Tag Archives: Writing

What I’ve Finally Learned From Ramadhan:

Standard

gareth-bryant-eid-pics-23.jpg

Ramadhan of 1437/2016 will always be the year I’ve come to terms with what this month really stands for. To many Muslims, it’s a way to get closer to the proximity of Allah’s Mercy, for Others it’s a reason to fraternize with fellow Muslims in ways that’s not necessarily available at other times of the year, for some it’s an excuse to attempt to get in shape/lose weight, for some it’s the ideal situation to indulge in some Free-Food at various Mosques. But, for me personally, I’ve forced myself to search more indepthly, just to see what can be found within this month.

What I’ve come to realize is that Ramadhan for so many of us is to attempt to be a “Super-Muslim”…only during the Month of Ramadhan, and/or only during the last 9/10 Days of Ramadhan, in the hopes of catching what’s known as Laylat-al-Qadr/the Night of Decree, in which the reward for it is similar to worshipping Allah for 83 years.(Noble-Qur’an: Chpt.97, V.3) For so many Muslims, we wait for this time of year to pretend to be “Super-Pious”: praying, giving Charity, being nice, etc., more than in other times of the year. However, many of us have this all wrong. My personal-assessment is that Ramadhan serves exclusively as a period of Spiritual-Purging. I liken this month to the etymology of the Arabic-Noun Fitnah…the word Fitnah, meaning “Problem”, “Conflict”, “Drama”, “Trial/Tribulation”, etc., comes from Gold/Silver Smithing.(Lisan-ul-`Arab: Lexicon of the Arabic-Language) Because Gold & Silver is from deep beneath the Earth and/or embedded within Mountains: oftentimes these metals themselves are meshed which earthly materials, which diminish their value.

So, then what’s to be done about it? The Gold/Silver must be melted down, and then be forged into a purer substance. But, to do that, these metals need to be placed under extreme temperatures, thousands of degrees, in order to melt them, so that the turbid materials attached to these metals can be sifted away. And, this is exactly what Ramadhan is to me, a way to sift through all of our turbidity, so that we can be forged into purer types of People. We must allow ourselves to be placed into the heat of Hunger, Thirst, denial of our natural inclinations towards: Sexual-Intercourse, Anger, Revenge, Violence, etc. & all other things which naturally make us…well, Humans. The entire purpose for us to be Spiritually-Smithed is so that we can truly be worthy of the Favor of Allah, which is His Mercy, Guidance, via us acquiring Piety (holding ourselves accountable to refrain from all that Allah has made temporarily Mahrum/Prohibited, as well as things which Allah has made Mahrum at all times).(Noble-Qur’an: Chpt.2, V.183)

For some/many, you’ve probably already come to this conclusion, without me even having to write this. But, I’ve deemed it necessary, because it’s something that I’ve come to the realization of, and I’m sure that I’m not the only one who hasn’t truly gotten the point of what Ramadhan truly stands for. Ramadhan, by its nature, isn’t for us to get things right all in one month, because that’s not even realistic. Rather, it’s a time to really dig through one’s self, to reflect upon what makes you work vs. what makes you halt…what makes you strong vs. what makes you weak…what makes you resist vs. what makes you sin, etc. I now have a greater understanding of who I am, as a Muslim, as just simply a Human-Being.

Everyday is like a fierce Internal-Fight: a perfect mixture or even an imbalance of spiritual victories & defeats-Resisting what just naturally comes to you, what automatically feels good and feels right, and struggling to rise above all of that to be someone greater, someone higher. It’s about sacrificing what you think & feel is for you, in order to please you, and really trying your best to replace that mindset with doing what’s expected of you from Allah, in order to please Him. Since arriving at this particular epiphany, in my journey as a Muslim, I’ve attained a better sense of how I am to improve and what I allow myself to still fall victim to. I’ve truly honed in on remaining more conscious of what drives me more towards Obedience vs. Disobedience to Allah. This is what I’ve been allowed to learn during Ramadhan, through the Mercy of Allah.

Gareth Bryant/2016

 

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

Melody of Madness:

Standard

Winter is no longer cold…I’m no longer young.
Confusion in my life…the War hasn’t been won.

Carnage fills my heart, like war-torn Syria.
AIDS & Ebola ravage from Rwanda to Libya.

The rise of Atheism immersed in Academia.
The demand for Petroleum from Saudi Arabia.

America uses ISIS for their warmongering devices.
Depletion of the Earth isn’t on anyone’s focus.

Climate-Change…something’s strange.
Blacks still lynched, nothing’s changed.

Why do we exist in this World with such pain?
Why is apathy normal & compassion insane?

It seems like everything’s just upside down.
The Oppressor a Hero, the Victim a Clown.

I’m so conflicted…my emotions stifled.
No one’s genuine, everything’s a trifle.

The Law is blind, because Justice is absent.
Xenophobia reign’s supreme, no acceptance.

I’m sad and angry because my nation hates me.
I live in a country threatened by my theology.

What if the banning of Muslims gets approved?
How can I survive in a World that’s so shrewd?

I can only prepare for the coming of the destruction of all I hold dear.
The end is abysmal, dark, and near; we’re now all ruled by fear.

Gareth Bryant/2015

Ambitious Aspirations

Standard

Shirley Bishop

Shirley Bishop, a very talented writer, in my opinion, has decided that she will embark upon her own writing project, a poetry book. I was very interested in getting to know more about her project, what inspired her to do so & what she hopes to make of it. Here’s her, in her own words, concerning her drive to become a literary-artist:

Poetry to me is the language of the soul! It can discreetly reveal my deepest secrets, it can make some of my harsh and raw feelings sound so eloquent to others. Poetry doesn’t pacify my curiosity, it embraces it! The beauty of poetry is similar to someone’s smile . A person’s smile can mean so many things, joy, strength, nervousness and fear yet it puts its audience at ease. I realized that poetry was my choice of expression when I was about 11 years old. I come from a family that has immense talent (musically), to where I’ve been influenced by significantly. I’ve always been drawn to words, studied the dictionary for personal enjoyment, since I was 3 and I loved the concept of rhyming. I was so fascinated to see how much power words carry, in terms of affecting a person’s mood: this alone became my addiction to word play! I started writing poetry in junior high school. I’ve written between junior high school and high school 4 books worth of poetry. But, sadly my books have all been damaged beyond repair.

With my new poetry project in the making, I hope to accomplish bringing enlightenment to the public, to see beyond the (typical) stereotypical styles of poetry: poetry is not “boring”, it’s not “roses are red etc” and it does not necessarily reflect thoughts of “loneliness”, “sadness”, “grief” or “despair”. It is not a tool to highlight “bad times”, “regretful moments”, or “negative experiences”; but, rather a versatile form of expression, creativity and eloquence: demonstrating how we all can relate to one another, as human beings. I am excited to infuse my favorite genres of music (dancehall, 90s hip hop/r&b) into my poetry: to give my words some edge, give my readers entertainment that doesn’t need to always be in a form of a “status update”. This book is very important to me because it expresses some of my very personal experiences, it shows my creativity of people’s stories that I wrote which can be related to all, and it speaks on the topic that holds a strong hold to many of us…being judged! This book is my chance to show the world what keeps me smiling, at peace, confident, and full of life: poetry!

If my words can bring encouragement to others to deal with hard situations , empower men and women to both know their worth and reinforce people to put their all into their passions in life , then my mission is accomplished. The effects that I would like my book to have on readers are strength, comfort to know I relate to them, self-love, and most importantly a mental escape. So many times to me it seems like many try and compete with how clever or “deep” they can post a “quote” on social media, which to me are empty words. Empty words I say b/c many do so without knowing the authenticity of the quote or perhaps it’s meaning let alone how can you realistically  apply that quote to your daily life. With my book, it’s pretty straightforward, we all been thru things most won’t dare to speak, and if you keep looking for answers to all of life’s ups and down, when will u take a moment to actually just live life. Nowadays, with immense popularity of social media and increasing expansions of technology and it’s gadgets, most don’t take that old fashioned approach to escaping mentally which is reading a damned good book! I hope my book can bring that groove back of a simple getaway of the harshness reality do bring.

I would say 10% of the book’s content is from my personal experiences, will I tell you which ones? Nope lol gotta keep the suspense going! The remaining 90% content consist of experiences told to me, observed and moments I wished I had in real life. I strongly believe my work will be well received simply b/c it’s raw in feelings of myself and others. I would like my work to define myself as poet with a neo soul attitude, a jazz of feelings of expression and a reader’s jones for more and more til I can’t write no more ! I would like my work to be respected, enjoyed and even used to uplift others. I do see myself going far with writing as it is my sincerest of talents and a form of art I absolutely love to create! I am hopeful to write a collection of poetry and possibly entertain the thought of expanding my work to film. No matter how small or big of the success that my project will receive, my humility will be in tact and to make a difference in someone’s life for the better is my true aim.

Shirley Bishop/2015

For more info. about Shirley Bishop & her Poetry-Book:

srollins1982@gmail.com

http://www.facebook.com/sbishop82

Munir Avery is for the People…let the People be for Munir:

Standard

Munir Avery

Author’s-Note:
I’ve been given an exclusive opportunity to interview Munir Avery, New York State’s first upcoming Muslim State-Senator:

 

 

What are the Muslim-Men going to do?

Standard

gareth-bryant-eid-pics-23.jpg

Burma…Bosnia…Gaza…China: all of the Believers devoured at the table-spread of the Oppressors.
Somalia…Egypt…Libya…Mali: Muslim-Rulers stand by as they rape our mothers and our daughters.

Hezbollah…Al-Qaeda…Boko Haram: funded by our corrupt governments, to terrorize and cause harm.
CNN…FoxNews…NewYorkPost: spread Islamophobia, like Mosquitoes spreading disease on a farm.

But, what do we do, aside from starring at reports from the News?
Do we give charity, raise awareness to these ever forgotten issues?

The answer is no: we just sit-back, relax, and wait for the next Jordans to come-out.
And, when we can’t get that new car from our parents, we wanna complain & pout.

But, the next time that you wanna be ungrateful…
…take a look at the Muslim-World, it’s unstable…

We have Women who cannot leave their homes, without being attacked…
…while the Scholars of these lands do nothing but argue about this & that…

…We have Kingdoms, Sheikhdoms, who help the Disbelievers strip their people of all of their freedom…
…And, their Puppet-Clerics tell the masses to “be patient”, that rebellion against tyranny is not Wisdom…

…We have proxy Republics, dumbed-down Democracies, which do nothing but perpetuate hypocrisy…
…The Petroleum, which springs from the ground in the lands of the Muslims, used to fuel the economy of Apathy…

And, what exactly are the Muslim-Men doing?
What are we here for and where are we going?

We’ll be the cause of our own destruction, lest we help those in need…
…we’ll be headed straight for the Fire of Hell, lest we finally take heed…

…We need to care for the welfare of the Other, treat every Woman like our Mother…
…view every Man, from every land, regardless of their complexions, as our Brother…

Only when we see all Human beings as equals, with Souls, will our goals be purified & realized…
…but, the Oppressor’s game of divide-and-conquer entices so many, who wish to live illusioned…

…Some People simply believe it’s really all about them…
…they listen to too many Rap-Songs that slogan “Win”…

But, if your fellow Man is at a loss, how much have you truly won?

Gareth Bryant/2014

Jihad is not a Bad-Word:

Standard

gareth-bryant-eid-pics-23.jpg

Imma tell ya a story of what Jihad really is Folks: it’s not this dirty-word, that Islamophobic Birds chirp about in the Media…
…it’s something that starts from the individual, and works its way into the Public, to establish Divine-Justice, the Shari`ah…

…Each of us have plenty trials, flaws, and sins…
…but, we work hard turning our losses into wins…

…When we see deception in the Eyes, enticed by the Passion of the Flesh…
…it’s then, friends, that we rely upon Allah, to make us better than the rest…

…Everyday, I see that Girl, I just wanna make her my World…
…but, if I just sex her, she will be just another tainted Pearl…

…I must challenge my Soul, to place my Ego under water…
…press down, down, down, never let my standards falter…

…She looks at me, with all glee, and wants to kick it wit me…
…she wants to fulfill all my fantasies which aren’t my reality…

…She sees I’m striving, she wouldn’t pursue me directly…
…she says she wants to learn & she wants to attain Piety…

…But, I’m a Street-Dude and I know how this goes…
…she tries to whisper in my ear, “Nobody knows”…

But, that’s not true, the One who made me & you, surely sees what is prior & after what we do…
…You run a good-game, wit ya bad-self, I gotta fall back, you runnin’ wit Shaytan and his crew…

…When you undress, your picturesque frame keeps me in a state of disdain & I say “DAMN”…
…Now, how am I supposed to resist such a fine Woman, that I was created to love, as a Man…

…By putting my face on the floor, crying, yelling, till I collapse a Lung…
…Oh, my Lord, do not let me get caught-up, do not let me get sprung…

…You chose to make me Muslim for a reason, to withstand any season…
…to face any type of enemy, whether they be a Gang or a mighty Legion…

…But, the greatest fight, that we don’t view with insight, is with the enemy within…
…an-Nafs, the Ego, is a crafty fellow, who seems calm and mellow, but is poison…

…We boast that we can fight armies of thousands, when we cannot even turn away from that gaze…
…We claim that we “ready to die”, but is your scorecard of Life enough to protect you in the Grave…

…Please take heed: the desire for Wealth and Power, the want to have who you want, under the sheets in that midnight session…
…could very well be that which drowns your Soul, and drags it to the fiery Oceans of Hell, and no Lifeguard will take that mission…

…After which there will not be life-rafts, nor lifeboats, to bring you out, except by Allah’s Divine-Klout…
…but, who wants to go through that, wouldn’t it be better to just enter the Paradise, without account…

…We don’t think, because, we don’t know, we don’t know, because we don’t care…
…Now, unless you show concern & care, those who are like this will be in despair…

…We should want the best for the People, and also, better for ourselves…
…this involves subduing the Self, and removing all our internal carnal ills…

…So, this is Jihad, the struggle against our negative…
…Defeat is not an option, while Victory is imperative…

Gareth Bryant/2014

Imaginative-Reasoning:

Standard

gareth-bryant-eid-pics-23.jpg

Imagine a Chessboard, without pieces…
…or, a Dissertation, without a Thesis.

What if the Homeo had no stasis…
…the World’s weather no phases?

Try to picture the Arctic-Circle, with no Ice-Caps…
…and, all of the Animals extinct, not coming back.

Let’s think of a Planet without compliance…
…filled with hypocrisy, apathy and violence.

Be warned, these are realities yet to come…
…because, we forfeited Humanity being one.

1-God, 1-Destiny, 1-Purpose, 1-Plan…
…securing the welfare of our fellow man.

Just picture a cold Heart, with no Chambers…
…or, living our entire lives with just strangers.

Try to see in ya mind, Hustlers, without a grind…
…or, the 1-Eyed King deceiving & ruling the blind.

Let’s pretend that Poverty is at an end…
…that People selflessly give and spend.

Wouldn’t it be beautiful that a Woman didn’t have to sell her body, in order to seek a Man’s love…
…or, that a Man honor a Woman in marriage, instead of wrapping her round his hand, like a glove?

What if all People looked beyond the skin-color of another…
…and, that we only saw others as our sisters & our brothers?

How great would it be, if we were all were free…
…all People safe from the ugly claws of tyranny?

If only every Man were granted his due from his labor, his daily-bread…
…and, that he not resort to robbing, or shooting someone, in the head.

What if Muhammad had never ventured into the Cave of Hira’…
…to receive Revelation which made living life so much clearer?

What if the Children of Israel never attempted to kill Jesus…
…what if he stayed long enough for his miracles to reach us?

What if David didn’t have the courage to defeat Goliath…
…or, the Army of Saul hadn’t have received the triumph?

What if Moses never went atop Mount-Sinai & saw the Burning-Bush…
…or, if the one who took him from water never bothered to take a look?

Imagine Abraham never leaving Ishmael in the Arabian-Desert…
…would they’ve built the Ka`bah or learn joy after suffering hurt?

Think if Noah was never saved from the Great-Flood, by building the Ark…
…would Humanity have survived, or, would we have still been in the dark?

Think about how it would be, had Adam & Eve had never eaten from that Tree…
…would we know whether we’d spend our entire existence in Paradise with glee?

It would be wonderful, to witness the change that so many fought & died for…
…I guess that’s just wishful-thinking, unless we’re willing to fight & die for more.

Gareth Bryant/2014

Gareth Bryant vs. Cyrus McGoldrick:

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 Cyrus McGoldrick. Next month, it could very well be anyone of you. So, just be prepared, with some fresh-rhymes.

Topic: Yearning for something More

Gareth Bryant

Gareth Bryant

The Warmth We yearn from one another:

When the blistering Winter descends…
…We can no longer afford to pretend.

We get cold so quickly, it really hurts…
…We pursue warmth which takes work.

We all want the heat of Love, to warm our heart…
…Each of us wants a companion who’ll never part.

But, Life is sometimes a cruel Snow-Storm, covering all in its path, with the crispest & iciest harshness…
…However, we must make a Summer out of every Winter, protecting our hearts from a freezing-tempest.

We mustn’t succumb to the hypothermia of Loneliness…
…We all need someone to keep us from cold distress.

Being close, to the one who you love, is one of the greatest feelings of all…
…So, think about the one who keeps you warm during the heavy Snow-Fall.

Gareth Bryant/2014

Cyrus McGoldrick

Cyrus McGoldrick

ROARS OF THE RESTLESS:
Patterns of romances
low lights
private dances
signature strike timing
slow trances
Recital
thrown lances
light bites
the plight of the banished
without a standard
no understanding
a clan reprimanded
Plans
paths that never intersect
cattle gaining interest
calves that pay the rent
rattlesnakes in nets
Sweat
treasure in bared chests
reflections of red flares
messy confections
bred best
sleds sent
some bent and some went
Guns kept for your protection
legs stretched
rented apartments and tents
learned little and read best
roars of the restless
Wrapped in heavenly blessings
missing senses and tests
my second death
ascension that dents impressions
no bodies left

Cyrus McGoldrick/2014

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