Sunday I drove to Dallas with my family and I had a good time alhamdudilah. Dallas has a large and vibrant Muslim community and I drove with my wife all over the area and on Monday enjoyed a lunch from a Persian halal joint in Richardson ( passing by a car chase finale that made the cable news channels) and on Tuesday went to the halal pizza spot in Arlington after leaving the Center Street masjid ( as an added bonus the pizza place was showing a boxing match on a plasma TV).
As I drove around in the rental I had listening to satellite radio it seemed like every channel was talking about the death of Michael Jackson. I thought about this because on Sunday a brother told me of how many Muslims he had known, good brothers who went to the masjid, who could not get but a handful of brothers to go to their jannaza. Another brother asked me who was crying and writing poetry to all of the fallen scholars, oppressed and mujahudeen?
We are all gonna die. Many of us will die young. Most of us will never be rich and famous. This I thought of as I was driving through Arkansas and smelled the burnt flesh from a fresh fatal accident early this morning. Of course, this came hours after learning that a friend of mine from high school has allegedly shot and killed his wife.
Then, coming back to St. Louis I met up with my Muslim brothers Mukhtar and Farooq and we went to pick up some food from a fried fish and chicken joint on Goodfellow and Lillian. As we were driving down Lillian we saw a car loose control and I guy slump over. The car hit a few other cars and then went off the road knocking down signs and crashing into a pole.
I ran over to the scene along with a crowd of pedestrians, old ladies, and corner boys working the corner seeing what was happening on their block. I assumed he had been shot; but I think he had some kind of heart attack or something and there will be no candle light vigil for this man if he passes.
Commuting between Baltimore and DC is kind of interesting. On my way home from work yesterday I began in the Skyline area near the Alexandria/ Falls Church border in Fairfax County.
For those of you not familiar with this area it is a densely-populated suburban area just outside of DC. It is one of the most ethnically diverse places in the country and home to immigrants from all over the world. Within it you will also find one of the largest Muslim populations in America anchored by the Dar al Hijrah Masjid. In this area you will find Muslims of all backgrounds with a large number of Arabs, Somalis, Afghans, West Africans and Desis. Alongside them there is a large Latino community mostly from El Salvador, Guatemala, Colombia, Peru, and Bolivia. The other large immigrant population you will find in this immediate area are Ethiopians which you will find all over the DC metro area.
These immigrants are mixed into a community which is also home to a lot of defense and intelligence agencies and their employees and retirees. The area has traditionally been conservative and Republican; but that has changed due to demographics overt the last several years. The surrounding areas have also attracted a lot of yuppie migration and people who are politically more liberal. No matter what the color and religion of the people (and I am sitting in a strip mall now that is home to a major Muslim organization, the local Chabad Chapter, a massage parlor and a jilbab shop) one thing that can describe this area is neat and tidy. Law and order rule here and it is a bastion of one chain-store and strip-mall after another. There is a lot of money in this area being served by fresh waves of immigrants and there are a lot of people politically connected from the children of corrupt bureaucrats from the developing world as the PC crowd says, members of royal families, leaders of opposition groups and those that serve them, diplomats, and those working for good ole’ Uncle Sam.
Leaving NOVA with a co-worker of mine who lives in Prince George’s County, MD we stooped to get some fresh fruit shakes at a Spanish joint while he had his car looked at. The papaya shakes were served to us by a 19 year old Salvadoran girl who is a junior in high school. The girl looked at our beards and kufees and asked about our religion and we had the chance to tell her about Islam (another benefit to observing the sunnah with the beard and trust me brothers you want this one in the deen).