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July 26, 2006
Spiritual D.O.A.

by Justoju

I never knew that something within was dying
Because my intention's pen has been drying
It perpetually pens poems to applause my rank
While the Outwards teeming in blessings gone unthanked
Brimming with diseased blind self-import
With my Inward spinning in a hurricanes eye
Of a maddening, deafening frenzied self-report
My feelings my sensations, notions of the MY
Spinning and circling around fickle thoughts
Dizzying me in the self-constructed lies
Ancient victors of the feeble battles fought
Within the ranks of these shadows wrought
By my blackened heart with its charcoal beat
Stamping to a thumping call to war
That forever thirsts for my conscience's defeat
For the Luminous blood of free fitra to be buried
Beneath the black fertilizer of time passed hurried
Hurried past guilt, obligation and charity
Seeking the depths of a materialistic 'clarity'
Soaking spiritual disparity
Where only the sensory NOW is the Real
And my future is an imaginary companion
Who annoyingly cautions this blind bastion,
Bickers with baseless puzzles
That I cannot stare at, sniff, eavesdrop, caress or guzzle
And thus he is destined to be trampled by the champions
Those illusions,
Delusionary conclusions that are as a muzzle
Keeping my dizzied direction from turning to the Ideal
Making me an insignificant, complacent, 'happy' meal
For the spiders that spin this seductive gauzy Veil
That comprises the 'reality' so really unReal
That causes my dying, lying, gasping Heart to fail
This unreality
With its arrogant claims of possession and immortality
Deliberately fallacious advertising for an over-glamorized jail
A jail where male, female dance
And make plans in their chains
Obliviously, contagiously ignorant of a fatally ignored pain
Lost in this flickering world of contingent creation that we hail
That seeks to devour gnosis, its never-ceasing bane
And leaves Nothing
Nothing but our spiritual corpses in its trail.
And so I never knew that something within was dying
My life had already spent so much of itself lying
I could not believe the simple truth sobbed
By this refugee ruh ravaged and robbed
Sobbing futilely over the carcass of a cold heart
And drying

of and relating to...
abupepper said


Ukhti Justoju, this is probably a truer reflection of our life on this earth-and how we live in it...more than we will care to admit.

Typically, the lyrics, theme, and flow of a poem usually depicts the mood of the poet/writer.

And so, I hope and pray that may Allah remove any sort of concerns/issues that you may be facing and replace them with sakeenah and comfort in your heart....And may Allah always keep you smiling...Ameen


on July 27, 2006 3:29 PM
Justoju said


Just a note for anyone thinking "wow, mashaAllah this girl really cares about the afterlife":

If I cared half as much about my afterlife as I do about how many comments I get, I prolly would have used my time to do some serious ibadah and sincere tawbah instead of using it to write a long poem about the obvious.

(Another note for anyone thinking "wow, this girl is really depressed and has low self-esteem":

I wish man. I wish)

on July 27, 2006 5:40 PM
Faisal Akhtar said

"(Another note for anyone thinking "wow, this girl is really depressed and has low self-esteem":

I wish man. I wish)"

You wish you were suffering from low self-esteem and depression? I must have missed something.

on July 27, 2006 8:59 PM
Justoju said

I wish my self-esteem werent so ridiculously out of proportion and that I had more confidence in Allah than in my own faculties.

I wish I were honestly depressed about my sins and lack of sincerity instead of just using the two as Hidaya submission topics.

on July 28, 2006 5:52 AM
fezzik said

sometimes forwards are actually helpful. When I read your poem, it reminded me of this forward:

In the book Purification of the Soul by Jamaal al-Din M. Zarabozo there's a verse from the Qur'an thats mentioned

"And I swear by the reproaching soul" [Surat Al-Qiyaamah:2]. Many of the early scholars noted that this refers to the soul of the believer. Mujaahid said, "This is the soul which blames itself for what it has done and it feels remorse. It blames itself for doing wrong, as to why he did it, and for doing good, as to why he did not do more of it." When al-Hasan al-Basri was asked about the above verse, he replied, "By Allah, we do not see a believer except that he blames himself. [Asking himself,] 'What did I intend by my speech? What did I intend by my eating? What did I intend by my internal thoughts?' As for the sinner, he just continues along without blaming himself."

reproach is good :). Also, by writing so well as you do you give us all beneficial reminders to keep our nafs in check. Many of us are in the same boat, and the depth of your words just shows that you take it more seriously than many of us do. May Allah help us all.

on July 28, 2006 10:28 PM
Saima said

As-salaamu alaikum,

I dont' know if everyone is on muslim support network, but Sr Justoju, you should definitely submit your work :)

A Salaam A Wa Alaikum,

With the launch of our newly re-designed website, www.andalusmg.com , Andalus Media Group is proud to announce that we are now accepting inquiries from Muslim authors who wish to be published. Many of you know that Andalus Media Group (AMG) primarily focuses on audio CD's from recognized speakers. We are now accepting inquiries from both new and established Muslim writers for our first book publications. If you are interested please do not reply to my personal gmail address but instead go to: http://www.andalusmg.com/mainpages/subpages/publishwithus.htm and use the contact us link.

We are looking for both Fiction and Non-Fiction titles that resonate with Muslims and Non-Muslims living in the West. Our titles will be marketed through traditional Muslim channels and also through traditional Non-Muslim channels like Barnes & Nobles. We will be looking to publish our first books in 2007, which is closer than you think Insha Allah, so if you can write (you must be a good writer) and you do so in one of the genres listed on our website then contact us. We are only looking for writers at this time (no speakers). We look forward to hearing from you.

-Dash Brookins, Publisher
Andalus Media Group
Authorized Islamic Audio & Book Publishers

on July 29, 2006 12:01 AM
abupepper said


This is right up sister Justoju's alley...insha'Allah.

I hope to see Justoju and fellow Hidayans make use of this opportunity.

By the way sister Saima, why call it Andalus Media Group?


on July 29, 2006 2:28 AM
Saima said

I have no idea.. i'm not affiliated with it.. i just got the info from muslim support network..

on July 29, 2006 2:03 PM
abupepper said


Why would some muslim use a name which represents the epitome of our failures in Europe?

I think there are better names to choose from.

Again, thanks for the link.


on July 30, 2006 2:51 AM
Justoju said

Andalus the epitome of our failures in Europe?


I always thought it was one of our greatest successes.

on July 30, 2006 6:06 AM
abupepper said


Well, thats what I thought as well...until recently.

Andalus was a great success story in the beginning when the expansion started, and it remained so for many years...However, later it became a society of decadence and pitiful self-deterioration...and so, the Divine decree came to pass on Andalus, as it has on previous societies of the past.

Do you guys know, what was the main reason why Andalus became a failed society/state,(after reaching its zenith)?


on July 30, 2006 9:44 AM
Ibby said

yes, I do know why it failed as a society.

on August 3, 2006 4:41 PM
abupepper said


ukhti Ibby...nice to hear from you...are you a doctor yet...Insha'Allah?

Yes, you are correct, your reason is one of the main cause for the demise of Andalusia.

By the way Br. Talal, I see another change on Hidaya, and that is that the email/links are not visisble anymore once you hover over the name of the contributor...which is Ok for privacy reasons...but not sure if it was entirely necessary.

And dont worry about the Spams...they are like yajooj and majooj...you cant hold them back...they just keep coming in waves to overwhelm you...


on August 3, 2006 9:09 PM
Justoju said

Wait, what reason did sr. Ibtisam give for the fall of Andalus?

Did I miss something?

on August 4, 2006 7:45 AM
abupepper said


* J * U * M * M * A * H * --- * M * U * B * A * R * A * K *

Ukhti Justoju, no you did not miss anything...Alhamdulillah.

But sister Ibtisaam is correct in her assesment for the demise of Andalusia...

As far as my opinion is concerned, I believe one the main reason for the fall of Muslim empire in Spain was the lack of doing Dawah to the local spanish people who were catholics/christians.

And if we correlate their situation to ours in the WEST, it is imperative that we dont slack off ourselves and become a couch potato (happy with our safe homes and jobs and islamic centers and schools)...If the muslims of the West dont start doing dawah to the non-muslims in UK, USA and all non-muslims in the west...then in the next generation or two, our children will bear the brunt of our slouchness, directly or indirectly...Allahu Aalim


on August 4, 2006 3:49 PM
saima iqbal said

"But sister Ibtisaam is correct in her assesment for the demise of Andalusia..."

Where is her assessment? Maybe I'm missing a post or something, but I thought she just said she knows why it failed as a society ...

on August 4, 2006 5:02 PM
Saima Iqbal said

At a Jummah Khutbah, the Imam mentioned that Islam's the only religion that celebrates 54 holidays. After a few seconds of bewilderment, I realized what he meant ... so, indeed, Jumah mubarak to all (Friday is a holiday, albeit half day, in some if not all muslim countries).

P.S -- Br. Talal, I am still required to enter in an email address while posting a comment, however it's now a hidden field. Desired feature?

on August 4, 2006 5:51 PM
abupepper said


""But sister Ibtisaam is correct in her assesment for the demise of Andalusia..."

Where is her assessment? Maybe I'm missing a post or something, but I thought she just said she knows why it failed as a society ..."

hahahaha...Here is the things folks...Why is it too difficult to assume that your fellow muslim/muslimah would have any assessment grossly misaligned from yours...Just something to ponder about eh...

She may (or may not) have the exact reason as I had in mind for the demise of Andalusia...However, whatever she would suggest would have to be a credible enough reason for the fall of islamic empire in Spain-it has to be...and I will accept it wholeheartedly...insha'Allah

This is the least of courtesy and honor that I must show towards my fellow muslim/muslimah (and their opinion) ...and this much I expect the same from y'all...as your muslim brother, insha'Allah.


on August 4, 2006 8:44 PM
Talal said

About the emails not being visible...
IT's to protect the commenters from more spam. With the new system, for every comment that ends up getting through, about 600-1000 are stopped. Alhamdulillaah it's working really well.

When your email addresses are visible, the bots pick up on them, and you will end up getting even more spam.
The email is still required to make a *bit* more difficult for the bots, as well as for the case where the editors need to get in touch with you.

InshaAllaah a newer HidayaOnline.com is being worked on, so continue sharing any ideas/comments that you have.


on August 5, 2006 12:57 AM
abupepper said


Br. Talal, Jazakum Allah Khairan for the explanation...

So will the newer version of Hidayaonline.com would have us to be a registered members, before contributing...like on forums, where you have to sign-in before posting comments?


on August 5, 2006 10:13 AM
Faisal Akhtar said

Please don't do a registeration system. My biggest turn off for going to a site a contributing is the registeration process. We need new contributors desperately.

on August 5, 2006 1:30 PM
Talal said

NO registration. Same as it has always been inshaAllaah.


on August 5, 2006 1:35 PM
Justoju said

"hahahaha...Here is the things folks...Why is it too difficult to assume that your fellow muslim/muslimah would have any assessment grossly misaligned from yours...Just something to ponder about eh..."

Ok, this is what I see as having happened:

1. Abu Pepper asked a question

2. Sr. Ibby didnt answer the question but said she knew the answer.

3. Abu Pepper says "Yes, you are correct, your reason is one of the main cause for the demise of Andalusia."

4. The rest of wonder what that 'reason' was that sr. Ibby gave because we are confused and want to understand the discussion.

5. Abu Pepper turns it around on us and gives the response quoted above. Bro, what on earth are you talking about? When did anyone assume that our fellow muslim/muslimah had an assessment grossly misaligned from our own? We just want to HEAR THE ASSESSMENT!!!

And then you say that bit about assuming muslims have the correct answer to questions you ask and agreeing with their answers even before they have given them. No offense, but this is just the most ridiculous conversation!

I dont get it, why even bother to ASK questions then when you assume that the people already have the correct answers? If not for the sake of exchange of information, is the asking of questions simply for the sake of talking?

on August 6, 2006 5:01 AM
abupepper said


Hahahaha...I think I am in trouble...I have managed to tick-off sister Justoju.

Well, let me explain my perspective on this whole chain of conversation:

1- I made a statement about downfall of Andalusia and capped it with a question to everyone.

2- Nobody answered back, although someone suggested they know the answer...still no one replied with an "answer" to my query.

(I had assumed that the person who had claimed of knowing the answer, does really know the answer...otherwise why would anyone claim it publically...and thats what I stated in my subsequent comments...knowing all well that there were more than one reason for the decline of Andalusia.)

3- I then responded with my "answer" to my own question for everyone's perusal.

(This should have been sufficient for this topic of discussion at this juncture...as my question was not un-answered anymore.)

4- The next logical progression should have been a rebuttal to my answer or comments to discuss this further...which actually did not happen.

5- But rather we started asking if the other person has responded or not...

In any case, I apologize for my convoluted ways of expression and uderlying assumptions...sometimes I can be vaguely clear in my response without being lucid...

Again, my shortcoming and I apologize for any inconvenience to anyone...

Please remember me in your Duaas...


on August 6, 2006 11:05 AM
Saima Iqbal said

Does anyone here know of a website/organization that could provide an up-to-date list of islamic schools in the US? I'm looking for a survey, sort of a summary of the best schools, and why they're deemed that. I found a few useful ones Masha Allah, except they had info. uptill 2005.

If anyone knows of individuals, magazines, any other info. that can help point me in the general direction, I'd appreciate the help enormously.

Sr. Saima (Siddiqui), have you by any chance (your daughter is probably very young still) info on the Islamic Schools in NY?


on August 6, 2006 11:12 AM
Ibby said

aaah... aaah.....
okay, maybe I should ANSWER the question. I thought Br. asked the question rhetorically, you know, so I thought he would answer his own question, etc.

But little did I know that my every sentence causes some sort of argument, confusion, controversy(way to go Ibtisam!)

Anyways, I dont mean to imply I "KNOW" the answer or something but I thought the demise of Al-Andulusia was in their straying away from the path of jannah and getting into the la'b wa lahw of this dunya. They build great palaces and glitter and money and discovered the musical notation and other things but they forgot the shareea'h and lost as sense of shame so much so that either during that time or during the time of the tartar's the muslims were such loosers that when the kaafir would tell them to wait at a spot for their head to be crushed, they would stay there until the kaafir returned with a knife or instrument. Such was their sense of loosing identity. wallaah alim. The rulers endulge in all sorts of sins, injustice, magic, they sold their souls to this dunya because they reached such great heights of civilizatioin.

on August 6, 2006 4:33 PM
Justoju (the world makes sense again) said

Good answer sr. Ibtisam. Eloquently put.

on August 7, 2006 7:50 AM
abupepper said


Ya Muslimeen...I miss y'all.

May Allah be pleased with you, and bless your days & nights...Ameen

Keep our brothers and sisters in Lebanon and Palestine and oppressed muslims all over the world in your Duaas...Ameen


on August 9, 2006 2:00 AM
abupepper said


Only Allah knows all...

..but if the news about possible crime thwarted by British Police (as portrayed by media) is correct, then the muslim (especially Pakistani) community in England are going to go thru another rough time...

I think the real question is what does the young generations of our time (who are growing up in an era when muslims are labeled or associated as terrorist in any western country), how are they able to deal with this psuedo-identity...what kind of future do they see of Muslims in their respective western homeland...

would this kind of negative publicity push some of these muslim kids to disassociate themselves from Islaam completely and become Kafir...On the other hand would we have some young folks who are easily excitable (and justified in their mind) to retaliate against "western interests" by all wicked means possible...Again only Allah knows

May Allah give Hidayah to all Muslimeen and all Mankind...and may HE bring forth a band of Muslim generation through which all mankind can see the true beauty of Islaam, and of the teachings of Quran and Sunnah of RasulAllah (sal-lal-la-hu-alay-he-wa-sal-lam)....>Ameen


on August 10, 2006 10:11 AM
saima said

IMHO we might want to think how WE are dealing with all this. The two extremes you mentioned brother are just those, extremes. And in both of the cases a muslim would be opting for an un-islamic approach to deal with the situation.

As for those growing up in this era (that would exclude us since I'm assuming most of us are grown up), how the adults deal with it today will teach 'em how to deal with it tomorrow.

Remember, Islam has faced threats, enemies (from outside and within) since the beginning of time. Only time, and technology, has changed. The threats remain, albeit in different forms. Also, of course, the awareness of what's happening to the Muslim Ummah as a whole has gone down considerably, let alone the desire to act as one body. But as long as our Imans are strong, and we only truly fear Allah, we'll make it through, just like the Prophet (PBUH) and sahabas did.

So ... IMOH those growing up today ought to look at those having grown up with the Prophet (PBUH) and learn how he (PBUH) and his sahaba dealt with it, and follow suit?

BTW -- millions of muslims face these sort of situations everyday, if not worse, and keep their faiths intact (i.e in Palestine, Russia, Iraq, Bosnia, India, Kashmir, etc.).

on August 10, 2006 12:48 PM
Ibby said

I am still growing up.
I dont think you can call yourself grown up until you turn 40. I for sure am growing up and as each day passes, I wish I was younger, I wish I was a child, I wish I did not know anything; ignorance about the world is bliss. A child feels less hurt than adults, Allaah protects children. I really wish I could be a kid again. I really wish. Subhanallaah.

on August 10, 2006 6:40 PM
Saima Iqbal said

Asalaam Alaikum Sis Ibtisam,

There's wisdom in what He wills, and if He willed for you to reach adulthood, with life as it is for you, then that's His will, and we submit to it.

Believe you me, there have been many times I've wished I was a kid again, specially now that I have one. But I don't think we're supposed to spend time wishing for that which is unlikely to happen. We could, instead, pray for our situations to become as blessed as they were when we were kids, Insha Allah (for those who had blessed childhoods).

As for teh growing up, I stand corrected. You're right, we're always growing. My reference was to kids reaching 'young adulthood' here versus those who're out of college now.

Hope the life to come holds as many blessings for you as you had in your childhood.

Salaam Alaikum

on August 10, 2006 8:24 PM
abupepper said


* J * U * M * M * A * H * --- * M * U * B * A * R * A * K *

Actually...I heard two things in the past few days that was interesting to me...

Sheikh Suhaib Webb was speaking in one of his daroos that a sister called him and wanted his help in getting married to a muslim brother...and he mentioned that there are many men in our community...to which she responded that this community is filled with boys and not men...hahahahaha...I think thats rather precise....

Secondly, a sister mentioned that we would like to have some speakers come and give speech in our community to sisters on self esteem...supposedly, the self esteems of our muslim sisters are very low...not a good thing in general. Also, I know of a very nice sister who is married and has two kids and his hafiza of Quraan and has ijazah to teach tajweed...even she got intimidated with her muslim friend who is like a corporate women and shuttles between cities on business...

So, to summarize...if we want our kids/youth to be better muslims in this society...brothers of today needs to graduate from being a boy mentality to being a man....and the sisters should have higher self esteem and not be intimidated by other women who are pursuing successful careers...only then can we help the next generations of muslims in the west...

Just few thoughts...comments?


on August 11, 2006 10:00 AM
saima iqbal said

Most muslim women and men I've met/gotten to know who're firm in their deen and have taqwa, have an immense amount of self-esteem and confidence. That's not to say those who don't must be doing something wrong, but as a rule, you want something, ask Allah for it AND work for it (asking alone but not following through with your actions isn't enough). Self-esteem, confidence, happiness, etc. ... ask, and you shall recieve. Truly, you will.

P.S -- you're generalizing about women who work and women who don't. I, for instance, have felt my emaan is a lot stronger when I'm staying at home taking care of family coz I have more time to do ibaadah, take care of family, attend to rlatives, help out those I can, take classes on Islam, etc. But when I'm working, well the day passes by and I just get the farz in if I can. So ... my self-esteem, for one, is a lot better when I'm at home. Don't generalize.

on August 11, 2006 10:40 AM
abupepper said


Generalization is not a good thing to begin with...

I mentioned specific examples and specific comments from individuals (without naming names)...and so these are not me saying them...these came from sisters in our community...someone like yourself....even though it may not be applicable to you.

But that aside...self esteem/confidence (in its pure form) can only come from Allah...like all good things...Alhamdulillah.

Coming back to the original point of discussion, what are the concerns/challenges of muslim youth/adult of today in the west...Is it just TV/media, is it public school, is it communication gap between immigrants parents and their american offsprings, is it not having an psuedo-Islamic culture prevalent in public sphere (like back in muslim countries), or is it that we are just plain dumb!



on August 11, 2006 1:57 PM
abupepper said


Let me elaborate my point by using the other side of the coin...

What should we (the parents/adults) be doing differently, to alleveiate the situation of our youth...and the generation to come in the West?

Just food for thought...


on August 11, 2006 3:00 PM
ibby said

migrate to a muslim country?
settle down there? and
use our conscientous teaching of islaam over there?

on August 14, 2006 11:32 AM
Saima said

Sorry sr saima iqbal, i just read your comment....

I was also looking for websites of the same caliber.. i haven't found one that you're describing yet. As far as the schools in NY are concerned, I have heard that the ones in flushing/queens are better than any other in the area in NY. I wouldn't recommend the ones in long island; we went to a fund raising for one of the schools here, and throughout the presentations and slideshows, there wasn't a key "ah-ha" point that made them different from other schools. the main thing that i'm looking for for my chid's education is an environment that promotes free thought (not spoon-feeding). so, i'm still researching as well sr saima iqbal.. i'll let you know if i find something.. and insha'Allah, lemme know if you find something as well :)

oh.. if you're into homeschooling.. my friend told me about this...

i looked into it.. it seems awesome. a shaykh hamza yusuf project.

on August 17, 2006 9:14 PM
gillette said

Don't you have to spoon-feed kids?

on August 18, 2006 12:29 AM
abupepper said


* J * U * M * M * A * H * --- * M *U * B * A * R * A * K *

"gillette said

Don't you have to spoon-feed kids?"

hahahaha...well said.

I think if I have kids, insha'Allah, I and my wife will work to have them home-trained from 1-4, and then have them enter a muslim school till age 9-10. After that I am going to put them in public school and on to college...by the age they have finished high school, I would want them to be Hafid of Quraan, and have a command of Arabic language...insha'Allah. This would really require a lot of commitment, effort, and perseverence from us parents and that is fine, insha'Allah.

Also, I would like her/him to spend 6-12 months (minimum) in a 3rd world country (preferably muslim), where they can contribute and help build something for the local folks...Insha'Allah.

After that, its up to them, what they would like to pursue...if they want to be a fireman, a policeman, a marine, a lawyer, a doctor, an engineer, an anthropologist, a professor, or a sportsman...its all Ok with me, insha'Allah.

I am not sure if my future wife will buy into this, but I am hoping that I can help her come to the same decision insha'Allah :)....unless, she has a better idea of how to raise muslim kids in USA.


on August 18, 2006 10:11 AM
Saima Iqbal said

Sr. Saima , thanks for the reply. You're right, Kinza Academy is great. I read a few books on homeschooling, and you're absolutely right about 'spoon-feeding'. I feel the same way. Insha Allah we'll opt for homeschooling if we can't find a good enough school here. I'd recommend reading 'Dumbing us Down' by John Taylor Ghatto (you can find it on the Alhambra productions page) to all muslim parents. IMHO nothing makes up for the pros of home-schooling.

I did like the Noor-ul-Iman school based on a little bit the teachers told me. For those who would consider non-islamic schools as an option, there's a school called 'Waldorf ' here in Princeton. My neighbor had raved about it, specifically talking about the spoon-feeding idea, and when I went to the school, I definitely liked their way of teaching. It was quite unique and their method of teaching definitely seems to let children think on their own. We actually contemplated sending him there and then for two hours everyday in the evening islamic school, but opted against it. If we could get an Islamic school like that, that'd be great. Insha Allah I'll let you know if I find one.

BTW -- there has to be SOME magazine that has a rating of the Islamic schools in the US, no? I thought I saw something like this years ago in an ICNA newsletter (I think).

on August 18, 2006 3:25 PM
mohammed said


Any comments about developing free thought.

on August 19, 2006 10:26 AM
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