Saturday, 28 December 2013

It's Time To Stop

For as long as I can remember I've had this problem with savouring an opportunity, an experience and a moment. The problem is before that process begins. I call it perfecting procrastination.

It works like this. I have a written rule about zero days. Zero days are days where that I don't progress, develop, learn or better myself in one way another. Even if it's just a mere 10 press ups. Slow progress is still progress. I'm not allowed a zero day, despite the circumstances. My perspective and the way I look at the world changes as my understanding progresses.

My problem is that I will stop an area of development based on "Why benefit now when you can benefit more in the future".

More is the reason of unhappiness.
More is why I cannot reach new heights.
More is why I procrastinate.
More is the killer.

It's hindering me and I realise it's a problem. It's problem because I have a constant need for perfecting myself. The very idea in itself is paradoxical.

I have more books than I can accommodate. There's one particular book I've procrastinated for 13 years years since I was 12. I've wanted my mind to be at a particular stage of development before I started this journey. I stand here and I say no more.

It's Saturday and I'm starting with the sealed nectar, the biography of Muhammed (saw). After this I have 58 books to work through. You can follow my progress over at:

I also have a box of vintage and rare chocolate from Hotel Chocolat to work through. I kid you not. This stuff is the crack of Chocolates. 

Procrastination. No more. I'm taking control. 

Sunday, 15 December 2013

Snowstorm Across the Middle East

I couldn't help but be in awe when I saw this, more here. Subhaan'Allah. 

Snow is beautiful. It's fun when you layer up, go for a walk, throw a snowball or two.

I then came to the realisation that snow is only beautiful when we're in our warm homes. Something many of our brothers and sisters won't have this year. Allah (swt) protect all whom are without warmth, shelter and food this year. 

Allah has blessed us with endless bounties. Please make a contribution: 

I spent a night homeless in Venice not too long ago. Being in the cold unprepared is brutal. 

Saturday, 3 August 2013

Some Reflections

In life you will make particular decisions to get where you want to be. Some that are good and some that are not so good. Those decisions, that will bring you closer to what you aspire, and others that make you feel like you've approached the opposite end of the spectrum.The decisions you make are based on your take of scenario.

Then there's an anomaly. Something that we do not account for when we're blinded by happiness, passion, rage or sadness. Parameters of the unknown that exceed our understanding. Here's where things become more interesting; the universe plays ball. It conspires to push you in a direction, at times without realising. The world and its inhabitants come together to to show you something.  And when they're ignored or not obvious enough they will return and they will keep returning until you stand up on your chair and flare your arms out to take in this epiphany, this revelation, this great insight.

Those close to you and those that you meet in strange lands show you that you're destined for greatness. It's one thing being told you have it, then it's another being shown it. You cannot expect others to have confidence in you until you have confidence within yourself.

You shrug off your future for reasons that you believe are right. To make believe that you must to do this to show humility or to remain steadfast and humble. That is deception in its greatest form; denying yourself opportunity and progression.

Personal development is an integral process in becoming the best version of yourself. Pairing ideas and techniques with Islamic principles unlocks overwhelming depths of progression and realisation. Despite how many times you repeat this cycle, that unaccounted anomaly? That, that will keep returning to remind you of who you're supposed to be.

I'm on a very special journey right now. A journey that I, could have never planned. Partly because I'm not very smart and partly because I find cat videos entertaining.

Marriage. Hmmm, it's funny how I kept hearing people talk about how after you stop chasing it, it comes to you. There's actually some truth in that. 

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

The Artist

An artist wakes up with a image on his mind and he feels ecstatic to put his fine Pitt pen to the canvas to begin the outline. He goes to his day job and attends to his daily schedule which is filled with meaningful activities, chores, classes, and meetings. The artist's finest strength is his ability to truly multi-task. Particularly being able to excel at his job, significant areas of his life and continue to work on this canvas in his mind.

Days pass and he still hasn't had the chance to see the black tip touch the canvas. He continues with the daily strife. Those days soon become weeks. And those weeks soon become months.

Every single day, he has been thinking about drawing on the canvas. From drawing the outline to preparing the colours. Even though months have passed since the initial inception he fills with joy as soon as he starts thinking of drawing. Throughout that period, the image keep evolving, fay beyond the first thought.

After months and months of thinking about his canvas he decides to get started. He unpacks his supplies that have been gathering dust over the months. He's confident of his abilities, very confident. Every time he thinks of his image he cannot hold back his smile. He looks at the canvas that he's set up and decides to prove his abilities on test piece. After months of inactivity, he begins a test canvas on a piece other than the one he's been thinking about for so long. A couple of hours pass by, he drinks from his glass and reaffirms his confidence.

After a short break. He gets his second canvas, stares at it for some minutes and nothing happens. There is absolutely no way this canvas can accommodate what's been going on in his mind. He sits down to think things through. He starts to get overwhelmed by the challenge that lies ahead. It's too much to take on.

He leaves everything he's doing as he has family obligations to attend to, promising himself that he's going to think things through in how take this piece through from the start through to the image he has in his head and get started tomorrow. He gets caught up in the strife again but not a day passes where he doesn't think about his piece. From the foundations and details of the piece to the size. For one: the canvas size was no where near as big enough, it must be larger - far larger. Where would he find such a large canvas he thinks. The bedroom wall it shall be.

He begins the piece. Weeks pass by, the canvas starts to take form. The piece is shaped by his daily activities as it result it becomes different from the one he intended. Every day is a work in progress. In anticipation to pick up his brush his mind wonders off to magical places. His uncontrollable imagination peaks to places other people would describe as a little crazy. As things progress, there comes a time when everything goes horribly wrong. He feels he's ruined it. Ruined beyond repair. Months pass by and every day he looks at his wall, his gut churns out of disgust. Even though he doubts himself, he continues. Just as things start to take look better many more things go wrong. He continues through this cycle. Time and time again.

After some years. It's complete.

He steps back and tears fall out of his eye. The canvas in front of him was not how he had intended his piece. Each day that passed by changed how he incorporated each detail. The end result was something he alone could not produce, his design was not intended to be as such. It was simply beyond his initial scope, scale and remit of thinking. It was overwhelming. It was mind-boggling. It was just... truly magnificent.

Belief paired up with hard work eventually paid off.

It's staggering how alike this artist is to me.

Sunday, 27 January 2013

AE Does It Again - This Ustaad Reads My Mind

What’s Love Got To Do With It?

Abu Eesa Niamatullah, Alternative Entertainment
And as we know from before, Tina Turner put it even more bluntly in her next line of her hit song, “What’s love but a second-hand emotion?”

You have to give it to song-writers: they really do express the truth sometimes in remarkably effective fashion.

The issues of love, prospective partners, marriage, keeping the flame of love burning etc have been beaten to death by mankind since time immemorial. Everyone has had a say on the matter and quite right too: no human is free from the stresses, hassles and difficulties encountered in day-to-day life and everyone will have had some brush with the emotion of love at some time. Everyone will want to share their feelings on the issue, and the Islamic internet forums and chat sites seem to talk about nothing else or at least stimulate the most response from the community at large when the topic is addressed.

So why then, after so many thousands of years of human experience have we not solved all these problems and banished the ignorance surrounding it? And why in particular have the Muslims not left their baggage behind on the issue after receiving divine guidance as well? And even more damningly, why haven’t the increasingly “practicing” crowd of Muslims who really should know so much better, ranging from the just-started-to-practice-Islam-recently folks to students of knowledge to the scholars themselves, set a clear example to the rest of the community by becoming shining role-models of how relationships should be conducted?

The answer is because this is a human problem, this is a nafs problem, and this is a love problem. No-one is going to get away with an easy ride.
I wish to offer the following words/thoughts on this subject with my focus on the “practising” community because they should all really know better. Those who are just Muslim by identity will fall into all sorts of other cultural problems and barriers and will fall foul of much ignorance and require serious help, more than just a few words in an article, whereas I’d like to concentrate on those who clearly have a problem controlling their desires, have errors in their thought process and just need to be reminded really of what is expected from serious Muslims.

One has to be quite frank in dealing with this, and say things that will hurt people and possibly offend their feelings, yet without being honest about the real deep-set attitudes and problems that we specifically face as a community such as racism, sexism, apathy and misogyny, we’ll never reach an agreeable status quo.



More here:

AE's a legend. #LogicalProgression

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Masturbation, Porn and Zina

It's time to kick it. 

My biggest fear is for practising brothers seeking. Particularly for the dudes whom it has become obligatory to marry.

Where their desires are no longer just desires and they've become needs. They fear committing Zina.

Marriage has become immensely difficult for some. It's dangerous for those whom have been looking for a while and they fear zina. Bear with me, I'm going to try and keep this short.

In Islam some say there's a logical principle in choosing the lesser of two evils based on the Qur'an and Sunnah. However, this principle is used and sometimes abused to justify choices. This principle is based on where one doesn't have a choice. So even though, it's a sin, it's the lesser of two sins. In this instance; masturbation.

Almost all of our imaams are quiet - they're busy arguing over who's going to be the all new appointed and official tea-maker. I've travelled high and low; nobody is addressing this in any community I've visited. 

I originally spent a lot of time reading and finding evidences from classical scholars to write a paper to submit. Infact, I started my original draft 4 years ago but I left it for a couple of reasons. Firstly, I am not a scholar. Secondly, I fear accountability of any kind. And finally, I believe you don't have to enter deeper fiqh to see a few issues that I will highlight.

We live in a society that promotes it's healthy to masturbate. Islamically there's a difference of opinion. Many whom have no outlet and cannot control their urges fall to porn and masturbation. In the real world, I've come to realise it's far more common than we think it is. Many practising brothers and sisters are deeply being challenged in remaining chaste. So admirably they will do whatever it takes to avoid Zina itself. Porn and masturbation replaces that. As it's being used as this concept of the lesser evil.

There's a huge problem with this.

We know the repercussions and punishment of Zina. It's why many of us trying so hard to be amongst the muttaqin and the sabiqun.

Whilst we see Zina as the ultimate sin, we fail to see masturbation and pornography in the same light. There's something more going on with porn and masturbation.

For someone who's trying to be a straight up obedient Muslim and they fall to Zina. It usually goes something like this: The person will either hit that point of frustration, make the intention and go for it, or they accidentally got in a situation, hit that point of no return and it happened - mistake. Either way, it was a physical and outward action. The deed was done and acknowledged. Bas.

The biggest industry in the world, bigger than all the Top 100's we know of; porn. The novelty never ends - So it caters for every kind of porn imaginably. It widely, freely and easily available.. even to hand-held devices.

If you go to Google Trends and search for some generic filth related words, you'll find the Muslim nations are amongst the highest ranked. 

Regardless of whether or not porn is used; hyperstimulation is still prevalent in both circumstances.

That physical action and the person at the receiving end of zina is no longer a 2 party action. This is all you. A secret. You go for it whenever you want and as often as you want. A 1 man ting.

What does this mean?

This short video is essential viewing for understanding:

It leads to some serious problems, such as:

  • Shameless. More an animal and less of a human being
  • Seeing and treating women as sexual objects
  • Degrading women and not respecting them
  • Ruin your spirituality and your relationship with Allah
  • Premature Ejaculation
  • Erectile Disfunction
  • A life of misery, lack of fulfilment, loneliness, depression
  • Addiction 
  • Anxiety
  • Slave to desires - Acting on impules
  • Sexual performance problems
  • Conventional sex is no longer fulfilling
  • Waste of time
  • Fatigue
  • 'Deathgrip' - When you can no longer be fulfilled by actual sex
  • Emotional imbalances
  • Chemical imbalances
  • Physiological and psychological imbalances
  • Guilt 
Just to name some. Unfortunately, I've seen one more or more of the above with young, practising Muslim men.

This is a serious problem. It is ruining our communities and future communities, It will creep up when you get married. And it's an imaan killer. Shaytaan and his homies are thriving on this right now.

Immense advice from Nouman:

Masturbation will not help you. Porn will not help you. Think of it like fastfood. It's great whilst you're at it but terrible in the long run.

There's a massive community full of muslims and non-muslims whom have identified this disease and they're actively abstaining from porn and masturbation. The people lurking NoFap and pornfree are in the millions. It's a lot more common than we acknowledge.

Check out these essential resources:
Nouman Ali Khan - Sexual Desires, Never Give Up Hope, Modesty & ShameShamelessness
Pornography Addiction Among Muslims (Stories & Tips) - Muslim Matters (Quality info on comments too).
Ramadan: Time to Kick Porn Addiction Out of your System - Muslim Matters.
/r/NoFap Community for abstaining from masturbation.
/r/pornfree/ Community for abstaining from Pornography.
Your Brain On Porn Series - Info on Porn Addiction.
Purify Your Gaze - The Only Muslim I've come across active challenging this issue. Sign up for his email, his work seems fantastic and it's such a small price to pay for some good counselling.
Infogram on porn - Some interesting stats.

For the love of all things good. Get AdBlock (Available for other browsers too) and Stylish for some awesome scripts, especially for protection on youtube.

This isn't just exclusive to dudes, the women are also going through this. These issues are part of a much wider communal issues such as homosexuality and abuse.

You've got to make an active effort in seeking help. We all need to acknowledge these issues as opposed to ignore it as one of the many taboo issues we have.

A brother in need is a brother indeed -

Friday, 18 January 2013

Past Quests: Four Girls And A Meerdog

Over the last year there was an interesting time. The suitor I was pursuing, things didn't work out for a while. 4 suitors stepped up and sparked some interest in me. I talk of 4 in particular because they were whose parents I had either spoken to or gotten past the preliminary stage.

Girl #1. My sister had dragged me to a marriage event at a Masjid to be her Wali, my intention was to catch up on a few lectures on my ipod and just reflect for the day. My sister and her cheeky friend decided to sign me up. As soon as I walked in after parking up, the Imaam said "Soulseek?" I responded. "The event's started, jaldi (quickly)." You cheeky sods. They signed me up for the event.

The women severely outnumbered the men and most of their 'hijaabs' conveniently slipped off. I made really good friends with a number of organisers and brothers. Totally awkward but I did good. A lot of sister's requested to find out more about me.

The organiser approached me "Soulseek, this is unusual but a family wants to speak to you". Enter blue eyes.

Such a lovely family. I actually felt shy as I'd never been approached by a mother, daughters and the father. We talked and whilst she was so humble, it didn't work out. We were too different. #1 and #2 were the only event based suitors.

Girl #2. Good sister, had a lot of great qualities but this girl totally didn't look her age. She was interested in me. I spoke to her brother and it turns out she was almost 10 years older than me. I never minded a few years but 10 was a bit much for me.

Girl #3. A humble and laid back girl. Spanish roots = +points. She looked extremely promising but both felt quite different about the future and outlook on some issues. Enough to find we didn't have a great deal in common. 

Girl #4. This was hard. I really liked this girl. Sophisticated, to the point, crazy jokes and a wonderful personality. We wanted to marry. Things moved immensely quickly. My mother vetoed it. I got angry. I agreed to let it go.

Here's the meerdog:

P.S. I'm no longer actively searching and I'm laying low but some people have come forward. I'll talk about that another time.

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Man Of The House

A wonderful article written by Yusef Ramelize

"I’ve had many humbling experiences in my life, including voluntarily going homeless for one week every year as part of an awareness-raising project. But my most humbling experience so far has been being unemployed.

Since I left my job in October, I went from being the man-of-the-house to the man-in-the-house. My new househusband role begins at 6:45 am when I wake up to make and pack my wife’s lunch. By 7:15 am, I’ve also ironed her clothes. At 7:30 am, I’m warming up the car to drop her off at the train station fifteen minutes later

After that, phase two begins. I make sure the house is clean, the laundry is done and dinner is made while also searching and applying for jobs. It sounds easy enough, right? Let me tell you, it’s one of the most difficult jobs I’ve ever done and I’m still trying to get it 100% right. I have a new respect for women and men who take on the role of homemaker. And, I can only imagine the work it takes to be a stay-at-home parent.

I’ve been fortunate to learn a lot from these experiences over the past couple of months. One of the most important lessons – one that will impact me for the rest of my life – is an even deeper appreciation of the amazing woman and partner I have by my side. God answered my prayers by sending me a supportive, understanding and compassionate wife.

In almost twenty years in the workforce, I have never been unemployed. But now, I’ve had ten weeks of rejection letters, and job searches that stretch late into the night, and begin again early the next morning. I send out five to ten personalized applications daily. Each day I try to enjoy being unemployed, but it stresses me out not having a job. Sometimes I feel depressed and sad, like I’m holding on by a thread. My silver lining each day is when my wife comes home. She always knows how to be my sunshine and joy.

My wife helps me with job searches far into the night, listens to my frustration, and even surprises me with little gifts to uplift me after her own long days at work. Above all, she never makes me feel as if I am less of a man for not having a job outside of the home.

One day, after receiving four rejection letters, I was ready to give up. My wife Samira walked in from work to see me tense with frustration and near tears. I was close to breaking down after all the unsuccessful preparation, interviews and repeatedly dashed hopes.

I looked into her eyes and she gazed back into mine and, leaning forward to hug me, whispered into my ear, “Yusef, all of these rejection letters and all of these unsuccessful interviews are just preparation for when you find the right job and meet the right people who see the value in having an employee as talented and passionate as you are.”

Before Samira and I got married, I had a long list of qualities I wanted in my future spouse, including someone who loves to smile, is kind-hearted and supportive. These sounded good on paper but I didn’t realize how important they were in action. Now, I see and learn from those traits, as embodied by my wife, every single day. I now have first-hand experience of what it feels like to be with someone who truly supports and helps me in becoming the best person I can be.

A few weeks after Samira whispered those encouraging words into my ear, after months of rejection, I had a successful interview and was offered a position working at an amazing company with a good group of people. There’s a saying that you see someone’s true colors during hardship. I’m fortunate that I experienced the hardship of unemployment because it helped me realize that my wife is the best thing that has ever happened to me."

Saturday, 5 January 2013

To My Dear Brothers In This Struggle

You know when you're in University and you see them beatufiul women and you cannot look at them. They come up to you and ask you "Hey, did receive that email last nights regarding homework?" you must look down and keep it short.

You go for coffee at Lunch and the waitress smiles at you, you remember to lower your gaze again.

Whenever you go into a lift, you cannot make small talk. If there's a beautiful women you decide to give it a miss for the next one. 

At your work place, your colleague always comes to you, she even flirts with. You keep your distance even though nobody will find out. You seem socially awkward although you're socially awesome and funny.

When you're invited out by peers or colleagues, you don't give into pressure because Sarah or Lucy approach you and tell you "Aisha'a Muslim and she's going, she even wears a headscarf!" you still decline.

When you go to Islamic Society and see sisters with hijaab, you find them even more beautiful, a huge fitna but "naa man I cannot look, astaghfirullah... nah man I cannot look! Allah has promised me he has better plans for me. Why is this killing me so much? Oh Allah you've promise, you've promised, you've promised! I'm not gonna look." 

Our religion is so heavy on shame, more than any religion and the interactions between opposite genders and it puts so much restriction on men more than any other way of life. Young men living in this society is fire and fuel. Butter left on a hot day, and you're expecting it not not to melt.

By Allah, I feel your pain. More than any other pain. And the only thing you're left to say is that "Allah has better for me."

In a society where marriage is immensely difficult. You still keep your shame, you still keep your gaze low even though you're surrounded by shamelessness.

If you keep Allah's promise, you guard your eyes, you don't make small talk, you don't go on filthy sites and you don't flirt and you guard yourself, you guard yourself and you guard yourself. Allah has your back bruv'. Believe.

هَلۡ جَزَآءُ ٱلۡإِحۡسَـٰنِ إِلَّا ٱلۡإِحۡسَـٰنُ
Ar-Rahman V60

If you did excellence for Allah in this world why wouldn't he do excellence for you in the hereafter?

Allah's know's of that fire raging inside of you. All them whispers and opportunity of Zina, Allah knows it all. Allah knows of all them sleepless nights, every single night that you woke up because of your uncontrollable instincts that you've held back.

You controlled yourself, so go ahead have everything you fantasized about. Everything you held yourself back for, have it. Allah is going to compensate you, heavily. With a return far greater than you ever expected.

I feel you man, I feel you but hear me out. We're going to get through this.