Thursday, April 27, 2006

"Eschew Surplusage"

When we moved more than 17 months ago, I hurriedly tossed in a box a bunch of stuff from my home office and packed it away. This afternoon, I finally got to the box. I was very delighted to come across what I had tacked onto my wall at my former residence for some 12 years: a paper with the simple phrase and attribution, "Eschew surplusage — Mark Twain." It was not a mini-poster I had to buy. I saw Sh. Nuh Keller make it when he stressed the importance of sparse wording. He took a piece of paper, light blue, and wrote "Eschew surplusage" and encircled it with a cloud outline. The paper ended up with me, and I wrote on the back of it the following dedication:

This little poster was made by Br. Noah Ha Mim Keller. He made it during his visit with us back in Ramadan 1412 (early April 1992). It is his way of reminding us — and all who write — that being economical with words is important for clarity and style. One day while reorganizing the library, this little poster was inadvertently torn to pieces. I found the pieces, took them home, and taped them back together. For some unknown reason, this 8.5 x 10.25 paper is important to me. It represents something special: its message and the person who made it and the person in whose library it originally was displayed. Who knows, perhaps this thing will be worth something 20 years from now. And Allah knows best. [Signed] Ibrahim Abusharif, April 28, 1993, Bridgeview, Illinois.
In the same box, bananza box, I also found a picture I thought I had lost, a picture of my late mother (God bless her and grant her peace and mercy) with her head on my shoulder, about a year and half before she passed away. She had her usually radiant smile.

I really like it when I find things that are important to me. It's always a good day when that happens, and I'm grateful. I also found a photo of me and my wife sitting together at my sister's house. Like I said, a good day.


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