Tuesday, 5 August 2008

Day 39 (Cont'd): Wrapping Up

There's only one more day to go. It's time to write down my resolutions before I go back and get sucked back into the 'real' world.

Being here in Tarim, I've given up a lot of stuff cold turkey—beds, fast food, facebook, driving, pleasure reading, TV, music, clothes, mirrors etc. And there's a whole lot of other stuff which I've almost given up cold turkey like soft drinks, chocolate and the internet.

It's weird in a good way to not have all that stuff, but it's been a lot easier than I thought to not have it. Don't get me wrong, the second I'm on the plane I'm taking off my niqab, having a fast food feast and spending a day on facebook and another day sleeping, but I know that in a day or two I'll have satiated the desire for all the things I'm looking forward to, and that after a couple of days they're not going to be all that. So even though I'm looking forward to going back I'm not desperately looking forward to it.

(Note: I have the utmost respect for niqabis, but niqab just isn't for me. But this experience has made me respect niqabis a lot more than I used to, and has given me a more open mind about what it entails to wear it. I don't dislike it as much as I used to).

I know myself, and I know that if I don't make some concrete resolutions to stick up on my wall, I might forget all my good intentions. Character wise, there's a whole list of things I'm hoping to implement, but basically it boils down to me needing to think more before I speak, and to treat my family the way I do friends.

As for the 'outward' acts:
  • Never miss fajr prayer. Get up for tahajud at least during the weekend. It's sunna and as Sheikh Imad says,

    "Sunna [supplementary] acts protects the fard [obligatory]."

    i.e. if you do sunna, then when you get lazy you'll just skip it. But if you don't do it then when you get lazy you'll skip the fard.
  • Keep up with my awrad—the bare minimum is the wird al-Latif, which insh'Allah I will learn by heart. Keep the kholasa with me everywhere I go.
  • Use the sewak as often as I can.
  • Say "Salam Alaykum wbt" when I answer the phone.
  • Stop to listen to the adhan. I live in the city of 1,000 minarets, I have no excuse not to.
  • Finish reading Imam al-Ghazali's Ihya' [Revival of the Religious Sciences].
  • Create a whole load of anasheed playlists. My room supervisor so very kindly allowed me to copy 12 GB worth of anasheed and lectures from her computer, so again, I have no excuse.
  • Go back and review/ re-memorize all the Qur'an juz's (chapters) I memorized as a child. Read at least a hezb (2.5 pages) of Qur'an a day.
  • Read at least one Arabic book a fortnight.
They may not seem like 'big' changes, but as Imam al-Halabi said:

To do a thing today, and the same tomorrow
Gathering is the essence of knowledge.
This one may achieve wisdom,
For a stream is but the gathering of drops.

In the end, I want to leave, not from Tarim, but with Tarim.


Anonymous said...

Can you share some of those nasheeds?

Iqra said...

my thoughts exactly. i want to expand my collection but dont really know where to gather them from. i would sooo love you if you could somehow make them available to those reading your post.

Ethar El-Katatney said...


I will try my best. Give me a couple of days and I will see if I can somehow compress some of them.