Perspective: I Am Blessed While Many Suffer

Last night it snowed in St. Louis and in the wee hours of the morning the snow became mixed with ice. As I got ready to leave the house to take my wife to the OBGYN clinic the streets were real nasty and having narrowly escaped from a bad accident just a few weeks ago I was cautious.

While I was trying to keep control of the vehicle on the slick streets, avoid being hit by maniacs driving fast, and listening to my wife tell me it must be 80 degrees in Texas right now, my mind was a million other places thinking of potential moves and what not.

I hate hospitals and going to them for any reason. This dislike of hospitals is only compounded when I have to sit in a dingy waiting room for hours watching Jerry Springer while making sure restless toddlers do not burn the joint down.

Alhmamdudilah we only had to be there for two hours today and we left with good news. On the way back I had to stop at the post office to take care of some business.

Unlike a lot of people I happen to think the US Postal Service is a highly competent and professional organization and am amazed by what they do. However, whenever I have to go to the post office I am reminded that there are a lot of idiots in the world.

Two guys asking a seemingly unending barrage of dumb questions held the line up. Just when the last of these idiots was about to get done and make way for me a lady came in the post office sobbing.

There are a lot of homeless who prowl this neighborhood and I thought she might have been one of them. Then her cell phone rang, and I know from experience that homeless people do not have cell phones as a rule. She answered the phone crying and loudly said “they kilt my baby” and everyone in the post office just looked up as she repeated “my son is dead, they killed my son”.

Having seen so many mothers cry like this in my lifetime at the death of their sons I was not all that shocked. And, the unfortunately reality is, no matter how much some may try and clean it up, St. Louis is a poor, dirty, and dangerous city.  An older woman in line started tearing up, the lady behind the counter offered her tissue, and a fancily dressed Asian woman just kept sending text messages.

Leaving the post office I was told by my wife that another blogger contacted her sister and asked her how we were doing after the barrage of attacks on me over the last week.

I appreciated the concern of the brother; but he should know that Alhamdudilah I am fine. Allah blessed me with Islam. I am the first in my family to be Muslim and He blessed me to see past the kufr I was raised in. I was raised in the most powerful nation on Earth but have not bowed down to its power (like some Muslim leaders have) and only bow down to Allah. I have food while many starve, I have a home while many are homeless, I have a wife while many are lonely, I have a job while many are without work, I can read and write while many are illiterate, I have been blessed with a knowledge of the deen that does not allow for me to be swayed by charlatans and court jesters, and I have the love and friendship of many who I place a much higher value in than those who would mock me.

Just as many have attacked me there are many who have shown me love. Calling me and emailing me to voice their support and I will not forget them.

When I first started blogging I knew that I was entering an upper-class world and I am working-class. I knew I was entering a Muslim blogosphere dominated by Progressives and Traditionals (and the line between the two can often be blurry and is sometimes non- existent) and I am in neither camp. I knew that the Muslim blogosphere was a world were defense of the Islamic Revival and Movement ( and  a love of) was almost non-existent and many had been led to put a separation between Islam and politics and I knew that Allah had placed in my heart a love for the Islamic Revival and the establishment of an Islamic State. I knew that many Muslim bloggers were effeminate and shied away from the manly and the aggressive nature of Islam and I have lived a life of combat (and been on the winning and losing side) and was given dawah by teachers who strove to turn gangbangers into mujahudeen.

So, no I am not upset at all. I have laid in pools of my own blood on more than one occasion, slept on the streets, had pneumonia in foreign mountains, survived horrific events, and seen things so shocking and brutal I will never forget, and therefore I know that this is not the worst thing that can happen to me.

Today that lady in the psot office who will have to burry her son is in a bad place right now and I pray that Allah guides her. As for me, Alhamdudilah I am feeling fine.


13 thoughts on “Perspective: I Am Blessed While Many Suffer

  1. May Allah (swt) continue to bless you and give you even more. Ameen! May Allah (swt) keep you family safe! May Allah (swt) put the love Islamic Revivial in all our hearts and homes and communities. Ameen!

  2. Assalamu alaikum, I thought of you the other day (I was having a discussion with a friend on different places we’d visited, etc.). I have been to St. Louis on a few occasions, way back when I was in high school, to run track, and I don’t think I came there for any other sports. We were told things about the area we were staying in, and I’m not sure if they were true or not, and unfortunately, I’m totally blind, so was not able to see for myself. Are you familiar with the Missouri School for the Blind? What kind of neighborhood is it in? I remember us being told not to stray to far from the buildings or away from adult supervision, as the school was in a bad neighborhood. I remember the school being dirty, and some parts of the buildings were pretty run down. There was also the lady in the cafeteria, who was, well, not very nice, but I’m sure you wouldn’t know anything about that, lol.

    At the time, the Missouri School for the Blind was not one of my favorite places to visit, we all had a nickname calling it “misery”, and it seems that the city is just like the school. As I said the school wasn’t very clean, and their track and field facilities weren’t very good either. I always got shin splints when running on their track.

    I also wanted to say that despite my disagreements with you on many issues, I definitely don’t think that Islam and politics should or could be separated (my husband and I have argued about this), but I also think there’s a middle way, Islam allows for aggression in certain situations, and I can definitely see where many try to down play this fact, and when thinking about it, I’m not sure that I feel comfortable with that.

    We should speak the truth about what Islam is, or is not, without being afraid to speak of certain things that perhaps The West, or others, many not like.

    However, I also think that we should display proper adab when dealing with people that we may have disagreements with.

    So I understand where you’re coming from, and a lot of it I’d agree with, it’s the harshness toward our fellow Muslims that is off putting.

    Regarding masculinity, etc., I definitely don’t like wimpy men, lol, but I don’t think that kindness, compassion, mercy, etc., are “affeminate” qualities, or qualities that men shoudln’t possess.

    Perhaps a good starting place would be a definitionof what “masculine” is, if masculine is starting a fight just for the sake of starting one than that’s not masculinity that I can believe in. If masculinity is fighitng when you’re attacked and being brave and not runing away with your tail between your legs, than that, to me is masculinity.

    Masculinity isn’t always who can cause or win a fight, it’s also who can control their anger when they want to fight, but fighitng might not be the best option.

    As far as this being an upper-class blogosphere, I’d sure like to know this blind Muslim blogger fits in, whose dad was int he Air Force for 20 years, he’s now a mechanic, my mom works for the public library, both of my parents were not college educated, they grew up in Rural Indiana. I went to a resident school for the blind from age 5 to 19, and went to college, graduating in 2000. I went to school, because for as longas I can remember, my parents stressed education, not just to me, but to my brother and sister, but especially to me as I had the extra hurdle of disability to overcome.

    I became a Muslim in 2000, after traveling to West Africa, and I guess you can call me a “traditional Muslim” if you want, however, I am not familiar with the Shaykh Nuh groups, etc., at least not enough that I can make a judgment about them.

    So where do I fit in? I don’t think anywhere. And maybe that’s why it’s a lot harder for me to put things in nice neat little boxes, because in my life experiences, things don’t always fit there.

    I’m not upper class, but I’m not “working class” either. I don’t agree with a lot of the watering down of Islam from the “progressives” nor some of the harshness from the Salafis, however, I don’thave a personal problem with either group. As I explained on my own blog, I had to find what works for me, to give me peace of mind, while at the same time following Islam to the best of my ability.

    We may have very strong disagreements and differences of opinion, but you are my brother in Islam, and I wish for nothing but the best for you both in this life and the next one. And I’d have been more than happy to have contacted you either via blog or via email to discuss any of the past topic with you, as sometimes communication via email is better than in the middle of a heated blog discussion. However, I didn’t want to seem to forward, and I am a sister, else I’d have taken the liberty to contact you via face book, and your ph # is listed their too. Heck, I’d have come in person to discuss this with you, not to fight with you, but to come to some sorta common understanding, and no I don’t drink lattes, a cup of tea is fine lol.

    However, I’m a sister, and well, that needs no explanation.

    Anyway, I just wanted to let you know that we may disagree horribly, on philosophical levels, however, I don’t have a problem with you as a person, and as your sister in Islam, I wanted you to know that. I can disagree with someoen without hating them.

    At any rate, I extend an olive branch so to speak, and I believe we are both friends on facebook, so feel free to give me a holler. I don’t like conflict, and I feel better when people can agree to disagree yet still find a way to see their commonalities.

    You may lable me a “traditionalist” a label which I don’t partiuclarly like for myself, however, we’re both striving to please Allah, and I’m not trying to “bow down” to any system lol.

    Anyway, I’ll leave you for now. Apologies for the long comment.

    Assalamu alaikum, and take care.

  3. This story reminds me of Ny Knicks player Eddie Curry when he had been told that his ex girlfrenid had been murder along with her 9month baby and his 3yr.old son by the young lady witness it.This image will probably always be in this childs mind.Also he himself had been tied up in a Chicago home along with family members and robbed pleading for his lifeabout yr.and half ago.This young man probably saying even with this money I have I can’t escape the realitys of a decadent culture gone mad.Human life is just not cherished.

  4. I do not live for from the Missouri School for the Blind. It is on Magnolia in the Shaw Neighborhood. That neighborhood 10 and 20 years ago was full of crimes and drugs and now it is hit or miss. It is block to block. Some blocks are nice and some are rough. There was an attempted robbery on my a few blocks from the MSB. There are some nice restaurants and pedestrian areas not that far from the MSB though and Tower Grove Park is nice.

    Where do you fit in? I think that if we follow the sunnah we will all be strangers i this world and that is our place and to cling to the evidences from the Quran and sunnah.

    I don’t have a problem with you other sister and always loo forward to reading what you have to say.

    Thanks Sabir and MR.

  5. Assalamu alaikum, yeah, that’d probably be around the time I was there, I started running track and field at around 13 years old I think, that would have been in 1988. And our first track conference, that’s kinda like the track championships where all the schools in the conference of schools for the blind showed up, was in Missiouri at the school for the blind. That was my seventh grade year, as our varsity program started in seventh grade.

    I don’t remember much about the city itself, except someone telling me there was a mental hospital nearby. That and the radio stations lol, because someone always had a radio nearby. Anyway… And it seemed like most of the kids who went there were African-American, though this wasn’t true for every school for the blind. Not sure why it was true for Missouri. Anyway, won’t bore you any longer…

  6. @Umar – Your not a stranger in the Muslim world if you follow the Qur’an and Sunnah. When Isa’ Alyhisalam comes to rule, following the Qur’an and Sunnah will not be strange either. Allah knows best.

  7. Umar,

    I don’t understand why you seem to have so much frustration built up against ”professional Muslims”..I come from a working class, my father drove taxi in NYC for many years, until he landed a decent job with computers. My father worked hard to put three of his kids through school and Alhamdulillah all three of us have decent jobs now. InshaAllah, one day all 3 of us will be ”successful professions” but that doesnt mean we will forget our roots, or become arrogant or will compromise with our Deen to become successful, or become progressive.

    OF course, there were many many rich Desi immigrants surrounding us, but it never led us to have ill feelings towards them, or to judge them based on the wealth Allah swt provided them. For the most part, they were humble & friendly neighbors…

    I am not denying that the people whom you constantly write about do not exist, of course they do! However, there is plenty of rich, religious & humble people as well. I know plenty of family who are wealthy yet they are very firm on Deen.

  8. Sincerity,

    I think you grossly misunderstand what I write if you think I have a beef with professional Muslims. I do not. What I have a beef with is those upper-class Muslims who are in imitation of the upper-class non-Muslims societies and this social and cultural norms and want to bend Islam to fit into this box. This included the feminization of males. It is not necessary to behave in this manner to be professional and if you do not then I have no beef.

  9. Umar I dont comment much but I read every post you write. This post touched me deeply. Although I am old enough to be your mother–and possibly Muslim longer than you’ve been alive–I always learn something from your posts. Your self-description in this one was humble and humbling–and moving. You are a good man and a great writer. You’re a bit of a hero in my book. May Allah reward you, bless you and keep you and yours safe. And since I’m old enough to be your Mom–am hoping in a motherly way that you’ll sincerely try to get out of Dodge. St.L sounds horrible. As I said before I think there are bigger and better things for you elsewhere. Peace…

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