All posts by sheenmeem

It’s Never Easy

When Son, and I moved back to Houston from New Bedford, I thought we will be here for keeps. I bought a house. Son, and I went nuts with planting cherries 🍒, lichees, apples, avocado, orange, lemon, grapes, roses, and so on. It has only been eight months since we lived in our house, and now Son’s job is folding up, and I’m afraid of what is going to happen next.

Son has been a traveler for most of our time here, and I’ve been on my own worried, if something untoward happened what will I do. I try to push the worrisome thoughts aside whenever they come to mind, and go on with living one day at a time.

It’s coming to a head. In the coming week, we are going to know what God has decided for us — whether we will be still here, or moving elsewhere. For Son it will be parting with IB (his youngest son) again. While we were here, we could see him every two weeks, when he would come to stay with us from Friday evening till Sunday. Son’s face is gaunt with worry that he won’t be able to see IB frequently. For me it’s IB, and the house.

IB as a four years old

I never knew our time here will be so short. It’s never easy to say goodbye.

To the Rescue

The Okra Plants

A few days back, there was a mild storm. Because of incessant rain, I didn’t go out in the backyard. I got a reprieve from watering the veggies, and other plants. I spent the time bingeing on movies on Netflix. It was the third day, I ventured out. Imagine my consternation on finding the okra plants in total prostration on the ground. If I had known, I would have gone to their rescue.

For a minute I was flummoxed 😶 on what to do? Son was in Sacramento, California, and I was on my own. Gradually my senses resurfaced. I needed to find nails, so I could hammer 🔨 them into the fence, and then tie the okra plants to make them stand. There are two sets of these plants. The second set was already leaning into the fence, so they weren’t sagging into the ground.

A quick tour of the garage, and then Son’s bedroom, and closet didn’t yield the whereabouts of Son’s toolbox (the search for nails). Giving up, I was looking at the plants in frustration. And then my mind flooded with relief. There was no need for nails. I could tie the plants to the fence with the polyester thread I had. It’s not actually a thread, but not a rope — something in between, and that’s what I did.

In between, I kept glancing fearfully at the lizard 🦎 like thing in the okra plant. It was green, but much prettier than a lizard. Nether the less, I was afraid 😱 it might decide to jump at me, and what the ….. I was going to do ? Thankfully I was spared from that evil fate. The okras are standing as you can see them in the photo.

Day Sixty Four (A Journey with Quran)

Surah Al Maidah: Ayats 81–90

If only they would’ve put their faith in Allah and in the Prophet and in what was revealed to him, then they would’ve never taken (idol-worshippers) for allies. However, most of them are disobedient. [81]

(Muhammad,) you’re going to find that out of all the people who hate the believers, the Jews (of Medina) and the idol-worshippers (of Mecca) are the strongest (in their hostility). However, those whom you’ll find to be nearest to the believers in love are those who say, “We are Christians,” for among them are priests devoted to learning and monks who have renounced the world, and they’re not arrogant. [82]

When they hear what was revealed to the Messenger, you see their eyes overflow with tears for they recognize the truth of it. Then they pray, “Our Lord! We believe! Record us among the witnesses. [83]

What can hold us back from believing in Allah and in the truth that has come to us, since we’ve been constantly yearning for our Lord to admit us to the company of the righteous?” [84]

Allah will reward them for what they’ve said with gardens beneath which rivers flow – and there they shall remain – and that’s how Allah rewards (those who do) good! [85]

However, those who reject (the truth) and call Our (revealed) verses nothing more than lies will be companions of the raging blaze. [86]

All you who believe! Don’t forbid the good things that Allah has allowed for you. Just don’t overindulge (in lawful things), for Allah has no love for the overindulgent. [87]

Eat from the resources that have been provided for you by Allah, and be mindful of Allah – the One in Whom you believe. [88]

Allah won’t hold you to any unreasonable things that you (foolishly) swear (to do), but He will hold you to account for your serious pledges (that you make and then fail to fulfill). So to atone for breaking (an unreasonable or foolish) pledge, you must feed ten poor people with what you would normally feed your family, or you may clothe them, instead, or free a bonded servant. If all of these options are too difficult for you, then fast for three days. That will make up for the (foolish) promises (you made but cannot keep) – but safeguard (all) your (solemn) promises! This is how Allah explains His verses clearly for you so you can be thankful. [89]

All you who believe! Truly, liquor and gambling, stone altars (dedicated to idols) and (making random choices to decide distributions of goods by blindly picking marked) arrowheads (from a bag) are all the disgraceful works of Satan, so forsake them so you can be successful! [90]

Translation: Yahiya Emerick

Explanation for Ayat 82:

Ayat 82 when revealed was the reality of the Prophet Mohammad’s time. Peace be upon him.

It doesn’t mean that all Jews are bad people, or others like Christians, Muslims are the same. Good, and bad exists among all sects. It’s up to an individual as to how he lives his life.

Ayat 82 which addresses the Prophet directly doesn’t imply that all Jews will hate Muslims for all times, or that all Christians will love Muslims for all time. It’s a reflection of certain realities in the Prophet’s time. This verse is incorrectly applied to contemporary realities. The truth is interfaith relations between Muslims, Christians and Jews have risen, and fallen through the centuries.

Day Sixty Three (A Journey with Quran)

Surah Al Maidah: Ayats 71–80

They didn’t think there would be any dangerous repercussions from it, so they became blind and deaf (to faith). Yet, even then, Allah kept turning towards them (to give them more chances), though many of them remained blind and deaf (to faith). Allah was watching what they were doing. [71]

Those who say that Allah is the Messiah, the son of Mary – they’re covering over (the truth)! The Messiah, himself, said, “Children of Israel! Serve Allah, the One Who is my Lord and your Lord.” Whoever makes partners with Allah, well, Allah will forbid him entry into the Garden, and instead the Fire will be his home – and the corrupt will have no one to help them. [72]

Those who say that Allah is one of three (in a trinity) are covering over (the truth, as well), for there is no god but the One God. If they don’t stop what they’re saying, then a painful punishment will overtake those among them who suppress (their awareness of the truth). [73]

So why don’t they turn to Allah and ask for His forgiveness? Allah is forgiving and merciful! [74]

The Messiah, the son of Mary, was no more than a messenger, and many messengers passed away before him. His mother was an honest woman – they both had to eat food (like any other mortal human being). Do you see how Allah is making His proofs clear for them? Yet, look how they’re deceived away (from the truth)! [75]

Ask them, “Are you going to serve something besides Allah – something that has no power to bring you any harm or benefit? (Well, then remember that) Allah is the Hearing and the Knowing.” [76]

Then say to them, “Followers of Earlier Revelation! Don’t go beyond the boundaries in your way of life without any justification, nor should you follow the fickle whims of the peoples who went astray before you, for they’ve misled many from the even way.” [77]

Those who suppressed (Allah’s truth) from among the Children of Israel were cursed by David’s own tongue and also by Jesus, the son of Mary, for their disobedience and constant violation (of Allah’s law). [78]

They rarely discouraged each other from the immorality in which they themselves used to indulge, and their actions were quite evil! [79]

Now you see many of (the Jews of Medina) turning towards the faithless (idol-worshippers for alliances), and the deeds that they’re sending ahead for themselves are quite evil, indeed! Allah’s wrath is upon them, and they will linger in eternal damnation. [80]

Translation: Yahiya Emerick

Footnote:

The Quran is pointing out that both Mary, and Jesus had to eat to live. They were both dependent upon God for their daily bread. So how can anyone claim that one, or both of them were of divine origin. The fact is that Jesus was a mortal, and not a god in the flesh.

Jesus taught monotheism. However Apostle Paul introduced Greco-Roman trinitarian-ism without any authority into the Christian world. There were many pagan customs incorporated into Christian culture. The Roman holiday celebrating the god of sun into Christmas. The theology of god born on earth was lifted from Greek, and Roman mythology. Greek mysticism was melded into the early Gnostic sect which had influence on the Book of John.

The idea of redemption by the suffering, or death of a god goes back to the stories of Heracles, who suffered madness after killing his children before salvation was allowed. Cultural trappings such as festive mistletoe, Easter eggs, decorated Christmas trees are actually forbidden in Jeremiah 10:1-5. Halloween, the significance of the number twelve, choosing Sunday over Saturday for a Sabbath, the celebration of Christmas have their roots in the paganism of Babylonians, Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, Vikings, and Egyptians.

Day Sixty Two (A Journey with Quran)

Surah Al Maidah: Ayats 61–70

When they come to you, they say, “We believe (in Allah), too,” but they’re really coming with rejection (of your teachings) on their mind, and when they leave you, they go out with the same (sentiment), and Allah knows all about what they’re hiding. [61]

You see most of them rushing into sin and misbehavior and eating whatever they’ve been prohibited to eat. What they’re doing is pure evil! [62]

Why aren’t their rabbis and legal scholars admonishing them against using sinful language and eating what they’ve been prohibited to eat? (The lies) they’re promoting are pure evil! [63]

The Jews (of Medina) have said, “Allah’s hand is tied up.” Well, let their hands be tied up, and let them be cursed for what they’ve said. No way! Both of His hands are stretched out wide, and He expends as He wills. The revelation that’s coming to you from your Lord causes belligerency and rejection to grow in most of them! As it is, We’ve instilled antagonism and hatred among them that will last even until the Day of Assembly. Every time they stoke the fires of war, Allah extinguishes them, though they persist in trying to cause chaos in the land. Allah has no love for those who cause chaos. [64]

If only the Followers of Earlier Revelation would’ve believed and been mindful (of their duty to Allah), then We would’ve glossed over their shortcomings and admitted them into gardens of delight. [65]

If only they would’ve held firmly to the Torah, the Gospel and all the revelation that was sent to them from their Lord, then they would’ve enjoyed themselves from every side. Although there are men from among them who are on the right track, most of them participate in sinful conduct. [66]

Messenger! Proclaim what’s been revealed to you from your Lord, for if you don’t, then you will have failed to deliver the message. Allah will defend you from the people (who seek to harm you), for Allah doesn’t guide those who reject (His message.) [67]

Say to them, “Followers of Earlier Revelation! You have no (legitimacy) unless you hold firmly by the Torah, the Gospel and all the revelation that has come to you from your Lord.” (Sadly), it’s the very revelation itself that you’ve been receiving from your Lord that’s making most of them increase in belligerency and rejection, but don’t be worried over people who reject (Allah). [68]

Those (Muslims) who believe, along with the Jews, the Sabians and the Christians, anyone who believes in Allah and the Last Day and who does what’s morally right, they’ll have no cause for sorrow or regret. [69]

And so it was that We made a covenant with the Children of Israel and sent them messengers. However, every time a messenger came to them with what they didn’t want (to hear) – they called some of them imposters, and others they killed! [70]

Translation: Yahiya Emerick

Life Was as It Was

It has been eight years. Time passes. It creates a distant fog, blurring memories. I was thinking while sitting by myself, what if there was a magic line on which you could talk to your departed other half. No one knows how long one is going to live,or how soon it will be time to go. Hence these few lines.

I’m ringing your phone

Hoping to hear

You were coming back home

I never knew

How futile it will be

To not hear from you

A magic line, appearing above

The sound of your voice

Coming through

Sitting alone

Longing for you

To be back home

Life was, as it was

(Sheen, August 2020)

Guests, and Visits

When you tell someone you are feeling lonely, somehow it becomes a prelude to getting invited (by that someone) to go, and stay. Ooh! I don’t want the invitation for God’s sake please. Just at the moment I’m wallowing in loneliness.

I find the invites not sincere when the person says, “Why don’t you come, and stay (for an indefinite period) with us? We will be so happy to have you.” Let me say, I for one won’t like a guest staying indefinitely with me, and I think it’s like that for most of us. I will find the situation intolerable. My question is why do they spew this nonsense? How can I leave my own home, and live with others?

That excludes my dear daughter. I love going, and visiting her. She does her best in looking after me. Although she is my daughter, but she coddles me as if she is my mother. Masha’Allah La Quwata Ilabillah.

For the past few months Son has been a traveler. His company sends him all over the country. In the beginning I thought that once the company starts having clientele in Houston, Son’s travels will stop, and I will have him for keeps. Alas! It’s not to be. The travels will increase in the coming months.

His travels increases my trepidation at being alone. Two weeks earlier I had a fall in the bathroom. Fortunately Son was at home. It was my own fault. Son, and I were going out for a walk. I rushed into the bathroom in a hurry, and didn’t put on the light. I needed to wear socks, and tried to sit on the stool in my bathroom in the dark. I went sprawling backwards,and hit my head on the floor. Lesson one learnt, Always put on the light 💡 first. Second one was getting a sturdier stool for sitting.

My elbows, and head hurt quite a bit for a few days, but I hid that from Son, fearful for getting continued lectures from him. I did get a marathon, as he helped me in getting up from the floor.