Maverick

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Unbranded and home on the range.

Dichotomy of Elements

A poem my friend Youssuf wrote long ago – I’m simply in love with it. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Quality Reads, Rune

I Wanna Live in a Land Called Paradise

I gotta admit, I’ve never heard a song that so insistently tugged at my heartstrings or remained on my lips for so long. I even found myself singing it at the office today even though I stopped to ask myself what I was doing, I kept at it and eventually answered my own question – because it reminded me of our ancestral home, and for the final end that we all hope our long journey will end at, insha’allahu ameen.

I suspect it probably has something to do with the fact that it was written and sang by a Muslim. Its the song chosen by Lena Khan for her short film “A Land Called Paradise” which got top prize for the One Nation | Many Voices contest.

Here is country singer Kareem Salama’s song along with the short film by the same name, by Lena:

A Land Called Paradise
(K. Salama)

(Chorus)

I wanna live in a land called paradise
I wanna go to the valley of the King
I wanna live in a land called paradise
Wanna see the birds fly and I wanna hear the angels

Sing the praises of my Lord so far above
As I move poetically with the struggle I fall in love
I look to the left I look to the right and all I gaze upon
Reveals the source of flowers rainbows and the dew at dawn
Some see before and some see in and some see after
I let my sight pierce the chains and see the master

(Chorus)

I wanna live in a land called paradise
I wanna go to the Valley of the King
I wanna live in a land called paradise
Wanna see the birds fly and I wanna hear the angels sing

So many times in my life I ask myself the question
What got me brought me into all this mess I’m swimming in
But pain is not and neither harm in the pool of bliss
So slap me with your hand or kiss me with your softest kiss
Tell me that you love me or that you don’t like me now
Tell me you invite me or that you don’t want me around
I won’t cry over a world that can’t change my life
I’ll put my money on what lies ahead in paradise

(Chorus)

I wanna live in a land called paradise
I wanna go to the Valley of the King
I wanna live in a land called paradise
Wanna see the birds fly and I wanna hear the angels sing

I try to do right and love my wife and trade and pray and talk
I can be anywhere doing anything and I’m mindful of God
I’m pleased in good and happy in harm and now I realize that I already live in a land called paradise

(Chorus)

I wanna live in a land called paradise
I wanna go to the valley of the king
I wanna live in a land called paradise
Wanna see the birds fly and I wanna hear the angels

I wanna live in a land called paradise
I wanna go to the valley of the king
I wanna live in a land called paradise
Wanna see the birds fly and I wanna hear the angels sing

Filed under: Miscellany, Rune, Solace

Children

And a woman who held a babe against her bosom said, “Speak to us of Children.”
And he said:
Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts.
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;
For even as he loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also the bow that is stable.

– Khalil Gibran

Filed under: Rune

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

Say it for me

 

Show me what it’s like…
To be the last one standing.
And teach me wrong from right…
And I’ll show you what I can be.
Say it for me
Say it to me
And I’ll leave this life behind me…
Say it if it’s worth saving me.

 

 

She kissed the photo and on the back she scribbled “my little soldier” – either with little idea of what he would be forced to become, or with the hope that only a mother can have…

Have you ever been in a situation where you were caught between a rock and a hard place? In a challenging, long-term situation … with gray skies overhead and barren earth below. But instead of giving up or buckling under, you just shrug your shoulders and kept going? You trusted Allaah to give you strength of heart, of mind, of limb, … and so He did. You trusted in Him to bring the sunrise when He knew it was time to do so … and so you patiently bore the horrors of the night.

To the extent that you nearly became like a zombie. Just working, eating, sleeping … trudging along, doing what you have to do, never falling, never despairing. Just putting your head down into the cold wind, pulling your cloak a bit tighter around your shoulders. The tears fall from your glazed eyes, causing flowers to grow along the way, behind your steps … but you never see them. The smile comes every now and then to your lips, as fleeting as the lightning that flashes in the distance … but you have no comrade to reflect that smile back at you.

Through all the joys, through all the sorrows … that single finger of Ahad mirrored the steely resolve of your mind … that He will deliver you to sanctuary.

Have you?

Savin’ Me [Nickelback]

Prison gates won’t open up for me
On these hands and knees I’m crawlin’
Oh, I reach for you
Well I’m terrified of these four walls
These iron bars can’t hold my soul in
All I need is you
Come please I’m callin’
And oh I scream for you
Hurry I’m fallin’, I’m fallin’

Show me what it’s like
To be the last one standing
And teach me wrong from right
And I’ll show you what I can be
Say it for me
Say it to me
And I’ll leave this life behind me
Say it if it’s worth saving me

Heaven’s gates won’t open up for me
With these broken wings I’m fallin’
And all I see is you
These city walls ain’t got no love for me
I’m on the ledge of the eighteenth story
And oh I scream for you
Come please I’m callin’
And all I need from you
Hurry I’m fallin’, I’m fallin’

Show me what it’s like
To be the last one standing
And teach me wrong from right
And I’ll show you what I can be
Say it for me
Say it to me
And I’ll leave this life behind me
Say it if it’s worth saving me
Hurry I’m fallin’

And all I need is you
Come please I’m callin’
And oh I scream for you
Hurry I’m fallin’, I’m fallin’, I’m fallin’

Show me what it’s like
To be the last one standing
And teach me wrong from right
And I’ll show you what I can be
And say it for me
Say it to me
And I’ll leave this life behind me
Say it if it’s worth saving me
Hurry I’m fallin’

Say it for me
Say it to me
And I’ll leave this life behind me
Say it if it’s worth saving me

Filed under: Cradle, Exhaust, Rune

So they say…

So They Say
SOUL ATTORNEYS 

So they say that you can’t make it
So they say, so they say
But I say that they mistake it
But I say, but I say

And the whole world seems to be leaning on you
And you tell me you don’t know what to do
They don’t know what I know, they don’t know what I know

Wanting to come out is the world you hold inside
Afraid they are for the world outside you will divide
For they don’t know what I know, they don’t know what I know

So I pray that you can make it
So I pray, so I pray
And your mind they’ll try to break it
No later than today

You let them and soon you will be on trial
Give them and inch, yes they’ll steal the mile
For they haven’t flown where we’ve flown

You know the road I speak of and the road that lies ahead
Don’t give up, don’t give up they all must be misled
For they haven’t flown where we’ve flown,
no they haven’t flown where we’ve flown

And the game they’ll think you’ve played it
Their foolish way, their foolish way
But I’m tellin’ you soon they’ll see you’ve made it
And your game is what they’ll play

Filed under: Rune

You are not alone.

Know that the hearts of the mu’mineen are one, and that inside these four walls, you are not alone. On any night and on Laylatul Qadr, in the last third of the night, in sujoud, our hearts and our minds are with you, asking Allaah to shower His Mercy on you and place a beautiful patience and deep tranquility in your hearts. Be patient, for indeed after even the darkest and longest of nights, the bright sunrise inevitably comes …

you are not alone.

Filed under: Miscellany, Rune

Shikwa wa Jawaab el-Shikwa – Part One

Shikwa wa Jawaab el-Shikwa
Complaint and the Answer to the Complaint
Originally By Allama Muhammad Iqbal.

Mention this Iqbal classic to anyone who has read the classical Arabiy, Farsi and Urdu works and you get this dreamy look in their eyes, as if they’re reminiscing about old times. With good reason: this poem – circa 1918 – is one of his greatest works of written art which forever put him into the hall of famous Muslim thinkers, writers and poets.

As you read the translation below, it may seem like it’s Yoda talking and in fact, I have to confess, reading this translation only makes you realize how crass the English language is when compared to Arabiy, Farsi or Urdu – whether classical or contemporary.

Tha translation I’ve used is that of A. J. Arberry, Sir Thomas Adam’s Professor of Arabic in the University of Cambridge. It is indeed a rare gem that I picked up from a dark corner of an Islamic bookstore and to illustrate its literary power – I was busy typing up the translation late at night when my mother came into my room and asked me what I was doing, so I told her I was writing up Shikwa wa Jawaab el-Shikwa. Her tired eyes immediately lit up as she walked up to my desk with an amazed look on her face, almost as if in a trance, and then picked up the copy of the poem and began to walk away with it. Despite my earnest entreaties that I was just about to finish writing up the first part, she would hear none of it and last I saw, she was happily reclining on her bed with the lamp on, reading the poem – her gaze relishing each and every word of the acclaimed wordsmith.

The poem follows a format wherein the Shikwa (complaint) is written in the style of a servant complaining to his master, a servant who has been blinded to the core reasons of his own dissatisfaction, and the Jawaab (answer) is written as if it were a reply from the Master Himself. It is quite lengthy and the first part manages to cover as topics as varied as the original Khyber and the conquests of expansion, to the passion of Qais and Laila.

Part Two will follow later insha’allah.

————-

Why must I forever suffer loss, oblivious to gain,
Why think not upon the morrow, drowned in grief for yesterday?
Why must I attentively heed the nightingale’s lament of pain?
Fellow-bard, am I a rose, condemned to silence all the way?
Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Rune

To make Atlas jealous…

Sleep gently under my wings.

…I’ll be your dream, I’ll be your wish, I’ll be your fantasy
I’ll be your hope, I’ll be your love, be everything that you need…

No, I won’t let the world crush you as it passes by in all its pomp and arrogance. No, because even if all seems lost, I will be the one who gives you sanctuary under my wings. When the relentless sun is beating down, I will shade you with my wings and give you water, and restore the life to your tired body. And when you are sleeping, I will stand guard at your side longer than Narcissus ever could, carry you farther than Pegasus would ever dare, support you more than Atlas could ever hope for.

Let the rain come down. Let it come down, be it of water or be it of lead.

Have no fear – sleep gently.

It’ll be alright.

DISCLAIMER: This is an old post from my old site, and was NOT written in reference to anyone in particular, so y’all just back off.

Filed under: Rune

Don’t Quit

Taken from someone else’s post.
Damn good reminder if I say so myself.

When things go wrong as they sometimes will,
When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit…
Rest if you must … but don’t you quit.

Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As everyone of us sometimes learns.
And many a person turns about,
When he might have won had he stuck it out.
Don’t give up though the pace seems slow…
You may succeed with another blow.

Often the goal is nearer than,
It seems to a faint and faltering man.
Often the struggler has given up,
When he might have captured the victor’s cup.
And he learned too late when the night came down,
How close he was to the golden crown.

Success is failure turned inside out…
The silver tints of the clouds of doubt.
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems afar.
So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit,
Its when things seem worst that mustn’t Quit.

Filed under: Rune