sad stories
faded yellow into red brick buildings
and empty parks
and parents’ narratives
of what was and what never were.
swings sway in the wind as the sun
bends its light over metal fences
that have tales tied to their wires.
memories are overwhelming,
nostalgia drowns,
the floodgates have been opened.
remember,
that tree we all sat under,
with its white blossoms in bunches during the spring?
remember,
the promises we made,
only to forget,

only to let our words go like trees do their leaves in the wind?
when you broke your covenant,
did you even remember that you had ever made it?
or is that it?
are you content with being
just another sad story
faded yellow into red brick buildings
and empty parks
and parents’ narratives
of what was and what never were.

-AN

Advertisements

Oh Adina,
how many times did your heart express a desire and Allah responded?
How many times did you not even move your tongue or lips, but Allah reminded you that He knows what is in your heart?
You felt lost, like you had no older, supportive figure to guide you through it all, like you were walking in the dark while others had an advantage over you.
And look, Allah gave you so many older sisters. So many. Intelligent women upon the deen that are there to help, that want to help you, that have your best interests at heart. A true blessing from Allah SWT.
And remember, when you felt the fear of being 25, 26, even older, and not married? Fear of falling into sin while having to be single all that time. You did not do any more than feel fear at such a situation in your heart during sujood. You did not utter a single syllable to Allah SWT about it. Yet here you are.
Oh Adina, imagine then, what would happen, if you made more du’a?

Passing Time

Look how time passes.

It’s halfway through April,
and our smiles are starting to match the weather.
In May, I sat, undisturbed, indifferent, in an empty mosque.
Nighttime always stayed beneath my eyes well into the day.
In August I stared up, star-eyed, at a cobalt sky, in a stranger’s city.
When the sun set, we touched our foreheads to the earth,
rooted, grounded, entrenched.
In December, I shook, sobbing, in a bathroom stall.
Leaning against the stall door, biting my lip, forcing silence, I begged God for recompense.
In March, we teetered in pencil-thin high heels,
breathing vapor and happiness into the frigid blackness with each round of laughter.
Embrace after embrace, I was reminded that everything was not for nothing.
Now its halfway through April,
and we’re waiting for the trees to blossoms their flowers.
“Oh Allah grant me ease.”
Look how hard times pass: before you know it, ease has arrived, and memories of struggle are tinted gold.
                                                                                                     -AN

On Being Rejected:

Feelings of being cheated out of something we think we deserve are the results of narrow-minded views, tunnel vision we refuse to break out of.

1. How do I know I deserved it in the first place? As hard as I think I’ve worked, there could’ve easily been someone who worked harder. Or, maybe this thing I was prevented from acquiring was actually bad for me. In that case, it would’ve been something I didn’t deserve because it would’ve been a negative influence I would not have been able to fight against. Maybe this thing had the potential of leading me astray, and Allah SWT was only saving me from harm I simply couldn’t detect.

2. The disappointment will not disappear in a day, or two days, or three. No matter how hard you try to pretend like nothing is bothering you, every time the tiniest of references is made toward that which you didn’t receive, you feel the twinge of pain in your heart. But see, that’s the whole thing. If it was easy, then there would be no point to it. Putting your trust in Allah SWT is valuable because it’s difficult. When you don’t know why what happened did, that’s when its time to prove your faith. And countless before you have affirmed that their trust in Allah SWT never left them disappointed in the very end.

3. We plan, and Allah plans, and Allah is the Best of Planners. The end of worry lies in the beginning of trust in Allah. When you finally stop fretting over things you have absolutely no control over, when you finally stop taking the blame for those things and being unreasonably harsh on yourself, that’s when you’ll be able to breathe easy. Do your best and leave the rest to Allah SWT.

I learned to rise from Pekhawri dawns.

Eyes that shot open with a faint athaan.

The sparkling mist that hung in the air,

the dew that tickled flowers and weeds alike.

The sky, with its pink hues that mimicked laughter-bitten cheeks,

the rays of sun, as they sprawled into the room through the space between the curtains,

unfurling across decades of wear,

bluntly shedding light on unspoken truths and

lies that have been screamed over and over again.

I learned to stand from the Hindu Kush mountains.

Have you ever seen anything stand so proudly?

Grey stone and muddy earth, dipping and rising,

mixing and riding along craters and peaks.

Ancient tales ingrained into every pebble,

furrows in the earth telling time like wrinkles on red-brown skin.

Snow-capped peaks meet the sun at its zenith and its passings,

and they fill the sky, majestically, stunningly, unrelentingly, as if to state that

the earth alone is not territory enough for them.

I learned to yearn from the wind.

I travel constantly without knowing my direction.

I love constantly without remembering faces or voices.

I yearn constantly without being satiated.

I am, I rise, I stand, yet I long, and I long,

and this longing ruins me as I wither away waiting for reunion.

-AN

Battling Anxiety

Remember:

“The opposite of tawakkul is tension.”

“Allah SWT knows the amounts of times your heart sank out of sadness and grief and undoubtedly He heard every single ‘Ya Allah’ that escaped your quivering lips. Never for a moment lose hope in Him, cry to Him for as long as you need, for He is the only one who can turn your tears of sadness into absolute bliss.”

Remember all the times Allah SWT helped you, saved you. Remember all the times He made things so easy for you. If things aren’t going your way, despite du’a, know that its all a test. Stay strong. You’ll be glad you were patient. Staying patient through tough times increases one’s rank.

Breathe.

“Verily, with hardship, there is ease. Verily, with hardship, there is ease. So when you have finished your worldly occupations, devote yourself for Allah’s worship. And to your Lord (alone) turn all your intentions and hopes.” (Surah Al-Inshirah)

There is hardship after ease, and there is hardship along with ease.

Breathe.

Remember:

The opposite of tension is tawakkul.

Takbeeraat

Deafening cries ricochet off the walls,

we are unbreakable, one, united.

One man shouts with everything inside of him,
gives that one word every ounce of volume he can muster:
Takbeer!
Adrenaline rushes through our veins,
we reply, eager to be heard.
In those two words we exclaim His recompense of everything we ever lost,
His mercy after all of our mistakes,
His power and our weakness.
Allahu Akbar!
Takbeer!
Allahu Akbar!
The sounds leaving our mouths become louder and louder.
We are unbreakable, one, united.
We do not tire or become quieter.
Each and every heart in the room wishes it could last forever,
this freedom, this incredibly outward display of faith,
this rebellion of sorts against all those who reject the truth,
and submission to the Owner of the truth.
In this moment, our physical looks do not matter,
and it is this lack of discrimination
that allows a new-found love, in our chests, to be fostered,
leaves our hearts beating strongly against the dunya’s tidal waves
long after we have all parted.
We are unbreakable, one, united.
We do not tire or become quieter,
by the mercy of our Lord.
                                                                                           -AN