Monday, 16 May 2011

The Introduction Continues

Part 1

Those I loved deeply, the ones that meant so much to me were drowning. I watched these seasons my whole life. But this was the finale.They were taking me down with them on this ride. As I started to drown in the pain and sorrows I stopped fighting against survival.

The problem wasn't the people. Nor was it the drowning. The was problem was when I gave up on surviving. Disappointment became a normal emotion for me. I had catastrophic episodes when I was young. The first incident shattered me. Completely. I had a giant hole in my heart. I never shared this with anyone. I never showed any signs of fear nor did I shed a tear. I didn't give up on life either. I was stubborn. I remained strong.

I was always taught drugs were bad. The stuff that would mess your life up. School painted a picture where all drug users were scum.

That couldn't have been further from the truth. 14, I looked at everyone around me. I knew one thing for sure, they weren't the people they talked of. I would sit there whilst the boys would roll up a spliff. Out of respect they wouldn't smoke in front of me. But they would talk of how they would just do it to have a good time. I would hear of how they would occasionally round up loads of girl and just smoke pot together. And then they would laugh about it at school. You know, harmless fun. Full of jokes and games. The obsession of getting laid. The obsession of getting paid to sell dope. The market was rife for young dealers. It was stuff they aspired to.

Some would smoke weed as a form of escapism. The stuff you hear from other people and programmes aren't as it's made out to be. Like EastEnders, it's all a load of bull.

These were real people with really messed up problems. When you live with stuff like that, I mean who can you turn to? It's all good saying Allah is there for you, that's the approach I would resort to. But when they - Your cousins and close friends question his very existence what can you say or do other than look at them with a blank face? I felt helpless. I felt useless.

That blank face resurfaced. 5 years later.

Here was the mistake I had made for years. I was out to a seek that inner void in my life, that void of fulfilment. I had things that many did not have, and vice versa. I was grateful. However, that void was something I never had.

I was disappointed. I was betrayed. I was let down. My faith in people was destroyed. I was great with people. I always have been. In response the treatment wasn't the same. It was sickening. Spawned from evil itself. I was always taught to deal with things on an eye for an eye basis. However, that idea, the one of truth wouldn't let me do that.

People would do that often, wrong me. I would seek goodness and return empty handed. Let me give you an example. It's like the world today. Where people turn to the western world for intervention to help the muslim world. Not only is it ridiculously stupid. You will only find yourself to be disappointed, time, and time again. I didn't learn this by reading. I didn't see it on TV. I witnessed it first hand, after trying, and trying, and trying.

I would reflect and I would judge my self-worth and try to seek happiness, serenity and fulfilment. I realised that people would never provide me that. My premise was completely wrong. My logic was way off. I always thought dunya consisted of  worldly things. So you know, material stuff. I never thought that people themselves are dunya. By definition of temporary. And by definition full of faults, imperfect. I set myself up to be let down. I sought all those things in dunya. I couldn't have been further from the truth. I could only find these things in one place. A place where feelings don't fluctuate. A place where they're unconditional. A place that no room for mistakes. A deity gives life and takes life as he pleases. A deity that provides sustenance to each and every entity in the entire universe A deity that has no reliance or partners ascribed to his majesty.  

He is Allah. He is one. He is the master. And the king of all creations.

It was the only answer. I had never committed any major sins. I was what most would consider as a good muslim. My belief was rational and of logical. Blind and emotional faith was never for me. That realisation had just brought me closer. It renewed my faith.

I was drowning. I started to fight. Hysterical to reach the surface. One hand after another. I pulled myself up and I gasped for air. Soaking wet. There was a presence of two. It was just me and him. I raised my hands and I asked him for one thing. And only one thing. The rest? I had it figured out.

In primary school I was told on many occasions that I was gifted. I always had the tendency to laugh at the most inappropriate of times. ME? Gifted? My left big toe. Haha. I was just like the other kids. That's what I would keep saying and believing. 

In secondary school I was almost out of school for a whole academic year. It was the beginning of Year 10. The start of GCSEs. I enrolled into a new school 2 months before the summer holidays. I managed to blag staying in the same school year. I crammed 2 years of GCSE's into a year. Again, I would mess around at school.

Sixth form college, similar story. I did the majority of a 2 years course within weeks. Walking out with the best grades in class. My tutor had once sat me down. "SoulSeek I think you're really smart. I get your game. You do no work. Then you do what no one else is capable of in this class. You become serious and you walk away with the highest grades. Usually I'm not surprised but this is 2 years of A-Levels." He smiled. "Everyone's your best friend in the class but you need to stop interrupting with your joking around. You lead the others on but you're not like them at all. You intrigue me. [..] You never give it your all until you have to. Don't pull this stunt in University."

Came University. I pulled that stunt. It was the biggest mistake I had made. In my course we had to learn 9 different interface languages. That's not something you can bluff or play catch up on.

Coming back, when all the difficulties hit. I was finishing semester 1 during second year of University. I was on a sandwich course. A sandwich course is a 4 year degree, where you take out the third year working in the the real world to gain some experience related to your degree. I was up for my placement. Amidst of all this choas, I decided to drop the placement and go straight onto my final year. Everyone around me was applying for theirs. It was disheartening. I was doing terribly bad at Uni. You know that confidence I had? It was exactly as he said. I had started off as the most intelligent in the year, I ended up at the bottom. A dunce. I was barely scraping passes.

The energy. That feeling I talked of? Returned at this point. It was time. I went in full force. I accepted that if I was going to fail, at least I would be content in knowing I failed with a fight. I remember the rush, the rush of fear, the rush of potentially failing was lingering deeply. It was adrenaline.

I decided to give the placement a try.

Full of this positive energy that I had gathered. I wanted to aim high. I wanted to wipe the floor with awesome. So, I strolled in to Uni and I went for the most competitive placement in the country. All the geeks wanted to work there. I applied. I received a response. What did it say? "Unfortunately..." I made a typo on my covering letter.

That feeling of failing so early. I was gutted.

S'all right though. I had built a good relationship with one of my placement supervisors. I went to the placement office. I knocked on my supervisor's door, he asked me to come in. He seemed quiet busy, he was in middle of writing something. Whilst writing he asked me to speak. I told him I was rejected. He stopped writing and he turned around on his chair, he took his glasses off and he looked at me. "Are you okay? You don't look well." A part of me just wanted to break down, I just wanted needed somebody to speak to. Someone who would listen and someone that was caring. Someone, who wasn't muslim. Someone to know that I'm so badly hurt. I'm so hurt that finally after everything I've been through I just want to give up. He ticked all the boxes, he would listen to me and help me. But I was too stubborn. I tried to speak but I couldn't. "I'm okay, just haven't been sleeping much." I said unconvincingly. "You really want this, don't you?" he said. "I do .. [pause] .. I really do" that's all I could say. "I know you do, this is exactly why you won't give up. People like you get far. So go on, get cracking with more applications."

For the record. At that moment in time, the Muslims? They just walked away. Not from me but the service of Allah. My faith in these people was broken. I had to clean up all their crap. A big number. I ended up running the whole Islamic society on my own. No committee. With turnouts of over 300+ people. I will never forget that struggle. I will never forget that fitnah. I will never forget ill intentions of these people. I will never forget being alone. And I will never forget that pain.

Part 3 

Sunday, 8 May 2011

The Late Introduction

Lemme formally re-introduce myself. S to tha seek! It's never too late. Hey you. Yes, you! Smile. Now.


Dang, where do I begin? The start is always a good place, so I'll try to just do that. I spent an hour last night drafting this entry up, my intuition was telling me to turn my phone off but I didn't, got a call and I was on the thing for about 2 hours. After the calls I returned to blogger and I hit 'save now' on this entry and I've only come back to find that I lost all the changes I made (R-r-raage, thanks blogger!)

Bear with me, my writing skills have never been on par with my speaking skills.

We all have a story. My story has managed to remain a closed book. Not because it's a secret. I wasn't molested nor did I do the regrettable. It's captivating, full of adventures and laughs then there are the very serious hardships and struggles. The kind of stuff when you look into a persons eye's you think "poop, there's so much to learn about you." It's what one would describe as a novel worthy tale. That's what it is, a tale. Tales themselves don't hold the substance. But the experiences. ~Reclines back~ The experiences made what I'm about to lay down.

Disappointments. I grew up around them. I found that everyone around me had adopted certain habits, ways of reacting to them. You would come to the conclusion everyone was screwed up. They overreacted, blew things out of proportion and focused on the negative aspects of life. Bothered by the smallest of things. The kind that is easily annoyed and irritated. This only led to frustrations. That ultimately led to one path, a path of being loathsome and full of blame. A path of destruction and one of haraam.

Whinge, whinge and wh.. shut your mouth. Stop blaming everyone if you're the one that's dysfunctional.

It was just one drama after another. Dramas never end. It's an inherent part of being a human. We all have a set of issues. How we deal with them? That's what sets us apart.

The greatest journey of my generation is that a human being can alter his life by altering his attitude. William James.

I kind of got this when I was young. Before puberty.

I was going to do a fresh prince rap but I'll save it for a rainy day haha.

In the ghetto born and raised. Where being fierce, feisty and having street attitude were the tools of survival. Where respect had its place. Where knowing how to fight meant everything. If you were weak, your chances of survival and having friends were small. You had to become a sheep. I never did the sheep. I've never been the sheep. Sheeping sheeps.

We had it. Our click. Was 'it'. Where everyone would want to be my friend. We were so bigheaded with skidmarks on our underwear. Even though we were all muslim. We were all jahil. All of us. Heck, even me.

I always had a lot of friends. The gang leader. The one that came up with all the plans. We were a bunch of cheeky sods. We were always so full of energy. We'd do missions that were that long ting. We didn't quiet cause mischief on the level of kids these days. We did however rinse our childhood, so many laughs. That was at 10. It would somewhat alarming if I didn't progress. Some of the boys are the same as they were when we were 10. Yeah, I'm with you on what you're thinking. Naturally, I've come a long way since then.

Faisal - a year younger than me.  At 17 he stabbed someone in cold blood. He's been in prison for the past 4 years.

Shaz - One of my best friends when we were kids. At 12 he was in magistrates for setting a car on fire. Arsonist baby.

Qassim - Prison for grand theft auto. Badmanabadman!

I can write reams of this stuff. But I think you get the jist. I had a shed of friends like these around puberty. Then it changed.

It all started at 11. There was a huge opening in my heart. It's times like these that when we reflect we can begin to look at the blessings that Allah has placed on us. Even then we can't count exactly what he's done for us.

I remember the days so well. High on sugar, I was always super hyper. I rushed home to tell my mum "Amma! I'm going to start praying, it's so important. We have to pray!". She smiled and said exclaimed "bismillah" My sisters was like "whatever" and my brothers were doing their own thang. I did grab the next in line. He's almost 4 years older than me but we had a solid bond. We would roll together. Pray and chill together. Few years down the line, I lost my brother to the dunya.

These key years defined the beginning. 

By the time I was approaching 12. The double life had begun. I started to spend a worrying amount of hours with a professor in political science. He was about 4 times my age. He was a practising muslim and he was super intelligent. He used to ask me 'intellectual questions'. Stuff that really made me think. When I was 12, I was secretly reading books on philosophy. Books on intellectual belief and those books that grown men struggle to spell. At 13 I would debate with grown men. By 14, I would read books on capitalism and communism. The need of ideological beliefs. I would also prepare my own khutba's at school because no one prayed jummah. I created the beginning of something quite special.

In my 'other' child life I would hang with the other kids. They'd smoke pot, have sex with plenty of girls, gang wars and stealing cars, pretty much what all the kids are up to these days. I knew I was clean of that crap. I would chill with them because they still made me laugh and were still on that level. But I would leave when the other me had to do his obligations. What I did in my 'other life' was beginning to surface in this life. A part of me that wanted to sweep all these guys off the street. Save them because they meant something to me. I tried and I tried. There was only so much I could do.

On the streets. I still couldn't let anyone on the street give me the awkward eye. However, I was developing all these Islamic qualities. The conflicted had started. I struggled. It was paradoxical. How can you be fierce yet humble? How can you be forgiving yet stern? Think street. If I displayed these qualities to the wrong crowd, I would never survive. Regardless of who my brothers were or who I used to be. I had a lot of energy and I was naturally strong. I had to resort to a sport. And I did so. I spent a part of my life boxing.

Over time, I eventually came to bring the two together. I had the right amount of badboy (read: alpha) in me to carry the swagga through. Without being an asshole. Basically I took the good, manly qualities. And discarded the crap, the stuff that lacked morals and the haraam gunk. I picked up all the trades.

I was always in with the ghetto boys, the geeks, the loners, the boxers, the gym-aholics, the boys on the deen, those struggling, those with unorthodox-asian/muslim hobbies, all kinds of sports, the smart ones. In a nutshell, I get on with everyone. Beard or no beard. White or black. Muslim or not muslim. It's one of the most fundamental premises in building relationships with humans, making friends and helping them on the path so that we may eventually help each other. I later refined this art to extreme levels of awesomeness. 

The college years felt slow. Ah, the awkward years. The popularity increased in college. I was doing some of the khutba's but there were imaams to ease that pressure. After all these years I was still completely clean. No girlfriends or even female friends. No secret habits. No part time playa wanna play things and so on. However, I had a huge identity crisis. I found non-muslims to have better traits than muslims. A complete contradiction. The so called 'pious' ones? They were worse! They would back bite without hestitation, secretly check out girls yet they were on form to become the haraam police. They demonstrated what it meant to be a good hypocrite. As for the 'good girls' from my ends? I knew their families inside out. I went to school with these very girls. They were out letting loose, they were on it like chronic. Hijaabi girls smoking dope. Checking out guys, doing the complete Asda haraam package! Dayum. That was some messed up poo!

I tried to walk away from everything. I remember that was the one time I felt the deen really heavy on my heart. The level of hypocrisy within muslims at this time was shocking. The walking away from everything fiasco never worked out. I'm glad, alhamdulillah. 

University flew by. It was only natural for me to truly find myself here. And then to become the president of Islamic Society. I didn't quite realise my potential until after this period. I was rinsed of my position, I had to deal with issues no ISOC president had to deal with in the country. You know when all those tests you encountered were small fry in comparison? That period that you remember so vividly because you can confidently say that it was the most difficult part of your life? That time when you can say loud and clear that tonnes of poo had hit the fan? All that happened. All the worst calamities of my life had hit. At once. I've known people to break down after one of the calamities I had encountered. I didn't have one, or two, three or four. Not even ten. I had sheets and sheets of issues. Multiple burdens dropped on me like phosphoric acid. Uni took a back seat. It had done for a while.

I was being tested in ways that I felt were too much. Things went from worse to, errrr.... worse.  I wanted to drop uni. No. I had to drop Uni. There was no turning point. It was too late, I couldn't turn things around even if I tried. People I trusted betrayed me. Friends I looked up to, let me down. Family situation was dire. I had to look after families in their absences. The never ending Islamic obligations (or what seemed like 'obligations'). The burdens of others. Running a business. People problems. Health issues. And it went on. I made sacrifices for Allah yet all these terrible things happened. "It was okay though. It's life. Smile?" that's what I would tell myself.

I remember the break down. I fought so hard but I wanted to accept it. I wanted to accept that in 19 years of my life I had to lose this one time. I couldn't do it. Mentally, emotionally or physically. I was going through difficulties I knew no one could compare to. All the people around me, they couldn't help me. Yup, popular SoulSeek couldn't turn to anyone. I had lost. I lost. I frigging lost. I wanted to hear me say that "I was a loser." I tried to accept defeat.

It wasn't a pretty sight, heck I wasn't a pretty sight. My appearance? Non-existent. I had put on so much weight. My beard wasn't as well kept as it once was. I. Just. Didn't. Care.

Weird happened. Weird was just weird! It was at that defining moment. It hit me.

Cry wolf? SHAME ON YOU.

I felt this surge. I felt this energy. I felt this urgency. This strength flowing through my veins. Crap this must feel like cocaine. I was raging with energy. So much positive energy. It started off like a whisper. "You can do and be anything you want." A part of me tried to fight it. Negativity spoke out "I can't just make everything okay. I don't have the strength nor do I have the motivation. Just screw it. I'll find a way out some day." These negative thoughts were being suppressed. They were getting pushed so far back. I didn't know what to do. "I can do it. No. Watch, I'll prove to you I can do it. I will do it not because it's the right thing to do or that I'm on a temporary high but I will frigging do it because this is my chance, and this is my right to happiness." The belief I had in what I was saying? It was Un-bloody tainted. I accepted all the crap that was happening and I came to the terms with "Life is unfair. Deal with it. It's now your choice homeboy. Win or Lose."

This is the part where this tale, turns around. On epic proportions.

Part 2

Saturday, 7 May 2011

I'm Ready

I've been waiting for this moment a while. Remember I said I found what I was looking for? It would be somewhat selfish to keep these thoughts to myself and those around me. It's time to spit it out.

But before I do that. I take priority. It's time to start making decisions on my part. Only I can make these decisions. You, my wonderful people will help me. I'm going to be thinking out super loud. Drop me a joke, drop me a serious comment. They'll be appreciated as always. 

I'm now ready to take action.

I've got a lot of crazy crap on my mind. Watch this space. Hmmmmmph!