Friday, November 27, 2015

"Still clutching the standard of the Muslims" - The Study Quran, Surah 80 Introduction

Bismillah. If you haven't actually seen The Study Quran, do get yourself a copy of this incredible resource (its at most booksellers online or in-store!).  Here is an example of the first instance that made me weep!

The Khushu' of Newborns

Bismillah. For Sophia, who taught me how to be with my Lord in prayer.

A baby comes into the world, as Anse Tamara says, "bursting with the Glory of God". As she leaves her home and enters the dunya, she immediately cries out. 

Listen to the reed as it tells its tale, 
complaining of separation.

"Ever since I was cut from the reed bed,
I have made this crying sound.

Anyone who is apart from who he loves,
understands what I say.

Anyone pulled from a source,
longs to go back."
(Rumi, Masnavi)

Her first instinct is to suckle. Why? Because it is the only connection she has to that home from which she has come. She learns quickly that she can no longer be inside that home, but must suffice herself now by latching on from the outside in order to drink of what is inside -- her source.

In the first days and weeks of life, she is more soul than she is body. So when she latches on to nurse, she has complete presence in this act. Look at her. Nothing and nobody can distract her. Older siblings crying of jealousy beside her. Firetrucks blasting their sirens. She doesn't flinch, she doesn't look, and she certainly doesn't unlatch. Look at her. It is as if none of this is taking place around her. She is connected to her source and nothing could be sweeter. Nothing more worthy of her, than her source. She connects with every ounce of her being. She is more soul than she is body.

As months begin to pass, as she slowly comes into her body a wee bit more with each passing day, her presence in the act of nursing slowly, but surely is diminishing. At first, she begins to notice whilst nursing that she can look up with her eyes and see mine smiling down at her. She smiles back, continuing to nourish herself all the while. She is ever so slowly, becoming less soul, increasingly body.

With time, she begins to actually unlatch to look towards sound. As she starts to roll over, crawl, cruise…as she is increasingly body, she finds it harder and harder to focus on suckling to nourish herself. Now she benefits from having quiet while she nurses. It's easier for her if she's in a dimly lit room. 

She begins to walk and is thus even more body now. And now? Now she can also benefit from secondary nourishment. She can eat and gain satiation through secondary sources. It no longer has to be  directly from the source. But even then, when she's not feeling well. When she gets hurt. When she's tired. Nothing soothes her like that direct connection to the source.

Indeed there is much to be gleaned from this for those who reflect. Suckling is the salat of a baby. The womb is her source. Milk is knowledge of that source.

Let us pray as if we were born today. Let us have khushu'!

Back to Blogging!

Bismillah. AsSalamu'alaykum wa Rahmatullah wa Barakatuhu,

Not sure how many of you will come across this now as I return from a hiatus of over two years. In any case, whoever reads these words, I pray they do so enveloped by the Mercy of the All-Merciful.

Two years ago I deactivated by Facebook account and had felt life was so much better that way. A few months ago I reactivated it for a work related purpose, but the past few days were such that I was reminded of my reasons for leaving it two years ago. 

Blogging is back, bi idhnillah.


Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Ramadan Kareem!

I pray this month finds you in the best of health and happiness. May we all make the most of the many blessings and opportunities that await us this month!

Many find it difficult to adjust to the changes life brings. For instance, Ramadan may once have been defined by fasting, going to the mosque for tarawih, and staying up all night in worship. Pregnancy, nursing, and children can drastically alter this definition for moms of wee little ones.  

So let us brainstorm some ways of making the most of Ramadan when we cannot fast or go out to the mosque for night prayers:
  • Make an explicit intention each day that your eating is not for yourself, but for the nourishment of the baby entrusted to you by Allah. Therefore, during fasting hours, avoid "indulging" in unhealthy foods that are not nutritious for your baby (candy, junk, chocolate, sweets, etc.) and only eat good foods in necessary amounts.
  • Create a wird of Qur'an or adhkar that you can do with your children (or aloud around them if they are too little to sit still). It doesn't have to be long so that they become impatient. A little can go a long way.
  • Come up with a schedule that works for you and your family. For instance, once the kids are sleeping, getting up and giving yourself 1-2 hours for ibaadah, maybe even in their room if they won't let you leave. You may not be able to get out for tarawih, but you can still keep the sunnah alive in your life by praying on your own.  20 rakats can easily be completed in as little as 30 minutes. Allah knows your heart's desire and insha'Allah, in a few years those little munchkins will be old enough to join you at the masjid!
  • Not fasting? Invite people who are fasting to come to your home for iftar! Honour members of your household who are fasting by facilitating things for them during these long, hot summer fasts. Donate to your local Muslim food bank!
  • There's nothing like a little introspection! Look at your character and choose one bad quality you'd like to rid yourself of or one good quality you'd like to improve upon. Make that your focus this month!
  • Also look at your outward actions and do the same. Maybe you spend too much time on your phone, or Facebook. Maybe you don't smile and say hello to your neighbours. Choose a bad action you'd like to eliminate or a good action you'd like to start doing. Make that your focus this month!
If you have other suggestions, ahlan! Please share :)

Please keep this faqirah in your prayers this month.


Friday, June 14, 2013

Thoughts on "How to Miss a Childhood" (Hands Free Mama)


All across the world, a great loss is taking place. Once gone, what is lost will never be recaptured. And one day, people will lay on their death beds, full of regret. 

It is a loss unlike anything humankind has ever seen before or that our forefathers would ever have imagined: parents missing out on the childhood of their own children. Older children/adults missing out on the wisdom of their parents and elders. Friends missing out on real friendship (not to be mistaken with the virtual friendship of FB and texting). Family sitting in the same room, and yet not really being with one another.

At the start of this year, I re-read an article I had bookmarked months earlier.  I had loved it when I first read it.  When I re-read it, I noticed that since then, I had somehow gotten caught up in some of the techno-obsession that now pervades our global culture. It literally moved me to tears -- let me tell you why.

I know people that are glued to their phones. That's not me. But the cell phone, at some point in the months leading up to my re-reading that article, had creeped it's way into the room -- in retrospect, all it took was a couple of friends who were avid texters. It sat somewhere on the ledge, beeping now and then...and being used as a watch. But that's all that needed to happen for my son to become so aware of it. Technology has this strange pull on us -- babies, children, adults -- on various levels and to differing degrees. When I read the line about your child picking up the phone if you left it in the other room and running to give you that beloved device of yours to win your good pleasure and gratitude, I thought "BabySalik has done that a couple of times recently"...and I began to weep. The lines warning us to not miss our children's glimpses for approval, filled me with fear of regret.

I may have thought I had a passing relationship with my phone. It was just "there". I wasn't obsessed with it, didn't have it on my person all the time or even next to me.  And I most definitely never gave it to my children to distract or busy them even for a moment because I am aware not only of the negative health-effects, but am an ardent believer in no screen time (not just TV, but tablets, phones...all screens...all techy things...the medium really is the message, but somehow we overlook that when we're told there are "educational" apps...there are also "educational" programs...but in the end, we all know that there are far superior forms of education through more traditional, tried, tested and true mediums...but I digress).  The reality from my son's perspective hit me in the face like a tonne of bricks.

I started to look critically at my day from BabySalik's perspective. I decided to make some changes.

When my husband came down, I asked him to immediately change the password on my Facebook account and only log me in when requested, once a week max when the kids were asleep. Again, I don't post my every breath on FB as many might. I don't put pictures of my kids up because I don't feel that their pure presence need have a virtual presence. I believe strongly that FB attracts a great deal of 'ayn in people's lives -- google search "Facebook Envy" or "Facebook Depression" and a flurry of articles to back that up will fill your screen and hopefully cause you to think twice about what you post. Salik doesn't even have a FB account so he was thrilled, but I keep mine to "stay in touch" with people though I'm fully aware of the faultiness in even that logic.

I also decided I would not check my email in the presence of my kids. And that I would only respond to text messages first thing in the morning, during nap, or after their bedtime. In essence, I decided to remove the visual of technology from their pure, blessed eyes. And I decided to fill my eyes, with absorbing their childhood and allowing them to purify my tarnished heart.

A week of no FB passed and I realized how much happier I was not to have it "there" all the time. I also realized what a waste of my down-time it was in the evenings and decided, I'd rather read a book, so I picked up CS Lewis' The Screwtape Letters -- a brilliant read. I didn't ask to be logged in for literally weeks. When I did, five minutes was enough. Months later, something brought me to it one day where I wanted to check on some feedback for something I had asked about so I kept checking my FB. As the day progressed, I told my husband I had been feeling so "heavy" all day. And then I realized was FB! The brainless clicking from one page to the next, one link leading to another...emptiness. So I logged off.

And there's that nagging phone. We seem to be obsessed with our phones, and the "smarter" the phone, the more we use it (perhaps in lieu of our own brain).  Look around you and you will see that people are doing one thing or another on their phones while they: walk, drive, "watch" their kids at the park or anywhere for that matter, "talk" to people they're sitting in the same room with, even people at the mosque, or in a majlis of dhikr!  There is no critical thought given to the apps we download, either. Tactile doesn't matter. The sanctity of a mushaf of Quran or the scent of a fine wood misbaha doesn't matter to us anymore -- Quran on screen is fine, as is a "virtual" tasbih...tap, tap, tap your dhikr away! Has anyone ever thought about the fact that this is the first time in history that people read Qur'an from other than a mushaf they are holding in their hands and feeling?

Let us take a look at our lives. Let us limit our distractions. Let us live on earth and be with the people Allah has put directly in our lives (physically present with us!) instead of giving our attention primarily to the virtual world we have created for ourselves.

Read the article. Allah gives wisdom to whomsoever He pleases: 


A Bronx Tale: After the congregants of an Orthodox synagogue could no longer afford their rent, they found help in the local mosque.

Now this is what we need more of in the world. Love and respect...

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Houses: A Reflection of the State of our Hearts

Reading old posts to benefit and saw this one, Punjabi Wisdom right from the village...

The other day my mother was telling me something she'd heard on a Punjabi show she was watching with my father. A Punjabi aunty, was reflecting on families in our times, and what came from her is a testament to the absolute wisdom that people traditionally had ... and when it's Punjabi, wisdom is even more profound! :)

"When we had homes made of mud and clay,
our hearts were soft like them, too.
People sacrificed so much for one another
and were always bound to one another in love and service.
Now our homes are made of bricks and cement,
and our hearts are hard like them.
We don't care for one another
and don't care if relationships are sour or torn."

She went on to talk about how our hearts are so diseased that rather than being happy at the good fortune of others, we are envious and think the worst of how they acquired what they have.

Subhan'Allah. As Shaykh Mokhtar said, "Allah puts wisdom on the tongue of whomsoever He wishes".

Recently my friend's mother commenting on how welcomed she felt in our home, said to me that she felt there wasn't a "Canadian bone" in me. She went on to explain that here she finds that people's homes are not open to others -- often not even to their family and friends. You can't just call and show up, let alone just ring their doorbell because you happen to be in the area. 

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Ultimately, Islam is about hearts...

Ultimately, Islam is about hearts. So the buildings..., the shops that you go to, the bank that you go to are about the hearts that are there...  Madinah is a city of tanwin, which is a connection that is felt more here than anywhere else, more than the haram in Makkah or the haram in Jerusalem, it's about a connection to a perfected human being because we discover more about ourselves when we are with others than we do when we are in situations of solitude or situations in which we are with people that don't really matter because they're on the same railway platform, etc. Islam is a religion of mu'amalah, of interaction, of engaging with others. It's not really a religion for solitarists -- fine you can read books that tell you that on Mount Uhud a thousand years ago there were people who went up to live and to worship for months and then came down to pick up some dates...but that's a particular maqam for a small group of people. Likewise deep under the haram there are these caves that people used in ages past to go in to worship for six months before hajj and found places to do that on their own. That's exceptional and there is a place for it, and of course the precedent for it in the Prophet's going to Mount Hira (Allah bless him and give him peace), but generally, the way of spiritual progress in Islam is through the anjaman, through the company of others. That's why in the city of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) there is so much emphasis on engagement and good character. We are really influenced by the people around us and our engagement with them is the basis for everything else and that's why akhlaq and adab are fundamental.
- paraphrased excerpt from CD 1 of Shaykh Murad's CD set on Prophetic amazing set, masha'Allah.


Sufism: Being weary of how we make others feel.

Babies and Awliya: Lessons for All

*This was written two years ago, but being published now*


On a blessed, sunny Saturday some weeks ago, our beloved guide, Shaykh Abdallah arrived in Montreal having travelled from Fez to visit the fuqara here. We drove out to welcome him at the airport and took BabySalik with us so that he could meet our noble teacher. Seeing BabySalik in Shaykh's arms, I beheld the vision of two of the most beloved men in my life and I began to reflect on their purity.

Babies and awliya have much in common.

There is an old sufi saying, "the Sufi is the son of his moment" (as-Sufi ibnu waqtihi). That is, in one meaning at least, that the Sufi is attached neither to past nor to the future, but rather is present in the moment because of his presence with the Divine. The Sufi lives in the moment. If one observes a baby, it will become clear to them that the baby, too, lives in the moment, for babies are not concerned about what transpired even a moment ago nor at all thinking about what is to come. Rather, they are concerned only with what is taking place at that moment. And so we can learn quite a bit from babies about how to live without attachment so that as we age, we can become like the awliya, insha'Allah.

Another quality of the awliya is that people are drawn to them. We all flock to them because we recognize the innate beauty in them, we love that beauty, and we wish to behold it. Likewise, when a baby comes into the world, everyone is joyous at the news and excited to hear all of the details. Family, friends, and neighbours are all anxious to meet the little one and come baring gifts. Thus both do the good of bringing people together -- something all the more needed in our current culture of individuality and isolation.

Of course, the purity that is found in babies and awliya is clear to any observer -- this magnetic force attracts us to them. To be pure is to be untainted by that which is inferior or base -- to be untouched by the dunya. Another Sufi saying teaches us that "the Sufi is in the world, but not of it". Babies because they have just come from the Divine Presence are pure of the filth of this world and of any personal ego or desire. The awliya having struggled through the various stages of the Spiritual Path, have left their egos and desires and risen above the lowliness of this world, and, having died to themselves, have returned to God (without having actually passed away). This purity of soul is why babies can see much of the unseen world that we cannot, and why the awliya are often granted the same vision.

So we see ourselves as knowing so much more than babies, and yet they have so much to teach us. They live in the moment, bring people together, and are pure of heart. They love without prejudice, pride, or pretension. They are sincere, honest, and true. They are whole and thus closer than we are to the Holy. Sidi Hakim was the first to draw my attention to the hikmah of children many years ago when he taught me observe them if I wanted to know how we are meant to do such "simple" things as sit and breathe properly...and there is so much more we learn in observing these sweet creatures sent to us from above. When I shared these insights with him, he commented that indeed, when we do the tahnik for a baby, the child purifies us.


Bismillah. Salams,

It's been three years since the last post. Insha'Allah, intention to revive this blog.

May Allah give us sincerity in all that we do. Ameen.


Tuesday, February 09, 2010


"Life is like a river. The waters that have passed, you shall never touch again."
- Sh. Muhammad Sadiq.


Saturday, November 07, 2009

Physical and spiritual well-being...a sign of the times...

"Nice to meet you...due to the H1N1, we won't shake hands...I'm trying to make a point of that".

Sound like a Muslim? Actually, that came from our school public health nurse, who isn't Muslim.

More and more, I hear non-Muslims talking about feeling uncomfortable shaking hands because they are worried about catching the swine flu. So they decline shaking hands, and nobody really flinches -- in fact, they likely feel relieved.

Interesting that when it pertains to our physical well-being, nobody seems to mind, but when it has a spiritual basis, people are "offended". So it isn't really the refusal to shake hands that offends people, it's the impetus. All of this bespeaks the times we live in -- people are ever so concerned that their bodies, their external be healthy and well, but they criticize and ridicule those who have such concerns about their spiritual, or internal health.

How open-minded are we as a society -- really?

Food for thought.

Monday, October 05, 2009


Love what you love, but know that you will part it.


Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Ways: Abu Hasan al-Shadhili

Imām Abū al-Hasan ash-Shādhilī, may Allah preserve his secret, said,
"Of all the Ways there are two:
the Way of Travelling (Sulūk) and the Way of... Attraction (Jadhb).
Our Way is the Way of Jadhb.
Our beginning is their end. Their beginning is ...our end."

Shaykh Abū’l-’Abbās Ahmad Zarrūq, commenting on this, said,
"The variety in a branch is due to the variety of its origin.
The origin of Tasawwuf is in the station of Ihsān
and it splits into two kinds:
‘to worship Allāh as if you see Him'
and ‘if you see Him not, He nevertheless sees you.’
The first is the degree of the Knower ('Ārif);
the latter is the degree of the Seeker (Sālik).
The Folk of ash-Shādhilī revolve around the first
and the Folk of al-Ghazālī revolve around the other."

Friday, August 14, 2009

Unrequited Love and Shifa…(Kuhlsnotes)

Unrequited Love and Shifa…(Kuhlsnotes)

Shaykh Hamza told one of the most beautiful stories on love and unrequited love during the RIS Knowledge Retreat last winter in Toronto, Canada:

“… she also was very generous – Bareerah was a woman that she purchased and then set free, and the famous story about Bareerah was that she was married to someone named Mugheeth. If two slaves were married and then the woman get freed, then she can leave/divorce her husband if she wants to because now she’s free and the husband is not, so there is no parity.

So Bareerah wanted to leave Mugheeth, but Mugheeth loved her. He went into total distress,
and he literally was walking behind her around Madina begging her (to take him back).

Abbas (Rd.) was with the Prophet (saw) one day and the Prophet (saw) saw Bareerah and he said: “Isn’t it strange how much Mugheeth loves Bareerah and how much Bareerah dislikes Mugheeth?”

And the Ulema say when the Prophet (saw) said “Isn’t it strange”, the Arabs use the word “strange” only when the means/cause (sabaab, lit. ‘door’) of/to something is unknown, and that there is no need for something to be called “strange” if the cause is known.

So the Prophet (saw) was calling him to the point the strangeness of love. Love is very strange.

Why do people fall in love?

Why our hearts are attracted to some people and not other people?

Why love is sometime unrequited (returned)?

Because the worst type of love is unrequited love: when you love somebody and they don’t love you – there is nothing worst than that in the world. And obviously the worst type of unrequited love is with God. That’s why Abu Hasan as-Shadali (teacher of Ibn Ata Askandari) use to say:

“Oh God, make my wrong actions, the wrong actions of people whom You Love,
and don’t make my good actions, the good actions of people whom You do not Love.”

In other words – I would rather have wrong actions and be someone who You Love, than have good actions and be someone who You don’t Love.

So the Prophet (saw) went to Bareerah, who was the free slave of ‘Aisha, and he said: “Won’t you reconsider Mugheeth?” And she said: “are you telling me to do this, because if you tell me, then i have to do it.” He (saw) replied: “I am only interceding on his behalf”

And that’s his Shifa, he finds it difficult things you find difficult. The Prophet (saw) saw M suffering and he wanted to help him. That shows you his ’shafiqa’, even in love he wanted to help this poor man who was suffering from the loss of his love.

So when the Prophet (saw) replied that he was only interceding, Bareerah replied: “I don’t have any need for him”. So there was something arrogant in her answer, as she was free and he was still a slave – there was something there from her nafs.

Now when Mugheeth saw that Bareerah rejected intercession from the one that even God had given intercession, Mugheeth lost all desire for her – just taken out of his heart. And at that point when he lost all desire for Bareerah, suddenly she fell madly in love with him – like a punishment for rejecting the intercession of the Prophet (saw) – he did not want anything to do with her, yet she was now begging him to take her back now!… “

Sunday, August 02, 2009

If the veils were lifted...

"As it's said, if the veils were lifted
you wouldn't choose for yourself other than what God has chosen."

Thursday, July 30, 2009

The Falls and the Spiritual Path


We went on the Maid of the Mist at Niagara yesterday -- my first time. Subhan'Allah, the Falls are such a majestic Sign of the Creator and a metaphor for the Spiritual Path.

The Falls look stunning from a distance -- one longs to go closer and is certain they can endure that proximity.

As one approaches, the waters get rougher, the ferry begins to shake, one can hardly bare the brightness and the rain upon one and yet there's such a sweetness and desire to go even closer.

And even far off in the distance, the mist touches one. Just as Allah's Mercy does.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Deafness and Blindness on the Path

Last Friday I was fortunate enough to sit in one of the best Jummu'a khutbas that I've heard in a long time. One of the things that made it so wonderful was that the entire talk was about Mercy...Allah's Mercy, the Messenger's mercy (peace and blessings be upon him), and the mercy that we should all have for one another and for all of creation. And our teacher reminded us of something another one of our teachers once said to him,

"He who does not have a little deafness in his ear and a little blindness in his eye, cannot travel with us on this Path".


Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Houses: A Reflection of the State of our Hearts

The other day my mother was telling me something she'd heard on a Punjabi show she was watching with my father. A Punjabi aunty (Sikh), was reflecting on families in our times, and what came from her is a testament to the absolute wisdom that people traditionally had ... and when it's Punjabi, wisdom is even more profound! :)

"When we had homes made of mud and clay,
our hearts were soft like them, too.
People sacrificed so much for one another
and were always bound to one another in love and service.
Now our homes are made of bricks and cement,
and our hearts are hard like them.
We don't care for one another
and don't care if relationships are sour or torn."

She went on to talk about how our hearts are so diseased that rather than being happy at the good fortune of others, we are envious and think the worst of how they acquired what they have.

Subhan'Allah. As Shaykh Mokhtar said, "Allah puts wisdom on the tongue of whomsoever He wishes".

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

On the "Why" of Sufis: A Reflection

The only real friends, companions, intimates (other than one's family) are the people of Allah. They look upon one with the eye of mercy, not that of blame; they have no self interest, since they're Self-interested; they have no time for the distractions in this world, and, as a result, do not bring one down--they only bring one up, and this is because they aspire to be 'up'; they remember when everyone else forgets--that is, they remember God when everyone else forgets Him, and they remember themselves when everyone forgets themselves; at the same time, the Sufis forget when everyone else remembers--Shaykh Nuh explains that "with every remembrance there is a forgetting"--so when the Sufis remember God, they forget the world and all its illusions, while when the common folk forget God, they remember the world and its illusions. In short, the people of Allah are the real people; their way is the best way, and their striving the purest striving; they don't care about anything but Him, and, by virtue of loving and knowing the Source of the all, they know the all, and can thus care for the all.

Monday, May 11, 2009

The Subtle Nafs...

A dear teacher of mine was recently talking to us about repentance, and the subtle nature of the nafs that prides itself even in a state of tawbah... "how could I do this?...I'm better than that!" not just sheer regret out of having disobeyed Allah.

Allahu Akbar.

Monday, May 04, 2009

We are in one of two states...

...we're either in ghafla or we're in dhikr.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Seven Questions - Shams-i Tabrizi

"You must bind yourself to knowing this: 'Who am I? What substance am I? Why have I come? Where am I going? Whence is my root? At this time what am I doing? Toward what have I turned my face?'"

- From Me & Rumi: The Autobiography of Shams-i Tabrizi. Trans. W. C. Chittick (Louisville: Fons Vitae, 2004), 51.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Lost Generation & the Obama Song

A brilliant composition -- notice your mood at first and in the end.
...and another video, The Obama Song
done as a joint project by students and teachers is also worth watching.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Thoughts on the solar anniversary of my entry into this world...

Alhamdulillah 'ala kulli haal.

How many a blessing that Merciful Lord has bestowed on this unworthy servant? How many a second chance has He provided? How much Love has He poured forth out of nothing, but His Pure Bounty and Largess?


The other day I spoke to my beloved sister on the Path of God and she mentioned that her family celebrates birthdays by getting together and reciting surah waqiyah and singing anasheeds. How mubarak a way of showing gratitude for life! May we all implement this blessed way, and on our birthdays, recite in praise of the Merciful Lord Who has bestowed us with life so that we may draw closer to Him.

Allahu Akbar!

Friday, March 06, 2009

Alhamdulillah, it's almost here...!

Date: Sun. March 8, 2009
Admission: Free

Risalah Foundation -

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

The Road Not Taken - Robert Frost

Bismillah. Strange how another's words can often express one's own experience so well that it is as if one had written them oneself!

The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that, the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood,and I
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

The Fear of God - Robert Frost

Bismillah. I'm currently listening to Shaykh Hamza Yusuf's Refinement of the Heart CD set. Masha'Allah, as Salik commented, "classic Shaykh Hamza!" Anyhow, he mentions the following poem by Robert Frost which is just beautiful!

The Fear of God

If you should rise from Nowhere up to Somewhere,
From being No one up to being Someone,
Be sure to keep repeating to yourself
You owe it to an arbitrary god
Whose mercy to you rather than to others
Won’t bear to critical examination.
Stay unassuming. If for lack of license
To wear the uniform of who you are,
You should be tempted to make up for it
In a subordinating look or toe,
Beware of coming too much to the surface
And using for apparel what was meant
To be the curtain of the inmost soul.

- Robert Frost

Night among the ‘Alawiyya - The Wandering Troubadour

Bismillah. Our city was recently honoured by a visit by the noble master, Shaykh Nuh Keller. Among his many students, was our dear brother, the Wandering Troubadour. Below is his poem for the fuqara...yet another beautiful composition!

Night among the ‘Alawiyya

Paradise is in your company
O brethren hearts of ‘Alawi.

I came to your perfumed garden,
Your wandering cousin of Hashimi.

You took me in a full embrace.
Sweet love burned between you and me.

Paradise is in your company
O brethren hearts of ‘Alawi.

We poured our hearts into the air,
Loosed all chains, and set them free.

You took me and lowered my hood
And pure love was all I could see.

Paradise is in your company
O brethren hearts of ‘Alawi.

In your tender gaze, I was a
Virgin bride unveiled and ready.

We shared more than words understood.
Words danced in speechless ecstasy.

Paradise is in your company
O brethren hearts of ‘Alawi.

Hand-in-hand and hand-in-sleeve
We danced and roared our love fully.

With your eyes you pointed our hearts,
Your breath was ours, a living sea.

Paradise is in your company
O brethren hearts of ‘Alawi.

Wave upon wave pounded until
No cruel shore could resist our plea.

Allah. Allah. Allah, Sidi!
This port of love was destiny.

Paradise is in your company
O brethren hearts of ‘Alawi.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

It's that special time of year...Mawlid Season!

Bismillah. Alhamdulillah wa shukrulillah ta'Ala, the Mawlid al-Nabi is just around the corner!

Mark Sunday March 8th @ 5pm on your calendar for a great mawlid celebration at Risalah Foundation. Click here for details.

See you there, insha'Allah!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Ottawa / Montreal Dhikrs?


Does anyone know of any dhikrs in Ottawa or Montreal?

Please reply here or email me at


Monday, February 16, 2009

SeekersGuidance Spring 2009!


SeekersGuidance's Spring 2009 Courses are Open for Registration!

I attended the Fiqh of Life: The Essentials of Halal and Haram course live the past few months in Mississauga and can say that it is well worth signing up for!

Accessible AND affordable knowledge from the convenience of your own computer.

Other particularly excellent and relevant courses are: Money Matters and Commercial Transactions.

For the complete course catologue, click here.

May Allah give you much success in your studies and may He bless the shuyukh and people at SeekersGuidance. Ameen


Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Toronto Suhba with Shaykh Nuh Keller: February 26th-March 1st

Alhamdulillah wa Shukrulillah, we are pleased to announce that the Toronto Suhba with Shaikh Nuh Keller will take place from Thursday February 26, 2009 to Sunday March 1, 2009. everyone is invited to attend. Only those of you who plan to attend for the entire suhba are encouraged to preregister in order to make the appropriate khidmah arrangements

Toronto Suhba 2009 with Shaykh Nuh Keller

Speaker Bio:

Dates: Thursday February 26, 2009 to Sunday March 1, 2009

Islamic Society of York Region (Stouffville Masjid)1380 Stouffville Road Richmond Hill, Ontario

Registration and further info:

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Monthly Mawlid at Risalah - Sunday February 1st, 2009

The monthly mawlid gathering at Risalah Foundation is this
Sunday February 1st, 2009 at 11am
If you haven't yet attended, we highly recommend taking part in this mubarak gathering - the revival of a very traditional practice.

Burda Sharif & Dala'il al-Khayrat

Dalail al-Khairat is the famous collection of litanies sending blessings and peace upon the Prophet Muhammed (S), authored by the great scholar and Gnostic Imam abi-AbdilLah Muhammad bin Sulaiman al-Jazuli (RA) The majlis will include recitations of The Holy Quran, the Dala'il text and a reading of the renowned ode of praise to the Prophet (S), Qasida al- Burda of Imam al-Busairi. In addition, the majlis often includes readings from the grand compositions of various Awliya and Imams of Islamic tradition.

Risalah Foundation will endeavour to hold this gathering on the first Sunday of every month, insha Allah. You can find details on our website,

Monday, January 19, 2009

Love Post-Hadra

So many warm smiles that care.
So many shoulders to lean on.
So many to share in our happiness.

...So many that love us ever so sincerely.

But why? What does it mean?

Perhaps it is that Allah's Love, so Intensely Powerful and Strong, in its Purest form, is a Love that we cannot bare -- one by which, enraptured, we would cease to live.

Perhaps this is why our Loving Lord has put these people in our lives. The warm smiles of loved ones and passing strangers. The counsel and support of shoulders we lean on. The joy-lit eyes of well-wishers. The love in all forms, shapes, sizes, and means.

Perhaps this is the way by which Allah lets the Rays of His Loving Light come to us in a way that we can bare.

They are His Smiles, His Support, His Joy...His Love. Glory be to Him.