love letter to Muslim Medium
Bismillah ar Rahman ar Raheem (Arabic, translated:)
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful.
Assalamu alaykum! Ramadan Mubarak Ummah! Allahu Akbar.
(“Peace be with you! Ramadan Blessings, Nation! God is Greater.”)
The sultan of the eleven nobles is finally here. We bear witness yet again to the best time of year: a month of mercy, love and forgiveness. InshaAllah (Arabic, “God willing”), I’ll be spending the remainder of Ramadan in Texas (for those unfamiliar with the Islamic tradition, i.e., about half of my network, readers, followers, etc., the state of traveling imbues certain exceptional mercies upon the traveler, amongst them a special kind of God’s Mercy amongst His Mercies, being the readily accepted prayer/request/call upon the Lord of the Worlds… what am I getting at here? Please, please, please feel free and do not hesitate to call/text/message [(917) 982–3849] and/or otherwise get a hold of me if you’d like me to make any prayers on your behalf). I’m grateful, humbled and excited beyond words to observe it on the road and as a visitor to a mostly-newish community near and dear to my heart. Most of all, God willing I will get to see my darling angel beloved (one and only) sibling, my big sister, my baby nephews, and my brother/cousin! Family first and last.
Bismillah. May God accept, bless and compensate our Ramadan with the best acceptance, blessing and compensation in this life and the next. Ameen!
May every pang of thirst and hunger be atonement for our sins, remind us of our blessings and evoke in us empathy for all those whose reality of chronic poverty, disease, deprivation, destitution, hunger, thirst, need and want are lifelong struggles. May God allow us to reach Eid in the best of health and states having taken every blessing, gift and goodness from Ramadan, leaving nothing to waste and not holding back any effort, goal, intention, aspiration, motivation, bead of sweat, drop of tear, no prayer unasked nor unanswered.
What lies ahead? Ramadan. SubhanAllah (Arabic, “Glory to God”)! Myself, yourself, every pair of eyes reading this, we all survived and lived to reach its shores. You know what’s absolutely breathtaking and stunning all at once? God has opened His Vaults of Mercy, Forgiveness and Salvation. For people like us. Regular common folks. Young and old, male and female, saintly sinners all of us. Beings of light gaining Light from His Being. Allahu Akbar. Allahu Akbar. Allahu Akbar. (Arabic, “God is Greater”).
First and foremost, without any cliche, hyperbole or pretense, I ask you all to forgive me. You may have many claims of violated rights and injustices to which I am held captive, whether I seized anything of your wealth or body or honor, in your absence or presence, and I humbly seek your pardon now in this life. Please let me know what I can do to make things right as soon as possible whether I owe you a speck of dust’s worth or a mountain’s worth the same. Please do not hold back the debts to which I am liable, so as to help your brother in faith, the petulant sinner, help himself become a better believer and better human being. This is not a light matter at all, nor should it be treated with anything less than the gravity it deserves.
Let us sleep less. Let us speak less. Let us eat less. Let us need less and want less. Let us give more. Let us share more. Let us care more. Let us love and hope and pray and smile and hug and kiss and breathe and laugh and cry and dream and gift and sweat and toil and labor and try more. Let us seek forgiveness for ourselves and each other. It begins with intention, the infinite altars of success that are patience and silence between I and I, you and you.
God, take Your Light and let it enter and penetrate every cell and molecule and atom and subatomic particle and the smallest infinitesimal objects which together constitute our existence, place light in our hearts, light in our sight, light in our hearing, light in our flesh, light in our blood, light on our tongue, light in our mind, light in our hair, light in our skin, light in our seed, light in our sinew, light in our nerves, light in our mind, light in our feet, light in our hands, light in our breath, light to our right, light to our left, light above us, light below us, light before us, light behind us and enhance your light in us. Ameen!
One final request, if you have gained any benefit from my writing here on Medium, I ask you include me and my parents and family in your prayers, for I do not otherwise have much to place my hopes in for my salvation beside God’s Mercy accepting my service of His creation and Deen (Arabic, “faith”) seeking God’s pleasure and for His Sake. May God purify my intentions and rectify my inner and outer state towards total Islam (Arabic, “submission”) within the testimony of faith, la ilaha ilAllah Muhammad RasulAllah (Arabic, “there is no god but God, and the Prophet Muhammad* is His Messenger”)
I love you all for the sake of God, and for the greatest blessing in life which is the people we are gifted with. No matter who you are, I have learned and applied so much from all of you, and I pray you are all accepted, blessed and compensated with the best acceptance, blessing and compensation in this life and the next, and reunited with your loved ones in the best of reunions in the best of places in the hereafter. May the best of your todays be the worst of your tomorrows and may God bless and guide us all. Ameen! Take care, be well, stay blessed. Love, light, peace and prayers from your (admittedly) (prodigal? part-time?) resident cheerleader, brother in faith and humanity.
Farooq (SF Ali)
1 Ramadan 1440
6 May 2019
P.S. Before you ask, as many have/are/will, yes, it is not lost upon me I have been MIA from Medium, writing, reading, recommending (claps will always be recommends in my book, don’t @ me), responding, and replying to your calls/texts/emails. Long story. Miss you all. Brown Grass soon. Stay tuned.
*In the Islamic tradition, speaking, hearing, reading, and/or otherwise perceiving the name of the Holy Prophet Muhammad is customarily followed by the utterance of the phrase salAllahu alayhi wasallam (Arabic, “may [the choicest salutations of eternal] peace and blessings of God be upon him).
CALLS TO ACTION
1. Recommend this story. It helps others see the story, lets me know my work is worth writing, reading and recommending and makes me feel validated and fuzzy, because honestly, whose cold, dead heart isn’t instantly thawed and revived by the dizzying dopamine of notifications? Like, share, retweet, lather, rinse, repeat.
2. Share this story: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, email, etc.
3. Connect with me: Medium, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Snapchat, Product Hunt, AngelList, Quora and Quibb. (I think that’s all of them!) Write me via email too! Call or text if you want. (917) 982–3849. I’m always happy to make new friends, listen, support, help in any way I can. That’s why I’m Medium’s resident cheerleader, duh! :)