Childhood

•February 26, 2008 • 3 Comments

Do you remember back in the day when everyone over 5 feet tall told you “you’re too little to ride that… you’re too young to have a kitty… you can’t do that till you’re older!”

Yadda, yadda, yadda. All it made you want to do was “grow up” faster. Why does everyone call me a little kid? I’m in fifth grade.. pshh.

And then when you were a teeny-bopper going the whole, “I am an adult” route in high school, you were told “Don’t be in such a hurry to become an adult, childhood is so easy compared to adulthood.. savor your moments.”

But no, you were stubborn, and you continued to grow up.

Now, I look back upon my childhood… and a longing smile comes across my face. (haha, I say that as if it was centuries ago.)

Back in the day where school was actually a fun place to be, the playground was Heaven on Earth, and the biggest dilemma facing our lives was who could climb the fastest on the monkey bars.

I remember coming home from school… hastily finishing my Homework (yes, as soon as I came home. No, I can’t believe it either), and running outside – roller skates on feet, ready to take on any kid who would dare challenge me.

We were so creative back then. If there was no soccerball, an orange would suffice. If there was no rain, a gardening hose did the trick. If there was no volleyball net, a jump rope between two trees could hold up. We did everything and anything to achieve.. Fun.

I remember, every time I came to my cousins’ house, they would have a new intricately detailed game that they had thought up. First one to the bottom of the stairs wins! But you have to ride this puffy pillow while going down! And.. and – you need to do a handstand and then a flying kick! Oh.. and then hit the top of the ceiling facing backwards all with a cup of water in your hand! Haha… ok not that complex, but something similar. It was always fun, always challenging.. and we were always in a “zone”. At those moments, there was nothing in this dunya more important than completing the game.

Scrapes and bruises were no blemishes, but rather trophies of one’s triumphant battle with the gravel, another kid, or the bicycle. Dirty clothes signified the amount of fun and mischievous-ness that had been played out, and groundings only meant that something really bad -but soooo worth it- had gone down.

We were carefree, we had all the time in the world, and we were… for the most part… very out of tune with what Dunya really is: Hardship.

Now everything has a deadline.

Everyone is always waiting on your submission to continue the project.

Your input is needed, and if you don’t give it, the whole organization will shatter.

You forget that quiz due date, and a non-negotiable zero is sitting in your report.

There is so much demanded from us as we get older. Drama.. Fitnah… Responsibility… they all like to fill up the little breaths of air in our lives. Sometimes I wish I were a kid again… being unaccountable… being carefree…

They were right… Childhood was good.. why did we want to grow up soo fast? Come to think of it, Peter Pan was ingenious… I want to go to Neverland… Sigh.

Every now and then I try to climb a tree, dangle my feet off a balcony, kick a soccer ball… to make me feel alive again.

“Allah does not burden a soul with more than it can bear.” – Surah Baqara

Alhumdulillah. This is our test.

InshaAllah we all go to Jannah.

Reminiscing,
-Guildenstern

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Polygamy

•February 23, 2008 • 3 Comments

The quote below is from somebody’s note on Facebook

Quote:
Much has been made and said about Prophet Muhammad ‘s multiple marriages. There are many who smear the Prophet as a womanizing philanderer, citing his multiple marriages. This is absolute propaganda. As a response to those who malign the Prophet , IF the Prophet were anything of the sort, he would have taken advantage of his youth to do such a thing. But he did not! At a time when it was a common custom to have multiple wives, the Prophet did not marry anyone else while he was with Khadijah.It was only after Khadijah died, may God be pleased with her, that he married other women. Most of these wives were widows, whom the Prophet married to care after them, or they were the daughters of prominent Arab chieftains, so that the Prophet could form a cohesive Muslim society out of a fiercely tribalistic (and barbaric) Arab culture. The smears against the Prophet fall flat on their faces once the light of truth shines brightly upon them.

Granted, polygamy is not very widely practiced amongst the Muslims here in America or other Westernized countries.. but I always find it interesting that so many brothers either joke or talk extensively on the possibilities of having not only ONE wife *which they most likely do not have* but having multiple beautiful young women.

I think, people need a reality check. Follow the footsteps of your beloved Rasul

So quickly, people jump to the Quran and Sunnah to back up their “I can rightfully have more than one” debate. Sure, polygamy is Halal, and sure it is even encouraged in many circumstances.

But do those who are quick to jump to those hadith ever consider the 25 years that the Prophet remained monogamous? He did not marry any other wife during Khadija’s life.. which was the duration of his YOUTH years.

So many brothers, barely passed 20 or 30 love to jump on the “lets look for a second” bandwagon.

I don’t love my wife anymore, I want a prettier younger girl, I fell in love with my co-worker… etc.

Alhumdulillah, it is Halal for you… marry a young virgin.. marry a pretty girl.. but then may Allah help the divorced and widowed women, who have been tossed to the bottom ranks of society.. treated like the scum of the Earth.. fending for themselves and their children.

Quote:
“…Marry women of your choice, two or three or four; but if ye fear that ye shall not be able to deal justly (with them), then only one…”
-Surah 4 Ayah 3

“The best charity is remarriage.”

Venting,
-Guildenstern

Equilibrium

•February 14, 2008 • 9 Comments

Science. The most groundbreaking and intriguing field, in my humble opinion.

It holds the answers to many of our questions, yet it leaves us awe-struck… and at times, completely lost. Science, I believe, not only facilitates our understanding of the deen, but rather allows us to appreciate the workings of the Artist, the Shaper of Beauty — Al Musawir. The intricate pathways of a g-protein complex working with its mechanisms or just the functioning of the human systems should be enough to prove that there is, indeed, a higher being who runs this universal phenomenon. The one who sets these things in motion. The one who created this.

Coincidentally, as I rummaged through my Chemistry II binder from last year — hands down the best and worst class ever — I came upon a rather tattered piece of crumpled paper. The title said — Le Chatelier’s Principle.

Know what that Principle states? No..? Let me enlighten you, mates..

Le Chatelier, a grand genius of his time, claimed that if a dynamic equilibrium is disturbed by changing the conditions, the position of equilibrium moves to counteract the change.

Your thinking… WHAT. DOES. THAT. MEAN..? well lucky for you… I’m here to explain, eh?

In simplicity, if something is added to one side… another element must be added to the other remaining side, in order to get a balance. an equilibrium.. got it? Good.

In terms, this chemical enigma, as many of you see it as, is a doctrine that I believe should be observed in our daily lives. It calls for a balance between different components, and pressures one to find the middle path in between. the route of moderation.

Essentially, this holds as a MAJOR concept in terms of Islam in the twenty-first century. You must admit, dear friend, that many extremes are portrayed in religion today.. especially in Islam.. we see the hardcore religious “fanatics”, if you may allow me to label them, who are strict to such a degree that it defeats the purpose of living life and enjoying the small moments of happiness.. Allah tells us to excel in the dunya and make use of it — you’re not supposed to enter seclusion and live a life without halal worldly enjoyment and pleasure..

Contrarily, we have our folks who be hittin’ up them clubs up in hurrr.. and then after dancing the night away.. missing fajr, zuhr, asr, maghrib, isha.. oh woops — there go all your prayers..

What’s funny is the fact that Islam came as a refinement for the religions that Allah sent down before.. those religions had gone to an extreme.. they deviated from the norm, thus Islam was sent as …moderation.

Do you ever sense that..? I DO. All the time.. you know, I bet you’ve felt those moments as a crazy shock of IMAN RUSH amplifies your mind and soul.. it keeps coming and you got that khushoo goin’ on.. and your full of love in your heart for Allah.. or when you come out of some amazing lecture… or Al Maghrib.. or even after having a conversation with someone about a heated topic in Islam.. you feel the inspiration. the feeling. the zeal. and you’re planning all your life goals out and you decide “Today, I’m going to start being a better Muslim…”

And then.. slowly, yet surely… it all dies down. You return back to your previous ways, and another shock of Iman doesn’t hit you again until go through that cycle again..

What’s my point? Good question. My point is — We need momentum, instead of motivation. Motivation is a feeling that heightens our views and passions about certain things.. but it’s just an emotion. It’s bound to die down, just as all feelings do. But, MOMENTUM… momentum stays with you.. it is the consistency that prevails and leads to the betterment. The two may dwell symbiotically, but the one with a greater benefit is, indeed, momentum. It is the core to fulfilling.. to achieving.

All in all, we shouldn’t be fooled by our emotions.. and surges of Islamic epiphany that only last while they can. Though they are good to an extent.. the temporary nature is vulnerable to die down. Instead, to maintain those epiphanies and the rush of Imaan, the careful maintenance of parity and harmony is necessary.

Ideally, we are searching for a path of balance. of equilibrium. of moderation. In essence, of the Siraat-al-Mustaqeem.

Peace and Blessings.

Sincerely,

ROSENCRANTZ..

Suicide

•February 13, 2008 • 4 Comments

–Inna Lillahi Wa Inna Ilayhi Raji’oon–

–To God do we belong, and to Him do we return–

Today, somebody committed suicide.

Yes, killed himself by his own hand.

The first thought that went through my head was shock. He couldn’t have, why would he? He seemed so happy, and jolly. What about his wife? His father?

And then next came… sorrow. Complete and utter sorrow… and regret.

Why hadn’t we seen this coming? When was the last time myself, my siblings, my parents talked to him? Was he doing okay? Did we ask him?

And then I began to remember… all those times, seeing him sit on his porch.. alone, smoking a cig. Concentrating hard on something, his eyebrows furrowed. Everytime in the morning, taking out his garbage, with a look of emptiness in his eyes. All those times he’d sit there having a 20 minute conversation with my brothers or dad, while they were walking into our house, or leaving into the car… as if he was aching to talk to somebody.

In the last couple of months, he used to come to our house regularly.. to give us some food that he had cooked, to share his shortbread cake, to let us enjoy his cookies. He was such a sweet man, a big skeptic, but still very sweet.

It made me rethink everything in his life. What could have possibly gone so wrong that he felt… that he needed to end his life? He had a beautiful wife, just 2 years married. He had completed his masters just last summer… although he always talked about how he regretted his major. He would run, try to keep healthy.. he went overseas a couple of times to visit family. WHAT was it that made him… end his life? What is it that makes a person, a Believing person… feel that nothing in this world could be good… could be made good… and that his ending his life would make him happier?

He was a Believer. He was a Muslim. Yes, a Muslim. He knew very well what the fate of suicide was… he must have known. The person who commits suicide is thrown into Hellfire, with no chance of Paradise. He burns therein.. continuing to commit his act of suicide… over and over again. What in this dunya…. made him do it, knowing that such a consequence would inevitably occur?

And now he has tasted death. Verily, every soul shall taste death. Imagine.. his ruh (soul) being taken out of his body.. rushing to every corner of his limbs.. trying to escape Malik Al Mawt. And then his soul being PULLED through his eyes, like a branch of thorns being pulled out of wet wool, his arteries and veins shattering and ripping into pieces.

May Allah Subhana wa ta’ala help his wife and father, his cousins and family, his friends and neighbors.. in this difficult time.

You see, when you take it upon yourself to kill yourself.. you have not only done injustice to yourself. You have done injustice to your Lord, who gave you your body as a means of worshipping Him. It is NOT yours to scar or abuse… it is simply a vessel in which our Ruh resides. You WILL have to return it to Him… and you want to return it to Him in the best of forms. He did injustice to his wife, now a young widower. Who is going to marry a widow? Is any one going to follow the Sunnah this time.. and instead of getting a beautiful young virgin as a second wife.. rather take in this poor woman.. who has just lost everything she had? And his father, his family.. the sorrow they will have to go through.. his friends… SubhanAllah.

If it is allowed, I would like to make du’aa for him. That Allah Subhana Wa ta’ala is easy on him in his grave.. that he may possibly forgive this … unforgiveable sin. I don’t know how valid that du’aa even is… but he needs as much du’aa as he can get. Now that his books are closed.

Just remember.. in your life.. whenever you are engaging with other humans.. realize that you have NO idea what is going on in their lives. You have no right to scold them, or be rude, or mean… for you may be the tipping point in their life. May we always be of best character to everyone that we meet and engage with. May we grant everyone a smile.. a sincere one.. so that we may brighten their gloomy days. I ask Allah Subhana Wa ta’ala to strengthen us all.. in these days to come. To strengthen his family, to strengthen his wife.

Ameen

Making Duaa,
-Guildenstern

Yin and Yang

•February 12, 2008 • 6 Comments

Yin and Yang.
Heaven and Earth.
Light and Dark.
Romeo and Juliet.
Pinky and the Brain.
Bonnie and Clyde.
Jane Bennet and Elizabeth Bennet.
Haram and Halal.

Each simultaneously in existence as an effect of the other. If one ceased to exist, so would the other. Our material and spiritual world is composed by some indefinite, boundless apeiron from which arises the elements and pairs of opposites… thus creating full and composed Equilibrium.

We, two people, stand here before you. Opposites of one another, yet complimenting one another… as if we were one soul in two bodies.

Our camaraderie is the crux that keeps us together. We strive to perfect ourselves in our deen, thus this blog will be a reflection of what we perceive and our thoughts.

We are the progeny of existentialism, while affirming the existence of one, supreme deity. Ar-Rahman, Ar-Raheem.

We are two people, two minds, two individuals, who have come together as one thought.

Our names remain anonymous.. a mystery… yet, for you, our readers, we present ourselves as…

..Rosencrantz and Guildenstern.

Peace and Blessings Be Upon You, Reader.

Confusing our readers,
-Rosencrantz and Guildenstern

kwaai

•February 12, 2008 • Leave a Comment

kwaai kwī
adj.

1. cool, excellent [The braai last night was lekker neh? Ja, it was kwaai.]

Comes from the Afrikaans word “angry”. More modernly used as African slang for “cool”.

Kwaai Mint

Kwaai Mints

Being Kwaai,
-Guildenstern

Salutations

•February 12, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Hola. Salam. Namaste. Konichiwa. >.<

Or like Charlotte so eloquently put it in Charlotte’s Web, Salutations (that’s probably the only big word I knew at age 5 – thank you E.B. White).

Marhaba. Welcome to kwaai.

In recent news.. everyone and their mothers decided to get a blog. As an avid non-conformist, we thought to ourselves… if non-conformity holds the values of being retaliatory to the norm.. why not just be a non-conformist to non-conformity? Besides, non-conformity is the new “fad” these days.

So all in all – Ya, we jumped on the bandwagon. Might as well have a fun ride. :)

Enjoying the ride,
-Rosencrantz and Guildenstern