Gaza through the eyes of someone far from home

Sixteen Minutes to Palestine

Guest contribution by Deena Kishawi

As the days of summer pass, I have tried hard to ignore the news. Not because I don’t want to know the goings-on in the world but because I know that if I see or hear something that strikes a nerve, my heart will shatter just as forcefully.

Since Israel’s aggressive operation on the people of the Gaza Strip began on July 8, I’ve shielded my eyes from the images of bleeding children, emotional mothers, and demolished houses. I’m afraid that I might see something I recognize from my visits to Gaza or someone I met — perhaps a relative or a friend. I’m afraid that my memories of Gaza will be tarnished with destruction and not the gleaming sun-lit beauty I remember from my time there exactly one year ago.

Today, I look back at my journeys to Gaza and desperately wish that I had stayed so that…

View original post 612 more words

Advertisements

The 14th Night

nataallh

masscare

Najlaa Ataallh

Translated from Arabic: Evelyn Teo

How can language help you write down what you witness with own eyes but don’t understand? How is it possible to carry on putting thoughts on paper and translating how you feel? You are dead. Dead in every intellectual sense of the word.

You may still be breathing because a rocket has yet to split your lungs in two. You may still be able to see because your head hasn’t been dashed against a wall yet, from the force of an mortar explosion.

But you are dead.

The sky seems to be angry with Gaza, it showers the earth with body parts, that land on pavements and the middle of each street. Normal life has become a distant memory, like a ghost you chase in a dream. But everyone in the dream is dead, even you are; it’s just your body has yet…

View original post 541 more words

The Importance of Submission

Ever felt alone, helpless, hopeless and lost? You know, when you feel like there is no one who is willing to lend an ear and listen to your problems? We’ve all felt like this at some time in our life or eventually will when we can’t find a solution to our problems. This is why our Creator gave us a solution, prayer.

Prayer is a personal connection between the servant and his creator. He being the all-knowing and all- hearing knows what difficulty we are going through.  Sadly, when we suffer we tend to blame God and call him evil and turn to those around us for help. But we seem to neglect the fact that God is all merciful. A believer acknowledges that every hardship and goodness is a test from God and it is up to the individual to overcome the test and to succeed by being patient, accepting it and turning to God for help. The only way we can turn to God for help is through prayer and thus, prayer is a blessing from God to us.

When we pray, we stand humbly before God recognizing his greatness and thanking him for everything. Only he is deserving of our prostration and prayer because he alone created us and he alone provides for us. You and I are nothing without Him. If we don’t worship him then we are depriving our own souls from His mercy and forgiveness. Like any one in power, they like their subjects to respect and obey them like a king would like his subjects to bow in front of him or the president likes to be called with respect. The same thing goes with God but to a much greater extent. He has ordered us to worship him and only ask him for help, provisions, etc for he is our Lord and we are nothing but his servants.

And seek help through patience and prayer, and indeed, it is difficult except for the humbly submissive [to Allah ]” (Quran:2:45)

“O you who have believed, seek help through patience and prayer. Indeed, Allah is with the patient.” (Quran:2:153)

Recite, [O Muhammad], what has been revealed to you of the Book and establish prayer. Indeed, prayer prohibits immorality and wrongdoing, and the remembrance of Allah is greater. And Allah knows that which you do.” (Quran:29:45)

We may be happy physically and emotionally with our wealth, health and living, but we aren’t happy spiritually if we don’t worship God. Think of it this way. Our body is like the cold fireplace which has no use unless and until it is lighted up with a fire. That fire is our soul and that’s what keeps our body moving and living. But the fire can only keep burning if it’s being provided with wood. That wood is our faith and spirit. That’s how important faith is. Our soul craves it and needs it to survive. Yes we could be living but there really is no meaning to our life if we don’t recognize that we need to submit to our Lord. Besides, our life in this world is only temporarily and when our time is up we will leave everything behind accept for our good deeds and will return to God. It is only when we are firm upon this knowledge that we will submit whenever and wherever.

Even if in the middle of a war,

gaza pray

photo from: http://twicsy.com/i/362aPc

on the pavement,

cem

photo from: http://islamicsunrays.com/muslims-praying-in-amazing-places-part-2/man-praying-in-the-street-being-photographed/

on top of the ocean,

IND2419B.JPG

photo from: http://muslimmatters.org/2008/03/04/no-excuse-from-prayer-scuba-diver-prays-under-water/

under the ocean,

o

photo from: http://muslimmatters.org/2008/03/04/no-excuse-from-prayer-scuba-diver-prays-under-water/

or even on the snow and ice.

sn

photo from: http://muslimmatters.org/2008/03/04/no-excuse-from-prayer-scuba-diver-prays-under-water/