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Concerning Causes and Solutions

May 29, 2007

kr’s note: Normally, I don’t post about narrations of events in my life, but I think the epiphany that I had this morning requires understanding the background from which it stemmed…

I went on a one-day roadtrip to Michigan yesterday with Don Kazim and Mrs. Don (sorry Anjum :P) to attend the walima function of my good friend, one Misbah Shahid. I woke up around 8 am yesterday (Monday) morning, and we left Chicago around 11 am, went to the wedding (with a notable pitstop, which perhaps was the real reason for us going… but that’s another matter…), blah blah blah, whatever. The story really starts when we left the wedding around 10 pm EST (9 pm Chicago time for those of you really bad at math and other skills, such as time zones) and I offered to drive since I felt I was already the third wheel and figured Kaz could relax and talk to his significant other while I drove. To keep myself fueled (no pun intended) for the drive home, I resorted to a combination of drinks–a doubleshot espresso topped off with a Mountain Dew Amp energy drink–that is quite possibly illegal when mixed together, and has enough caffeine and other stimulants to wake up even the sleeping Muslim ummah–again, I digress.

tallboy

I figured I needed to stay awake for 4-5 hours tops till we get back to the blessed lands of Chicago shareef and I could get a few hours of sleep before having to leave the house again by 6 am to get to the hospital in time for morning report. Kazim dropped me off around 1:30, and by the time I unpacked and prayed and got into bed, it was 2 am…

I couldn’t sleep. I was wired. I had a million thoughts running in my head, I felt like maybe I should go and run a few miles. Or clean my room. Or the house. The possibilities were endless. I ended up trying to study while lying in bed hoping that the drudgery of neurology would put my neurons to sleep…

Nothing. Wide awake, ready to take on the world, kick butt and take names later. I tried everything to make myself go to sleep: du’as, revising, imagining myself asleep… nothing, I was jittering and shaking like I had the DTs (delirium tremens). I looked at the clock and it was 5 am. I said screw it, so I woke up, did Fajr and decided to avoid traffic and go to the hospital early and maybe study there for a while. And so as I was driving at 6 am on Lake Shore Drive, I felt it… that sinking feeling one feels when the air runs out of the coin-operated air hockey table and that game’s left in a tie… the post-sugar/caffeine/guarana/God-knows-what crash.

And so at 6:15 am I pondered upon my predicament: how I felt like a thousand and one bricks now lay upon my shoulders and all I wanted to do was lay down and why is that sunlight so damn bright? And when I asked myself that evasive question of how, the answer to that rumination lay in two aluminum cans of rocket fuel emerging as the primary cause for this mess. More importantly, now that I was in this compromised position, how do I actually go about making it through the rest of the day since even if I were to call in sick, I wouldn’t be able to handle the drive home. And as I sat there cursing the cause, like a new moon arising amidst the blackness of the desert, the solution dawned upon me.

The solution to my situation was nothing more than the cause of the situation itself. It was simple, it was beautiful, it was brilliant. And so I stopped at the White Hen on Sheridan and got myself some of the cause-now-turned-solution to get me through the day. And as I sat there drinking and wave upon wave of freshly released acetylcholine and adrenaline surged through my body, I had this epiphany:

Sometimes in life we find ourselves in situations wherein we shake our fists and curse at the cause(s) that led us there, not realizing that perhaps this same cause is the solution.

And so whether it’s family, girls (or guys), parents, the community, scholars/leaders, or the deen itself (or even as trivial as a can of doubleshot and a can of Amp) that we blame for our issues and life situations and write off, perhaps the irony is that cause itself is the strongest–and perhaps, only–solution. Perhaps instead of being content in blaming the cause, the higher mind must look and realize that it is the solution. For example, if one’s family is the reason for one’s predicament and one becomes resentful of that (leading to further animosity), realize that becoming even closer with one’s family is the remedy. The paradox is that perhaps what we blamed as the cause was never really the cause at all, but we found it convenient to label it as the cause.

On the highest level, when we blame God for our states and thus turn away from Him out of frustration, angst, and resentment, realize that He was never the cause, but was always the solution. This was the legacy of those three sahabah, this is what they were the cause of Allah teaching us: “…and their (very) souls seemed straitened
to them,- and they perceived that there is no fleeing from Allah (and no
refuge) but to Himself
. Then He turned to them, that they might repent: for
Allah is Oft-Returning, Most Merciful
.”

And therein lay my epiphany. Or not. What do I know? I’m just strung out on caffeine and going on 32 hours without sleep.

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20 Comments
  1. Anonymous permalink

    and what explains the horrible movie you’re watching?

  2. Wow, so much profound after drinking a can of liquid sweettarts.  Maybe I should give those energy drinks a whirl…
    Is this Don character’s wife Anjum Kidiwala??  I think I saw her yesterday and had no idea what she was doing there!  How exciting.

  3. profound thinking** 

  4. HAHAHA. What a hillarious intro!!! You’re one helluva writer with a great sense of humor. Nice way to tie it up with your conclusion.

  5. one of the few posts of yours i actually made it all the way through
    mashaAllah, good stuff

  6. haha, niceee. 

  7. am i supposed to prop this??? stream of consciousmess drivel …

  8. The metaphors used in this post were brilliant:
    1. air hockey table2. caffeine to wake up the Muslim ummah3. the moon in the desert (my favorite one, reminded me of Hajj and sitting in the night bus ride through the desert)4. acetylcholine/adrenaline (English please?) but it sounded cool

  9. Its gorgeous.Writing and the epiphany. Insighful.

  10. That movie is awful. Read the book instead. Even if you’ve read it before, read it again.
    Shouldn’t a future doctor realize the effects and side-effects of caffeine without imbibing large amounts of it?
    Oddly enough, this has been some of your best writing in while.

  11. very niiiiiiiiiiiice

  12. nice post…but there’s just something about you holding a can that says “Tall Boy” on it, that doesn’t fit right.
    Moral of the story Kamran: Next time you’re thirsty, stick to Squirt.
    -Mohd

  13. I’d have to agree with Asad. On such a mundane topic, you’ve managed to write one of your best posts in a while. I like the ending touch with the Quranic ayah reference, very nice.

  14. I knew lack of sleep allows us to utilize the more poignant part of or brain…
    Haha…greatest entry ever!  1 million eprops.
    Amp… and double shot…deadly.  Can’t get either of those out here… would come in handy.
    Salaamalaikumwarahmatullah.

  15. What the hell is wrong with you people?28 eProps for kr’s worthless post about how to get 290 mg of caffiene(150 mg from Mountain Dew’s Amp and 140 mg from Starbuck’s DoubleShot?)And thus I clothe my naked villainy / With old odd ends stolen forth from holy writ/And seem a saint when most I play the devil.bogus.

  16. Pac permalink

    Dude. Some great insight especially when you apply this to females (i.e. cake). It must explain why you’re (iA) becoming a doctor.Angry KR: I hate doctors. They take all the hot chicks (i.e. hot hijabis) and leave nothing for me. They are the cause of fitna and my heart break in life. I hate them!Enlightened KR: Holy frick! Wait a second, BECOMING a doctor will be my solution to getting a girl (or two, or three, or four)…Thanks, Kamran. I’m going to apply for med school now.

  17. I take offense to this post. You failed to mention that you were in the presence of an entity, The ShIZZ, at such an event in Michigan where you were held to the honorable position of sitting next to that same one, ThE ShIZZ. Truly a moment that was unammusingly absent in this post…

  18. Anonymous permalink

    that was vaguely brilliant…thank you kamkam, for your drug induced epiphany…

  19. Subhan’Allah, the ending was awesome

  20. im going to try this….

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