Monday, July 4, 2011

For The Sake Of Allah

He who hunts for flowers will finds flowers; and he who loves weeds will find weeds.
- Henry Ward Beecher
I had always wondered how West Texas was. When I went to Midland few weeks back little did I expect thousands of windmills on my way. The city was a little dusty with hot air blowing most of the time. The night was bright. When I looked out I thought the sky was lit up by the lights of those numerous oil drills but it was the moon instead. The sky looked boundless and the land flat in all directions. The horizon looked equidistant every angle I looked toward. West Texas is only oil and desert. It's not the desert with sand and sand dunes. It's just a dry and flat plain with very little forest. The ground is sandy but there are shrubs and grass almost everywhere. The grass is mostly brown.

I was there with a co-worker to work on three sites. Little did we expect one of them to have some equipment outside the shelter. It was a tough job which had to be done. There were more teams coming in when we were leaving. Looking at the oil industry there, I would never believe anybody who says we are going to burn up all the oil in coming few years. They are still drilling. The liquid never stops flowing out. There are trains carrying drilling machinery, pipes, tankers and chemicals. There are junkyards for the old equipment involved in oil mining. The city is booming. And they need better communication networks.

I have had a lot of time off since I got back from Midland. A part of it went in getting some parts in my car replaced. Then there was my cousin's wedding with four dinners and two lunches to attend. I skipped one of these. But I had fun. Before the celebrations started I never tried to imagine how it was going to be. I was excited about the people I was going to meet again. And alhamdulillah I enjoyed. The occasion even turned out to make me shave my already thick beard. I had people who started thinking I was going to keep it. I was more worried about how I was feeling.

Few Fridays back I realized a change in the way I look at people with darker skin. Though I always had it in my heart I was ashamed to discuss about how I had more inclination towards lighter skin. That Friday, in the mosque, I looked at a kid who was probably eight years old and smiled at his innocence. It reminded me of my days in West Dallas with close interactions with a less fortunate African American community. Kids of even the worst men and women brought a smile on my face. I would always think how difficult Allah has made the test for them and how much blessed I am. That Friday I realized I don't think about color anymore. I realized I had stopped bothering about my skin tan. Somehow I didn't have any guilt for the bias I had been carrying. Probably because my right priorities and focus corrected a long time flaw and I had hope that Allah would forgive me.

I feel like I have been holding back my urge to write every time I get it. From somewhere an understanding had set into me making me feel immature to get excited about anything or even get motivated by something. I am absolutely not in agreement with this thought even after it has gripped me so well. It's not that I am scared to stand by my opinions. I have been building a tendency to shy away from them. Perhaps getting a balance is the right way to approach. Maturity lies in deciding when to let it happen and when to hold it back. It will take time. I will learn and someday it would appear like a thing I have learned. It would be inherent to me as if it has always been a part of me and occasionally putting me to shame when I think of some naive moments from the past.

Apart from helping me stay connected with my contacts, Facebook has started giving me insights on the psychology we carry. The other day I posted a picture of a mule and thought how I ended up putting up a picture of an animal. I let it be there because I stopped thinking about it. I was surprised to see some of my friends get interested in it. I think I have posted more interesting things in the past that I thought should have attracted more attention and nobody even bothered to ask. In past I have uploaded many pictures of me but the one that grabbed most curiosity was the one in which I had a beard. It looked obvious yet surprised me. Honestly, I think there were pictures I was looking better in and this one should have been snubbed at.

My news feed entertains me the most. I have teenagers, people of my age, people in their 30s, 40s, 50s and even 60s in my friends' list. As for teenagers I can imagine how I was when I went through what they are learning now and I totally agree with even the most irrational thing they put up. It's the people of my age that amuse me. Perhaps if I had Facebook five to eight years back I would have exactly been like the teenagers I see now. But these few guys of my age group surprise me with their reaction to their lives. I wouldn't comment much because there is always a possibility that I don't get everything right. But as a fact that I won't be reluctant in sharing, I see some people of my age and some teenagers showing similar levels of emotions. I can't help but assume.

When I had a status message about a fake wedding in Great Britain I could see the reactions of some friends who made it clear how much they are into such hypes. I see people commenting about Wimbledon - a tournament of a game they had never played in their lives. Yes, there is nothing wrong it enjoying that game but there is no point in telling everybody who won it and add emotions to it. I have friends who post stuff related to Islam and have pictures of them going to dance parties. They post verses of the Holy Quran and have big lists in their profile's music section. Then there are some who see nothing in life but what they have gained from their religious meetings. Allah knows the right way. I am comparing myself to others and checking for changes.

I recently got rid of a guy who cheated me, used me and never acknowledged my friendship towards him. He was my roommate for last few months after he had started staying with me saying he would leave in a month. He lied to me about many things, was selfish, cheated me, used me and left. I was happy he found a full-time job. There is no way that he can come back now. I kept patience all the time. My other roommate kept patience. I always tell myself that everything I did for him was for Allah's sake. I hold nothing against him now. I just want to get used to not talking about him. I am living with a friend now who might leave soon too. I have no idea what I am going to do after that about this apartment. I like this place - it looks safe, it's new, clean and has a view of a creek through the living room that opens into a patio.