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


  1. Wow. What a raw and honest read. This one struck a chord inside. No matter what walks of life we may come from I feel that we can all relate to this post in some way or another. I guess it just goes to show that us human beings really are not so very different from one another :) As always I look forward to reading the next chapter. Thankyou for sharing.

  2. Anonymous - I'm glad we agree. And thank you for dropping by!

  3. Assalaam Alaikum brother Soul Seek,

    I totally agree with Anonymous above. I read your entry earlier today and it really struck a chord with me as well.

    There are very few people who will be able to fully relate with your story and experiences, but I believe it will impress upon everyone to some extent or another. It's always so inspiring to see someone make it from a low to an incredible high. JazakAllah khair for sharing.

    Looking forward to the next installment as well, Insha'Allah.

  4. ....speechless.

    Are you sure this is you? Or are you writing about somebody else? All of this was missing from your previous posts akh!!No sign that any of these growing up years or events were present,I had no idea.It goes to show you came a very long way.MashAllah, May Allah keep you on the right path and stenghten you.It takes guts to open up completely so hopefully your experiences helps others. I think you're one of those people who take on themselves the responsiblity of others and carry them out of sympathy/empathy and then later on get disappointed by their actions.Humans will always disappoint but Allah never does,so whatever happens having hope in Allah is the smartest thing to do.

    Waiting for the next turn of events and... Bismillah!

  5. Inspiring story indeed, May Allah help us all become a better Muslim. (Ameen)

  6. Salam,

    I agree with the above, it really did tug at the strings, and it was the ending mostly..i always find that "accepting" is the hardest part!
    Great post.
    Thank you for sharing!

  7. Snap. Talk about deep.

    A very interesting read. I guess it's cause I agreed with you on so many points.

    Is there a part 2 for this? :D

  8. Argh...I didn't want to smile :-)