The Act of Letting Go



Money, grades, love, hate, social pressures and what not governs our lives and the stress we undergo. Every day, our fathers come home from work, tired and exhausted from all the burdens they must bear to support a decent living, and our mothers run around, perspiring to the point of dehydration. We have issues with our friends and relatives, our teachers, the cleaning lady, neighbours, politicians, the community as a whole and even with our self. It’s surprising the amount of stress we put on ourselves without even meaning to or without the want or need for it!
But as Muslims, we have it easier. We have it wayeasier. Not only do we get every solution from the Book Allah sent us and the Prophet (SAW)’s life, we also have the rope to Allah Himself. Once we start letting go of all the things we try to juggle whilst holding that rope, our life will become so much more bearable.
We’re told that everything belongs to Allah and that everything happens according to how He wills it to be. So why do we then worry so much? Why do we load ourselves with every problem in the world when there isn’t much we can do just worrying there? I am NOT discouraging people from working hard, just saying, we have to let go, understand and accept that it all happens how He wants it to.
So let go! Let go of your social worries, let go of your financial worries, let go of your obsessive need to get higher in this world. Once we start letting go, easing off all that steam, everyone becomes happier, and so nobody’s depressed over the trivial things in life.
Love Allah and know He’s there, leave it to Him because He knows best, we don’t, and it’s useless thinking we might ever. Let go of status, let go of style, stay simple, stay decent. Keep your inner being satisfied. Slowly, it won’t matter to anyone that they belong to a certain circle. Islam is about brotherhood and fraternity, and the first thing we need to teach ourselves is to LET GO!
Start today. Let go of something you knowdoesn’t matter. Write it down. Make realistic aims and goals and strive for them without the thought of what will everyone think. And believe me you’ll have the happiest ending of your lot!

Happy Birthday – continued

It was the day dedicated to Artemis, the goddess of the moon. Aleta and Chrystal led the way to pay homage to her, Bartlett behind them carrying a round cake decorated with lighted candles. They walked up the rocky mountain to the cave which had been carved into a temple for their goddess, Aleta and Chrystal hopping from one rock to the other, dodging a slippery pebble here or a spiked bush there. Bartlett followed carefully; his movements were measured and calculated, while the rest of the group hovered around him, forming a sort of close protection around the sacred cake. The cake was a tribute to Artemis, the roundness of the cake symbolized he roundness of the moon, and the lighted candles signified the glow of the moon. So, the cake carrier treaded with caution, lest anything should happen to the cake and he be eternally cursed. The orange, yellow flames danced on top of the waxed columns.
The temple was finally reached, and the cake was offered to the one it had been painstakingly and meticulously made for. The worshippers proceeded to kneel to the ground and prostrate obediently to the grand statue that stood watching over them in the temple. A strange hum resounded from the little group of people as their foreheads touched the ground. A sort of praise intermingled with a plea to solve all their troubles. It echoed in the stone temple and finally resided. Then, one by one, with their eyes lowered – not daring to lift their heads in front of the stone picturization of the goddess – they slipped out of the temple, their backs bowed till they exited.
Aleta and Chrystal rubbed together a few sticks and started an immense fire outside the main door of the temple, while Bartlett arranged the group around the fire in a circle, himself included. He spoke in hushed tones,
“We now pray. Let no one pray with their tongues, and only use your hearts, for Artemis hears everything. We have done our duty; now let us hope the smoke of these flames is not wasteful, and that it carries our wishes, desires to the goddess above.”
The company closed their eyes and directed their heads to the starry sky, visualizing the moon and their revered goddess seated on a great throne, and prayed with intense devotion and belief that she, Artemis, would certainly be looking out for them from the vastness of the night sky.
                                      *        *        *        *        *
Roman was troubled with the most helpless situations. He had lost his job as the Emperor’s cook and with the loss of his job; his home too had been confiscated. It was a cruel time indeed, his friends and relatives had all left him because he had no resources and so associating with him would only be a wound to their status, and of course no one wanted that to happen. Roman was left with no choice but to pray, and so that was what he did.
He sold the one ring he always wore, it had been a gift from his friend the day he had been appointed Royal Cook, but that seemed ages ago. He had no use for it now; it would only bring back unpleasant memories, something Roman sought to avoid. So he sold them, and got himself a couple of candles – those sacred, magical things. He obsequiously placed them in the corner of a gymnasium, surely nobody would mind him there, especially when he was there for only a short time and when no one else was using the place, and lit them one by one, being careful not to let any of them blow out. Then he sat on his knees facing them, a sort of semicircle he had made, and started to sway side to side, as if he was possessed. He breathed in deeply, closed his eyes, and started to pray, having faith in the powers of the miraculous candles and believing that they would make sure his prayer was fulfilled.
                                      *        *        *        *        *
It was little Fritz’s birthday. It was one of the first to be celebrated of a child, anywhere in the world. Germany led the way to “Kindlefeste”, a little party for the kid whose birthday it was.
Fritz was in the highest of spirits. His friends and relatives would be coming over, with lots of nice flowers and presents for him. Presents were the most important part of the whole event – if not for presents, the atmosphere would not have been so very cheerful. Birthdays were not supposed to be bad days; no, everybody ensured that the birthday kid stayed happy and in good spirits.
It didn’t take them long to arrive. In burst everybody, singing birthday songs and laughing at the jokes Uncle Ludwig was always coming up with. Fritz was glad, and after a while he was even gladder – for now mother brought the round little iced cake with the candles on top too! Chocolate with vanilla ice cream – Fritz’s favourite. He eagerly bounced towards it, his family surrounding him. Fritz’s father handed him the knife, and while he cut the cake, beaming with delight, everybody around him sang,
“Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday to Fritz dear!”
“Go on, honey, blow out the candles and make a wish. Remember not to say it out loud!”
Fritz shut his eyes tight and took in a deep breath, and then he puffed all the candles out.
“I hope you have a lovely year ahead!” Aunt Mirjam cried out, ruffling his hair lovingly, while the smoke from the candlewicks journeyed to the skies.
                                      *        *        *        *        *

Happy Birthday

These stories are fictional, but based on factual events. The historical significance of birthdays as mentioned has been researched and is true. This is actually why birthdays began.

Ptolemy V sat on his majestic stone throne, bedazzled with precious gems embedded in magnificent swirling designs which filled the viewer with awe and a certain inferiority in front of the Egyptian king. The king, though not unaware of the fact, did not then care of exhibiting his power and grandness – indeed his face displayed something quite contrary to the two qualities mentioned above. Expectant, yet wary, his fearful eyes rested on the bent, bald head of a shriveled old man, who was at that moment juggling some very curious objects in his hands, the largest of which resembled a sort of dial. A sizeable telescope was standing in the corner of the glass dome-like roof, which had been specially constructed for the incredible purpose it had been assigned.
“Aapep, do ask the man to reveal to me his work. I have been waiting the whole day”, the young king impatiently said to his bodyguard. The man at once bowed dutifully, and walked rapidly to obey his orders. His steps approached Panhsj, who had his scales and papers spread in an awkward fashion on the expensive mosaic floor, and the old astrologer’s head immediately snapped up. Not oblivious to the bodyguard’s task, he took hold of a small table placed by his side, and helped himself to his withered feet.
“King of kings! Today is your birth-date, and I am honoured that you have bestowed upon me the kindness of telling you your future. I do not wish to make you wait, you who have suffered through so much! Do forgive me.
“I see a change, I see the winds of disturbance move in the opposite direction – these destructive forces now benefit you! They give you something extremely valuable, and that valuable thing benefits you even more. Oh king, you shall see contentment”, the old man then looked over his shoulders to the latticed doors behind him, from whence entered a confident, muscular man in the style of a distinguished and wealthy class. His gait was strong and his big footsteps quickly reached Panhsj, where he bowed gracefully to the king.
“You have arrived Bestet”, the king joyously exclaimed, “I have had a good birth-date this year, come let me tell you all about it.”
The advisor reverently sauntered over to King Ptolemy V Epiphanies, and wished him a happy birth-date indeed.
*        *        *        *        *        *                                       
“Alexandro! I hope there has been no trouble this day?” Aesop asked his brother as they both wandered in the spacious open courtyard in the middle of their home.
“Not yet, Aesop, but I am mighty thankful to the gods that I have friends and relatives. Those spirits could not possibly harm me now”, he sighed.
“And that is why you have no reason to worry at all!” Aesop brightly said, and clasped Alexandro’s hand tightly.
Birthdays were no small matter in Ancient Greece. It was the birthday of a person when he would be remembered by all sorts of spirits and demons, it was the birthday when they decided to visit him, to either bring him happiness or curse him to a fatal destiny. So, Alexandro had every reason to be worried – it was his birthday, and the demons might be on their way to cause every kind of unwanted trouble for the boy. He might not even survive the day – the mere thought sent shivers down his backbone. His face turned white with fear.
“One of my friends fell from the top of the roof of his house on his birthday because he had nobody with him, he swears now that he saw the demons – they were laughing at him as he almost smashed his head”, Alexandro hysterically announced.
Before his sympathizing brother had a chance to soothe his fears, the doors behind them opened to reveal the brothers’ aunts, uncles, cousins, neighbours and friends. Each of them briskly walked to the unlucky one, and gave him a bear-sized hug, singing poems of happiness to chase away the demons and invite the spirits of goodness to bless the boy under attention. The girls covered the entire house with flowers and talked enthusiastically, hoping to introduce a cheerful atmosphere. Laughter richoted off the walls as everyone sat around Alexandro and wished he had a very happy birthday, each of them in their frightened hearts praying desperately for the salvation of the boy.
                                      *        *        *        *        *
These stories have been divided into a series. This was part 1.

Illusion

What you see,
Isn’t really what you see,
There’s so much going on behind the scene,
It’s really not peaceful and green,
We see the earth is round,
Firm beneath we feel the ground,
It’s all I seem to be sure of anymore,
The rest seems to me myth and folklore,
This stage God set, I now understand,
There’s a reason He forbid the things He banned,
The tiny human mind is unable to see,
Behind the curtain draped over reality,
We’re in a box, surrounded by every side,
And there’s no possible place to hide,
This fantasy is their imagination,
For which we’ve developed such fascination,
We’re chained with iron fetters,
Glued to reading their letters,
It doesn’t matter what they claim,
They’re all playing a big game,
They don’t care about your money, your estate,
They’re only after ruining our fate,
While we’re busy making profit, buying the latest design,
They’re deviously making use of valuable time,
Are you still confused? Still behind bars?
For God’s sake, open the lids to your empty jars!
This place isn’t what you really think it is,
It’s not all about fame, glamour, showbiz,
Wake up I plead for you to open your eyes,
And respond to Islam’s desperate cries,
It’s an illusion, a cage of fantasy,
We need to get out for a blissful eternity,
So open your eyes! Awake!
It’s time to battle this world of fake.

Change the grey

Divide and rule,
It’s the greatest tool,
Distract, then attack,
It’ll make them fall back,
My people don’t you see what’s happening today?
The hairs on our head are turning grey,
We are losing strength, and common sense,
While our youthful neighbours build up the fence,
We take our stick; wave it in the air,
It only makes the neighbour glare,
Stung, we come back feeling defeated,
Though inside we know we’re being cheated,
The sunrays are getting blocked, flowers are dying,
The beautiful butterflies now don’t come flying,
It’s now darker, we stumble and fall,
All we do then is bang our heads against the fence wall,
My people, it’s not yet that late,
Let’s not resign to whatever fate,
All we need to do is help ourselves,
Take out that Book of God from the dusty shelves,
Look within yourself, decide what’s wrong,
Change it for good, let’s become strong,
God says He’ll help us if we’re good,
I believe that we could,
If only we’d criticize our own spirit,
Find whatever bug and kill it,
Then will we relive our past glory,
For God gave them this same story,
Then can we look past the other’s face,
And fully understand their case,
Then can we join hands and believe,
It was useless to point fingers and grieve,
My people it is finally time to go,
And rid of this evil which is our foe,
So come, let us stand united and sing,
We are the army of our only King!