Monthly Archives: January 2012

My Cocoon-Diaries Part I:

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Author’s note:
My Cocoon-Diaries are poems and/or general writings which contain self-reflections for me, how I’ve been living & how I should’ve not been living, over a significant portion of time that I’ve taken to limit my social-spheres & social-interactions. It’s been a time for me to dig deep within myself, to wrap myself in an anti-social cocoon, to find any & all problems within myself, in order to fix them, with the help of Allah, of course. I know that a lot of people thought it strange of me to just take some steps back from my social-spheres & place limits on my general social-interaction. But, this has been a necessary move on my part, to figure out what exactly is wrong with me, as a Muslim, so that I can further tread the path of guidance, which is Islam, with as little personal obstacles in my path as Humanly possible.This is my journey…
…please, join me:I’ve decided that enough was enough. I’ve been tackling a lot of issues, since the last failed marriage-attempt of mine had run its course. Honestly, there were so many things happening all at once, during the time that the sister, whom I was speaking with at the time, had called things off, that I didn’t even take the time to absorb the fact that it was really over. I just accepted it as it was, another failed marriage-attempt. It was like I didn’t even care whether it had ended. Now, this may or may not have been a good thing for me to not care, but that’s the way it played out.

I would say that the main reason why I chose to emotionally secure myself, via indifference, from this situation was because I was dealing with more pressing issues at the time, like dealing with some ignorant Muslims, who cared more about my dress, than the advice that I had given, during a Khutbah (weekly Islamic religious sermon on Fridays). But, that story in & of itself is for another post, for another day. Anyway, back to the present…
…I was preoccupied with something else to truly encapsulate the fact that this sister was no longer willing to take things further. Honestly, based upon my track-record, I wasn’t even surprised that she opted out. I mean, marriage is the only thing that I’ve ever pursued in my entire life that I’ve been a constant & consistent failure at.

No, I’m not trying to acquire pity-points, I’m being dead-serious. From the time that I was 18 years old, failed attempt after failed attempt, after failed attempt. But, when this particular sister whom I felt really strongly about, thinking that it might actually work called it quits, I had suddenly came to the realization that in light of everything else that had happened during that same weekend, plus the sister calling things off, made me accept the fact that maybe the actual problem lies within me.

Maybe I am the “bad-guy”, maybe I am the arrogant, obnoxious jerk that some people have accused me of lately. Upon that acceptance, it was then that I had decided to establish limitations on which events I would go to, who I would hang around, where I would generally hang out, etc. Now, whether this actually works, to help me improve, well I don’t really know, but hell…at least it’s worth a try. So, in short, those two particular incidents that I had mentioned earlier jump-started my self-reflection odyssey, to find out what is it about me that makes things fall apart in my life, what is it that has caused me to be the man, when it came to non-martial relationships & an utter failure, when it comes to pursuing a spouse, what is it about me that cause some to always wanna be around me & others to regret the day that they’ve ever met me.

Yeah…I know, it’s a lot to figure out, and I’ll probably never figure this out. Yet, I still must venture into this realm of self-evaluation & I have to do this on my own. I just hope that I truly do find a way to rise & improve, before looking back ten years from now & regretting everything that I ever done, viewing myself as a lifelong looser.

My yearning for Isolation:

I wish I were still in the womb.
I’d like to call it my birth-tomb.

It is just like a Cocoon, in it I am wrapped inside.
Divorced from the world, my perfect way to hide.

Protected, unjudged, allowed to be free, and unplugged.

No one’s here to disturb or mock me.
I’m in a place no one can enter or see.

My privacy is an actuality, not just a mere ideal.
I want true peace of mind, something that’s real.

In the outside world, I feel hated, unwanted and unloved.

Gareth Bryant/2012

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My thoughts on the victims of the global water-crisis:

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Author’s note:
The following poem is based upon the trials & perils of life that some of the most victimized individuals in this global water-crisis are: Children. They suffer the highest consequences of this water-crisis & usually are the last to get help. These same children whom are often the first casualties of this water-crisis, are also those whom are sent into war-torn territories, where they run the risks of being attacked by dangerous animals, murdered, kidnapped, or raped. It is my hope that, through this poem, you may find it in your heart, to find & make a way to help in any/every cause that you can, to help relieve the burdens placed upon those from among us whom are the most vulnerable of us & have less than we do. In all honesty, no Human being deserves to not water clean water. Clean water is a basic Human-right & all of us who have it must/should be willing to see fit that those who don’t have it get it.

The Narrative of a Victim:

Mama…Papa…I’m simply dying of thirst!!!
But, this waters’ contaminated & cursed…
…that’s what she said.

I walk…miles & miles…these are just some of my many trials.
The water I fetch for my family’s so filthy…the taste just hurts…
…that’s what she said.

I’m cryin’ out to Humanity, for help…my stomach curls.
Disease-ridden and mosquito-infested…this is the worst…
…that’s what she said.

I risk getting gang-raped by mercenaries.
I’m in fear of being devoured by parasites…
…that’s what she said.

I don’t wanna die…but, there’s no hope for me.
Millions of children share my dreadful plights…
…that’s what she said.

What will you do?!!!

Gareth Bryant/2012

To do something about it, to prevent the narrative of another victim from coming to fruition, donate to the following:

http://www.mycharitywater.org/givethanksforcleanwater

My thoughts on `Asabiyyah (Bias)!!!

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Author’s note:
`Asabiyyah, in the Arabic-Language, represents an unwarranted bias, either for or against someone, generally based upon things which a person has no control over (like family-ties, ethnicity, national-origin, gender, etc.). There are also other manifestations of `Asabiyyah as well (like cultural, religious, inter-religious or social discrimination, etc.). This new poem that I’ve written will be based mostly upon the ethnic & cultural & inter-religious manifestations of `Asabiyyah.

Wishful-Thinking:

What if…
…my skin had no color, that Muslims viewed me exclusively as their true brother?
…people looked past my blackness, and saw only my heart, not my outer cover?

What if…
…people never gave me a dirty-look, for coming into a Mosque in Jeans and a Graphic-Tee?
…people could just let me be alone, leave me be to practice my Islam, as a man who is free?

What if…
…I were not deemed a Muslim social-outcast, just because I don’t look like a desert Sheik?
…why must I forfeit all that I am, as a Black man, just to conform & wear a robe and sheet?

What if…
…people judged me only by my actions, instead of just my physical, mortal shell?
…they did not deem me as “Un-Islamic”, because of what I wear, headed for hell?

What if…
…people just saw me, as opposed to my natural, genetic topography?
…the Muslims did not care whether I was Sunni, Sufi, Shi`i, or Salafi?

What if…
…people respected & appreciated my differences that Allah granted me, instead of curse them?
…people did not label me as the “bad-guy”, for defending myself, against blatant, harsh racism?

What if…
…we were just unified as one, putting ethnicity, color, culture, dress & pride aside?

If “What if” were a reality…
…then, this world of ours would be such a peaceful, and awesome place to reside!!!
Gareth Bryant/2012

My thoughts on my father:

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Author’s note:
I know how much having a father has been important in my life, regardless of the fact that he wasn’t even a Muslim & died when I was very young. I thought that it would be good to just share this importance to you all-I’m often left thinking, to myself, that if my father could be the man whom he was, without Islam, then I owe it to Allah to strive towards being at least half of the man that he was, with Islam. This particular poem is meant to celebrate the utter importance of having a father, generally, which domestically in the U.S., as well as other parts of the world, the status of fatherhood has really become a pathetic joke, not taken seriously at all, and we’ve all been more & more bombarded with this global, socio-culturally-influenced/encouraged “dead-beat dad” syndrome, which has taken the world by storm, as one of the greatest negative phenomenons of our lifetimes. Every Human being has the absolute right to have two parents, both mother & father, to be there for them, as long as they live, to give them some sort of positive rearing & direction in this material-existence.

I know my Father:

He was the  man from whom I’ve inherited 23 of my 46 chromosomes.
He was never like a rollin’-stone, in & out of different women’s homes.

Although he died when I was only 8, my time with him was just great.
Alas, Allah decided to take him from me, it was just his destined fate.

It was always known he loved me & I knew that he cared.
He had the heart of a lion, he was so brave, never scared.

I know that he loved and cared for his own kids.
He even fathered children who weren’t even his.

He was A-Class, with great personality & a legendary smile.
No other father in the world could’ve ever imitated his style.

I’m simply in awe, oftentimes, at the mark of a man that he has made.
It’s been so many years after his death, yet his legacy just won’t fade.

If only I were ½ of who my father was.
Striving for that is such a worthy cause.

Gareth Bryant/2012

My thoughts on Martin Luther King, Jr.:

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What can I say to ever give justice to this man? Nothing. Himself, along with countless individuals, of all creeds, ethnicities, nationalities, genders & political-orientations, led the world towards a global fight to end tyranny & injustice. Many of his efforts have been duly highlighted in the annals of American & World-History, which is why we as a society have given him the recognition of remembering him on a day, called “Martin Luther King, Jr. Day”.Martin Luther King, Jr. clearly sacrificed life & limb, and many, if not most Americans & citizens of the World, have benefited immensely from the brutality that he himself, along with so many countless other international & national heroes of the United States, to attempt to make the lives of other people better.However, there are certain things which he fought for, in my eyes, that were a lot more noble, than his other celebrated outcries for ethnic equality. They were his outcries for governmental transparency in this nation, as well as others, it was his fight for worker’s rights, towards the last two to three years of his life, it was challenging the status-quo of the military war-machine of the U.S., it was questioning the validity of the United States supporting leaders in foreign countries, whom were guilty of the same atrocities which Nazi-Germany, Fascist-Italy & Imperial-Japan have been historically black-listed for, all in the name of spreading Democracy, and defeating Communism, at all cost.

In truth, for me, it wasn’t until this point in his life, shortly before his assassination, that I was able to truly appreciate the struggle that he was placed at the helm of. For most African-American youth, like myself, when I was young, was always given this depiction of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. as being very passive, soft, and for all intensive purposes, on some uncle-tom stuff. Honestly, in comparison to someone like Malcolm Little (AKA Malcolm X[May Allah mercify him]), you see their goals for the betterment of African-Americans, as well as other people, generally polarized, meaning very different.

Let’s be honest here, when you hear Malcolm Little saying “ballet or the bullet” & then hear Martin Luther King, Jr. saying “I have a dream”, as a Black man, living in this current society, looking back on yesteryear, it’s easy to see why most of us in my generation would be quick to identify with Malcolm Little, as opposed to Martin Luther King, Jr. Most of us have been indoctrinated into thinking that violence is the only way to solve our problems, and there’s this man, a Black man at that, encouraging other Black people, who are being, raped, maimed, hung, hosed down, shot up, beat the hell up, bitten by dogs, trampled by horses, fire-bombed you name it, they’ve been through it.

Now, living in the hood, in NYC, during the 80’s & 90’s, as I have, growing up, listening to & learning from Malcolm Little & Martin Luther King, Jr. & come to the personal conclusion that what MLK was kickin’ is for the birds & Malcolm knew what he was talkin’ about. But, in hind-sight, I’ve learned to respect not only his work-ethic, in terms of how hard he worked for his goals, but also, his evolution, in terms of his personal awareness & how to address the wrongs which were right in front of his face, during his own lifetime, but either couldn’t see or chose to ignore before.

In short, although, as a Muslim, I don’t approve of the celebration of dead people (via celebrating their birthdays and/or holidays established on the days of their birth, or on any other day/days, in honor of them). I do, however, encourage people to respect this man, for all of the above reasons which I’ve said earlier in this article, and if you truly claim to respect and/or love this man, then you would truly attempt to live as he did, in the constant & consistent service of others, whom would reap the benefits of his hard work, decades after his tragic & violent demise.

Gareth Bryant/2012

My nomination for the 4th annual Shorty Awards:

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One may ask the question:
“What the heck are the ‘Shorty Awards’?!!!”

Well, here’s the answer:
The Shorty Awards honor the best of social media, recognizing the people and organizations producing real-time short form content on across Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, YouTube, Foursquare, and the rest of the social Web.

Fortunately, I’ve been given the exposure & opportunity to be recognized for my work, and be nominated, in the category of Blogger, for  this award, along with the likes of previous nominees & winners, like: Conan O’Brien, Newark, NJ Mayor, Cory Booker, Suze Orman, Ted Leo, and so many other notables. In short, this award is kind of a big deal in a sense.

About the voting process:
The public is invited to nominate social media users for excellence over the past year. Each award recognizes a content creator’s entire body of work, not just an individual tweet or post. Nominations are made by tweeting or through ShortyAwards.com.

To vote for me, please, go to:
http://shortyawards.com/gareth_bryant

My thoughts on what Allah sees:

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Author’s note:
It’s very important that we (regardless to whether you’re a Muslim or Non-Muslim) reflect upon what the Creator of the Universe sees us saying and doing, as well as what He sees within our minds & hearts. Most of us just live our lives with only minimal to no reflection of how we’re being dutiful to the one who’s responsible for our very existence.

I think that now is a good a time as any to start:

Try to look for what Allah sees:

Allah sees:
The depths of our souls, what we harbor within ourselves, what we hide from one another.
He sees the hatred, bias, & bigotry that we hold against others, what we keep undercover.

Allah sees:
The true colors of the ego, where arrogance & narcissism reside.
It’s where envy and malice is fueled by ambition and unjust pride.

Allah sees:
The evil intentions of our hearts, as we plot and plan ways to follow a blatant desire.
The likes of which are no good, and will only lead us all to a dreadful pit of the Fire.

Allah sees:
Our true selves, when no one is ever around, when we are completely by ourselves, alone.
He views our actions, behind closed-doors; yet, we pretend that we’re so slick & complex.

Allah sees:
The ill-willed seductiveness of our voices, as we attempt to kiss through the telephone.
We use our tongues as pawns, to advance in the game of chess, with the opposite-sex.

Why must we seek to see what Allah sees?!!!
To be able to recognize the wrong within us, that our hearts have been tainted with rust.
We must make amends with our Lord, regain His respect, honor, mercy, love, and trust.

We must make strides towards pleasing Allah, by making sincere and meaningful recompense.
If we want to have security in the Hereafter, we must turn back to Allah with pure repentance.

Gareth/2012


My thoughts on Feminism (The hatred & disrespect of Men):

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Author’s note:
Since I’ve already written a poem about Misogyny, it’s just as fair to write one about Feminism as well. Feminism, as we know it to be has been incepted to be an alternative for women to Misogyny, to combat Misogyny even. However, unfortunately, it has begun to cause the same ill-affects that Misogyny has. We as Muslims, fellow Human beings, need to find better alternatives to dealing with the opposite gender, as opposed to attempting to get one leg up over one another. I’ve exclusively targeted the modern Muslim woman, who has full-throtled accepted this pathological concept known as Feminism, which basically teaches women that we’re crap, as a result of what’s between our legs, which we didn’t even give ourselves and/or what the next man has done negatively. Bitterness, as a result of negative experiences with men generally, have promoted & propelled the women of our world to view men as untrustworthy & worthless at the same time. This poem is geared towards shedding some light on this issue, that we, as men & women (particularly Muslim men & women) can ween ourselves off of having enmity against one another, based upon biological factors that none of us are in control over.

Please, don’t hate me:

Why must you be against me?
What have I ever done to you, to make you not wanna be my ally?
I have been prosecuted, without an opportunity to produce an alibi.

What have I done as a man, to make you look at me with utter disgust?
I’m not your enemy; don’t view me as the one who’s scared you.
I care for you; whether you believe it or not, what I tell you is true.

Why am I always the one to blame for the next man’s folly?
Never have I beaten you, but you’d threaten me with the dreaded “9-11” call.
You would throw all my faults in my face, just to prevent me from standing tall.

You claim to be an independent woman, yet you expect me to maintain you, and to be used as a tool.
Then, you turn around & attempt to disgrace me; you go out of your way to make me look like a fool.

Your resentment for my gender doesn’t make you superior, it just makes you petty.
Don’t make biases against other creations of Allah, the Devil has done this already.

He hated our father Adam, just because he wasn’t a Jinn.
What makes you think that hating men will give you a win?

Gareth Bryant/2012

My thoughts on Misogyny (The hatred & disrespect of Women):

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Author’s note:
I wrote this poem, to shed some much-needed light on how men (Muslim men particularly) have allowed this disgusting concept, that we know as Misogyny, to dictate how we are to treat the most precious & priceless of all of the creation of Allah: the Human female. Allah has placed inside the mind, heart, soul, and body of the Human female so much blessing and abilities to cultivate the growth & development of all of us, generation after generation, century after century, and millennium after millennium. Yet, unfortunately, we’ve allowed ourselves to view the woman as a worthless sexual-prize, only to satisfy the carnal cravings of men. We need to start having real conversations as to why we’ve allowed the Devil to encourage us to treat women in such a demoralized fashion, and we have to correct this vicious cycle of pathological thinking. It’s no wonder why so many women have converted to Feminism, because they’ve been short-changed and pushed around, by the same men Allah has created to respect, honor, protect, secure, cherish & love. And, it is my sincere hope that this poem can help in some way spark some interesting conversations about this topic, as well as get people uncomfortable enough to want to change the Non-Islamic status-quo of how women are allowed to be viewed and treated in our societies.

P.S. Don’t get pissed-off concerning the title of the poem:

Bitches:

Why are our women “Bitches”?
We degrade at them, beat them & crush them.
We belittle them, and destroy their self-esteem.

Why are our mothers “Bitches”?
We don’t respect, honor, appreciate, or love them.
We make them weep, their tears flow like a stream.

Why are the mothers of our children “Bitches”?
We deny responsibility and neglect the Child-Support.
They’re forced to be both parents, it’s the only resort.

Why are our daughters “Bitches”?
Daddy’s little-girl is helpless and completely alone.
No clue how a man is to treat her, he’s long gone.

Why is a “Woman” a female-dog?
It’s really sad how easy it is to call a woman by other than her real name.
This word “Bitch” hurts so many and saying it so comfortably is a shame.

When did our love for women turn into hate?
We seem to let our bad experiences determine how we treat others.
We have to end this cycle and be examples for our young brothers.

If someone calls a woman we care about a “Bitch”, we all wanna fight.
But, if we say the same thing to woman, it’s just supposed to be alright.

We were all birthed by women, so let’s start honoring females.
When we view women as “Bitches”, we disrespect ourselves.

Gareth Bryant/2009

My thoughts on Monsanto: The Farmers of ad-Dajjal/the Anti-Christ

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Dajjal

The mass global rising in food-prices, the destructive nature of famine stricken countries & regions of the world, the globalization of privatizing/monopolizing agriculture are just some of the many recurring signs that the Dajjal/Anti-Christ is on his way & bringing Hell-on-Earth right with him. But, there’s some things that need to be established first before he’s able to rule uncontested: One of the main sources of his power, before the return of Jesus the Son of Mary: the True-Christ (Peace be upon him), who will end up killing the Dajjal/Anti-Christ, will be control over the worlds food-supplies.

It is mentioned in great detail, in the Prophetic-Tradition of Muhammad (Peace be upon him) that the Dajjal/Anti-Christ will appear before the people (of the World), with abundance of Food & Water, in exchange for loyalty & fellowship towards him. Anyone who refuses to accept his false-claims to legitimate global-rulership, prophecy & divinity, will suffer severely under his tenure of temporary rule over the Earth, until Jesus (Peace be upon him) comes back to Earth & does away with him, thus liberating the Earth of his immense tyranny.

Now, one may ask, who would be helping someone like the Dajjal/Anti-Christ attain world-domination, via control over food-supplies? Well, let’s get to Monsanto, the main focus of this whole article.

Monsanto: Past, present & future objectives:

Past:
Monsanto started off as a chemical company. From it’s founding in 1901, until the present-day, Monsanto has been responsible for producing such chemicals from DDT (an insecticide which had been banned for agricultural use by the U.S. Congress in 1972, for its harmful side-affects to People, Vegetation, and the Environment generally) to Agent-Orange (a chemical-weapon used during the Vietnam-War, which decimated the natural-environment of Vietnam & Cambodia, as well as caused immense death & various other health-defects found in both U.S. Military-Personnel & the People of both Vietnam & Cambodia) that have caused innumerably unchangeable negative-affects to both People & the Environment globally. They’ve managed to successfully establish themselves as the leading pioneers of chemical-manipulation of Agriculture, via producing Herbicides (Pesticides for Plant-Life) genetically-engineered Crops.

Present:
At present, Monsanto possesses one of the most powerful lobbying bodies on this planet, soliciting support from wealthy Business-Persons in the Agricultural-Industry, as well as Corrupt-Politicians, in achieving their goals of genetically modifying & patenting every growable-seed known to Man, in order to consolidate complete control over all things agricultural. They’ve become extremely powerful over the past century, since their initial inception, in the early 1900’s until now. They’ve faced nearly no practical opposition from the Washington “Watch-Dogs” who are supposed to be there to protect the best-interest of the American-People & Peoples around the world. Instead, they’ve given Monsanto a free-hand, to continue its immoral quest to undercut/extort any & all Organic-Farmers, who resist the political/governmental & financial onslaughts used to pressure them to use genetically-engineered agricultural techniques, which include the usage of genetically-engineered seeds, to contribute to the global monopolization of Agriculture by Monsanto.

Future:
From the Islamic perspective, it’s very obvious, based upon the Prophetic-Statements of our Prophet, Muhammad (Peace be upon him) that the Dajjal/Anti-Christ will use food-supplies, as a significant tool, to lure the People (globally) away from the worship of Allah & towards the worship of himself. There are various narrations by a particular Companion of the Prophet (Peace be upon him), named al-Mughirah ibn-Shu`bah (May Allah be pleased with him), of the Dajjal/Anti-Christ coming to the People, presenting abundance of Food & Water. But, for those who truly believe in Allah & the Last-Day, the illusion of the Dajjal/Anti-Christ will not cause their faith to waiver under threat of starvation.(Muslim) However, as Muslims, it is our responsibility to Allah, to recognize the signs that He & His Messenger (Peace be upon him) have left behind for us to benefit from, to have the knowledge and develop the integrity & fortitude to resist the temptation of the Dajjal/Anti-Christ, if/when he comes during our lifetimes. This will be the most trying times for those who believe in Allah & the Last-Day, and companies like Monsanto have shown & proven that they are on the side of the Dajjal/Anti-Christ, by contributing to the immoral privatization/monopolization of agricultural resources. We, who believe in Allah & the Last-Day have to be ready to face the Dajjal/Anti-Christ head-on!!! However, we can’t be ready to oppose him, if we’re not prepared for him, and we can’t prepared for him, if we don’t know about him, and we can’t know about him, unless we’re gaining knowledge about him, by taking heed to the authentically recorded signs present in the Qur’an & Prophetic-Tradition, about his coming & his reign of terror as well as the present reign of terror by those whom are is avid supporters, like Monsanto, for example.

May Allah protect us from the deception of ad-Dajjal/the Anti-Christ & all those who aid him & support him…Amen!!!

Gareth Bryant/2012