It’s a weird world

So this is basically a rant to sort of help me out of the confused mind that reigns on me these days. I’m weak, and that’s something I don’t like about myself. I have my strong Iman moments, where everything is so easy and just possible to do. And then I have my weak moments, when I seem to think Islam is just too hard.

I can’t really blame anyone, because basically I control a lot of who I am and who I want to be. Yes, my society influences me; my friends, my family, my environment everything does. But I should still have the power to ignore, to push away the changes I don’t want to see myself being affected by.

But I still seem to be affected by them. I’m working on myself though.

The thing is, I live in a weird society. A society where cultural Islam is more important than what Islam should be. And if anyone tries to follow what is actually to be followed, that person ends up being in a very hard place. The shameful bit is, I live in an Islamic state. A state where following your Deen should be easier for you, instead, it is hard. Not hard because people say following Islam is wrong, but hard because;

  1. We have our own interpretation of what is Islamic and what is not Islamic. We have decided for ourselves what the Quraan means on what occasions, even if the entire world is following it one way.
  2. The new and secular ideas, a lot of which have been proved wrong on so many occasions, are being preferred over Islamic values, because somehow it’s “cooler”. I know, we are unbelievable at times.
  3. We as a people are inclined to adopt Western ideas and ways of living, it has actually achieved the level of being a status symbol. If you know how to speak English, you will be listened to with rapt attention, if you, on the other hand, are trying to learn Arabic, you are automatically regarded as someone beneath a specific class of society.

Let’s take my struggle these days as an example. I’m trying to start wearing the jilbab (yes I’m so bad I don’t wear it), but nobody gives me a smile about it. Only a minute fraction of society tries to encourage me for it; people my age think I’m plain mental. I tried talking to my friends about it, they didn’t really respond. One of them told me my kameez/kurta was covering me just fine. But that’s just the thing, I wanted to say to her, it doesn’t cover me fine! They’re actually worried I might turn into a dull, extremist Muslim who will turn into this black bag walking around saying nothing. But I won’t! I’ll still be the same person, the same happy, social, fun (I know I’m so humble about myself), slightly sarcastic, interested-in-everything girl!

People are morally conscious, and that’s something we have to be, too, obviously, but that seems to be enough for them. I’m quite sure there are more proper striving Muslims, but my point is, they are a very small part of my society.

Out of my friends, I am the only one who cares about this hijab business. And so I turn to my blog, through which I’ve turned into a more positive person. This is my Islamic social circle in a way, and I’m glad I have this to keep me motivated.

It’s just, I know I don’t care what anyone thinks of me and I know it doesn’t matter, it won’t matter at all when we stand in front of Allah, but there’s still this nagging feeling at the back that screams at me to forget about it. The voice that brings up what everyone else says, that it isn’t important. The heart should be clean, practical Islam isn’t that important.

I know that voice is Shaytaan, and I know that since I seem to have such opposition I must be doing something right.

It’s a weird world.

The good thing is, though, I think I finally found out how I want my blog to look like. Yay 🙂

She lay bleeding, oh won’t you reunite me?

image

The entire ummah lay bleeding,
A pretty damsel in distress,
And while the common man lay sleeping,
He’s responsible for this mess.

For when he left his sacred home,
When he decided to be there no more,
When his aim was to play and roam,
And he emptied out his spiritual core.

For when he ceased to pay attention,
And let his heart rot and mould,
Leaving his home in a torturous suspension,
Until it turned bitter and cold.

That’s when the walls began to fall,
That’s when the windows began to shatter,
And where there was always something to respond to his call,
Now all he heard was meaningless patter.

Oh repent! Accept! You dying soul,
Salvage your ruins before the end,
Once more set yourself a higher goal,
Only you can yourself completely mend.

I urge you, oh slave, to stand once more,
To harden yourself and to astound,
For you He has everything in store,
But have you yet yourself found?

Our entire ummah lay suffering,
Yet we refuse to hold His hand,
When will you accept His offering?
When will you realise you’re turning bland?

Our ummah calls you silently,
Our ummah asks for you and me,
Our ummah raises her hands in plea,
Oh won’t you come reunite me?

Tell me, how do you get bored?

This isn’t one of my really good poems I think, but it’s something I feel deeply. Kids these days seem to be bored all the time! Why? Why is it that even when I tell them things to do they find excuses to think those things are boring too? Maybe I should ask a child psychologist.

I’m bored,
Go read a book,
I’ve already read two chapters,
Go read some more,
*Aggressively shakes head* No!
Then go play outside,
It’s too hot!
Play with your toys then, that new thing granny got you,
But I have no one to play with!
Can’t I just watch TV?
But you’ve been watching all day!
Well, I’m bored, bored, BORED.

You’re bored?
Yes.
Let me tell you a story,
A story where I am a little kid,
Where, yes, I watched TV,
I had my share of Pokemon and Yu-gi-oh,
Of Duel Masters and Sonic the Hedgehog,
But I still played in the heat,
I would challenge myself to football,
I would soak myself in rain puddles,
Climbing trees though sweating buckets,
All those insects trapped!
And I would never stop at two chapters!
I had the Famous Five, Laura Ingalls’ prairie house,
I had Mary Poppins, the Wizard of Oz,
I had Harry Potter, the Psammead.
And thankfully we only had boring flip Motorolas,
The eternal Nokias with only the one ball game,
I sound really old when I’m not even twenty,
But times have changed so fast, and they’re changing still,
I miss that slow internet dialer,
I miss making cards ourselves for everyone on Eid,
I miss those imagination worlds where it all seemed so real,
That PS2 with all those tangled wires.
But you know what?
I was never bored,
I made do with anything,
So even today I make the most of what I have,
You have everything you want, to what use?
Bored is a feeling I am not familiar with,
So, kid, instead of complaining and crying,
Think! Use that creative mind!
No electronics, you’ll still be fine,
Come out of your cocoon,
Come see the world,
And tell me then, how do you get bored?

Letters for those dainty steps…

This is the promised post, I’ve finally found the time to post this.

My sister had the luck to sit with an elderly couple, (I had a nice old auntie beside me, too, but she didn’t tell me any inspirational stories!) and the story she related from them was absolutely amazing!

They were a Pahstun couple, sitting gracefully beside the window.

“This is my first time on a plane”, the auntie said, “I’m visiting my two daughters who have been married to men here in London. I’m here for a month, two weeks for each of my daughters. I have five daughters and one son, two of my married daughters are in America, and the last daughter is in Lahore, she’s not married yet. My son has just finished doing medicine from China, he’ll be reaching Lahore in a few days.

I’m originally from an isolated village in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, where educating girls is considered to be improper, and so girls are not sent to school or educated at all. Boys, on the other hand, are given a lot of importance, and they are all educated.

I went to school in that village, and I worked my way to get a Bachelors in Arts, although I was not given encouragement or appreciation while my two brothers were applauded for their efforts. The only people who encouraged me to go on were my father and my brothers, and if it wasn’t for them I would’ve never gone to school at all. For me, though, education was really important, and I refused to back down.

I had the good luck of getting married to a man who believed in educating his daughters, and when we started having daughters, we made the decision of moving to Lahore where it would be easier for them to go to good schools and universities. People would mock us and say, “Oh poor them, they have five daughters! What good would five daughters do?” But I made up my mind to show them that my five daughters would be as good as any of their sons, even better.

When we first moved, I remember spending money on useless things, I was so excited! Lahore, this big, bold city with all it’s pleasures and colours, compared to my little village! We would go about and discover for ourselves what it was like being in such a big city. But as our daughters grew older and their studies more serious, we realised we had to use our money wisely and contribute to their education. My husband worked in a government office, so we had plenty of money rolling in, but I wanted to use it for our children.

My husband worked very hard, and even then he used to come home and give a couple of hours to help the kids with their homework. These days, fathers don’t bother with their children much, and get tutors! In my day, getting a tutor for your child was a shameful act.

My girls grew up and went to good reputed universities, they worked hard and showed our extended family how being a girl is in no way a burden or a bad thing. The day they graduated was perhaps one of the best days of my life, being filled with such pride. I had done it, I had strived and Allah had helped me escape those narrow minded folks to educate my girls.

One of my girls who got married to someone in the UK continued her education, too. I’m on my way to meet her now.”

She smiled, a smile that reflected her life, and then closed her eyes to sleep, because we still had a long way to go.