December 20, 2009

2009

Approaching the end of this year 2009 brings a mixture of feelings.. Reflecting on the times that have passed always adds a new perspective, a new appreciation and a 'moment of truth'.. I shall point out the top 10 major happenings of 2009 in the world:
  • Gaza War (Jan): maintenance of injustice - have we forgotten?
  • Barack Obama is inaugurated as the 44th President of the United States (Jan): impossible is nothing
  • G-20 meets in London to deal with the 2008 Global Financial Crisis (Apr): who claims to be in charge?
  • Swine flu (H1N1) outbreak (Jun): fear weakens
  • Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's reelection as Iran's president (Jun): just power in disguise
  • The death of Michael Jackson, the king of pop (Jun): reminisce but remember the lessons
  • Over 150 Uyghurs (Muslim chinese) killed in Xinjiang (Jul): unity and belonging
  • The longest solar eclipse in the 21st century (Jul): sins of the 21st century
  • Jeddah's Floods with toll deaths of 300 and losts of 11,000 (Oct): love and pain correlation
  • Copenhagen Climate Change Summit (Dec): it's a small world!
Events happen at the macro level and they may change the directions, the feelings and the future insights in the world. Similarly, we go through the same sort of 'change' all the time, every year. It is important to keep a track of these major events not only in the world but also in our world and within us.

With every event, a lesson must be learnt. What makes an event major is the impact of how it made us feel - that is how we remember it. The loss of my dear Father (Jan.) has indeed taught me many lessons, it changed my perspective about life and made me realize how short life is. It engaged me in deeper soul-searching that almost felt like I am starting anew with every venture. It made me realize how big the gap is that he has left behind, amongst our family and within me. It taught me how it is possible "to carry him in my heart" everywhere I go. I also learnt more about the unseen world, it sets new exciting perspectives about this delusion that we call life. "Nothing is what it seems" demands new understandings that will gratify many questionings. The prerequisite to the pursuit of understanding is being fearless. One cannot decipher the truth if there are too many redlines around. Developing a mind of our own - Aloneness invites a lucid soul and a conscious mind. Indeed, it is the longest journey, that which is within.

The butterfly effect and chaos theory
It is amazing how "sensitive dependence on initial conditions" may change your entire system and 'reshuffle' the very character that you become. "Feelings are like wild horses, you must set them free" It feels like fighting a war inside, sometimes we reach victory and sometimes we are defeated. It is very easy to be one or the other, but what is most challenging is to 'maintain' the midway (balance) in between. "Life is like riding a bicycle in order to move on we have to find the right balance". Seeking that right balance is our pursuit in life, in every moment, throughout every year. From our major decisions in life to the smallest of how we feel about ourselves. Like our universe, our system is dynamic, it links everything together whether we like it or not. We may 'involve' our friends to learn through them about life and see our reflection in them to judge right. Yet, it remains important to keep the 'balance' - even in seeking those true people around us in our life that will help us find our weaknesses and improve upon it and our strengths alike.

Again, it is the impact of how things and people make us feel. "Love is fire. But whether it's going to warm your heart or burn you down you can never tell", so, we take risk because life is more exciting and more beautiful when we pursue our passion with the same degree of balance that will neither freeze your heart nor burn you down. We must feel bad and wrathful just enough to drive us to be better. Similarly, we must also feel good and proud just right enough to keep us moving forward, to give us that light to see the path, and make us believe once more that it is possible to dream. "The wings of hope and fear that enable us to fly" in a sky with no limit. Life is a choice, always has been and always will be.

Let's choose to have a great prosperous and peaceful 2010!

December 6, 2009

Just keep swimming..

Of the many lessons that life teaches me, there is one that I for sure get quiet well: keep going! There is a quote that I think precisely describe how our journey of life goes by "life is like a bicycle, in order to keep the balance, you must go on".. How true is that? Although we may get confused about the path that we are walking on, the directions that we have in mind, the ground that we are standing on, the intention that resides in our hearts, and the new thoughts, feelings, and desires that come our way.. We must keep peddling.. Just keep swimming! Otherwise, life will not wait for us.. It will keep going, so we must decide to keep up.. While 'catching up' we might loose some parts of who we are along the way.. Or rather, a part of who we 'were'.. now, that we are grown ups.. or more grown.. This is how it works.. c'est la vie!

December 4, 2009

من أكون؟

من أكون؟

ملئتني الظنون

أصبت بالجنون

حررت المكنون

استجبت للمبطون

ونعمت بحنون

وأغرمت بفتون

أشعلت الشجون

تنظرني العيون

قرأت ما يسطرون

سمعت ما يقولون

مقت ما يكنّون

وما كان سيكون

فاخترت السجون

بصبر يهون

وألم السكون

و عجز البنون

أخترت من أكون

وكيف أصون

فقلعت الحصون

وتمردت بفنون

فالآن فقط أبون

وأدرك.. الجنون

يا ربي

يا ربي يا حبيبي دثرني

برحمتك انتشلني يا رحيماً

أشعر بالبرد فدفني

أخاف خوفاً و العذاب أليماً

بات قلبي يظلمني

مظلوماً مقتولاً سهيماً

يا من تنظر إليني

اصفح عن قلبي اليتيمَ

تتكالب على ديني

فانتزعها دنيا سقيمة

وحدي وحيدة فأعني

وفهَم جهلي تفهيماً

صغائر عقلي تمتحني

ووجدان قلبي أثيماً

يا من بين كاف ونونِ

يكرم بالكرم الكريم

هب لي حسن ظن

وقلب وعقل به قيمة

ومن خزائن خيرك زدني

نوراً مشعاً لا يضيمَ

أرى الوجوه تسلخني

وحالي به أنت عليماً

ليس من أحد يفهمني

أتجرع المر السميم

غربتي حالت بيني

وبين هممي الهميمة

يقيني بك يقيني

سبحانك ودوداً رحيماً

تضع الوزر عني

وتحتضني رعاية سليمة

قد دنت الأيام مني

وأكلني الزمن الضغيم*

أسمع ضربات قلبي تئن

فأزداد شغف المتيّم تيماً

سأدعوك بإذنك حتى اليقين

وأصلي على حبيبك تسليماً



* الضغيم: اسم من أسماء الأسد.


جدة


ما فعل بك أمناؤك حبيبتي يا جدّة
هل خانوا الأمانة وهانو الكرامة؟
لا تهني ولا تحزني فأنت الصمود في الشٍدّة
وأنت الخير والرخاء وعشق أهل "العمامة"
كفكفي دموعك يا عروس البحر فأهلك أشدّة
على كل من بغى عليك وأغرقك في الطامة
يا أول موطن للجَدّة.. فلا بدًّ
أن يسأل مواطنك ويعيد استفهامه
عن سبب الهلاك وافتقار العدّة
عن الفساد وعن الجشع وعن "القمامة"
مقص الرقيب في الجراىد شديدة الحدّة
ونرى من ولّوا عليك قد عُصموا عصامة
قد أفسدوا فحاكٍِِموهم حكم أهل الردّة
قد انتهكوا الحرمات وأكلوا مال العامّة
حاكموا من خان الوطن وأفسد ودّه
وكان بالأمس يعقد التوقيع بإبهامه
يا من حملت الراية والدّم لطخ يدّه
سيسألك الشهداء ودمع الضعفاء عند القيامة
قد غرق الشهيد وعاش الفقيد في شدّة
ولن يعلم إلا الله آخر ما تمتم كلامه

نورا يوسف منصوري

November 25, 2009

Carbon Dioxide Sequestration

"وأنزلنا الحديد فيه بأس شديد ومنافع للناس"
I am amazed to find out a recently discovered benefit from Iron (Fe) the mineral in its solid form. Apparently, it could be used to sequester carbon dioxide in solid form via mineral carbonation. What happens is that carbon dioxide is brought into contact with Iron to react chemically and be fixed in the form of solid carbonates.
Given the verse at the top, we are yet to cease finding Iron of benefit in our Earth for our people. Since the Quraan is universal, and applicable to every time and place, this must be true and we should constantly seek applications from this forever-useful Iron.
سبحان الله

November 19, 2009

Telepathy and Transparency

When someone loves someone, they open up their heart to them. Their emotions, their soul and their mind are in vulnerable situation. Because that loved one is capable of entering your system. Your souls may unite and your telepathy becomes apparent. Only those who are in connection with their own heart and soul will be able to understand the language of the unknown. There is a multi-level of feelings and emotions that are unfathomable to ordinary people. The basic one is the physical love that the heart feels for one person, although for some people this is as complicated as it gets. However, there are often times places that the soul can reach which prove to be even more complicated. When we are in the state of ‘pure love’, and I am not referring to any sexual love, but merrily the deep ‘caring’ and ‘liking’ of a person. It is very similar to the mother’s motherly love to her child, a teacher’s love to her student, a person’s love to their mentor and so on. Then we open up our pathways for that person, our connection becomes ‘transparent’. When this happens, the basic feeling is ‘contentment’, peace and mild excitement. But what actually happens is that the souls unite, they wander around, and they ‘socialise’ somehow. That is why we wake up ‘feeling’ that this loved one is very near that we could almost touch them. During those telepathic encounters, the souls become knowledgeable about each other and they become sort of oriented with what is happening. Therefore, this sort of ‘déjà vu’ feeling is very concrete when the communication happens in real life. It is as though we have been through this particular incident or conversation. These unseen communications are not necessarily communicated in real life, but again, those with transparent souls could verily believe that souls in fact meet before they already meet in real life.

November 13, 2009

The Sane Mind

In defining righteousness, we must be conscious of the meaning based on our definition that goes along with our system of believes. The word ‘believe’ gives this animation energy even at a stagnant place. It is dynamic process of ‘satisfying’ the mind and heart, it is the conscious acknowledgement and acceptance of something, it is never to be taken fore-granted.

The most important organ in our body, and the most significant, is the heart. – The tangible and intangible aspects. The tangible, is the physical condition of the heart because it supplies life to the entire body. The intangible, is the intellectual and spiritual power that our heart posses. In Arabic, the brain is the physical (crude) organ “المخ”, whereas, the (sane) mind is “ العقل“, which literally means what holds back “الذي يعقل”. In Islam, this latter term the (sane) mind “العقل” is described in the verse as the heart: "لهم قلوب لا يعقلون بها".

Al-Sayyed Abdul-Qadir Al-Jilani explains that the heart is like a mirror that must be cleared from dust in order to reflect the divine light of God: " إذا كان القلب مرآة مصقولة‏,‏ فمن الواجب أن نزيل الغبار الذي تجمع عليها‏,‏ لأن مصير القلب أن يعكس نور الأسرار السماوية‏,‏ فسراج القلب لا يضيء إلا بإشراق نور الله عليه". It is the light that enable us to see, once we are able to see, we seek righteousness.

Our objective in life is neither defined by our geographical location, nor is it defined by our blood origin, nor by our identity - but how we are created. There are at least two given objectives that we must acknowledge. First, is the general objective of the human race, which is to be good and pursue goodness for the betterment of Earth and humanity. This is the pledge that we bare on our shoulders until the day we depart from Earth: "إنا عرضنا الأمانة على السماوات والأرض والجبال فأبين أن يحملنها وأشفقن منها وحملها الإنسان إنه كان ظلوماً جهولا"- I believe it is our pledge to construct and build this Earth for the betterment of humanity following the ways that God has prescribed for us in the Divine Law of the scriptural sources, Qur'an and Sunna. As a prerequisite for that, we must first build ourselves and construct our minds to be able to qualify to be such ambassadors of Earth. الصلاح ثم الإصلاح - be good then give goodness

The second level of our objective in life is more individual, each of us is born to deliver a message that is specifically tailored for the gifts that God has settled in each and every one of us. Here comes our quest to seek what we have passion for so that we could excel and perfect in that zone. This should drive us to bring that particular field forward for humanity to benefit from. This is where through our education and work, we should be able to serve this world.

Along the way, we grow up and we learn, we change, we stumble, we might change direction, our 'mean' will change, and it is only natural to find other mediums to channel our minds and hearts towards that 'end'. Therefore, what we 'believe' in must always comply with what we are doing. Otherwise, the equation will not balance and our chemistry will be disrupted. We will not be true to ourselves and the world, in turn. That is why the (intangible) diseases of the heart are the most dangerous of diseases, such as: headlessness الغفلة, vanity العجب, unfaithfulness الرياء - in fact, Ibn Al-Qayyem Al-Jawzia went further to say that these diseases are major wrongdoings كباىر. At the end of the day (game), it is the heart that counts - and only that!

November 11, 2009

Why Not?

أدت ثقافة "التكفير" إلى ثقافة الامتناع عن التفكير- أدونيس

I feel cheated. I have been brought up as a Saudi, this means that I have been given the Saudi system education in schools and amongst societies. We were taught to believe that ‘we’ are the righteous people, and ‘they’ are the infidels that must be killed in this life and burn in hellfire in the hereafter. We were given this ‘false’ confidence that our mission in life is to spread Islam and make other people convert. The Islamic education instilled fear in our hearts to do what they teach us is right and never attempt to do what is wrong. It seemed that every command is weighted in a scale of what is prohibited and permissible and what is not. The word ‘forbidden’ would come across very often and would further instil fear of being one of those who will be ‘killed now and burnt in hellfire later’ - this fear that blinds us and overlook what we feel. We are unable to question, think or analyse because we are being injected with this fear at such a young age, at a time when the society knew not how to question, and families taught us how to ‘accept’ and never rebel. Everyone needs security, and to have that, you had to be part of a group and obey that groupthink. In this case, it was the whole of Saudi Arabia and the governance system that those in power have chosen to prevail. Therefore, ‘questioning’ had no space, not in the society and not even in our minds. Things were given an ‘absolute’ answer which no one dared to challenge. Things very insignificant that relates to women, such as driving, wearing the headscarf, and just being free, take the priority in every agenda. Women are forced to be second-, if not third-, class citizens. What do you expect women to feel or be when they dictate to you what you wear and claim it is what “your creator – God wants you to wear and if you don’t you will be killed” and when you can’t ‘move’ unless a male-driver drives you around and in many cases unable to ‘decide’ for yourself. I am 25 years old, and this is what I remember and what I experienced. My parents are the best parents one could ever had and I don’t remember at any instance that they forced me to take a big decision in my life. But this culture of ‘obeying’ and ‘not question’ was there in the air, it was the mainstream that everyone has followed. I feel cheated in particular for the hijab issue. Hijab is often associated with the word ‘hellfire’ in Saudi, they make you put it in fear from punishment more than in love for chastity. Of course as we grew older and actually ‘thought’ about it, we also had redlines that we thought we shouldn’t cross. The scope of questioning that we have is safe since the upper limit that they claim is the line, we later understand is actually the lower limit. They don’t just ask women to wear Abaya and cover their head, but they also insist that they must cover their faces and hands! So, their lower limit would be allowing a Western women only wear the Abaya and could leave her head uncovered – today, and elsewhere, this could be seen as in fact the higher limit. i.e. to wear decent clothes and it is insignificant whether you will cover your head or not. There are many variant interpretations, and as these keep us on the straight path or move us astray, it is only for God to judge. The societal pressure and judgement is the prior cause of people not being themselves, and deprives their brains to think for themselves. That is the most dangerous one could ever do to oneself – not use the one thing that differentiate us humans from animals. It is important to question and get answers for your questioned heart and not merrily continue things as they are because we always did!

November 9, 2009

The Big Picture

It is very important to keep sight of the big picture, the bigger, the biggest.. Step out and envision the overall objective of life, the overall direction of the path, the overall character of yourself. Sometimes it is important to go astray, to get lost, to change direction, to step back, to step down, in order to take the right path again, with a stronger step.. But what if it is an illusion? What if you are in the right path to start with you? Can you trust your heart, always? Will you always get good signals? Can you misinterpret? misjudge? Take wrong decisions? is it also part of your learning? Is it still 'determined'? do 'things still happen for the right reasons'? Would you decide to listen to yourself? Ignore what people think? overlook their judgements about you? It is terrifying just at the thought that you could be wrong.. make the wrong 'stepping down/back'.. If it is all determined.. if we have this brain.. why would it be dangerous to question everything? if we have these thoughts.. why would it be false to imagine and live different scenarios.. to experiment.. to try.. to live.. to learn.. {إن الإنسان خلق هلوعا} maybe it is human-nature to be scared.. to feel lost.. to be indecisive.. to change your mind.. your definitions of what you valued.. and therefore, to change your values.. can you make a mistake by pursuing goodness? what takes priority, the destination or the journey.. the mean or the end..? Sometimes we are forced to sacrifice our ideals for the greater good.. for our own good.. for our own satisfaction.. sense.. and sensibility.. we hope that by doing that, we are moving forward, not backward, improving and not diminishing.. can someone diminish? can someone destruct themselves? I don't think so.. even if you stepped back, it is only to step forward next.. even if you made a mistake, it is only to learn.. again, we must look at 'the big picture'.. because that is what matters.. everything builds up.. the nature of this universe is that it is 'cumulative'.. knowledge, experiences, pain, love, sense of direction.. we learn and we store that.. so the next time we stepped down, we know which direction 'not' to take.. and we go to places that we thought was 'forbidden'.. because we find new insights.. new ventures into little-known paths.. how else will we know? we will definitely not know if we just follow the mainstream.. sometime we have to experience going against the wind, to test our strength.. think for our own self.. decide and live with the consequences.. at least, now.. it is our choice.. it is our life..

November 6, 2009

Constituents

{ إنما مثل الحياة الدنيا كماء أنزلناه من السماء فاختلط به نبات الأرض مما يأكل الناس والأنعام حتى إذا أخذت الأرض زخرفها وازينت وظن أهلها أنهم قادرون عليها أتاها أمرنا ليلا أو نهارا فجعلناها حصيدا كأن لم تغن بالأمس كذلك نفصل الآيات لقوم يتفكرون } (يونس:24).

{ واضرب لهم مثل الحياة الدنيا كماء أنزلناه من السماء فاختلط به نبات الأرض فأصبح هشيما تذروه الرياح } (الكهف:45)،

{ ألم تر أن الله أنزل من السماء ماء فسلكه ينابيع في الأرض ثم يخرج به زرعا مختلفا ألوانه ثم يهيج فتراه مصفرا ثم يجعله حطاما } (الزمر:21)،

{ اعلموا أنما الحياة الدنيا لعب ولهو وزينة وتفاخر بينكم وتكاثر في الأموال والأولاد كمثل غيث أعجب الكفار نباته ثم يهيج فتراه مصفرا ثم يكون حطاما } (الحديد:20

The verses above force me to read and re-read, such a powerful metaphor that mesmerizes the mind..
This life (donya) always resembles 'water' which symbolizes life! (وجعلنا من الماء كل شيء حي), then it describes the origin of this water coming down as rain from the sky, this creation is created by the creator, this life is just another 'thing' that was given to us by Allah.. Upon its reaching Earth, it granted life to the plants and animals which we (humans) eventually must eat to enable our (physical) bodies to survive.. Plants and trees grew, animals reproduced, life began, 'living' and what it constitute of working, caring, dreaming ( لعب ولهو وزينة وتفاخر بينكم وتكاثر في الأموال والأولاد).. Earth and life became beautiful! (أخذت الأرض زخرفها وازينت) in this process, we were 'dazzled' with these very by-products of the original water ( أعجب الكفار نباته).. We (think) now that we are in control! We work hard, we get money.. We fall in love, we get married.. We have kids, we build a family.. we dream.. we aspire.. we realize.. we are getting there.. we are going to realize our potential.. we are going to reach that 'self-actualization' point (وظن أهلها أنهم قادرون عليها ) until we actually recognize (ثم يهيج ) that as a matter of fact, all of this longing is towards utopia! a non-existence land in our life.. the moment we reach there ( فأصبح هشيما تذروه الرياح) we realize it is not that which we aspired, or we think to ourselves "is that it?" what I've been working for and looking to.. So, we go back to 'square 1' (فجعلناها حصيدا كأن لم تغن).. we continue to seek because this is what we are, seekers! until these low-objectives "donya" (ثم يجعله حطاما) gets destroyed in our eyes.. this 'false' passion to what we call life.. this 'disguised' energy.. (كذلك نفصل الآيات لقوم يتفكرون)

معنى

:عمار
القوي الإيمان
الثابت في أمره
الطيب الثناء
الذي يزين وجوده المجلس
الحليم
الوقور
الطيب الرائحة
الكثير الصوم والصلاة
ذو العمارة والبنيان
القائم بالأمر والنهي إلى أن يموت
الذي يجمع أهل بيته وأصحابه على سنة رسول الله

A Meaning

"إن الذين لا يرجون لقاءنا ورضوا بالحياة الدنيا واطمأنوا بها والذين هم عن آياتنا غافلون أولئك مأواهم النار بما كانوا يكسبون"

"ورضوا بالحياة الدنيا واطمأنوا بها"

"ورضوا"

We are not supposed to 'settle'.. We're supposed to be 'on the move'.. Indeed, as travelers, as strangers, as seekers.. Constantly 'seeking' in our refuge, while we're at the path, we will live in an 'accommodation' and from the term it is a place that will 'accommodate' our needs.. But not necessarily a 'habitat' or a permanent place to live.. For, nothing is permanent.. Only the soul is!

The 'Seen' World..

The beauty of life lies in its ambiguity. In our arduous quest for 'righteousness', we stand-up, we walk, we pause, we run, we fall, we stand-up again.. Anyone can witness that, but what no one else can understand is what develops deep inside of us.. The reasons that drive our steps in the journey.. the decision to 'pause' and reflect.. the choice that we make to 'act' upon something.. and the joy we receive by standing up for what we believe in.. responding to our questioned heart and mind.. refusing to go with the flow with no judgement.. unwilling to submit to what 'people' expects you to do.. rejecting the 'labels' and the definitions that are attached to you, or what you thought was you!
How many of us are victims of this very 'giving in' that we endure in our daily lives? How many of us have denied themselves the freedom to know themselves? Have you ever 'been'? Just decided to be? With no judgement, nor fear of judgement? It is very heroic to just 'be'.. so, just be!

November 3, 2009

Energy to the World

Energy, like the make-up of our body, constitutes the 'physical' energy that we consume/produce in our body and produce/consume in our economy as well as the 'spiritual' energy that we perceive/consume in our souls.
Likewise, energy to the world is dominated by Saudi Arabia, with the world's largest oil reserves, production and exports - Saudi Arabia, as well, is the world's largest provider of 'spiritual' energy, with the two (out of three) holy lands of Makkah Al-Mukarrama and Medina Al-Munawara. Also, it is the birth of the three religions, perhaps not just Saudi Arabia but also the surrounding lands in the Middle East.
It just occurred to me that even when oil runs out, solar energy could take off and Saudi Arabia will remain a (major) player in the world energy markets. The estimated solar energy capacity is equivalent to 15 TW, which is what the entire world consumes today on a daily basis.

October 31, 2009

Realizing the Full Potential

What does it take to realize your potential? Have clarity and focus.. a space you call your own.. and peace of mind and heart.. with nobody stalking you.. no ideas haunting you.. with no fear of failure.. with a zeal for taking risk! having a mind of your own.. following no rules.. standing up for what you know is true.. no temptations.. no distractions.. no perfection.. Just the joy of the ride! the rush of satisfaction.. fulfillment.. full potential.. Just a 'moment' of peace..

October 30, 2009

Seeking

Since our first breath and until the last, human beings are created as 'seekers'. We seek satisfaction. Our portfolio of satisfaction varies from person to person and it also varies within one person from a phase to another and moment to another. What we decide is our worthwhile quest dictates our seeking journey. That mere 'seeking' is what keeps our blood flowing, what keeps our lungs breathing..
At times we could seek 'what we seek' and think 'what to think' and decide 'what to decide'.. it is in these phases that we feel at an intersection.. when a question needs to be questioned! An action is needed.. everything is at 'pause'.. the whole universe is looking at you and it is your turn to make a move.. a gesture.. express an emotion.. or hide it.. Just something, anything! Because at this moment, our satisfaction is 'change'.. whatever that change is, no matter how small or big. Just something to keep us going and 'satisfy' our endless quest of 'seeking..

October 20, 2009

Which to satisfy?

In my tireless pursuit of finding my 'straight path' in life, I often times pause puzzled in front of the following question: Shall I follow my heart or my mind?
The insights that I get from other people sometimes confused me more than help me in realizing the potential 'straightness' of my being. Does every decision that I make needs to comply with my mind, the 'bounded rationality' of the mind, the limited knowledge and understanding that our very own mind was created to be? Why is it then that 'some questions are better avoided' is a prophetic teaching. It is because our reasoning of the unknown is yet to be discovered. Our life is a journey seeking to answer many questions.. Some questions are certain to be left unanswered.
Human capacity to know, is limited. However, human capacity to believe, is limitless! It is due to the fact that our hearts function in ways that our minds do not necessarily understand. Our minds learn from the external environment, from the time we were born to the world and until the time we depart to grave - our knowledge source in the mind is external. On the other hand, the knowledge of the heart, I'll take the liberty to call it 'cognition' or 'conscious' is limitless because it stems its light from The Ultimate Light. The light as we know its nature is strengthened by energy, likewise, our light of 'faith' and belief is strengthened by our spiritual energy intake from Allah. Therefore, what the heart knows stems from inside, which in due course stems its light from The Light of the heavens and the earth, Allah.
There are many verses in the Quraan that invites one to think with one's heart rather than mind. Hence, it is safe to say that our lives should be guided not only by our minds, but even more importantly, with our hearts. It may be difficult to fathom at first, but when the heart believes something is right, we feel it in every cell, in our bones and in our veins. We know it is right, only the mind at times does not understand it and therefore we 'hesitate'. The stronger we feel, the better judgement we can make.

October 17, 2009

Justice

It is quiet depressing to know how the world operates. Perhaps it is the capitalistic world that has evolved to become the world that we know today. Since all our learning s are cumulative, we must learn not to repeat our mistakes over. It seems to me that the world endures a learning curve that must educate the slower nations so as to make a wiser selection of paths to pursue, or at least ‘not’ to pursue paths that have already been taken and proven unsuccessful. In nations’ economic development, there are many factors that contribute to achieving such progression, however, the heart of the matter remains ‘pure economics’. The more a country could preserve in money, the more power and security this country enjoys. Our individual values are disguised under the ‘collective benefit’ and the ‘greater good’, when in fact it is our individual values that make those of our nations. How many leaders have the world witnessed falling hard for choices that they falsely believe are heroic for the good of themselves and for the good of their nations? Human greed and ignorance is endless, perhaps even the latter is at greater endlessness. How do we claim to help the poor, when in fact it is the poor that makes us rich by simply existing? How is it that we convince the world that our ‘international organizations’ are there to organize, when we all know that these are here to ‘control’ what they believe is for the greater good, or their greater good. How do you define ‘greater’ if ‘individual’ is very chaotic and indifferent. Which justice system do we go by? How do you define justice?

September 13, 2009

Scotland

This is my country,
The land that begat me.
These windy spaces
Are surely my own.
And those who toil here
In the sweat of their faces
Are flesh of my flesh,
And bone of my bone.

Written by: Sir Alexander Gray

August 10, 2009

The Ride

The problem of my system is that 'it remembers'.. It is true that there is a 'power of thinking without thinking' (Gladwell, 2005 - Blink). It is because each and every cell in our body 'remembers'. Even the things that we ourselves don't remember.
It doesn't matter if I decide to let go, fly free, or decide to focus.. Your emotions, thoughts and past will haunt you 'without you thinking'.. We actually do forget, but also remember in a way..
I think that is the right balance for our memory. All for the best of reasons..
"إنا كل شيء خلقناه بقدر"

July 12, 2009

Wasting Time

I hate wasting time! Even worse, I end up wasting more time while worrying about time.. If it is the journey that we must focus on, I am not sure how 'not' to waste time. Often times when I'm reading an article for my research, I can't help but sway in my mind about the many ideas that could be developed from the ideas that I'm reading, and how these relate to my research and to that other paper by that other author, whom... umm, wait.. what was his original theory? Let's google him.. Read this wiki, okay press on that link, and this one too because you must understand the origin of the thoughts.. and it goes on and on until you decide 'okay!' we must go back to where we were..
It is utterly frustrating to go through such a journey every minute of every day.. Although I sometimes enjoy the ride.. I gain new insights, it put things into perspectives, I write adding more ideas to the list of 'ideas to explore' that I already have.. It definitely helps you understand things more deeply, and sometimes in a wider sense too.. You do get a lot of encouragement and drive once your brain shoot off to La La Land! Visualizing the many papers published on this seemingly 'original' ideas, and then of course presenting such papers in conferences.. Sometimes it even shoots further more towards the moon and visualize the receipt of a Noble prize or a similar award! Yes, the brain could be that deceiving..
Then you get a wake-up shock to reality probably by an announcement 15 minutes prior to closing the order catalogue, or an uncomfortable stare by your neighbor..
I wonder how much should we give in to those dreamy shifts that we encounter on a daily basis, and how much should we resist being swayed in those dreams.. Whatever the decision, at the end of the day, it is indeed the journey that must be enjoyed and benefited from rather than the focus to reach one destination.. For, in a journey you may change the direction and it is important to keep the 'antennas' alert! Sometimes the heart senses that which the brain cannot comprehend. I find refuge in believing that.

July 9, 2009

MJ's Death

Michael Jackson's death has come as a shock to the entire world. No one can deny the scope of this event. Whether a lover or a hater or in-between, The King of Pop has earned his fame!

As I sit back watching a series of MJ's Home videos, I can't help but ask myself: How did he do it? A talented kid coming from a Middle-Class family, living in a crowded house (11 members in a 2-bedroom apartment). He described how they would lift their furniture to make space for the dance floor and how they would throw parties and invite the neighbors. He also talked about how all the family was involved in perfecting the songs, dances and lyrics.

It amazed me how in such difficult times one would rise up so high. It must be Michael's talent and commitment to success, his drive to shine above the ordinary. He spoke about himself, I have seen very few people who know themselves so well! He commented on his home videos and from his commentary you could perceive the soft yet powerful stand that he holds for himself. Confidence with isolation, kindness with mysteriousness.

When he talked about his fashion and how many outfits he would try, how many socks and shoes he would put on dance with and observe himself in the mirror.. "I didn't want to copy anyone, I want it to be original" MJ said.. I admire that! How can one go out without being a victim of fashion? of social trends? of changing paradigms? How can one be so original? He decided to set the trend instead. This is definitely one of the things that made MJ so special and original.

When he described the hard work and great efforts that he put into producing his music, I was surprised to know that he writes about 100 songs and acts it out then select the best to be in his album! No wonder every song that he wrote and performed was in the top billboard. Someone with such passion for what he does and dedication and insistence to succeed must succeed, no doubt!

It gives me shivers when I see people across the globe crying for MJ's death.. If it means anything it would mean that his life and songs have touched their hearts.. It must have came from his heart!

His life has been so inspiring to many people.. I walked away with a quest to find my passion in something that I wouldn't mind living for perfecting it!

Thank you MJ, RIP.. الله يرحمه برحمته التي وسعت كل شيء

April 17, 2009

الصراط المستقيم


يا ودود يا ودود
يا من إليه اللجوء
وبه تم الوجود
بلطفك وكرمك أبوء
وإليك يوما نعود

استرحمك فارحمني
في البحر اللجي غرقت
استصرخك فاسمعني
آمنت بك واستيقظت
فسامحني وأعني

ليس هناك من أحد
يلهمني الطريق
وأنت أحد أحد
وحدك تنقذ الغريق
أرجوك إلى اللحد

أن تجعلني نور
الطرقات به أنير
وتبني لي دور
للجنة بها أسير
كي أصبح حور

تلك هي أمنيتي
في الجنة هناك
فردوس أغنيتي
لنلتقي هناك
متي هي منيتي

يا أرحم الرحمين
ثبت قلبي السقيم
يا أكرم الأكرمين
سد ثغرة الرجيم
واهدني للمبين

هل ضللت الصراط؟
قد عبثت بي الدنيا
من كل جهة أحاط
علم وولد وبنيا
قد زدتني انبساط

أحمدك حمدا يليق
أدعوك يا مجيب
أعني أن أستفيق
ولدعائي استجيب
أن تكون لي الرفيق

يا أعلى يا سلام
ألهمني الصواب
وانصر بي الإسلام
عظم لي الثواب
وحسن لي الاستسلام

في حياتنا لا نرى
أين الصراط المستقيم
ندعوك فقد انبرى
اهدنا يا رحمن رحيم
وثبتنا حتى نواري الثرى

The Big Bang, Cosmic Crunch and Everything in Between

As part of my research on the Global Carbon Cycle, which is the first part on my Technical Overview Chapter, I got swayed by reading an extremely interesting book, The Carbon Age. It starts from prehistoric times and the origin of Early Age, from the 'Big Bang' and when and how carbon as an element (C) came to existence. Beside the insightful findings about C and how it constitutes everything in this Universe, from our bodies to the geological formations of Earth. I found most interesting the talk about the origins of the Universe and the scientific evidence of the Big Bang Theory, which to me as a Muslim is very much true because of the evidence in the Quraan and the stories of how God created the Universe. It got me into analysing in different depths the meanings of many verses that we come across. A lot of Dr. Zaghlool Al-Najjar has a lot to do with conveying the message that science overlaps with the Quraan. But because I believe that the Quraan is a living miracle, I also know that there is knowledge so grand that is yet to be absorbed and understood by us, the Quraan reciters. It gets revealed to us and inspire our knowledge about the cosmic world. I have always paused at the page in Surat Al-Baqara that talks about the creation of Adam as the 'ambassador' of Earth. The details that verses get into and the beautiful dialogue between God and his Angels. It always gets me into thinking and reflecting about a different issue every time I recite it. This time it definitely repeatedly ignites questions about the timeframe of Earth and how things were created, one after the other, and when did Adam exactly come down to Earth. Are these scientific evidence that we now know about how different chemical elements came together and how the Universe in its entirety is nothing but a group of chemical reactions and chemical compounds that were created one after the other with time intervals regulated by the temperature on Earth and how all this lead to the existence of Energy which supplies 'life' on the planet. I feel that there is something deep and virgin in this area that is so well-worth exploiting. One day! :-)

April 16, 2009

Age

Everyone and everything has an 'age'. There is a timeframe for the existence of almost everything, including ideas that expire in time, injuries that heal in time, feelings, relationships and of course us, human beings. Even Earth has an age, plants and animals do too. Everything in God's making seems to be following a universal law. It is because everything was made by the same Creator, it all falls under the same rule. Sometimes it is difficult to comprehend because of the human's 'bounded rationality', but it is quiet obvious that the entire world is in harmony. It has been said over and over, every single 'thing' or 'being' on Earth (and perhaps beyond) has the same 'stamp'. From the nucleus circular motions, to the planetary circular motion.. From the veins in the trees and the leaves to the veins in the animal's breeds.. the waves trends of economic boom and recession, rise and fall of civilisations, heart beats and blood pressure, respiratory system, and even the Fall and Spring throughout the year. The same 'stamp' is there.. SubhanAlah

But what is most interesting, is the age of all people on Earth. It is the measure of the 'knowledge' body generated on earth. The measure of the 'intellect' produced on Earth. It is rather 'accumulative' in nature. Just how 'age' accumulates. Also, the 'outcome' of humanity generated on Earth is accumulative. Hence, like we learn from ancient stories in the Quraan, we also 'build' on such knowledge in our own special way. The inventions made to day is being superseded and built on. We learn, we move on, we die, we pass on.. That is why 'reform' is important، الإصلاح في الأرض, because we must make every effort to make sure our foundations on Earth is correct in our own way, for the next generations. That is why we must 'implant' the seed we hold in our hands, even if at the most horrific and terrorising situation, The Hour. This reveals the meaning of our system of living. We build, implant and leave.. Until one day, this Earth would have exhausted its age and even 'it' will vanish.

Variant Interpretations

Interpretation seems to be the root of all conflicts. The variant degrees to interpret religious texts is the main cause of societal conflict and divide. If we look at the history of Islamic thought, we may realise that this very 'variation' of Islamic interpretation is evident in the existence of the four school of thoughts, Hanbali, Hanafi, Shaf'i, and Malki. These, to me, are merely different 'efforts' by human beings like me and you who made personal conclusions on some Islamic issues. They all may very well be 'correct' in their own sense.

Perhaps it is the 'reasoning' that matter. Just like a research paper, your conclusion is right according to your epistemological and methodological methods that you are following. One must be able to defend one's position. Often times it is embedded in one's own background, religious, educational, societal and also time line in Earth. This may be why many things are best left flexible, this flexibility beautifies our religious system. Life is never meant to be black or white, there are gradients between the whites and blacks. In fact, the white colour must reflect all colours once entered into a transparent body. This transparency is what is vital to have, the transparent clear open mind. However, the limitations and guidelines are clear-cut, because these are meant to be the boundaries of one own's territory and freedom.

Therefore, 'generalisation' of one's thought process becomes problematic. Especially when one intrude into other's space, this disrupts their thought process and dilute their intrinsic clarity. I see Islam as a very 'holistic' way of life. It requires you to 'submit' to one basic belief that unify your believes and channel them into one 'right path'. The saviour tools are given to you, Quraan and Sunnah, together with your own brain and heart, you are left free to 'seek' your right path.

March 24, 2009

Going Public

This is my first blog that comes to the surface. I have been a 'secret' blogger for a long time. I like to write and I am a poet but I rarely share my writings. Sometimes because they are not good enough, and sometimes because they are too personal. I am a very discreet person and one way out is to pour out my heart in letters. I would like to start sharing my writing with the public with a hope of getting a critical eye that will help me grow. So, here it goes..