, but I am grateful I experienced it. It's my place of peace, when nothing makes sense... It's my escape and my hope that one day things will make sense..

But one thing Makkah never had and never will is trees...and the season of Autumn. It's my favorite time of the year...and I am grateful.

Friday, September 16, 2011


One of these days, when I no longer feel a need nor the desire to write/share my thoughts (publicly) I will also delete this blog. Until then...

Monday, September 5, 2011


On the 4th day of Shawaal, we were coming from the hospital and had stopped at a small masjid to pray Maghrib. At the women's section there was a plate of dates and some waters bottles for those fasting. I was surprised and comforted by the masjid's kindness and thoughtfulness. My masjid probably wouldn't have this, I thought. I quickly broke my fast, and joined my mom and two other women for salah. Moments before we started the prayer, I glanced over my right shoulder and saw a women crying, her black mascara running with her bold tears.  What battle she was fighting? And then the prayer started momentarily after, and as the imam recited the words with beauty and conviction, I could hear the sister softly reciting those same words with pain and pauses for air.  I finished, made my du'a and included her. And when I left, I wished I had given her a hug... I did get a chance, but I just couldn't do it. I guess I'm not at that level of maturity (or is it compassion?) where I am compelled to comfort strangers as my heart wants to.

In the car, my mom noticed what I had noticed, and she, too, wondered and wished.

"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle." - Plato

my sister's battle

Saturday, September 3, 2011

For some rhyme or reason, I was really touched by Shaykh Mohammed's Eid Message

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
الحمد لله تعالى والصلاة والسلام على خير خلقه وآله وصحبه تتوالى
أما بعد، السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته

Dear Brothers and Sisters,
I would like to say to everyone of you; my friends, my students, and all of the active brothers and sisters in the field of da'wa: Eid Mubarak.

Although the blessed month of Ramadan has swiftly left us; but the Infinite Mercy of Allah and His Unbound forgiveness will be with us whenever we seek them. We should remember that Allah is the Lord of every month and every day; and in as much as we were keen to get closer to Him in Ramadhan, we should be keen on that after it.

I hope that we all have attained the best spiritual benefits of Ramadhan, not only reaping the best rewards for the various acts of worship, but having strengthened our iman and yaqin, and increased our taqwa and istiqamah.

I would like to congratulate you on this Eid and convey my sincerest du'a to you, that Allah Almighty, out of His Bounty, make it a blessed occasion of joy and happiness for you all, in all matters of your deen and dunia.

Whilst you all celebrate this blessed day of Eid, remember your brothers and sisters in the blessed land of Syria; as they are rising up against the most ruthless regime in the world today; a regime which has bombed mosques, killed and mutilated men, women and children. So, do not forget your Syrian brothers in your du'a.

With my salaam and du'a
Servant of the Seekers of Knowledge
Muhammad Abul Huda Al-Yaqoubi