Standing the Test of Time

Old Original Masjid Al-Aqsa - Ancient Pillars

I’ve travelled across certain parts

Of the East and West

And witnessed that which

Boldly stands and passes time’s test.

Whether I saw the confident

Waterfalls of Niagara Falls

Or the humbling mountains

In Palestine, proud and tall

Or the talented clouds that softly dance

Across the skies

And beautifully play with the sun,

Lingering behind them in disguise…

Immediately,

What comes to mind

Is how these creations

Stood, and passed, the test of time.

Whether I saw the ancient powerful

Pillars of the Masjid al-Aqsa

Or the Aya-Sofya and Blue Mosque

In Turkey, full of awe

Or the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem…

I notice one thing all these

Man-made structures have in common…

They stood their ground

Through rain and sunshine

I can only marvel at how

They passed the test of time.

Beyond Beauty

The architects of sacred buildings

Thought not of modernly dull designs

They contemplated a timeless beauty

That revealed their reverence for the Divine.

And beauty…

When it is pure beauty sublime…

Stands… demands…

And passes the test of time.

Rocky mountains and vast oceans

Cheerful birds and ringed wise trees

Fruits of all colours and degrees of flavors

Loyal horses and honeybees…

They exist to glorify their Creator

By doing what they were always meant to do

What it means to finally catch the truth

Is to learn how to be true, to you.

His creation alone puts

In our chests

Instant feelings of humility, sincerity

And tranquil rest.

And sincerity…

When it is true sincerity… shines.

And it can stand

And pass, the test of time.

As for myself, I wonder

Will I pass the test of time?

Will who I am assemble to become a lasting poem

Or am I to be as insignificant as a silly rhyme?

Will my actions

And my words

Both the spoken

And unheard…

Will my thoughts

And my beliefs

Moments of joy,

Moments of grief…

Through and with them,

Will it end in cause of praise or condemn?

Will my minuscule deeds of goodness

Live on even when I am lifeless?

All these miracles and signs around us

Showing us what it means to pass

The test of a lifetime

If only I can always be aware

That I have yet to pass

Life’s test of mine.

Speeding Along

 

And Allah (God) knows Best.

-A.S.

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Masjid al-Aqsa: the Old & the New

~
The title of this album should actually be “masajid” (plural of ‘masjid’) al-Aqsa… because this looks at the interiors of not only the Masjid al-Aqsa building that everyone visits, but also the ORIGINAL, old building that was first masjid al-Aqsa. It is noticeably older and not as sparkly inside as the newer building… but it still feels upon entering as the sacred holy site. It’s not hidden or secret… but it’s not well-known, either! So here, we look at both. What a blessing!

Masjid Al-Aqsa – First Sight
Masjid al-Aqsa - First Sight

Deep Breath

Deep Breath

Light Upon Light
Light Upon Light

Heading to the Old, Original Masjid al-Aqsa

Heading to the Old, Original Masjid Al-Aqsa

Removing Shoes
Removing Shoes

A Place of Prayer

A Place of Prayer

Oh, Books
Oh, Books

The Library Inside the Old Masjid al-Aqsa

The Library Inside the Old Masjid Al-Aqsa

Calligraphy Everywhere
Calligraphy Everywhere

“Keep Following Me!”

Keep Following Me!

Walking in an Empty Masjid
Walking in an Empty Masjid

Our Kind & Spontaneous Tour Guide

Our Kind & Spontaneous Tour Guide

Workship in the Old Masjid al-Aqsa

Worshipping in the Old Masjid Al-Aqsa

Where the Heads Fall Upon in Prostration

Where the Heads Falls Upon in Prostration

To see the rest of the photos in this album, click here.

All praise is due to Allah.

-A.S.

But Then You Laughed

~ Dedicated to those who smile in the faces of others – those they know, and those they do not. Smiling is charity for the soul.

proud-rose

All these people

Who care primarily for an air of seriousness

Lest their light-heartedness be deemed heedlessness

They assuming my quiet nature expects formality

So formal are they I forget the sounds of gentle hilarity.

And so when I met you,

Surprised I had to be,

When you burst out laughing

At a joke I said half-heartedly.

All these people

Who care primarily for faces of solemnity

Lest their openly wild spirits be deemed social abnormality

They assuming my conservative nature requires they tread cautiously

So cautious are they that I forget the sounds of charming

awkwardness.

And so when I met you,

Pleasantly unsettled I had to be

When your eyes poured a river of kind laughter

Upon seeing my friendly smile immediately.

People can crack smiles,

Or make you smile,

But you,

You are nothing but smiles.

People can force a laugh,

Or make you laugh,

But you,

You are nothing but pure laughter.

People can feel joy,

Or bring you joy,

But you,

You are made of nothing but joy.

All these people,

Mundanely living to get by, with things to regret after

But when I met you,

You spared no time before filling my heart with laughter.

 

And God knows best.

Written on city bus, Nov.15/16, 9:03 PM.

-A.S.

Dome of the Rock

The Dome of the Rock is one of the most beautiful buildings I have ever seen. May you be granted the chance to visit it, and pray in it, one day.

There was no way that the photos of both masajid al-Alqsa’s (the old and new buildings), and the golden Dome of the Rock, could fit into one album. This is simply Part 2 of 3 photography taken in Jerusalem a couple of months ago.

Staying Gold
Staying Gold

Dome of the Rock – First Sight Dome of the Rock - First Sight

Overwhelming
Overwhelming

Sacred Geometry Sacred Geometry

The Bodyguard Trees
The Bodyguard Trees

Ceiling; Because God Loves Beauty Ceiling; Because God Loves Beauty

Beyond Beauty
Beyond Beauty

Al-Sakhra Al-Sakhra

Dome of the Rock Chandeliers
Dome of the Rock Chandeliers

Gold Details Gold Details

Majestic
Majestic

Behold the Dome Behold the Dome

Wandering Through Jerusalem

Jerusalem (al-Quds) is breathtaking.

There was no way that the photos of both masajid al-Alqsa’s (the old and new buildings), and the golden Dome of the Rock, could fit into one album. This is simply Part 1 of 3 photography taken in Jerusalem a couple of months ago.

These in particular were taken simply while walking and wandering around.

Center of Gold

Center of Gold

Glint of a Sight

Glint of a Sight

On the Way to Jerusalem

On the Way to Jerusalem

Palm Tree

Palm Tree

The Dome, Afar

The Dome, Afar

A White Sky with Blue

A White Sky with Blue

Sky High

Sky High

Art of a Mother’s Love

Art of a Mother's Love

Beige Umbrellas

Beige Umbrellas

Shops in Jerusalem

Shops in Jerusalem

Beige, Blue & Green

Beige, Blue & Green

Symmetry in Architecture

Symmetry in Architecture

Exploring

Exploring

Spray-Paintings of Holy Sites

Spray-Paintings of Holy Sites

Naming After History

Naming After History

Star Light, Star Bright

Star Light, Star Bright

Outside Markets

Outside Markets

Where Archs Are the Norm

Where Archs Are the Norm

Colors, Sights & Sound

Colors, Sights & Sound

Delicious Ka’k Qudsi

Delicious Ka'k Qudsi

Bird in Hiding

Bird in Hiding

Art for Tea

Art for Tea

el Zaatar

el Zaatar

School Established 784 H

School Established 784 H

Fading Color

Fading Color

Hustle & Bustle

Hustle & Bustle

In Old Jerusalem

In Old Jerusalem

Kuffiyahs Everywhere

Kuffiyahs Everywhere

Nets to Catch All that Garbage… (thrown by settlers onto Palestinians)

Nets To Catch All That Garbage...

Rectangular Spaces

Rectangular Spaces

Garbage Thrown by Israeli Settlers onto the Palestinians

Garbage Thrown by Israeli Settlers onto the Palestinians

Freedom Graffiti (الحرية = freedom)

Freedom Graffiti

Sisters

Sisters

Light Despite Dark

Light Despite Dark