Monthly Archives: April 2019

Sha’ban Tawashih

Formed according to Arabic language rules and rarely encountered in English texts, “tawashiḥ” is a plural form of the Arabic word “muwashshaḥ” which literally means “girdled”. Another plural form of “muwashshaḥ” is “muwashshaḥāt” which is the most commonly encountered in English texts, the other being “muwashshaḥs,” which is formed according to English language rules.

Tawashiḥ is an Arabic ode, or short poetical composition proper to be sung or set to music. Especially now, it is a lyric poem characterized by sustained noble sentiment and appropriate dignity of style. It is a multi-lined strophic verse poem, generally of five stanzas alternating with a refrain.

Sha‘bān, meanwhile, is the eighth month of the Islamic lunar calendar and the last lunar month before the fasting month of Ramaḍān. It is associated, among other things, with humanity’s innate yearning for the ultimate reign of the universal government of justice and peace in the world.

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Little Heydar – My New Teacher

He is Little Heydar.

Heydar means Lion – a symbol of courage and bravery.

“Heydar wa la karrar.”

“He is Heydar who knows no retreat in the battlefield.”

Heydar is learning how to walk.

As he is doing this, I am reminded of 2 things:

(1)Persistence in trying to achieve one’s goal, and
(2)What matters is not the falling down, but the resolve to stand again after falling down.

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Swearing by the Qur’an


MAKATI CITY (1 April) – “Matalik den i pawakan a malini lemambuyug” Bapa Gharib, the ever-smiling sage of Tangguapo, texted me as I was sipping my favorite Myanmar teamix this morning. Literally, it roughly means “Any Asil (a fighting cock locally called ‘pawakan’) that habitually runs while fighting shall be caged [now].”

Bapa Gharib made this comment in relation to last Friday’s inaugural session of the newly instituted Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) whose distinctive hallmark, at least for him, was the swearing by the Qur’an of Bangsamoro Transitional Authority (BTA) members led by the Interim Chief Minister (ICM) Ahod B. Ebrahim (better known by his nom de guerre Al-Hadj Murad Ebrahim as Chairman of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF)).

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