Thursday, March 30, 2006

The gift of shirk

I'm finally considered to be important enough to get junk mail in the mail! This is the real deal, not the "oh-my-goodness-I-can't-believe-I-have-to-press-"empty"-on-my-bulk-mail-folder-AGAIN" junk mail. Except that apparently only Christian missionaries like sending me junk mail. I think I filled out a survey once and then those little supercalafrajalists sold my name and address to these people. But it's entertaining. Here's one thing that I got recently: Exhibit A: little statue of Mary. Exhibit B: They say "Please accept this gift" (i.e. please accept, then give us money so we can convert little starving children in Africa to Christianity). Under it, my dad (who usually picks up the mail) writes "Please don't. This is the worst gift." My little sister: How come the church sends Asmaa gifts and not me? It's not fair.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

40 years of the MSA

Did you know that the MSA at U of T has existed for 40 years? Yep, since 1966. Interesting, since we've had Jummah prayers at Hart House since then, but women have only been allowed in Hart House starting 1972 (stolen fact). So, on Friday we had an exhibit of some of MSA's stuff over the past 40 years (old constitutions, Muslim Voice magazines, and the like). I'm just going to post the best part of the exhibit (past TMV magazine covers) The beginning years... The later years... Those are my favourite covers out of all of them: just so much sophistication and beauty. Whoever was the editor that year definitely had good taste. Ahem, anyways - we had a classy dinner in the evening and here's the food: Yes, the food. The first course: The second course: Dessert: Umm, interesting food (besides the fact that I kept dropping pieces of my salad on the dirty floor and I was forced to pick them up, wipe them off, and eat them - lest someone else do so). And yet, throughout the dinner, all I could think was "where is the naan and channa masala?"

Friday, March 24, 2006

Haj, for you

A poem I wrote about a friend of mine, at her request. And, the loving person that I am, I decided to oblige her. "Asmaaaaaa can I ask you for a favour..." With the same hands I've rolled and kneaded bread I've waved at my friend from afar and her face lit up though her night was long and overflowing with work on genes her mind, though hidden, writes itself on sheets of paper handed in on time or late to professors who mistake her for another girl as always. The swish of her abaya makes me wonder if I should convert to abaya-dom and her swift remarks on the issues of the day are scathing and yet I laugh and wave. Too much work and not enough play makes Hajera a psychotic nutcase.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Dissertation on the Hidden Nature of Coupons

I looked in the mirror today and got scared. (I'm actually being serious, so you can lay off the "what's so new about that" jokes.) It's probably because I haven't been sleeping that much for the past several days. I've tried tea and even coffee (yes, this coffee-hater tried coffee) to make me feel more awake, but it doesn't work. I end up falling asleep at the most awkward of times and places. Use your imagination. Oh, and listen to this: I went to Coffee Time a couple of weeks ago because I needed tea to wake me up. So, instead of "Roll up the rim to win" they have "flip to win" on their cups - lame, but I won't cry over it. So after I left the shop and finished my tea, I flipped it and Lo and Behold, I got a free donut. Now, this irked me - Coffee Time is significantly out of my way and I don't usually go there. Now I was obligated to go back. So I went back a few days ago for tea again (mainly to use the free donut coupon) and Lo and Behold I got a free muffin. Now, this annoyed me greatly because I would have to go back once again. So I went back for the muffin today and I DIDN'T BUY TEA AGAIN. But the muffin was good. The end.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

The AlMaghrib course I was taking was nothing short of amazing. However, on the last day (today), we were frightened and distressed to see the following... Someone tried to run over four brothers from the course after shouting racial slurs out at them. This happened at the U of T, St. George campus. Please see CAIR-CAN's press release I ask you to keep the injured brother and Muslim students on campus in your duas. May Allah (swt) protect us, for there is no protection remotely equal to His.

Friday, March 17, 2006


I was in the mosque today and we were praying isha, shoulder to shoulder, foot to foot. There was a little girl - about a year old or so - crying, far away from her mother. She had one of those cries that is really heartwrenching, that really makes you want to pick up the child yourself. Then something happened which got me thinking. I saw the mother put her hand out while she was praying - a very simple gesture - calling her child to come. So, the child, without thinking, went to her. Her mom picked her up and she immediately stopped crying. It was...Subhan'Allah. It got me thinking about mercy; a parent's mercy towards his or her child, a child's comfort in the arms of her mother - when nothing and no one else could provide that comfort. Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta'ala) has made all of this possible through His utlimate Mercy. It got me thinking how I've been such a fool for my entire life. I've blinded myself to so many of Allah's signs and have rarely, if ever, made an effort to improve myself. I've said so many words that I can't take back. I want to change more than anything, but feel as though I haven't the bravery of some, nor the intellect of others to guide me through it all. In recent days I've been seeing myself on the day of judgement, and I imagine all of my sins as mountains, preventing me from entering Jannah. And I can see it with an unprecedented clarity, my hands are black, my face is darkened. I am so afraid.

Thursday, March 16, 2006


I was cooking today - yes, cooking. Happily chopping away at the onions (I love cutting onions) and burning them in the pot (I love burnt onions). Then my older sister came along and just hovered around in the kitchen to make sure I didn't burn anything. It was annoying. Here I am, trying to add ketchup to the pot, with my sister yelling at me: "add more water, add more salt, I don't like the way you're mixing the pot's contents, I don't like the shirt that you're wearing" etc. Then I tried to bribe my younger sister to make me muffins, but she didn't. Which was sad. In other news, I just wrote a poem. In other other news, I've officially stopped listening to music. Even Indian music. (Yeah man, soundtracks from Lagaan.) In other other other news, I don't know, I just wanted to type "other" three times.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Sticky tack works great as ear plugs

Disclaimer: this post is useless. Ahh when life hits you with a question and your only response is: no idea. It's late, okay. Oh yeah, I have a test tomorrow and I can't find my notes. Actually, I don't want to lie: I didn't start looking for them. By the way, that guy is supposed to be shrugging. Not sure why he has no face.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Mashed potatoes

I'm upstairs working on an assignment and my sister is downstairs. This conversation happens on MSN: Sum says: do u want mashed potatoes Sum says: it's really soft and yummy asmaa says: bring some to me Sum says: should i drench it with oil Sum says: and salt Sum says: and butter Sum says: and tahina asmaa says: yeah, don't forget lard asmaa says: but make sure it's kosher Sum says: i thought of that but it's haram asmaa says: not kosher lard Sum says: lard can't be kosher u ninny In any case, she brought me some mashed potatoes but they didn't have enough salt. What's the point? Now I have to go downstairs and get salt.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Therapy 101

Hi everyone. So, here I am. I'm Mariam, Asmaa's older and more mature sister. It has been some time since Asmaa has been convincing me to post on her blog. So here goes: Children who watch T.V. need therapy. As I sort through some records I have kept since September, I realize that much of the mind-boggling things my grade 2 students do is as a result of lax parental control of their T.V. viewing times. Let me share some examples: 1. DEATH THREAT: As part of our Author Study, students were to write a letter to Robert Munsch. While all are working excitedly, I notice "Nadia" giggling as she messily writes something down. "Dear Robert Munch im going to kill you on Monday. then im going to put you in the garbage truck then the garbage truck will put you in the dump..." Is it an over-active imagination? I think not. 2. THE LOVE LETTER: "To Aisha From Ahmed.. I love you and you love me and always love me! Dear Valentine will you kiss me?" Being a grade two class in an Islamic School (no valentines day), I found this greatly disturbing. Especially since "Ahmed" had left the school two months prior to the love-letter discovery. "Aisha" turns red and screams, crumpling the letter and throwing it into the trash. It turns out the letter was given to her by another boy, who wanted to play a prank on Aisha. (No malicious thought it seems).. He confesses "I thought Prank Patrol would come." "Did you really think prank patrol would come to the school?" I ask. "Ummm.. they would come to my house," he replies. In conclusion, take your kid to the library...or here's a thought, explain to them that T.V. isn't real. Yeah that's a good one.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Farhan is a guy's name

What do you call a cow without legs? Ground Beef. Now that I've gotten your attention (no matter how cheap my attention-getting was), I'd like to tell you about someone. Let's call him Farhan, not that that's his real name or anything. So, remember that post I made a while ago where I mentioned that I needed a computer? Well, he saw the post and he proceeded to procure me a computer. That's right, he asked around and found one for me. I didn't ask him to, he just did it because he's this incredibly considerate kind of person. Plus, he always does stuff like this out of the goodness of his heart. He's amazing. I wish there were more people like that around. I also wish I was more like him. This post is dedicated to Farhan for being awesome. MashaAllah. That is all :D

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Politically Incorrect

I have a test in four hours that I haven't actually begun studying for. But I had to post this. Not sure why I have an obscene fascination with misspelled signs and stuff. Courtesy of Japanese transit: These guys rock. Their grammer isn't great, but at least they give up their seats for crippies.