The Enlightened City, Al Madinatul Munawwarah

Ramadan is starting this evening, and I feel so seriously under-prepared! But I have faith it’s going to be okay, Insha Allah!

So we returned from a short Umrah trip just a couple of days back. This is a video comprising of the pics I was able to take there (remember, with kids and hajj-like rush, it wasn’t always possible). The song is a beautiful one about Madina by Dawud Wharnsby Ali.

Hope you enjoy the video!

X

Ramadan Mubarak to all!

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Mom, you’re the number one for me. (Video will make you cry. Honest.)

PLEASE watch this! The video will make you cry and you’ll see why I’m so crazy about this song. Seriously, watch it. It’s a great song! Maher Zain! Go, buddy!

 

Hope you enjoyed the video. I am still not studying. Any tips? 😛

Memories.

Note: Exhaustive post. The topic is Mom. Enough said.

So… it’s been two years since Mom left us. I’ve written a few articles about her over the years…

This when I visited the house first time after she was gone: Eight months later (My blog)

This when she passed away: Paradise at her feet (Gulf News)

This when she started keeping unwell: Her smile is sufficient (Gulf News)

This about the difficult but rewarding journey of motherhood: Mothers are like no other (Gulf News)

And finally this, which was published in Dawn Review http://archives.dawn.com/archives/69096, written before she passed away but published after she had moved on:

Dear Mom,
I don’t know how to start this; I don’t know where to start this — there is so much to say. Should I begin by telling you how much I love you, or should I ask how you are? Or should I simply say thank you for everything you did? Somehow, it all seems so perfunctory, so inadequate.I remember your hands as they patted my face, I remember the scent of your loving embrace, I remember the tinkle of gold bangles on your wrist, and I remember your lustrous black hair as it hung low on your back. Did I ever tell you I wanted to be just like you? I want to cry in relief when your hands caress my hair even now as you lie on your bed, so fragile, so childlike, so incredibly, heart-wrenchingly beautiful.Mom, I remember how you dressed me up when I was little, and I remember how you glowed with pride when people said I looked nice. I remember how you slaved away in the kitchen producing one culinary masterpiece after another. Did I ever appreciate your efforts enough? Mom, you’re a winner all the way. I never quite understood your expertise until I had to cook myself.Mom, I remember the look on your face when you held my daughter in your arms for the first time — that smile of pure delight that played on your lips, and your insistence on giving the baby a bath. Mom, why didn’t I hug you just then?

Mom, I remember telling you about a few of my problems. You told me to grow up, and that they weren’t big issues. You probably don’t know this, but I heard you crying your heart out on the prayer-mat later that night. You then asked me repeatedly if the issues had sorted out, nonchalantly though. They did, Mom, because you prayed for me.Mom, I remember the time you didn’t allow me to go to a party and I didn’t speak to you for two whole days. Later, you took me out and we made up. But why didn’t I tell you that my friends told me the party had been a disaster, because it had been raining that day, and no one was able to reach on time? Your maternal instincts were right, yet again.Mom, I remember how you saw through my fake headaches and tummy aches when I wanted to skip school. But you played along and never told anyone. Then one day, your voice deadpan, you only said, “Stop lying, that is enough.” And I did.Mom, I am back here, living my life as though it were a blur. Each day passes with relentless monotony and I worry about you incessantly. They tell me you are not keeping good health. Why am I not there Mom? One fine day, I suddenly zipped out of your life when you needed me so much. Why did I waste the moments when you were well, and I was with you? Why did I demand so much from you?

Mom, just a few months days back, I remember how I sat by your bed and you were so cold that your beautiful hands were like blocks of ice. I took the sweater off my back and made you wear it. You didn’t take it off the entire day. You loved the old sweater because I had given it to you, although your wardrobe had many better, newer woollies. Mom, why didn’t I give you more gifts? You said the tasteless soup I had made for you was nice, and you had it not once, but twice. Why wasn’t I able to make you eat more often?

Mom, why is it that life makes the best people suffer? Does God hear me when I pray for you to get well? You told me He always listens, and that we must submit to the will of God. Is this the will of God, or is it just the fact that we didn’t take enough care of you? My heart is full of questions. Do you remember how inquisitive I was as a child? I once asked you if God could touch the ceiling, and if He was taller than Dad. I still remember your response, “He is everywhere, even in your heart.”

The lingering, bittersweet memories of you fill my days and nights. Mom, I wish I could hold your hands again, and hug you, and I wish you had the strength to hug me back. I love you Mom, I always have. And I’m sorry I just didn’t say it enough, with words or actions. There’s no one in the world like you.

Yours’ always…

And last but not least a song, dedicated to her. I miss her a lot. I liked the song, sang it and recorded on my cell and made a video comprising only of sunsets in my photo collection. Sunsets because her name was “Mehr-unnissa” which literally means “The sun amongst the women”, which has now set. Video and recording very unprofessional but it doesn’t matter.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T2jz9CNFae8

Need to spread my soul and fly….

Hope you all have been doing well. I can sense along blog post brewing inside me – but I’m too caught up to write. (don’t ask!)

But anyway, here’s a nasheed I’m kinda addicted to. Zain Bhikha’s good ain’t he?!

Lyrics (from ZainBhikha.com)

Better Day — By Zain Bhikha

You told me, I can never be anything
But I’ll show you, there’s nothing that I cannot be
If I put my trust in Him

Chorus
Gonna find my own voice yeah,
I’m gonna make my own way
He’s the only reason
I’m gonna find a Better Day
In between all the noises
Underneath all the pain
He’s the only reason, I’m gonna find a Better Day

You left me, with no return in sight
A hollow scream in the middle of the night
So wont you please, let go of me inside
I need to spread my soul and fly

Chorus

I’m gonna try right now, find the strength somehow
It aint easy for me, oh you broke me down
But I don’t hate you at all, there’s still love in my heart
Oh the reason we fall, is to rise

Chorus

Why bad days and PMS happen – seriously!

You might not believe me, but I’ve just made this massive scientific discovery. I have discovered the reason for that dreadful thing called PMS. Someone once said it was called PMS because Mad Cow Disease was already taken – but that’s beside the point, lol.

But before I give you the goods on that, I need you to follow a story. I, like many others, was having a bad day. Bad would be a bit of an understatement really. After getting into a needless row with the better half, I had been dwelling over lots of stuff I had best not explore on the www. And of course good old PMS was around too.

Since I couldn’t pray anyway, I decided to watch a romantic Hollywood comedy, called a friend, ate some comfort food and tried to feel good – good about everything rotten that had happened during the day. I tried and tried to bring myself out of the doldrums but it didn’t work. You know what did? Same thing that works every time. Getting back to Allah. So: (clears throat) my discovery says Allah gave us PMS so that we remember him during menstruation when we can’t pray salah! Granted PMS doesn’t last forever, but if you do screw up during it, you’ll probably need to remember Allah pretty desperately over the next few days!

And every real comfort or satisfaction comes only from Allah, and remembering Him and loving Him and His beloved (SallAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam). Any happiness that takes you away from Allah is actually a bad thing and any challenges that bring you close to Him are in fact a blessing. And I say this with a faith I hope Allah would like.