Category Archives: Daily Prompt

Susurrus or waswaas?

Today’s Daily Prompt topic is ‘Whisper’. It seems as if every word associated with whisper sounds like a whisper – a rustling, murmuring sound. Your voice automatically drops to near silence and your entire body tautens as it strains to hear the near quietude.

Susurrus means the same, and you can hear the sibilance in each syllable. Is this omnomatopoeia? Susurrus comes from the Latin susurrare – to hum, whisper. Can you hear the susurrant ripples of the flowing stream? It’s a beautiful word. Welcoming, soothing, enveloping. Sounds very enticing, doesn’t it? Like you could just sink in it. Well, you can sink into quicksand too.

In the Caribbean, we sometimes admonish those who ‘wiswis’ (whisper gossip and promote confusion and chaos). Without having delved into the etymology of that word, it is my view that it probably derives from the Muslims’ use of the term ‘waswaas’ – a term connoting the evil whisperings of the devil.

In Sura 114, the last Chapter of the Holy Qur’an, titled ‘An-Nas’, those whispers are recognised and the Sura itself legislates the protection to be recited against those whispers:

Say: I seek refuge with the Lord and Cherisher of Mankind,

The King (or Ruler) of Mankind,

The Allah (for judge) of Mankind,-

From the mischief of the Whisperer (of Evil), who withdraws (after his whisper),-

(The same) who whispers into the hearts of Mankind,-

Among Jinns and among men.

 

DAILY PROMPT

Whisper

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/whisper/

Trini reflections on a birthday – be-Fog-ged

The prettily decorated cupcake & server tell their own story. Especially in conjunction with the title of this post. And if I were silent, each of you would create your own story from your own inferences, selective knowledge, and personal views. So many times we colour our silences or our utterances because of knowledge we peculiarly hold. But just as many times, those colours can be filtered or shaded when that knowledge meets the light of reality.

Yes, the cake was served on my birthday. It’s a chocolate chiffon cupcake with homemade whipped cream, fresh strawberries & blackberries & chocolate drizzle. Compliments of BakerDaughter. So yes, my birthday was the occasion, but not the occasion. Be-fog-ged yet? Let us de-mist – the anniversary of my birth date was the time on which the cupcakes were served, but my birthday was not the reason for the cupcakes.

In Trinidad & Guyana, indentured servants/labourers were the replacement labour source for the sugarcane plantations, upon the abolition of slavery in the 1800s. 143,000+ indentured labourers went to Trinidad, almost 209,000 went to Guyana. These emanated from British India. The Fatel Razak which landed in Trinidad in 1838 is reputed to have brought the second set of Muslims to the Caribbean. Indentured labourers also went from other colonies.

It is reported that the ratio of males to females were 3:1 and in some cases 2:1.Despite the labour intensive days on the plantations and the many rules restricting religious and cultural practices, those practices (perhaps modified) survived. It is believed that both Hindu and Muslim labourers attended their respective religious ‘schooling’ on evenings after a day in the field. From one article I’ve read (and I cannot speak to its validity as a source),  those Muslims who congregated to observe their Eid prayers at the Palmiste Estate were flogged for offering their first Eid prayers in Trinidad. On another occasion, defenceless Muslim immigrants attempting to carry out a peaceful observance of a religious occasion  were shot by a platoon of armed policemen. Another source confirms the flogging but provides conflicting information – that Muslim religious practices were controlled and the building of mosques and the Friday congregational prayer discouraged – that Islamic community life was not transported, and the ‘Indian’-originated Muslims in Trinidad were called ‘madingas’ – in recognition of those African Muslims of the Madingo tribe. While used in a derogatory manner, the coining of that phrase by non-Muslims unknowingly reflects the recognition of racial equality amongst Muslims. This second source also states that Muslims succeeded in maintaining their religious practices by practising the fundamentals of Islam and gathering on various occasions. It is these gatherings that the author of the second source describes as an amalgamation of Hindu cultural practices with Islamic traditions.

A third author (Suresh Pillai) states: “Out of the recesses of their minds and memories they pieced together their religious and social practices and philosophies and recreated the institutions that sustain a civilization.” Pillai says: “Koran sheriff was the source of inspiration for Muslims. .There were Muslim scholars who could recite entire Koran sheriff from memory. The story of one Hajji Rukhnudeen of La Plaisance estate in Trinidad was inspiring , for he taught entire Koran to his fellow Muslims from memory under the moon light.” I had to search for the meaning of the term ‘Qur’an shareef’ as I think ‘Koran sheriff’ (a colloquialism perhaps attributable to Indo-Trinidian Muslims) was meant to be. It means the Honourable Qur’an. 

So, for the past 2+ centuries, Qur’an recitation in social gatherings has been occasioned. In Barbados, despite the number of memorisers of the Qur’an, it is not as prevalent, but that may be due to the paucity in comparative numbers. Some persons frown upon it as being innovative.

So, you wonder what any of this has to do with ‘fog’ and my birthday. (And let us accept without contradiction at this time, that the ‘celebration’ of birthdays is frowned upon in Islam because of the rationale that we ought not to be celebrating the nearing of certain death and the uncertain hereafter. It can however, be a time of reflection for us, as can any other random day. What have we done with the object of attaining one of those levels of heaven and how can we improve?)

Each of us has ‘comfort food’ – food for the soul. Each of us also has ‘comfort’ practices. My comfort practice was to invite some close friends to gather in my home to recite the Qur’an and to have lunch with us. Not everyone accepted the invitation. The fog, it appears, may have been in ascribing to me intentions that may not have been mine. A celebration of a birthday instead of a giving of thanks and sharing. An occasion not occasioned by my birthday.

My thanks to those who attended (and ate some Trini-style food). And to those whose efforts assisted in the easy-going camaraderie and fellowship. And that includes my ‘fogged’ friend.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/fog/

 

Snap…..

Today’s Daily Post topic is ‘Snap’.

So many choices – snapchat, snapback, snap crackle pop, snapshot, snap beans, don’t snap at her……

Hmmm, choices choices. So while I did include a snapshot (of 4 keskidees) recalled because of the single keskidee that hopped along my window sill earlier this week and startled me when he snapped his beak against my window, I chose the ‘snap’ in anger. (Not that I was angry when I chose it, but that I chose the meaning that is suggestive of anger).   Continue reading Snap…..

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Handwritten.” <a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/handwritten/”>Handwritten</a&gt;2015-09-09 20.58.03 2015-09-09 20.40.06

And you scroll painstakingly through the photos to see what I could possibly have scrawled – wait, was it the swirl on the cake? No. At our age, it is rare these days for BelovedHusband and me to be invited to weddings. I have attended four and we have attended three over the past three months. All various age combinations, different audiences, different settings. What does this have to do with my handwriting? Well, for YoungerBrother, it was the crayon pencilled writing of his and his bride’s names for the backdrop, for my SparklingFriend (whose wedding I have yet to blog about), it was the words in the wedding card, and for the last, it was the words written to the young, first-time doctor bride and her groom, invoking the blessings of Allah swt on their union. No greater gift can one give.

Grassroots – Fair Play March in January

2015-01-18 09.27.41

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “A Moment in Time.”

So, in my quest to be more involved this year, I dressed on Sunday morning and accompanied BH and Youngest to what was purported to be a tournament (of which they had notice the day prior). Off we went, Youngest in football gear, and BH and I in softwear (otherwise known as non-brand name sneakers – well, ok, mine maybe, BH’s probably was gear), to NSC’s home ground surrounded by the Ivy (not the plant but reputedly poisonous nevertheless).

There it lay in all of its uncovered sunburnt glory on one of those anomalous morns – where in our tropical zone, the sun burnt and the breeze froze. With tots to pre-teens shucking their upper covers and donning colours bearing the banner ‘Grassroots’.

Out they marched to FIFA’s anthem, to stand afield while their national anthem’s music played (alas, who sings the lyrics anymore, save me?),and then be divided into groups to participate in 5 drills, each drill followed by a mini-game. FIFA’s Fair Play stratagem to be instilled. Duration – approximately 2 hours.

i remember ……..

i remember, just one week ago, and two nights after a futile search of the skies for the newborn moon to signal for us the end of the month of ramadan, and the fledging of the month of shawwal,

i remember BD finishing her baked goods, and NOS and I OCDing the filling of her eid boxes,

i remember them fighting over who would accompany which parent to which deliveries, and finally, BH saying we’d all go together

i remember all of the frantic exchanges on the group chat about who saw the moon where, about who retracted their declaration, about the non-sequiturs, the flurry to iron new clothes, the bone-weariness

i remember the rantings of YoungerBrother whose itikaf was recalled for resumption when he was in the car park and EldestUncle was at home

i remember the last fast of ramadan

i remember the final day of preparation – of cleaning, changing, dressing

i remember excited children congregating with tired parents in the living room, blowing up and tying off balloons, unable to sleep for the excitement of eid

i remember the calls to mama and karla and doya

i remember the receipt of eid gifts by children who refused to be fooled by the container in which the gifts were given

i remember the dawn of the eid ul fitr without for the first time in many years if not ever, sawine

i remember a hundred million little tasks to complete before the eid shower, the eid clothes, the eid drive to the open air eid gaah, the eid mubarak greetings before the salaat so unusual in its timing, the eid breeze, the eid khutbah, the eid convivialityeidted

i remember the little orphan girl sitting on my knee

i remember the eid visits, the eid sweets, the eid gifts finally arriving, the eid lunch at 5:30 in the evening

i remember the sharing of greetings and menus and photos with my sisters-in-law

i remember now, lest later I forget

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_writing_challenge/memoir-madness/

Travel the Earth – Aid to Remembrance

An Ounce of Home

You’re embarking on a yearlong round-the-world adventure, and can take only one small object with you to remind you of home. What do you bring along for the trip?

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/an-ounce-of-home/

Sura Al-Ankabut:

Say (O Muhammad): Travel in the land and see how He originated creation, then Allah bringeth forth the later growth. Lo! Allah is Able to do all things.

Continue reading Travel the Earth – Aid to Remembrance

Gratitude at the crossroads

The following are links to youtube music videos of a song by Zain Bhika and one from Soundvision. Gratitude is an act of ibaadah (worship). But I also want to say that we express gratitude to Allah by thanking those who act as his instruments by doing a kindness, so I thank that driver who lets me cross the road when he has the right-of-way.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h3XDrvqds60

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iuewJug5yC0

 

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/09/11/daily-prompt-thanks/

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