share some thoughts

Friday, November 25, 2005

clean up

Every now and then , the clutter in my room threatens to drive me mad, and then I go on a mission: get rid of some junk!

Problem is, it is difficult for me to throw things away. Each and every thing somehow has a memory attached to it. It is difficult for me to let go. I am somehow a clingy type of person. I cling. And things just clutter and cumulate around me, till I run out of places to put anything I really need. When I do my occasional clean ups, I end up with piles of junk, esp. pieces of paper here and there, that I just do not want to throw away. And I am usually too tired by the end of the clean up to find a place for each and every one. So I end up putting them in boxes. Usually old show boxes do the trick. But time after time, this is repeated, and then I have about dozen boxes sitting around , under my desk, next to my stereo, in my closet and anywhere else that I can stash them. Today I thought I have to clear some. Some stuff really has to go.

Every time I do this, I throw away a lot of things that I really have no idea why I kept in the first place, but I also come across too many memories. A little paper, a ticket stub, a picture, things that carry within them a key to a memory that you have long since forgotten. These, I usually keep around. Depends on the strength of the memory. Here was a small list of some of the stuff I found today:

• The boarding passes to the plane when I went to Turkey a couple of years ago with rim. Why do I still have those? Those I threw away today. I have photos al hamdulillah to keep that memory.

• A letter I had written to A in the year 2002. I read that, and remembered how it had been. Not so great. Why do I have trouble throwing things related to him till this day? The memories are precious while the person no longer is. How come? It was an important part of my life, can't just throw it away. My part of it was genuine and worthwhile. It is not easy to just disregard as if never happened. Maybe real closure never really happened for me yet. The things just simply carry too much of my heart in them. And I still did not throw it away.

• I found this piece of paper, computer print, with a poem written to me on my birthday. It was a very nice piece of poetry, it was signed Hisham Gamal, and dated 5th of March 1997. Seems this person was really nice to me. Now the question is: who in the world was this Hisham Gamal? And why did I keep his piece of paper? I have no idea. Maybe I can check my diary for that time. Phew… whoever he is, his data seem to have been totally wiped out of my brain. Did not throw that away. Not till I remember who he is.

• I found my original Birth certificate! A yellowed battered piece of paper, in an old puzzle box! I have been looking for that! What was it doing there? Note to self: have important papers in that puzzle box. Also several copies of my graduation certificates! Did not throw that away.

• Tons and tons of mobile bills. That company really took a lot of my money. Threw those away.

• A blood test I took a few years ago for hepatitis. After I got hurt once, my mom freaked out because of my line of work, and decided I should test my self. I did though I hate needles. Negative al hamdulillah. That was in the year 1999. should check every year but I can't really. Can't take needles, esp. the ones that draw blood.

Haven't finished my junk cleansing yet. Do not know if I can find a hidden treasure here or there some place. But I really need to get to throw my things away. Or else rent some storage space somewhere 

Monday, November 21, 2005

Do not Forget

During Ramadan, my family and I ( as well as millions of viewers) followed closely the TV program By Amr Khaled : "3ala khota el habib". The program narrated the sira (story) of the prophet Mohamed Peace be upon him beautifully, and from a different angle. Amr Khaled kept on relating it to us, now. It is not just a story to tell, he would say. And he is right of course. His life was not in vain, it was for us. For us to learn the message, and for us to follow. And also for us to maintain.

Over and over, Amr Khaled would urge us all, move, do something, don't just sit there with your hand on your cheek, crying and saying: wow how great. Do something! He would say over and over. I really felt for him, he was getting very frustrated, and was trying to hold on to the hope. He has to . there has to be hope. This is ummat Mohamed PBUH we are talking about, Moslems, Islam.

This is not the way we are supposed to be. This is not what the prophet PBUH fought for I think. The status of the Islamic nation. We need to rise again.

It saddens me to see, that there is not even the sense of belonging to the ummah among a lot of Muslims. I remember talking to a friend, and we were discussing the current issues, and I was saying: the ummah is in a tired state. and she started laughing: helwa ummah de. She actually found it funny the use of the word. That is how far a lot of people are from recognizing what we are.

Most people do not see Islam as part of their identity. They feel their identity comes from belonging to a country, a political party, a profession, or even gender. A lot of people, when asked to describe themselves, would go like this; I am a mother/Egyptian/teacher/friend/worker/activist/feminist/whatever etc etc etc, and rarely does the word Muslim come into the description. If you are a devout Muslim, just that word should describe plenty about you. If we are really As Muslims should be. Not as they are thought of now. Unfortunately, for a lot of people, the word Muslim, gives only the impression of a veil, or praying, not to mention people who view Muslims as barbaric terrorists. I remember a story about when ..someone .. don't remember… went into Andalus, and they recognized the homes of the muslims by the cleansiness of the bathrooms. This is but a small thing, but it is important. We are a million of these little things put together. We are lacking a big part of what we are, that is why there is little sense of the umah's identity.

I remember watching the program, and amr Khaled would keep on asking: are you gonna do something? Plz do something. I remember feeling that we should indeed do something. Something for Islam. Something for our ummah. After all that the Prophet PBUH has done for us, what are we gonna do? Then when I came back from omra, I got caught up in daily life and routine, and did not think much of it anymore.

But I was kind of reminded of my promise. And I am sure a lot of you promised something similar some time or the other. To try to make a difference.
Have a role. If you have forgotten , it is not too late to pick it up again. Sometimes I think: what can I do , really? How can I possibly make a difference?

But I believe, if I really want to , same with anyone, if I really have the will, God will show me a way.

I pray I see the day, where the ummah is strong and proud again. Sami yusuf's new album has a very nice song with that title : My ummah. Very touching lyrics.

There has to be hope, we can not let the prophet PBUH down. Not if we really belong to his ummah.

Sunday, November 20, 2005


Was playing a game today, and in between levels, they give me this tip of the day thing. Usually i just disregard those, or sometimes they can make me smile. today one stopped me, because it struck me as true. And I have done it to others, and it has been done to me. And I thought, maybe I should work on this thing. A lot of the people I know would like me better.. :)

It goes something like this:

"Don't screw up an apology by giving excuses for yourself"

sometimes the reason or excuse for which you do something does of course make the deed more forgivable, but if there is no real excuse, then trying to give explainations is more for your benifit rather than the other person's. It is for your own self esteem, to feel that you are not so bad. Sometimes it is impotant to ackowledge that we are not angels, and that we can sometimes make mistakes, pure and simple. Then, maybe we can avoid making the same mistake again and again. And If you do apologize, mean it. Don't just say it to get it over with.

Sometimes i get an apology for someting, and the same thing gets repeated over and over, and then my question is: were you really sorry? did you even listen to me when i told you i was upset?

I remember once, there was this incident with someone, where I got really upset. And I could not let it go. The reaction of the other person was as follows:

first reaction was: Ignore it, it will pass.
Second reaction (when a day passed and i was still upset): anger, it is not your place to be upset!
third reaction: (when another day has passed and i am still upset: "I Don't understand why you are so upset"

Fourth reaction:

after a third day of being upset, and a verbal storm on my side, letting all of my anger out, and in a lot of aggressive words too.: "Ok, i am sorry. See how understanding i am. I am taking all of your shouting, because i know you have the right to be upset. I will make it up to you. How about I take you out to lunch to your favorite place?" after which: Are you ok now? Of course i was, and the episode ended there.

Some time later; for some reason it came up, and quite coolly and simply, I got this:
Of course i did not feel you were entitled to be upset. i don't think I was wrong, but i just wanted to get it over with, so we can have a good time!

And just like that, the apology was as good as taken back. and the lunch was wasted. because the point is... if something upset me so much, then acknowledge that you might be wrong, and don't take me 3ala add 3akly we khalas!

And if you do that one day, for the sake of keeping the peace, don't insult me, by telling me so later. What upset me was, this was one of the rare times that I got an apology from that person. And that was why I liked it, and for it , let the issue go. But if you just use it we khalas, and don;t mean it, then words are cheap, which is something I just read on Loulou's post on forgiveness. But not all words are cheap...An Honest person's word is worth the world... a dishonest person's word is not worth the breath with which it was said.

Monday, November 14, 2005

I sure will miss you Rim

Rim is travelling to the States tomorrow. She is getting married there, Rabbena yebareklaha ya Rab. And of course she will live there. So i am happy for her, yet I am gonna miss her. The states, not as close as i would like. I don't know why my friends are scatterring all over the world like this! nana is in Canada,Rim is going to the states, 3 of my best friends are in Saudi.gheir my cousins in the states, dubai,London, bahrein, and kuwait. Well we have to admit, el hamdulillah for the Internet. it keeps things connected shewayya.

I remember when i first met her 6 years ago, in a ramadan fitar. she was introduced to me as Rima. that was her nickname, but for some reason i thought that was her real name. and i have her till this day on my phone by that name. when someone would call her Rim, i would think that that is the nickname, not the other way around!

till a couple of years ago, when we were travelling to Turkey together, and i took her passport to give to the travel company, and voila; her name is Rim! I told my parents: hey her name is Rim! and they told me: you are travelling abroad with her, do you really know her at all???

ghariba kanet giddan. I knew her very well tab3an, and we were good friends, and we had travelled together before, but in Egypt, just nothing formal came up for me to see her ID!

anyway, she is leaving tomorrow. I was with her yesterday and we were shopping for some stuff. and i realized this is probably the last i see of her for some time. odd feeling. All her details were highlighted for me all of a sudden. to keep in memory. felt bad that these last few months we were both busy or preoccupied, so we did not spend much time together. time steals our life away, and we don't even know it.

back at her house, i wanted to stay with her some more, but i wanted her to spend some quality time with her mom, plus to rest a bit. So i left and hugged her tight and told her to come back soon!

I really feel for her mom. She is trying to be strong of course, but God knows how she really feels. She cried a bit on Thursday in her henna when she thought no one was looking. Elel and I promised each other that we will not leave her, and would visit her often. hope it does some good.

an only daughter, tough to part with. she has another son, but forgive me, i don't think it is just the same. a daughter is also a friend and companion. I am glad she works, so she can have something to keep her busy. ISA God will help her out.

to you Rima, hope you have a great life ISA, and I do hope you come back often to visit. And we are gonna miss you.

Estawda3tek Allah allazy la tadee3 3endaho el wada2e3

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

After Omra

just came back on the first day of eid from omra. al hamdulillah for it. did not know if i should talk about it, but it was really great. It is definitely worth sharing.

when i came back alot of people told me: it was so crowded. how could you enjoy anything in so much crowd? it is too tiring to enjoy.

yes it was very crowded. VERY CROWDED. but that was ok. everyone was there for one reason. all had the same thing on their mind, and it collectively becomes more contagous. the more the people, the happier I am. of course considering i have somewhere to pray. I am happy that so many people are there worshipping God. so many people are eager to pray. I hope God has Forgiven them all. and the rest of the umma ya rab.

everyone tries to gain credit. to increase their good deeds. i am not saying there are no exceptions, some people make mistakes of course, but collectively, all are racing to do better.

beginning from the time of iftar, where the people offering each other food could be as many as those taking food, to a smile in the face of your moslem brothers and sisters.

i rememeber the last night in haram. it was 3 am in the eve of eid. there was no tahajjud that night or tarawee7. the crowd was relatively less, and I finally had some time and space to sit close to the ka3ba. i filled a cup of zamzam, and offered a cup to a woman there who was crying. i started walking out. i had a bottle with me, which i wanted to fill to take with me home. i sat by the water barrels to fill it. the nozzle that let let out the water had no space beneath it for the bottle. i realized i can not fill it here. i was just thinking it, when this man just came up, picked up the whole barrel (which is quite heavy) and held it higher than its stand so that i can fill my bottle. he had just seen me and decided to come over and help. he filled it for me, without a word or look and went on his way again.

I said subhan Allah. really He is Al Shakoor. When you do something good for someone, He repays you quickly, and always more than you had given. I had given something trivial, a cup of water. i just handed it over, it wasn't even my water to begin with. and God rewarded me with someone to help me fill a whole bottle. I felt it then, of course because of the place and time, I am paying attention to God. and i realized, that this rule does not only apply in mecca or Ramadan. this is the rule with God. He is Al Shakoor. No good thing you do will go unrewarded. God is not only fair, He is very Generous. Gives you better than you Give, and forgives alot of the bad. trade with God is the best that you can do. Tigara la taboor. He will never be unfair to you. never go back on His word. And will always be The Generous that will give you more than you diserve. If we just follow his path. Do good to others, God will Send you someone to good to you. Help someone out. God will help you out. it is a done deal. hal gazaa' el ihsan illa al ihsan?