Friday, June 15, 2012

Back in the saddle. For now.

Wow, it's not easy to take the reins again once you bust a wheel and your wagon goes all wonky and off the trail and you lose a horse to cholera and everyone in the back of the wagon is screaming and bouncing around every time you hit a rock. That has been my experience anyway. Being sick and then going to camp and all of these other things put my Exercise/Islam/Blog schedule into the ditch and those towing people take forever, especially when you're Out West in a wagon.

I promise this was the first google result for "Oregon Trail Wagon Game".
The Muslims will totally get the oddity of name #5 in this case,
and the reverts around my age will be like, WHAT?! when they put it with #1.

I somehow didn't die of dysentery in the past 30 days though, so let's get this show on the road!

My plan to memorize 5 new surahs before Ramadan almost went into the dustbin with this hiatus I've been on. But one of my best buds and I were talking and we decided that we just need some structure to get this done together. She found a cool chart of the last "juz" or section of the Quran, which contains 30 surahs (chapters), most of which are very short.

We got to work last night and in less than an hour, we had pretty much learned Surah al-Masad. We chose it because it's short and near the end and neither of us knew it (she had the first line and a half) but looking back, it's a very intense little chapter in the Book of Allah. Here it is in Arabic and English for y'all:

May the hands of Abu Lahab be ruined, and ruined is he.

His wealth will not avail him or that which he gained.
He will [enter to] burn in a Fire of [blazing] flame

And his wife [as well] - the carrier of firewood.

Around her neck is a rope of [twisted] fiber.

Long story short, Abu Lahab was one of the uncles of the Prophet and pretty much Islam's biggest enemy. Unlike Abu Talib, who refused to accept Islam out of pride but still supported Muhammad and helped him in many ways, Abu Lahab was bent on his destruction and that of the religion in general. Ironically, he could have destroyed the credibility of the Quran by simply becoming Muslim like Abu Sufyan, another uncle, which would make this surah a contradiction since saying the shahada would have saved him from eternal ruin and hellfire. But Allah guides who He wills and His book contains no errors. 

May Allah help us to learn from His words and recite them as reminders of His wisdom, mercy, and power over all of us. May He protect us from the fate of the vain and arrogant Abu Lahab and his wife and keep us from even being dipped for a second into the Fire.

Two surahs down, three to go, and we have a plan to do one per week—with the help of Allah WE CAN DO IT!!!


After our Quran study and a wonderful taco dinner, my friend and I took a night walk with her husband through her neighborhood. There were a whole bunch of planes coming in overhead, flying really low and with strange lights. I had seen a giant military plane come in right next to the airport the other day, so we thought maybe these were army planes too. My friend pointed out that it was Flag Day so that could have something to do with it. I almost called her nuts for a second because in my head, I was like, "FLAG DAY?? THAT'S IN JUNE!" I honestly hadn't truly realized that we were in June, that THIS IS SUMMER NOW and that Ramadan is coming in about a month. May Allah help me make it to that glorious month prepared and ready to take full advantage of all of its blessings. 

Anyway, we walked, I had a momentary panic attack, and then everything got better after that. 

Health Tip of The Day: Practice knowing what month it is by looking at a calendar. Don't let your brain think it's like March when it's clearly June and you've already been to summer camp even. These realizations, when unexpected, can be a jolt to the system. Get ready for December now by counting down!


  1. Alhamdulillah. May Allah make it easy for us to continue on this journey. I'll keep reminding you of the date! HA!

  2. Oh I forgot to say that the screen shot from Oregon Trail is truly bizarre.