Unbranded and home on the range.

Searching for my Holy Grail …

Ever have something you’re looking for but you can never seem to find it? Or at least you never get close enough to touch it? So close yet still so far away. All you get is fleeting, mocking glimpses of it from a distance, or between the trees, and then its gone. Even the itself wind seems to laugh at you and your incompetence. And I don’t think I’d be wrong if I said that for most of us, that Holy Grail would be that moment when our parents are really happy with us and with whatever point we’re at in life so far.

Encore / Numb [Jay-Z / Linkin Park]

I’m tired of being what you want me to be
Feeling so faithless, lost under the surface
Don’t know what you’re expecting of me
Put under the pressure of walking in your shoes
(Caught in the undertow just caught in the undertow)
Every step that I take is another mistake to you
(Caught in the undertow just caught in the undertow)
And every second I waste, is more than I can take

I’ve become so numb … I can’t feel you there
I’ve become so tired … so much more aware
I’m becoming this … all I want to do
Is be more like me … and be less like you

The only hope you have left is basically to keep on going, constantly renewing your intentions that you’re doing it all for Allah’s Sake, and that you know in the end, He won’t allow your efforts to have been in vain.

Because after all, you were seeking His Pleasure above all else – weren’t you?


Filed under: Exhaust, Rune

Spread the word, Big Bird!

Spent all day today at Dundas Square down at the Yonge St. and Dundas intersection. Basically, it’s Toronto’s equivalent of NYC’s Times Square.

I felt like one of those newspaper kids of the 1920s standing on the street yelling “EXTRA EXTRA READ ALL ABOUT IT!!”

It was at the Islam da’wah booth, which has basically two long tables end to end, with a large patio umbrella standing upright in between, with black and white text saying Free Info on Islam” plus the phone number to call. Its right out on the sidewalk in front of the Eaton’s Centre and right across Dundas Square, on Yonge St. itself, just a few steps from the corner. Its always busy, with dozens of people going by every minute when its slow, and hundreds passing by during the busier times. Most of the day it was just me and Br. Abdul-Rahman. We had lots of free literature, ranging from English-only copies of the Qur’an, pamphlets covering specific issues like womens’ rights and hijab, to various informational books about Islam for those unfamiliar with it.

It was my first time doing something like that but I’d have to say I was prepared for it – it was so much like a sales job – me presenting a service or product to potential customers which I believe will be of benefit to them. Many people curiously approaching the booth, some simply took the books or pamphlets and walked away, some politely declined with a slight wave of the hand, while others stayed and asked a few questions. Some voiced their appreciation at our efforts, saying they were indeed aware of the massive amount of stereotype and misrepresentation that exists in the media about Islam and Muslims. And some stayed even longer, to talk. These three Spanish Catholic chicks up for a visit from Mexico spent nearly two hours sitting and talking to Abdul-Rahman about Islam. They were definitely interested, in fact he even set up an appointment the next day [tomorrow] to have them come back to the booth at 12pm so that he and his wife could take them to a restaurant so they could talk more about Islam while eating, in a casual setting as opposed to out on the street.

The experience was made all the more amusing by the fact that today was an international day of protests against the war in Iraq and Afghanistan, in major cities around North America and in Europe. The folks protesting in Toronto numbered less than 2,000 as I estimated. They were at the US consulate in downtown Toronto and then they marched south along Yonge St. towards the lake-shore, with the cops totally blocking the southbound lanes and intersecting traffic to let the protesters pass. Me and Abdul-Rahman grabbed as many copies of the About Islam books as we could and ran right out into the street, moving through the crowd like fish through water, passing out the booklets to the protesters who snapped them up like hotcakes. After I ran out of copies to hand out, I stood back and gave the marching protesters two big thumbs up while cheering them on.

And then of course you had the weirdos of Toronto, the poor hobos and the buskers and the street performers, all near us on the same sidewalk. This one really tall guy was dressed up like a witch with white long hair and a pointy hat, and some oriental-looking lady was 1walking around in a brightly-colored kimono, with her hair done up all Japanese style with some chopsticks through her hair. Yeah. I guess Halloween comes early in this part of town.


Filed under: Ghetto, Miscellany

Hijabi vs. Robber …

She’s barely 5-feet, about 90 pounds. Unarmed, except with a small axe.

He’s got a 6-foot frame, probably at least 170 pounds or more, and packing a gun too.

And its ALL caught on video.

Clerk uses an axe to fight off armed robber.

Hijabi: 1
Robber: 0

Now that’s ma [Muslim] sis, y’all better reco’nize!!!

Filed under: Uncategorized


Imagine yourself gazing upon the Earth.

In near orbit.

There are a few massive yet graceful space stations in geosynchronous orbit. Ships capable of near-space travel dock at the station, disgorging dozens, or even hundreds, of tourists and businesspeople. Supply barges constantly ply established routes bringing vital supplies and refills to the station. Private space yachts glide about here and there, letting their owners enjoy unparalleled, sweeping vistas of the whole globe.

Farther away, nearly invisible against the sheer blackness of space, are smaller research stations. There, scientists are constantly developing new ways to fight diseases, to grow plants with greater crop yields, pioneering new breakthrough technologies for people who are blind or deaf, and finding new ways to improve the standard of living on Earth. Other, larger stations farther out in orbit serve as way-stations for massive freight barges returning from the moon, Mars, or perhaps even the asteroid belt, with cargo holds full of ore and minerals, en-route to planet-side industries.

Closer to home, imagine entire areas – miles and miles – of the Sahara turned into Africa’s breadbasket, thanks to new irrigation, soil engineering, and soil reclamation technologies. Famine on that continent has receded into the collective memory of its’ senior citizens and is now just a shadow of its former self, the remnant of a bad dream from which the world has woken up from and found Africa not only sustaining itself but even exporting grains and produce to other growing markets.
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Filed under: Exhaust, Laced, Leadership

I’m Bringin’ Sweetness Back.


So, Rabyia asked me a question:

“I’m really interested to know how you would advice an individual who has tasted the sweetness of eemaan but through stresses of life has drifted away from the deen and now has become like a stranger to even the simplest of deeni matters.”

Honestly I don’t feel capable of answering this question but I’ll try.

Have you read the hadith of Hanzalah, when he was sitting and crying, accusing himself of nifaaq, and when he explained why he felt that ay to Abu Bakr, then he too also became stressed similarly? This was because their eeman used to be so high, so rock solid when they were with the Prophet, but when they were away from him, it used to go lower.

So nabeyuna Muhammad [saws] told both of them that eeman is not something that stays at a constant, high level all the time. It goes up and down. So from this we know that – as is blatantly apparent – our eeman will fluctuate from time to time. Sometimes it’ll be like just a few bumps and other times like a roller-coaster.

It happens to me too.

I usually deal with it by reminding myself of a lot of things, not all at once, but just any of the following, and in no particular order:
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Filed under: Leadership, Solace

Appreciating vs. Depreciating Assets


What am I doing wrong?

Okay, I’m tired of beating around the bush. I’m a beautiful (spectacularly beautiful) 25 year old girl. I’m articulate and classy.I’m not from New York. I’m looking to get married to a guy who makes at least half a million a year. I know how that sounds, but keep in mind that a million a year is middle class in New York City, so I don’t think I’m overreaching at all.

Are there any guys who make 500K or more on this board? Any wives? Could you send me some tips? I dated a business man who makes average around 200 – 250. But that’s where I seem to hit a roadblock. 250,000 won’t get me to central park west. I know a woman in my yoga class who was married to an investment banker and lives in Tribeca, and she’s not as pretty as I am, nor is she a great genius. So what is she doing right? How do I get to her level?

Here are my questions specifically:

– Where do you single rich men hang out? Give me specifics- bars, restaurants, gyms, etc.

– What are you looking for in a mate? Be honest guys, you won’t hurt my feelings

– Is there an age range I should be targeting (I’m 25)?

– Why are some of the women living lavish lifestyles on the upper east side so plain? I’ve seen really ‘plain jane’ boring types who have nothing to offer married to incredibly wealthy guys. I’ve seen drop dead gorgeous girls in singles bars in the east village. What’s the story there?

– Jobs I should look out for? Everyone knows – lawyer, investment banker, doctor. How much do those guys really make? And where do they hang out? Where do the hedge fund guys hang out?

– How you decide marriage vs. just a girlfriend? I am looking for MARRIAGE ONLY.

Please hold your insults – I’m putting myself out there in an honest way. Most beautiful women are superficial; at least I’m being up front about it. I wouldn’t be searching for these kind of guys if I wasn’t
able to match them – in looks, culture, sophistication, and keeping a nice home and hearth.

* it’s NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests

PostingID: 432279810

THE ANSWER: Dear Pers-431649184:

I read your posting with great interest and have thought meaningfully about your dilemma. I offer the following analysis of your predicament. Firstly, I’m not wasting your time, I qualify as a guy who fits your bill; that is I make more than $500K per year. That said here’s how I see it.

Your offer, from the prospective of a guy like me, is plain and simple a crappy business deal. Here’s why. Cutting through all the B.S., what you suggest is a simple trade: you bring your looks to the party and I bring my money. Fine, simple. But here’s the rub, your looks will fade and my money will likely continue into perpetuity…in fact, it is very likely that my income increases but it is an absolute certainty that you won’t be getting any more beautiful!

So, in economic terms you are a depreciating asset and I am an earning asset. Not only are you a depreciating asset, your depreciation accelerates! Let me explain, you’re 25 now and will likely stay pretty hot for the next 5 years, but less so each year. Then the fade begins in earnest. By 35 stick a fork in you! So in Wall Street terms, we would call you a trading position, not a buy and hold…hence the rub…marriage. It doesn’t make good business sense to “buy you” (which is what you’re asking) so I’d rather lease. In case you think I’m being cruel, I would say the following. If my money were to go away, so would you, so when your beauty fades I need an out. It’s as simple as that. So a deal that makes sense is dating, not marriage.

Separately, I was taught early in my career about efficient markets. So, I wonder why a girl as “articulate, classy and spectacularly beautiful” as you has been unable to find your sugar daddy. I find it hard to believe that if you are as gorgeous as you say you are that the $500K hasn’t found you, if not only for a tryout.

By the way, you could always find a way to make your own money and then we wouldn’t need to have this difficult conversation.

With all that said, I must say you’re going about it the right way. Classic “pump and dump.”

I hope this is helpful, and if you want to enter into some sort of lease, let me know.

Filed under: Ghetto, Riposte