Saturday, October 9, 2010

Forms of Patience

Taken from

Patience and Gratitude, Ibn al Qayyim al Jawziyyah, Ta Ha Publications

Patience has many other names, according to the situation. If patience consists of restraining sexual desires, it is called honour, the opposite of which is adultery and promiscuity. If it consists of controlling ones stomach, it is called self control, opposite of which is greed. If it consists of keeping quiet about that which is not fit to disclose, it is discretion, the opposite of which is disclosing secrets, lying, slander or libel. If it consists of being content with ones need, it is called abstemiousness, the opposite of which is covetousness. If it consists of controlling ones anger, then it is called forbearence, the opposite of which is impulsiveness and hasty reaction. If it consists of refraining from haste, then it is called gracefullness and steadiness, the opposite of which is to be hot headed. If it consists of running away, then it is called courage, the opposite of which is cowardice. If it consists of refraining from taking revenge, then it is called forgiveness, the opposite of which is revenge. If it consists of refraining from being stingy then it is called generosity, the opposite of which is miserliness. If it consists of refraining from being lazy and helpless, then it is called dynamism and initiative. If it consists of refraining from blaiming and accusing other people, then it is called chivalry (muru'ah, literally manliness). p. 15 of 83

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Lahore bomb blasts and a prayer to a Mother

In His Name
The Giver and Preserver of Life

I had never thought of so much of loosing you tonight
In the midst of the blasts commemorating the death of Imam Ali
O Lahore, O Lahore, O Lahore
Yet also commemorating the birth of a new dawn
A dawn upon which every morning a believer wakes upto
As the history and the saga of the return of the last One is awaited
My Mahdi

O Our Master, I bow my head in your honor
Please hasten your return
The separation manifests itself
In the cries and shrieks of those who love you
I thought that I had dream of you
Unlike the dreams of Lady Fatima
Where she stands still and my hands extend to touch the corner of her abaya
I only saw dust rise above
Were you coming or going – I cared not any more

To return to the matter of the heart
O mother, O separated mother
I was prickled because of my weak faith and more than anything else
Of the utter separation from you for the last 8 years
Loosing your spirit soaring to the eternal abode
And me remained hither on earth, wailing and crying

O my beloved mother, o separated mother
Such is our destiny and fate for now
Lets be patient, let us remind our-selves
It cant be any more painful than the wait for the hujja
The awaited one
Now I soar high and high, with spirits nigh
I have a smile and tear drops on my face
I accept this separation for it is nothing compared to that to our separation from our Imam

Though, I have last thing to say
As the orphans mourn their loss tonight
Ya Imam, please console their hearts
Grant them patience
Raise them as your soldiers on the day of raja
Those and those lost

Better else Imam
Visit them tonight
Console them
Ya Imam Ya Syedi Ya Mahdi
For the Love and the sake of the Prophet
For the Family of the Prophet
For the Companions of the Prophet
I beg leave

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Amber Alert in New Jersey Tonight

Tonight, this very cool night
In the state of New Jersey
A mother sits with angst
Amidst clouds of un-certainty
She grapples and swoons between hope and fear
Those two wings that Rumi [a] bespoke of
The siblings perhaps questioning
What has this world come to?
It could have been us, you or me
Why such loss, why such absence
Why such suffering, O Merciful God

The father beckoned to the call
Of a masculinity, that calls for stoicness
O you people of the World
You and your masquerading
Grant him the space of his humanity
To share his grief with his wife
With his children, indeed human we are
Out of this shared sense of grief
Will rise a family to meet all odds

Is it any different from the night
When the immaculate ones [b] worshipped
Under the stars and the moonlight
Knowing well of their fate tomorrow
Such was the certainty, that the Doyen
Of the Martyrs, offered them a safe passage
In the darkness and the safety of the night
Those very sand dunes of Karbala, in Iraq
Where the darkness and the night bespoke
Of a safety, used together, in unison
In opposition to the eveil that lurks
When both are mentioned, ah, such is fate

So, here we are then
Two faiths
Grappling with the human dimension of loss
In the backdrop of a Merciful Lord
Of a Merciful Creator and Sympathizer
My heart goes out to you, O mother
O Father
O Children
O Siblings

But you will prevail
This evil will not
It will succumb to the human spirit
Infused with His Will and Power

Its is an Amber Alert Tonight
Tears roll down my cheeks
They are warm, as I wipe them
I know they come from the heart
Of "all" believers, all "faithfuls"
In the resiliency of the human Spirit
Of the pulsating beat of the heart

It needs no reminder to the tragic
Loss, before Husayns own eyes
Of his Children, yet prevailed he did

It needs no reminder to the tragic
Loss, of Jesus on the Cross
And be assured, that the cross is
What symbolizes our faith [c] in Jesus
That we are lent to suffer
But under his shadow everything perishes

For the love and the sake of the family of Muhammad and Muhammad
For the love and the sake of Jesus and his immaculate mother, Maryam

Descend Mercy and Grace to the Amber Alert household
You are not alone, tonight, you never will be
Never when an Amber alert goes out

[a] A Sufi poet from Turkey

[b] Reference to the family of Muhammad, the Prophet, his grandson, al-Husan in the sands of Karbala, in current day Iraq

[c] Christian faith

Friday, August 13, 2010

The Hidden Spring and Our Modern Condition

There was once a powerful dictator who ruled his country with an iron will. Every aspect of life was thought through and worked out according to a rational system. Nothing was left to chance.

The dictator noticed that the water sources around the country were erratic and in some cases dangerous. There were thousands of springs of water, often in the middle of towns and cities. They could be useful, but sometimes they caused floods, sometimes they got polluted and often they burst out in new places and damaged roads, fields and houses.

The dictator decided on a sensible, rational policy. The whole country, or at least every part where there was any suggestion of water would be paved over with concrete so thick that no spring of water could ever penetrate it. The water that people needed would be brought to them by a complex system of pipes.

For many years the plan worked fine. All seemed to be well. Then without warning the springs that had gone on bubbling and sparkling beneath solid concrete could no longer be contained

We in the Western world are the citizens of that Country. The dictator is philosophy that has shaped our world for the past two centuries making most people materialists by default. And the water is what we call today "spirituality", the hidden spring that bubbles up within human hearts and human societies

Excerpted from: Belief: Readings on Faith, N. T. Wright, p. 9-10, Harper One

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Operations Risk Management

Deloitte states.

Most people view risk as a bad thing. But managing risk well can create value for a business, and provide distinct advantages over the competition. We call this risk intelligence.

Many factors have pushed risk management to the front burner. Intense scrutiny from investors and regulators. Increased potential for losses. And a business environment that is increasingly complex and global. Here are some ideas to help you take the right risks and make better strategic and operational decisions.

At my firm I am currently involved in creating a Risk Intelligence Platform. The following white paper from Deloitte sheds light on how Consulting companies are dealing with the subject.

Pain and Suffering: As Soul Making

In His Name
'assalam o alaykum

Been reading a work by a Christian author

Whats so amazing about Grace, pp. 95-96
Philip Yancey, Zondervan

and he quotes John Hick from his work 'Philosophy of Religion' on the subject of pain and evil

Suppose contrary to the fact, that this world were a paradise from which alll possibility of pain and suffering were excluded. The consequences would be very far-reaching. For example, no one could ever injure any one else: the murders knife would turn to paper or his bullets to thin air; the bank safe, robbed of million of dollars (without this device , on however a large scale, proving inflationary); fraud, deceit, conspiracy, treason would always leave the fabric of the society undamaged. Again, no one would ever be an injured by an accident ......... To make possible this continual series of individual adjustments, nature would have to work 'special providences' instead of running on natural laws which men must learn to respect the penalty of pain and death. The laws of nature would have to be extremely flexible: some times an object would be hard and solid, sometimes soft ....

One can begin to imagine such a world. it is evident that out present ethical concepts would have no meaning in it. If, for example, the notion of harming some one is an essential element in the concept of wrong action, in our hedonistic paradise there would be no wrong actions - nor any right actions in distinction from wrong. Courage, fortitude would have no point in an environment in which there is, by definition no danger or difficulty. Generosity, kindness, the agape concept of love, prudence, unselfishness and all other ethical notions which pre-suppose life in a stable environment could not even be formed. Consequently, such a world, however well it might promote pleasure , would be very ill adapted for the development of human qualities if human personality.

It would seem, then, that an environment intended to make possible the growth in free beings if the finest characteristics of personal life, must have a good deal in common with out present world. It must operate according to the general and dependable laws; and it must involve real dangers, difficulties, problems, obstacles and possibilities of pain, failure, sorrow, frustration, which- subtracting mans own very considerable contribution-our world contains it would have to contain others instead

To realize this .... to understand that this world, with all its "heartaches and the thousand natural shocks that flesh is heir to", an environment so manifestly not designed for the maximization of human pleasure and minimization of human pain, may be rather well adapted to the quite different purpose of "soul making"

regards, Abbas