Saturday, October 29, 2005

Chocolate and Violence: not for the faint of heart

It's like this: I've been craving chocolate all day like a maniac. It's not a joke - my body physically needed it - my eyes were twitching and I was having muscle spasms... It started when I googled chocolate chip cookies (randomly) and then set my MSN display picture as that (blame it on hunger - no, no, blame it on irrationality). Uhh anyways, this desire to eat chocolate chip cookies subsided eventually and was replaced by a burning desire for nutella (this was during my English literature class, mind you). I hope my professor didn't notice the glazed look in my eyes... Okay, so I'm at Jumuah prayer and then my next class and then a meeting - and all I can think about is chocolate. It was maniacal: "So, Asmaa, how are you?" "Do you have chocolate?" "" "Then leave me alone" So when I got home I called my dad and told him I needed chocolate and to buy some on his way home from the mosque - he pulled through for me (love my dad): Listen, yes, I know I'm fully deranged for taking these pictures, but I care not. Chocolate-covered raisins (my little sister's doughy hands) Outside of the chocolate bar. Hazelnut - just what I was craving too. The inside. I had it with tea (so the chocolate would melt). And then, bliss.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

The history of our enemies

We tend to summarize people. We take one attribute of a person and expand it, stretch it beyond recognition - and that's all they are, it's all they become. Unrecognizable fragments of faces that were once beautiful. We take a person's life and skip the bits that seem to be unimportant, then coldly deduce and calculate who they are and what they mean to us. We label, categorize, stigmatize, and discriminate. We make enemies out of those who should be friends. Someone tell me why we are so cruel and unforgiving. "If we could read the secret history of our enemies, we should find in each man's life sorrow and suffering enough to disarm all hostility." -Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Sunday, October 23, 2005


Why do the weirdest things happen at MSA meetings? Use your imagination.

Thursday, October 20, 2005


Okay. So, the MSA has an office at my campus and I had to be there today for an office hour. I came in and there was a specially labelled little bag that said "ASMAA." Now, naturally I was curious, since, well, my name is Asmaa. So, I cautiously approached this mysterious bag (actually, I wasn't very cautious at all). I opened it and found two packs of nerds. Just like that; no note, no explanation, just nerds. Now, I'm beyond puzzled. The person who I thought left them for me denied the allegation profusely. Very strange indeed. Who was it? Fess up! These are nerds, just in case you guys didn't know. (And I even got the grape/strawberry and peach/wildberry!) And then, to top that off, Hajera and Safiyyah, who were both craving something sweet as it so happened, got a hold of my nerds. They then had an actual argument as to what the most advantageous way to open the pack was. They were actually struggling with it, which made me think that they must have had a very deprived childhood. Oh well.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

The Ramadan Game

I'm posting this before going to Tarweeh prayer... So we were eating iftar today and we heard a knock at the door. My mom went to answer it and it was one of our Somalian neighbours from across the hall. She brought us samosas and other food that I can't really name. It was amazing. We play this game in Ramadan where we give them something we cook in one of our plates and they have to return the plate but don't really want to give us an empty plate they fill it with something and add another plate - then when we return the plate to them, we can't have it be empty, so again, we fill it. This sounds confusing but it's a good game. I love Muslims. Well, most of them. Alhamdulillah.

Friday, October 14, 2005

You like my Biodata? B-I-O-D-A-T-A

Check this video out. It's nuts! (not to mention addictive) In other news: today, for the first time, it was cold enough for me to see my breath when I blew out...waiting for the bus in the evening. It was awesome - although I'm sure the other people waiting for the bus thought I was maniacal because I kept blowing out and staring at my breath. Oh well.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005


Incapacity to show - incapable. Meaning I have not the ability to. Inside me, I burn incinerating myself, I hold on to you and the Pressure is contained. You're always right. A symphony of explosions: Music fills my ears. My shadow climbs to places unknown to you Once upon a time. I write with all my anger. But my words are weak, reaffirmed. I can lie. I'm never really sure - I had nothing to begin with. But I'm still incapable. Incapable. If I show nothing, I am nothing. Dried flowers, memories of you living and breathing. a fragrance too strong.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Quake rocks Pakistan, India

Ya Allah...An earthquake of a 7.6 magnitude hit Pakistan, India, Afghanistan, and Kashmir today. The death toll has reached 18,000 so far - 17,000 in Kashmir. Who knows how much that number is to be multiplied in the coming days and article. SubhanAllah, out of the middle of nowhere. May Allah make it easy for them and their families and bestow upon them His Mercy, Compassion, and forgiveness. Or think ye that ye will enter paradise while yet there hath not come unto you the like of (that which came to) those who passed away before you? Affliction and adversity befell them, they were shaken as with earthquake, till the messenger (of Allah) and those who believed along with him said: When cometh Allah's help? Now surely Allah's help is nigh. (2:214) Verily we belong to Allah, and to Him we shall return.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

The Gates of Paradise are Opened...

Ramadan Mubarak to all of you who will start fasting on Tuesday. And an early Ramadan Mubarak to those fasting on Wednesday. I haven't posted anything of much use on my blog lately, so I decided to post this piece I wrote for The Muslim Link... There's Something Special about Ramadan Narrated Abu Hurayra: Allah's Apostle said, "When Ramadan begins, the gates of Paradise are opened." It's a wonderful thing, the excitement that Ramadan brings with it. Since I was young, my siblings and I would eagerly stay awake until late at night to see whether there was any news of the moon sighting for the start of Ramadan. There was something special about this month, even when we were too young to fast – a sort of peaceful atmosphere that prolonged and sincere worship tends to bring about. Narrated Abu Hurayra: Allah's Apostle said: "Whoever establishes prayers during the nights of Ramadan faithfully out of sincere faith and hoping to attain Allah's rewards (not for showing off), all his past sins will be forgiven." As I reflect, it seems that through all of the differences and disagreements that Muslims around the world have, the month of Ramadan is one of the common threads that unites us. There is nothing like the remarkable feeling of praying Taraweeh side by side with a brother or sister that you have never met before, yet still feel a sort of unexplainable bond with; shoulder to shoulder in one line, facing the same Creator. The bond that Islam creates between people is an amazing one, unique to this way of life. We are equal in our mosques and places of worship in the sense that we all leave our worldly possessions, deadlines, and mad schedules behind as we stand in line to pray in the same direction, for the same purpose. "Verily, this brotherhood of yours is a single brotherhood, and I am your Lord and Cherisher: therefore serve Me (and no other)." (21: 92) Through all the chaotic events that take place in Ramadan, Iftars are also one of the few times in the day when we can sit and interact with our fellow brothers, sisters, and families. "O ye who believe! fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that ye may (learn) self-restraint" (2:183) Hunger, in itself, makes one feel humbleness; we are all fasting for the sake of Allah. It is He, in His Wisdom, who set the time of Iftar for us. Coming together at the end of the day, in humility, to break our fasts is part of the worship that we perform in Ramadan. And nothing brings believers' hearts and minds together more than collective worship does. It is only natural for a person to seek out people who believe in what he believes and there is comfort in knowing that in this country where Muslims are few and live far apart, we can still find friendship and reassurance among one another; and Ramadan is an opportune time to do so since Muslims are feeling just a little more kind, a little more generous, and a lot closer to Allah. "Whoever is kind, Allah will be kind to him; therefore be kind to man on the earth. He Who is in heaven will show mercy upon you." (Abu Daud: Tirmidhi) We have shifted from a time where tribalism was the system by which society functioned, to a time where all are viewed as equals in the sight of Allah. There was a call, made by the prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) to all Muslims to replace former tribal affiliations with brotherhood and love for their fellow believers, whether or not they were from the same family. Think about it this way: your family does not end at mere blood relatives; it continues and encompasses all Muslims. And hold fast, all together, by the rope which Allah (stretches out for you), and be not divided among yourselves; and remember with gratitude Allah’s favour on you; for ye were enemies and He joined your hearts in love, so that by His Grace, ye became brethren; and ye were on the brink of the pit of Fire, and He saved you from it. Thus doth Allah make His Signs clear to you: That ye may be guided. (3:103) Therefore, take this month to build bridges between yourselves. In these blessed days, Allah, in all His Wisdom and Mercy, causes the rewards for our good deeds to be multiplied manifold. Take these most brilliant days of the year and perform one righteous and kind action for your brother or sister in Islam. The rewards will, God willing, be greater than we can imagine. The Believers are but a single brotherhood: So make peace and reconciliation between your two (contending) brothers; and fear Allah, that ye may receive Mercy. (49:10)

Saturday, October 01, 2005

The Report

We had over 200 people show up to the dinner, which was a pretty good turnout. Okay, it wasn't too bad being one of the MCs. The other MC made it all too easy since he was making the corniest jokes know, like the "MSA" standing for the "Matrimonial Students' Association" and fob jokes. So all I had to do was make fun of him and the crowd enjoyed it (since they agreed with me). And yes, I took the opportunity to make fun of as many people as possible. Hey, the food wasn't too bad either...which is always a plus. I have to admit though, I was holding my bouncy ball in my hand the entire time; it really helped relieve the stress. In other news...It's October.