Rumi 3

Because of a fractured leg,
God bestows a wing;
likewise from the depth of the pit,
He opens a door of escape.
God said, “Don’t consider
whether you’re up a tree or in a hole:
consider Me, for I am the Key of the Way.”*

-Mathnawi III, 4808-9

Camera: iPhone 5

Ferris Wheel - Six Flags, New Jersey

Ferris Wheel – Six Flags, New Jersey

 

Source: The Pocket Rumi, edited by Kabir Helminski


© wanderingderwish.com 2013-2014
Click here for Copyright information. All photos shown were taken by me. All photos are the property of wanderingderwish.com.

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The “L” Word

In my AP Language and Composition class in 12th grade, my teacher had us do various writing exercises.  Today, I was digging through old documents and found this particular piece where we were assigned to “imitate” another piece of writing.  I had chosen to imitate a portion of a speech by Muhammad Ali Jinnah, founder of Pakistan.  So, here I am… sharing it with the world!


Without love in our life, we are nothing. Love is something that is unexplainable, unexpected, and uncertain.  It is an emotion that is naturally felt by every human being, one thing that we long for, but also one thing that we end up despising.  It is love that gives us a glimpse of the highs in life, and then gives us a peak into the lows.  It is love, the unexplainable feeling we get, that sometimes makes us blindly content.  Love is something that comes out of nowhere and shows us things we would normally disregard. Love makes us greatly appreciate what we do and do not have in life.

We have a give and take relationship with love.  We like to give love in many forms –we like to compliment, hug, send gifts– but we enjoy receiving it more.  This is where the balance goes askew.  As humans, we tend to like it when our lovers — whether it be our family, friends, or significant others — treat us in a superior manner.  And when we do not receive the affection we crave, we become uncertain of our relationships.  Love makes us feel many things, and in many ways.  But, if we all learn to let go of our high expectations from this euphoria-like emotion, we all may be happy.  If we decided to take what we get and give what we can, we can experience love at a much deeper level.  Don’t take feelings and people for granted, especially when associated with love.  Life is full of love, and love is essentially life. 


 

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No individual or people can achieve anything without industry, suffering, and sacrifice. There are forces which may bully you, tyrannise [tyrannize] over you, and intimidate you, and you may even have to suffer. But it is by going through this crucible of fire–persecution which may be levelled [leveled] against you, tyranny that may be exercised, the threats and intimidations that may unnerve you–and it is by resisting, by overcoming, by facing these disadvantages [and] hardships, and by suffering and maintaining your true convictions and loyalty, that a nation will emerge worthy of its past glory and history, and will live to make the future history greater and more glorious not only of India but in the annals of the world.


Eighty millions of Musalmans [Muslims] in India have nothing to fear. They have their destiny in their hands, and as a well-knit, solid, organised [organized], united force can face any danger; and withstand any opposition to its united front and wishes. There is the magic power in your own hands. Take your vital decisions–they may be grave and momentous and far-reaching in their consequences. Think [a] hundred times before you take any decision, but once a decision is taken, stand by it as one man. Be true and loyal, and I feel confident that success is with you.

-Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s Address to the All-India Muslim League, October 1937


© wanderingderwish.com 2013-2014
Click here for Copyright information. All photos shown were taken by me. All photos are the property of wanderingderwish.com.

Dear Shahid Afridi

Everyday a new video, photograph, quote, news piece, or meme circulates social media and becomes the “trending topic.” Recently, a video of Pakistani cricket star, Shahid Afridi, was made public and became the topic of discussion all over social media.

Shahid Afridi, whilst giving an interview on a Pakistani news media channel, made a comment about how the women of Peshawar, Pakistan (his home town) were better off cooking in the kitchen, instead of trying out for sports like women’s cricket. My first reaction: “He is such a jerk!” I was and am absolutely outraged that a man of his position would say something like that!

Shahid Afridi, sometimes known as “Lala” or “Boom Boom Afridi” is a an internationally renowned Pakistani cricketer. He has been playing cricket for Pakistan’s national team for over a decade and has been a favorite, especially amongst the youth, for his good looks and style of hitting 4’s and 6’s (4 point hits and 6 point hits) in a match…usually when the team is doing not-so-well. He comes in and makes the game look so easy, scores a bunch of points, restores peoples’ faith in their team and leads them to victory. Good for you Afridi, you make Pakistanis proud. You make Pakistani men, women, boys, and girls proud.

Shahid Afridi, a renowned international cricketer

I am writing this blog after being inspired by a post on a Pakistani news website, written by a Pakistani woman as a direct letter to Afridi. It is titled: “Why I Won’t Be Cheering For Shahid Afridi Anymore.” So, I need to vent out my feelings to Shahid Afridi and the world, therefore, I am doing the same thing–writing a letter to Afridi. (I hope that somehow, in someway, he reads it someday).


 

Dear Shahid Afridi,

You are the hero of Pakistan, the hero of cricket (the most popular sport in Pakistan). You bring joy to a nation that has a lot going on right now, a nation that is doing a lot of growing up right now. While I am very happy and proud that you help Pakistan win cricket matches, I think that you need to understand that with fame and heroism comes great responsibility. You become the face of the nation and you become the person young boys and girls look up to. You are the person the youth look up to. You are the new and current sensation.

Do you know how many young boys want to be a batsman or a bowler like you? Do you know how many boys want to have hair like yours? Do you know how many boys want to make their family and country proud like you do? Do you know how many boys want to be you?

Do you know what this means? This means that whatever you do, they will want to do. Whatever you encourage them to do and however you encourage them to think, they will want to do that and think in that way.

So, when you go on a TV channel for an interview and the anchor recounts, with extreme pride, that the girls of your hometown, Peshawar, are trying out for cricket and how everyone is so proud that women of Peshawar and Pakistan are entering the sports world (and that Pakistan is continuing to progress), you DO NOT snub him by declaring that “our women have good taste in their hands” and, thus, belong in and should remain in the kitchen.

Shahid Afridi, who are you to take the limelight away from the women of Peshawar and Pakistan? Who are YOU to declare that the women of Pakistan are better off in the kitchen of their homes? YOU, Shahid Afridi, have no right to speak of what a woman can and can not do. The women of Pakistan can decide themselves how they want to represent Pakistan. They can choose if they want to be a teacher, a doctor, a secretary, a politician, an engineer, an accountant, an entrepreneur, an actress, an author, an athlete, or stay home (and cook/clean/do the laundry, or do nothing at all).

Continue reading

Blogging, Poetry, & Starbucks

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I’m in one those moods when all I want to do is write. As much as I complain about writing research papers and essays, deep down I really enjoy it. It’s the inner geek in me who is constantly seeking knowledge and trying to do better than before.
Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses, but until very recently (maybe junior or senior year of high school), I did not realize that mine was writing. I love to write. I love to write about myself, about current events, about historical events, etc.
For someone who is an immigrant to an English-speaking country, I actually never thought that I would ever be able to write as good as my native English-speaking peers. However, SATs, the AP exams, and my recent International Relations research class positively surprised me. I can literally sit down and write a 20 page paper in 8-10 hours and manage to get an A. I’m not trying to boast here (but I am), but I don’t know how it happens or why but I guess I am blessed.

Right now, I am sitting with a Grande sized White Chocolate Mocha that a friend recently got me addicted to and all I want to do is blog and write poems. In fact, for the latter part of my class this morning, that is what I was doing (sorry mom and dad!).

I got hooked on to poetry in 9th grade when we started reading Shakespeare in English class. I like Shakespeare – he’s hard to understand but he’s a deep and funny guy. I like the old English, it sounds much more poetic. I also really like Urdu poetry. And well, Rumi’s poetry trumps all. Rumi is like the epitome of an amazing writer and poet. Also, that is how got into Sufism.

My writing style is not perfect. I make grammatical errors and spelling errors and sometimes it gets confusing trying to convert my Urdu thoughts into English ones; but I enjoy free-write. And free-verse poetry.
I can appreciate the beauty of structured writing and poetry, but I personally don’t like all the constraints.

Writing is expression, thus it should be free.

I’ve been breaking writing and grammar rules for a while (such a rebel, I know), but I still somehow passed the English classes and once even got an essay published in a local county book. It was an “I Have a Dream” speech for Martin Luther King, Jr. day (5th grade).

Well, I better get to my Arabic homework that I have been putting off.
Look forward to some poems later on that I jot down today because “I was in the mood.”

Until then,

May

Camera: iPhone 5

© wanderingderwish.com 2013-2014
Click here for Copyright information. All photos shown were taken by me. All photos are the property of wanderingderwish.com.

Intro to Sufism 101

You may have guessed by the name of my blog and the quote in the subheading that I am into something called Sufism.

Sufism is a branch of Islam and its followers worship Allah in a more mystic manner. I am not a Sufi by birth but something about the lifestyle of the Sufis is attractive to me.

Maybe it’s the way in which they are continuously seeking God? continuously remembering God? continuously pleasing God? or continuously worshiping God?
Maybe it’s that they are more spiritual?
Maybe it’s how they are free spirited?
Maybe it’s the way their leaders and intellectuals write, speak, and sing about loving God?

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The Sufi way of worshipping is so intense that when they are in the worshipping state of mind, they seem to be lifted from this earth. It’s followers are sometimes known as malangs. They are so deeply immersed in their mystical way of worshipping that they are said to be in a trance. Imagine that… a trance! This trance is achieved by the derwish who performs a ritualistic dance in a court to the sound of Sufi music. The ceremony is very interesting to watch and put me in a trance too. I even got goosebumps. It was a beautiful experience.

“The sufis believe that they can experience something more complete.” -Idries Shah

I think I am attracted to Sufism because I believe that everyone has their own personal connection to a higher deity (if any). In Sufism, I find that I can worship God with the expressions that I find most appropriate. I can have a close personal connection with God regardless of how much I practice my religion.

It’s difficult for me to explain or put into words but I think find Sufism to be more free spirited and thus lean more towards this branch of Islam.

Religion is a complicated subject and everyone has their own level of faith. I have my faith and you have yours, and maybe you don’t have any at all. And that’s all perfectly fine and well!

So that was a little bit more about me on a personal level….
Until next time,

May