Leave for Labor

As of tonight, 8 p.m., I join the Labour Ward, or LT as they call it here in India (LT, like the OT, is a “Theatre”. It’s the British standard term for a room. Why not just call it a room? I don’t know. Influences of Shakespeare? ‘All the world’s a stage. We’re only actors?’ Anyway…). So, will be on blog hiatus for the next two consecutive weeks. Please make dua for me insh’allah as I learn to effectively deliver babies by the dozens and all such great stuff. Till then, Fee Amaan’allah(May God be with you)!

In the world, but not of it?

An interview conducted with a Shaykh I admire, love, respect, read and who’s student I one day hope of having the honor to become. A few months back, I had the privelege to not only meet him but attend his Friday Khutbah(sermon) for 4 straight Fridays. I miss his countenance greatly and realize what a gift it was to simply be in his presence.

The World is Beautiful
An interview with Sheikh Tosun Bayrak al-Jerrahi
by Carter Phipps

Response

Wrote this in response on the blogsite, Idle and Craft and decided to share it here as well, in which the blogger wrote of how common it is to blindly give the priority of attention to undeserving and fear-mongering hypotheticals. Her thoughts are absolutely on the mark.
Much of it has to do with the resident Chicken Littles(Media, Polititians, etc.). More of it should be in response to incidents which truly warrant our sympathy, such as the recent Earthquake in Pakistan/India. Sympathy is tricky these days, however, when a close one dies, we are reminded of our own mortality. When entire cities crumble, we are reminded that our fate, as a species, is not in our hands. When this occurs, the walls around our hearts begin to crumble along with those citites. Suddenly, there are much more important things. What we fail to realize is that they’ve always been important. We were just too swept away with our own lives that we neglected to notice.

Unfortunately, in this day and age, we are scarcely moved to tears unless tragedy is magnified to epic proportions. I blame self-conditioning.

In our rush to fortify our exteriors to endure rejection, embarassment, and the daily wear and tear of our relationships, we find when people most need our compassion, to our dismay, it’s been locked away, denied access to us and others, in a frozen heart we ourselves took pains to refrigerate. We feel, and then we un-feel.

What we don’t realize is that to choose apathy, is to relenquish our identity, and to deny our own humanity.

In order to sympathize, we must first learn to empathize, and to never UN-learn it again.

Lessons

A fox who lived in the deep forest of long ago had lost its front legs. No one knew how: perhaps escaping from a trap. A man who lived on the edge of the forest , seeing the fox from time to time, wondered how in the world it managed to get its food. One day when the fox was not far from him he had to hide himself quickly because a tiger was approaching. The tiger had fresh game in its claws. Lying down on the ground, it ate its fill, leaving the rest for the fox.

Again the next day the great Provider of this world sent provisions to the fox by this same tiger. The man began to think: “If this fox is taken care of in this mysterious way, its food sent by some unseen Higher Power, why don’t I just rest in a corner and have my daily meal provided for me?”

Because he had a lot of faith, he let the days pass, waiting for food. Nothing happened. He just went on losing weight and strength until he was nearly a skeleton. Close to losing consciousness, he heard a Voice which said: “O you, who have mistaken the way, see now the Truth! You should have followed the example of that tiger instead of imitating the disabled fox.”

– Shaykh Sa’adi of Shiraz

Operation Eden

Some of the most vividly evocative and haunting pictures I’ve ever seen. The qualit of photography is especially admirable. The photo journalist Clayton James Cubitt expressing his love for his New Orleans heritage post-Katrina is a harrowing homage to the lives of its citizens devastated by a form of tragedy which is all too familiar in these times.

Nature.

An Atheist’s way of saying God, but without purpose. However, once the impact is felt, it’s undeniably real and worthy of humility, respect, and submission. Ultimately, it begs a series of reflective questions which will, insh’allah, lead those who doubt to eventually seek to clear those doubts. The answers are everywhere. You need only seek.

Operation Eden