Tag Archives: sons and daughters

DON’T DIE, STAY AWHILE

Song at a Death Bed
Don’t die,
Stay awhile,
Let me tell you
In a clear rendition
Of a song,
Why you matter,

And when my song has ended,
Then, you may do as you wish,
But until then, stay awhile
And listen…
……

IMG_20160916_062850My dear sunshine, how many times in our life have we wished that God would afford us the time to distill the goodness of a person’s life at the death bed, and proclaim his or her goodness in clear unequivocal affirmation of a life well lived, a battle well fought and a journey well travelled?

But regrettably, such occasions are far and in between, life often coming to an end suddenly in the blink of an eye, before the hour, and thus the servant has return to his / her Lord.

So what shall we do then, my love? Not knowing when the Angel of Death may come to take our beloved kin or friend for that not-to-be delayed appointment?

Then we must sing that song, that liturgy of love right here and now – for our father and our mother, for our brother and sister, for our kin and beloved friends. While they are with us still let us not allow a moment go to waste. While life still animate us, let us show by deeds and words just what they mean to us.

Do you not agree, sunshine?

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way

MOTHER?

226330_10150169952279023_4175171_nMother?
How will I ever find you
In this immense congregation?
How will I recognise your feet
Amidst this multitude?
Then suddenly,
A hand, oh so familiar
Gently touches my cheek,
And with tears streaming
I asked,

“Mother?”
……………

mamaFOURTEEN. This month marks the 14th year since my mother left my family and me. And every year I think my yearning for her grows and grows, while contemplation of her takes me to new and unexpected places.

Recently, while communing with the Almighty in prayers, my thoughts drifted to my mother (as it often does). And I remember thinking, “Dear God, if for one blessed moment, you would allow my mother to appear before me, how will I look at her? I fear that the light and beauty of her love would blind me, her undeserving son!”

It is from this brief moment  in one fajr (dawn) prayers that the above prose wrote itself.

So please cherish your mother, sunshine. For only Allah (swt) knows the true spiritual station of mothers, and only Allah (swt) knows the jarring moment in time when you will be separated from her.

May Allah bless us with the strength and insight to understand the hidden meaning of our birth, life, death and this divinely-inspired love mothers appear to possess for their children. We are asking for this important lesson in the name of Allah’s Beloved Prophet, Muhammad Habibullah (saws).

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way

2 CONVERSATIONS… feeling good, feeling God.

25122011310Conversation 1. Last week Mikhail shared an observation with me. “You know, papa, my friend isn’t very close to his father.” I asked for further information. “Well, not just with his father. He is also not that close with his mother and brother and sister too. I noticed.

“Really?” I said. “Yes, Papa. His father builds a wall between them. And my friend helps him build that wall.”

How poignant, I thought, for a twelve-year old.

Then out of curiosity, I asked Mikhail, “Gee, that’s too bad, Mika. But compared to your friend and his dad, how would you rate our relationship?” In reply my son simply smiled and gave me an unqualified thumbs up.

mikapapa 2 2Conversation 2. “You know, Papa…” Began my son one morning. “You actually look like a tourist. You don’t look like a lawyer.” I asked Mikhail why he thought so. “With your hat, walking stick and that pouch you look just like a tourist!”

I am not sure if this is a good thing. After all, I always wear a sling pouch. Where else would you carry your cellphone, wallet, book, rosary, pills, car keys, house keys, office keys, etc? And my constant hat-wearing is perhaps a little Victorian (and not to mention being a sunnah – tradition of the Prophet Muhammad) but that is simply who I am. Perhaps Mikhail noticed my disquiet and hesitation, because suddenly my son said, “It’s like every day you are excited to go out!”

C360_2013-08-17-23-04-52 Feeling Good. I don’t know why, but I am very gratified by the two observations of my boy. Firstly, I think we always like to think we have a close connection with our child, be it a daughter or a son. It is nice to know our child thinks so too!

But perhaps most importantly, Mikhail is indeed right. On most days I am excited when I step out of the door of my house. To the extent I am able to, I feel the world is my own private oyster, and we can partake whatever good we desire from it …As long as it is goodness we are looking for. Because I believe God does give us what we desire. So if we go about a misery-gut, looking at the world and its creatures in all that negativity that mankind so easily generates, well, can you blame Allah Almighty if that is what we find? …Sadness and sorrow, every where. World-weariness and hate around every corner. Who wants this?

12022012556Feeling God. No, I am happy to be happy and to look for happiness. But it is no good putting a bag over our head and expect people to all be like saints and angels. Because people like you and me, we are weak. We can be sincere of course, but we can also be sincerely wrong and foolish. It is hard for humanity to carry alone the weight of expectations of an unconditional love. But at the end of the day, that is what we still desire – Unconditional love, a love that does not finish however much that love is given and shared, a love that exists pre eternity and post eternity. A love undiminished over time, no matter our sins, no matter our mistakes. A love that sustains our existence for every second we live, regardless if we are even aware of such a love. A love that assures but also tests us to raise us closer and closer to His love. To make us the best that we are meant to be, particularly unique to our own individual fitra (essence). It is this love, truest and all-encompassing, that we all manifestly need.

Such a love is only with God, Allah (swt), and His Habibullah, Sayyidina Muhammad (saws) is the master, guide and God’s own manifestation of His Divine love. Thus we are advised by our shaykh (master) to step over the threshold of our home and our breath to search for this True Love, and that is ultimately God – as reflected by one of His ninety-nine names, being al Wadud, the Most Loving, the Most Affectionate, the Source and Originator of all love and loving kindness. And we are encouraged to seek Him through His Habibullah (Beloved of Allah (swt)). Our acceptance of this quest, this mission, this purpose alone is a victory in itself. So how can one not step out into the world feeling excited, feeling good, feeling God?

19022012588He he he. It is funny, sunshine. You know, I never plan where our conversations will end. It started with a warm fuzzy feeling in my heart talking to my son. And now it has led me here, to you. I am thankful to God for such mercies…

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way

THE DRAGON… Saiful Bahri (1964 – 2013) Part 1

SCAN_20151104_111716224The Dragon
It had come into my heart, that,
Somewhere, in this city,
There walks a dragon,

I had seen it’s eyes in
The glimmering lights of the city at night,
I had seen it’s scales in
The glass of the tall, faceless buildings.

It’s roar was heard in the infernal din
Of the city roads, that were ways to its lair,
I felt it’s scorching breath from
The numberless breaths of the city,
I found it’s track leading into the halls of Men,

Time after time, I found, men or women, mindless,
The light of madness in their eyes,
Who wander the streets,

I wondered on what had befallen them…

They had seen the Dragon, and it had burnt 
Their souls to ashes, by the flame of its gaze.

- Saiful Bahri bin Abdul Khalid (1964 – 2013)

……………

SCAN_20151104_111716224_001A Discovery - Two nights ago, while I was sitting at the landings, I thought I heard some noise in my late brother’s room. It has been left undisturbed for the past 2 years since his passing. I entered and found nothing amiss. But on a shelf I noticed a notebook. I perused the ragged old book and discovered it to be a scribbling-sketch book of Saiful Bahri (known to me as Abang Chik and to his friends as Poone), dating  back to 1992. Some of the writing appeared to be in my hand, so I almost took them to be my own . But upon closer examination, I am certain that these words and illustrations were all my brother’s – every single alphabet, every single stroke of the pen and pencil. Gosh. It was like receiving a letter 23 years late.

A Question Answered. Do you know that since my brother’s death I was constantly nagged by a question – why has he never published or blogged any of his drawings, prose or stories? He is a very talented and sincere artist and writer. Far more than I will ever be. What a shame, I kept musing to myself, that no one else will enjoy the product of his creative impulses.

But now that I have this notebook, I am presented with the opportunity to correct this unfortunate omission. And The Dragon will just be the beginning, insha Allah (Godwilling).

For all that Abang Chik has given and shared with me, from books to music, art, spirituality and mysticism, to the science of being calm and collected (which I constantly fail to imitate), I think I owe him at least this. Don’t you agree, sunshine?

1239623_10200377345066459_319749956_n

My brother in Jordan, 2012. Second from the right.

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way

Your Prayers Matter. You Matter.

226330_10150169952279023_4175171_nMemories Past and Future
Life is all about memories,
Memories with your kin and friends,
Memories of days you wish would never end,
Memories of days that could not end sooner,
Memories of tears and laughter,
Draughts of happiness and regret,
Cups of joy and bitters served
That we will never forget…

And for the future?
All our plans and hopes of making more memories…

So what is the present
But a transient moment awake
Between memories we already have and
Memories we plan to make?
……………

Content = Memories. Life is all about generating content. And these contents are commonly known as memories. I would like to write more, but I am late for my prayers and I wish to create a memory tonight with God. Good people do it all the time without even thinking about it, perhaps coming to them as easily as breathing. But Notrumi is a sinner and have not had much practice. So I shall pray now. And will you also pray that I am making sweet memories with our Lord?

Allah gives and gives and gives divine sweetness from His Love, and this does not reduced or diminished your own portion that He has promised you since pre-eternal. So please pray for this poor sinner in this Holy Month and surely Allah Almighty will give you more in return!

5451_109180257843_543202843_2382546_7545878_nYou matter. I know how  wonderful you are, sunshine, and your prayers will be like tokens of hope strung as starlit pearls across the cosmos of my most wishful dreams and the nights of my most dreadful nightmares. So don’t let your blaming ego persuade you otherwise! Your prayers matter. You matter. You matter to your father and mother, you matter to your brothers and sisters, and you matter to all your memories present and future…

Believe me.

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way