riyada in arabic means "training" or "discipline". It was used by the arabs in relation to horse taming. Sufis refer to their discipline as "riyadat an-nafs": disciplining the soul / training the ego. Today, the word riyada has come to mean "sports". There is an Arabic proverb that says: "The purpose of sports (riyada) is not to win cups, but to discipline the soul". This blog is here to help me discipline my soul and train my body.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Stay Tuned....

Well, I doubt there's any readers of this blog left, since it kinda died off.. But if there's anyone out there still- just give me one more month. One more month of no blogging and them I'm coming back with a vengeance.

After Dec 23, if God has willed for me to live that long, I will start writing a lot. Here are some things I plan to do:

1- The Idrisi Series: I MUST get as much information as possible out there about my ustadh, Ahmad ibn Idris, may God bequeath to us some of his knowledge. I want to write an article about the Tariqa Muhammadiyya as practiced by his own teachers and people who went before him, then I want to talk about his own tariqa and compare it with those of other reforming sufi shaykhs of the same time, and then I want to talk about his legacy and his successors. I've always been hesitant about even attempting this because he is a giant of a man, a true heir of the Prophet salla Allahu alayhi wa aalihi wa sallam, and how do you even begin to describe someone who has inherited ever half a hair's worth of the Prophet's knowledge and character? But I feel like I have to get something out there, and inshalla I will, even if it does not do him justice.

2- The Resistance Series. In the 19th and 20th centuries, as a response to Western Imperialism, a series of legendary Sufi-led wars of resistance raged in the Caucasus, Algeria, Libya and the Sudan. I want to write something little about each movement and about how their leaders, great Sufi shaykhs, were all connected.

3- I want to talk about changes I have done in my life. Some small, some not so small. And all kinds of theories about how they affect your personalities, and what changes I have noticed in myself since doing them. But I have a feeling yall gonna think I went insane or something.

4- Translation. I have decided to stop reading english works on Islam and sufism when I can read arabic instead. I'm going to be reading as much as possible in Arabic, and as a way of improving my vocabulary in classical Arabic and improving my writing abilities I'm going to try and translate a small paragraph or section almost every day- something I like. Expect from me a translation of something (from some great texts) I read every day or so, and if you dont get it, DEMAND IT. I do need the encouragment as if no one asks me about it I'd probably stop. It's gonna be some good stuff inshalla.

5- On the training front. I'm gonna be in Jordan. I'm gonna have things that I dont have here, and foods that I dont have here. And all sorts of things I dont have here. I will be in my groove. I will be in the zone. I will start a new experiment to take my body to a whole new level. And I will keep track of it here. This is finally my chance to do something Ive been meaning to for a while now. It's something easy that everyone can do. Stay tuned for all the details on how I'm gonna rev up my metabolism and turn myself into a muscle-building, fat-burning machine.

in shaa' Allah.


[just wanted to leave this note to myself to remember to write about another topic, something very controversial. well, no need to say what it is, as this note should be enough to remind me if i forget to write about it.]

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Good News