Ramadan – Satisfaction of My Soul

Ramadan-prep
I couldn’t put it any better:

‘…fasting is about gaining a deeper awareness and mindfulness of one’s self and, in turn, the world in which one is situated. From the outside it might seem like it’s about deprivation of food and drink. But by shifting focus away from a simple satiation of my stomach and looking more towards the satisfaction of my soul, I realize that are many different ways that I can nourish myself and many different parts of me that need to be nourished that I often times neglect, my heart being a primary amongst those….’
– Imam Khalid Latif

Jumah Kareem!

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Dear Souljah’s

Please
Put down your arms and
Pick up your souls.

With love and
In solidarity,
The fallen and
Those who’ve remained standing

You are oh so loved

You are oh so loved,
By those who are no longer
With us, not passed/gone but
Freed, not here but close
The memory of a girl with
A beautiful soul, extraordinary soul-
Live forever in a special place
And those that still remain
The privilege of
Watching
The girl
Blossom
Into a
Woman-
Soul still
Intact unblemished or unhardened
Hope, reminded
That the miles
-or dimensions of life
and death
do not
mean we do not dwell on
you

with lots of love,
Semiha the author and Siham the “supporter” of the artistic vision
July 31, 2003

Excerpts of the Fifth Mountain


By Paulo Coelho

P15
But most of the prophets, who roamed the streets flagellating themselves and preaching the end of the world for its corruption and lack of faith, had accepted conversion to the new religion.

P19
Criminals, prisoners of war, fugitives were usually accepted as mariners because it was a profession more dangerous than the army. In war, a soldier always had a chance to escape with his life; but the seas were unknown, populated by monsters, and when a tragedy occurred, none were left to tell the story.

Pg 21
Souls too, like rivulets and plants, needed a different kind of rain: hope, faith, a reason to live. When this did not come to pass, everything in that soul died, even if the body went on living; and the people could say: “Here in this body there was once a man.”

Pg 28
“It was part of your apprenticeship. When a man journeys toward his destiny, often he is obliged to change paths. At other times, the forces around him are too powerful and he is compelled to lay aside his courage and yield. All this is part of the apprenticeship.”

“But no-one can lose sight of what they desire. Even if there are moments when he believes the world and others are stronger. The secret is this: do not surrender.”

Pg 33
“..I have never seen the ocean but I know it is like the desert: it slays those who challenge it….”

Pg 53
“Every man hath the right to doubt his task, and to forsake it from time to time but what he must not do is forget it.  Whoever doubteth not himself is unworthy—for in his unquestioning belief in his ability, he commitheth the sin of pride. Blessed are they who go through moments of indecision.”

Pg 75
“The best warrior is one who succeeds in transforming an enemy into a friend.”

Pg 121
“I shall not live a second longer than the Lord desires…It is He who decides, not you.”

Pg 127
“The best [at using a sword] is the one who’s most like a rock…without drawing its blade, it proves that no one can defeat it.”

Pg 128
“All life’s battles teach us something, even those we lose.”

Pg 135
“…the Lord demandeth of people only that which is within the possibilities of each of them.”

Pg 137
“no one dieth. The arms of eternity open for every soul, and each one will carry on his task.

There is a reason for everything under the sun.

“There is no tragedy, only the unavoidable. Everything hath its reason for being: thou needest only distinguish what is temporary from what is lasting.”
“What is temporary?”
“The unavoidable.”
“And what is lasting?”
“The lessons of the unavoidable.”

Pg 149
Courage is fear that preys.

Pg 180
“…they had not found what they were seeking, for they carried with them, along with their bags, the weight of their earlier failure.”

“If you have a past that dissatisfies you, forget it now…imagine a new story of your life, and believe in it, Concentrate only on those moments in which you achieved what you desired, and this strength will help you accomplish what you want.”

Pg 183
“Everything that could have happened but did not is carried away with the wind and leaves no trace…

Life is made of our attitudes. And there are certain things that the gods oblige us to live through. Their reason for this does not matter, and there is no action we can take to make them pass us by.”

Pg 204
From heaven, God smiles contentedly, for it was this that He desired, that each person take into his hands the responsibility for his own life. For in the final analysis, He had given His children the greatest of all gifts: the capacity to choose and determine their acts.

Pg 206
God was infinite in His mercy, and implacable in His severity with those who lacked the courage to dare.

Pg 212
“…a warrior is always aware of what is worth fighting for. He does not go into combat over things that do not concern him, and he never wastes his time over provocations. A warrior accepts defeat…after all this has passed, he licks his wounds and begins everything anew.  A warrior knows that war is made of many battles; he goes on.”

I Didn’t Realize You Were a Poem

I didn’t realize you were a poem

I didn’t realize
That I could unravel your layers
With every line
That I could write you and re-write you
And you were always so forgiving
That I could mold you to my liking
And sometimes, you’d mold me to yours

I didn’t realize
That I could share you with the world
And still claim you as my own
I didn’t realize
How you so easily eased my sorrows
Just by being
That you came to define
A big part of who I am

I didn’t realize
That you enabled me to speak through silence
To see through the blind folds
To feel through the numbness

I didn’t realize
That you filled me with peace
That you helped me through today
So I could look forward to tomorrow
Propelled and not held back by yesterday

No, I didn’t realize that you were a poem.

I didn’t realize
You would sing the songs of my heart
That you could fine tune the lyrics of my soul
That you would hum the beats of my inner drums

I didn’t realize
That you could keep me grounded
That you could capture my dreams in flight
Without preventing them from flying

I didn’t realize
That you could be
Both teacher and pupil
Both pen and paper
Both earth and sky
That you could contain and liberate at the same time

No, I didn’t realize that you were a poem.

©Nebila Abdulmelik, September 2011

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