Thursday, July 19, 2012

Ramadan

This holiday is one of my favorites. Who am I kidding I love all holidays, to me they are just another reason to celebrate the life God has given us. Ramadan is probably the hardest holiday to love at times. Moments when your empty stomach is rumbling, your energy level is at its lowest and you can't help but constantly calculate the hours and minutes left until you can finally bite into that kajoor (date) is when you wonder why God does this to you. But as soon as you taste that sweet chewy little piece packed with so much nourishment you are prepared to do it all over again. It makes you feel somehow connected to countless Muslims who break their fast in the same manner, following the Sunnah of the prophet who taught us this ritual. So much a tiny little kajoor can do.

This year is our third year handing out Ramadan kajoor baskets to our family and close friends. We like starting the month with it. We like the thought of our loved ones breaking their fasts with dates that we prepared for them. People always hand out presents on Eid, birthdays, weddings, and other joyous occasions; but why not give a gift to celebrate the start of a month that is such an important pillar of our religion?

Ramadan is a time to reflect, repent, and refresh. I love it deeply for the spiritual cleansing it brings. You never appreciate sleep until you have to wake up at 3 am for sehri. You never appreciate food until you have to go 14 hours a day without it. You wouldn't bother donating to the needy until you are told each good deed is worth 10 this month. You never make an effort to read religious scriptures until Shaitan is ridden from your hearts. On the surface we do all these acts this month because we are obligated and encouraged to, but deep inside the soul sings and soars this month. You are finally listening to its yearnings. There is a sort of pleasure that comes from all the struggling we do this month that only the soul can revel in. It's what keeps it alive as we quell it with worldly desires during the remaining months.

This Ramadan please remember to nourish the soul as you starve your body!!

Here are pictures of how we prepared our Ramadan baskets to help you start your own.
  




Friday, July 13, 2012

Stepping stone


I'm on the bus headed for one last time to 5 Times Square. I knew when I started at this company I wouldn't be here forever. It was not the profession or career path I wanted for the rest of my life. I just didn't realize how quickly the past 3 years of my life would go by. Bittersweet. I have been fortunate that my career here was not as terrible as many others who were on clients with grueling schedules and ungodly long hours, I did have my share of it, but the last year or so it was definitely a job I enjoyed doing. The friendships I made and the concepts I learned are invaluable in my life. I knew stepping through these doors would lead me to places I have always aspired to go professionally, but seeing it come true brings an immense feeling of accomplishment and gratefulness. God is ever kind. Change is never easy, even when you initiate it. You just have to keep in mind that everything happens in life for a reason. No experience lasts forever. Eventually everything evolves; you must accept that reality in order to grow with it.


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

“Don’t judge others because they sin differently than you.”


I can't agree more with this quote. We judge people on so many levels all the time. At the end of the day, we are all sinners in our own way. What needs more focus is to become lovers. Lovers of the Divine have no idle moments to spare for judgement of others. Even their sins are committed in hope to catch the Beloved's attention. Is that even a sin at all? Only the Beloved can tell.