The Road Less Travelled

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Waterstones watch out!

Just to finish on a good note. Sold my second book today – People of the Lie.
Wohoooooo. I’m now about £1.50 closer to my 1st million!

Spewin' for a Stewin'

I was still spewing ever so slightly (just slightly, before I start getting a load of emails telling me to ‘chill’) so I just suggest you read the last Deenport post here.

I’m just in a funny mood today. I’m in the mood for a good discussion. So come on girls bring it on. Although as you are no doubt already aware - be prepared to lose!
RP lets have a duel…

Government Muslim scholars roadshow
There’s a big hoohah over on deenport about the above. For the life of me I cannot see what the fuss is all about? Surely this is all a good thing?

Monday, January 30, 2006

Happy New Year!

It was the Islamic New Year as well as the Chinese New Year yesterday.
So we just had a show put on downstairs, we had dancing dragon, dancing woman with ribbons (it was like a scene out of Memoirs of a Geisha) and stuff and then a guy doing all this funky martial arts stuff with a pole and then with two swords. I have to admit I was right in front of him and was scared he was gonna have an accident let the pole go and it was gonna take me out!
Anyway more importantly we had lots of wontons, spring rolls etc etc.


I sold my first book on Amazon today. Won’t quite pay for the kitchen yet, but hey every little helps. Insha allah things are looking up already.


The Surveyor for the kitchen came round yesterday. I spent 4 hours with him!! You’d think having spent 5 hours with the designer would have been enough right? To top it off slight changes were made to the plans which increased the price. So now I’m living off bread and water. Whilst I was on the train this morning, wallowing in self pity for my lack of funds I came across the article about the abandoned baby in the lake must say it put my finances in to perspective!

Friday, January 27, 2006

Jummuah Mubaruk!

Thank good it’s Fab Friday. I must say this week has really dragged!

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Bon Appetit!

I had one of my favourite dishes for lunch - dhenga with jack fruit seeds and hilisha! If your Bengali then you’ll know what I’m talking about. If not then guys, your missing out!
So now after a very satisfying and hot lunch I feel like I need 40 winks. Zzzz…

My bracelet broke the other day. L. I’m not sure how exactly, can only think it snagged on the sleeves of my jumper and twisted on itself. Not sure if you can see it or not on the picture but there’s another twist in the bracelet where it’s slightly broken but has yet to fully snap off. I’m not sure how much it would cost to mend hope its not a lot because I am officially broke at the moment what with the new kitchen and Student loan pay-off (which I have yet to do but insha allah will asap).
So if anyone wants to contribute to the broken bracelet fund then please, feel free.

Michael Jackson in Drag?>1=7653&mpc=1


A six per cent democracy,,1694793,00.html#article_continue

Did one expect anything else?

So Close.

I came sooo close to murking someone yesterday had to read “Aoutho billahi minash shaytan irrajeem” several times before I could calm myself down.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji'oun.

Dr Zaki Badawi passed away yesterday in London.
May Allah swt have mercy upon his soul and grant him paradise. Ameen.

Choo Choo...

Was waiting for the train this morning in the waiting room, when everyone starts moving onto the platform. Naturally when one person moves onto the platform it is assumed they’ve spotted the train coming in and so everyone follows suit just like I did. Anyway I got stopped by the ticket inspectors at the barriers and was told my weekly ticket had expired the previous day. I thought it wasn’t due to expire until Thursday but what with all the bank holidays etc it seems I was wrong. Anyway since I assumed the train was coming I asked to be let through and said I would purchase a ticket once I’d got to Maidenhead. They said if they let me through then the chances are I’d be fined £20 by a ticket inspector either on the train or when I got to Maidenhead and said I should just purchase one there and then.
I deliberated for 2 secs then thought ‘What the heck. Its only work’ and went to purchase my ticket. I went bought my ticket and came back just in time as the train was pulling in. Woohoooo!
But then got the crap from the ticket inspectors about “Aren’t you glad we saved you £20”, “What do we get for saving you £20”, “Do we not even get a thank you?” Honestly! The cheek!

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Killing Pablo

No, I’ve not finally unleashed my psychotic demons and am after someone named Pablo! (Run Pablo, Run!).
Killing Pablo: The Hunt for the Richest, Most Powerful Criminal in History is the name of the book I’m currently reading. It’s about the rise and demise of Pablo Escobar; the Colombian drug and crime Lord.
I must say its quite fascinating stuff. Pablo Escobar wasn’t taken down until 1992 so you may remember the news story.

Rubiks Cube

I tried solving the rubiks cube the other day and was unable to. I could only do one side at a time. I’m sure as a child I could do at least 3 sides (all six if I was inventive ;-)). Once I had done one side I was unwilling to mix it up enough to get another side done. I couldn’t think logical enough to complete all 6 sides. Yet as a child I could think logically enough to complete at least 3 sides yet now at the grand old age of __ I can’t? What does that say about how our minds and brains develop from being a child?
Ok I think I’m gonna go surf and try to find out how to solve it. I think mothers taken to trying to solve it these days. Every time I see her she’s got it in her hands turning and twisting it this n that way!

Monday, January 23, 2006

No more Whale

The whale died on Saturday at 7pm. Was so sad. I watched the rescue attempt on telly.
JM wanted me to go and take some pics for her but I didn’t go. So JM these pics are for you. (courtesy of BBC website)


A comment made on Deenport reminded me of this verse of Rumi.

I was delighted with myself,
having offered everything I had;
my heart, my faith, my work.
“and who are you,” you said,
“to think you have so much to offer?
It seems you have forgotten
where you’ve come from.”


I had a workout yesterday morning for the first time in months! And I have to say I’m really feeling it now. My thighs feel like lead and I’m walking like an old lady and every time I cough my abs hurt. Well like they say ‘No pain, no gain’.
But seriously I think I need to join the gym again. I was knackered 10 minutes into yesterday’s workout! That’s how unfit I’ve become! HB I think you guys need to open up a gym down in Uxbridge. Failing that maybe I can get Holmes Place to be more strict on their ‘Women only’ gym and actually make it a women only zone!

After Ten years of Atheism:

After Ten years of Atheism:
Dr. Jeffrey Lang Discovers Islam*

By Mushfiqur Rahman

Jan. 17, 2006

Dr. Jeffrey Lang

For those whom Islam has embraced, the greatest witness to God's unremitting, pursuing, sustaining, and guiding love is the Qur'an. Like a vast and magnificent ocean, it lures you deeper and deeper into its dazzling waves until you are swept into it. But instead of drowning in a sea of darkness, you find yourself immersed in an ocean of divine light and mercy … as I read the Qur'an and prayed the Islamic prayers, a door to my heart was unsealed and I was immersed in an overwhelming tenderness. Love became more permanent and real than the earth beneath my feet; its power restored me and made it so that even I could feel love … I was happy enough to have found faith in a sensible religion.

But I never expected to be touched by such intoxicating mercy.

"Dad, do you believe in Heaven?"

When young Jeffery asked his father about the existence of heaven as they walked their dog along the beach, it was apparent that this child possessed a highly inquisitive mind. There perhaps was also a sign that he would subject things to a logical scrutiny and validate them from a rational perspective. It was little surprise that one day he would end up being a professor of mathematics, a matter subject that leaves no place for anything but logic.

During his senior years at the Notre Dame Boys High, a Catholic school, he formed certain rational objections against belief in the existence of a Supreme Being. Discussions with the school priest, his parents, and classmates could not convince him of the existence of God, and to the dismay of the priest and his parents, he turned into an atheist at the age of eighteen. He was to remain so for the next ten years, throughout his undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral studies. It was a little after his becoming an atheist that he first saw the following dream:

It [sic] There was a tiny room with no furniture, and there was nothing on its grayish-white walls. Its only adornment was the predominantly red-and-white patterned carpet that covered the floor. There was a small window, like a basement window, above and facing us, filling the room with brilliant light. We were in rows; I was in the third. There were only men, no women, and all of us were sitting on our heels and facing the direction of the window.

It felt foreign. I recognized no one. Perhaps I was in another country. We bowed down uniformly, our faces to the floor. It was serene and quiet, as if all sound had been turned off. All at once, we sat back on our heels. As I looked ahead, I realized that we were being led by someone in front who was off to my left, in the middle, below the window. He stood alone. I only had the briefest glance at his back. He was wearing a long white gown, and on his head was a white scarf with a red design. And that is when I would awaken.

During the next ten years of his atheist life, he was to see the same
dream several times. He would not be disturbed by the dream, however,
for he would feel strangely comfortable when he awoke. But not nowing
what it was, he could not make any sense out of it and thus gave no
importance to it despite its repetitions.

Ten years later in his first lecture at the University of San
Francisco, he met a Muslim student who attended his mathematics class.
He was soon to develop a friendship with him and his family. Religion, however, was not the topic of discussion during the time he shared with that Muslim family, and it was much later that one of the family members handed to him a copy of the Qur'an.

He was not looking for a religion. Nevertheless, he started reading the Qur'an, but with a strong prejudice.
"You cannot simply read the Qur'an, not if you take it seriously. You
either have surrendered to it already or you fight it. It attacks tenaciously, directly, personally; it debates, criticizes, shames, and challenges. From the outset it draws the line of battle, and I was on the other side."

Thus he found himself in an interesting battle. "I was at a severe
disadvantage, for it became clear that the Author knew me better than I knew myself."
It was as if the Author was reading his mind. Every night he would make up certain questions and objections, but would find the answer in his next readings as he continued his readings in the accepted order. "The Qur'an was always way ahead of my thinking; it was erasing barriers I had built years ago and was addressing my queries."

He fought vigorously with objections and questions, but it was apparent that he was loosing the battle. "I was being led, working my way into a corner that contained only one choice."

It was early 80's and there were not many Muslims at the University of San Francisco campus. He discovered a small place at the basement of a church where a few Muslim students made their daily prayers. After much struggle in his mind, he came up with enough courage to go and visit that place. When he came out of that place a few hours later, he had already declared the shahadah, the proclamation of a new life, "I bear witness that there is no god but Allah, and I bear witness that Muhammad is His messenger."

After he made his proclamation, it was the time for the afternoon prayer and he was invited to participate. He stood up in rows with other students behind a prayer leader named Ghassan, and started following them in prayer and:

We bowed down in prostration with our faces on the red-and-white carpet. It was serene and quiet, as if the sound had been turned off. And then we sat back on our heels again.

As I looked ahead, I could see Ghassan, off to my left, in the middle, below the window that was flooding the room with light. He was alone, without a row. He was wearing a long white gown and on his head was a white scarf with a red design.

The dream! I screamed inwardly. The dream exactly! I had forgotten it completely, and now I was stunned and frightened. Am I dreaming? I wondered. Will I awaken? I tried to focus on what was happening to determine whether I was asleep. A rush of cold flowed through my body, making me shudder. My God, this is real! Then the coldness subsided, succeeded by gentle warmth radiating from within. Tears welled up in my eyes.

Everyone's journey to Islam is unique, varying from one another in many different ways, but Dr. Lang's is an interesting one. From one who had once challenged the existence of God, he became a firm believer in God. From a warrior who fought a fierce battler against the Qur'an, he became one who surrendered to it. From one who never knew love and who only wanted to live a comfortable materialistic life until he died and become "long-forgotten soil underneath an unmarked grave," he turned into one whose life became full of love, mercy, and spiritualism. "God will bring you to your knees, Jeffery!" said his father when he denied the existence of God at the age of eighteen. Ten years later, that became a reality. He was now on his knees, and his forehead on the ground. The highest part of his body that contained all of his knowledge and intellect was now on the lowest ground in complete submission before the majesty of God.

Like all Muslim reverts, Dr. Lang felt that he was favored by God's mercy and that it was God Himself who directed him to Islam:

I perceived that God was always near, directing my life, creating the circumstances and opportunities to choose, yet always leaving the crucial choices to me. I was awestruck by the realization of the intimacy and love that reveals, not because we deserve it, but because it is always there and all we have to do is turn to Him to receive it. I cannot say with certainty what the meaning of that vision was, but I could not help seeing in it a sign, a favor, and a new chance.

Dr. Lang is author of two books — both make interesting readings and are useful for both Muslim converts and born Muslims to read. He is married and has three daughters. It is no surprise that his children inherited some of his inquisitive mind. The boy who once threw questions at his father, was now a father himself who had to face questions from his own children. One day he was confronted by his
eight-year-old daughter Jameelah after he finished the noon prayer with her:

Daddy, why do we pray?

Her question caught me off guard. I didn't expect it from an eight- year-old. I knew of course the most obvious answer — that as Muslims we are obligated to — but I did not want to waste the opportunity to share with her the experience and benefits of salah. Nevertheless, as I tried to put together a reply in my mind, I bought a little time by beginning with, "We pray because God wants us to!"

But why, daddy, what does praying do? she asked.

It is hard to explain to a young person, honey. Someday, if you do the five prayers every day, I'm sure you'll understand, but I'll do my best to answer your question.

You see, sweetheart. God is the source of all the love, mercy, kindness, and wisdom — of all the beauty — that we experience and feel. Like the sun is the source of the light we see in the daytime, God is the source of all of these and much more. Thus, the love I feel for you, your sisters, and mommy is given to me by God. We know that God is kind and merciful by all the things He has given us in this life. But when we pray, we can feel God's love, kindness, and mercy in a very special way, in the most powerful way.

For example, you know that mommy and I love you by the way we take care of you. But when we hug you and kiss you, you can really feel how much we love you. In a similar way, we know that God loves and is kind to us by the way He takes care of us. But when we pray, we can feel His love in a very real and special way.

Does praying make you a better daddy? She asked me.

I hope so and I would like to think so, because once you are touched by God's love and kindness in the prayer, it is so beautiful and powerful, that you need to share it with those around you, especially your family.

Sometimes, after a hard day at work, I feel so exhausted that I just want to be alone. But if I feel God's kindness and mercy in the prayer, I look at my family and remember what a great gift you are to me, and all the love and happiness I get from being your daddy and mommy's husband. I'm not saying that I am the perfect father, but I believe I would not be as good a father without the prayers. Am I making any sense at all?

I kind of understand what you mean, Jameelah answered.

Then she hugged me and said, And I love you, Daddy!

I love you too, sweetie pie. I love you too.


Lang, Jeffrey. Struggling to Surrender. Beltsville: 1994.

Lang, Jeffrey. Even Angels Ask. Beltsville: 1997.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Feelin' Blue...Would do I do?

Think I need a few days of time out reflection time. I need a few days away from here.

Whale in the Thames!

There’s a whale in the Thames in central London!
The one time theres a whale in Central London and I’m not even working in Central! Darn it! Maybe it will swim its way up to Maidenhead?

OS Go away!

You were not invited!!

The Hikam of Ibn 'Ata'llah

This was emailed to me earlier on. Have a read.

The Hikam of Ibn 'Ata'llah I.
A feeling of discouragement when you slip upis a sure sign that you put your faith in deeds. Your desire to withdraw from everythingwhen Allah has involved you in the world of meansis a hidden appetite. Your desire for involvement with the world of meanswhen Allah has withdrawn you from itis a fall from high aspiration. Aspiration which rushes on aheadcannot break through the walls of destiny. Give yourself a rest from managing!When Someone Else is doing it for you,don't you start doing it for yourself! Your striving for what is absolutely guaranteed to youand your laxness in what is required of youare evidence that your inner eye is dull. If you make intense supplicationand the timing of the answer is delayed,do not despair of it.His reply to you is guaranteed; but in the way He chooses,not the way you choose,and at the moment He desires,not the moment you desire. If something that is promised does not happeneven though the time for it is set,do not doubt the promise!If you do, that will dim your inner eyeand put out the light of your secret. When He opens a way for you and makes Himself known to you,then do not worry about your lack of deeds.He only opened the way for youbecause He desired to make Himself known to you.Do you not see that while He grants gnosis of Himself to you,you have only deeds to offer Him?What He brings you -What you bring Him -What a difference there is between them! Different states have different outcomes.This accounts for the variety of types of action. Actions are merely propped-up shapes.Their life-breath is the presence of the secret of sincerity in them. Bury your existence in the earth of obscurity.If something sprouts before it is buried,its fruits will never ripen. Withdraw the heart into the arena of reflection- nothing helps the heart more than that! If the forms of phenomenal beingsare embedded in the mirror of the heart,how can it be illuminated?If it is fettered by its appetites,how can it travel to Allah?If it is not purified of the great impurity of its heedlessness,how can it aspire to enter the presence of Allah?If it has not turned away in regret from its lapses,how can it hope to grasp the subtleties of secret knowledge? Phenomenal being is utter and total darkness.It is only the manifestation of the Real in it that gives it light. When you see phenomenal being and do not see Himin it, with it, before it or after it,then you are truly in need of light. You are veiled from the suns of gnosesby the clouds of secondary traces. One way He shows you the existence of His overwhelming poweris by veiling you from Himby that which cannot exist alongside Him. How can you imagine that something else veils Him when He is the One who is manifest by everything?How can you imagine that something else veils Himwhen He is the One who is made manifest in everything?How can you imagine that something else veils Himwhen He is the One who is manifest to everything?How can you imagine that something else veils Himwhen He was the One who was Manifest before there was anything?How can you imagine that something else veils Himwhen He is more manifest than anything?How can you imagine that something else veils Himwhen He is the One with whom there is nothing else?How can you imagine that something else veils Himwhen He is the One who is nearer to you than anything?How can you imagine that something else veils Himwhen if it had not been for Him, there would not have been anything? A marvel!See how existence becomes manifest in non-existence!How the in-time holds firm alongside Him whose attribute is eternal!
Commentary by Ibn 'Ajiba <hikcom1.html>  
II. You have not abandoned ignorance at allif you want something to take place in any momentother than what Allah has manifested in it. You put off action until you have nothing else to do?That comes from the foolishness of the lower self. Don't ask Him to remove you from one statein order to use you in another.If He wanted to,He could use you without removing you. When the aspiration of the wayfarer desires to halt at what has been unveiled to him.then the invisible voices of the Reality call out to him."What you're looking for is still in front of you!" When the outward aspect of created things display their beauty to him, then their inner reality calls out to him,"We are a trial!We captivate and tempt you!Do not disbelieve!" If you make demands on Him, you doubt Him.If you seek Him, you are absent from Him.If you seek other-than-Him, you are shameless before Him.If you make demands on other-than-Him, you are distant from Him. Every breath you breathe emerges according to a preordained decree. Don't look forward to being quit of others -that will cut you off from watchful awareness of Himin the place where He has put you. Don't think that worry and sorrow are out of placeas long as you are in this world.It only brings forth what its attribute and quality demand. A goal you seek by your Lord:no delay here.A goal you seek by yourself:not easy.A sign of success in the end:turning to Allah in the beginning.A radiant beginning:a radiant ending. Everything that is stored away in the warehouse of invisible secretshas to appear in the visible world of outward manifestation. What a difference!This one is guided by Him.That one seeks information about Him. The one guided by Him gains direct knowledge of the Realand verifies the matter from its actual Source. Seeking information about Him comes fromnot having reached Him. This must be the case because when was He absent so as to make it necessary for you to seek information about Him?When was He distant so that you would need tracks to lead you to Him? As for those who have reached Him:"He who has plenty should spend out from his plenty."As for those who are travelling to Him:"it is he whose provision is restricted." Those travelling to Himare guided by the light of turning their faces toward Him.Those who have arrivedhave the lights of face-to-face encounter. The former belong to lights,but the lights belong to the latterbecause they belong to Allah, and are His alone. "Say: 'Allah'then leave them plunging in their games."
Commentary by Ibn 'Ajiba <hikamcom2.html>  
III. Better to look at the defects hidden within youthan to look for the unseen worlds that are veiled from you. The Real is not veiled- it is you that are veiled from seeing Him.If there was anything veiling Himwhat veiled Him would cover Him.If he was covered,His existence would be contained.If something contains something else,it overpowers it.But He is the Conqueror, overcoming His slaves. Among the qualities of humanness,get rid of every quality incompatible with your slavehoodso you can answer when Allah calls and be near His presence. The root of every act of rebellion, every appetite and every moment of heedlessness is satisfaction with one's self.
The root of every act of obedience, every restraint and every moment of wakefulness is lack of satisfaction with one's self. Better to keep the company of an ignorant manwho is not satisfied with himselfthan a man of knowledge who is satisfied with himself.
What knowledge does the self-satisifed scholar have?What ignorance does the ignorant man who is not self-satisfied have? The light of the inner eye lets you see His nearness to you.The source of the inner eye lets you see your non-existence by your existence.The truth of the inner eye lets you see His existence,not your own non-existence or existence. "Allah was and there was nothing with Him.He is now as He was."


Came in early today as I had a 9.30 meeting and had to submit some reports before then.
Its gonna be a long day, and looking outside it looks beautiful masha allah.

The blue sky is blue like blue bubblegum …

BUT I’m sure that the weather looks deceiving and that it is actually butt numbingly cold outside!

Mother called back home yesterday and she asked to speak to Sumaiya, there was silence on the phone for a couple of minutes and mother asked why they didn’t give it to Sumaiya. They said they had but she would only listen and didn’t speak on the phone. SB and I think that she is in a mood with us for deserting her. And before you ask, yes she does go into her ‘I’m not speaking to you’ moods. Usually if I go out after shutting the front door on her whilst shes crying cos she wants to go out with me, when I return home she gives me the silent treatment. And to think shes not even 2 years old yet. Shes going to be a force to be reckoned with when she reaches her teens! Her poor mother!

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Danny Boy In Spain

Daniaal at Los Rosales in December 2005. Where he picked up a obsession of cats much to the ickiness of his mother!

Rishta - LOL

A friend of mine is going through the whole ‘rishta’ palaver at the moment. Anyway theres one particular gentleman whom she’s in ‘talks’ with at the moment.
Yesterday they went to lunch at Pizza Hut (of all places!)  and were seated by one of the waiters. My friend decided she wanted to change tables so they got up from their chairs to sit at another table. The waiter seeing this asked if everything was OK, to which the ‘rishta’ replied, “Shes just worried that her husband might see us”.

“Through our destiny God speaks to us, through our worship we speak to Him”. Hasan Le Gai Eaton.

“Through our destiny God speaks to us, through our worship we speak to Him”. Hasan Le Gai Eaton.
Exactly what does that mean? The latter part of the sentence is pretty self explanatory, but what of the first part?

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

To Tell or not to Tell?

Do I tell friends and family about the blog or do I keep it private? JM is already threatening me to tell her the name of my blog. Hehehehe.
I told as soon as I start writing anything remotely interesting then I will let her know.
Being able to blog from Microsoft word is absolutely brill! I can just type at work. La di dah type thing. I’m working away here….blogging…hehehe.

The Beginning...

It seems I have also succumbed as Ms Intricate World so adeptly puts it 'to the geeky world of blogging'.
Everything has a beginning, right? Well this is the beginning of my blog. So when the girls are too busy at work to email I will blog away the boredom?
We'll see...