5:58 PM

Reliance of The Straight Path

Wrote: American Muslima Writer |

We have all been at the moment where our path in life can swing one way or another. We have to determine, in whatever way we best can, the outcome of our life.
Sure, it's not easy, not ever.
There are countless factors to consider, people that the result will effect, and numerous follow-up plans to make. So how are we as lowly humans to accurately determine the outcome of our lives?
Many times we seek the advice of someone wiser than us. Our parents, our scholars, our teachers, our mentors, our history books, our friends, our family. This is a good course to take. Yet it is not enough.
Who in turn is wiser than them? Who have guided them to enable them to be wise? Their parents, their scholars, teachers, mentors, books, friends and families. Yet who in turn was wiser than them.... so on it can go. Until you reach the ONE who truly has Power.
When you think deeply about who really has the greatest effect upon the future of your life you have to think about that last word, Life. Who knows you the best and the options and obstacles you face? Who knows the fate of those around you to best determine yours in turn? Who knows the inside and workings of the world? Who knows the time of birth and death for us all?
Only One. He is there constantly, never needing sleep or rest or a breather. He is the One who Knows All, Sees All, Hears All.
So many people run and pay thousands to those who falsely claim to have a seeing eye that knows the future. Yet they forget the one who really does. They push Him to the backs of their minds especially in these times of trouble when critical decisions must be made. "It's not that I don't put my faith in God," they say, "It's just that man has to make decisions using his mind and not his heart." Yet did God not give us hearts to use as well as brains?
In times of depression, anger, fear, uncertainty, pain, loss, we howl at the world. We curse and bemoan our fates. Yet we should be only bemoaning ourselves. When we leave God to embrace the worldly life how sure can we be that He has not left us to fend for ourselves in veiled darkness?
Depression is a cold, miserable, lonely place filled with your worst fears and anxieties. You feel like you're constantly moving in a dense cloud, in a fog. You Can't see reason to live, eat, survive, or love. You feel forsaken and so you in turn tend to forsake the only One who can save you.
Yet those weakest moments in the middle of the night as you lay weeping on the cold floor are what can in turn change your heart, which will then save your mind. Slowly, struggling each movement as if it's your last, you get on your knees. Your palms sweat against the frozen floor as you balance your body to rest your head against the coolness seeking to bring it into your fevered mind.
"Oh God!" you cry out but it only comes as a whisper though it echos in your head. Your heart tightens with fear of rejection from the One you rejected. "Please get me out of this mess. Let me live as others live. Let me not feel the pain and humiliation anymore. Please forgive me for forgetting you, for leaving You. Please bring me back close to You, among those whom You love the most. I rely on You and Only You." Tears begin to well as you raise your cold hands to hold your face in repentance, still crouched over, knowing your lowness in the face of His Highness.
"Only you can guide my life back to right. Please forgive my transgressions and never leave me to myself even for the blink of an eye, for that blink can be my undoing. Only You Know the Straight Path. Only You Know the Way for me to reach You." Your heart beat pounds painfully as it tries to squeeze the sin out. They fall from your eyes, down your cheeks, to your cupped hands cradling your face.
"Please stay closer to me than my hands are to my face." You whisper raggedly feeling your elbows crushing into the hard floor, your feet loosing feeling as you continue.
"Please forgive me and Guide me along the Straight Path." You say once more tears flowing free. Your heart eases, you feel it then...His Power, His Presence. You Know then you were never really alone. All the time He was right there. Pressure lifts from your chest. Your heart pumps smoothly and merrily. You feel cocooned in His Presence ready to emerge a butterfly. Tears fall faster as you feel acceptance and joy indescribable. The veils of madness have cleared and you see the world with new eyes that appreciate the gifts God gives to you. You are humbled. You feel lighter and pure. You carefully wipe your eyes, not too quickly to seem ungrateful for those that were shed. Your back slowly uncurls until you're sitting on your bottom stretching out your legs and taking cleansing breathes deep into your chest and exhaling into the new world full of opportunities for you to undertake. You test the feeling of His Presence and sigh with relief that it wasn't a dream, He is there. You are able to rise now. Rise to a new beginning of Reliance of The Straight Path.

6:24 PM


Wrote: American Muslima Writer |

Sometimes if you've spent a lot of time in the Middle East you start feeling very anti-Jewish. Boycotting Israeli everything, trying to support Palestinian people's hopes. Especially in Lebanon to praise anything Jewish made you seem like a spy. With good reason, years and years of warfare, massacres, and bombings have made Lebanon and the Lebanese wary of anything Jewish. Although there is a VERY small population of Jews in Lebanon they keep, obviously, a low profile. I was shocked to hear relative family members teaching their kids to chant "Down, down Israel! Those Israelis are bad! They are going to the Hellfires!" To my American ears this smacked of brainwashing. But was it? Over in "good ol' USA" how many times do we hear about "Muslim Arab Terrorists"? Brainwashing? I don't know if you can call it that but it is unfair. I spent many a day teaching my Lebanese Relatives that there are good Jewish people out there in the world. Just as there are good and bad Muslim people. Of course many debates led into the realm of Muslim vs non-Muslim but that's another story.
I have known a few Jewish people personally. I didn't know them too closely but they did leave an impact on my life in some small way.
The first Jews I knew were my father's co-worker's family. Some weekends we'd go to their house and I'd spend time with their daughters. The younger one and I really had fun and she seemed an all around pleasant girl, not corrupted by society. There were trademark Jewish symbolism in their house that I looked at carefully and with a touch of respect for their openly religious beliefs. Later a few years went by and our families drifted apart just by lack of communication and the last I heard about them was the father disowned his older daughter for becoming pregnant outside of marriage. This did shock me, I had heard of such things but had never KNOWN anyone who would do something like that, after all they were what I would call decent people. Although I couldn't comprehend why a man who took the time and patience to raise a beautiful lady would suddenly cast her out because she defied her religious beliefs, I DID have respect for the fact that some people have deeply held religious beliefs and it went deeper than blood.
The next time I ran into a Jewish person I was then Muslim, wore hijab, and knew a bit more about the differences between our faiths. I was riding the local Tucson bus at sunset to a Hotel where the Muslim community had gathered to raise money to build a new Masjid in town. I got on and sat down in the middle of the bus and sitting opposite from me was a young black man around my age of 18. He was dressed in a classy suit mostly white, and on top of his head wore the traditional Jewish cap. Our eyes met and then glanced off quickly. We both sat there not quite staring at each other because we were the only traditionally religious people apparent on the bus. I'm sure if a nun had been present there would have been a three way stare. I felt I wanted to start up a religious conversation with this guy and from his furtive glances he did too. Yet we both held back afraid of the same thing... causing a religious public. I saw many of the other passengers looking between us both waiting for something to happen and a silent tension practically hummed through the bus. I saw my stop and pressed the cord button, it chimed and we both stood. We were standing face to face and the temptation to talk grew....
"Salaam," he said smiling.
"Shalom," I replied quickly smiling too. He let me off first and as we stepped off in different directions we were both still smiling. Two simple words conveyed a hope for the future where people could indeed understand the other's beliefs and live in Shalom, in Salaam, in Peace.

The next and last time I ran into anyone Jewish was after I left Lebanon in the summer of 2006, the Israelis had attacked Lebanon and war hit hard. I got to USA really with the fear of Israel in the hearts of my daughter and I. Rockets had hit really close to our summer home and had literally shaken me to my core. Every time jets overflew we flinched waiting for the Boom. Here I was in Tucson, Arizona, USA flinching in my own home. I hated Israel, I even hated Jews right then.
My mom is a crafter and almost every weekend she had shows at various locations around Tucson with the Tucson Arts and Crafts Association. Sometimes they were held at parks or churches or nursing homes, but this weekend I was there they held it at the Jewish Community Center. I had always gone and helped my mom sell and help her put her things on display and help her take the displays down and chat with all her fellow crafting friends. I hadn't seen them for years since I had been in Lebanon and she told me they were all eager to meet me and my daughter. So we went to the car and drove there. As we made a U-turn at the light in front of the JCC I saw the large Menorah decoration and a small shudder went down my back. We parked and I forlornly walked pushing my daughter in her stroller up the black pavement to the main entrance.

It seemed every step made me more uneasy. My beloved husband and in-laws were cowering in fear at that moment across the world in Lebanon and I was stepping on Jewish Territory. I felt like a traitor. We walked in and everywhere was displayed beautiful Jewish made art and decor. Proudly listed names were boldly written telling all their accomplishments but all I wanted to do was scream "My brothers and sisters in Islam are DYING at this moment because of People YOU support!"

Naturally I kept my mouth firmly shut. Few, if any, would understand or sympathise with me. I greeted the crafters with a falsely cheery smile that as time went on relaxed into the real thing. But it was oh so hard. To keep walking. Keep smiling. But I did enjoy the crafts and spending time with my mom.

Now living in UAE where Israel is much further away. I feel more relaxed about it all. I don't like or support the State of Israel existing on Muslim lands but I do know there are good Jews in this world that are trying to reach out and say Salaam instead of Shalom.

7:38 PM

My NEW E-Mail !

Wrote: American Muslima Writer |

For those who have been blurking and never commenting because you wish more privacy or would secretly like to ask me questions I've undertaken the initiative to get another e-mail address besides the private one I've had since I was 13 lol. I never felt comfortable giving out my private address online but a few people have asked for it over the past year on this blog so finally I have the need to use it.

There it is! Simple I know but easy to remember if you want to e-mail me hehehe. Don't forget my "Muslimah" has no H

Thanks and I look forward to getting e-mail from those who wish to.

8:56 AM

The Sculptor

Wrote: American Muslima Writer |

I was laughing and chatting online with my sister-in-law H when she suddenly took me by surprise.
"So what's new in the stories?" she asked. I blanked out a moment while memories rushed to my heart.
I always share my latest pages scribbled about any of the current books I'm writing with this sister. She always listens and gets properly excited about my characters which in turns fuels my writing passion. I haven't been able to write for a very long time now. Her question brought back the hunger. The mad insatiable urge to pick up my sculpting pen and carve out a tale, a tale the likes that have never been told before. My heart wrenched with grief that my pen lay idle.
"Nothing new yet, you know, two kids and all." I weakly laugh trying to rid myself of this burning pain in my heart. I tried to describe to her how much I miss my writing and I know that she knows but does she KNOW MY HEART IS ON FIRE!?!?

Why WHY! am I forsaking my passion? WHY! Sure I have the normal excuses any woman has... 2 kids, a house that needs Arabized cleaning, a big list of to-do. But the sad reality is my writing is no longer even ON the to-do list as it used to be. I really did actually put on a calender before: "Write on *** story". Maybe I don't even know which story to write now if I even wanted to dig out my pen.
It's calling me back to it, the great Sculpting Pen of the ages. Calling me to make my mark on history. Calling me back to my passion of the written word. Calling me back to the days where I'd sit writing a poem and take at least an hour trying to find that elusive perfect word to describe an intense feeling. Calling me back tot the days when I'd manage a good six pages in my latest book while my teacher waxed on about the importance of learning American History. Calling me back to the days when I read for my friends during lunch the latest in my plots.
What agony I am in.
Why do we let our passions fall to the way-side? Why can't we let our sculptors within free? My inner passion has been chained down, tormenting my inner soul with the feelings of being lost without remembering what it was I lost. The distant call of my sister has it all rushing back, and in doing so, has fueled my life back into brilliance.
The soul is happy when following it's passion to the utmost.
I need my soul to be happy again.
It's my torment that I don't know how.
I don't know how to manage the already overwhelming task of taking care of my duties and still have time for the time-consuming task of getting my head back into the writer's mode and my heart to follow the lives of my characters. But if I don't think of a way I'll continue to feel this hollow ache in my chest where my heart is slowly withering.
The beat slows... wash the dishes... slower... vacuum the floors... slower... take out trash...
"So what's new in the stories?"... stutter... ! ... faster... a pen... faster... a blank paper... faster... a story!... Faster... MY STORY! ... BOOM! BOOM! BOOM!
THAT is living !~ Feeling your heart pound blood through your body.

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