Rainy Days & Sunshine

Photography by Aya Salah.

Photograph by Aya Salah.

 

I live in Montreal, and like most days, I woke up to rain today.

I woke up healthy but grumpy today.

And because of my grumpiness:

I missed my bus stop today.

I arrived to work late today.

I had a bad day at school today.

My silky hijab got soaked today.

My new expensive awesome sneakers got soaked today.

Today… was… dreadful. Of course I’d never been hopeful

Because when it rains, I know my luck

When it rains, I know my day is gonna suck,

And MAN… such a tough life I live

To live in pure eternal sunshine, what I’d give…

 

First world problems.

How we love to hate on things just simply to complain

Yet when it comes to bringing the sunshine in someone’s actual rainy life

Way too many of us abstain.

 

Won’t give a buck or two to someone on the street

Cuz it’s probably not gonna be the thing that gets them on their feet

So use up this money and buy a cheap coffee instead

Take a sip… yeugh… declare all quality is dead.

 

MAN… such a tough life!

Pretty soon I’ll think I’m from the thug life.

 

But all jokes and exaggeration aside,

Speaking first to my greedy self inside:

 

We think we have it bad,

Until we see who has it worse

It’s then we realize just how much

We have our priorities in reverse.

 

You should make a difference

Because that’s exactly what you’re here for

Yet most of us are great slacktivists –

Beyond Facebook and Twitter, we do nothing more.

 

Now, social media is important

Raising awareness just the same

But if hashtags is the most us privileged folks can do,

Then we are drowning ourselves in shame.

 

Whether it’s here in our local communities,

Or whether it’s far away somewhere there

Words need to be followed by concrete actions

And our emotions can’t be reserved only for certain people to spare.

 

Many of us can’t spare the change

And we can’t spare the time

Because we don’t think our small deed

Will impact the world in a manner sublime.

 

But if one’s motive is solely to sway the world,

Then it’s no longer about the cause, why –

It’s about you.

 

The problem with those who stubbornly stall

Waiting to act ONLY in guaranteeing big change

Is that often, sadly, they end up making none at all.

 

Makes you wonder

Where they got the notion

That they’re destined to be leaders of change

Without first going through the petty motions.

 

Don’t let it be about your ego

In an attempt to tell the world you could be a hero

Don’t let it be about you acting out of pity

But let it be about integrity, love and mercy.

 

If it’s for God, know that every deed you do

Be it the seed of an atom, is being accounted for you

And don’t think it too little, unless you can do more

And don’t think it too much, until you can give it no more.

 

Know that with every dime you spare,

With every smile that shows you care

With every hour spent protesting in the streets for others

With every good thoughts for your sisters and brothers

With every secret prayer that you make

And with every intention done for God’ sake…

 

You are making a difference.

 

And yes it’s hard to bear, and it nearly never feel enough

Few people have it easy, the majority have it rough

Yet did you really think for a moment that you and you alone

Could overthrow oppression and put justice on the throne?

 

Yes, it needs your commitment

And yes, it needs your wealth

But never forget God in the equation

For all our physical and mental health.

 

Is not the same God Who watches you here

The same God Who watches them there?

Is it not the same God Who has given you security,

The same God Who shall provide it over there, with certainty?

 

Let’s go back for a moment to the old you who complained of rain

And pretend your wish was granted such that the sun shone all day

Some of the land has become a desert, other areas not

It is so humid and hot, but despair not –

Verily with hardship comes ease

Maybe you’ll be chosen by God to provide some of the cool breeze.

 

The Messenger of God, peace be upon him, once said,

That the best actions are continuous ones even if small

We’re here together today, with good intentions, I daresay

Yet may we continue for the rest of the year to give it our all.

 

Verily God does not change the condition of a people

Until they change what is in themselves.

 

And Allah knows best.

-A.S.

“Justice in Gaza” – A Poem

I initially wrote this poem on December.30, 2008. The sad reality is that it still applies today, 6 years later. 

___Gaza_Suffer____by_seeba

Allow them to finally vote

But doom them for their voice

Collectively punish an entire population—

Did I hear freedom of choice?

 

Have them trapped and unable to escape

Surrounded by an endlessly high fence

Starve them and prevent any outside aid—

Oh right, in self-defence?

 

Aim for worrisome settlements

But kill several thousands on the way

Injure yet more thousands, too—

Collateral damage, did you say?

 

“Gaza is guilty”—But of course!

Forgive my ignorance, pardon me!

It just never crossed my mind

How threatening infants could be!

 

It was shocking enough that a humanitarian crisis

Has been occurring since 2008, as we can clearly see

So for the sake of basic humanity,

Just leave Gaza be!

 

-A.S.

 

A Beautiful Quote on Fasting

lantern

From a female Islamic scholar named Fariha Fatima:

“There are as many forms of fasting as there are organs of perception and sensation, and each of these has many different levels. So we ask to fast from all that Allah does not love for us, and to feast on what the Beloved loves for us.

Let us certainly fast from the limited mind, and all that it conjures up.

Let us fast from fear, apart from fear and awe of Allah’s majesty.

Let us fast from thinking that we know, when Allah alone is the Knower.

Let us fast from thinking negatively of anyone.

Let us fast from our manipulations and strategies.

Let us fast from all complaint about the life experiences that Allah gives us.

Let us fast from our bad habits and our reactions.

Let us fast from desiring what we do not have.

Let us fast from obsession.

Let us fast from despair.

Let us fast from not loving our self, and from denying our heart.

Let us fast from selfishness and self-centered behavior.

Let us fast from thinking that only what serves us is important.

Let us fast from seeing reality only from our own point of view.

Let us fast from seeing any reality other than Allah, and from relying on anything other than Allah.

Let us fast from desiring anything other than Allah and Allah’s Prophets and friends, and our own true self.

Essentially, let us fast from thinking that we have any existence separate from Allah.”

!أمين