My greatest jihad is against myself. The self that incites evil is ever present and I must always be mindful of it so that I may conquer it rather than allowing it to conquer me. A pure heart and mind are my greatest goals. Only then will I be one step closer to becoming a righteous individual. The prayer for pure intentions must always be on the tip of one's tongue. I say all of this because knowing and mastering ourselves is true power and this is the kind of power that's needed to reach God.
But what of His people? How do you reach His people? I suppose by seeing the good in them. You will never be able to see the good in people though if you don't first see the errors in yourself. I know some people would see this as a negative approach. Truly it's not. I fear conceit and arrogance so much and I long for a humble soul. Even when taken from a wordily perspective, know that humility is a quality that will always open the doors to success because humility ignites a sense of gratitude and a person that is grateful to this world will always be accepted by this world. More importantly though, humility and through it gratitude, will never fail to connect you with God. And this connection will open more doors for you than you could ever imagine. You know, I can't ever talk about God without talking about His people. I feel it's through the people that you find your way to God. But the only way to stand tall next to His people is to grow your own self first. I feel like everyone around me and everyone that I meet is so wonderful, so capable, so aware, and learned, and intelligent, and good. This makes me both happy and sad. Happy to be in the company of such people, to know such people. Sad because I can't seem to master these qualities myself. This is why I must always be mindful. Victory comes best to those who are mindful. Looks like for now Lulu's jihad continues.
I asked you what you would change if you could change one thing about the world and you said "I would change the people". When you asked me the same question I said I would change the distance between land and sea. You thought about this for a moment and said "But absence makes the heart fonder". I think about this now. I just want you to know that this isn't true for me. Your absence from my life didn't make my heart any fonder of you. You didn't have to leave. I already had a lifetime's worth of love in my heart for you and that love will never change. The fact though, is that sometimes it's still not enough to keep that person in your life forever. I would've never known this. These were the kind of truths that were never a part of my world. You know, still it's hard for me to accept them as truths instead of as mere glitches that made their way in. I miss the love I felt with you. It was wonderful. I wish I knew how you were. I wish I knew what you were doing. I always knew what you were doing. I wish we could've met one last time. Sometimes I don't let myself think about you. Sometimes days pass, weeks even. Sometimes I want to pretend like you didn't ever exist. But then I remember. That day when I got off the plane, I had hoped, really hoped, that I would get to meet you. I just wish we could talk. I wish I could tell you. So much has changed since you left. I want you to know though, that even if I miss you I've accepted this. I've accepted you not being here anymore. I know that you're happy. I know this. I know that there were a lot of things that you wanted and you have all those things now. You used to tell me that it hurts you when I hurt and I want you to know that I'm okay and I'm happy. Your memories never leave me. Ten years before we met, that day when you added me, that day when you asked me if you could call me Gul, telling me I was your best sister, every December when you'd email telling me this was the year we should finally come down, and then finally we met again. I can't get myself to write down in words anything from that time on because it makes me feel like you're still here. But I hope you remember it all. I will never forget my friendship with you. You were a big part of my life and I want you to always be a big part of my life. Even if we're standing on opposite sides now. Mani I love you and I will wait until the day our worlds are one again.
May your troubles now forever neglect you,
Your rightful neighbours respect you,
The angels protect you,
And heaven accept you.
"For days and nights together, I very humbly supplicated and prayed to my beloved God:
'O Lord, I am all alone, who will be my helper and associate? Grant me one!'
When I raised my hands in moving supplication, the whole heaven was full of my wailing and my prayers. Then God, in His infinite mercy, granted my prayers and conferred upon me His choicest blessings, and He, from His majesty, gave me a pious, sincere and obedient friend and his name, like his nooraani (holy) qualities, was Noor-ud- Deen."
Well I do hope so. When I was younger, I used to hate it when people said "time heals all wounds". Even back then I remember thinking, only love can truly heal all wounds. If a person has love in their life they can conquer the world. I don't mean love as an isolated event limited to romanticism but to have love in one's life as the very gene that links everyone and everything together. Love means kindness and understanding and acceptance, gratitude, warmth, sympathy. But perhaps most importantly, love means trust and trust leads to friendship. And that's what this post is really about. Truly I can say that the most beautiful thing God has created in this world is friendship. Not just friendship between two friends but friendship between husband and wife, between parent and child, between sisters, between cousins, between teacher and student, between the old and young, man and beast. It's so beautiful. My whole life I've searched for the perfect friendship. And my whole life I've lived vainly thinking I'd found it. In the past, I'd be shattered when a friendship didn't turn out to be as lovely as I had imagined it to be. It was beyond my understanding how a friend could be something other than what I had imagined them to be. If we hit an obstacle I assumed our ability as friends to overcome said obstacle would show how much we valued our friendship. I will always fight for my friends. But this has never in my life been a reciprocated feeling. An obstacle hit has always meant a departed friend. I now feel very compliant with this reality. Friendship is too wonderful of a thing to waste on those who do not appreciate it enough to fight for it. Friendship will never become extinct nor will we ever outgrow it. If love is forever then friendship too is forever. Therefore I no longer fear an imperfect friendship because with every imperfection I feel somehow closer to that perfection.
I have many a times been told by my sister that I should care and love less passionately, that I get attached too quickly, that I am too expressive, too animated. She may very well be right and as such I have tried incessantly to correct my attitude but alas, to no avail. And so I have now adopted the words of Jane Austen, "There is nothing I would not do for those who are really my friends. I have no notion of loving people by halves, it is not my nature". I simply cannot change my nature no matter how many times it's proved destructive for me. I've come to the conclusion that the Universe recognizes all my past efforts, accepts me as I am and will someday remunerate me. No one's work goes unnoticed, no matter how lousy it is. Not even Lulu's.
I could have just said dry hands but that wouldn't do justice to how I feel at the moment. Whenever I look down at my hands they seem to be staring back at me shrivelled and weather-beaten. They're not just dry, they're withered. Do my hands have a life of their own? Aging faster than the rest of me? No matter how many times I moisturize them they still stare back at me with the same wrinkly expression. Oh well, in the grand sphere of things what does it matter. The bigger question is why am I dedicating a blog post to my wizened hands. I'm not sure. There is no reason really. Except that it led me to wonder why I would insist on labouring over something that never actually produces me any results. If I look back at the last ten years of my life nothing I predicted came true. In fact the complete opposite of most of my predictions happened. But for some reason I never took note until recently. I never stopped watering all the seeds I had planted. Is man doomed to forever live a life of oblivion? This is sad for me. How will I ever reach enlightenment. The truth is, those seeds are too precious to me. They all connected me with God in some way or another. Even if it's been ten years, I just don't have it in me to stop watering them. Do you understand? The Universe must I am sure of it. Well... maybe one day Lulu will completely fade out. But then maybe she won't. Guess that's a risk I'll have to take.
May good things be always near. In hopes we lie, my dear.
Life is wonderful. But then sometimes it's not so wonderful. What if all the perfect little details start to fade out into the background? Then it's just you and the universe. Hello universe.
I've been here long enough to know that this is both good and bad. Very bad. No one wants to be alone with the universe. All your thoughts and ideas and hopes and dreams your sins and regrets your demons all swivelling around you while the gaze of the universe silently fixes itself upon you. Who to battle with, the self or the universe? But it can also be good. Good because it puts things in perspective, it enlightens you in a way you didn't know was possible. It connects you so you're no longer so one dimensional. It makes you acquiescent to the world because you're at peace. At peace with the universe to unfold the greater picture hidden to the naked eye. It makes you strong. It makes you kind. It makes you conscientious. It makes you mindful.
It makes you numb. Numb because you can't actually grasp the good. I am still trying to grasp the good between me and the universe, trying to hear the silence. Clearly this is a personal blog, I'm not sure why I even started it. I think it's because it makes me feel like every word I write is a secret I let out into the heavens and somehow it lands somewhere where God sees it. Then something happens but I just don't know what yet.
Anyways, part of me hopes no one will ever read this blog. I don't like to do anything that puts me in the spotlight. Like all the perfect little details, I too have faded into the background. So this blog is meant just for me. After all, it's lulu to the universe.