Ramadan regressions {2}

​There are two types of strength: rigidity and tenderness

Rigidity is the absence of life force, suspension of the movable elements within. E.g. stoicism, repression, or even rigor mortis ( stiffness that sets in some hours after death). It’s strength insofar as it prevents anything to penetrate it or change it.

A second​ type of strength is a tenderness that follows from a healed brokenness, akin to a pliable stick that doesn’t resist the pressure that attempts to break it.

This second type is the only one that can support life. It’s a strength of the depths, not the surface. A strength in allowing, not resisting. A strength in receiving, not defending against. It’s vulnerability that carries with it the very real risk of being stomped upon, treated like a fool. But you risk it not because you’re seeking the thrill of the outcome, but because you’re seeking the rejuvenation of expressing your spirit. And you can’t express yourself fully if you’re constantly checking for signs of danger.

It’s a strength in being your own planet, going according to your rhythms and cycles despite whatever storms or debris come your way. You accept it. The debris will only open you up to deeper dimensions of yourself.

Depth can’t be reached except by breaking the surface, and while that feels like it weakens you, you must trust that the truth can’t be weakened. Who you really are can never be threatened. So let go of everything that collapses under your truth, and let yourself be dissolved in the ocean of divine love. When you trust in a universal support by Allaah, you won’t have to stand guard. Fall apart. Everytime you fall, you fall into a new dimension. Rock bottom is only found in graves.

ثُمَّ قَسَتْ قُلُوبُكُمْ مِنْ بَعْدِ ذَلِكَ فَهِيَ كَالْحِجَارَةِ أَوْ أَشَدُّ قَسْوَة وَإِنَّ مِنَ الْحِجَارَةِ لَمَا يَتَفَجَّرُ مِنْهُ الْأَنْهَارُ وَإِنَّ مِنْهَا لَمَا يَشَّقَّقُ فَيَخْرُجُ مِنْهُ الْمَا وإِنَّ مِنْهَا لَمَا يَهْبِطُ مِنْ خَشْيَةِ اللَّهِ وَمَا اللَّهُ بِغَافِلٍ عَمَّا تَعْمَلُونَ

 Then, after that, your hearts were hardened and became as stones or even worse in hardness. And indeed, there are stones out of which rivers gush forth, and indeed, there are of them (stones) which split asunder so that water flows from them, and indeed, there are of them (stones) which fall down for fear of Allaah. And Allaah is not unaware of what you do.

[Al-Baqarah 2:74]

ramadan regressions {1}

I feel exposed by Ramadan. There’s a naked energy that envelopes one. No hiding places. I’m not fasting , due to medical reasons, but even so I can’t escape the intense energy that is causing repressed emotions to come up to the surface. As if gravity is no more.

I feel bad when I see everyone being joyous and congratulating each other on the advent of Ramadan because I don’t feel that at all.

But I recognize it’s a good thing, being faced with myself like this. Focus. It’s painful but I’ll be using this month to tread on painful ground. I’ll let it cut me, deep. Perhaps that’s the only way the pockets of buried trauma can find a release.

I’m afraid of being engulfed by these emotions, as if they are pissed for having been shoved aside for so long that they won’t let go of me, ever.

I’m afraid of being locked in a lifelong purgatory, inside my emotions.

I feel claustrophobic in my soul.


 

The first thing that happened to the prophet -peace be upon him- wasn’t that he was told about Allaah or what his mission was going to be. He was made to be vulnerable by being told the guidance he was searching for lay in the one thing he was unable of doing: reading.

He felt broken, hopeless, stuck. But, the purpose wasn’t to make him read. It was to eradicate the notion that ability depends on one’s competence. His certainty was knocked off because that’s an impediment to transformation. His mental map of reality was wiped clean. He was ousted from his comfort zone. He was thrown into the bottomless pit that is the unknown, head first.
He was torn up, for days. His wife, Khadija was his rock. She picked his spirits up and reassured him that this was a good thing. That he was a good soul who wouldn’t fare ill.

Allaah was effectively telling him; impossibility would be the creation of you, humans, thus possibility is only a matter of bringing something into existence. Trust Me, and I’ll bring miracles into existence through you.

_____________
× And they say: “When we are bones and fragments (destroyed), should we really be resurrected (to be) a new creation?”
See they not how Allâh originates creation, then repeats it. Verily, that is Easy for Allaah.

× Say (O Muhammad) “Be you stones or iron,”

× “Or some created thing that is yet greater (or harder) in your breasts (thoughts to be resurrected, even then you shall be resurrected)” Then, they will say: “Who shall bring us back (to life)?” Say: “He Who created you first!” Then, they will shake their heads at you and say: “When will that be ?” Say: “Perhaps it is near!”

(Al-Isra 17:49-51)
____________

co-creation: opening up to the unknown and letting Allaah work through you.


 

مَا أَصَابَ مِن مُّصِيبَةٍ فِي الْأَرْضِ وَلَا فِي أَنفُسِكُمْ إِلَّا فِي كِتَابٍ مِّن قَبْلِ أَن نَّبْرَأَهَا إِنَّ ذَلِكَ عَلَى اللَّهِ يَسِيرٌ
لِكَيْلَا تَأْسَوْا عَلَى مَا فَاتَكُمْ وَلَا تَفْرَحُوا بِمَا آتَاكُمْ وَاللَّهُ لَا يُحِبُّ كُلَّ مُخْتَالٍ فَخُورٍ

¤No calamity befalls on the earth or in yourselves but is inscribed in the Book of Decrees, before We bring it into existence. Verily, that is easy for Allaah.
¤In order that you may not be sad over matters that you fail to get, nor rejoice because of that which has been given to you. And Allaah likes not prideful boasters.

Al-Hadid [57: 22-23]
These verses mention three things: the events that occur, the goals we seek and our failures.So, nothing happens chaotically, it’s all measured. The unknown isn’t an enemy or a maelstrom of suffering.

If we fail to get what we aimed for, we shouldn’t beat ourselves up about it because it might be that our efforts culminated in something different from what we envisioned. We did our part, and the outcome was never ours to claim. If we get it, it’s a gift we’re grateful for. If not, it’s a sobering moment to think about all the other times things have manifested effortlessly that we’ve taken for granted?

and if we do get what we want, we shouldn’t feel entitled as if we achieved that by our own measures and therefore identify ourselves with outcomes. This would impede our growth, and it’s why sometimes we fail to achieve what we strive for; to detach us from a fixed mindset.

We’re being taught to surrender to the divine order, and trust that although we can’t avert pain or attain all that our heart desires​, we’re well taken care of. The plans put in place are perfect. If they weren’t, it’d affect the rest of the universe since it’s all interconnected, and a change in one part has a ripple effect on everything else.


 

is religion antiquated?

When people denounce religion in a reductivist way as to imply that modernity should make us all transcend such baseness, it makes me fear for humanity. Those who say this are usually white people in industrialized nations, where they are so far removed from the raw human condition that dwells in the cracks of suffering like poverty like death of children like rampant spread of crippling diseases, that they’ve forgotten their insignificant place in this universe.

 
Religion is ingrained in the subconscious as an archetype – it’s shaped the paths we’ve crossed as a collective from time immemorial. When you look down on it, you have put yourself at the centre of the universe. You’ve erased your human limits and imperfections because modern conveniences insulates you from feeling the powerlessness this man felt.

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Concerts and kings

إِذَا تُتْلَى عَلَيْه آيَاتُنَا قَالَ أَسَاطِيرُ الْأَوَّلِينَ

{When Our Verses (of the Qur’an) are recited to him he says: “Tales of the ancients!}¹

كَلَّا بَلْ رَانَ عَلىٰ قُلُوبِهِم مَّا كَانُوا يَكْسِبُونَ

{Nay! But their hearts were made impenetrable by the evil they used to do.}

كَلَّا إِنَّهُمْ عَن رَّبِّهِمْ يَوْمَئِذٍ لَّمَحْجُوبُونَ

{Nay! Surely they will be veiled from their Lord that Day}

ثُمَّ إِنَّهُمْ لَصَالُو الْجَحِيمِ

{ Then indeed, they will [enter and] burn in Hellfire.}

ثُمَّ يُقَالُ هَذَا الَّذِي كُنتُم بِهِ تُكَذِّبُونَ

 {Then, it will be said to them: “This is what you used to deny!}


The only way to find pleasure in having no integrity is by rejecting everything that calls for integrity. Because your heart requires you to be pervious to the universal truths in order for you to be in sync with it, you’ll have to shut your heart – meaning, your conscience and intuition – off, like an alarm clock.

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Thomas Aquinas

Grant me, O Lord my God, a mind to know You, a heart to seek You, wisdom to find You, conduct pleasing to You, faithful perseverance in waiting for You, and a hope of finally embracing You. Amen.


How is it they live in such harmony, the billions of stars, when most men can barely go a minute without declaring war in their minds?


The Study of philosophy is not that we may know what men have thought, but what the truth of things is. 


We must love them both, those whose opinions we share and those whose opinions we reject, for both have labored in the search for truth, and both have helped us in finding it.


We can’t have full knowledge all at once. We must start by believing; then afterwards we may be led on to master the evidence for ourselves.


Three things are necessary for the salvation of man: to know what he ought to believe; to know what he ought to desire; and to know what he ought to do.


Faith has to do with things that are not seen, and hope with things that are not in hand.


The study of truth requires a considerable effort – which is why few are willing to undertake it out of love of knowledge – despite the fact that God has implanted a natural appetite for such knowledge in the minds of men.


While injustice is the worst of sins, despair is the most dangerous; because when you are in despair you care neither about yourself nor about others.


Creator of all things, true source of light and wisdom, origin of all being, graciously let a ray of Your light penetrate the darkness of my understanding. Take from me the double darkness in which I have been born, an obscurity of sin and ignorance. Give me a keen understanding, a retentive memory, and the ability to grasp things correctly and fundamentally. Grant me the talent of being exact in my explanations and the ability to express myself with thoroughness and charm. Point out the beginning, direct the progress, and help in the completion.


To make peace either in oneself or among others, shows a man to be a follower of God







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