Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Eid Mubarak

Eid Mubarak. I hope you all have a blessed day and don't eat too much! ;o)

Taqaballahu Minna Wa Minkum (May Allah accept it from you and us).

I hope you all made the most of your last ten days. It was another epic ramadhan for me. Alhamdulillah.

May Allah make you all and your families amongst those whom have been granted forgiveness, mercy and protection from the fire of Jahannam (hell). Ameen. 

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Catch Y'all In A Few Days

I made intention to do itikaaf this year but I had a job interview 2 days ago.

So insha'Allah tonight, I'm sitting a 5 day nafl itikaaf. I have to get 26 juz done in 5 days. I am the worlds slowest reader, so it should be interesting. I'll catch y'all on Eid!!

I got some feedback regarding the interview. I couldn't have done any better, so insha'Allah I hope this is the one!

In true quest style, I've just been informed about another 3 prospects. Time to get cracking after Eid I guess!

When I return, expect a lot of updates. I treated myself to a lovely shiny tablet paired up with a Bluetooth keyboard for eid. I've typed all of todays entries on it. Okay enough with the showing off hah.

Guys, please make the most of these remaining days of Ramadhan. Epics proportions of rewards, forgiveness and mercy to be had.

Don't delay, take up on this amazing offer today! 

Looking From The Outside

There's something ugly and/or beautiful when you step outside of your body.

Try it. Think of a place or a memory that you hold dear to yourself. Let that be your surrounding. For me, it's a really busy place - A landmark in the Arab lands. Then get rid of everyone around you. It's just you.

That feels really weird. Now step outside of your body. And have a hard, close look at yourself.

Okay enough with checking yourself out physically and saying Masha'Allah.

Look at the person presented in front of you. His qualities. His attributes. His faith. His relationships. His achievements. His skills. His character. And the defects in his character.

It's an on going list. There's one too many things to take a look at.

I've done that. And I continue to do it.

I'm quick off the mark to focus on my slip ups, my mistakes and how to rectify them to ultimately become a better person. A better Muslim. Insha'Allah.

I want to bring this back to my recent quest experience.

My biggest mistake was one of my earlier mistakes. Aisha. I wasted too much for too long. It was a bad experience. But it taught me dearly.

I took breaks in between my quests to refine me, my thoughts and my wants.

I've come a long way.

Lets talk statistics.

Aisha fiasco - 10 months. A heartache. A waste of time.

The prospect earlier this year. Very close to marrying her. 4 months. No pain. Just learnt more about me and what I need to work on.

The sister I've just been talking to - Just over 3 weeks. It would have been a lot sooner but there's always the finer details you have to deal with. In short, I managed to get results in 1.5 weeks. Made far more progress than any suitor I've spoken to.

All suitors have something in common to say. They have never met anyone quite like me. The way I conduct myself and this process? Nothing but respect and praise.

Alhamdulillah. This journey has matured me. I've always been ahead of my peer groups but this was one area I needed work on.

And my teacher asked me if I had any feelings for this prospect. I shaked my head. I've learnt to detach any kind of attachments or feelings. I can think much more clearly. I walk away pain-free. It's a good deal.

This is how it should be. Once I find her. Those feelings will be for her and her alone.

I'm doing something right. Super right.

I'm proud of how far I've come. This is how it should have always been.

Istikhara: The Final Take And Conclusion

I can't believe how quick ramadhan has come and gone. Subhaanallah. It feels like it just begun.

Apologies for the late update, I was tied up high on breaking my fast with dates (the halal kind)  and I let things pan out.

Night Ten
After night 10, things had started to turn around. Things started becoming easier and more of a reality.

This is what istikhara is all about. When Allah makes things possible and perhaps easier. If it is not meant to be, the situation becomes impossibly difficult. That, right there - That's a sign.

I was skyping  with the whole family and even their neighbours. Alhamdulillah, I got an insight from the neighbours, even the kids too.

Advice from the kids? Marry her, she's really nice. Haha.

Istikhara take ten: Complete.

Status: Good feeling.

We continued talking and making good, solid progression. I made a discovery. A discovery that is detrimental to this process at this moment in time. Basically, a deal breaker.

It's through no fault of anyone. It is something that is outside both of our control and remit at this moment in time.

I didn't want to call it quits there. I know how difficult it is to find good girls. So for now we've left things. However, I want to revisit this issue and see if it has changed. As for how long? I don't know is the truth. Perhaps 4-6 months?

So in the mean time because there is no commitment - If any other suitor presents itself I will continue my search. It's unfair for either of us to hang around.

Qadr. We all know about that. Right?

Just an observation. Every prospect I've pursued? They keep getting better. And closer to what I want.

Allah is true to his word. What word? I'll go into that soon enough.

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Istikhara Take Eight And Take Nine

Night Eight
Nothing happened other than that in my brain.

I was just thinking how fickle human beings are. I mean seriously. I was just chillin' and reflecting, like you do.

And I was thinking If I lived in Medina how much would my requirements differ?

The answer none didn't happen. Some of the things that popped up was for example, I didn't mind if she wasn't street smart if I lived in Medina. Because after all my children would never have to deal with the kind of things I did. Nor would they have that level of freedom and struggles that we face in the Western world. It takes both a mother and a father to suceed in this society. So on that premise, I guess the requirements do change a little.

It's just one of the many discussions that take place up there. I consulted the right hemisphere and it was a stimulating discussion.

Istikhara take eight: Complete. 

Status: Unsure.
Night Nine
Masha'Allah. The more I chill with my sister. The more I respect her. We're so alike. Strong minded. With invincible levels of determination. I'm glad she's by my side. This is the first time I've consulted her on such a scale. I am glad. May Allah bless her. And Allah make her amongst those women whom he loves. She's special. And she is wise.
We had a group conversation today. She even taught me a few things. We're starting to gain more of an insight. Alhamdulillah. More sessions like these and I shall come to know if this is the best for me.

Istikhara take Nine: Complete. 

Status: Confident. The foundations have been set. Clarity will come. The outcome? Allah knows best.

Friday, 12 August 2011

Istikhara Take Six And Take Seven

Been really busy, so dropping the two entries together.

Night Six
This was a BIG development. Things went pretty bad. I generally give people naseeha on why making your own decisions are important. Ultimately you're responsible for the decision(s) you make and that's something you have to live with and take into consideration. You can't blame other people for your decision. And this is why some relationships turn sour. The blame game. Ooo-errr.

The power of influence. An Alima give her opinion on the matter. Her family took it as gospel. Their arrangements didn't work for me. I can't make the biggest decision in my life by just saying tawwakul Allah (pacing your trust in Allah). Masha'Allah, great if you can. But I believe in tying your camel first. You have to be naive to assume two people with deen will make things magically work. Maybe in Bollywood. Sure.
Oh wait, Lollywood? Muslims, halal, get it? Ha!
I had my Tafsir class. On my way out, I wasn't content with what went down. I just needed assurance I wasn't losing my mind. I spoke to my teacher. A mufti. He's a badass to put it bluntly. Awesome and straight up he is. He gave me the peace of mind I needed from a well learned person. "SoulSeek, speak to the girl and explain things again."

And so I did. She then spoke to my teacher. He gave her some straight up advice. "I deal with a lot of marriage cases. The divorce is terrible amongst our Muslims and I think a lot of young people make irresponsible decisions." I don't claim to be a person of knowledge but I know one thing. The sunnah of the prophet is clear. We don't need 'interpretations' on most issues.

There may be a big battle ahead. Who knows?
I have a way of putting things. So she says. I think she's delusional. I'm clearly a nut job. And I've made it clear that I may turn senile before 30. Whoever is going to marry me. Good luck!

It brings me back to my original question. Do I want a trainee?

Istikhara take six: Complete. 

Status: Unsure.
Night Seven
Do I want a trainee? The truth is when you want to be with somebody, it doesn't matter where they are in life. Even if they have to learn how to walk. A building could be on fire. And the only thing on your mind will be on how to make it to the other side. That's conviction right there.

Solid progress today. Making the kind of progress I've been wanting to make from the start. Alhamdulillah. My terms are coming into play. My terms? They made sense and it's in compliance with the Shariah. She's now starting to make sense of what I initially laid down. High 5 anyone?

I just need more fruitful sessions like these to detail if she's the one.

Istikhara take Seven: Complete. 

Status: Unsure. However, I do see light.

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Istikhara Take Five

Night Five
Not a great deal to report today. I'm getting the trickle treatment in regards to information. It will come in due course insha'Allah.
As a result, a more clearer picture will begin to form, I hope.

Istikhara take five: Complete. 

Status: In the middle of nowhere. Need to see how the next few days pan out.

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Sound Marriage Advice From Wednesday


Istikhara Take Four

I think I'm coming down with something. My food and water intake has come down by about 50%. That's a lot.

Standing under the fan for 1.5 hours in taraweeh yesterday wasn't a great idea. 

Night Four
She dropped me a line today. Saying I made her feel inadequate. I'm a great guy but I should give her a chance.

I was quick off the mark to apologise. Regardless of my actions if someone feels like that, I apologise. Thinking about it. She tripped up. I was okay about it. But I did follow up a day later asking for a clarification, as things didn't make sense. Perfectly valid and rightly entitled to do so. I get the feeling she's feeling inadequate because she said she's ruining her chance. She feels inexperienced.

The advisor (sis) thinks she's a lovely girl but is lacking. She tried helping me to list what she brings to this marriage, we did pretty bad. She's nice and sincere whilst all that is lovely there may be a problem. A marriage is about two people bringing stuff to a party. My suitor herself also believes I'm bringing a whole lot to the table and is questioning why somebody like me would be interested in a girl like her. I don't like this lack of confidence.

I will continue to make excuses and focus on the good things. I believe everybody has something to bring to the party. I just need to find out what presents she has lined up.

All that said. I am starting to feel a little unsure if anything.

Istikhara take four: Complete. 

Status: Unsure. Need to see how the next few days pan out.

Monday, 8 August 2011

Istikhara Take Three

My sister and my nephew have gone home. A.K.A my sidekicks. I've got a tight bond with my sister. Boy can this girl fight. She's feisty. Whenever we get into an argument we just stop. Our personalities are strong. And boy does everyone know it. When we bang heads we know where it's going. Jokes always pursue. I love this girl, she's one sibling I know I'm going to be tight with for the rest of my life.

She's talked to my suitor and she approves of her. She realises the same things I do. One thing I love about my sister is that she's not afraid to upset me nor is she afraid in saying anything to me. Girl speaks the raw truth.

I've appointed her as my advisor.

Word yo!

Night Three
I woke up with some kind of negativity today. Logically, I tried to make sense of it.

I got to briefly speak with the prospect today to address what happened yesterday. I gave her a chance to explain herself. She feels like she's unable to articulate herself well enough. This incident put me off and I told her that and for what reasons. She apologised and explained further. Only got to speak for minutes.

I was listening to lecture a earlier by Noumaan Ali Khan. He said something profound. "Don't try to rationalise when women are feeling that way." Boooom. A woman doesn't needed to be reminded about the way she's been created. I need to consider that. Pair it up with how she does and deals with things.

She's a tad bit on the softer side. I like it. But I don't like it. 

I've made some adjustments on how we're going to proceed. She's game and understands. I asked her to take  couple of days out. Spend time with friends and family. It takes the pressure off her. Chilling is the best of environments to make things work. You'll see.

Istikhara take three: Complete. 

Status: Undecided but progress is being made.

Sunday, 7 August 2011

African Drought Crisis

I don't have to inform you all of what's going down at the moment.

In case you don't know, here's Aljazeera's Spotlight on the Horn of Africa's drought:

Here are my thoughts. Had Allah (swt) willed he can alleviate these people of their difficulties. But the truth is it's our test. All those mothers, father, brothers, sisters, children and baby. They will go to Jannah insha'Allah. The real test is how much we're going to do. How much of our rizq we're going to part with.

For those who have doubts with where their money is going. Remember Allah (swt) will reward you for your intentions. Stop looking for excuses.

On the authority of Abu Hurayrah, who said that the Messenger of Allah (saw) said: Allah (swt) will say on the Day of Resurrection:

"O son of Adam, I fell ill and you visited Me not. He will say: O Lord, and how should I visit You when You are the Lord of the worlds? He will say: Did you not know that My servant So-and-so had fallen ill and you visited him not? Did you not know that had you visited him you would have found Me with him? O son of Adam, I asked you for food and you fed Me not. He will say: O Lord, and how should I feed You when You are the Lord of the worlds? He will say: Did you not know that My servant So-and-so asked you for food and you fed him not? Did you not know that had you fed him you would surely have found that (the reward for doing so) with Me? O son of Adam, I asked you to give Me to drink and you gave Me not to drink. He will say: O Lord, how should I give You to drink whin You are the Lord of the worlds? He will say: My servant So-and-so asked you to give him to drink and you gave him not to drink. Had you given him to drink you would have surely found that with Me." [Related by Muslim]

Remember this is our test. It's ramadan and this is a month of giving, mercy and blessing. The ultimate goal is Taqwa. We know the reward of giving someone water and a date to break their fast. Lets do our part today.

More importantly. Don't forget the Ummah in your dua's.

Istikhara Take Two

Before I spoke to my hero. I had a gut feeling like I've never felt before. One of peace. Everything just felt so right.

Masha'Allah he gave me a real eye opener. He said "I love you for the sake of Allah, I'm only saying this just in case you haven't thought about it."

The truth is, this time round I thought had it all sussed out. Top notch. My process very thorough. Fairly methodical. But he trumped me again. He worded things the way he does. It made me think all over again.

Night Two
Made a big breakthrough today. Something happened. It doesn't seem great but Allah knows best and only time will tell.

One of my good friends gave me a call earlier, he was in the neighbourhood. So I invited him and his wife round to break iftar with us. I attended their wedding just over a month ago. His advice was good.

Whilst dropping them off. Just seen the rapport between them two? Masha'Allah! His wife is hilarious. I was always worried this brother would never meet his match. Clearly he has from seeing them in action and listening to their advice. 

After Taraweeh, I met up with another friend. Stayed around his until 3am and I just arrived home for sehri and fajr.

I've had a lot of food for thought.

I'll let it marinate for tonight and see what tomorrow brings me.

Istikhara take two: Complete. 

Status: Undecided and thinking.

Saturday, 6 August 2011

Istikhara Take One

You guys know the drill.

10 Nights. 10 Entries. With the help of Allah's Counsel, I will be persuaded towards a decision and things may continue to go well or they may well come to a halt.

I'm writing this at 2:15am. I'm tired! So if things don't make sense... make sense of it because I'll most likely be writing at stupid o' clock :) Taraweeh finishes after midnight and I usually stay up til Sehri to fast and pray fajr.

I've started istikhara much earlier than I anticipated but I've done so for good reason. I was sure. Given some food for thought and I became unsure.

It's time to speak to my lord again.

Take One
I've made a commitment to speak to her for a couple of hours everyday since last week. We also speak on loud speaker in presence of her parents and/or siblings. Strictly halal as usual.

I've got a good feel for the kind of girl she is. Masha'Allah! Sincerity to the brim. That's her unique selling point. Winner right? I thought so too.

I met up with my hero after taraweeh for a quick 20 minute chat. The last time we spoke was about 6 months ago since the last prospect. He's my hero for a reason. Allah has blessed him with a brain that I will continue to compete with.

I told him things were going well. I told him my concerns and he addressed them.

He has a point.

This is girl seems like an opposite to the last one. His concern was me. What do I want? The balance of both I guess. 

Do I want a wife that's ready for marriage? Or do I want a wife that's in her infancy in life and people skills?

She's 3 years younger than me. Which makes her pretty young. I need to explore and look into other traits.

First time moving away from home. Being a wife. Putting up with difficult surroundings. Having to study at University. What if she falls pregnant early in the marriage? Whilst her body is going through hormonal changes, would she able to cope with so much change?

Its given me a lot to think about. Time to start breaking things down in my head.

Istikhara take one: Complete. 

Status: Undecided.

Ramadan Mubarak


I'm ethnic. So of course I'm going to be late about stuff like this!

Do I need to say anything about how glorious this month is? Do I really?

Ok just let me say a little..

It is narrated that Muhammed (saw) addressed his companions saying:

"Oh people! A great month has come over you; a blessed month; a month in which is a night better than a thousand months; a month in which Allah has made it compulsory upon you to fast by day, and voluntary to pray by night. Whoever draws nearer (to Allah) by performing any of the (optional) good deeds in (this month) shall receive the same reward as performing an obligatory deed at any other time, and whoever discharges an obligatory deed in (this month) shall receive the reward of performing seventy obligations at any other time. It is the month of patience, and the reward of patience is Heaven. It is the month of charity, and a month in which a believer's sustenance is increased. Whoever gives food to a fasting person to break his fast, shall have his sins forgiven, and he will be saved from the Fire of Hell, and he shall have the same reward as the fasting person, without his reward being diminished at all." [Narrated by Ibn Khuzaymah]

 Hold on, hold on! 

A night better than a thousand nights!? Some of us may not even live for that many nights! Our sustenance’s are increased, optional deeds are of the same reward as obligatory deeds, all our sins are forgiven, and the reward of obligatory deeds is like performing 70 obligations at any other time. A bargain not to be missed!

Can you feel the prophet’s excitement as he tells his companions about it?

A month of reward.
A month of mercy.
A month of bounty.
A month of forgiveness.
A month of being freed from hell fire.
A month of attaining honour.

That's ghetto!

Ramadan Mubarak!!

Monday, 1 August 2011

You Plan. And Allah Plans. Doesn't Take Much To Figure Who's Better?

I had the interview that I last posted about. It was interesting. The interview itself went fairly well. He asked a lot of questions. He then asked me "have you any questions?"

My last question was "have you any doubts whether I'm suitable for this position?" he changed his posture and smiled. "I have a few reservations" he said, and he elaborated.

I heard from them a couple of a days ago. "I have some good news and bad news." "Okay, hit me up" I said.

A lot was said. In a nutshell he said "He doesn't think you're suitable for this position. He thinks you wouldn't be happy and believes you're far more talented. He also said in a serious manner, you have potential to become a politician." At this point I started to laugh "He was dead serious when he said that. So basically, he wants to try and get you in into a project management consultant role. Even though you're 22, he sees so much potential in you." I was taken back and I agreed to another interview.

The very next day I heard back from one of my favourite companies of all time. I passed their test and I got through to the second stage. My dream place to work, ever since I was a kid. I was invited for a 10 hour assessment day. Don't get me started!

This is when the week had started. I had plotted a 540 mile road trip for this journey.

I left on Saturday and I drove 150 miles down to Geetar Hiro's place. We had one hell of a time (as usual) with the boys. I stayed until Fajr of Tuesday. I was busy preparing like mad for the interview. I only slept 50 minutes, if that. I left early hours and drove about 80 miles to my interview. I arrived 1hr 35mins early. Note to self: Don't take advice from GH again.

The assessment day was rock solid. A team of 8 interviewers throughout the whole day, and every one of them would get an opportunity to assess me. It started with a presentation. Interview. 3 individual assignments. 3 group assignments. One negotiation task. And an exam that I won't be forgetting any time soon.

The buffet was the highlight of the day. I was absolutely starving and I'm not shy when it comes to food. Mmmhmm (it's time for sehri in an hour, I'm getting hungry!) At end of the day I felt confident and proud. Proud because I gave it my best.

From the assessment centre, I drove another 80 miles to one of my best friends house to stay for the night as the journey back home was too far. I want you to hold and remember this part of the journey, I will come back to this real soon.

Now I heard back from both companies two days ago. The project management position was filled sooner than they expected by someone far more experienced. And I didn't get the second one. I didn't feel upset. I genuinely know I tried my best. I tied my camel real hard. Infact, I tied that dude so hard, I can get done for cruelty!

This journey in finding rizq (provision) was an excuse.

Bear with me whilst I digress. 16 months on since Aisha. That's how long it took for Allah to show me why. I get it now.  Like totally. Just like the others now. I have that feeling of peace and serenity of why she wasn't for me. I make this super duper dua whenever I look into a suitor. One of the things I ask for from Allah is that "If she's best the for me in all my affairs in both this dunya and the akhira." And he responds. Now, I'm not worthy enough of his attention but he's answered my duas. I can only continue to sit in humility. 

I thought it would be more difficult. I thought maybe... in everything that I do, I'm wrong. I thought. And I thought. My last of thoughts was that now isn't my time. 

I thought wrong.

Wrong because I think... I think I may have found her.