Sunday, June 24, 2007


Disturbing Comments

About six weeks ago, whilst many people were posting kind thoughts about my ‘Noble Man’ entry, I received two comments which were not so kind. A pair which left me feeling tearful for a few weeks.

St Valentines has left a new comment on your post "The Noble Man From Zaytuna":

Honestly woman, get a grip of yourself. You're practically worshipping HY, maybe you should just ask for his rishta instead of seeming like a desperate ''number one fan.'' You seem like a fanatical HY stalker, I hope your husband one day gets out a miswaak to give you a good bashing with.

Posted by St Valentines to tranquilart at Tuesday, May 08, 2007 2:25:00 PM

Curious Muslim has left a new comment on your post "The Noble Man From Zaytuna":

Zaytuna institute - The place where dreams come true :) The place where we rip you off and hang you out to dry for sacred knowledge ;)

Posted by Curious Muslim to tranquilart at Tuesday, May 08, 2007 2:30:00 PM

I do have a heart, and within it are chambers which ‘feel’.

At the time, I was so upset, confused and angry that my immediate reaction was to ‘moderate comments’. Never before have I had to moderate what comments have been left. Of course with the exception of a few spammers, all who have commented on my blog have been most welcome “Ahlan Wa Sahlan!” I shout in cyberspace.

Come, come, whoever you are

Wonderer, worshipper, lover of leaving

It doesn’t matter.

Ours is not a caravan of despair.

Come, even if you have broken your vows

a thousand times,

Come, yet again,

Come, come.


For almost three years I have been blogging and although there are a ‘regular’ few who comment, most of my comments are from individuals who chance upon the read. I am accustomed to receiving comments from strangers, in fact in the last 2 years I have received a wealth of emails from people who have read the blog but shied away from commenting so publicly. And as I have said before, it is only due to the positive feedback that I continue to find motivation to blog.

So let’s get back to these comments then.

After discussing the comments with well-wishers I came to receive a lot of support and words of comfort, metaphors for the relationships that exist in blogosphere, aswell as the dynamic transformation that communication is currently undergoing.

Everything made perfect sense.

However I still felt very perturbed, tearful and saddened by the comments. I deduced that both comments had probably been left by a single male who was most likely a Muslim. In other words: “A Muslim Brother”.

I asked myself why had I been so offended by these comments. Why was I allowing myself to give them so much of my time, thought and energy? Especially at a time when I was already feeling weak and resorting to daytime naps in order to have sufficient physical energy to fulfil, in the very least: the minimal prayers for each day. Why was I so upset? Allowing something like this to eat into me.. a friend who could not resist told me one day: “taz, let it be like water off a duck’s back!” She made me laugh!

There are many reasons why I was upset:

Initially it was the misogynist stench which I didn’t like.

The references to domestic violence were totally unacceptable. I mean totally. Speak to a woman whose husband has beaten her and told her she is the ugliest individual alive, and you will come to realise how demeaning it is. How it destroys the soul and leaves the spirit to bleed: heart is pumping blood, all vital signs are in check – but there is a corpse in clothing: breathing just because those breaths have been written by Him who Writes it all.

Yes I do know such women, and how dare someone poke fun of what they go through. Shame on whoever speaks such ill.

And to want for your fellow human, your sister-in-faith to get a “good bashing” from her husband? Are these my fellow believers well-wishing me a future of peace and prosperity? Are these their supplications for me when I enter the sacred institution of marriage? Whoever mutilated the saying:

“None of you truly believes until he wishes for his brother what he wishes for himself.”

‘Brother’ equating to ‘fellow human’.

I thought:

Am I not someone’s child or sibling?

Do I not belong to the ‘big family’?

For those of you who read The Noble Man From Zaytuna did you understand what the station of a Teacher is?

Did you sense the station of a Mentor?

A Guide?

A Torch?

Did you sense within it the sentiments a child echoes to a parent?

If you didn’t see a daughter’s love for a someone whom she honours alongside her father then I feel sorry for you.

Did you ever get the impression of someone who is desperately trying to save people he doesn’t know from falling into a pit? Someone who stretches his hands out, reaching for them when they have hit rock-bottom?

A man determined to switch on the light so they can see their surroundings and all that exists beyond their tiny world?

One of the comments left on the post so rightly said the following:

“Just can't imagine how garbage my life would have been had he not come into it.”

So many of us know that our lives would have been precisely that: garbage, crap, trash, rubbish and a total waste-heap had it not been for the gentleness of this gentleman, and the nobility of this humble teacher. Yet we are so determined not to acknowledge him as a blessing?

It wasn’t until about a month ago whilst reviewing last summer’s Rihla course notes that I came across the following saying of the Prophet Alaislam that my thoughts about this whole Comments affair took a new twist:

A desert Arab came to the Messenger and said:

”You kiss children, we don’t kiss them.”

The Prophet said:

“Can I prevent Allah from extracting the Mercy from your heart?”

My thoughts now turned to the states we are in. I recalled a recent phone-call from a well-wisher who had said:

“we don’t know the states that we ourselves are in.”

I really felt the weight of this.

I thought how awful it must be to have mercy extracted, taken away, removed from one’s heart.

How very sad.

To live without this emotional treasure.

Finally, I gathered my thoughts and tears: all Praises to the Guide for teaching me through this fine Hadith. I realised that deep down I felt sorry for the individual who had posted the two nasty comments. I mean really really sorry.

I felt grateful to God Almighty for bringing me to this understanding and showing me through a series of emotional hurdles, the importance of addressing why we feel the way we do.

When we are upset about something, we need to carefully examine where that sadness stems from?

Why are we upset?

Which part of us feels the hurt or the offence?

Is it our ego which feels the pain?

Or is it a wound much deep within?

Where are we really hurting?

If we live our life based upon the principles of faith, then we shouldn’t forget that there is a Day of Accounts to follow. None of us would want any other to be at a loss on that Day.

I end by saying something that I have thought about many times: that if it was possible and permissible to transfer one’s remaining years over to another human being, then He Knows best that I would choose the Noble Man from Zaytuna to transfer them over to.

I still hold firm to the 5 reasons I gave for writing the piece in the first place.

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Sunday, June 03, 2007


My New Prayer Beans


Finally after searching far and wide, high and low I found them.

Lima Beans are perfect for anyone who has stiffness in their finger joints. I've found them much better than chick peas, kidney beans or date stones.

A great, economical aswell as an ergonomical method to maintain focus and concentration whilst one recites in desire to remember their Lord.

It's been an interesting time for my prayer beads: these two years. I was given a huge tasbih [string of beads] in Medina 4 years ago by a street merchant who insisted I take it.
I did.
And for the next couple of years I used those beads to make pronouncements of the remembrance of God Almighty.

However upon the onset of my pain, one of the first things that was inconceivable was moving the beads along the string. It was impossible to do. And so my beads took a back-seat whilst I began to count on my fingers. Over this period people brought me prayer beads as gifts; unfortunately of little use to me: even if they are expensive and made from the best source. The last time I was able to easily use what the merchant from Medina gave me was last year whilst in Pakistan.

It has become so difficult and frustrating to use prayer beads due to the repetitive nature of the movement one makes with their thumb and index finger. Sometimes I find myself watching in bemusement at others moving their beads through the string with a great sense of awe.

I have even been very kindly offered prayer beads by individuals in circles where people are using them to make dhikr. And I have had to refuse.

I feel a little strange at times. Prayer beads have almost become a symbol in many of our circles: of people diligently detaching themselves from their surroundings to remember their Lord Most High.
Individuals directing their energies to a higher purpose whilst appearing to be present in a normal, regular crowd.

They continue to remember their vicegerency upon this earth as their thumb rolls yet another bead.

In this world they are; but on a plane beyond the reach of our imaginations.

They are connected so quickly to their Adamic state; their celestial covenant; their rich heavanly oath. Their origin is shown to them so instantaneously through the magic of what they invocate.

What a feeling it must be to detach oneself so easily just by use of these beads?

Man is in dire need to channel his energies in a direction which will empower him. This channelling needs to be done in a manner that correctly honours his status in the universe and with his Creator. Invocating to God Almighty is an act of great humility yet it enables the individual to grow in a unique kind of confidence. An assurance that he has not been left alone to deal with life and the many obstacles, dilemmas or scenarios it introduces in his way. Situations that warrant a response from him that he may not feel able to carry out without becoming confused. This newly-gained confidence allows man then, to reach elevation and deal with the aforementioned incidences quite naturally. He no longer feels that he is suspended in mid-air, but instead, he gains a grounding necessary for his survival on this earthly realm.

A sort of grounding embedded in an aura of conviction that the gentle words which fall from his tongue are, in fact reaching Heavan, and that through their invocation his heart will once again feel the peace and tranquility that naturally belongs within it.

For we mustn't forget:

"..Verily in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest"

Quran: 13:28

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Saturday, June 02, 2007


Paining in the Rain

Erratic weather conditions thanks to global warming meant that the April Showers were delayed, leaving us here in this glorious city of mine, with a warm month wherein we had alot of sun fun.

As I look back at the month of May I find myself recalling a month full of wet, wet, wet weather!

Rheumatic Rain!

Rain which brought with it many angels
yet also a deep parable for me:

to think,
and immerse me into.

The many weeks of damp weather brought out the pain in the elbows, hands and wrists. There is no real pattern for the pain, it comes and goes as it pleases - but the rain does make it worse than in dry and sunny climate.

It's very interesting to know that the Rain which God Almighty sends gives 'life'. Rain is a blessing when it soaks the dry land with its' essence and brings sustenance to whole communities through its' graceful properties. On the other hand we know that too much rain is a cause for distress when floods threaten life and existence.

For myself then, rain proved to be a powerful lesson.

It was as if the raindrops were droplets of ink: falling onto the papered earth to write a message for me. The puddles akin to paragraphs of wisdom: trying their best to dictate an instruction; a something I should learn.

"But my endevours are fruitless!" I cried.
"I do not understand the language of the rain!"

Tradition teaches us that rain is one of the best of times to pray in. It is indeed a time for angelic ambience.

Tradition also teaches us that the sick are surrounded by the angels. Sickness is viewed as a process of purification and one of the means by which closeness to God Almighty is achieved.

I pondered on awhile...

The pain continued to persist.

My eyes wandered;
glaring at the skies and then returning to experience the momentary sensations:
like light music playing in the background whilst I went about my irregularities each day.
I guess it's like having a spot on your face which is 'just there' and although your life doesn't stop for it: it does occaisionally remind you of it's presence.

Slowly I began to realise the language of these tiny raindrops.

Rain comes and washes away all that existed before it -
these moments of stiffness that I feel may also wipe away the many mistakes and sins I have accumulated?

I realise that the rain does indeed give life by the Permission of God Almighty,
but if today this very same rain is giving me sensations of pain - then that too must be to give me 'eventual' life by His Permission?

That if these raindrops were being carried so mercifully by those angelic creations which we cannot see,
then the twitchings which waken me from sleep during the early hours must also be accompanied mercifully by those angelic beings?

Do I tell the world that I am a student of the rain?

Do I tell the world that this pain is my teacher?

I stop for a moment.
"I am sure the whole world was designed to teach me?" I ask myself.
"But I have just been able to recognise two of His Great Signs?"

How many more of His Great Signs must be littered in this vast creation of His?

Becoming overwhelmed.
I feel the presence of these tears tonight.
Wipe them away. It is almost 1am.

"My Lord.."
I begin a prayer -

My Lord,

Give me the ability to recognise Your Signs in my life.
This life is a gift from You,
And at times I value not this precious treasure,
So give me Signs that help me to continuously cherish this fortune which You have honoured me with.


Good Night.
Peace & Prayers
x x x x x x

Read also: Rain

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