Posts tagged “faith

what matters most

Posted on April 22, 2018

There is a surrender that happens at the peak of life, and another at the edge of death, and the two do not weigh the same. There is an abdication when the first glimmer of light is seen on the horizon, and another when the last glimmer is about to fade, and the day between them is not the same. And how you spend the day matters. It is said, “To be pious in one’s youth is the style of prophets; in old age even the cruel wolf gives up his cruelty.” What matters most is what you choose to do when you have everything to lose. What you choose to give up when it means the most to do so. When you decide,…

ascent beckons

Posted on August 25, 2016

the task of a carefree summer’s day: to watch the sunset over the city of Qom by climbing to the top of Mt. Khidhr… a task so adventure-y i didn’t think twice about it until we were halfway to the top – when (of course) i decided to do the exact opposite of what every book/movie/story/piece of advice on heights ever says to do – and that is, look down. which is when i conveniently remembered a fact that had slipped my mind in all the excitement: my greatest fear – the frequent haunting of many a childhood nightmare – is heights. and by greatest fear i mean *the* greatest fear… as in, the second i looked back, my knees gave in and i closed…

whispered lessons from the dust of Najaf

Posted on August 24, 2016

is there any heartache for which i can lay out my heart that you do not already know, my Lord? is there any grief for which i can weep that you do not already know, my Lord? is there any separation wrought wound for which i can cry out in pain that you do not already know, my Lord?   (so then, how can any of these remain, when i know that you know, O Lord?)

the sun always rises

Posted on February 25, 2016

There are questions to be asked (what, where, why) there are heart-knots to be unraveled (should I, can I, will I) there are puzzles to be deciphered (how will, who will, when will) – and there are answers to be given. But the truth – a truth I am still struggling to learn – is that we will never be able to hear the answers if, before they’re given, we already decide on answers of our own. If, at twilight, we come upon a vast forest and throw up our hands in defeat deciding it can never be crossed; if we turn to leave, not knowing – had we waited a moment longer for the sun to rise, we would’ve seen that there was…

learning to breathe

Posted on November 12, 2015

Imam Hassan (a): “He who seeks to please God at the expense of displeasing people, God suffices him in everything including his affairs with people. But the one who seeks to please people at the expense of God’s displeasure, God relegates him to those very people.” if you’re ever made to feel like you’re not good enough or that you don’t ‘fit in,’ remember that it has always been the few, not the many – the individuals, not the crowd – who have changed the world. people will always have things to say. you can never stop them from talking, but you can stop yourself from listening. remember – the moon does not dim its light for fear of what the street lamps might…

fragrance of the found

Posted on July 16, 2013

“O God, what did find who lost you? And what did he lose who found you?” -Hussain ibn Ali (a)   I’ve heard whispered tales of a flower in a slumbering wood Whose tears did fall when the world’s weight it understood Drowning in the haze of fairytales, countless once upon a times Of knights bright in shining armor, women with beauty refined   Too weakened by shadows, roots shaken by each passerby So it learned to prick hands that either crushed, or at its beauty did sigh Its strength tested, soon took its bent stem as a sign of defeat Was told once its petals would fall, would turn man into beast   Lost and confused, turned for answers to a wise, olden…

the believer’s lament

Posted on February 14, 2013

I stand at the edge of something vast. The push and the pull of centuries and the universe, a battle between light and dark rages across the fields of my soul.   “Steady your arms, men! Brace the line, men!” The clamor of shields, the cacophony of this vessel of steel marching forward into the stirring emptiness of the woods, ancient trees beckoning with their gnarled hands.   All light leaves as we move into the darkness. Deafening silence, the stillness of morning after snowfall. “Keep to the path men!”   The screech of a raven, a broken cry, a shrill wailing for love lost to shadows.