Foundation, NJ  U. S. A


the Message Continues ... 4/83



Newsletter for July 2008



Article 1 - Article 2 - Article 3 - Article 4 - Article 5 - Article 6 - Article 7 - Article 8 - Article 9 - Article 10 - Article 11 - Article 12



On Graduating from High School!

By Okasha Naqvi, New Jersey


(The speech was delivered by 18 years Okasah Naqvi at her Graduation Party held at Bait ul Asr Islamic Center, Freehold, New Jersey on Saturday, 28 June, 2008. A writer, poet and athlete and an academic super star, the young Okasha has a message for other young men and women of the community).

In the name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful

My dear brothers and sisters in Islam , Salamun-alaykum

            All praise and blessings upon the Prophet Mohammad (s) and his family. May we all Insha’Allah learn from their actions, sacrifices and teachings so that we may convert our minds and souls to the sole focus of pleasing Allah (swt) and upholding the image of the beautiful religion of Islam. 

          First of all, I’ll like to welcome and thank everyone here today for attending my graduation party. This gives me the chance to properly thank, and reminisce on my experiences of being in this great community.  Everyone these days has been telling me “get ready for the most important years of your life” or on the lines of “these years will determine the rest of your life’s outcome”. While these statements do hold some what true, I beg to differ. I believe the most important years of my life are right here in front of you saying this speech. It is I, a culmination of eighteen years of my parent’s hard work and sacrifice that has decided for me the rest of my life. From the small age of four when I would repeat the verses of the Holy Qur'an after my mother and memorize the Arabic and translations of suras before bed, or the age of five and six when my father helped me gain the courage to do speeches, to become a youth leader, and to fall in love with Islam not because I was born into it. Because the religion gave every reason and logic of life and the life hereafter.

            I am nothing without my parents. To say that I have become who I am, this eighteen year old girl embarking on her way to college without my parents would be like the trees saying they had grown without the rain, or that the birds have been able to fly without their wings. I am not green or airborne without these god-given people. I am nothing without them. So for my parents, here is where I begin. The two most amazing people in my life!  I wish every child here could have my parents, that they too insha’Allah will be able to swell with love and affection and the deep friendship that I hold with my parents. Baba! you have been my rock. You are my spine in each and every way. Subhan’allah the way you have worked for us, for our family, day and night, you never complain. Not once did I hear an ‘oof’ from you when you had to take us on long vacations, not once in my life have I heard an ill comment from your mouth about any one. You have treated my sisters and I with such respect that you treat us as if we were queens. You look to us for advice, you never do anything without our suggestion, you never punish us harshly, never Baba have you failed to be short of Islam’s teachings of a good father. The one incident I remember that moved me the most was I remember when I was a child, you called me a silly name and me being the sensitive person I remain to be I started crying and went to my room. I still remember Baba how you came on your knees almost ready to cry and asked for my forgiveness because you were afraid of the day of judgment and what your punishment could be there. The love in your eyes, not for me, for Islam shook me up. Till this day I am shocked at your humbleness and just at your character in general. Alone, you never do one thing wrong, you will refuse anything against God’s will, and it truly truly leaves my jaw dropping every time. You are beyond a normal human being to me, you are my idol. You are the one person I pray I can be like. You are truly one in a billion. Your love and undying faith has made me who I am. You are my spine baba, you are my heart, you are my mind. You are the greatest man I have ever known. Just know today is not about me it’s completely about your sacrifices, your pain that I could have never healed, your strength I take away with my stupidity, its about how every day before I sleep I never see you, and when you come home, there is always that smile. I would trade the world’s wonders to see that smile for the rest of my life insha’Allah. Baba know you are my greatest and truest friend, and I am asking you today humbly forgive me if I failed and fell short of being a good daughter, and know that this speech will never be enough to repay you for your wonderful giving's to our family. From your family meetings and rich historical stories, your enthusiastic road trips, your encouragement always, Baba you are truly my every thing. I love you.  Insha’Allah Allah (swt) will give you a long happy life, and give me the wisdom to follow in your footsteps, as Iqbal Naqvi’s daughter.

            Masha’Allah I have such a huge family, as much as I would love to reminisce on how much my father means to me, I must move on to the other half of me: My mother! Everyone here probably knows every mother’s day I write a poem and probably weep through half of it, while I present it here at Imam House. The truth is that my heart weeps every single day in happiness to have such a blessing in my life, and every Mother’s day I muster up the courage to transfer my inner tears into ink with which I convey to my dearest mother how heaven is surely under her feet. My mother is always on her feet for us, from before we awaken she cooks us all breakfast, when we come home she makes us lunch, hears about our day, takes us to all our school activities picks us up, takes us shopping, hears our complains, consoles our tears, and never once does she ask for a thing in return.  I suppose that is the beauty of all mothers. From the moment we are born they give us their unconditional love, a love which can never ever be achieved from any other person in life. Love, outside of a family’s net is conditional. Whether in marriage, friendship or otherwise, there are always conditions on love restricting betrayal, lies and hurt. However within your family and most importantly with your parents no matter what you do they will never stop loving you. This is for you Amie Jaan, for your unconditional love no matter how many times I hurt you or failed short of anything in life. No matter what happened to me, in your arms is the safest most comforting place in the world. Your voice holds a medicine too rare to find in any forest or a-top any mountain, your laughter is a music so beautiful that men search their lives for such content in melody but never find it, everything about you Ma quenches my soul. No doctor could heal my inner turmoil like you do with your wisdom and advice. I wish I could share with you all my mother’s advice to me but one quote from Mother Theresa sums it all up:

”People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered; forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives; be kind anyway.

If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies; succeed anyway.

If you are honest and sincere, people may deceive you; be honest and sincere anyway.

What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight; create anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous; be happy anyway.

The good you do today will often be forgotten; do good anyway.

Give the best you have, and it may never be enough; give your best anyway.

In the final analysis, it is between you and God; it was never between you and them anyway” 

And after my glorious blessing-of-a parents comes my best friends for life: my beautiful sisters! When I was eighteen months, my best friend number one was born: Aqeela Batool Naqvi! The relationship I have with Aqeela I have with no other sister. This is because she is kind of like my companion. We are both indifferent towards our emotions, we never have to say I love  you to let the other one know we care. We always defend each other no one outside our family comes between us, we go to each other for advice, we listen to each other’s problems, and even if the other doesn’t want to hear it we are god awful honest with each other. I know I will never find such a partner and trust worthy person in my life. Aqeela I am so glad to be your sister, it doesn’t even matter if I’m older than you because we respect each other the same, and if anything I should respect you more for keeping up with my crazy self for so long. My advice to you is to never under-estimate yourself, you have so much potential and until I die I will make sure you use all of it. You are an amazing woman that I look up to so much, you have so much faith in God and our family that it astonishes me. I find you as my better half, while I tend to be out going and crazy about life, your silence teaches me awareness and observation. And then when you are too silent I help you smile, so we both work out for each other don’t we? I love you so much and every weekend you better have me on speed dial, just because I’m dorming doesn’t mean you aren’t my backbone. I Need you always in my life and I hope you know you are the ideal sister and your fait h in me gives me wings, thank you Aqeela for helping me fly.

            My next sister, is seriously my clone. Marryam! everything you do reminds me of myself.  You are one of the most intelligent people I know. The way that you grasp art and the hidden beauties of life in your drawings and writings inspires me everyday to look forward to each day with a new out look and perspective. You are my dearest buddy for sure, I will miss laughing our hearts out at the silliest things while mom would yell at us to be quiet but we just couldn’t stop. The way me and you just shoulder slap each other instead of hug and finish each other’s sentences is actually our hearts hugging and finishing the songs of our minds for one another. You are almost as stubborn as me, maybe even more and you underestimate yourself like I did when I was your age. Life is going to hit us hard when school starts so if I don’t have the chance to remind you every day, just know that the only person you should compare yourself to ever in life is your potential self! The potential that resides in you Marryam can change the course of history for that I am sure. Your art, your focus is a flame inside of you and I know one day it’s going to turn into wildfire. We are a family and you are my dearest friend, you are my baby sister and no one can take that away from us. So no matter what happens no matter how many times we argue, don’t forget that blood is thicker than water and that no one will ever give their blood sweat and tears for you like your family will. Don’t ever hesitate about calling on us for help.

            The last yet probably greatest blessing in my life is my baby sister, Fatima! This girl is like a party in a box! Not only does she non-stop talk but the energizer bunny has nothing on her. This girl keeps going and going and going. But you know what? That’s what I love most about her. Aqeela and mine’s childhood was at a slower pace where my parents could mostly concentrate on us. However Fatima everyday is pushed forward in a whirlwind of three other sisters who also need attention and often unfortunately cloud her importance. Fatima know that you are the most important person in my life, and I am incredibly sorry for all the times I may have ignored your issues and moments because of my own busy life. But never stop going Fatima, because you are the only person when I come home that shouts Salaam in a happy voice and has open arms for a hug. It seems as if my whole family is being aged by life’s rush of momentum, but Fatima is forever-young and holds the power to make us all smile and remember that the child inside of us must be awoken at least once a day. Fatima I believe you are  wiser than I am now at eighteen years old. You may wonder how silly that sounds because you are so much younger than me. However wisdom does not necessarily come with age. Wisdom is always inside each and every one of us it just jilted by life’s experiences. Fatima I see a great person inside your kind soul, you are such a personable person that you could forgive any of us for yelling at you or forgetting to play Monopoly with you. You are truly a kind heart, and no wisdom, no amount of experiences can ever surmount to a person’s kindness and good character. Just always remember that a true person’s character is revealed when no one is watching. Just remember Fatima that Allah (SWT) is always watching us and that everything that we do reflects our beautiful religion. Remember Fatima that no enemy lasts forever, no friend lasts forever. The truest people you will find in this life is your family, I have learned that. I will never have a friend like Aqeela, Amie, Baba or Marryam, and never find such a great friend like you!

            Wow! Masha’Allah I have such a big family, but it doesn’t end with Fatima. I have been gifted by Allah (SWT) with not only 3 sisters, but probably twenty of them, around 10 extra mothers, many Uncles, and Grandfather figures in my life. Fatima Bajie! Thank you for being the older sister I never had, your encouragement and support pushing me to do what I thought was impossible has truly paid off and I am excited to take those lessons and motivational skills to my college years. Sakina Bajie! you’ll always be my buddy, I love talking to you about anything and though we tease each other non-stop know that I love you always. Azra Bajie, Zainab Bajie, Aliya Bajie, Rubab Bajie, thankyou all for being my older sisters, you all have been for me a sort of barrier reef in my life. Filtering away much of my pain and teaching me with your humble actions and priceless advice! And to my many Aunties! Narjis Auntie, Ismat Auntie, Safdari Auntie, and Talaat Auntie you guys will probably pinch my cheeks until I’m seventy years old, and make me deliver chai at a super-human speed until the end of time, but I am so glad to have you in my life. You have seen me since I was a child, and I hope one day insha’Allah I can also be as accomplished as all of you are in your lives. Shamsi Uncle! You are my guiding light, you read my soul like no other! From one writer to another, I found even at my tender age of eleven you produced from my soul a deep richness I never knew I had. You saw straight through the lines of my poetry, you could read the hidden meanings between my dreams and prose. Shamsi Uncle, you are truly my second father. You are one the most admirable men I have ever met in my life! And I will probably not meet some one so hard working and humble like you or Baba ever again. Uncle, you have given me so much support, so much of your time and teachings that I wish I could repay you some how. Insha’Allah, Allah SWT will bless you in this life and the hereafter, for what you have done for me intellectually and spiritually is beyond words. I am forever thankful! Moosa Uncle! Though I may not get the chance to say it, your speeches in Ramadhan have always captivated me and I truly thank you for your translations of dua’s after every Jamaat namaaz. The dua’s have touched my soul deeply and I thank you for taking so much effort for this center; ever since I have been a child I have seen you working hard, and insha’Allah when I come back after college I will prove to you that your hard work is not in vain. Insha’Allah I will use my education to my full advantage every thing that I have learned from this community and all the friends and family I have here are something that can never be replaced.

            As I end my speech, I feel like I am coming to a close in one chapter of my life. My child hood years are far gone but the child within me has not died. I do not really know how to end this sort of emotional path so I will end this speech the only way I know best, with one of my poems:

Oh come the child hood laughter,

Follow me beyond the sun,

Down towards the streams I’d play,

Until the day was done.

Oh come now laugh with me once more,

Why do you fade away,

The sun was up so high so bright,

It felt like yesterday.

Drawing with chalk upon the driveway,

Catching fireflies at night,

Candle light vigils by the high way,

And on the beach flying kites.

Oh come my memories why now,

Must you leave with such haste?,

Can I not run back to my home-made tents,

A summer’s night once more may I taste?

Can I not lie beneath the stars,

Once more on a family vacation,

Once more I’d love to feel the bizarre,

Childhood filled sensation.

Alas how quickly you have left me,

Your moments within me die.

Your laughter, the chalk on the drive way,

I believe it is time to say goodbye.

Yet gone with you, I still laugh,

And sing to a new melody.

I come with the new, and now I wait,

To see what the next chapter holds in store for me!







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