Friday, July 28, 2006

Wanted: Islam's Frankie Ruiz

*This post talks about popular, cultural music. If you don't like music/think music is haraam/want to hate, go away. Otherwise, read on.*


It just came over me what I'm searching for.

I'm looking for a teacher. To help me jump into true study and faith and love of God and Rasulullah (saws).

I've know this for a while, but the feeling was clarified today when a song by Frankie Ruiz came on the Sky radio (yeah, tis in the background while I work).

Frankie Ruiz, if y'all don't know, is salsero supreme. He's famous for his songs that are... ahem... realistic; they celebrate life and don't shy away from it at all. Great music to dance to, excellent instrumental arrangements, and his voice... actually, he's no Pavarotti, but the expression in it is vibrant, vivid, so happy. When I listen to Frankie Ruiz, I feel like a joyful kid, like there's hope, like I want to dance. Frankie Ruiz is the bomb.

That's not to say there aren't other greats. Maelo is another favorite. And there are some days when I can't get enough of Gilberto SantaRosa. It's just that Frankie is the one I first met who let me know that salsa music was like that, such an expression of life, worth knowing about. You know?

So, imagine how I felt when I found out that Frankie Ruiz is dead and has been for some years.

Ya, that was a big bummer. You mean, no more awesome music like this? That man who was the cause of my opening up to the beauty of salsa music isn't even in this world anymore? Say it ain't so!

But at the same time, and more and more as I go, I realize that Frankie Ruiz's influence on how I feel about salsa is still there, regardless of whether or not he'd make more music. That jumpstart is what I needed, a lens to correct and clarify a sight I didn't know was blurry. I'll never forget that.

So. I need a Frankie Ruiz for my deen, yo. Where's the Frankie for my Islam?

See, I did the research on Islam for myself, way back in the beginning. I just feel like I need an illumination for my Illuminator. The books and material that are available are so dry. All legalistic and junk. You and I both know that the Prophets, peace upon them all, were many things: righteous, realistic, faithful, human, learned, illiterate, vessels- but I don't think we can say ANY of them were as dry as their distillation in the books etc, that I've found. As a convert, sometimes I think I can't wait until Islam gets to the point where we have religious school materials, and magazines, and Nasheeds, that are ACCESSIBLE to the everyday person. Day by day, insha'Allah.

But since my self-study seems constrained, I'm constantly keeping my eyes open for Allah to show me a person, or a place, from which I can learn, and get that kickstart. I know I need it, I've asked for it, and so I know I'm getting it.

I'm just sayin'- WHEN, yo? Where? What's up with this dry deen? Water! Gimme a Frankie!

*steps off soapbox*

I'm done, y'all.

"If we Muslims all practiced the way we're supposed to...

... none of them would have a leg to stand on."

On the other hand,there would be no reason for excellent dawah like that in this vlog.



Monday, July 24, 2006

I don't want to hear it.


I'm very... unsettled. Sad. In mourning.
Today hasn't been a very good work day, thank God what work I could do was very productive.

I found out this weekend that my aunt, my father's oldest sister, died sometime last week. Her son was in a rush to bury her, so a good deal of our family (me included) wasn't able to get to the city in time. My father was there.

I'm so sad for my father. He had already lost 2 siblings, now a 3rd is gone. I wish he had been able to reach me (sprint issues. Why do I pay them every month, again?), and I really wish I were able to be there with him now, since my mother isn't there, nor my sister or my older brother, only my younger brother, who irritates him no end. I want to give him a big hug, and cry with him. I can't. Have to say here. And 'do work'. Which isn't getting done b/c of my preoccupation. Anyway.

The title of this post refers to my attitude toward the USA- this administration, and foreign policy, as well as their worries about possible domestic unrest: I Don't Want To Hear It. I better not see any spin-worked equivalent of "But WHHYYYYY do they HATE US?" in the media referring to Arabs, the Middle East, Muslims, and ESPECIALLY not Lebanese citizens, anytime in the near future. I'm not in the mood. I've been reading. Ah, the virtues of an informed citizenry. And please believe I'm not in a cheery mood at all. When it comes time to vote this and every November through 2008, I'll be remembering this bloody, horrible, nonsensical, ludicrous, joyless summer.


Friday, July 21, 2006

My Bad


The article below is FROM Voices for Creative Nonviolence, but I think I actually saw it over at UmmZ's spot before I went to VCN.


...3 Steps Back: desde Guernica hasta Líbano


Líbano, in case anyone is wondering, is the word for Lebanon in Spanish.

Read this article by R. Kysia. . I got it from Voices for Creative Nonviolence. It talks about the difference between Guernica and Lebanon, and let me tell you, the USA and Israel are suffering in the comparison.

I myself am disgusted to be represented by people who think that violence is at all justified and that their personal pleas for self-restraint and mercy wouldn't be conducive to peace (or, more likely, their own agendas). It literally is making me sick.

Why can't people have some compassion? Why can't we learn? Astaghfirullah, bush and olmert and nasrullah. Have some shame. Have some compassion for those who are crushed in your pursuit of unworthy goals. Step outside your own personal security and walk the footsteps of Joseph, Jesus, and Muhammad, peace be upon them all.

Is anything worth the death of an innocent? Un ajeno, as we say in Spanish?


Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Baba 'Ali's video: Seasonal Muslims


Subhan'Allah again!
No, seriously!
I watched all these videos in a day, and then watched them again. Excellent, masha'Allah.

Reminded me of my days at GWU Sisters' Halaqa *throwing up cupped hand sign*... with Amina and Nisra and Mahwish just saying stuff like this and cracking up.

As a matter of fact... I think this bro needs a sister to say the same stuff, from our own perspective.

In fact, don't let me volunteer- Ima REALLY say it how it is!


Tuesday, July 18, 2006



Make duas, pray, meditate, however it is that you get in touch with the One, on behalf of:

*The people of Lebanon, Gaza, and Israel,

*The people of Java (yes, another Tsunami, subhanAllah)

*The people of the Congo

*All those displaced, wounded, ill, or hungry due to war, weather, and other horrible events out of their control.

Reading the news this week has been sickening yet enlightening, driving me straight to my Lord to ask for his mercy. I'm so sad at international events right now.

Well, I'm back. Insha'Allah I'll be around for a much longer period of time. Thanks to everyone for your duas for my family. My grandmother is now out of danger, in recovery, and my mother is with her. She's walking around and eating, much better masha'Allah. Unfortunately, as she began her recovery my grandfather was told that he should undergo radiation for cancer that's recurred. SubhanAllah. My great-grandmother, his mother, is now there with my mother to take care of them both. But this is not an easy time, with both of my mother's parents fighting cancer. So please, more duas!

Yes, that's shocking. I told my mother, "Stop drinking the water! You hear?" She thought I was playing, but I?m dead serious. Anyway. Duas duas duas.

I've been saying SubhanAllah a lot lately, not just dhikr but whenever I think of what's been going on. In my absence from the blog, I turned twenny-five. The day was suck-a-liciously blah, but at the same time I said AlhamdulIllah, because I know too many who didn't make it to 25.

Also, after the infamous firing way I was let go from my last professional position, I'm happy to report that I've found what may very well turn out to be my dream job. It doesn't pay well, but it has to do with public health, interpreting, education, and administration. I can't ask for more. So, that decision was made for me,when my now-manager hired me. This job is the one I was looking for, in order to be able to turn down Columbia. So I'm not going to go to Columbia; Ima stay right here and work for a couple years before I re-apply. And when I made that decision, the peace that followed let me know that it was the right one.

I have to go, I was late this morning and am already playing catch-up. Insha'Allah I'll be talking to you all very soon.