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Unbranded and home on the range.

The Lion and the Fox

One of my mother’s dinnerside stories:

Once there was a poor villager, and he could find no work in his village and he was growing increasingly desperate. Day after day, he could happen upon nothing to do that would earn him any decent income. Eventually, he decided to go off to the city, sure that he would find some work there amidst the hustle and bustle on the city streets.

On the way there he was passing through a forest when he came upon a fox that was resting near a tree, but something appeared wrong. Upon closer observation he saw that the fox was crippled due to some injury on her hind legs. But she seemed to be in good health otherwise – not emaciated or suffering from any lack of nourishment. He further saw that the injury seemed quite old but she was clearly still suffering from its effects. He began to wonder how the fox stayed alive, healthy, and managed to find something to eat if she was so crippled. He decided to hide behind a tree to observe, and so intending he settled down behind a large tree and observed intently.

Not long after the foliage and underbrush began to stir as if something heavy was lumbering on through and soon a lion came into view, dragging the fresh carcass of a goat between its jaws. It settled down in a clearing in the forest and began to enjoy its lunch. When it had eaten its fill, it arose while licking its lips and paws and then sauntered off, leaving the remains out in the open.

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Filed under: Cradle, Leadership

Cradle

Cradle is a new category I decided to create, taking after the famous adage: “The hand that rocks the cradle is the hand that rules the world.”

It is a tribute to my mother firstly and foremostly, and then to my aunts and my grandmother – all of whom have rocked my cradle. They are the waters that have sustained the oak, the Northern Stars that shone down in the black of the night, the winds that have channeled the hurricane, indeed they have been the massive tectonic plates that have firmly anchored the mountain.

Not often has it been found that I have given any deep thought to the fact that no matter what I do, I cannot find anything that would repay my mother for even the first scream she took …

… may Allaah ta3ala grant her Jannatul Firdaus, ameen.

Filed under: Cradle

Unwavering Trust

Imagine a kid, a young boy.

Standing there with his father behind his back, he feels safe and secure; he has his father’s arms at his neck and shoulders. They’re watching something … anything … it could be watching the sunset, watching the effects of a rainstorm, watching a car accident, watching some construction crew working with machinery, whatever. The kid feels safe and secure knowing that his father will protect him from the crazy world, knowing that his father will not abandon him, knowing that his father will explain anything confusing to him … and so the kid has either a contented smile or an inquisitive look, on his face the whole time … and anytime he sees something he doesn’t understand, he immediately relies and trusts his father to explain it to him.

The kid has absolute, unwavering confidence that his father knows everything, that his father is the perfect source for all the answers … that is the way the kid thinks, with that big smile on his face, and those starry eyes, and all those dreams in his head.

And in this picture, if I am the kid, then the arms around my shoulders, the hand that is over my head protecting me wherever I go, the entity that I rely on if anything seems confusing … is none other than Allaah.

He is closer to me than my own jugular vein, He is more nearer to me than my own heart, or even than my own blood.

I rely on Him the same way because I know He loves me more than my parents ever could, and all those times when I was out, alone, it was Allaah alone who brought me to what I needed, brought me to do what I needed to do. I have never felt like I didnt have Him at my back.

Never.

Every step I take, every move I make, everytime I reach my hand for something, … my insurance policy … is Him alone. My eeman is what underlines everything I do in life, my confidence, my assertion, my everything … no matter what I face in this life, no matter how troubling or even if at first glance it seems paradoxical, confusing, or nearly impossible … I take it with quiet grace and wait for Allah to show me what its all about, on His own time, and not on mine.

Filed under: Leadership, Solace

Killers of the Prophets.

Swedish human rights worker viciously attacked by Jewish extremists in Hebron.

Tove Johansson from Stockholm walked through the Tel Rumeida checkpoint with a small group of human rights workers (HRWs) to accompany Palestinian schoolchildren to their homes. They were confronted by about 100 Jewish extremists in small groups. They started chanting in Hebrew “We killed Jesus, we’ll kill you too!” — a refrain the settlers had been repeating to internationals in Tel Rumeida all day. SOURCE

No surprise. They are merely carrying on with the despicable traditions of their ancestors:

And when you said: O Moses! We cannot bear with one food, therefore pray Lord on our behalf to bring forth for us out of what the earth grows, of its herbs and its cucumbers and its garlic and its lentils and its onions. He said: Will you exchange that which is better for that which is worse? Enter a city, so you will have what you ask for. And abasement and humiliation were brought down upon them, and they became deserving of Allah’s wrath; this was so because they disbelieved in the communications of Allah and killed the prophets unjustly; this was so because they disobeyed and exceeded the limits. Surah al-Baqarah : 61

Filed under: Current Affairs

My. Massive. Supersoaker.

The reward of every deed is known, except for the
reward of patience, which will be like heavy rain.

– Sulayman ibn Qasim

If people only knew the reward of patience upon anger…
If people only knew the reward of patience upon calamity…
If people only knew the reward of patience upon sadness…
If people only knew the reward of patience upon fear…

To suppress the despair, … to withhold your hands, … to guard your tongue, … to reflect before action, … to tame the anger, … to vanquish the fear, … to kneel and bear with good grace.

If people only knew the reward of patience.

Innallaah ma3 as-Saabireen.

Filed under: Leadership, Quotable Quotes

Another one bites the dust . . .

Being a bachelor is becoming quite an exclusive club these days.

Reminds me of the Marines motto:
Marines. The Few. The Proud.

Yeah, proud for not getting myself whipped yet, and staying in shape!

The other day during Ramadan I met a bro I hadn’t seen in years and, as he was asking me if I was married yet, so of course I cheekily said no, that I wanted to live my life for a bit and enjoy my time. So he advises me to get married saying that’s when life really starts. I murmured a half-baked agreement as we were standing up for salah, and that’s when I noticed his paunch.

I’m like whats up with all the flab yo? (He was pretty fit and built way back in high-school)

He taps his tummy and says:
“Well yeah that’s what happens when you get married.”

Horrified at the possibility of losing my muscle tone on my six pack, I mustered the most shocked expression I knew onto my face and said: “Yeah, real nice job you’re doing of convincing me to get married!!”


Anyways, a big shout out and congrats to Junaid M. and Zeena H.!! Yes, they’re getting hitched!

Sorry Junaid, you’re going to get whipped real soon … R.I.P bro. … *tears* … poor Junaid …

Filed under: Miscellany

Perseverance.

It is essential for people to trust … even through long periods when dreams may appear to have been deferred, delayed, and overshadowed … that there comes a time when an unwavering will, a strong belief, and an endless prayers bring great visions to realization.

Atallah Shabazz, daughter of el-Hajj Malik Shabazz a.k.a Malcolm-X

Filed under: Leadership, Quotable Quotes

Sit Down!!! Part Two

(Addendum to Part One)

THE CANADIAN ISLAMIC CONGRESS
MEDIA COMMUNIQUE

Nov. 8, 2006

ISLAMIC CONGRESS WELCOMES JUSTICE RUTHERFORD’S RULING ON ANTI-TERRORISM LAW —
FOCUS ON CRIME, NOT MOTIVE, WILL PROTECT CANADIANS’ RIGHTS TO FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION, IDEOLOGY AND BELIEF, SAYS CIC

Following an extensive study by its legal experts the Canadian Islamic Congress has welcomed a ruling of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice striking down part of the definition of Terrorism under Canada’s Anti- Terrorism laws. In his ruling, Mr. Justice Rutherford found that part of the definition, which required proof of political, religious, or ideological motive for conviction of a terrorism-related offence, was an unjustifiable infringement of constitutional rights.

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Filed under: Current Affairs, Riposte

You must be hearing things …

I always hear the funniest things from my sister. Her words somehow get twisted in mid-air through an invisible game of Telephone before they reach my ears, even though she might be just a few feet away.

So my sister, my mom, and I were sitting around making small talk after I came home. I was at BK again and my sister was going off on a rant about how Coke was bad for my health, with what aspartame and all, and my mother was nodding approvingly, saying “beta you should watch your health, yes.”

That prompted me to regale my mom with pompous, tongue-in-cheek talk about how I am young, and this was the time for eating and drinking, fast driving, partying, etc. I was lying down as I said this and then I thought about my idea of a drink which would clean cholesterol and waste by-products from my arteries, so I sat up, all bright-eyed and reassured my mom that all would be fine, that my company would produce such a drink and I would make my millions by selling it to all the junk-food corporations so that they in turn could tell all the stupid health-care advocates to shut up and stuff it.

My mom began to laugh and said “Wow so, your company is going to go from making nice designer clothes to making … Drano for the human body? What next?” I was like yes of course Mom. My sister turned her head and said what sounded like: “Really? Wheren’t you planning on making TVs with goats?”

Good thing I didnt have any Coke in my mouth then.

In fact she had said “Weren’t you planning on making hotels and boats?”

Filed under: Food, Miscellany

Go screw yourself.

See, you would agree with me that most businesses and corporations, when they are facing a major challenge, they seek out someone (either internally or externally) who has the proven skill-sets, experience and track record on turning such challenges into successes. So, you see Ford appointing industry veteran Allan Mulally to turn around the automaker’s misfortunes when Bill Ford Jr. couldn’t cut it as the CEO. Similarly, when other corporations such as Nortel and Merck were found wanting, they also started trimming the fat and appointed leaders who had considerable amount of demonstrable experience for the role they were placed in.

So, certainly one would be appalled to learn that one of the largest entities on the face of this Earth continues, year after year, to get it so horribly wrong with its largest target market, pun intended. Over a billion souls that you would like to see buying into your vision yet you continue to lose focus and shoot yourself in the foot?

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Filed under: Current Affairs, Riposte