Thursday, January 6, 2011

No Lyrics

As salaam alaikum,

"E eu que era triste, desrente deste mundo, ao encontrar você eu conheci o que é felicidade, meu amor." Tom Jobim, "Corcovado"

And me, who was sad, disbeliever in this world, upon meeting you I knew what happiness is, my love.

...but that wasn't quite it, as pretty as it sounds. I was sad, yes, but was I really a disbeliever? I don't think I was. I think I still believed, but I struggled with understanding how to believe, and I still do. I think we all do. We trust God but since we don't know His plan or His methods, really, we don't know from what direction our prayers will be answered, nor in what plane our life will realize itself.

Because, face it, we Muslims, what we know in this world is the path of select Muslims before us, things that worked for them, paths that they believe to be the most right, the best fit. Our cultures dictate that, often, our families help guide us there. But these ways, though they may be the straight path, may not be the only way...

But I digress. I was sad, but I wasn't a disbeliever. I was disillusioned, yes, because I didn't understand and I didn't know how to be while I waited for my life to realize itself. I didn't like how I was feeling, and I sought to remedy it by submitting that I gave up on relationships, that I would dedicate my life to helping my brother, going back to living near my family. I no longer actively sought a relationship...and to weeks later, it happened, as soon as I was no longer seeking it.

Upon meeting him, I didn't know happiness. I already knew happiness. He didn't supplement my preexisting happiness, but he complemented it. With him, I'm coming to know a peace in my life that I hadn't had before. However, I fear no human being. The peace will increase as I trust him more, yes, but the peace that I know now is in coming to understand a little bit more God's plan for me...

For everything that I feel, I don't think there are lyrics that adequately explain it all.

There have been lyrics for other things ("Overjoyed" and "Doidice" for the entrance and exit of MQ), there have been melodies for sentiments ("Brandy" by the O'Jays for the dissolution of the remnants of feelings for MQ), but what I feel now, right now, has no lyrics, has no melody. It has no song.

And I think this is why, really, I can suddenly do without music. I clung to music at a time when I felt it expressed what I was feeling...from my hope to my sorrow, from my joy to my angst. But I'm growing now in a complicated spiritual state that most lyrics oversimplify or ignore. Maybe few artists come from this place.

I'm always a Muslim. So while other people would be wondering, "Am I falling in love?" in this whole process, I'm sitting here wondering, "What am I learning about Allah (swt) in this experience?" What am I learning about my relationship with God, His plan for me, how I am to be Muslim in this unique place and time in history, as a native-born United States Muslim, born into a capitalist culture that has lost hold of many of its original values, born into a struggling black subculture, born surrounded by the remnants of a once fervent black nationalism, born into an interfaith household, born exactly where God wanted me to be placed, but mainly, born Muslim?

What am I learning from this experience? I have to make things up along the way. I have no model of how to be everything that I am, so, with God's guidance, I have to pave a new way.

I am also getting to the base of so many of my intentions and getting to purify them. So many times I would participate in activities either to be seen or in hopes of finding someone along the way. Interestingly, the book club where I met B, I did for my friend, and it was a comfortable place. It wasn't to be seen. It was to eat dinner and talk about Africa. My participating in any event is now clear of this ulterior motive...ulterior though not necessarily sinister motive.

Love for me, I think, is so tied in religion and such a spiritual experience, I don't think anything wordly like the lustful lyrics to a song will ever explain what I'm going through as I arrive there.


  1. It kind of makes me put it eloquently 'we don't know how to believe' because we don't know how our prayers will be answered. Often people say visualize the future, work for a goal and I do work for a goal, but I'm not sure how to visualize the future when it doesn't materialize as I'd wished.I am struggling between continuing to put in efforts for what I want and being comfortable that what I get out of those efforts are not what I expect. And I have to keep in mind as I was recently reminded, that not to rely on my deeds....I may do that a little too much.

  2. Salaam, sis,

    Yeah. This whole experience is a big learning experience for me, for sure. Whatever comes out of this will teach me sooo much about Allah (swt) and my relationship with Him and His plan for me and what it means to be Muslim on this earth...

    Allah (swt) clearly knows what's best for us, though it may not be what we want at the moment...and it may not even be what we would think that He would think is best for us, especially since our knowledge about Him is limited...I'm positing. He knows.

    I think the balance of deeds and faith is important, because so many times in this life deeds and results won't match up, but we have to have faith that Allah (swt) is aware of all we do and our deeds are, in fact, having optimum may just not realize themselves now, or on earth.