A free fall

Hope is space uncluttered by the past and whatever you once held in and thought was real. It’s the love that’s beneath and betwixt everything. It’s what keeps you together when you lose everything. It’s what keeps you sane when violent storms are ripping through your mind. It’s clarity because it’s a rerouting to the reality of Allaah. Unwavering and unchanging even when everything crumbles and transforms. The meaning that stands the test of time.

The crux however is that it’s something you feel, this space of hope. It opens up in your heart and you have to feel through all the pain and trauma that has stacked above it to get to the clear space that underpins it all. One thing to keep in mind when feeling through the darkness triggers panicked thoughts is that you wouldn’t be able to feel and process the chaos if it weren’t through a stable channel. That’s why some traumatic memories or experiences get repressed or otherwise dissociated from recall until the psyche has the space to process it without self-destructing. Do you get that? You can’t feel weak without strength, you can’t feel doubt without knowledge, you can’t feel fear without hope. Don’t lose sight of that contrast.

It ends in the beginning

You have to have self-awareness and accountability to be able to empathize. I’ve discovered that people will filter what you share of your experiences through where that corresponds within their experiences, and more particularly how that measures up to their worldview and interpretation of their own experiences. Experience is not about events but about a personal take on an event and if you’re someone who focuses on controlling events then you’re not gonna understand or respect someone who doesn’t control things. Because to acknowledge their pain or feelings is to acknowledge what you’ve suppressed and that’s usually not how things go. It’s easier to dismiss the other, even if you don’t directly tell them. It’s easier to shut them down emotionally than for you to open up emotionally.

The Truth is the backdrop to everything. Self-awareness is to go past everything we add to the canvas to see the plain space. It’s not so much about keeping an eye on what you do but to explore the why behind your actions and reactions. Only your emotions store immaculate records of every instance. They hold the key. And it’s through them that the passage to truth goes.

It’s not about tallying wrongs and rights. It’s not about contrasting what you did. It’s not about a performance review. It’s to open your heart and clear your mind of any judgment or expectation that can impede seeing the truth clearly. Your truth is your personal and unique gateway to The Truth. And it’s important you don’t let thoughts block it like highway robbers.

Baby shark

Randomly burst out crying in prayer because a memory of my second day in Egypt (October 2011) resurfaced. It’s so terrifying when you don’t have the space or language to give form to your fears so they haunt you like disembodied spirits.

That’s why I jump at every opportunity to write down my inspirations and reflections. It feels like a part of me is coming home while another part of me recognizes the home she already dwells in but didn’t grasp.

Like a midwife, I deliver what has gestated in me, others, the planet. The words just plant themselves on me like birds or butterflies. I guess they find a secure home in my unconditional presence.

Sometimes the labour pains come in the form of sobbing, other times in the form of sudden sleepiness or unbelievable ache in the body, like heavy rain clouds.

But I always welcome it, albeit with gritted teeth. I don’t know how long it’ll take before I can see what’s toiling to get out, but I remain present with no expectations but hope. But most importantly, I trust what wants to be born and yet doesn’t know how to make itself known. Suppressed feelings are sorta clumsy and frail, not unlike newborns. I receive the unpleasant first impression and see what’s beyond that even though I can’t see. But I’ve come to trust pain in all its forms, and befriended it even though I’m extremely sensitive and scared of pain. I shut off my thoughts and focus on being a tunnel of light.

The other night I had a peculiar dream. I was addressing a young doctor who was frustrated with some patients. I think she was a freshly minted doctor. I told her, listen you won’t always be able to get to the bottom of people’s ailments and complaints but keep one thing in mind: the deepest desire of humans is to find connection in any form. Sometimes that can take the form of being silent and letting them feel seen by your silence, the lack of protest. If you can give them that, you’ve given them a way back to God.

Refraction of black light

I can’t pull myself out of a burning car wreck.

My defenses prevent me from feeling my wounds and can ironically prevent healing. It’s only through feeling the extent of my brokenness that I can know my need of Allaah’s mercy and love. A gaping wound cries for healing. When I stifle it I’m actually stifling the hopelessness it triggers in me. It all happens so fast.

I need defenses to survive the initial shock. And then gradually try to become aware of the trauma. It’s only retrospectively that I can learn what it all means. Needing Allaah has become something shameful because it entails not being able to fix everything on your own and that complex distracts you from what’s at hand. It makes you forget that you didn’t create yourself and you don’t sustain your life. Something so seemingly simple can be forgotten in a fast-moving culture that is hyperfocused on churning out results and identifying people with their abilities to get results. The process becomes neglected. The process is human. The process is life. It’s not a production line.

To decouple from that socially endorsed conditioning can take a lifetime. That is if you’re open to the confusing process of accepting your suffering. Often times the implications and catastrophization of thoughts can be cause enough to remain stunted for the sake of stability in the status quo. And sometimes that’s all one can do. To stabilize the pain and try to lead a productive life. Often though this means that one’s children will receive the task to disintegrate it all.

Allaah doesn’t burden a soul beyond what it can bear. His mercy comes in many forms. Countless forms. We just take so much for granted because we feel naked without filling our head spaces with so much noise and hoarding of mental images. The Void is haunting.

Primary source

You can’t claim to love and worship Allaah and then feel the need to distort His words to mean something else or to put forth your own explanation for what He did/does or said. That’s assuming He’s not a living God, that He’s not clear, that His words are lacking, that He doesn’t get His creation. And that’s trying to bridge the gap between the known and unknown through your rationale, and not trust. You’re trying to conquer the Ghayb (unseen) like Pharaoh tried to God ‘for himself’.

And Pharaoh said, “O eminent ones, I have not known you to have a god other than me. Then ignite for me, O Haman, [a fire] upon the clay and make for me a tower that I may look at the God of Moses. And indeed, I do think he is among the liars.”

[al-Qasas:38]

What’s prompting you to put in explanations is a reaction to something ; either invalidation from others or a doubt within you that you can’t reconcile. But you should know the effects of your actions ;

Tawheed is the sole reason for Islaam, and any revealed religion before it. Not dichotomies or hegemonies, not rituals, not cause and effect. The sole purpose is to return back to basics; the rest follows naturally as it’s encoded in our psyche. But the starting point has been changed and obscured, and that changes the course of action completely and leads away from Allaah.

Only Allaah knows what leads to Him. We can’t make that call or guesstimate because we can’t even comprehend His being and essence. So we have nothing else but His words, signs and intuition to go on. That’s the task, the test; to commit to what’s intangible. To walk a line you can’t see, but only feel.

The more you intellectualize and try to solve your cognitive dissonance in the same realm they arose, the more distant you become because guidance is felt, eemaan is felt. Cognitive dissonance means there’s something you’re believing that is wrong. Period. It’s impossible to have cognitive dissonance regarding the truth because it’s seamless and doesn’t contradict itself. So instead of defending or protecting what you think is Allaah, release the concepts and trust that Allaah is above duality and ask Him to guide your mind. Seek the Truth and not a concept. Trust that Allaah is al-Haqq and that you’ll find Him wherever the truth is. That’s the leap of faith.

Tawheed means to unify, to make one. It’s to transcend duality because Allaah is One, and it’s His creation that is dual. That’s why you won’t find a contradicting side to Him, and why there is no limitation to Him.

وَمِن كُلِّ شَىْءٍ خَلَقْنَا زَوْجَيْنِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَذَكَّرُونَ

And of everything We created [contrasting and complimentary] pairs that you may remember [the uniqueness of Allaah] and take admonition [therefrom].

[ad-Daariyaat:49]

To hell in a handbasket

People online who have any proficiency in any area are smitten with the world mirroring back to them their own reflection. They’re obsessed with their own ideas, opinions, or looks and have very little, if any, room for understanding the world and people around them. They’ll only respect you if you’re more recognized than they are. Not based on any substance or god forbid a genuine connection, but what their peers think of you.

It’s becoming obnoxious.

It’s deeper than thought

I’ve come to the conclusion through observation that any and all public exposure of the Muslim woman ends in distortion of her platform because she becomes a token. Being visible and accessible to the collective unconscious overpowers the divine feminine energy. It erodes the spiritual context that needs silence and space for spontaneity. Having to vie with external factors creates conditioning that drowns the intuition. Being upheld in another’s value system means the stripping of your essence and distillation into favourable parts that can be related to.

Master, don’t be mastered.

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