I know that I have a taste for certain subjects more than others. In addition there are those who convey the beauty of Islam of the quran and the Beloved of Allah in ways that are so refreshing – and isn’t conveyed in books. I love Madina because I live my days as though every moment before gave itself for these moments.
I surrender to my inarticulation because so many times beauty is lost in translation from language to language – from heart to head and from stillness to movement. May I know when to remain silent. We wonder how these losses occur and I know every moment changes according to this mind in constant movement. We use water to cleanse all things and the mind in all its manifestations needs breath within movement.
So It’s no wonder I love taichi – It broke my heart to know that the knowledge from my earlier religious teachers did not inspire the love I felt that was needed for growth, indeed nothing grows without love -but I found reflections and examples of Muhammad sallallahu alayhi wasalam in other than my own religious spiritual community, everytime I found myself in these non Muslim gatherings saying but “that’s of my faith or that was said by Muhammad peace be upon him ” I realized my own arrogance: That I could possess what I did not practise ?
so I started to practice taichi. Something in me felt as though each moment in prayer and out of prayer was Still prayer. My teacher used to repeatedly tell me… Masooda keep in one… it’s all good. When It’s bad- It’s good and when It’s good- It’s good.there’s nothing but thinking that makes it so. Your first job is to just show up. For 2years I practised perfecting my surrender to my imperfection… just show up. Even though I often felt like an ugly duckling with people who seemed to have nothing in common with me or my life, often smiling at my weird questions. People laugh that I travel to Madina from Durbanville. It’s not a big deal in light of that I travelled to taichi in town for an hour lesson never thinking it was in preparation for Madina. In 2010 I had to attend my class during the world cup and I saw the traffic unrelentingly buildup – with no hope in hand, I wanted to turn around and I kept saying -just show up. I was so concerned that I would be late and be embarrassed but I remember that day as though I saw myself for the first time.
I arrived at the end of my lesson time apologizing profusely and instead of rebuke my teacher looked at me with admiration and ushered me into the class
He said you have to recognize your hard work so you recognize and stop yourself in the moment that will cause yourSelf to throw it away in the blink of an eye even for any of three fears. Hard work is honouring; but hard work on yourself is like a stone taken off the path. Remove yourself from being the stone on your own path and then you will be the way to keep in one for others.
Why am telling you this?
I was longing for Madina and it arrived in a form I didn’t expect. I wanted to find an art within Islam that resembled what I had come to love in taichi. This had arrived before me …I just never had the lenses or teachers to convey the secrets.
So even as I sit in my Tajweed class at Madina I am in awe of the Quran and the blessed art and science of Tajweed. Tajweed is not in It’s laws… but It’s practise… so when sheikh Rashid Brown says just read… Im hearing just show up. And when he says give each letter It’s haq… I see the rippled extensions of this practise.. the hidden treasures in the letters or people we pass by because we lack presence awareness humility or because we are uninterested in their meanings.. and we lose the honouring this practise gives to us…but wait -one practises taichi to benefit mind body spirit – we can see the relationship between art using the body and benefit to the body. Tajweed is more than what it seems: almost everything we exercise is in the head or throat…but It’s miracle is that it affects the whole self and all who come into contact with that self whether they are aware of it or not. For me there are no words to describe the heart of this beauty. It has to be lived and experienced each day. And like the parking attendant said to me this morning
“Today Im better than yesterday”… and I asked how he knew that-
He said “I don’t rely on yesterday’s blessings and efforts. It has to be better today.”
Tajweed turns the whole world beautiful. I think of the sun rising over the land bringing light to everything it passes over or that faces it …sometimes leaving shadows
but the reciter with correct Tajweed covers ground and draws greater light and leaves no shadows.
— Masooda Mukadam