Friday, August 17, 2007

Writing Exercise

It's a bit rough and isn't exactly a great piece, but it was fun to write! :P


“As-salaamu ‘alaikum… I’m hoooooooooome!” she called out in a sing-song voice, as she swung open the door, motorcycle helmet under her arm. Her mother, Aaminah, setting the table in the dining room, replied the greeting with a disapproving look at her daughter’s getup – what she liked to call her “Muslim biker chick costume”. The “costume” consisted of a long-sleeved ankle-length cape-like leather jacket, buttoned down to the waist until it flared open to alternately hide and reveal a similarly flaring skirt, split at the sides, under which she wore matching leather pants. “Huntress hijab-ified” the Muslimah biker chick pronounced, referring to her DC-comics heroine.

Ignoring her mother’s expression, Sameera relieved her of a stack of plates and completed the chore.
“Where were you?” her mother asked, returning from the kitchen with a pot of steaming stew. “What were you doing?”

“Oh, the usual,” Sameera answered casually. “You know, starting up brawls at the pub and toilet-papering the Masjid.”

“Sameera!” her mother cried out, horrified, and her daughter laughed and kissed Aaminah’s cheek in apology. “I’m kidding, Mom! You know we’d never do that… nah, today we just hung out at the park and gave Da’wah.”

Somewhat mollified, her mother’s expression softened but then became suspicious. “Da’wah?”
Sameera smiled sweetly. “Blowing bubbles, playing with kittens, and beating the daylights out of some drunk loser who tried to rape a teenage girl…”

Aaminah’s eyes widened in horror and she grabbed her daughter’s hands. “Please tell me you didn’t do what you just said you did!” she begged, her face creased with worry.

“All right, so the kitten ran away from us,” Sameera said flippantly, but repented when at the look of anguish on her mother’s face. “I promise, Mama, we’re all okay! And we couldn’t just let that, that animal hurt the girl… Mama, this is our job. This is why we’re a gang of Muslimah biker chicks – the cops can’t be everywhere, and when they do show up it’s too late. This way, we do our civic and Islamic duty of enjoining good and forbidding evil.” She gave her mother’s hands a reassuring squeeze and let go, turning away to leave – but before she could escape, Aaminah caught hold of her sleeve, still anxious.

“What if you get hurt one day?” she implored her daughter. “I wouldn’t be able to bear it. There are dangerous people out there, and Allah only knows what they could to you – you forget that you’re a girl, just like the one you rescued today.”

Not just like the girl we rescued,” Sameera corrected. “The other girl was helpless – I’m not. I have skills… martial arts, self defence, and I have the girls to watch my back. Above and beyond all those, we have Allah. We place our trust in Him, and whatever happens, good or bad, is from Him. Qadaa wa-l Qadr,” she said, referring to the Islamic belief of predestiny.

“Trust in Allah but tie your camel,” Aaminah quoted back. “You know I’m not happy with what you do… won’t you stop? Think of how I feel every time you go out – you could get hurt, you could have an accident, you might get into a fight with someone you can’t beat. There are too many horrible possibilities!”

“Mama, I think you’re exaggerating a little,” Sameera said firmly. “The girls and I don’t go around beating thugs up every day and night – however much we’d like to pretend we are, we aren’t comic book superheroes, and we know it. Most of the time we’re not engaged in anything violent or dangerous, unless you count trying to teach a roomful of hyper kids to be violent and dangerous.” She paused, then continued in a softer voice. “I’ll stop only if you forbid me. I won’t disobey you.”

Aaminah said nothing, just looked at her daughter – at the determined expression on her face, at the somewhat alarming outfit that made her look like a troublemaker but beneath which she knew was a pure and devoted heart. She bit her lip, then sighed.

“I won’t forbid you,” she said finally. “I suppose I know why you do what you do, and even if I don’t like it I know you’re doing something good with the best of intentions… Now go take off your costume and wash up for dinner.”

Sameera grinned in relief and bounded down the stairs to obey her mother’s command. Aaminah stood still, gazing after her daughter, thoughts and emotions roiling inside her head and her heart. Finally, she heaved a sigh, whispered a du’aa for her daughter’s wellbeing, and went back into the kitchen.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

I'm Losing It!

I dunno what it is, but I feel like I'm losing my touch for writing quality articles these days... :(
I can't think of any subject I'm really "qualified" to write about, nor have my recent 'works' been much in terms of insight or anything. My last post on MuslimMatters drove the point across to me quite strongly, and I'm tempted to delete it.
It doesn't feel like writer's block; it feels more like I'm just not writing anything worth reading.

Hmmmmmmm, is it possible for someone to lose a talent? It hurts, really - I miss the enormous feeling of excitement, the wheels of my brain going round and round, the itching in my fingertips that would overwhelm me whenever I came across something that inspired me to write something that I knew others actually thought was worth reading.

Maybe it's a sign... should I just stop writing?