Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Pakistan most sex-starved

I was sent this story by a friend. I shows some disturbing bit of information about Pakistan and other Muslim countries. Basically when it comes to searching for smut on google, the winners are...

1. Pakistan
2. Egypt
3. Vietnam
4. Iran
5. Morocco
6. India
7. Saudi Arabia
8. Turkey
9. Philippines
10. Poland

Its sad that 6 of the 10 are Muslim states. I dont know what to make of it but I suppose Allah will not help us Muslims unless we help ourselves first. Here is the original article:

Pakistan most sex-starved
By Khalid Hasan

WASHINGTON: Google, the world's most popular Internet search engine, has found in a survey that mostly Muslim states seek access to sex-related websites and Pakistan tops the list. Google found that of the top 10 countries - searching for sex-related sites - six were Muslim, with Pakistan on the top. The other Muslim countries are Egypt at number 2, Iran at 4, Morocco at 5, Saudi Arabia at 7 and Turkey at 8. Non-Muslim states are Vietnam at 3, India at 6, Philippines at 9 and Poland at 10.

Source: Daily Times

Monday, May 29, 2006

Fiction Short Shorties 1 & 2
I was away from the computer for the weekend and could't put any of the fiction stories up but here they are.

The first one is, 'The Mourning After' and the second one is 'That Was Crazy.'
The Mourning After

The pale-faced Pastor raised his eyes from the ground, nodding slightly to himself. He quietly ascended from the bench and began to walk towards the pulpit. Every death is a catastrophe and the Pastor must make the peace between grievers and the angel of death. On this particular hour, the faint beams of light flowing through the window panels made the pastor an apparition in the mourners’ reality. His customary black apparel enveloped his frail frame except for a protruding head that hovered above them all. Slowly folding his hands together while surveying the room, he said, “From ashes to ashes, dust to dust…”

After the utterance of the word dust, the Pastor’s speech became floating sentences that dissolved into molecules fading right before Jake’s eyes. Even so, Jake continued to stare at the the Pastor but heard nothing - the silence within the room began to grow until it seemed as if the room was a moment suspended within time. The silence was magnified by his short-quick breathing, struggling to inhale and exhale at the same time.. He lifted his eyes off the pastor and browsed the room with his gaze. He saw his daughter next to him, seeking refuge in warmth of her mother’s bosom. Their faces contained the sorrow, which pressed itself upon the people in the room. The weight of their sorrow increased as the Pastor continued with the eulogy. Beyond the Pastor, lay the unspoken; the soulless body of Jake’s son. A low voice whispered inside him, “my son…”

The blood began to swell within his fingers but he continued to tighten the grip the moment. The two pictures of Ishmael had been placed in the corner of the room to serve as memorial to those of short lived life. They paid homage to the one thing Jake had been unable to bring himself look at, let alone acknowledge; Ishmael’s coffin. His body became etherized before the coffin but his eyes squirmed around it like a man pleading for mercy before the barrel of a cocked gun. His groin tightened as he felt his stomach free fall into an abyss.
Jake brought his attention to the pictures of Ishmael on the sides of the casket. They distracted his mind from the coffin and its reality. The pictures, selected as memories of happiness were not his. The right picture was Ishmael in his horseback riding outfit standing next to the horse he was too used to ride. The other picture was close up picture Mary Elle had recently had taken of him with his younger sister. She was planning on having it sent to family and relatives for the holiday seasons. When he came to think of it, he hadn’t shared many memories with Ishmael. Most of them involved Ishmael leaving for one activity or another and when he wasn’t busy with them, he was away at boarding school. Jake and Mary Elle had planned much of his life away.

Ishmael began boarding school after the third grade and only came home on weekends or vocations. Jake was always a moment behind Ishmael. Mary Elle, Elle as Jake called her, often spoke about Ishmael studying at the Sorbonne. Jake had whole heartedly agreed to the idea but never imagined it would be possible. His son’s recent acceptance into the Worcester Academy of Massachusetts made it a real possibility since the Headmaster had mentioned the many successful Worcester graduates who were now studying at the Sorbonne.

A feeling of loss emerged within Jake as he contemplated a distant future that was surreal as the drifting past. Jake had always considered himself one of God’s lonely strangers wandering through unknown lands. Yet there was something more about the situation that evoked a question within his heart: “why was he in a Church?” The answer was obvious but he continued to ask since he wasn’t raised a Christian nor was his wife particularly religious.

He thought about his parents. To him, they were Turkish laborers who immigrated to America with nothing more than a will to do hard work. They had raised him with a strict work ethic and a sense that they considered themselves Muslims, although they didn’t know much about their religion. At his birth, they had named him Yacoub; the Qur’anic name for Jacob. Shortly after his nineteenth birthday, he had gone to the local courthouse and changed it to “Jake”. A name like Yacoub didn’t stand a chance in a business world where there is little difference between you, your name, and the stocks or bonds. They were all marketable commodities. He wondered why Elle had selected the name of her grandfather, a distinguished politician, for their son. Somewhere between the years of college, his MBA degree, and working in the corporate America, he had lost his Islamic sensibility. Sitting in the Church, he felt a larger emptiness within his life than the loss of Ishmael. Like a gothic statute, his face had relinquished any sign of life except for the sullen brown eyes that searched for answers in vain.

The preacher was silent now. Elle’s family began to quietly get up – most of the people were from Elle’s family. Two of Jake’s work colleagues had come to give their respects and stayed longer. Edward and Michael, along with two other cousins of Elle hoisted the coffin and carried it towards the hearse. Jake stood to the side as the coffin was carried through the aisle. The noise of quick drumbeats sounded every step they took down the stairs towards the car. Jake emerged from the Church to a grey sky that hung over funeral procession. Edward and Michael were organizing the drive funeral efforts to help Elle take her mind off Ishmael.

“Jake, follow us to the burial site,” said Michael as he moved got in the car with Elle. “Elle is going with mom, we’ll meet up there,” Edward added while escorting his mother into Elle’s Volkswagen. A sense of separation from Elle and his daughter bothered Jake who wanted to share the drive with them. “Sure, its probably best Elle go with them,” said Jake. “I’ll tag along with you Jake … to keep you company,” said Edward as he moved towards the Escalade. “Mind if I drive, I think you need the break.” Jake reached into his coat pocket and handed his keys over.

“Thanks, it’ll help me take my mind off things,” Jake said as he looked at the grey sky again. “You think it’ll rain again? I usually don’t get to check the weather since I’m at work most of day.” Edward briefly glanced at him and said, “Yea, this is typical New England weather. You’ve got to get out of Midtown Manhattan more often and spend time up here.” Jake thought about his work offices and how they occupied most of his last few years. He stepped up into the Escalade and closed the door behind him. Looking out of the window, Jake reached into his pocket to pull out his palm organizer, which showed missed a call from a 212 number. Jake glanced out of the window as Edward drove behind the procession. Last night’s rain still lay heavily in the autumn air, engulfing the surroundings in its mist and fog. The trees and bushes appeared and disappeared as layers of fog drifted before them to create shadows of their existence.

“Mind if I turn on the radio. I know a station that plays some smooth relaxing music,” said Edward as he turned his head towards Jake while placing his hand on the dial. Jake gave a light nod of approval and turned his head back towards the window. The Escalade was gift for the extra time Jake put in to help launch his firm’s financial services office in Tokyo. Jake remembered that the night before Ishmael’s last birthday, he was stuck in LA waiting for a connecting flight home from Japan.

“I think we’re about ten minutes away from the burial site. Shouldn’t be much longer,” said Edward as squinted his eyes in and tried to read the cross-streets names. Jake tuned into the song for a moment and heard, “And the cat’s in the cradle and the silver spoon, little blue and the man on moon.” He was unfamiliar with song and wasn’t pay attention to lyrics but its soothing melody slowly made Jake unconscious of his atmosphere.

Jake awakened to find Edward outside of car and knocking on the window. “We’re here. I thought you were resting your head but I didn’t know you fell asleep,” said Edward as he opened Jake’s passenger side door with surprised look upon his face. Jake slid out of the car and found himself weak legged and stumbling. He felt embarrassed that he had let himself get caught sleeping and was afraid it might send a message of indifference to the severity of the situation.

“Come on, follow me. I saw Elle and the others head that way,” said Edward as he put his arms around Jake to help him. The walked for a few minutes until Jake could see a crowd assembled around a coffin. The fog made it difficult to discern if it was his family from a distance. Edward began walking towards the crowd and joined them. Jake arrived and tried stand as close to Elle as possible. The Pastor acknowledged their presence and began to mention a few prayers and words of endearment towards his family. After his words, the Ishmael’s coffin was lowered down into the ground. Some wet mud stuck to sides of coffin’s marble encasing and Jake felt the urge to reach in and wipe it clean.

Slowly, Jake saw it descend into the grave until nothing but darkness was visible. A sudden silence came across the procession members who all stared into the grave’s darkness. Ishmael was a star who collapsed upon itself and become a black hole. And like a black hole, his coffin swallowed all existence of time and space. It emanated force of gravity that pulled the bodies, vision, and feelings of all those who stood near the center of the grave.

That Was Crazy

“A time to scatter stones, and a time to gather them;
A time to embrace, and a time to be far from embraces.”
Ecclesiastes 3:5

“Mom – Yea, how’s it going? Leah called me just now and said there was some good news.” Daniel said, as he stood holding the phone pressed against his right ear, trying to block out the noise from trucks rumbling by.

“Uhuh… you mean to say they have a donor for Rachel? That’s not good news - that’s great news! I only have a week left of mandatory service and once I’m done with that I’ll have a lot more time to spend with her.” He yelled enthusiastically into the phone hoping to drown out noisy distractions on the military base.

“Well, what do you mean? Of course we should accept it – mom, do you know how difficult it is to find a liver donor compatible with Rachel?” A look of puzzlement came upon his face as he fidgeted with the phone cord, twirling it around his fingers. “Look ma, we can’t wait forever – they kept Rachel on the list for 4 years already… What is it already – just say it already.” Daniel had now turned face towards the wall to gain privacy in a place that was constantly under surveillance.
“Who are the donors? … Oh, I see…” His face offered an expressionless look. “Does pa know about this? … I understand it’s complicated to explain it to him and we’re sure he’ll object but given the circumstances … It’s difficult, I know its difficult – I don’t know where I stand on it either but its like we planned this – it just came up now. The important thing is that there is a liver donor that it compatible with Rachel’s – even if it was a Palestinians. Listen ma –I’ll give you a call back later tonight when I return from patrol.” Said Daniel as he hung the phone up and walked away rubbing his eyes with his thumb and forefinger.

He continued walking not considering which direction he was headed nor caring for that moment. His body pushed him to keep moving as it tried to keep up with thoughts and faces running through his mind. He kept walking until he came to the edge of the base that was fenced off with barbwire – in the distance lay clustered houses scattered amongst the barren dune hills that stretched deep into valley of Nablus. Daniel lifted his index finger and placed it on the barbwire. He pressed down upon the wire with the weight of the choice on his mind.

“Hey Danny, you been standing there long enough. How about we transfer you back from solitary confinement to the gulags,” said Sergeant Kuznets with smirk across his face. “Come on, we got patrol in less than an hour and your standing day dreaming like Socrates.” His gruff voice awakened Daniel to his senses. “ I got you figured out kid – its less than a week till you’re a free man and now you want more – the Army has become a part of you.” Daniel thought that. He thought about what he had become a part of.


“That was crazy… I didn’t expect that kid to come out of now where… I did what anyone of us would have done.” said Eli, as he looked into the distance hills behind Daniel. Daniel paused for a moment in front of Eli, slowly loosening the grip on his Galil assault rifle. Eli expected some words of condolences, perhaps even an “I understand, it could have been me in your place,” but he said nothing. The Sergeant asked Eli his account of the incident and asked Daniel, if he had anything to add to the official report. He didn’t. He stood in the moment he paused before Eli, thinking of his sister Rachel.

He still couldn’t make sense of what happened. It was suppose to be a standard patrol through Nablus. Nothing was planned – no operation or mission – just a regular patrol through the outer lying houses. Then the patrol truck was struck by random gunfire and placed everyone on alert. The Sergeant ordered Eli and Daniel and two other members of our team to pursue the target who scurried across rooftops under the noon heat. One of the boy’s shoes had fallen off as he jumped fervently from one house to the next, often landing clumsily and injuring himself in the process. Eli informed the two to keep him in sight as he and Daniel would run ahead into one of the houses and try to get onto the rooftop to circle him. Eli was older and more experienced but not in the best of shape and he tried to keep up with Daniel. After running a few dozen yards ahead of where the boy was, Daniel banged the butt of his rifle on the door and told them to immediately open it. After three seconds he kicked the wooden door open and yelled out amidst a screaming family that he was not here to hurt them.
“Listen, I’m here to get to the roof – that’s all,” he remembers shouting to the family, as he looked for the staircase to the roof. By then Eli had hustled his way to house and was trying to calm the children and woman yelling at the intruders. “I’m not here to do any harm to you all. Calm the kids down lady; we’ll be through in a minute or so… Danny, hurry up there so we can get out of this place.” Eli said, as he stood in the middle of the room trying to focus on the stairs Daniel had dashed up.

Daniel scanned the shanty housetops that reflected the burning sun off their metal coverings. He couldn’t find the kid anywhere in sight. “I’m getting tired of chasing after kids who get fun out of afternoon firefights.” A loud burst of gunfire roared from behind him stiffened his spine and jaws locked. Daniel sprinted down the rooftop opening as he tried not to slip on the poorly constructed dirt steps, the screaming had accentuated to a point where it siren going off in his head. A lady knelt over a body tried to cover the blood spewing out, she obstructed his view to who exactly had been shot. A question sparked in his head: where was Eli?

“Eli, where are you?!” Daniel ran from one corner of the house to the other, only to realize the other room contained an exit to the outhouse. He glanced down on the children clinging to the woman, who was face was wet from tears and blood marks and said, “We’ll rush him to a doctor. Hold on.” With that he opened the entrance door and saw Eli sitting down on the floor with his hand.

“You hit! Are you hit?” Daniel yelled at Eli, who let out a whimper and said, “I shot him.” From the corner of his left eye, Daniel could see Sergeants’ truck speeding towards them. Again Eli said, “I shot the kid.”

Thursday, May 25, 2006

I'm workin on a short fiction story. It might depart from the norm of what I have worked/written on but I thought I might as try it. (no, its not about embracing kufr or zina)

I'll put it up later today.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

NYC Subway Warning: No-Groping Zone

I recently read about an incident that happened on the subway train I take to College and feel kinda disgusted.

This led me to think about the problem of women’s harassment on the NYC subway system. I’m sure it’s not just the NYC subway but other major cities as well but I know that NYC has particular subway culture that one cannot avoid not taking the Subway.

Anyways, I feel that the NYC MTA should start considering what Rio de Janeiro, Mexico City, and Tokyo subways have done: create No-Groping Zones.

Many women have welcomed the law as a relief from the groping and sexual harassment they regularly experience in the packed cars. "Men think it's extremely normal to do this. They don't feel guilty at all," says Monica Aranjo Neves, 34, an administrative assistant who has been groped on several occasions. "We have to go to work, then take care of everything at home, and we shouldn't have to deal with this on the train."

I hope New Yorkers can come to realize this is a problem amongst us and take similar action. If cities like Tokyo have already opted for this approach, then New York should definitely consider it… I think this would also be viable solution to many Muslim countries urban centers as well.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

The Ahl Al Hadith blog is becoming a must read for me and I strongly recommend it to others.In a recent project, the site’s coordinators examine the contemporary crisis facing Muslims through the lens of Seerah .

So we need to encourage each other to [as I was encouraged to talk about seerah by my brothers, may Allah reward them] read seerah as something that enlivens our lives because seerah is like a tafseer of the Quran, because it is the life of the Prophet [saw] and he was the walking Qur'an, meaning he lived it, lived the Qur'an.
This three tiered reading will help us:
Reading seerah
Reading how the Ummah declined
Reading the situation we live in
but the reality we live in and the decline of the Ummah must be understood from the angle of seerah so that we are grounded in knowledge or else we will fall into depression and also become plagued by problems
We want to use a book like crisis to analyse what took place and try to understand.
Likewise we want to root ourselves in seerah the same is to be said about the Qur'an but with the Quran we do not do this type of reflection because we have rules for tafsir that must be followed rather with the Quran we learn the stories of the former nations and the characteristics of people and look at the world from those stories and look at ourselves and our characteristics who do we exemplify, what people: the munafiquon, the people of Nuh, nabi Yunus [as] etc.
For example the character of the Prophet Yusuf [r] in Egypt, the character of Abu Lahab, the character of the people of Lut etc. all these things help us to see that humanity treads a path and that the straight path is Islam.
Seerah will help us understand Qur'an but we do not theorize in understanding Qur'an this is problematic rather we first root ourselves in understanding the arabic and then hadith. So to make up for that in English there is Ibn Kathir abridged and it is good to read between Raheequm Makhtum and Ibn Kathir which was abridged from the original.
All in all this is a very strong base, Qur'an, seerah, hadith and the book crisis which is an islamic based sociology, for this reflection we are talking about and will preoccupy us for a while along with these works three books should be read in the sciences of Quran and one in hadith sciences, in order that tafsir is understood consciously. We should try to apply the concepts learned in the following books to our reading and understanding of tafsir. The concepts are to be found in in the following books:
First: Quranic Sciences by Ahmad Von Denffer
Then Fauz Al Kabir by Al Muhaddith Shah Wali Ullah
Shah Wali Ullah will outline a pattern for you that is at work in the Quran.
And for the willing Ibn Taymiyah's principles of tafsir unfortunately is has no explanation but after reading the first two books they will kind of explain it.
And lastly Hadith Methodology by Azami this work I studied a while ago is one of the best works in english helps to build one's understanding sp that you ask about the grade of hadith and know the meaning of sahih, da'ef etc. in addition of you see a hadith with no chain then you know the terminiology for that etc and since we are dealing with Ibn Kathir which is hadith based this comes in handy.
Quranic sciences and Crisis of the Muslim mind are online I believe the rest have to be purchased. I am doing something to this effect at the moment so who ever wants to join in start and then brief me on your reflections so i can benefit too.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Immigration, African Americans and the Experiance with Education

I've been following Tariq's comments about lets replace them with Latinos attitude. I've also sensed some other tensions between blacks and the recent wave of immigrants seeking citizenship.

Today's NYTimes notes the growing unease for some balcks on immigration. I think there are more gains than losses over this issue. As Jesse Jackson put it in the article:

"We too were denied citizenship," Mr. Jackson said. "We too were undocumented workers working without wages, without benefits, without the vote. "We should feel honored that other people are using tactics and strategies from our [civil rights movement] struggle. We shouldn't say they're stealing from us. They're learning from us."

Where as some black leaders such as Ronald Walters had this to say:

"Mr. Walters said he understood those conflicting emotions, saying he feels torn himself because of his concerns about the competition between immigrants and low-skilled black men for jobs. In 2004, 72 percent of black male high school dropouts in their 20's were jobless, compared with 34 percent of white and 19 percent of Hispanic dropouts.

"I applaud them moving out of the shadows and into the light because of the human rights issues involved," Mr. Walters said of illegal immigrants. "I've given my entire life to issues of social justice as an activist and an academic. In that sense, I'm with them.

"But they also represent a powerful ingredient to the perpetuation of our struggle," he said. "We have a problem where half of black males are unemployed in several cities. I can't ignore that and simply be my old progressive self and say it's not an issue. It is an issue.""

Tariq makes a point of jobs going to the immigration community, I say that yes that will happen in one way or another, particulary low-skilled labor orientated jobs but it may not lower wages amongst them as Um Abdullah suggests. For instance, a recent study published in the NYTimes argues that the Cost of Illegal Immigration May Be Less Than Meets the Eye. The study's results are debatable but worth considering.

Moreover, I feel that the US economy will have to deal with larger structural changes in the labor market. For instance, many manufacturing jobs have been outsourced recently and even jobs that put Americans in the middle class such IT services have are now being provided by Indians. Economists are suggesting that these changes are inevitable consequences of globalization and for a long time the US was the biggest winner of globalization but now other countries are catching up and leveling the economic playing field. The implications created by such changes means that over time, there will be trend towards services (financial, information, technical, etc.) as the largest component of our economy.

How do these global changes in the economy affect the African American community?
The question goes back to education. With an economy that will demand more highly educated and trained laborers, African Americans who are not highly educated will find themselves unemployed by the masses. They should not scapegoat the immigrant workers for the short-term gains of low skilled labor but should develop a plan to train members of their community to become part of the emerging highly educated workforce.

To draw a lesson from a pervious immigrant experience, when the Irish came to American they worked side by side with the blacks in many positions such as construction workers of the New York City subway tunnels. Back then, the Irish were competing with the African Americans for jobs; today it is the Latino community. In the future, the Latino community may become the ‘new Irish’ but the African American community will remain static. These observations pose some lager questions as to why the African American has remained static and continues to remain static.

Tariq, your concern should not lead you to worry about the Latino community. The Latinos currently outnumber the number of African Americans and they will be very potent political force in the future. In fact, it would be foolish if they Black community antagonized the Latino community over these issues and led to poor relations in the future.

Instead, the African American community has to look inward and ask why they find themselves economically pitted against the latest batch of new immigrants? The answer according to me is the lack of educational progress. Every new immigrant community in the US maximized the educational system of the US to establish itself. The African American community (along with Native Americans as well, but lets just stick to African Americans) has been unable to replicate the educational success of Jewish, Irish, and Asian immigrants. If the education problem stays the same way, then African Americans shouldn't be suprised to find themselves locked in a cycle of being pitted against the newest immigrant or minority group in the US.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

An Examination of “Honor Killings": A Case of Reciprocal Behavior?

It is not uncommon to find Western commentators criticizing “honor killings” in Muslim countries. Their rhetoric of championing women rights is window dressing for their subliminal attempt to portray Islam as religion that sanctions such killings.

That is a simply not the case.

Human Rights Watch, a non-profit organzation, testified before the 57th Session of the UN Commission on Human Rights that:

“Honor crimes are not specific to any religion, nor are they limited to any one region of the world. Human Rights Watch has worked on this issue in the Americas, Asia, the Middle East, and North Africa. Although there is increased awareness of this issue, states remain reluctant to take the necessary steps to end impunity for honor killings. For example, although the Supreme Court of Brazil struck down "defense of honor" as a justification for murder of a wife in 1991, ten years later, courts still fail to prosecute and convict men who claim they kill their wives because of their alleged infidelity.”

Given these considerations, let us examine an interesting case where a Pakistani woman beheaded her husband for his infidelity.

"The victim was said to bear a passion for women and Khatoon, who was already fed up with her husband's extramarital activities, got annoyed when he said he was going for a fourth marriage," said another police officer, Akhtar Shah Bangash.”

Would this be a reciprocal case of a “honor killing?”

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Poetry on my Mind

I've written some Islamic poetry in the past and thought I'd share them.
The last one is my favorite.

Late Night Hour

The black-blue sky split in half,
Reveals the late night hour of mercy,
When your Lord Descends down the Heavens
As humanity into its darkest abyss.

My soul left my heart
Lonely, looking for another.
Its absence filled my chest with a blanket of ice,ea
Tears frozen that freely flowed.
All that existed for the moment
Being, a body of heavy mass
Letting out a long slow breath that
Signals its emptiness.

Purify yourself,
Fold your hands,
Prostrate yourself.
Find your forhead on
The Earth as you acknowledge
Your origin and being from it.
Seek to cleanse the self before
Slumber sends your soul
Till it be revived at dawn.

Merciful Tears

Tears from the depth of some divine despair
Rise in the heart, and gather to the eyes,
Falling into cupped palms of prayer.

O Allah!
As my duaas ascend to Your Glory,
Let them testify my plea for Your Mercy.
Allahul Musta3an.

My soul, pale from weariness,
Of climbing and gazing on earth
Yet I remind myself,
To Allah we belong, And onto Him we return.

I borrowed and modified the first 2 lines of 'Merciful Tears' from A.L. Tennyson.

The Feeling of Uncertainty

You know that feeling –
No, not the one when you’re frightened,
But the other one, when your stomach begins to shrink and tighten.
When the sudden squinting of eyes,
The hammering at the back of your head
Doesn’t prevent you from realizing
It’s the moment you’ve dread.

The dust has settled,
The lines have been drawn,
Between black and white,
They are gray.

That feeling ran through the valleys of north Georgia,
As those native to this land depart,
Leave a trail of tears,
Roses grow where mothers once wept.

That feeling ran through the hills of California,
As Pearl Harbor fell to attack,
The pain felt by a West Coast generation of
Children of the camps.

That feeling still runs through the streets of Brooklyn,
As twin towers disappeared on that black Tuesday,
Investigators and authorities lie await,
For fathers returning from houses of worship.

That is
The feeling of uncertainty.

A Prelude to The Clash of Civilizations: An Exchange Between Ibn Hazm & Andrew Marvell

Draw near so I may share with thee,
My afflicted heart’s ecstasy.
So tell me how to describe a sight,
That rivals the tranquility of a starry night.
A moment’s breath shall never give due essence,
A life’s journey – not enough to invoke her presence.
I find no difficulty in describing her delicacy,
For the challenge she presents, lies in her complexity -
Like a beginning without an end,
Mystifying to transcend.

Words of such intrigue
Confound my heart with mystique.
My dearly distressed guest,
Even we suffer from such symptoms in the West.
There lies no mercy from what you yearn,
When all is said and done, we are always left us with something to learn.
So put aside your emotional sentiments,
For I urge to speak about this beauty’s adornments.
Tell me, was this mistress young and fair,
A nymph with rosy cheeks and golden hair?
Did you pause upon her as she wandered carelessly
In flower gardens and swaying willow trees?
Did your indulge eyes upon her sight,
Be true now, were your intentions right?

She is more than the image you present,
I say this without resentment.
Purer in love than your innocent maiden,
Shown by the way she held her children.
Never a thought to her curves or flowing hair of gleaming dyes,
Since I was too lost in the melancholy of her eyes.
No need to hold her beyond heavens rise,
Giving the little she had to charity – she’s certainty one of paradise.
Inquiring from the beggar who received her generosity
Revealed a widowed mother of timeless serenity.
My intentions of full integrity – to ask her hand for eternity.

Where lays the charm, the seduction
In such a woman whom I’d hardly glance at, lest give devotion.
Surely on beauty and love we differ in our conceptions,
Perhaps, a prelude to the clash of civilizations.