Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Translations - When She Appeared, Swaying by Lisan ad-Din ibn al-Khatib

When she appeared, swaying, she softened Youth and Coquetry.
My love, her beauty enticed us (together); I (would) sacrifice myself for her; is there (a possibility of) a connection?

She adumbrated with her gander; captured us in gardens between the shadows.
A twig was charmed, when she sang her fantasy, and bent (in infatuation).

My menace, O my fuddle, I have no one to compassionate my grievance,
with love, of agony, other than the owner of Beauty.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

A State of Affairs

Do you often think of the world? Of the human race? What of life? More specifically, how do all of these things collude in the modern context?

Modernity, with all its power and majesty, is – to use a modern term – plastic. I do not know for sure if it is this way because it might be that we have simply jumped on an exponentially large number of times in the past 1000 years (and especially the last 100 years) in all physical terms; we might have simply not had the ample time to evolve into accepting all our progress as a race.

That being said, however, the emptiness of life as we know it is astounding once we take a moment to absorb our actions and the mentalities behind them. It is the very fact that we have accustomed our being such that we do not examine our activities that prevent the majority of us from seeing the very depressing situation we are in.

Think of your daily routine and what makes you do it, right from the simple act of waking up at a particular time down to our extremely complex human interaction protocols and you will understand that almost everything we do, we have no real reason to do; we just do things because that’s how things are done and because things ‘need’ to be done.

This is an excerpt; the full article can be read here.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Second Chances

Have you ever considered what you would (or could) do with a second chance? Of course you have; who hasn't? The appeal of retrying an attempt with retrospective knowledge is nauseatingly powerful.

I have long maintained that all human desires are different faces to one desire - control. You want to be taller (or shorter) - but not too tall (or short). You want to know much more than you do - but not enough to kill off the excitments of learning and experience. All our desires revolve around our desire to be able to control the balance of all the variables that both make us and surround us.

Our obsession with second chances is no different - we want to control our past and perfect it. But few are those who consider the consequences of trying again critically; the huge majority are blinded by the dream of success.

Think of any skill you have ever acquired; I shall use billiards as an example. Most probably, the first time you tried to play billiards, the failure was misrabley hilarious. You try again, and the chances are either you are still as bad as you were, or have improved by a very tiny margin. A lot of practice is required before you can play comfortably, and it is the same story with second chances.

They are a lie - and a big one.

You will need much more than just a second chance; you might need a number that runs through the third significant figure. Not only that, you will also need contemplation, concentration, determination, etc. - work!

As much as I loathe the idea of it, there is no way to achieve 'it' but work, because if you reach or achieve 'it' without the hard work and back-breaking experience, you will always be greedier for more.

The only way to comprehend the awesomeness and incredibility of what you have done is to fight for it to understand the challenges and be fully soaked with the humility of your progress, which will, in turn, give you the satisfaction of self-pride and the wise hunger to steady work.

There are no shortcuts; only illusions of them.

Saturday, October 5, 2013


In the melancholy of a rainy day autumn night, lies the grandest and most complete of life visions. A sort of black and white tint is applied, brightening car headlights and making car horns, somehow, louder. It blurs out the hustle & bustle of the narrow streets drowning the incredible chatter in a blanket of silence.

All that can be heard is the rain.

The grand symphony of Autumn, unlike the sparkly happy whistling birds of Spring, are more expressive of life and its shenanigangs. In a solemn sort of way, it is more beautiful - no two drops are the same size and no two drops fall the same way.

If you listen very carefully, you can hear a million stories - some spoken, some yelled, some pleaded - all at once. Roads and streets, themselves cracks of a city, lined with cracked bricks, wet stone and tired asphalt. They bear witness to the million stories - planned, unforseen, pleasant or nauseating - unflinchingly alive and dead simultaneously, like a volcano under a deep ocean.

Relationships of all sorts formed, broken or mended on the streets are never spoken of until the Autumn, when the red-yellow leaves carpet them and the cold rain is blown upon them by the moody winds. That is when the city stones speak. That is Autumn's grand symphony. If only we'd listen...

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

What is Ramadan?

Ramaḍān, the holy Muslim month, is the month where hundreds of millions of Muslims on all corners of the Earth fast from dawn to dusk; it holds much significance over being the month when the Qur'an was first revealed. To Muslims, however, Ramadan represents much more than just a calender marker of their holy book or a yearly diet routine.

"Life is a journey."

This journey is often physically, mentally and emotionally exhausting. Many times, we find ourselves slipping into mistakes that we shouldn't have made; we find ourselves slowly derailing off the tracks; we find ourselves not who we dreamed of being as 5-year olds; we find ourselves not the people we want to be.

This is when Ramadan comes in; the best way to think of Ramadan is a (lunar) month-long New Year's Eve where we can not just make promises for our next year's experience, but actually have weeks to prepare ourselves, at least mentally, to execute them.

The main focus is coming to grips with yourself by learning how to control your mind and instincts. This is achieved by not only fasting while the sun is out, gracefully breaking that fast (far easier said than done, believe me), but mostly by feeding your spirituality through reading the Qur'an, praying, fasting, giving charity, doing random good deeds, etc.

It is not just a wonderfully strange cleansing experience of metamorphosing your mind (and body) into the one you want, but - perhaps more importantly - another chance to dive and (re?)discover the depths of your character and gain much-needed clearance.

All this talk has little value because nothing can do justice to the heart-warming atmosphere of Ramadan. Thus, I end this by wishing you all a very blessed Ramadan.

Ramadan Mubarak everyone! :)