Thursday, March 31, 2005


I posted about turkeys yesterday but the post went into Internet oblivion at some point. Part of the problem is posting during my lunch, etc., at work I am posting blind - I can't view what I post due to firewalls and that creates a few problems now and then.

Anyway, yesterday on my way to work I saw a most unusual thing. In my suburban neighborhood in a big old tree as I was driving to work I saw a whole flock of wild turkeys. About a dozen BIG huge birds up in this tree in someone's front yard. I know where they came from - across the highway are some small farms and Fountain Creek and in the past year I've noticed some wild turkeys there - they've moved in recently. But to see them in the neighborhood was really interesting. I also saw some on Venetucci's farm that same morning. Neat-o! The morning mountains were beautiful with fresh snow.

Yesterday we finished CSAP, alhumdooleluh. The last day seemed to go smoothly; we do not yet know the outcome of the earlier problems.

The mountains had plenty of beautiful fresh snow on them again this morning, I'm sure, but I couldn't see it because it was snowing down here, too.

I'm starting to get caught up a bit in work - I've got tentative "plans" (meaning a lesson number or topic written down) for my classes for the rest of the year.

Next Tuesday I get to decide on scholarship money! I was appointed chair of the CSEA scholarship committee so I found some members and we're meeting next Tuesday to decide who gets the scholarship(s). That's kind of cool.

I get paid technically tomorrow but I went ahead and paid bills today and so I'm already broke. :) I don't like getting paid once a month sometimes because I get bills that come after the first of the month and are due before the next first of the month - very annoying if you ask me. If I get some tax return money I really need to get the oil changed and tires rotated in both of the vehicles, and I need to get a new headlight for one and probably wash that one, too. Maybe this weekend it will be nice enough to get some yardwork done.

I'm trying to work on Qur'an recitation again. I always seem to get to about the same spot before quitting; insha'allah this time I'll progress further and stick to it more - I'd really like to be able to sit and read it in Arabic.

Okay - enough rambling for now; woo hoo for Daylight Savings this weekend - more daylight in the evening, which I like. :)

Tuesday, March 29, 2005


Well the first day back after spring break was relatively uneventful. I'm down to three classes to go for my master's, insha'allah. This current class seems kind of like a speech/grant-writing class, which is interesting.

Yesterday morning I heard reveille a little before six. I think it comes from Fort Carson, but I'm not sure. It is unusual to hear it, I think the air has to be just right. Kind of a weird thing. Living near a military base is just kind of weird. Like growing up with shaking windows from their military exercises, seeing military planes and flares all the time growing up - even those crazy two propeller helicopters. And running into people in fatigues all the time when you're out running errands, especially at this end of town. Not so much lately, though - most of them are in Iraq. I feel for their children left behind, I feel for them that many of them were just trying to make a living and serve their country and weren't trying to be involved in immorality and evil. But there is no excuse for what some of them have done now as soldiers.

Ah, time to go to work. Have a nice day.

Note: Fort Carson plays Reveille at 6 and Taps at 10pm, I've heard both. Also, when lightning strikes or other severe weather is a potential, they sound a siren with an announcement - I've heard that, too.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Great Books

I was thinking if I were to recommend a handful of books to someone as must-reads, what would I recommend?

1. Lantern of the Path by Imam Sadiq (as) - this book is fantastic - it is very deep, you can read it over and over and over and never exhaust the growth and learning available within it. It has many short sections, so you can read a particular section of a page or two and ponder it without having read ten earlier chapters.

2. Self Building by Ayatullah Ibrahim Amini (as) - this is a great book that should be read cover to cover over a period of time. It is a wonderful guide for self-reform and an introduction to some gnostic concepts.

3. Sahifa Sajjidiya by Imam Ali ibn Husayn (as) - a very moving and inspiring collection of dua'as. Does anyone know of an edition that includes transliteration by chance?

4. Qur'an - goes without saying - but for those of us who speak English only I recommend a transliterated version and I recommend some good tafsirs like Light of Holy Qur'an and Al-Mizan.

5. Al-Ghayba by An-Nu'mani - an important read for any Shia to learn about our Imam (as).

6. Nahjul Balagha - another that goes without saying. However, I struggle with Nahjul Balagha - I think not being able to read the Arabic makes it difficult to get out of it what is really there for me. I know people say the Arabic itself is very difficult. What's the best translation/edition out there?

7. Adabus Salat by Imam Khomeini - Deeper in the gnosis and improving salat. Difficult, though. Needs to be digested very slowly.

I could add more but the point is to keep the list short. I would love to hear your thoughts on the most important books to read and why and your thoughts on these books.

Friday, March 18, 2005


This has been a crazy week in many ways at work. We still never did find out who started the fires in our building last week. On Monday, we had the third meeting to try to determine the future of the department in terms of curriculum - a little stressful because not everyone agrees on what that future should be. Then another meeting after school. Tuesday, CSAP during the day and board meeting at night. Wednesday, school paper due, study hall duty, another lunch meeting, and a staff meeting after school at which we learned someone had made a mistake in administering CSAP and as a result, we may lose all the tenth grade math scores. Thursday, more CSAP with yet another problem that required us to take four tests instead of three - the kids were not happy taking another test instead of going to lunch. Another lunch meeting about the direction in the department. Teacher who made the mistake with CSAP on Tuesday put on administrative leave. Another meeting, this one about me chairing the scholarship committee and trying to figure out what that means I have to do.

It all seems like mundane stuff, but by last night I realized it was making me feel pretty stressed. I'm looking forward to Spring Break after this week just for a break from the craziness, but at the same time I'm not because I think it may end up being lonely and boring.

Well alhumdooleluh at least I can say it has been an eventful week and I am sure things will work out for the best somehow.

Friday, March 11, 2005

Imam Ali b Husayn (as) - Whispered Prayer of the Lovers

I love this one! God bless you, I hope you all have a blessed Friday!

The Whispered Prayer of the Lovers


In the Name of God, the All-merciful,
the All-compassionate

1 My God,
who can have tasted the sweetness of Thy love,
then wanted another in place of Thee?
Who can have become intimate with Thy nearness,
then sought removal from Thee?
2 My God, place us with him
whom Thou hast
chosen for Thy nearness and Thy friendship,
purified through Thy affection and Thy love,
given yearning for the meeting with Thee,
made pleased with Thy decree,
granted gazing upon Thy face,
shown the favour of Thy good pleasure,
given refuge from separation from Thee and Thy loathing,
settled in a sure sitting place in Thy neighbourhood,
singled out for true knowledge of Thee,
made worthy for worship of Thee,
whose heart Thou hast captivated with Thy will,
whom Thou hast picked for contemplating Thee,
whose look Thou hast made empty for Thee,
whose breast Thou hast freed for Thy love,
whom Thou hast made
desirous of what is with Thee,
inspired with Thy remembrance,
allotted thanksgiving to Thee,
occupied with obeying Thee,
turned into one of Thy righteous creatures,
chosen for whispered prayer to Thee,
and from whom Thou hast cut off all things
which cut him off from Thee!
3 O God,
place us among those
whose habit is rejoicing in Thee and yearning for Thee,
whose time is spent in sighing and moaning!
Their foreheads are bowed down before Thy mightiness,
their eyes wakeful in Thy service,
their tears flowing in dread of Thee,
their hearts fixed upon Thy love,
their cores shaken with awe of Thee.
O He
the lights of whose holiness
induce wonder in the eyes of His lovers,
the glories of whose face
arouse the longing of the hearts of His knowers!
O Furthest Wish of the hearts of the yearners!
O Utmost Limit of the hopes of the lovers!
I ask from Thee love for Thee,
love for those who love Thee,
love for every work which will join me to Thy nearness,
and that Thou makest Thyself more beloved to me
than anything other than Thee
and makest
my love for Thee
lead to Thy good pleasure,
and my yearning for Thee
protect against disobeying Thee!
Oblige me by allowing me to gaze upon Thee,
gaze upon me with the eye of affection and tenderness,
turn not Thy face away from me,
and make me one of the people of happiness with Thee
and favoured position!
O Responder,
O Most Merciful of the merciful!

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Sermon of Hammam

From Self-Building:

Hammam was one of the companions of Imam' Ali (A), a very pious and God fearing man. He once asked Imam to explain at length the qualities of pious person. He wanted the explanation to be so graphic and so vivid that he could get the picture of a pious man in his mind's eyes. Imam knew that Hammam had a very tender heart and was disinclined to explain piety in the way that Hammam had requested and evading the subject he replied.

"Hammam! Fear God and do good deeds. Remember that God is always a companion of pious and good people! " But Hammam was not satisfied with this reply and wanted to say something more. He pressed so much and others joined him and seconded his request that Imam reluctantly delivered the following sermon. After praising the Lord and praying Him to bless the Holy Prophet (A) Imam thus, continued the sermon as follows:

"When God created mankind He was not in need of their obedience and prayers, neither was He nervous of their disobedience. Because, disobedience or insubordination of men cannot harm Him, similar obedience of obedient people cannot do Him any good. He is beyond the reach of harm and benefit. After creating man He decided for hi the variety of food which his body could absorb and assimilate, and the places which were congenial for him to live and to propagate. Among these human beings excellent are those who are pious and who fear God.”

"They possess pre-eminence and excellence because they always speak truthfully, rightly and to the point, their way of living is based upon moderation, and their mode of dealing with other men is founded on their good will, fellow feeling and courtesy towards them. They deny themselves the things prohibited by God. They concentrate their minds upon knowledge of things which will bring them eternal bliss. They bear hardships and sufferings as happily as they enjoy comforts and pleasures. If God had not fixed the span of life for each one of them, their souls in desire of attaining His Heaven and out of fear of falling into His displeasure, would not have stayed in their bodies for long."

"They have visualized mentally the glory of God in such a way that beyond him nothing in this world alarms, frightens or awes them. Everything other than His might appears to them as insignificant and humble. They believe in the Heaven and its blessings like a person who has been there and has actually seen everything of the Heaven with his own eyes. Similarly, their faith in the Hell and its torments is as strong as that of a person who had passed through its sufferings. They feel that the tortures of the Hell are around them and very near to them.”

"The ways of worldly people make them sorry. They harm nobody. They do not indulge in excessive eating and pleasure seeking. Their wants are limited. Their wishes are few. They have accepted patiently sufferings and adversities in this mortal and transitory life for the sake of eternal bliss which by the grace of God proved for them a very profitable transaction. The vicious world desired their fellowship but they turned their faces away from it. It wanted to snare them, but they willingly accepted every trouble and discomfort to free themselves from its clutches.”

“Their nights they spend in carefully studying the Quran, because, of their weaknesses and short-comings, and try to find ways from this Holy book for improvements of their minds. In the study of the Quran when they came across a passage describing the Heaven they feel highly attracted towards it and develop such a keen desire to reach it; that the Heaven with all its blessings is visualized by their minds, while a passage about the Hell frightens them and makes them feel as if they are seeing and hearing the raging fire and the groans and lamentations of those who are suffering the tortures of the Hell.”

"Nights they spend in praying before the Lord and requesting and beseeching Him to deliver them from the Hell. Days find them occupied with such works that clearly indicate their wisdom, depth of knowledge, virtuousness, and piety. Constant fasting, simple diet: avoidance of every aspect of luxury and regular hard work make them look lean and haggard, but they possess very sound and robust health. When people hear them discussing various problems of life they often take them to be whimsical fanatic or even half-witted. But it is not so, they are not satisfied with the quality and quantity of the work done by them in the cause of religion and humanity .The more they work the less they feel satisfied. Having set up a very high standard of efficiency for their work they fell nervous that indolence may not make it impossible for them to attain those heights.”

"If anyone of them is praised for piety, virtuousness and the good deeds done by him, he does not like to be so complimented; he is afraid that such praise may not allure him towards vanity, self flattery, and self glorification. He says, I know my mind and my work more than others, and God knows much more than me. O Lord! Please do not hold me responsible for what they have said about me. You know very well that I did not instigate them for such praises. Please Lord! Grant me excellence far greater than what they complimented me for. And Lord! Please forgive those of my sins short-comings which they do not know.”

"You will find every pious person possessing the following attributes. He is resolute though tender-hearted and kind. He is unwavering in his convictions and beliefs. He is thirsty for knowledge. He forgives those who harmed him, fully knowing that they have wronged him. Even when owning wealth his ways of life are based upon moderation. His prayers are models of humility and submissiveness to God. Even when starving he will maintain his self-respect. He will bear sufferings patiently.”

“He will resort only to honest means of living. Leading others towards truth and justice, will give him pleasure. He disdains avarice and greed. Though he does good deeds all the time, yet he feels nervous of his short-comings. Every night, he thanks God for having passed one more day under His Grace and Mercy. Every morning finds him starting the day with the prayers of the Lord. Of nights he is cautious that he may not carelessly waste those hours in comfort and ease. He starts his days happy with the thought the Lord has given him another day to do his duty.”

“If his mind wishes for something unholy and impious he refuses to obey its dictates. He desires to achieve eternal bliss. Worldly pleasures do not interest him. His wisdom is mixed with patience. His deeds reciprocate his words (he does what he says). Inordinate desires do not trouble him. He has few defects in him. He is courteous to others. He possesses a contended mind. He eats little, he does not harm anybody. He is easy to be pleased. He is strong in his faith. His passions are dead. His temper is controlled.”

"People expect good out of him and consider themselves immune from his harm. Even if he is found among godless people his name will be written in the list of Godly persons. If he is in company of those who always remember God, naturally his name will not be included amongst those who forget Him. He forgives those who harm him. He helps those who have forsaken him and have refused to help him. He is kind to those who have been cruel to him. He does good to those who do evil to him. He never indulges in loose talks. He has no vice in him, and his good qualities are outstanding, noticeable, and prominent, when facing dangers and disasters he is calm and undisturbed. In sufferings and calamities he is patient and hopeful. In prosperity he is thankful to God. He would not harm his worst enemy. He will never commit a sin even for the sake of his best friend.”

"Before anybody has to bear testimony to his fault he accepts and owns it. He never misappropriates anything entrusted to him. He never forgets what he has been told. He does not slander anybody. He does not harm his neighbors. When misfortunes befall any person he does not blame him, neither is he happy at the losses of others. He neither goes astray from the right path nor follows a wrong one. His silence does not indicate,. his moroseness nor his laughters are loud and boisterous. He bears persecution patiently and God punishes his oppressor. He is hard to himself and very lenient to others. He bears hardships in this life to attain eternal comfort and peace. He never wrongs a fellow being. If he avoids anybody it is to retain his piety and uprightness. If he forms contract with anybody it is on account of his kindness and clemency. He does not avoid anybody because of his pride and vanity, and he does not mix with others with ulterior motives of hypocrisy, pretense, and vile."

-Nahjul Balagha, sermon 193.

"The narrator says that Hammam was hearing the sermon very attentively when Imam reached the above passage, Hammam fainted and died it during the faint. Seeing this Imam said: “By God, I was hesitating to all this to Hammam because of this very reason. Effective advises on minds ready to receive them often bring almost similar result”.

Sunday, March 06, 2005



In a famous hadith, the Prophet (s) is reported as questioning his followers concerning the "firmest handhold of faith" (awthaq 'urwat al-iman). When they cannot reply, he declares: 
The firmest handhold of faith is to love for the sake of God and to hate for the sake of God, to befriend God's friends and to renounce His enemies.' [1] 

In another tradition, Fudayl ibn al-Yasar, a disciple, asks al-Imam al-Sadiq, may peace be upon him, whether love and hate derive from faith; he replies: 
Is faith anything but love and hate? [2] 

It is also narrated that al-Imam al-Baqir, may peace be upon him, stated that: 
Religion (din) is love and love is religion. [3] 

It is narrated in a hadith qudsi that when God loves someone He becomes his ears, his eyes, his tongue, and his hands: 
When I love him, then I shall be his ears with which he listens, his eyes with which he sees, his tongue with which he speaks, and his hands with which he holds; if he calls Me, I shall answer him, and if he asks Me, I shall give him. [7] 

It is narrated that al-Imam al-Sadiq, may peace be upon him, said: 
For every kind of worship there is another which surpasses it, and the love for us, the people of the Household, is the best form of worship. [15] 

[1] Al-Kulayni, Usul al-Kafi, "kitab al-iman wa al-kufr," bab al-hubb fi Allah wa ai-bughd fi Allah," hadith 6, Tehran: Dar al-Kutub al-Islamiyyah, ii, p. 126. 

[2] Ibid., hadith 5, p. 125. 

[3] Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-anwar, 'kitab al-iman wa al-kufr," "bab al-hubb fi Allah wa al-bughd fi Allah," Beirut: Dar Ihya al-Turath al-'Arabi, lxvi, p. 238. 

[7] Al-Kulayni, al-Kafi, iv, p. 54. 

[15] Al-Majlisi, al-Bihar, xxvii, p. 91. 

Interview Questions for Sr. Freda:

1. Did you experience a particular moment that you knew your old faith was not right for you? Did you experience a particular moment when you knew you'd found the right one?

2. What made you feel love for Ahlulbait (as)?

3. What is your favorite kind of Islamic dress/hijab and why?

4. What is your favorite pasttime?

5. What do you think of the phenomenon of many women finding Islam in part due to relationships with Muslim men?

And response to questions from Br. Yousaf:
alright 5 questions for you masomma.

1: Consider for a while Earth is Flat , Now If i place a Ladies High heel shoe on top of North america what you think where would be colorado spring residing under the shoe ?

Well, Colorado Springs would be untouched by the shoe because it would be in the instep between the heel and the ball of th foot. Our mountains would get in the way if the shoe were positioned any other way. :)

2: Reverse you full name and then try to come up with name of any City in the world using those alphebets

yttaeb eniale anaid - let's see, Yonkers, Elmhurst, and Anchorage, is that want you wanted? :)

3: Tell us some thing about your stupidest stupidity

I'm trying to think some of the stupidest things I've ever done; I think a lot of them were in high school. Here is the story of the stupidest that comes to mind: When I was in high school, there was a fellow classmate who loved his car. So one day, as a joke, instead of calling him by his name, I called him by his license plate number "LBJ 805" - I still remember the number. Well, he recognized the number but didn't know what it was. So I seized the opportunity and pretty soon everyone in school was calling him LBJ 805, and he was about to go crazy trying to figure out what was going on and what that number was. We had so much fun, but after about a week I felt bad for him and told him what the number was. Well, one day several months later I was driving home with some friends at night and lo and behold, there in front of me is license plate LBJ 805! There was no one else on the road and so I just couldn't resist to start playing around, so I was turning my lights on and off, and tailgating and driving like an idiot trying to get a reaction from him, but he wasn't reacting. After a little while, I started to realize something wasn't right and started to get worried. So I went to the other lane and passed LBJ 805, and inside the car were his mom and dad - his dad being a police officer. I went to his house and apologized; I guess his mom and dad had been a party and his mom had gotten sick and so they left early and police man dad was taking sick mom home - man I felt terrible and I was sure I was going to get in a lot of trouble. But they accepted my apology and said they realized I was a friend of their son and let me go home without a ticket.....

4: Your profile pic Glasses are very out dated what are your plans to do some thing about them ?

Well the profile pic for blogger doesn't have me in it, the Haloscan doesn't either. The one at the bottom of the blog I am still wearing those, I got them last year sometime. I do have some older pics around somewhere with some outdated glasses, but I think these at least aren't granny glasses or big huge eighties glasses.... But if I ever win Publisher's Clearing House Sweepstakes I'll send you some money to pick out some frames for me, if you like (insha'allah). :)

5: How do you feel when people stare you wearing head scarf ?

I am pretty blind to it, I think I am so used to it that I am unaware of most of the stares. When I do notice it, I feel a little anxious, but I realize that most people don't mean anything by it - it is just kind of natural to stare at something different. Sometimes it is an opportunity for creating understanding - especially if it is children or certain people who are more open to asking about it. When I feel most uncomfortable is when I get a hate-filled stare from some big man, or get a drive-by of a car filled with young men shouting me down because of the hijab and then usually I just get out of that area as soon as possible. I also feel bad when a woman gives me an angry look and shoos her kids in the other direction - but those are really rather rare events, people are generally pretty tolerant of me looking different. In my experience, most Americans could care less how you dress unless they think you are a threat to them or unless you're in their family. In my average day-to-day experience, I almost forget I look different because what I wear is natural to me and I don't feel that I am treated differently, alhumdooleluh.