Trust in God


okay…I’m sad again, its back…but this time I’ll trust Allah.

توكلت على الله

God, I hope I get out of this state soon. Please pray for me.

…For the record, I know that my life is 1000% better than most others. I have so much good, I should be more grateful for that. This post isn’t in the attitude of “woe is me, I’ll dress in all black and cut myself!” No, not like that.

The prayer of the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, when he was in his absolute lowest moments of life.

اللهم إليك أشكو ضعف قوتي وقلة حيلتي وهواني على الناس ياأرحم الراحمين أنت أرحم الراحمين  أنت رب المستضعفين وأنت ربي إلى من تكلني إلى عدو يتجهمني أم إلى صديق مكلته إمري إن لم يكن بك غضب علي فلا أبالي ولكن عافيتك هي أوسع لي أعوذ بنور وجهك الذي أضاءت له السموات و الأرض  وأشرقت له الظلمات وصلح عليه أمر الدنيا والأخره  أن ينزل بي غضبك أو يحل علي سخطك لك العتبى حتى ترضى ولاحول ولاقوة إلابك

 “O Allah, I complain to you of my weakness, and my plan is not working, and how insignificant I am to others, O Most Merciful of the Merciful, you are the lord of those who have no power, and you are my lord. Who are you going to leave me to? To some distant person who will be like the Fire to me? Or to some enemy who you give him power over me? If you have no anger towards me, then I have no objections. But making it easier is lighter upon me. I seek refuge in the divine light of your face, by which even the darkness becomes illuminated. And all of this world and the next world is taken care. I seek refuge that your wrath upon me, or your anger descends upon me. You can do whatever until you are pleased. And there is no power and no change except you.”

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Broken, but not beyond repair


I sat with my Shaykh for the first time in 3-4 months. He asked me right out if I had been losing weight. I guess I had, didn’t even realized. He asked me to check my weight, I went from the mid to high 160s to low 150 in…not sure how long. I guess I’m really sad.

I am very very sad. I find myself sleeping too much, sometimes late into the day, once until 4pm. I won’t let that happen again. I don’t hang out with anyone anymore, I tend to stay by myself, I just go to work and come home. To be honest, I feel like a loser, a bum, a left-behind.

I’m cracked and water keeps seeping in. And yes, the foundation has damage, major damage. But I’m not beyond repair. I still cook for my family, I clean, I drive my mom around when she doesn’t want to, I run errands, I give charity, I work feverishly on a few personal projects. I don’t wallow in my own self-pity (well, sometimes in the mornings and late nights, but not for too long). That’s one thing I don’t like about modern Internet culture, the self-pity. I guess I do it too, but not the way they do it.

I don’t plan on offing myself or anything like that. I try to be strong for those around me. I try to maintain hope that maybe I’ll get out of this predicament. I do things to make others happy.

This pain only makes me feel for others, all people. They’re human beings just like me with feelings and soft hearts. Maybe when I’m out of the darkness, I can help others out too.

Old Woman at Hajj


I went to Hajj in 2012. The entire thing went very smooth, honestly one of the best experiences of my life. I don’t get these Hajj horror stories, I had a perfect time.

Except one.

During the walk to the Jamaraat, where Muslims symbolically stone Satan, I had separated from my group to help escort an older couple from our group who were a little slow.

While I was walking, I saw an old woman completely collapsed on the ground, as if she was dead. Other people were just walking by her…

I went up to her and asked if she was okay. She was an older woman, probably in her late 60s or so, dark-skinned, looked Indian, missing a few teeth. I asked if she was okay, but she gave me a blank stare. I picked up her ID card, which identified her as Indian. I wish I still knew her name. I think it was Aisha? I don’t remember!

Clearly this woman needed help. She looked as if she had been separated from her group and just collapsed from exhaustion. I had to do something.

I asked if she spoke English. No response. Arabic? No. Urdu? I thought Urdu was like the official language of Muslims India…No Urdu either. She was probably south Indian. I even tried Pashto! But we could not communicate.

I looked around for some water, but I did not see any water anywhere. Just at that moment a Saudi guard came and spoke to me in Arabic. He said she could not lay here like this, I think he presumed I was with her. I told her I did not speak her language, that she was from South India and she was not from my group, but she needed help.

I don’t remember if I asked him for water? Did I? I hope I did? All I remember is looking at her with a face of “I don’t know how I can help you…” It wasn’t my fault, I needed to get back to the group I was escorting, who I almost lost in the sea of people.

I keep playing this scene in my head again and again. I wish I had gone to my group and said I will meet up with them back at the tents, and then gone back to her? I could have carried her to her group, navigated my way around. I spoke Arabic and maybe I could have carried her back to her tent. Maybe the fact that I’m also Indian would have helped her feel comfortable?

I wish so much I had done more. It still haunts me to this day. I was just praying Maghrib and it came to my mind. I wish I had done more.

Maybe I will meet her in the next life and apologize, or just laugh about it and talk about that day.

I’m back, but I don’t have confidence in myself to stay


I started praying again, been “good” at it. All I do now is go to work, take care of my mom (cook for her, clean, pick up heavy boxes, etc), and write tons of computer code – that’s my only passion in life that is gratified – programming.

I’m not a bad person, but I have a lot of love in my heart. But I also have a broken heart whose injury never healed, and is horribly infected. And that infection will continue to cause me to spiritually stumble, again and again.

I know I will fall again, its only a matter of time.

Approached by an FBI Informant


I’m all but absolutely certain that I was approached by an FBI Informant last night at the Ferguson rally. I’m completely serious.

I went to DC to protest the case in Ferguson, but also the treatment of African-Americans by police in general.

It was a little chilly last night so I was wearing a Pakol, a hat commonly worn by Pashtuns which I happen to be.

beige-colour-pakol-gundara

The exact same kinda hat I was wearing

 

It also just so happens that my neighbor is a DC Cop and in my habit of talking to random people I went up to a cop and asked if he knew my neighbor. They said no, but then a random guy off to the side said “I know him!”. He was prob mid to late 30s, busy beard, sharp nose, wearing a cotton hat. He had with him a fatter, about the same age, wearing a dark kifiyya.

I said oh cool, you do? But he immediately jumped to commenting on my hat. He said something to the effect of “You can’t wear that unless you’ve been to Afghanistan”, upon which I said I am Afghan. He said he was from Kandahar. I busted out in a little bit of Pashto, but he could not understand me. Also, his accent for certain Afghanisms was off – someone his age from Afghanistan would have only come to the US in the last 20 years and would have retained his accent. He then switched to saying he was from Kabul – which I didn’t catch as an inconsistency until about 15 minutes later.

He asked me about the Muslim “centers” (not masjids) where I live and I rattled off a few names. He then said he heard there were a lot of places to “train”. That set off my bullshit detect, but I played dumb and said “train?” He said “train for combat”. I went on to telling him that not only would Muslims in DC not be down for that, they would probably beat you up, and then turn you into the police. He seemed to lose interest pretty quickly, so I repeated that. After that, I walked away somewhat quickly and got lost in the crowd.

Then a thought came to me. If this guy really was someone trying to “infiltrate a Jihadi network”, I want to leave a better impression on him. About an hour or so (not sure) later I randomly ran into him and his friend in the crowd. I said “Listen, if you are, don’t get caught up with those people” and went on about how the Prophet called such people “the dogs of hell” – I didn’t say salawat…I’m a pretty broken Muslim right now..but if he came to my house I’d bust out the finest china and hand-prepare for him a meal for the Kings. He said “Yeah, they’re radicals, right?” upon which I said “Beyond radical! If you see them, you should spit on them!” and told him again not to get caught up in those people.

After that, I didn’t see him or his friend again, got mixed up in the crowd.

The Homeless God


I lived on-campus when I was a Sophomore, from 2003-2004. Once as I was standing outside of my dorm with some friends on a cold night, a homeless man approached us and asked us for money. He was visibly disheveled and wore old dirty clothes. I still remember that he had mucus in his beard and had a hint of desperate insanity in his voice. The man asked us for money. Not only did I not have a penny, my generation uses cards, not paper money. He repeated his request and said, “Come on, love’s not a dirty word”. But I really had nothing to give him.

He then said “Do you know who I am…? I’m God.” And then he walked away.

When I look back at that incident, I see it from his perspective. He was (probably) a decent man who fell on hard times and found himself on the street. Now he sees these kids – ignorant, privileged and materialistic, stingy with their blessings, arrogant, living a life of plenty. This, in his immediacy, while he is struggling for his next meal.

Maybe I’m over-analyzing it, maybe he really was missing some of his marbles. But I see his statement “I’m God” not in the literal sense, but an expression of his anger at the situation. It should be different than it is. He has a moral superiority to the one who created the situation, God. So he is better than God. And the next step was to fashion himself God.

That was over 10 years ago. I hope he’s found peace.

The Bad Reason for the Second Amendment


I’m very pro-2nd amendment, I personally own a .22LR rifle, used to own a 9mm, and plan to buy a Mosin-Nagant sometime in the future. However, I completely fail to understand the rationale of some, not all, gun-rights activists. Specifically, those who argue that guns are a necessary tool to over-throw or push back a tyrannical government in the impending future dystopia.

First off, the following reasons in support of the second amendment are unquestionably legitimate:

  • Sportsmanship – When you target shoot just for fun, what’s commonly referred to as called plinking.
  • Hunting – Though it can border on the immoral, killing an animal for food is not only natural, its by far better for the prey than to be raised in a farm from birth and injected with hormones and all that.
  • Historical Value – Because you want a piece of modern history, which has shaped the destiny of the world.
  • Self-Defense – This comes with strong caveat. Use a pistol-caliber round for home-defense, a shotgun or at most an AR-15. Some people get nutty with thousands of gizmos and add-ons. I think that’s over-kill. Unlikely you will need a powerful round beyond what I mentioned. So in general, this is a valid reason.

Now that that’s out of the way, lets talk about the one majorly invalid reason: Fighting back against an out of control government. This almost always take the form of the US federal government restricting freedoms, putting people in camps, devaluing the currently, and what they call “Shit Hits the Fan” scenarios. If this is your primary reason for owning a firearm, your reason is not only irrational, it is absurd and going to get you, your family and potentially your neighbors killed. Turn back while you have time and support peace!

The inferiority of militia groups

If you ever spend time looking up militia groups online, you cannot help but not take them seriously. They’re mostly immature, army-wanna young guys looking for a fight. At best, they have small arms, camouflage clothing, and spirit. At worst, they’re overweight, boast minimal training, mostly consisting of running around with their gun, and are highly irresponsible with their rhetoric. Its as if they want a conflict to break out!

Realistically speaking, if the government wanted to stop your and your cell, short of going into hiding, they would kill you in a heart-beat. If you were ever found to be a serious threat, they would send a drone to bomb you and your entire group. They could do this from 100 miles away, without you having the slightest idea it was coming. And not, your militia group would be relegated to the mountains and die of starvation or exposure, far away from the areas they want to control. I don’t care if you have 10,000 rounds per soul, you would not stand a chance.

In open conflict, a well-trained, well-equipped, well-funded, well-established National Guard would make short-work of these militia-types. It will not be a Second American Revolution, it would be an entirely asymmetric conflict with the Federal Troops winning.

The Eventuality of Conflicts

Even if you could eventually defeat a tyrannical government, its not always worth it. Put down your romanticism and look at the human cost of civil wars.

The past fifty years have seen countless conflicts against national governments. Two examples that immediately come to mind are the Chechen separatist movement of the ’90s and Syrian Rebels in the on-going civil war. In both cases, smaller, less-equipped irregular troops were able to deal a serious blow to the national military. But, at what cost?

I have no defined views on who to support in the Syrian conflict, its one big SHTF scenario. But what I can say is that millions of people have had their lives destroyed, lost limbs, been traumatized, had their wealth and fortunes destroyed, lost family members, and seen their proud country reduced to rubble. An estimated 1.7 Million people have left to neighboring Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey. And even when this damn war ends, the country will be left with open-wounds along sectarian and political divides that never existed in the past — at least not like this.

In the case of Chechnya, the capital city Grozny was reduced to a heap of rubble. I once read that 1/4th of the entire ethnic group was killed in the two wars. Watch the following video. If you eyes are dry after watching this, your heart is dead.


That poor boy looking for his sister…

That is war! Even if you are fine, suited up in your battle-dress uniform, armed to the teeth, the civilian populations who even ostensibly support your cause are subject to the brutal wrath of a faceless state — all in the name of security.

In the past, wars were localized. It was possible for populations to remain isolated from conflict in their own cities. If their walls were high enough and strong enough, they could resist even a six month-long siege. But in modern times, wars are more bloody, more violent, and cost more than they have ever in the history of history.

Conclusion

Finally, I want to close with a final point. In ‘Aqidah al-Tahawiyya, a classical book of theology, the author says

We do not recognize rebellion against our authority or those in charge of our affairs even if they are unjust, nor do we wish evil on them, nor do we withdraw from following them. We hold that obedience to them is part of obedience to God, The Glorified, and therefore obligatory as long as they do not order to commit sins. We pray for their right guidance and pardon from their wrongs.

Though this is a bitter pill to swallow, but the reasons are clear: Fighting creates chaos and bloodshed which is worse than oppression. In these difficult times, forgive each other, have forbearance over the mistakes of others, support peace, put down your weapons and run away from the fight!

Having said all that…I can’t wait to go hunting some rabbits 🙂