Archive for July, 2007

We have made some of you as a trial for others

There is wisdom in constantly reading the Quran and contemplating over Allah’s words; your new exeperiences in life force you to understand particular ayat in a way you had never understood them before.  I must have read aya 20 in surat al -furqan many times in the past, but in all honestly, I don’t  remember contemplating over this one particular aya until now, while in Egypt.  The aya reads: “And the Messengers whom We sent before you were all (men) who ate food and walked through the streets. We have made some of you as a trial for others. Will you have patience? For Allah is One Who sees (all things). ” When I read this aya it dawned on me that it is very relevent to our stay in Egypt. 19 people came together with the same goal: to learn Arabic. I believe we have gotten much more out of this trip than Arabic.  We have learned a lot about ourselves.  We are who we are today, at this very moment in our lives, because of the complex interplay between our own gentic makeup, temperment, environment etc. We are not only different in physical appereance but also in the way we think and behave.  Having to live and deal with someone you did not grow up with or choose to be with can be a test. How do you deal with someone whose personality is very much different than your own? What happens when you are put in an apartment with 6 people who don’t understand you. You make a choice. You choose to know them. Better yet, you choose to understand them. And for no other reason but to please Allah (swt). Why does my sister tend to leave the group after a little bit of socializing? Why can’t he take anything seriously? Does she ever stop talking? To me that aya addresses this very point, Allah (swt) could have created us all the same but he didn’t.  Dealing with difference is a challenge and requires patience. It requires a committment to understand your brother and sister and then patience as you interact with someone who may be very different from you.  In an attempt to understand each other we have learned a lot about our own selves.

I feel blessed to have spent this summer with this group of  brothers and sisters. I ask everyone to forgive me if I have said or done anything to hurt them.

Hiat

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July 31, 2007 at 4:09 pm 1 comment

Adilah’s first post

okay soo this is my first post, SALAM to you all!! i finally figured out how to sign on to this thing….

being here in egypt is soo exciting for me! i love it! even though i get honked at all the time, always feel lk my toes are going 2 get run over, getting ripped off sometimes with shopping, smelling lk smoke and cigs from the coffee shop, and get made fun of bc of my arabic…. ITS ALL GOOD!!!!!!! i love the fact that im back 2 hanging my clothes out to dry, and that im in a apt with 6 great gals who make me laugh no matter what! and that i can find mango juice ANYWHERE!!

i have many sad, and happy, and GM (girls things 😉 ) moments on this trip and i will never forget the memmories!

MAS deff picked a great group of people for this trip, bc it nv could have been better!

-adilah, aka anfy, aka add, aka nicole… lol

July 29, 2007 at 6:22 am 2 comments

unlocking the secret behind the egyptian accent

Life is full of hard to answer questions like why did the dajaj cross the tareeq?

A few days ago i learned part of the answer to why Egyptians (and arabs in general) have an accent when they speak in English.

If you ask the closest Egyptian 3amu or 3amty near you to say “street” in English they will likely pronounce it like “estreet” (putting a hamza before the “s”).

The reason behind this is that in Arabic, the first letter always has a tashkeel (fat7a, kasra, or damma), so Arabs have a very hard time pronouncing an English word with two consonants in the beginning of the word. So they need to give the “s” in “street” an extra sound to pronounce it, hence they will say “estudy” , “estop” , “cerazy” or “berotherhood”.

Im sure that are linguistic explanations for other parts of the accent. If you know, blease share 🙂

July 26, 2007 at 12:38 am 4 comments

yousaf…my country… and a poem

AssalamuAlaikum 

Now that I have been in Egypt for 4 weeks I can honestly say that I have learned where I belong… in my country. Recently the brothers discussed the seerah of the Prophet (s) and we came to the realization that regardless of whether or not the Quraysh became Muslims, the Prophet Muhammad (s) always considered them ‘his people,’ meaning his responsibilty.  The Quraysh persecuted the Muslims, tortured them and even slaughtered them but the Prophet (s) never gave up on them.  Comparitively I am starting to see that instead of cussing out America or calling it the devil, I should instead accept it as my own. America is my country, plain and simple… And after seeing what I have seen here, and hearing what I have heard, my hope for Islam’s ‘Renaissance’ lies in the U.S. of A.  The oppurtunities we have to build a strong and balanced community are not found here in Egypt, or any other ‘muslim country’ for that matter.  I once sat in a khatira given by Sheikh Shakir Elsayed, where he told us to imagine an America where you can hear the athan on the streets of every major city.  At the time, I saw this as an unnattainable ideal, but now I see it as our burden and honor to make it a reality… My teacher at Diwan recently reminded us that victory for Islam is inevitable… After hearing this all I could really think about was making sure that I am part of this change for the better…I do not want to face Allah (swt) on that Day and have nothing to show for my life… ‘I sat back and watched as others struggled to raise the banner of your deen…’

So, at the end of the day, I am actually proud to be an American..and more importantly a Muslim American… Let’s make it our country… This is the country I want my children to grow up in and this is the country from which I pray the spark of Islam comes from.  I made a dua yesterday that I had never thought of before this trip:

‘Ya Allah, Make me the type of slave You deserve to have!’

 May Allah make us of the Musliheen…May Allah grant us the determination and patince required to sacrifice for Him.

I wrote this poem today from the perspective of our deen Al-Islam (personified): 

MY RENAISANCE

O Ummah of Muhammaad (s), Why do you hide?

O Ummah of Al-Sadiq, In whose hearts do I still reside?

O Ummah of Al-Faruq, Why do you run scared, why do you flee?

O my Ummah, Why do you lose hope when your victory has already been decreed?

 

I’m sick of living a life without purpose

Where any man with money and power can hurt us

I’m sick of an Ummah of cowards

Decomposing and fronting like flowers

I’m sick of hearing about orphaned children and widowed mothers

And ‘Islamic governments’ who incarcerate Muslim brothers

I’m sick of Kashmir and Sheeshan

Of death in Muslim Kosovo and the Sudan

I’m sick of an Ummah of big talkers and little doers

Of words just as good as the ‘stuff’ we find in the sewers

I’m sick of a people who can’t find the middle path

Of people who fall astray or fall into Allah’s wrath

I’m sick of hearing about Palestine

AND IT- NOT- BEING-MINE!

I’m sick of a community of mediocrity

Doctors and engineers trying to live in secular harmony

I’m sick of a media that is allowed to disgrace me

Of news tickers, Fox news and sean hannity

I’m sick of faithless muslimoon

Of hopeless mutawakiloon

I’m sick of hearing about victory

And tasting it only in books of Islamic history

I’m sick of brothers who’d rather play ball than pray

Of men who’d rather run than find another way

I’m sick of fifty year old boys and fifty year old girls

Who have done nothing in their lives except lived 50 yrs in their own little worlds

I’m sick of the Hijab being spliced with tight jeans

Of scarves as a statement for Muslim fashion queens

I’m sick of beards without heart

Of Muslim men who fold the second life gets hard

I’m sick of Muhajabas who expose everything except for a few hairs

Who walk like they’re on the catwalk, demanding lustful stares

I’m sick of leaders who oppress the people they are supposed to defend

Of Muslim men with Muslimah girlfriends

I’m sick of Muslim con-artists and righteous imitators

And of religious tyrants and blameless dictators

I’m sick of husbands who leave their wives beaten and bruised

Of a pathetic people whose only way out is to blame their shortcomings on the Jews

I’m sick of shaytan having his way with Allah’s slaves

Of cemeteries in Muslim lands full of infant sized graves

I’m sick of my Ummah’s tears soaking sacred grounds

Of my Ummah’s blood being spilled without protest or sound

I’m sick of empty masajid and dusty Quran pages

AND I AM SICK OF LIVING IN THE MUSLIM DARK AGES

     

July 24, 2007 at 4:00 pm 13 comments

more than words

~Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem~

Salaam, hope this post finds everyone in the best of health inshallah. i sprained my ankle a little bit, lol, but its no biggy, it was worth it to play some ball 😛

MashAllah, from what i can see, which mite be a limited perspective because i never really knew anyone here before this trip with the exception of my brother, i’ve seen everyone here change and want to change so much… i dont think i really have to say this, its kinda known.. Some of the discussions we have had, SubhanAllah, amazing man.. in the beginning we all wrote down some of the things we wanted to change in ourselves, and some of the things we wanted to accomplish before we left here..  the reason im righting this post is basically to say that, i think we all know what we have to do to change ourselves, and now in our last two weeks here, its time for more than words(maybe i have been listening to too much 80s music lol)… its time to start implementing the changes… we gotsta wake up and realize that we were given this chance that not many people have either because they couldnt afford it financially or maybe because they didnt have the time to come all this way to egypt to study arabic and better our deen… so now since we were given this chance by Allah, what are we gona do with it?  in full honesty, one of my biggest fears of going back is that i will fall right back into it my old habits and stuff… its easy to say we will change when we go back, but to actually make those changes is going to be hard, but if we cant implement those changes, what was this whole trip for? we have to remember that the shaytaan will try his hardest to get to us right when we get back, to try and make us fall right back into our old habits and so on and so forth, and its up to us to take control of our own nafs… InshAllah we will all be able to accomplish our goals that we set for ourselves on this trip, and keep those changes goin when we get back…

goin on these trips that probably most of us wouldnt go on if we werent here.. like the trip to the orphanage, in full honesty its the first time i have ever gone to anything like that, not because i havent had the opportunity, just because it never crossed my mind to do it… that trip was life changing man its hard to describe in words… if we didnt feel something after that trip, then we gotta check our selves (stealing my brothers line:-P) , inshAllah i ask Allah to soften our hearts, and allow us to recognize all of the benefits we can possibly get from trips like this one, and the trip like the one to the graves,  crazy… and the trips to come in the future… I dont know about everyone else but im excited about the trip to Mount Tur inshAllah… stepping on the same ground as Musa (A)… mmmmm.. amazing.. lol

on a side note, this trip is becoming a love hate relationship for me.. i love all the things we are doing here and the people are awesome and everything, but i just miss home, a lot more than i expected man.. lol my family, friends, everything… and i came a week late!! so i cant imagine what everyone else is going thru lol, i ask Allah to keep us all strong inshAllah, and to help us keep our focus on the remainder of the trip… lol its getting harder and harder to follow some of the posts up, lol, their getting deeper and deeper, inshAllah keep them coming, cuz they are awesome to read, i hope mine can live up to some of the other ones… lol

July 21, 2007 at 1:17 pm 3 comments

prayer

Lately we’ve been bonding… the girls in our apartment. Well I can tell you that we seem to be learning a lot about each other, I can only speak for myself when I say that I’ve learning about myself too by sharing. The other day when we were at Masjid Bilal (the Masjid like less than a block away)… a lady gave the other girls who had come to pray I’sha and myself some gifts… subhana’Allah, she told us is was from the women of the Masjid. I felt like they truly liked us. On Monday, the same lady was at the‘other sisters’ apartment for iftar. Well, when I got there I couldn’t understand practically anything she was saying. I remember trying to make out her body/sign language (which I seem to be doing a lot of here in Misr). Also, someone mentioned that she was feeling bad because of the language barrier. So, they asked us to try and speak in Arabic for her sake. We all just kind of paused what we were doing and someone broke the silence with a statement that: if we are only going to speak in Arabic, everyone will just stay relatively quiet…implying just exactly how limited our Arabic is! Sad, but that is our reality. When we all gathered to pray maghrib, the same lady lead the prayer. And all I gotta say is Subhana’Allah! Right when I heard al-fatiha, this realization came over me that the one thing that we DO understand each other through is prayer. Seems like such an obvious analogy that probably has been pointed out an immense number of times…. But to me, an UNDERSTANDING along with its impact hit me then. I felt closer to her. Subhana’Allah. Because when I think about it more, prayer is the dearest act of worship for us as Muslims. We are standing in front of our Lord in the most respectful way we know. Plus, recalling divine words, seeking refuge, and just worshipping altogether. And Alhamdulillah! If we can’t understand our brothers and sisters around the world because of some cultural and situational differences… we can understand them in prayer. (which is our deepest, dearest act of worship) Yes… Allah (An-Noor) has indeed blessed the Ummah.  May all the Muslims on this trip and around the world striving to learn Arabic for the sake of Allah (swt) receive great reward, patience, strength, and knowledge…aameen -lisa                           

salatsmall.jpg

July 18, 2007 at 6:54 am 2 comments

Something cool about arabic

Although I’m only in level 1 and maybe I’m only seeing the tip of a very huge iceberg, Arabic seems really really elegant and efficient to me at the moment.

 For example, the way you take one root word and make a whooole bunch of words from that one word. In English, you have completely different words for very related things. For example, to cook, chef, and kitchen all don’t sound anything alike. In Arabic the words (yudbukh, tubakh, and mudbukh)  all sound very similar. And the coolest thing is that (and correct me if I’m wrong, once again I’m only level 1), you can make an occupation out of ANY verb and it would be correct.

Also so far there aren’t a whole bunch of crazy verb tenses like in English.

 Somebody please let me know in the comments if Arabic is really as elegant as it seems to me right now or if in reality its a slumbering beast which I’ll wake up in later levels.

Hani

July 16, 2007 at 10:31 am 3 comments

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