Sunday, February 17, 2013

Tickets, Frustration and other Jummah Ruiners

Have you ever had one of those Jummah's where you head over to the mosque, hear an excellent khutbah that revives your spirit and gives you a much needed iman boost, followed by being immersed in a wonderfully recited salat, only to exit the premises and have the entire experience nearly pissed away by some frustrating and infuriating incident?

I've had one of those days recently.

Returning back to my car at this past week's Friday sermon, I spotted a little ol' lady in a uniform slapping a big ugly neon green envelope on my windshield. It was a parking ticket for a whopping 105 dollars. My crime? Not having my car parked an entire 15 feet away from a fire hydrant.  I told the lady I would move my car but she said "Too late, I already wrote it."

Mind you, I only parked my car there for merely a half an hour and in the time I was pretty sure there was not going to be any hurry for someone to need to use the fire hydrant and hose something down. Parking on Fridays--as usual--is so insane that cars spill out of the parking lot of the masjids and onto the streets. This leaves folks no choice but to park on the neighborhood streets, which hold signs that allow cars to park for two hours.

I am not writing this blog to complain or cite an injustice as I guess, to my knowledge or not, I violated a state law. I'm not here to tell you that parking officers froth at the mouth on Fridays and have a field day writing tickets to Muslims who park their car outside of a masjid--the cash register CHA-CHING blares in their ears as they move from car to car and slap their citations down. I'm not here to say the city has a vendetta against Muslims where their sole target is our extra pocket money (you already know that, Zing! :p ). That's not the point.  I'm here to tell you the lesson I gained from this experience, which has happened a few times before on Fridays.

Brush it off and Keep it Moving

The lesson is to not let minor inconveniences bring you down. Some folks not only let an inconvenience like this screw up their spirituality boost, they let it ruin their week. Some explode and begin cussing like sailors and throwing a non-Halal fit. Whether its a parking ticket or a cop pulling you over, a fender bender, or any other crappy situation. Keep calm and move on. Remember your Creator and why you're here. Those frustrating situations are all tests for you. 

Are you going to say a four letter word when things don't go your way, or are you going to remember your Lord, remember your purpose and the way you're supposed to conduct yourself and say "Alhamdulilah" (Praise God), or to control your anger with "Auzubillah Minash Shaitan Ir rajeem"  and cool yourself off with wudhu. 

Dont Trip 

Yeah, I know a lot of times it can be easier said than done. You can get caught by surprise and not be able to control your emotions and show restraint in time and just flip your lid. It's alright. We're imperfect humans, so it's going to happen. The best we can do is to try. Try to do better, try to handle things in a dignified way, try not to trip over the small inconveniences of life that are ALWAYS GONNA HAPPEN.

The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) has numerous ahadith where he advises one to not get angry and to cool down. There was even one I mentioned in the "Top 10 Traits of a Real Man" post where he was quoted to have said, 

"The real strength of a man lies in controlling his wrath (ie. anger)"

Puffing up your chest, ripping at your clothes, turning green (the color of Islam!) and going Hulk on somebody is not the admirable thing to do. So I'm reminding myself first and of all of you loyal readers to just chill out and show restraint. I mean all it does is rack up points with the Lord, we can all use that.

As for that ticket, I brushed it off, said "Alhamdulilah" and kept it moving. Later I went online and contested it. I didn't get it waived completely like I wanted, but just bothering with writing a statement about the violation, I got 50 bucks knocked off by the officer. 

"Great Success!"


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  2. Thanks for your comment good sir, much appreciated. Carry on.