Category Archives: Humor

My 1st Udhiyyah: What I’ve Learned To Respect And Appreciate About Life&Death:

Standard

Author’s-Note:

Dhul-Hijjah 12, 1438, A.H./September 3, 2017, C.E. I participated in an Islāmic-Tradition, predicated by Islāmic/Revelatory Texts, spanning Several-Generations: al-Udhiyyah/Slaughtering. This Traditional-Slaughtering commemorates the Rites of al-Hajj/Pilgrimage (predicated upon the Sacrifices/Sufferings of Abraham, Sarah, Hagar, Ishmael, Issac [Peace be upon them]), leading up to the Islāmic-Holiday known as Id-ul-Adha/the Celebration of Sacrifice​. For more Information regarding al-Hajj & `Id-il-Adha: http://www.garethbryant.wordpress.com/2012/10/01/theoriginsofidiladha/

Annually, the Udhiyyah is done by Millions of Muslims Worldwide, to follow in the Noble-Footsteps of Abraham (Peace be upon him). It was now my turn to participate in this great Tradition. I was so excited, to actually do something such a Part of Islām, so deeply entrenched into Islāmic-History. There was 1-Challenge: I had never done this before. I had a Million plus 1 Anxieties regarding the Experience. And, to add to my Self-Awkwardness, I had gotten into a Fight with a Man who tried to rob me a Week prior to me participating in the Udhiyyah. So, it was still very much fresh on my Mind/Heart. As I got to the Farm I did the Udhiyyah at: my Nerves were shot. I did nothing for the first few Hours there but ask the same Types of Questions in various different ways. I was able to reinforce what I already knew regarding Udhiyyah & also learned a host of interesting New-Things as well.

The Things which are Generally-Essential to know before one commits themselves to do Udhiyyah/Qurbānī:

1. Pure-Intention for Allah, as Udhiyyah/Qurbānī is a Sacred Act-Of-Worship.

2. No Body-Hair or Nails can be cut/removed prior to the 10th-Day of Dhil-Hijjah (the 12th-Month of the Islāmic-Calendar: the Month of Hajj/Pilgrimage).(Muslim, Ahmad)

3. The Animals slaughtered can only be Animals which are Islāmically-Allowable to consume Dietarily…specifically for Qurbānī (Hajj-Time Slaughtering/Sacrifice: Cows, Camels, Goats, Sheep. (Noble-Qur’ān: Chpt.22, 34)

4. The Animals slaughtered must be Healthy (no Signs of Ill-Treatment, Malnurishment, Abuse, Deformity, Disease, etc.).(al-Muwatta’)

5. The Animals slaughtered must be slaughtered at the following Ages, in order to qualify as Qurbānī: 6-Months to a Year for Sheep, 1-2Years for Goats, 2-3 Years for Cows, 5-Years for Camels. This is according to the various Fatawa/Islāmic-Rulings of the 4-Major Madhāhib/Islāmic Legal-Schools: the Hanafī-School…Mālikī-School…Shāfi`ī-School…Hanbalī-School.(http://www.islamqa.info/en/41899)

6. The Animals slaughtered cannot/shouldn’t be Pregnant (this is the Position of the Shāfi`ī-School).(https://islamqa.info/en/192041)

6. The Blades/Knives used to slaughter the Animals must be as Sharp as Humanly-Possible & the Animals must be slaughtered across the Neck: forcefully & swiftly, ensuring that the least amount of Pain/Suffering is inflicted upon the Animals & the Animals must not see the Blades/Knives used for Udhiyyah, nor must they be slaughtered within the Presence of other Animals.(https://islamqa.info/en/153936)

So, the Day of the Udhiyyah: basically from Fajr/Pre-Dawn to Maghrib/Sunset we were working on the Farm…it was serious Work. There were so many Animals which we had to get slaughtered. Then it came to my Turn. Internally, I honestly started having 2nd-Thoughts. So many Things came to my Mind like: “What if I cause this Animal more Pain than necessary?!!!”…”What if I begun to use my still fresh Anger over the Fight I had & end-up oppressing this Animal with too much Force?!!!”…”What if I completely screw-up the Udhiyyah?!!!”…etc. But, then I just decided to cast my Fears into the Wind by relying upon Allah to help me through it, which He did. And, considering the Fact that I was a 1st-Timer doing Udhiyyah, even the Farm-Hands confirmed that I did a Good-Job, which was very Comforting to my Ego. In total, I slaughtered 3-Goats personally with my own Hands & assisted with the Slaughtering of about 20 other Sheep & Goats combined. Let me tell you: taking the Life of an Animal that Size is truly a Sight to see.

Normally, externally of this Event, Regular-People such as myself don’t live on Farms, aren’t as in tune with Fitrah/Nature the way we ought to be, as Humans. And, for those of us whom are confined to Concrete City-Life: the closest we get to Fitrah are Household Vermin, such as Roaches & Rats & Creatures we generally deem a Nusance, such as Squarels, Opposums, Raccoons, etc. However, to actually up close & personally slaughter an Animal which you know will eventually be on someone’s Plate for Meals, it truly forced me to reflect more introspectively concerning how precious & fragile Life itself really is. Also, it forced me to be ever more Grateful to Allah that I’m a Human & not an Animal. It compelled me, this Experience, to look at the Fragility of Life & Reality of Death this more Seriously. One instant, we’re here & the next, we’re gone: just like that.

When coming back to New York City from the Farm, I wasn’t/didn’t allow myself to shake the Psycho-Emotional relevance of what I’ve experienced via Udhiyyah/Qurbānī: being recallibrated & reconnected with/to the Natural-Environment…the smells of Grass, Hay, Livestock, the Large Rolling-Hills & Tree-Covered Mountains…the Muddy-Terrain which nearly ruined my already Dirty-Nikes…the Blood of the Slaughtered-Animals…the freshness & ordors of the Flesh of the Animals sacrificed. All of it was worthwhile, an Experience which I wish/hope that Allah always preserves within my Memory-Bank. And, yes: I plan to definitely do Udhiyyah/Qurbānī more often.

Gareth Bryant/2017

 

Advertisements

A Necessary Ramadhan Personal-Reflection In Mercy!!!

Standard

gareth-bryant-eid-pics-23.jpg

 

Here’s a story for the Record-Books:

Ramadhan 1435 AH/2014 CE…I went to Masjid Ar-Rahman, on 29th St bet. 5th Ave & Broadway, in Manhattan, NYC-After making the congregational Maghrib/Sunset Prayer, my shoes go missing. I’m honestly mad as Hell: those Sneakers were brand-new & fresh out the box, I barely had them for a whole week, I got them for free…they were a gift. So, you can understand why I was duly pissed all the way off!!! I felt so violated that someone, a Muslim, would dare to steal something during Ramadhan in the Mosque no less. I was just thinking in my mind what I would do, and how would I hurt this Person who took what was mine, if I woulda caught-up to them. It even got to the point when I was yelling, and causing a scene, concerning what was taken from me. Some other Muslim-Brothers attempted to clam me down, but it just wasn’t working: I came in the Mosque with my Sneakers, and I had wanted to leave with my same Sneakers. But, guess what happens next?

Check-out how merciful Allah, the Creator/Lord of the Universe is:

1. He bestowed mercy upon the one who took my footwear, so I would not have acted out of anger against a fellow Muslim, during Ramadhan of all times.

2. He touched the heart of a Muslim brother who volunteered to give me his own shoes.

3. He touched the heart of another Muslim brother who actually drove me to a sneaker-store & bought me a brand-new pair of Sneakers…cash, which ironically were fresher & cheaper than the sneakers that I had gotten taken from me at this Mosque…the Sneakers which were taken from me were the Nike Andre Agassis, in Dead-stock/Brand-New condition. But, then the brother had bought me a pair of Nike ACGs, also in Dead-Stock/Brand-New condition.

4. Most importantly: the person who took my Sneakers actually did me a favor, because along with my shoes being taken, then perhaps a portion of my Sins have also been taken from me, which will make it easier to meet Allah on the Day-of-Standing, because the less Sins that a person has on their back, the better for them, when it comes to being judged by Allah on the Day of Days…So, I still considered myself a Winner.

Gareth Bryant/2016

Muhammad Ali: One of the Greatest

Standard

Cassius Clay...Muhammad Ali

Cassius Marcellus Clay, Cassius X, Muhammad Ali…
…born & raised in the South: Louisville, Kentucky.

No matter what you called him, he defined himself…
…he proved he was the best, he was always top-shelf.

Olympic Gold-Medalist with Boxing-Titles…
…he had so many Opponents, but no Rivals.

He was never afraid to stand-up to Oppression…
…always willing to improve a Person’s situation.

He denied accepting the Military-Draft…
…he refused to be a paver of the Warpath.

And, later on became a Muslim in 1975…
…he gave us strength to keep Islam alive.

The World never forgot the way he won back his Belts…
…everywhere he went, greeted by the screams and yells.

A Father and Husband to some, but a Big-Brother to us all…
…he acknowledge the best in all of us, both great and small.

He’s known as Number-One in our eyes…
…despite Parkinson’s-Disease taking rise.

Never letting any of his ailments defeat him…
…till his dying day, he taught us how to win.

Gareth Bryant/2016

 

 

 

 

 

INSHALLAH Clothing: It’s a Brand that takes a stand

Standard

ICC #9
Author’s-Note:
We’re here with X.L. Lawrence, who commonly refers to himself as XL Abdullah, Founder & CEO of INSHALLAH CLOTHING, giving Islamic-Fashion an ever evolving definition, with all kinds of trendy, cool, looks, People of all walks of life can purchase & enjoy-He’s a Fashion-Designer, Humanitarian, and all-around great guy. I’ve decided to interview him, as to what makes him tick, from a fashion perspective & here’s what I’ve got for you.
ICC #1
G.B.: How old were you when you decided that Fashion was your thing, that it was something which you really acquired a true passion for?

X.L.: I guess during High School when I visited a college adviser to help me figure out what schools I should look into. I know I always like art and clothing but never thought about fashion per say but after speaking with councilor realize how much I did like fashion. I always dressed a little different from the rest of my peers. I always liked taking items and making them my own.

 

ICC #2

G.B.: As a Muslim, first and foremost, how important is Fashion, from an Islamic perspective, in your eyes?

 

X.L.: It’s very important. And important for a number of reasons. First here in America most have a stereotypes about what they think Muslims look like. LOL…Even some Muslims have set ideas about how they think Muslims should look like and dress. These ideas don’t make sense being just like Christians, Jews etc… Muslims are made up of every ethnicity, race, social classes etc… Yeah we have what is called Sunnah ( the ways of the prophet Mohammad -PBUH ) but every Muslim don’t follow every Sunnah. Some grow beards, some don’t. Some women cover their heads, some don’t. So why think everyone wears the same clothing. WE DON’T !!! With that being said, I design clothing that reflect young America. Clothing that reflect young American Muslims. Clothing that is relevant to all on some level.

ICC #3
G.B.: When did you decide that making a clothing line was what you really wanted to do?
X.L.: Ironically, I’ve been in the footwear business for 15yrs and designed for a few different companies and brand and always said I wouldn’t design clothing. Too many people doing it or trying to do it. For me it was a turn off. LOL.. But after reverting to Islam Allah revealed a few things to me in a number of ways made me realize this is what he wanted me to do.
ICC #4
G.B.: Who/what inspired you to actually get this clothing line started?
X.L.: My inspiration for INSHALLAH CLOTHING actually came from a place of empathy. One day I was on the subway when I saw a Hijabi sister sitting on the train with her down. A first I didn’t think much about it but after 10 minutes of her sitting there with her head down I began to wonder if there was something wrong. After 15mins I began to feel a sense of discomfort coming from her. I wonder why and began to check out her surroundings before I came to realize it was because people were looking at her in a negative way. I was hoping to make eye contact with her to let her know she had a brother there if needed but that opportunity never came.
This touched me and mad me sad. I began to say Allah I wish there was something I could have done to change that situation. The next morning after prayers I began to think about what I had saw on the subway and said to Allah again, I wish there was something I could have done to change that situation. Within second a idea for a tshirt came to me and I ran to my computer and start designing it. It said I LOVE NEW YORK with NEW YORK being in Arabic. Below in small letter said NEW YORK in English for those who may not know Arabic. I felt this tshirt would have spoken for the hijabi sister on the subway that day and made her feel a little more at ease. And INSHALLAH CLOTHING began.
INSHALLAH Clothing #1
G.B.: Why did you choose to name your clothing line “Inshallah”?
X.L.: I truly believe everything is Inshallah (If Allah willing) and want to give glory to Allah/God for everything that happens with this brand, good or bad.
INSHALLAH Clothing #2
G.B.: What makes you stand-out among other Muslim clothing brands, both past & present?

X.L.: I believe our brand isn’t just for Muslims but for all people that believe in term or phrase INSHALLAH so our brand is more universal. Our brand is created with a more universal message and approach.

ICC #5
G.B.: Every clothing brand wants to represent concepts, ideas, ideals, etc. So, with that being said, what do you want your brand to represent, what concepts, ideas, ideals, do you want people to take away from, while supportingInshallahClothing?
X.L.: That they are wearing and supporting a brand that stands for awareness, understanding, unity and peace.
A brand that give credit and glory to whom it belongs to. A brand that will change the world by changing its perspective on the things they may have never known before.
ICC #6
G.B.: Do you want your brand to be pigeon-hold as a “Muslim-Brand” (exclusive to only Muslims), or do you want it to just be universally recognized as a brand (that anyone/everyone can enjoy)?
X.L.: I think I’ve answered that already.. LOL…
ICC #7
G.B.: Do you think/believe or hope that Inshallah Clothing can/will be a driving-force to represent Islam in a more positive light, within the Fashion Industry, in the Public-Sphere, among Muslims, etc.?
X.L.: Yes, I truly do. And believe that’s why Allah/God gave me this vision.
G.B.: Okay, let’s talk just about you, as an individual, now: Since the recent event in your neighborhood, regarding the Man that you helped to identify for Police, who was a Sex-Offender, tell us, how does it feel to be a Real-Life Hero?

X.L.: My last name is Abdullah which means slave or servant of Allah/God. My act of helping is just a natural action of being a servant of Allah/God. So I’m no hero I’m just a Muslim (one who submits to Allah/God ) .

G.B.: There are, unfortunately, sadly, many ugly misconceptions, stereotypes about Islam & Muslims. But, when people like you prove all of those untruths wrong, how powerful, do you believe, is that impact, in the Public-Eye, to have them see Muslims whom are the exact opposite of the negativity which they are constantly bombarded with vie the Media?

X.L.: Some may stay stuck in their misconceptions and some will step back and reanalyze things. The more good that is displayed by us Muslims the more we have a chance to make people reanalyze what they think they know or  about us.

G.B.: As a Muslim, as a Father, how important is it for you to have play a positive role in making sure that Criminals, such as the person whom you had confronted, were & are always confronted by members of the Community?

X.L.: As a father I’m so glad I confronted the criminal as I did. Now I feel a little that my wife and daughter along with the rest of the community is a little safer.

G.B.: What would you like your legacy, as the founder of Inshallah Clothing, to be, or have you even thought that far ahead yet?
X.L.: To have been someone that created a brand that creates dialogue, creates unity, and in return changes the world and world of fashion.

For more information about him & his clothing-line, please, visit here:

http://www.inshallahclothing.com

The Evolution of my Confidence:

Standard

gareth-bryant-eid-pics-23.jpg

Author’s-Note:
I’ve arrived at a beautiful realization, today, based upon a much-needed epiphany, decided by Divine-Providence, from Allah, the Creator/Lord of the Universe.

For every person who has ever told me that I wasn’t good enough for them, there have been thousands who would tell me they want me by their side…

…for every person who has ever said that I’m “too-dark”, there have been thousands who have said your skin is beautiful…

…for every negative comment about my beard, there have been thousands of positive comments about it…

…for every person who has mocked where I come from, there are thousands who wish to hear about how I became the person that I am, despite the challenges of my life-experiences…

…for every person who has discriminated against me for being a Black-Man in America, there are thousands of their children who want to walk, talk, dress, act, be just like me…

…for all of those haters out there who have slandered me, Allah, my Lord has shielded me against their lies, and protected me from their hands being the cause of my demise.

So, for all of you who can’t appreciate me, you’re the minority, and those who do appreciate me, greatly out number you.

Gareth Bryant/2014

Poetic-Challenge: Gareth Bryant vs. Neghena Hamidi

Standard

Author’s Note:
Every month I’ll be conducting a Poetic-Challenge, challenging various poets, whom I personally know/interact with, just for the sake of sharpening/improving my own poetry, general-goodwill, respect for my fellow “Brethren of the Paper & Pen”, and to just see who from among us has the best “Poetry-Skillz”…Every month, I’ll be picking a brand-new Poetic-Challenger, via Facebook/Twitter, to compete with. This month, it’s Neghena Hamidi. Next month, it could very well be anyone of you. So, just be prepared, with some fresh-rhymes.

Topic: Temptation

Gareth Bryant

Gareth Bryant

“Beware what You allow Yourself to succumb to”

I pretend that Temptation doesn’t affect me here…
…Reality always sets-in whenever she comes near.

…Then, I’m a mess: I’m like a pool of putty when I realize I’m not in control…
…How can she have me round her finger, while she’s so young & I’m so old?

I never expected that I’d be entranced, by something so obvious…
…Yet, that’s the nature of Man: we’re victims to clear distractions.

All that I wanted was to have her in my arms,my hands in her hair…
…She smelled of fragrances of flowers, blowing in the Summer air.

I totally yearned for her young, delicate, tender, fresh, flesh…
…She was more enjoyable than mid-day High School recess.

Little did I even realize that I had fooled myself, into thinking that I was strong enough…
…I was just bent on having her in my arms, I had no care of consequence, gettin’ caught.

But, then, she got pregnant: she told me at 4-months that she’s gonna keep it…
…There was nothing for me to say, except the pathetic cry of, “God, damn it!!!”

I didn’t want a bastard-child, but, I never wanted to marry her…
…My world was turned upside-down, as if life were an utter blur.

Verily, the fool was I, to even have the nerve to assume that Allah wouldn’t hold me to task…
…When Temptation grabs you, you’ve got to break loose & get away, or else no turning back.

This isn’t anyone’s fault: I had purposely made myself too blind to see…
…I, alone, am to blame, for not being the best Muslim, I know I can be.

This why we ought to listen to Allah, at once, the very 1st-time…
…Just as that ol’-sayin’ goes, “A hard Head makes a soft Behind.”.

We never think of the price we must pay, for our sinful enjoyment and play…
…We always make ourselves ignore that Accountability will have its own day.

We must safeguard all things that we hold dear…
…Integrity, shame, conscience, a heart that’s clear.

So, the lesson here is to learn from my most obvious error…

…Stop indulging in things which only promote sinful-pleasure.

Only then, can you ever hope to survive in this savage desire-riddled existence…
…We have to constantly depend upon Allah & thereafter, make true Repentance.

Then, we must always try to stay away, from the blissful trinkets of the Mundane, which makes us go stray…
…Because, before we know it, we’ll all be forced to stand before our Lord, to show cause, on Judgement-Day.

Gareth Bryant/2013

Neghena Hamidi

Neghena Hamidi

“Self-Enticement=Self-Indictment”

He loved his desires just like a fat boy loves cake
The only difference is cake doesn’t leave him baked
In a corner
At his friends house waiting to I escape
From his so called problems in the world with one blunt to eradicate
what he deemed as complicated
One puff cleaned that slate
but he goes home and begins to contemplate
The life style he adopted
due to the battle with his Nafs
Nafs
Jihad al Akbar but truly he has loss
Time to retain himself
From the things he should have refrained
After all he’s a hafez. And he never thinks in vain
Smoking occasionally. Flirting frequently. What’s the problem though this doesn’t make him insane
But “verily the Nafs incites evil”(12:53)
Just like how Zulaykha caused a chaotic upheaval
With Yusuf in prison
because winning the battle with his Nafs was considered treason
We all become good again
Because in the end, the heavens are where we want to descend
he looks at his mistakes thinking about how we will answer for in the end
Blunts. Drinks and girls.
Ain’t worth his time when it comes to making amends
With his Nafs. His conscious. His soul.
he can’t risk having his temptations act like burning coal
Placed on his heart
Creating this empty space reserved for evil. A huge hole.
Tempted. He let that Marlboro sit on his desk unlit
Realizing, spiritually that temptation leads to a life unfit
For him to lead given his time and space
After all people look up to him, he doesn’t  want to lose face.
Wait lose face? In front of people? Because he’s the hafez of Quran. Man. Check your intentions because with that mentality you got it all wrong,
Lit those cigarettes if that is your main concern.
let those blunts burn and burn.
but worry about the opinion of your creator. That’s one thing you must learn.
tempted to break your habits for society? If that’s what you yearn
By all means stop the bad things in your life due to that main concern.
But adapting to good because of people will surely lit a fire in track of evil.
Because you can adapt to bad so easily
The pattern is infinite. It Will go on endlessly.
People change. So will you.
In the end you are left to choose
The path of good? Or the path that’s disapproved?
So tempted to follow their league
Even though it’s against your core beliefs
Fluctuating in what’s pure and what’s obscene
Believe me it’s common
all you need is some guidance
but one request before you take  actions even further
Recheck your intentions and make sure it’s for the Preserver

Neghena Hamidi/2013

I am the Pursuant-Panther!!!

Standard

Jaguar pic

As I swiftly sprint, through my Jungle domain, all pause, as though they’re on my hit-list.
They are in awe of my strength, my colorful-coat, my sharp-claws, my paws, mighty-fists.

I’m the only one of my kind, I am the King of the Amazon.
All I have to do is roar and everyone in the Jungle is gone.

But, it’s so lonely, at  the top; it’s like I have no one to share my beautiful-world with.
It’s like I’m without family or friends…it feels like I am always alone: no kin, & no kith.

I love to be around others, to play, not just to hunt and kill.
I just wanna know how it feels to be part of something real.

When I am present, others are deathly afraid.
I’m just anxious to get along, to have it made.

I wish simply to live, and enjoy the good-life, with every Jungle neighbor.
I want them to know that me being a Jaguar doesn’t define my behavior.

What I pursue is more than just a fresh-kill: I pursue community.
I desire to be one with my entire environment: I only seek unity.

I search for love & understanding.
Honestly, is this too demanding?

Gareth Bryant/2013

The Most Interesting Parody of the Most Interesting Man in the World:

Video

Gareth Bryant, with the help of Mohammed Butt, as the camera-man, parodies the exploits & cockiness of “The Most Interesting Man in the World”. I hope that you enjoy watching this video as much as I’ve enjoyed making this.

Let’s Love for the Right-Reason:

Standard

“Boy meets Girl”…they become each other’s world.
She buys him clothes, he buys her diamonds, pearls.

But, is this “True-Love”, or is it just a “good-time”?
Is it the “Long-Hall”, or a one-night “wine & dine”?

When we use this word…L.O.V.E….what, exactly, does it really mean?
Are we emotionally invested in someone, or is it just a realized-fantasy?

Just how earnestly connected are we, to those we’re attached to, and living with, side-by-side?
When the hair grays, the looks fade, will we stay or pursue someone new, leaving them behind?

Are we skin-deep, and, or, superficial?
The answer, to this question, is critical.

Because, if we do not have the right-answer, that means our priorities are all-wrong.
It means that we’ve been lying to ourselves and others, with an ingenuine love-song.

The sound, of that covertly-deceptive melody, has captured our hearts.
But, the after-tone leaves a very painful screech, on our, delicate, ears.

For the longest times, we’ve just assumed that we always, in relationships, used our wits, smarts.
However, as the sharp, tart, heartbreak sets in, we now see the actual fruition of our worst fears.

We all need comfort, therefore look for love, often, in all the wrong-places.
We all allow our emotions to be “wild and free”, instead of grow, in stages.

We always forget, in fact, to love the One who matters most.
He who has given us hearts, to begin with, the Lord of Hosts.

It is Allah, the Lord of All, whom requires us to love Him, first; but, we don’t.
He wants only that we remain grateful, to Him, for all He does; but, we won’t.

We’d rather have our fragile morsels of flesh, between our chests, be stepped upon & shattered.
Yet, if we only took the time to love Allah, more, first, we’d find ourselves emotionally protected.

Gareth Bryant/2013

My Book-Tours:

Standard

My Poetic Anatomy pic

 

Salam/What-Up?!!!

Beginning from April 30th, I will be touring, promoting my 1st-publication, “My Poetic Anatomy”. This is a great accomplishment for me, and I would like for you to share in this accomplishment with me, by supporting my work. Hee’s my official facebook fanpage, for this 1st-publication:

https://www.facebook.com/GarethBryantOfficial

Please, contact me, via email, whether you’d be interested in having me promote my work, wherever you may be:

musabryant15@gmail.com

Thank you in advance,

Gareth Bryant