Monday, January 23, 2017

I met a shrub who caught my eye, 
from the dull leafy hedge 
standing out shy; 
on her sprigs a sprinkle 
of small buds, pink
and on them
not a single leaf.

Has she made a timing error,
thinking spring is near;
and is then but a
beautiful mistake?

I don't know..but to me she 
seems to be saying:

in the winter chill,
in you is strength 
to put out flowers still" 


Thursday, January 5, 2017

Muhammads Everywhere

Today at the masjid I overhead a very Muslim conversation:

Man 1: Assalamualaikum..I've forgot your name..
Man 2: it's Muhammad 
Man 1: ah..Muhammad
Man 2: and you..Hussain?
Man 1:'s Muhammad 

I chucked under my breath (the irony, I know..a Muhammad snickering at a conversation between two other Muhammads).

But then the scene brought me to contemplate the legacy of that man named Muhammad (peace be upon him) born over 1400 years ago in the middle of the Arabian desert. 

His legacy: that today in this masjid in a former factory in Manchester there are people from African, Arab, south Asian, south-east Asian, and European origins carrying out the teachings which were revealed to him over a millennium ago.


None of us will live forever in this world. 
Should it not be that that very mortality pushes us to leave something behind after we're gone?
For, after all, a legacy is a sort of immortality.  Innit?

Muhammad (peace be upon him) has long left this world - but Muhammads live on to this very day (and I am quite sure, will do so until the End of days).


In the 3rd verse of Surah Al-Asr, 
Allah describes the characteristics of those people saved from khusr (loss).
One of those characteristics is "...tawassau bilhaq..." - translated often as "...exhort each other to follow truth..."

But (as always), some things are lost in translation: 
The word "tawassau" doesn't merely mean to exhort. 
The Arabic word shares the root letters with the word "wassiyyah" - meaning a will (in Malay: wasiat), that document we leave when we die.

So it is not merely to "exhort" to the truth. It is to do so with the same sincerity and determination that one has when leaving a will knowing s/he is on the verge of death.
(As, actually, we all constantly are - on the verge of death.)

All that being said; you know what..I think tawassau bilhaq is an awesome way to leave a legacy 🤔

(I'm aware that this post is weeks after maulidur rasul. But hey, takkan nak sayang nabi time maulid je eh 😬)

[Picture: the muazzin of Masjid Al-Furqan sunbathing by the window of the mosque on a sunny winter afternoon]