Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Feeling Incompetent

Complete sense of helplessness
unable to do anything
All I can do is protest and blog
possibly donate some money

I become angry - but my anger is suffocated

I will never forgive an oppressor, nor will I forgive
I witness hell on television
the hell of mangled children
the hell of civilians convulsing from shock and pain
but the hell to be experienced by the politicians who've remained silent is far worse

soon enough, they'll rot
soon enough their throne and wealth will be the kindle that fuels their fire

Why is it that every government is tippy-toeing in the tulips for the oppressor
Why did Harper's government react spinelessly?
Why is Obama silent? Why hasn't the revolutionary president done anything
Why is he on vacation as the world burns?
Just another bourgeoisie reaping the wealth of the poor and innocecnt

In due time, the oppressor will beg for mercy
and no one will answer their call
Soon enough the silent leaders will claim innocence,
and no one will be there to hear them

When that happens, I will hope that my prayers for the oppressed
and my dollars
might keep me away from the kingdom of hell the oppressor built for himself.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Your Tears Are Useless Without Action.

How many people have I heard cry their souls out in the beginning of the Muharram. People crying hard and lamenting - yes, both MEN and WOMEN crying hard in a public setting. Crying hard for the genocide in the scorching deserts of Kerbala, Iraq 1400 years ago.

My Leader and Example, my role model and saint, Hussain (peace be upon him) - the grandson of the last messenger and prophet of God, stood his ground against a regiem and tyrant that still continues to kill today.

Most people don't appreciate the intensity of this tragedy, both Muslims and Non-Muslims alike, most Muslims tell me "why are you crying over a death that occured 1400 years ago, get over with it and move on"

Non-Muslims, especially ones living in peaceful countries - never having to fear a dictator, or muderous opressor, don't see the point of commemorating, celebrating or mourning the death of someone who actually stood up and died on his feet, compared to most leaders who'd rather live on their knees.

I'm sure my readers still don't really grasp the necessity to remember the message of Imam Hussain(p.b.u.h), but when you see children dying in Ghaza and people burnt to death in a suicide bombing in Iraq, and Kenyan's running for their lives, and Congalese in threat of another civil war, than maybe you would appreciate the story of a man who stood up, when everyone else sat down.

Especially when that man was one of the most beloved of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), more than any other companion who some dance around for in circles for when they hear their name. More than any other scholar who spent their life trying to propogate their perspective on islamic law. His message was as potent as Muhammad's because it WAS Muhammad's message: Justice in the face of Tyranny, self sacrific, never remaining silent who injustice occurs, action, action, action.

Don't just shed tears, don't just sit and wallow, don't just watch the news and get angry. Get up. Struggle and sacrifice, spend money on the needy, teach people about the need to bark at their government's when they've stayed silent on genocides. Teach the young to be active in their communities and be just in the treatment of others. Teach people that humanitarianism is the greatest act of worship.

Maybe once in our lives, our tears and anger will actually turn into action, maybe once in our lives, our butts can get off their floor, and actually uphold the message of the most incredible leader- Hussain (a.s) whose spirit still lives on.

If I cry this year, it'll be because I'm witnessing my students cry. If I cry this year, it'll be because I'm angry, not sad or shocked at the opression of Imam Hussain (a.s) and his family - I will be angry and cry at the fact, that his message will go to waste without our change in direction and using this religion for the benifit of humanity.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

A Village Called....

Our community was just hit by a locomotive. We heard it coming and some of us tried hard to prepare, and others chose not to.

But now we’ve stood up and we’re shocked with the most intense awakening; the murder of one of our own.

A young man who is my brother, although I didn’t know him. A man who is your son, and is related to you by spirit.

He was a man, a brother of our village…

We all left our villages, our parents’ villages in Lebanon and Iraq and migrated to the village of Al-Huda.

The next time someone asks me what Di’a I’m from, I will say Al-Huda.

My closeness and bonds to you, my fellow villagers, is closer to any bond or any village in Lebanon.

Al Huda is our Die’a, Al-Huda is the village of our children, our children’s children and so on.

We may fantasize about flocking back, but reality stares us in the face and says we are here and our challenges are here, our bonds are here and we have an obligation to protect each other – us – ahlul-dieat Al-Huda. This Die’a is our turba, my flesh is of this die’a and so is all of yours.

It take an entire village to raise a child, we are all responsible for each other.

When one child is hurt or is being seduced by shaytan, it is up to us, the Ahlul die’a to step in and show the child mercy. The same rahma that Nabi-Mohammad (s.a.w.a) showed to his fello members of Medina.

The small, new community of Muslims who faced challenges, like we do, who starred shaytan in the face and realized, if they didn’t take ownership of their new home, shaytan would devour their community.

We need to stick together and bond upon the principles of mercy and patience.

We need to honestly and sincerely bond with each other with intensions cleaner and purer than the ones we current hold.

We need to keep our hearts open and realize the vivid reality which we live in.

The reality known as Akhir ul Zaman, - the end times – the period of human history that is most difficult.

The only way we can succeed is if we take genuine ownership of this die’a and realize that it is home, the village we belong to.

Our children, our young men and women, our brothers and sisters, our young souls nad hearts are also our students who see and learn more from us than we intend to teach – they see us for who we are and want to look up to us.

If we don’t re-adjust the way we think about each other, if we don’t re-approach the way we look at die’at – Al Huda, we will onl witness more tragedies.

An example – this was told to a crowd of about 10,000 muslims at a conference 2 years ago by Imam Abdul Hakim Quick

He said, in South Africa, the drug problem is enormous, all drugs from east – to – west pass through Africa.

Drug usage, esp. methamphetamine, became prominent amongst Muslims.

To the point where young women and the daughters of the community were selling their virginity to pay their debts to dealers and drug lords.

Fitna is vividly everywhere.

But the fathers, mothers, brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles, friends and all did not accuse their own of sin and stop going to their mosques for fear of embarrassment, they didn’t see shame.

They rallied together, they organized, and they became a source of support for each others and their youth and took to the streets as one voice, one heart and one people.

They challenged the dealers; they challenged the drug lords, the corrupt cops and politicians, and as a community, stood up for their youth at a time when most Muslim communities would accuse them of sin.

The underlying principle of what I’m trying to say is “Rahma”; Mercy should be the governing point, the pivot, the centre, and the underlying principle of how we deal with our brothers, our sisters, and all those who are members of this die’a.

Therefore we need to change something within us, we need rebirth.

What we need is Allah, and none will change our condition except Allah.

And if we turn to Al Quran al majeed – Surat Al ra’ad, verse 11

eng trans: For each person there are angels in succession, before and behind them. They guard him by the command of Allah.

Verily, never will Allah change the condition of a people until they change themselves. But when Allah willeth a people’s punishment, they can be no luring it back, nor will they, besides him, anyone to protect.

So in order for us to work in harmony, to change our condition, we need to change ourselves, our children and the future of die’at A- Huda and the ummah depends on it.

Because it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a die’a to raise a child.

Rally together with merciful intensions to protect each other from Shaytan

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

A Letter from a Friend About Relationships.

Im going to visit my father and talk to him, I will be as proper and patient as possible, hoping he will open up to the idea. Maybe I'm being unrealistic, but it's a route I need to go, it is unfair for her to have her parents involved from the get go and Myself, unable to figure out how I will get my parents to be accepting of the idea.
I know myself, if in my mind, all I can think about is the displeasure of my parents, I won't be able to be myself with her. They are wrong to ever think in the wavelength they do and I would be a fool to submit to anyone's ignorance, but unfortunately ignorance is something I have to overcome before I get involved with a woman as golden as her.
I'll give you an example, when I mentioned the idea to my mother, in the midst of her negative feedback, she said "this is not what WE want". I then asked her, what does she mean by "we" she said..."me and you".
She's of the oppinion that this is her decision as much as it is mine. And with all due honesty, I feel Ive come to a new chapter in my life. I've allowed myself to roll over and let their oppinions in important matters superseed mine even if I knew they're wrong. I started submitting out of exhaustion from argument and fighting. I also submitted and make-believe they were right just so I could avoid a fight and further put dents and holes in an already complicated relationship.
I am thankful and full of praise to Allah for the parents I was born to, they teach me so much, but by virtue of their upbringing and lack of religious education, I have to battle uphill for nearly every opponion I express to my father, and many things to my mother.
I was once independent in my arguments and opponions, and was honoured by my ability to rationalize situations alone, but I've become so tired and hopeless in my dialouge with them, if my father were to tell me it's halal to walk nude, I would agree with belief.
As of today I will never let that happen again. I need to find energy, somewhere to battle their Sherman tank-like stubborness without comming out angry, depressed, etc.
I gotta lay down my sword and see if there is any other tool to wage my spiritual struggle with.
As for her, I will retreat for a few days to strategize. Think things through and find my way.

Monday, December 01, 2008

It Takes a Village to Raise a Child

The final weekend of November has been smothered by sheer emotion. Every ounce of my flesh and soul has been overwhelmed with the murder of a 22 year old who I never met. I've never seen him or his family members, but this one tragedy has been the centre of my weekend. His pictures, soulless body and mourning lovers showed how real the challenge is. In our little community centre; the small mosque which is used as a school, recreation centre, social club and wedding hall was transformed for the first time in my generation, into a place of panic and confusion. EVERYONE, I mean EVERY single last person whose ever entered that centre asked "how in God's name have we succmbed to such a tragic way of life?"
I will brief my readers on the mentality of my people: Lebanese Muslim-Shia's tend to known for strong faith and an adherence to islamo-arabic traditions. Much of these traditions are beautiful and are lessons for the world, some of these traditions need to be challenged. But all in all, we, as a people have prided ourselves on resisting an oppressive machine, transformed from secular to Godly, and being beautiful.

The murdered young man was targeted. It was planned, first degree murder. There was a score to be settled for some reason. The members of my community are whispering rumours of drugs and a gang-related lifestyle. But I will leave these questions unanswered - as the Muslims say "Allah-who-alam" God know's best. Because we really have no idea what happened and why he was shot to death.

But whatever the issue is, I lay the responsibility of this man's death on us. Myself, and the village that held the responsibility of raising a man to not ever been involved with such people. Us, you, me, him, her. The father holding the rosary listening to the Imam speak. The mother looking chatting with her counterpart. The 20-something young man who prefers to smoke sheesha and shoot pool and chase skets instead of come to centre to enlighten their hearts. A community that failed to look after it's as if was their own. The village is responsibile for his death, regardless of what the reason was for his planned murder. We all have a hand in this.

I am bloody-f*cking-angry. At the ignorant people who are ONLY focused on their personal affairs. The people who are so possessed by this foul world. This awful planet- that uses the blood of the innocent to water the flowers and foliage which fools us to believe that life is pretty.

I am angry at the fathers who claim they tried, but gave up. I am angry at the men who had good intentions, but did a poor job at manifesting them. I am angry at the gossiping mother. I am angry at the mother's who didn't come together to intervene on behalf of their friend's son. I am angry at the young men who know the truth, but couldn't care less about it. I am angry at the young women, too overwhelmed by the pursuit of (false) love. I am VEXED, Furious with the SELFISH.

ME ME ME, MY MY MY....and at the same time....not my business, not my problem, not my son, not my daughter. Too late.

He's now your son, he's now your daughter, hes now MY brother. I am just as guilty as the ones I am angry with.

Calm Down Neil - Calm Down.... Think...think....think about what Malcom X said (may God rest his pure soul)

"Anger is A Gift".

Productive anger - Anger that moves you in the right direction, anger that makes you want to readjust society from what it is, to what it ought to be.

Alright, now my fire is directed.....I know what to do...

I will let know later on what it is, and if it worked.