Cartoons..

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I am a big fan of a few older cartoon series. I don’t like newly made flashy, noisy and commercialized stories; but, I am an addict to what I used to see in my childhood perhaps from the early 90’s: Camp Candy, Pink Panther, Aladdin, Talespin, Duck Tales, Goofy Bear (a guess on the name), and the more recent ones like Samurai Jack, and Courage the Cowardly Dog etc.

I love my family. I live with the memories of the way all of us used to sit together discussing everything from the blessings of Allah SWT to the funny-school-stories of my younger siblings.

I have very clearer and focused goals in my life. And subhanAllah, in the longterm, none of those are conflicting with the teachings of Islam in anyway.

There are tradeoffs in all the matters of our lives. One has the ability to choose luxury, comfort and peace of mind over struggle, patience, and again struggle for Jannah. Again, there is a definite overlap in these two directions, but still it can be figured out about the lifestyle of a person to be biased to either of the two approaches to life.

Enough hints.. !! Here’s the story:

The other day, I was watching one of my cartoons at my workplace (not secretively, I can justify it :)). This series is from early 90’s and I used to see it in late 90’s. I am not good at memories, but this time (unfortunately), I was able to recall the setting in which I saw the same episode earlier with my sibs.. and that was it then. I was dumbstruck, I paused the thingy and I laid back on the chair. It sounds stupid but I missed for the first time in my life so severly the things I left behind, the things I considered worthless, the times when I gave preference to my goals over the pleasure of enjoying time with family and friends.

I tried to do something big when I was 12 and I left home passionately and childishly for an Army college. It turned out that I was the youngest fellow in the whole college and naturally, it took me 2.5 days to realize that a stupid kid needs a mom around all times. However, it took me another 363.5 days of fear, misery, and nostalgia to get rid of the place. The moment I landed back home, I committed (out of guilt for troubling my family) that I’ll not underestimate the good things I learned there: orderly living, and focused and struggle-oriented life. Although I started by the naive act of keeping my toothbrush in my cupboard but there are somethings I still follow.

Followed by this, to regain my parents’ confidence in my decision power and academic ability, I put in all efforts in my studies and got extremely good grades outclassing nearly all my friends. Then, joined the best college, and then the best school for Computer Science. Over these years, I kept myself extremely busy in my studies.

People goto tours and vacations in summers. In my four years of undergraduate education, I didn’t even once. Although I stayed at home, but for my work/ideas/plans and not for my family/friends. I always wanted to do something, something that might have contributed to my ambitious aims.. err.

By 18, I earned some serious money by doing a freelance project for someone. It took me 2 days to transform that bundle of cash into gifts for my family.

At 20, I started my own (again, very serious) business with a couple of friends. My father was having little troubles in his business, so I thought that I’ll be able to help him by contributing while studying at the same time. My other friends enjoyed things or just engaged themselves in normal stuff, and we used up the whole of this summer to inaugrate the place by August. The details are painstaking and worth a lot then a little mention of 2 lines. In short, since then, I haven’t been as much productive as I was in those months, because nothing at all demanded such efforts.

We failed miserably. I lost focus on my studies, and I could merely survive in the following 1.5 years by completing my studies and opting out of the business. In those 1.5 years, on almost every 2nd day I used to leave home in morning while coming back late night with a bunch of worries just to find everyone sleeping.

When I got rid of this, I realized that it was about time to leave for higher education. So I struggled again 🙂 I am calling this struggle because I had a low gpa, an aim for a good U.S. school, and no backup plans. In one year from then till the day I landed in USA, I sent literally 1000+ emails from convincing professors to resolving issues pertaining to missing GRE reports. Although I spent some quality time with my family in those days, but I was always troubled with this question of “What if I fail?”.. because when all my friends became independent by started earning, I was relying on my father to plan and pay off my expenses of higher education.

And then, I left. I came here. I came here and I became so busy that I couldn’t visit my family since then. Perhaps I ignored it and I am still.. I am not a non-social, non-loving, or any non-SomeGoodWord .. but still, I just couldn’t manage (Alhamdolillah for everyhing though).

I always mess up the conclusions and the same goes for this post. I can’t figure out a way to summarize what I experienced. For sure, it wasn’t a typical flashback. It was different, a rare experience, and perhaps the first time for me.. but Inshallah, I’ll see my people soon in a much happier environment stuffed up with the blessings of Allah SWT ~ameen.

Asalamalaikum.

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my (non-muslim) friends..

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I adore and respect them and I feel really sad for them. Sometimes, I drag my atheist friends into religious discussions just to incite their inquisitiveness hoping that they might go home and search for God perhaps by merely googling for such a thing. I know for sure that Allah SWT’s help would be with them if they’ll just take one step ahead.

The other day, one of my colleagues, a mother of two, mentioned that she believes in a God, hereafter, and a heaven and hell; but, she’s just too busy to think about these things. Then, we started discussing this, and she atleast agreed that she’ll takeout half an hour daily from her schedule to think about just the purpose of this life. Later, I felt like I should have given her a copy of Quran, but I had only one at that time, and I decided to keep it. But I realized that I missed the opportunity.

Anyways, alhamdolillah, I just ordered (with a brother’s financial assistance) a set of ~70 Qurans. I don’t want to miss any other opportunities. Here is the thing. I am sure that if someone would offer me a free copy of bible, I won’t disrespect the book by trashing it.. I’ll read it and I’ll keep it as a reference. It doesn’t hurt for as long as your concept of Tawheed and Aqidah is strong. In the same way, if someone shows interest in Islam, I would love to offer him a copy of Quran right away and I’ll hope that he/she will keep it and skim through it (at least once). That’s the whole idea, so far my count is zero.. but I am hopeful.

Just think about it. How can one be a sincere friend of any non-muslim without inviting him to Islam atleast once? For me, sincerity is not saying a bunch of thanks and paying for a couple of meals.. we all know about the after-life and we all prepare for it.. so if you call someone a *friend*, shouldn’t you be ALWAYS trying to help him to prepare just like you do? i feel this guilt and hence, I advocate my expression.. Allah, the Exalted knows better.

Being thankful

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Today was a special day.

What’s so special? nothing much, I just bought a car!
Where’s the achievement? My first car, Alhamdolillah.

But still, I’ll not remember this day primarily for that. I’ll remember this day forever to remind myself about the absolutely adorable and blessed people I have around me all time.

When I landed in USA, I used to hear stories and suggestions from people that I should stay away from tradational Muslim people and that I must get into friendship circles of white/black/local/native Americans who are going to be more helpful, cooperative and worthy of being around with. I was never comfortable with this idea. I’ve this problem, I am absolute straightforward and natural in my interactions. Now, to be around such people, if I have to change the way I really am, I wouldn’t survive. So, I couldn’t survive!

I am not being racist, but I am trying to make a case here: one should never choose friends to make some worldly use of them and if he or she cannot behave naturally with those friends. Still, I’ve all kind of friends, independent of religion, color, creed or nationality. I love intermingling with people and learn their perspectives about things around us.

But still, with the grace of Allah SWT, out of nowhere, I found some pearls from heaven living around me. To call them *just* friends is equivalent of disgracing them. They are the true brothers and sisters in faith who only know one definition of love i.e. love for the sake of Allah SWT.

When someone does a favor to you, you really want to do something helpful in return later on. But for somethings that people do to you, you just can’t thank them enough. There is just no way to say “I am grateful” and feel good about it. You miss something from the inside, you miss a satisfaction that perhaps you didn’t say enough “thanks” or that you didn’t show enough courtesy. Today, this happened again with me.. and as usual I felt the helplessness at it’s best when I came back after a long day with them to rest in my cute little room.. again all alone.

Anyways, I’ll summarize. From the depth of my heart, I’ll be eternally grateful for each word and every action of this beautiful little family that keeps me hopeful, cherished, and satisfied. If I’ll ever be able to be a part in helping them, I’ll start from giving up the best that I’ll have then. I do and I would forever pray for them with the most sincere good wishes.

What did I learn once more? the fact that if I can’t even thank a couple of fellows, how would it ever be possible for me to thank Allah SWT, besides other things, for giving me more opportunities  to live and ask for repentance? Allah-hu-Akbar!

Asalamalaikum.

p.s. SCW -> SW 🙂

Don’t Be Sad by Aaidh ibn Abdullah al-Qarni

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dontbesad1

Yess.. this book is by all means a pearl of happiness for muslims (both genders)!

I haven’t finished it deliberately.. because the author (may Allah bless him) has induced in the book’s pages such beautiful words that I don’t want to consume all of them at once! The best time for me to open this book is when I am depressed, angry, sad or just feeling isolated.. and guess what I either close this book with a big smile on my face or tears in my eyes for not being enough thankful to Allah Azzawajall – take my challenge, there is no way for a true muslim to read even a single page of this piece of work.. and find nothing that would make him happy and satisfied.

The magic of the book is that it feels like everything that he is talking about is a direct commentary of your life’s circumstances.. and perhaps, this goes with anyone independent of his age, sex, character, and as I came to know, his religion (because the books is very popular among non-muslims too).

I strongly recommend this book to everyone despite of whatsoever he/she thinks about his life’s circumstances. It’s different and trust me, it’s far more thought-provoking that Dan Brown’s cryptic tales and more interesting than all harry potters combined.. the only condition is that you should be absolutely optimistic that reading this book will literally help you in focusing on the righteous perspectives of this little life.

Alhamdolillah, it has around 470 pages, but I haven’t read more than 75-80 pages.. and I feel like it’s already an overwhelming list of advises that definitely changed my perspectives on the way I used to think about things around me!

By the way, I’ve got the Ebook. I’ll be glad to share it with anyone interested. I am desperately looking for (easy) ajar 😉

Asalamalaikum.

“Hate”

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To the best of my knowledge, there is not a single verse in the Holy Quran where Allah SWT may have expressed His “hate” against someone or some group of people, SubhanAllah. In most cases, the way Allah SWT talked about some group of people was by referring to them as doers of some bad deed, e.g. people who disbelieve, the evil-doers etc.

Now here is the dilemma: How can I (or anyone else ) possibly say that “I hate him/them/her”, when even their Creator never stated such a thing? To hate someone means that you feel intense animosity or dislike for him. Now the logic is very naive: you repeat this opinion against someone for a number of times, and you’ll potentially stop advising him! So, I realized that we are not supposed to have such an attitude against anyone living on the face of earth despite of whatsoever they do. We should not say that we hate xxx, rather, we need to find a more pleasing way to express our opinions.

Anyways, I was used to using this word very frequently, but I stopped Alhamdolillah. It’s very simple to stop and I am dead sure that it results in deep positive effects on our personalities.. Allah knows better!