Friday, October 20, 2006

Better Than A Thousand Months

It was over. And then it began all over again.

A hush had descended across the congregation as the imam started to recite Surah Naas, the final chapter, of the Quran.

Say, I seek refuge with the Lord and Cherisher of mankind ...

His voice started to break up, and he had trouble declaiming the glorious verses.

.. The King of Mankind ...

They say men don't cry, but the quietness of the mosque crowd was broken by the sobbing of a few men around me. For a brief moment my thoughts went to one of my sister's classmates who was involved in a car accident. Last Ramadan he had been here, at this mosque. Today, his elderly father has lived to see another Ramadan, another Khatam, but not he.

.. The Judge of Mankind ...

The imam was visibly moved, as was I. Another Ramadan has come, and almost gone. They say deprived is the one who lives through this month and does not avail himself of His blessings. I know I have not done too much this Ramadan as I did before. It seems there is a cycle. When you are younger, you want to do all you can. You read the Quran once in the month, even twice. You religiously attend all the prayers.

... From the mischief of the Whisperer (of Evil), who withdraws (after his whisper) ...

... (The same) who whispers into the hearts of Mankind ...


And then cynicism sets in. Materialism rules. You start to lose faith in faith. Am I somewhere in the middle of this cynicism and belief? I don't know. At that moment, I prayed fervently to see another Ramadan. The next one will be better, I promise O Lord.

... Among Jinns and among Men.

There. It was done. For 39 hours during the last 26 nights this congregation has stood and listened and prayed. My non-Muslim friends sometimes comment 'only 3 more days to go, eh?'. What I cannot explain is that it's just 3 more days to go.

The imam stands up, and for the second rakat he goes back to the first chapter of the Quran.

...This is the Book, in it is guidance sure, without doubt, to those who fear Allah, who believe in the Unseen, are steadfast in prayer, and spend out of what We have provided for them.

May Allah accept whatever good we have done in this month, and forgive all the evil we ever did.

PS. Man was Nugget mosque ever crowded! I think pretty soon we have to start issuing visas to Muslims for mosques. You live in this area you go this mosque and no other. And since I live near the biggest mosque in Toronto that's all right by me. Even the Tim Hortons guys and girls were there (you know who you are - the 'young' people who leave after 8 rakats not to go home but to sit at the cafe opposite the mosque, opposite each other, until your parents emerge *wink wink nudge nudge*).

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19 comments:

Em said...

Salaam.

Pretty moving account - jazak Allahu khairan. Amin to your du'a on living to see another Ramadan.

On the note of the deceased brother, let me share with you the anecdote of a sister here, two days into Ramadan: she was hit by a car while she was walking on the sidewalk (that's right - she wasn't even crossing the road). She flew some distance, suffered multiple fractures in all four appendages, broke a clavicle, but Alhamdulillah survived a concussion.

First thought that came to mind: "what was the driver thinking? Turns out the driver had had a heart attack in the car moments before he lost control and hit her!! If that's not a freak accident, I don't know what is.

Why I mention this: the sister is still unable to sit up, and is on complete bed rest. I doubt she has recovered her ability to recite the Qur'an, let alone to pray even sitting down...

We are travellers on Earth - there's no guarantee we'll be here tomorrow. Even if we are, there's no guarantee we'll have the time or faculties to engage in the 'ibadah that we may be leaving today for immediate worldly things...

Lalon Shai - the Bengali mystic, sums this up perfectly in Bangla: Baki-r lobh-e nogod pawna ke chhare ei bhubone? Rough translation: Who is it who sacrifices the cash (immediate) transactions on this world in favor of credit receipts (in the Hereafter)?

Let us all remember the ummah in our prayers.

Anonymous said...

wow thats a really inspiring post - I could not attend the khatam yesterday due to some problems but I surely know how it is - and wish we all can see another few ones.
- Farah

Sohail said...

wow, where the that come from? You are not usually that spiritual. I guess we will see the normal Mezba return on Eid eh? :-P Great piece - should consider submitting it somwhere.

Zehra said...

Amazing post, Mezba. I really wanted to go to Nugget Mosque for jummah today but I remembered how I had driven my dad before and we would never be able to find parking. :( Are you usually able to find parking around there? If so, then where??

Tasneem said...

Mashallah, you have written a beautiful post. I admire your eloquence with words.

I have been a secret fan of your blog and I must say you have very interesting insights on this world, our country, people and this religion.

Tasneem

mezba said...

Em: Walaikum. Jazaks.

The accident you recount was sure a freaky accident. I hope the sister is given the tawfik to deal with her loss and may Allah ease her hardships. Your quote on Lalon Shai reminded me of the verses in the Quran about those who hoard wealth and Allah says indeed those who exchange the Hereafter for this world are indeed amongst the biggest losers.

Farah - I hope your wish comes true, sorry about the khatam, but there will be another one, iA, and many more to come.

Sohail - just for that comment, mister, I am going to publish our discussion on the Pretty Bengali Women Theory after Eid. Yessir ... lol.

Zehra - You can park in the new property that the Islamic Foundation acquired, right beside nugget mosque. There is the Hijab fashion complex.

Hijab fashion - is that an oxymoron?

Tasneem - welcome, and thanks for the kind words. So I guess you were a secret lurker eh? I noticed you too have a blog, I will check it out shortly.

Suroor said...

This is a BEAUTIFUL post. Mezba you have rocked in this! Amazing. Thank you for posting this.

'liya said...

That was a lovely post! I felt the same way when they ended at Taric.. it is just so incredibly moving when they end and go back to the beginning of the Quran.

I too wish I had done more this Ramadan.. don't we always feel this way? I went to mosque as often as I could but I KNOW I could have gone more..

I believe they are finishing the Quran at Al Falah tonight so I'm going to go there. I just need to hear it again..

mezba said...

Suroor, Liya: thanks.

Liya, I thought Falah did their khatam two days ago - nevertheless I will call them up and if they are doing it tonight I want to be there - it's such a different feeling.

'liya said...

Oops I guess you didn't get the comment I wrote right after. They are done. My mom told me most places finished on the 27th.

I meant the mosque in Mississauga. Cooper's.. don't know the official name, that's what we call it. But I don't think they're finishing tonight. Maybe tomorrow night.

Maliha said...

Salamaat,
gorgeous and inspiring post mashaallah.

lol @ sohail "you are not usually that spiritual"; that was a diss Mezba:) J/K.

Eid Mubarak and may Allah accept our prayers, fasting and all our good deeds (amin).

mezba said...

liya: Ya, they were done,

Man I hope Nugget declares Eid tomorrow. I got a day off from work that I dont wanna waste.

Maliha: Eid Mubarak to you too. Don't worry, Sohail is going to get something back soon ;-)

isheeta said...

That was a really awesome post, Mezba, thank you for the inspiration! :)

Eid Mubarak!!! We celebrated it Monday as well.. but I had class so I didnt have to call in sick!

mezba said...

Thanks Isheeta, Eid mubarak to you too. So good all of TO celebrated on same day, for ONCE!

Samiha Esha said...

best of luck mezba bhaia :)

my vote already been there you :)

Good luck...:)

wishes,

Samiha Esha :)

Baraka said...

Just came back to enjoy this again.

Beautiful.

samiha esha said...

hurraaaaaaaaaaay..........U won :) congratulation :)

wishes,

Samiha Esha :)
www.samiha-esha.com

mysticsaint said...

congrats and hats off for winning this!

http://mysticsaint.blogspot.com

Monwar said...

Hello,

I came to this site from Rezwanul's link which mentioned that you won an award, the Brass Crescent award. It was fascinating for me to see that a religious (and Islamic!) blog post can actually win an award.

For me, when I hear of such award thingies, my expectations go wayyy high, and I was actually slightly disappointed at the post ^_^. In any case, I am an agnostic, so perhaps I did not appreciate your points either, I don't doubt a religious person would perhaps find such more moving. Congratulations anyway.

I have been browsing theough some of your other posts and you seem like a Bangladeshi Eteraz in the making. Suggestion? Do try to address more current world Islamic issues including Iraq and the sectarian conflict there. Best of luck!