Monday, August 31, 2009

...and so I stood up on my feet, dusted my clothes off, fixed my scarf and looked over my shoulder one last time before I faced forward and started to walk. The past years rushed through my mind as I remembered many things. Nothing is what it seemed and life naturally changes. "This isn't for me anymore" is what came to my mind as I ventured towards the glowing light, leaving the landscape behind me. Mahaba opened it's arms for me as I walked towards it...this is my heart's home. -mn-



My heavy heart beats incessantly for Him,
My eyes search for glimpses,
My words only want to call His name…
My love is unconditional…for my forever companion,
My Lord.
Some may think of me as mad,
And I couldn’t agree more,
For what lover is sane?
Didn’t Majnun find Laila in the solitude of the desert? ©
-MaryamNoori-

Friday, August 28, 2009

Selfishness

“What a cage is to the wild beast, law is to the selfish man”-Herbert Spencer



“Do your duty, to the best of your abilities, for the Lord without any selfish motive, and remember God at all times - before starting a work, at the completion of a task, and while inactive.”-Bhavagad Gita
“Love is always patient and kind; it is never jealous, love is never boastful or conceited; it is never rude or selfish; it does not take offense, and is not resentful. Love takes no pleasure in other people’s sins but delights in the truth; it is always ready to excuse, to trust, to hope, and to endure whatever comes. Love does not come to an end.”-Bible
“Wisdom ceases to be wisdom when it becomes too proud to weep, too grave to laugh, and too selfish to seek other than itself.” - Kahlil Gibran

Insensitivity

“All life demands struggle. Those who have everything given to them become lazy, selfish, and insensitive to the real values of life. The very striving and hard work that we so constantly try to avoid is the major building block in the person we are today.”
-Ralph Ransom

Do not confuse peace of mind with spaced-out insensitivity. A truly peaceful mind is very sensitive, very aware.”- Tenzin Gyatso

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Blessed Mustafa

Ya RasulAllah, Ya HabibAllah

Blessed are you O Mustafa
The chosen one, the beloved of Allah
Blessed are you O HabibAllah
Seal of prophets, the shining star
Ya RasulAllah, Ya HabibAllah

Blessed are you O rose of nature, the glorious symbol of the Creator
Blessed are you O highest of the high, the brightest star of prophecy's sky
Blessed are you O best of prophets, the most kind and the last of prophets
Blessed is our Prophet's perfection, which bore Divine unity's reflection

Blessed is your source of knowledge divine, outstanding and last in the prophets' line
Blessed are you O embodiment of grace, birds of heaven sing his praise
Blessed is the sovereign of paradise, compassionate, merciful, loving and wise
Blessed is the moment of your birth, when endless glory spread the earth

Blessed are you O privileged one, who divided the moon and called back the sun
Blessed are you who stood in God's light, when Moses fainted at first sight
Blessed are your feet and the way the Qur'an swore by whose pathway
Blessed are you who merged in God's light, and establish the rule of right over might

Blessed is your ore and dignity, best in piety and humility
Blessed is your beaming complexion, which gives onlookers a satisfaction
Blessed is your rare gift of eloquence, which wins the heart of your audience
Blessed is your look so affectionate, caring, kind and compassionate

Blessed are your shoulders dignified, in whom dignity itself took pride
Blessed are your ways immaculate, in every sense pious and great
Blessed are you who went to pray, in a cave alone by night and day
Blessed is your mission of Islam, replacing violence with peace and calm

Ya RasulAllah, Ya HabibAllah, Ya NabiAllah...


*this is a song that Aashiq-al-Rasul sang

Wednesday, August 26, 2009




Subhan'Allah..one of my favorite clips...always brings tears to my eyes...My lil bro Amir asked me to tell him the story again and I played this for him after I told him the story...the amount of khushuh on this 9 year old's face, made my heart tremble...He wore a smile the size of the moon and his eyes started watering when I was explaining the story...can't get better!

This photo I found online captures peace for me perfectly...To sit under the Moon and stars and Remember the beloved Creator and His Messenger, saaws...I can't describe how much I love the night sky, anyone that knows me, knows this. Notice the cat in the picture by the bench? :(
reminds me of my Pesho...
The life of the heart is knowledge; so preserve it,
The death of the heart is ignorance; so avoid it.

Your best provision is true devotion; so provide it.
This advice of mine is enough for you; so heed it.

–Imam Al Ghazali
May God steal from you
All that steals you from Him.

Let me hide in You
From everything that distracts me from You,
From everything that comes in my way
When I want to run to You.
- Rabi’a al-Adawiyya -
It is wrong to think that love comes from long companionship and persevering courtship.
Love is the offspring of spiritual affinity and unless that affinity is created in a moment,
it will not be created for years or even generations.

Kahlil Gibran
Love is the first ingredient in the relief of suffering.
-Padre Pio
Tenderness and kindness are not signs of weakness and despair,
but manifestations of strength and resolution.
- Kahlil Gibran

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

I lift my weapon and cock it back,
waiting for the right moment to hit...
I've got all the time in the world to think...
My barrel is loaded...with ink...
My pen is about to explode...
Here goes....
-mn-
The wind of anger blows out the lamp of intelligence
-unknown

Monday, August 24, 2009


"The movement which is the existence of the universe is the movement of love."

Ibn 'Arabi, Fusûs al-Hikam
"Watch your thoughts, they become words.
Watch your words, they become actions.
Watch your actions, they become habits.
Watch your habits, they become character.
Watch your character, for it becomes... your destiny."
-unknown

Friday, August 21, 2009

Seerah

Asalaamualaikum and Ramadan Mubarak,
I pray that everyone's prayers and fasts are accepted insh'Allah and that you are given more than you ask for! Let's not take this month for granted and all the blessings that are given to us...I could delve deep into this topic, but I will spare anyone reading :)

We must maintain and increase in our Dhikr, Salah, Qur'an reading, etc. They are all intertwined and they all are a remembrance of our beloved Creator, swt.

One thing many people forget to remember, is the importance of reading the seerah of the Nabi, saaws. It is the biography (life story) of the Prophet Muhammad, (peace and blessings of Allah be upon Him and His family and companions).

I know some people who guffaw at the thought of reading the book, because they read it before. Now, the problem is, that most of us don't remember everything we read in a book, no matter how long ago or how recently it was read.

I remember listening to a lecture by Hamza Yusuf on the importance of reading it atleast once a year. It's such an important point! Truly, the Seerah helps us maintain our love for our Creator and for the Beloved Prophet and His family (saawas), companions (ra) and ummah--let alone all of Humanity.

Whether we are just learning basic fundamentals about Islam or have been raised w/ knowledge of it, we do not know as much as we should. The book helps us to gain humility and to really get to know the beloved Prophet better (pbuh).

A point I always hear being made by many scholars, which is the simplest to understand, is if we love someone, we learn as much as we can about that person. Nowadays, we know so much about celebrities, historic figures, someone we know/ have feelings for, etc. We know about their lives, their likes, dislikes, favorite foods, the way they dress, relationships, etc.--how come we don' t do the same towards the beloved Prophet(saawas)?

Reflect on that if you haven't already and I hope that we all read the Seerah this month, insh'Allah. The life and character of the beloved Prophet pbuh is the essence of our faith, the core of the Qur'an and the example of how we should be as individuals, both outwardly and inwardly.

While reading the Seerah the first time, I remember strangers coming up to me and pointing out the book and mentioning what a great book it is. Most of the people that read it were non-muslims...that should really hit ya...

May this month emit the light of our beloved Creator and may we live in the reflection of the Prophet, pbuh! Ameen!

Asalaamualaikum,
Maryam

The Inner Dimensions of Fasting - Imam Abu Hamid al-Ghazali

Three Grades
It should be known that there are three grades of fasting: ordinary, special and extra-special.


Ordinary fasting means abstaining from food, drink and sexual satisfaction.
Special Fasting means keeping one’s ears, eyes, tongue, hands and feet - and all other organs - free from sin.


Extra-special Fasting means fasting of the heart from unworthy concerns and worldly thoughts, in total disregard of everything but God, Great and Glorious is He. This kind of Fast is broken by thinking of worldly matters, except for those conducive to religious ends, since these constitute provision for the Hereafter and are not of this lower world.

Those versed in the spiritual life of the heart have even said that a sin is recorded against one who concerns himself all day with arrangements for breaking his Fast. Such anxiety stems from lack of trust in the bounty of God, Great and Glorious is He, and from lack of certain faith in His promised sustenance.

To this third degree belong the Prophets, the true awliya and the intimates of God. It does not lend itself to detailed examination in words, as its true nature is better revealed in action. It consists in utmost dedication to God, Great and Glorious is He, to the neglect of everything other than God, Exalted is He. It is bound up with the significance of His words: ‘Say: “Allah (sent it down)”: then leave them to play in their vain discussions.’ [al-An'am, 6:91]

Inward Requirements
As for Special Fasting, this is the kind practiced by the righteous. It means keeping all one’s organs free from sin and six things are required for its accomplishment.


See Not What Displeases God
A chaste regard, restrained from viewing anything that is blameworthy or reprehensible, or that distracts the heart and diverts it from the remembrance of God, Great and Glorious is He. Said the Prophet, on him be peace: ‘The furtive glance is one of the poisoned arrows of Satan, on him be God’s curse. Whoever forsakes it for fear of God will receive from Him, Great and Glorious is He, a faith the sweetness of which he will find within his heart.’


Jabir relates from Anas that God’s Messenger, on him be peace, said: ‘Five things break a man’s Fast: lying, backbiting, gossiping, perjury and a lustful gaze.’

Speak Not…
Guarding one’s tongue from idle chatter, lying, gossiping, obscenity, rudeness, arguing and controversy; making it observe silence and occupying it with remembrance of God, Great and Glorious is He, and with recitation of Quran. This is the fasting of the tongue. Said Sufyan: ‘Backbiting annuls the Fast.’ Layth quotes Mujahid as saying: ‘Two habits annul Fasting: backbiting and telling lies.’

The Prophet, on him be peace, said: ‘Fasting is a shield; so when one of you is Fasting he should not use foul or foolish talk. If someone attacks him or insults him, let him say: “I am Fasting, I am Fasting!”‘

According to Tradition: ‘Two women were Fasting during the time of God’s Messenger, on him be peace. They were so fatigued towards the end of the day, from hunger and thirst, that they were on the verge of collapsing. They therefore sent a message to God’s Messenger, on him be peace, requesting permission to break their Fast. In response, the Prophet, on him be peace, sent them a bowl and said: “Tell them to vomit into it what they have eaten.” One of them vomited and half filled the bowl with fresh blood and tender meat, while the other brought up the same so that they filled it between them. The onlookers were astonished. Then the Prophet, on him be peace, said: “These two women have been Fasting from what God made lawful to them, and have broken their Fast on what God, Exalted is He, made unlawful to them. They sat together and indulged in backbiting, and here is the flesh of the people they maligned!”‘

Hear Not…
Closing one’s ears to everything reprehensible; for everything unlawful to utter is likewise unlawful to listen to. That is why God, Great and Glorious is He, equated the eavesdropper with the profiteer, in His words, Exalted is He: ‘Listeners to falsehood, consumers of illicit gain.’ [al- Ma'idah, 5:42]

God, Great and Glorious is He, also said: ‘Why do their rabbis and priests not forbid them to utter sin and consume unlawful profit?’ [al-Ma'idah, 5:63]

Silence in the face of backbiting is therefore unlawful. God, Exalted is He, said: ‘You are then just like them.’ [al-Nisa, 4:140] That is why the Prophet, on him be peace, said: ‘The backbiter and his listener are copartners in sin.’

Do Not…
Keeping all other limbs and organs away from sin: the hands and feet from reprehensible deeds, and the stomach from questionable food at the time for breaking Fast. It is meaningless to Fast — to abstain from lawful food - only to break one’s Fast on what is unlawful. A man who Fast like this may be compared to one who builds a castle but demolishes a city. Lawful food injurious in quantity not in quality, so Fasting is to reduce the former. A person might well give up excessive use of medicine, from fear of ill effects, but he would be a fool to switch to taking poison. The unlawful is a poison deadly to religion, while the lawful is a medicine, beneficial in small doses but harmful in excess. The object of Fasting is to induce moderation. Said the Prophet, on him be peace: ‘How many of those who Fast get nothing from it but hunger and thirst!’ This has been taken to mean those who break their Fast on unlawful food. Some say it refers to those who abstain from lawful food, but break their Fast on human flesh through backbiting, which is unlawful. Others consider it an allusion to those who do not guard their organs from sin.

Avoid Overeating
Not to over-indulge in lawful food at the time of breaking Fast, to the point of stuffing one’s belly. There is no receptacle more odious to God, Great and Glorious is He, than a belly stuffed full with lawful food. Of what use is the Fast as a means of conquering God’s enemy and abating appetite, if at the time of breaking it one not only makes up for all one has missed during the daytime, but perhaps also indulges in a variety of extra foods? It has even become the custom to stock up for Ramadan with all kinds of foodstuffs, so that more is consumed during that time than in the course of several other months put together. It is well known that the object of Fasting is to experience hunger and to check desire, in order to reinforce the soul in piety. If the stomach is starved from early morning till evening, so that its appetite is aroused and its craving intensified, and it is then offered delicacies and allowed to eat its fill, its taste for pleasure is increased and its force exaggerated; passions are activated which would have lain dormant under normal conditions.
The spirit and secret nature of Fasting is to weaken the forces which are Satan’s means of leading us back to evil. It is therefore essential to cut down one’s intake to what one would consume on a normal night, when not Fasting. No benefit is derived from the Fast if one consumes as much as one would usually take during the day and night combined. Moreover, one of the properties consists in taking little sleep during the daytime, so that one feels the hunger and thirst and becomes conscious of the weakening of one’s powers, with the consequent purification of the heart.
One should let a certain degree of weakness carry over into the night, making it easier to perform the (tahajjud) and to recite the praises (awrad). It may then be that Satan will not hover around one’s heart, and that one will behold the Kingdom of Heaven. The Night of Destiny represents the night on which something of this Kingdom is revealed. This is what is meant by the words of God, Exalted is He:’We surely revealed it on the Night of Power.’ [al-Qadr, 97:1]
Anyone who puts a bag of food between his heart and his breast becomes blind to this revelation. Nor is keeping the stomach empty sufficient to remove the veil, unless one also empties the mind of everything but God, Great and Glorious is He. That is the entire matter, and the starting point of it all is cutting down on food.

Look To God With Fear And Hope
After the Fast has been broken, the heart should swing like a pendulum between fear and hope. For one does not know if one’s Fast will be accepted, so that one will find favor with God, or whether it will be rejected, leaving one among those He abhors. This is how one should be at the end of any act of worship one performs.
It is related of al-Hasan ibn Abil Hasan al-Basri that he once passed by a group of people who were laughing merrily. He said: ‘God, Great and Glorious is He, has made the month of Ramadan a racecourse, on which His creatures compete in His worship. Some have come in first and won, while others have lagged behind and lost. It is absolutely amazing to find anybody laughing and playing about on the day when success attends the victors, and failure the wasters. By God, if the veil were lifted off, the doer of good would surely be preoccupied with his good works and the evildoer with his evil deeds.’ In too full of joy to indulge in idle sport, while for one who has suffered rejection laughter will be precluded by remorse.


Of al-Ahnaf ibn Qays it is reported that he was once told: ‘You are an aged elder; Fasting would enfeeble you.’ But he replied: ‘By this I am making ready for a long journey, Obedience to God, Glorified is He, is easier to endure than His punishment.’

Such are the inwardly significant meanings of Fasting.

**one of my favorite articles to read, thanks for those who also e-mailed it to me as a reminder this Ramadan**

Random observation...

(what I was looking at, so much more beautiful in person)

Leaves on the tree, tremble,
different shades of lemon-yellow...
Spiders weave their glorious wonders,
creating masterpieces of art...
Bush-leaves scattered everywhere,
swimming in the breeze,
My eyes are dancing around, searching,
taking in this mere tease,
In the moonlight I sit,
under the stars,
awe-struck by my Creator's design,
To me, it's a whirlwind of Creation--to others,
an empty parking lot.
-MN-

Al-Ghazali

"In God, there is no sorrow or suffering or affliction. If you want to be free of all affliction and suffering, hold fast to God, and turn wholly to Him, and to no one else. Indeed, all your suffering comes from this: that you do not turn toward God and no one else.”
“The happiness of the drop is to die in the river.” - Al-Ghazali

Subhan'Allah...I love this quote....
I want a heart which is split, chamber by chamber, by the pain of separation from God, so that I might explain my longings and desires to it. - Rumi
"Better to avoid the poison altogether than to heal from the damage it causes"

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Drops of blessings kiss my face
as love-drops compete in life's unstoppable race,
pools of joy immersed in the earth,
it's beauty is what gives my eyesight worth...
to hear it's melody as it pours,
is what causes my spirit to dance and ask for more,
its essence is what gives life drink
and causes me to admire and think
about how my Lord helps ease my pain,
just by sending me the beloved rain...(c)
-MaryamN-

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

I have fallen into a drunken state,
a trance, fixed only upon you...
I have been thrown into your sea,
I don't want to take a breath,
for I want to drown in Your love...
Breathing is for those who can't swim
in your mercy...
Inhaling,
I wait....
Ya Allah,
take me into your ocean of Love...(c)
-Maryam.Noori-

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Where are you going?
Ask yourself what direction you are headed in…
Reflect on whether you have lived yet or not…
Have you dipped your feet in love’s river?
Swayed to the rhythm the trees dance to?
Ever jumped through hope’s clouds?
Swam through oceans of enlightenment?
Ran across a field of dreams?
Drowned in divine verses?
Have you listened to birds debate?
When’s the last time you saw the rain shower its beauty on the earth?
Answer me as to when your eyes gave the sun company as it set amongst the horizon…
The flowers complain that you have not even looked in their direction…
They want to share life’s secrets with you…
What did the sky look like last night? How many stars glowed without you noticing?
The path that longs for you is waiting…
Reflect on whether you have lived yet or not..
Ask yourself what direction you are headed in…
Where are you going?...(c)
-MaryamN-

Sunday, August 2, 2009

The Shape of My Tongue - Rumi

This mirror inside me shows . . .
I can’t say what, but I can’t not know!

I run from body. I run from spirit.
I do not belong anywhere.

I’m not alive!
You smell the decay?

You talk about my craziness.
Listen rather to the honed-blade sanity I say.

This gourd head on top of a dervish robe,
do I look like someone you know?

This dipper gourd full of liquid,
upsidedown and not spilling a drop!

Or if it spills, it drops into God
and rounds into pearls.

I form a cloud over that ocean
and gather spillings.

When Shams is here,
I rain.

After a day or two, lilies sprout,
the shape of my tongue.