Saturday, October 31, 2015

Mr. R comes to masjid

This past week, our jamaat lost some of its very valued members. The repeated hits have taken a toll on the psyche of the jamaat. Yet today, even as the rain fell upon this grey day, the sun shone brightly inside the masjid. 

We experienced a momentous and uplifting afternoon, for the man who saved so many of our mumineen visited the masjid. Our jamaat invited him to come and visit as our honored guest.

He brought his family with him, and from the moment they walked through the door, we made it our priority to make him and his family feel welcome and to try to impart to them how meaningful his actions were to our jamaat.

If not for Mr. Mike R, we would have lost 9 mumineen instead of 1. It is unthinkable. 

And it is deeply spiritually satisfying to think that Allah put the right person in the right place at the right time. Alhamdolillah.

I was asked to be a liason between the members of Mike's family and our jamaat. It was my honor and pleasure to be able to show them around, make them comfortable, explain our customs, get to know them. 

The family Mike saved was introduced to him. Many hugs ensued. Emotions were running high at this point- so many people had tears in their eyes. And before my own, bridges were being built. It was truly a beautiful moment amidst the tragedy of the past week.

My dad delivered a small speech to Mike. Mike took the mic and said a few words too. The jamaat then presented Mike with a shawl. When I explained the significance of the shawl to Mike's wife, she looked as touched as I felt.

Hundreds of people made their way over to Mike and his family to shake their hands and say thank you. Mike, you could tell, was overwhelmed with the outpouring. But as I told him and his family, we are all one. You save 8 of us, and you have 800 more who want to embrace you as their brother. In a way, he saved all of us - with his selflessness and his bravery, he gave us something to praise, to wonder at. To raise up and to gain strength from.

We took Mike and his family down to eat. They ate the kheemo and the daal chawal and we talked about the thaali and college and our customs and parenting and... well... life.

There was just love, love, love. Sadness, support, taziyat, dua, and love, love, love. Alhamdolillah. That's all it takes.

Labels: , ,

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Post Ashara 1437

We just got back from Houston Ashara 1437.

Still reeling. Processing my feelings. Trying to absorb this incredible experience.

Hectic, chaotic, exhausting, amazing, beautiful.

We stayed with friends who are like dear family. And my parents stayed with us for a few days too.

I got to attend waaz daily with someone who is my dear bhen. We got deedar. We got qadmbosi. We got nazar. I attended my R2S meetings and there I got to connect with new people and old friends - all wonderful people. We went to a ziyafat where such intense and surreal and beautiful things happened that I haven't yet been able to journal about them.

And the waaz. The daily, incredibly rich, metaphor-filled, enlightening, reassuring, encouraging waaz, which charged our batteries and renewed our strength and readied us for the year ahead. The best new year's resolution one can make at the beginning of moharram, the first month of the year, is to spend the following first month of the new year exactly the same way. Letting these waaz envelop us.

We are lucky, blessed. Alhamdolillah.

I think the feeling of renewal and recharging has trickled into other aspects of my life too. I am noticing that as I read, I am picking out gems the way I used to, writing them down- I haven't done this for years, since I had kids and my leisure time diminished. I still read constantly, but I don't have the luxury anymore of easily transcribing the gems into my journal or this blog.

But let me try to get back into that.

I am reading "The Little Paris Bookshop" at the moment. Two gems I came across so far:

"Some stars had seen the dinosaurs and the Neanderthals; they had seen the pyramids rise and Columbus discover America. For them, the earth was one more island world in the immeasurable ocean of outer space, its inhabitants microscopically small."

"Perdu suspected that these small children, listening with eyes wide and in rapt concentration, would one day grow up to need reading, with its accompanying sense of wonder and the feeling of having a film running inside your head, as much as they needed air to breathe."

Labels: , , , , ,