Till the next time, alvida.

11 Aug

Assalamualikum.

We could keep sitting in one place forever but that won’t mean that life will stop there and then. The sun will rise and set and day will over take night and will be overtaken by night.

There is blessing in movement. In the last year or so… a lot of my time has been spent sitting in one place — reading, thinking, writing, eating, reading some more — not a lot of movement. In a weird way the last one year seems a huge huge huge waste of time and at the same time a huge huge huge eye opener. A lot was learnt, and may Allah make learning more easy for me, Aameen.

There is a time and place for everything. And as my sitting period comes to and end, and inshaAllah will be moving to my home country and beyond and meeting my family…. my mothers food, my nephew and niece… their smiles… my sisters and their advices and their caring words… and my fathers stern words for me to be a better person.

And then one day, death. Leaving behind everyone…perhaps if I were to die now, mom would cry the most….their tears won’t bring me back…their prayers won’t bring me back though will be beneficial. All said and done, suddenly, the movement stops. This time without your choice.

In movement, there is blessing. Harkat mey barkat hai… So may Allah keep me and you on the straight path. I had fun writing. Dil halka ho ja ta tha… I know that this blog was mainly for me to come back and read if and when I could, but I also know of a few friends and strangers turned friends who read it and may Allah bless all of you. It was a blessing knowing all of you — in reality and virtually.

This might or might not be my last blog post. Allah knows best. I would just hope that if you did read it, then it somehow made you want to be a better person.

Remember me in your prayers.

Till the next time,

Your brother in Islam.

“Be!” — and it is.

7 Aug

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Since the image is really small unless you click on it, and the reason I am posting it is because I love the lines written on it, I will just type the words out here so it is more user friendly.

Aye Ibn E Adam!
Ek Teri Chahat Hai…..Aur Ek Meri Chahat Hai
Per Hoga Wohi…..Jo Meri Chahat Hai
Pas Agar Tu Ne Supard Kar Diya
Apney Aap Ko Us K….Jo Meri Chahat Hai
To Mein Bakhsh Doonga Tujhey Wo Bhi
Jo Teri Chahat Hai….
Par Agar Tu Ne RuGardaani Ki Us Se
Jo Meri Chahat Hai
To Mein Thaka Doonga Tujh Ko Us Mein
Jo Teri Chahat Hai
Phir Ho Ga Wohi
Jo Meri Chahat Hai

“Allah says in the Quran (interpretation of the meaning):

Verily, His command, when He intends a thing, is only that He says to it, “Be!”– and it is!) [Surah Yasin:82)

Ibn Kathir said in his tafsir:

“He only needs to command a thing once; it does not need to be repeated or confirmed. When Allah wants a thing to happen, He only says to it: “Be!” once, and it is. Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu Dharr, may Allah be pleased with him, said that the Messenger of Allah said: ” (Allah, may He be exalted, says: “O My servants, all of you are sinners apart from those whom I protect from sin. Seek My forgiveness and I will forgive you. All of you are in need except for those whom I make independent. I am Most Generous, Majestic, and I do whatever I will. My giving is a word and My punishment is a word. When I want a thing to happen I merely say to it `Be!’ and it is.”)”

Discussions with a hindu friend – Part 2.

2 Aug

Disclaimer: I am not a scholar or even a student of Islam. I just read a bit. A slight bit. No where am I saying I am better than you or my religion is better than yours. But yes I do invite you to Islam. To read, research and reflect and hopefully be guided by the truth.

Here is the link to Part 1: http://wakeupandsmellthelassi.wordpress.com/2014/07/24/discussions-with-a-hindu-friend-part-1/

In Part 1 I mentioned my conversation with C, a Hindu friend/roommate of mine. I came in touch with C through V, and it was V who told me that C was actually Christian once upon a time. I don’t know the details of that story, but the gist of the story is that C, who is currently a Hindu, was once a Christian and knows more about Christianity than Hinduism. The following conversation took place with C, regarding Christianity. What I have spoken during the conversation is not through my knowledge but thanks to the internet. Actually I don’t think I will write a line by line of the conversation, like I did in the first part. Will just give a gist.

It began with C telling me about the miraculous birth of Jesus Christ [Prophet Isa] may Allah be pleased with him. My questions and reasoning, albeit juvenile, changed the colour of his face. Now whenever I read anywhere about people looking stunned or people going speechless or the colour being drained out of their face — I never could imagine until that day. It actually happened in front of me and I didn’t know how to react except thinking..oh so that its like to be stunned.

What I mentioned was something I read/heard online. If Jesus died for our sins, then living a life without sins is akin to saying Jesus died pointlessly. Here C tried to explain but then he stopped as it wasn’t going anywhere. Then came the miraculous birth of Jesus. Born without a human father. A miracle that even we muslims believe in. And that is amazing but calling him the son of God? Or God in itself? Adam and Hawa [Eve] were both humans without a human father. And without a human mother. Isn’t that twice as miraculous? This was the question that left him speechless.

Christianity and Islam are similar in many ways. And that isn’t surprising because Jesus was a messenger of Allah who came with the same message that every Prophet came with, the Oneness of Allah. But saying that god came to Earth as human. to feel the pain, to eat and drink and be completely human so that humans can relate to him, and yet he feels more pain than anyone else because oh wait he is God all of a sudden, and then God who is Most powerful is killed by humans that are Gods own creation. If this was a football match then God lost 1:0 ….and it was an own goal too…

The disclaimer on part 1 was and still is, I respect all religions. I won’t make fun of your religious customs. I won’t draw faces and vile pictures of your God/s and whosoever/whatever you believe in. And I expect you to do the same. These conversations are not to prove a point to anyone.

I am no one. This is a personal blog where I come back to read of what I wrote.

Your brother in Islam,
Yasin.

2 Aug

“Do not raise your children the way [your] parents raised you,

they were born for a different time.”Ali bin Abi Taleb  (Radi Allahu Anhu)

Picture this.

A woman is cooking for her four children. Her husband isn’t in the best of health. To say they fall under the poverty line, is an understatement. There is no food at home. Which brings me back to the first sentence of this paragraph…. a woman is cooking for her children? How is she cooking when there is no food at home to be cooked?

Its an act. She places the vessel on top of a stove…the stove obviously isn’t as fancy as the ones we use. I do not know how the stove is to be honest. I have never lived in poverty. The woman hasn’t done a course in psychology, but at that moment, she was playing mind games with her children. Pretending that there was food and it took a long time to be prepared so that the kids will eventually fall asleep… in hunger…in anticipation of food being cooked. Tonight would pass in this manner…tomorrow we will see what Allah provides..through hard work and kind relatives/neighbours who might be willing to share if they have enough for their own families.

That woman I mentioned above is my grandmother. Its been around 16-17 years that she passed away. Among the four kids, the fourth one, the youngest of them all would go on to become my father, who at the age of 17 would leave his small village, his poor country and travel in search of a better future for his family. A person who would eventually take that woman who played mind games on her children just so that they would peacefully sleep while she weeps for Hajj and then when she would pass away he would be involved in burying her and then praying for her and then remember her in his prayers and cry, as any good son should do.

If I started writing about my father, then I could keep writing and words would come to an end but perhaps the stories wouldn’t. I have a lot of respect for him and I love him a lot but there is a big gap in communication. We only hug on Eid…and sometimes not even that. Things are just…awkward. We talk about politics a lot and about the sad state of world affairs…we hardly talk about happy and cheerful things unless it is about his grandchildren, my nephew and my niece.

My fathers father passed away when he was 13. He was someone who would fight for the truth and not bear any injustice. Truth is bitter and it hurts. And this earned him a lot of enemies who harmed him in many different ways and that eventually cost him his life too. It was on a Thursday night, after maghrib which actually makes it a Friday according to Islamic calender, that he felt the pangs of death and asked his youngest son, my father, to recite Quran to him. My father recited. And recited. Almost till dawn if I remember correctly from what I heard. He recited Surah Ya Sin, a chapter from the Quran that is known as the heart of the Quran and that will eventually be the name I am given [this isn’t the reason behind my name though].

And then my grand father died. I always seem to say died instead of passed away. Passed away sounds easy to the ears. Death sounds more frightening and realistic. Same meanings, different words and different reactions that these words invoke in me.

As usual, I am being completely incoherent here. Anyway…

Growing up, there were hardly any family trips together. We never did anything such as family picnics, we hardly went out of town as a family…even going for Umrah for the first time was with my mother and her brothers and not dad. That changed this year though as I finally went for Umrah with both my parents and spent 14th February :P in Makkah. It was beautiful.

Most of the memories I have with my father is us facing some adversity or other. There are hardly any happy occasion I can think of and this makes me remember of what I once told to my mother in anger,”Dad can never be happy because he has never seen happiness.” I was young, stupid, naive and at that moment angry and rude. But thinking about it, its not a lie. My father has worked hard his entire life. His vacations would be about work back home in his home country to secure the future of his children. Enough wealth has been accumulated that I don’t have to work even a day in my entire life if I go about investing his acquired wealth smartly.

But that money isn’t mine, even if I do get the inheritance. Okay fine according to Islamic rules of inheritance, it does become mine. And here is the problem. I do not want any of it.

All of us three siblings are educated and both my sisters are happily married. Alhumdulillah. Dad was born into poverty and he has turned around his whole life completely thanks to the mercy of The Most Merciful. His needs and wants were different and mine are different.

 

Maslows hierarchy of needs.

         Maslows hierarchy of needs.

Having grown in difficult circumstances, dad has ensured that he climb the pyramid one by one. Which he has done remarkably well.

Having been born in comfortable situation, I have never had to work for my physiological, safety needs and even belonging came easily. Self-esteem was something I have never been short of but that is a see-saw sort of situation. It can easily be lost but its still there.

Self-actualization. Fulfillment. Maybe our parents gain fulfillment by seeing their children climb the pyramid. But for me it has been a struggle the last few years. I have been struggling with the whole concept of running the rat race, running behind the dunya… sure there needs to be a balance and the truth is I do not know how to go about finding the balance.

I know what I want to do but with that will come the pangs of,”Am I hurting my parents/family?” The sub continental culture is such that you could do all the right things for an eternity and a day but one slight mistake and you are the butt of every joke. You are the topic of every dinner table conversation. You are made an example whether you like it or not. “Oh, you heard of their son and what he did….”

But since when did they matter to me? They don’t belong to me and I don’t belong to them. Chasing self actualization, a part of me wants to lead an ascetic life style. Maybe I have not gotten over being stupid and naive yet… When there won’t be food to eat, then I will realise how easy it is to talk the talk and how difficult it is to walk the walk. But then again, ascetic life style doesn’t mean complete lack of world materials. It could just mean a disinterest in acquiring worldly things. Again, I am being consistently incoherent.

Is this my longest post to date? Could be. Maybe I am writing so much because there is so much I want to say but I just don’t know how to. Maybe I just want to hug my parents and sit and talk to them. And tell them everything. Everything. Pour my heart out and reveal to them its inner secrets and then tell them what I want to do and how and why. Maybe this is just the effect of not seeing any family member for 157 days. For spending an Eid entirely alone because I didn’t want to go an Eid party that will have mixed gathering. For a Ramadan that went by way too quickly and for me not taking advantage of it. For people walking all over me and using me and I am just watching it and letting it happen because I heard,”Ibaadat sey jannat, khidmat sey Khuda” [Get Paradise through your worship, Get Allah through your service to mankind]. Maybe its just the annoyance that my words might make me sound like a saint, but in truth there is no bigger sinner than me. Maybe its the fear that I am actually a hypocrite who can just talk the talk.

Bas Yasin. Maybe this is just a test. A beautiful test that will take me closer to my Beloved Allah. May be this is an opportunity to be what I want to be. Maybe I am naive and stupid but without doubt, and without any maybe, for sure my Allah is all Wise, All Knowing. And to Him, I leave my affairs.

This is a public blog. Not a diary that I am making it out to be but every time I think about writing something incredibly funny or incredibly amazing, I just blabber incoherently and then I realize that its fine. This blog, as I have repeatedly written, is first and foremost for me. That quote at the beginning of the blog by the wise sahabah, the fourth Khalifah, son in law of the most blessed person on earth, Prophet Muhammad sallal lahu alayhi wasallam, might seem out of place and maybe….yet again maybe… I need to write about that later.

InshaAllah all on a later date.

P.S. Life is short. We never know when it comes to an end. If you know me personally, then know that I have made duas for you. If you don’t, then know that I have made dua for you too, albeit without knowing your name. And if you have read this long post, then make dua for me.

Your brother in Islam,

Yasin.

Discussions with a hindu friend – Part 1.

24 Jul

Disclaimer: I respect all religions.

Great. With that being out of the way, let me get started.I don’t understand Hinduism. Studying in an Indian school for the first 8 years of my educational life meant that I had a lot of hindu friends but later on as I have moved on to a different school, that number has gone down by a huge margin. But I continued to have a few Hindu neighbours/friends and eventually even roommate/s.

Religion is a topic that a lot of people love to talk about and I happen to be in that list of people. Having spoken to my hindu friends, what I have noticed is that the hindu friends that I have had are borderline atheist. I am not saying whether this is a good or a bad thing — I am just saying this from personal experiences and conversations with them.

Also, many of them do not understand Hinduism. A Hindu friend said to me that one reason why Islam is the fastest growing religion [followed by Christianity], is because there are so much awareness being raised by Muslims [I think he means Dawah]; on the other hand nothing as such is being done by Hindus. Again, I have not researched whether this statement is true or not. These are just from personal conversations.

The Hindus I have lived with, have been extremely curious of Islam. My ex roommate whom I will mention just as V; said to me that it shouldn’t be surprising if people of other faiths convert to Islam in a muslim country because they can easily get influenced by the environment. He does have a point. But to change such a big part of your life isn’t just about environmental factors. Also, by that line of thought, it becomes difficult to explain why people in America convert to Islam. V also said that he finds Islam to be extremely logical. He loves how muslims have to pray five times a day at different times on the movement of celestial bodies.

V no longer lives with me as his family is set to arrive and his position has been taken by his friend C who is also a Hindu. C is far more religious than V and has quite a bit of knowledge about Christianity but in his own words, “..I don’t know anything about Islam much so tell me something…”. Where would I begin with?

“What do you want to know?”

“Anything…You shouldn’t even ask Yasin..you talk so much..”. Ouch. Fine. Speech is silver, silence is golden and speaking about my Allah is out of this world.

“We believe in Allah and there are 5 pillars of Islam — Shahadah, Slaah, Zakah, Sawm, Hajj.” Why was I shivering… Dawah isn’t easy.

C: “Who is Allah?”

Me: “..In English, translated as God. Our Creator. We just have one God [I don’t know why I said this but maybe it was just that I was talking to a Hindu and the situation got the better of me]”

C: We have 33 crores Gods.

Me: Woah! Do you know all of them? [It was an honest question and not sarcasm or to poke fun].

C: No. But what I don’t get is this. Why do many muslims feel the need to talk about Islam and wish that people convert….why can’t we just stay.. You never see Hindus doing that.

Me: Live and let live concept? Sure, why not? Have I ever forced you to become muslim or spoken about Islam to you before today?

C: No.

Me: Do I invite you to eat with us during iftaar and do I invite you to go out with us whenever we go out?

C: Yes.

Me: Why do I even need to do that? As if you will die out of hunger if I don’t invite you to eat… But we are told in Islam to love for our brothers what we love for the self.. Not just muslim brothers, but brothers in humanity. Maybe that is why muslims invite others to Islam. Because we want the best for our brothers..now that we have the best for ourselves.

C: Hmm. But some muslims are so bad..they make fun of my religion sometimes in my office..

Me: In your previous room that you stayed with, did they ever invite you for iftaar? No. Your office colleagues make fun of your religion. Have we ever made fun of your religion? No. Look at my 5 fingers. They aren’t equal. Humans are all different in their own ways. Some good and some bad. And I am not calling myself good here. But judge the human by his human qualities and judge Islam by forgetting all about these human qualities. Don’t mix between the two.

C: Hmmm. Yes you are right.

Me: Tell me something about Hinduism…

C: I do not know much…

Me: And you still follow it?

C: I think there is a God but now a days I am not sure. I have got success and failures through my own actions.

Me: Perhaps through your own actionsbut that is over simplifying it. You can’t have such a narrow vision of the world. If you tell me that my mobile phone that has a 13 mega pixel camera has a creator but my eyes that have 576 mega pixels doesn’t have a Craetor… I am not buying it.

C: Wow our eyes are of 576 mega pixels?

Me: Yes! Isn’t the Creator amazing!

C: Hinduism is good maybe. I need to learn more about it. Its bad when people make temples and take advantage of other people. [Goes on a rant to badmouth temple authorities who favour the rich and not the poor and how they con people out of hard earned money. Talks a lot about Christianity too and is surprised to find that I know the stories of Noah, Moses etc…]

A discussion about Jesus dying for peoples sins and the miraculous birth of Jesus is discussed but may be that is for the next post.

I don’t even know why I wrote all this in a blog post… I just felt like writing. Also may be some people out there can write about how they give dawah and that could be of use to me inshaAllah.

Till the next time,
Allah hafiz.

The first step…

22 Jul

Originally posted on Theindianrevertedmuslimah:

As salaamu ‘alai kum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh

I live in India. Born an brought up in West Bengal, I lived there for almost 18 years of my life after which I moved to Pune, Maharashtra to pursue my law course. It has been seven years since I technically did my Shahdah and reverted to Islam. My knowledge since then was limited to the five pillars of Islam. Nevertheless, I was not steadfast in my prayers or islamic on a daily life basis. I never disclosed to my friends and family about my reversion and nobody could actually tell seeing me that the heart within has true faith in Allah and his messenger (saw).

During the time I was away from my family in Pune, i secretly joined a Quran teacher, “apa” as I fondly address her and Alhamdulillah over 4 years I gained a lot of knowledge about…

View original 756 more words

Ask Allah from Allah…

2 Jul

لَن تَنَالُواْ ٱلۡبِرَّ حَتَّىٰ تُنفِقُواْ مِمَّا تُحِبُّونَ‌ۚ وَمَا تُنفِقُواْ مِن شَىۡءٍ۬ فَإِنَّ ٱللَّهَ بِهِۦ عَلِيمٌ۬ (٩٢

By no means shall ye attain righteousness unless ye give (freely) of that which ye love; and whatever ye give, Allah knoweth it well (3:92)

There are some amazing buzurg shaikhs , alims and muftis who are filled with wisdom but are hidden because you don’t find them on youtube. Imam sahab was doing Tafseer of verse 92 from surah al e Imran. Spoke for just 10-15 minutes but it was filled with thought provoking words. Thought provoking words, along with humour. SubhanAllah, it was easy to smile and yet you leave behind reflecting of what was said.

Unless we give freely of that which we love — as humans we love most our jaan and maal [our life and our possessions]. Possessions doesn’t mean just wealth. It also involves family, relatives etc. The best thing we can sacrifice and give back to Allah is our life and our possessions. Indeed nothing belongs to us… Imam sahab said, we often ask for paradise and to be saved from hell fire, to be cured from diseases and to land a good job/spouse etc. There is no harm in asking Allah as Allah loves to give and only Allah can give, but how often have we asked Allah from Allah?

“Allah sey Allah ko maango” Ask Allah from Allah. If we get Allah, everything else will follow. Nothing is lost for he who has got Allah. What does it mean to get Allah? It means that every action of yours will be done for Allahs pleasure. The lover doesn’t want to disappoint the Beloved. This month of Ramadan is divided into 3 parts, the first of which is mercy. Ask the Most Merciful Allah for Mercy and make use of this month. 

As always, please remember me in your prayers.

Your brother in Islam.

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