Friday, July 28, 2006

Dust is My Bed

Saw this on someone else's blog. I always liked this nasheed (these are the ones you listen to constantly in Ramadan), the video is good. Please take a few minutes to watch it. Life's shorter than we make it out to be. May Allah (swt) accept our intentions and good actions and forgive us for our many transgressions.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

"Sir, I'm so sorry to break this to you - you're suffering from lackofbearditis. This is serious indeed."

In advance: apologies for any offense caused, but well, I like to laugh and writing this made me laugh... A wise woman once said, "men with beards have not been created equal." And indeed, they have not. For some are hot while others are not. Now, the question of whether bearded men are generally hotter than non-bearded men has been a pertinent issue amongst the pseudo-scholars of Islam. In particular, abu ibn bint ukht Sagheeratul-arnab has been studying this issue for some time. This scholar is best known for his infamous fatwa on the impermissibility of the Ken doll.

After much questioning on the topic, he made it clear that "Islamically, this would be considered an Idol. Not only that, but presenting the female, I mean, male without a beard influences young boys. They do not want to grow their beards anymore! Plus, my wife said he looks like a woman."

Sagheeratul-arnab's controversial views do not change the fact that Ken does look like a woman. But, getting to the meat of the matter. For men who choose to grow their beards, there are guidelines as to which types of hair growth are the most advantageous in terms of hotness - and which types of hair growth are revolting. The OBL-type beard:

This type of facial hair sends off the message: "come close to me and I will strangle you with my beard, why you little...oh you're Muslim? Sorry, Assalaamu alaikum my esteemed brother." The Hillbilly/Idomo Guy Beard: These beards are just disturbing. I do not know why any man would grow a beard that makes his face look like an add-on/extra feature that doesn't belong with that big hairball.

The "Like, OMG, I am so original for growing a beard and smoking marijuana" Beard: The "I think I look cool because I have this little stubble that I didn't shave this morning" Cowardly Beard: The "I claim to have a beard, but it's really just a pencil-thin line of hair that happens to reside on my chin" Young Desi/Arab Beard: Like, why would you disgrace the name of beards by claiming to have a beard when all you have is some insignificant little facial hair that hasn't reached the league of beardom yet? It's very sad, really. (Sorry, random dude)

The "I grow my beard out of love for the sunnah" Coolness Beard: But wait. What about the men who simply cannot grow beards? How is it fair for those poor baby-faced men? It is not fair. The beard doctor humbly offers a solution similar to that of a prosthetic limb:

In all seriousness, I don't understand the reasoning behind Muslim men who don't grow beards. If you forget, for just a moment, the whole is-it-fardh-or-not discourse, you'll realize that it's a part of your identity as a Muslim male, just as hijab is a part of a Muslim woman's identity. So think about it - if you're happy and satisfied to be a Muslim, why are you afraid to show it?

Friday, July 21, 2006

m&ms - not as good as smarties, but okay.

My mom and sister have been gone for over a month now and for some reason I feel a strong inclination to post about this. Probably because my sister's wedding is on Monday, and it's the suckiest thing that I can't be there. This is the second time. Guess what I'll be doing when she's there getting married? I'll be in an MSA meeting - no joke. It's like, you've lived with someone for so long that you get used to their habits, their way of thinking, talking, acting. So that's it I suppose, I got used to Mar' s annoying habits like waking me up at 1am and being like "do you want to eat with me?" Or not letting me borrow her clothes, ever. Or hiding fruits for herself in the cupboard (don't ask). Or deciding that the tea from Tim Horton's didn't taste quite right and going back to demand a refund. Or deciding that she wanted to go for a jog in the middle of the night. Random stuff like that. When she left, we sort of subconsiously took over her qualities - because if we didn't, the family would seem bereft of some personality that was there before. I think I must have taken on all of her annoying qualities. Actually wait, I'm likely the only one who took on any of her qualities, and they were all the bad ones. Interestingly enough, when I talk to her, it seems like she's lost these annoying qualities that she had. I suppose she left them behind for me. I inherited them. We cried a lot at the airport. Here we are, making fools out of ourselves while suspicious security guards circle us. I can only imagine what they were thinking: "why are those Mozlems crying? Oh man, maybe this is the last time they're going to see those passengers! Maybe those passengers have bombs, like OMG lolzz." (Okay, maybe not the lolzz part.) We couldn't go any further with my mom and sister, past the metal detectors where they were, of course, thoroughly searched. Then they turned around and waved just before disappearing - my sister put her index finger up high and mouthed something to us, la illaha illallah.

Monday, July 17, 2006

'and when the graves are turned upside down...'

It has been a difficult time for Muslims these past few weeks and months. I feel as though we are being attacked from every angle and by everyone. The bombardment doesn't stop; it's terrorism, it's murder, it's religious oppression. It's Iraq, it's Gaza, it's Afghanistan, it's Beirut. It's the flickering lights after Maghrib, followed by deafening blasts. We haven't seen the face of loss, we haven't felt the earth shake under our feet, we haven't felt the possibility of losing loved ones in one flicker of a light. Our reality ends where our TV screens begin. And to us, their realities end when our TVs are shut off. These people are faceless to us. Except that Allah (swt) doesn't shut off a TV screen, He is The All-Seeing, The All-Hearing, The All-Knowing. The situation going on right now overseas reminded me of a story I heard just a few months ago: This event happened after the battle of Al-Qadisiyyah which was during the Khilafah of Umar (ra) - Muslims against Persians. Umar (ra) was standing, waiting alone at the outskirts of Madinah for a messenger to come tell him what the result of the battle was. The messenger, Al-Bashir, came running towards Madinah to tell the Khalifah the news. Umar (ra) asked him about the results and he said "The Muslims were victorious, I must go tell the Khalifah." He didn't recognize Umar as the Khalifah because of his simple clothes and the fact that he was out on the edge of Madinah alone, just waiting. Umar (ra) asked Al-Bashir to tell him who was martyred during the battle. Al-Bashir told him the many names of those killed in the way of Allah. He said "so-and-so was martyred, and so-and-so was martyred, and many people who we don't know." Umar (ra) began crying and he said, "Allah knows who they are." If we forget Muslims who are suffering, Allah (Swt) doesn't forget them. It's so easy to lose track of everything: your purpose, you goals, your Iman. It's so easy to forget Allah (swt), it's so easy to continue our lives in the most superficial ways and to shut off the TV when it's not convenient. But we don't realize that Allah (swt) doesn't forget us. He knows where we are, what we're doing, and He awaits the opportunity to forgive us if we return to Him in repentance. Abu Hurairah narrated that Allah’s Messenger said, "Every night when it is the last third of the night, our Rabb, the Superior, the Blessed, descends to the nearest heaven and says: Is there anyone to invoke Me that I may respond to his invocation? Is there anyone to ask Me so that I may grant him his request? Is there anyone asking My forgiveness so that I may forgive him?" (Bukhari) SubhanAllah at the difference between human beings and Allah. Humans lie, manipulate and ignore the suffering of others, while Allah (swt) waits with open arms for us just to take one step towards Him. I pray to Allah (swt) not to let us go astray through our disobedience to Him. I pray to Allah (swt) to guide us in these difficult times and to keep us steadfast on the straight path. I pray that Allah (swt) accepts our deeds and our repentance and that He enters us into the highest levels of Jannah. I ask Allah (swt) to admit those dying in His cause into the highest levels of Jannah.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Seaswirl Strappy Sandal

For those of you who don't know, I'm now living in Egypt and will probably be here for quite some time. Of course, living in a new country has challenges that I would rather not get into on a public blog such as this. However, I will share today's dilema. I was on a shopping trip to kill time and I fell in love with these sandals......... Dang, aren't they gorgeous? Not too girly, with just enough sport in them... :) Anyhow, they were being sold for 300 Egyptian pounds at Timberland. This translates to about $60. So what was the dilema you ask? Surely quality goods that will last are worth the money. Yes, they are. Then I thought about what 300 pounds can buy in Egypt. A LOT. That's a month's salary to most people working decent jobs. I thought about how people live with very little but are so thankful and happy. So I thought, am I wasting my money? I was reluctant to buy them, even though I would not have been if I was back in Canada. Seeking a second opinion, I called Asmaa, but of course she was asleep. So here I am, posting before she is wakes up from her deep slumber. Any thoughts about this blue Seaworld Strappy Sandal?

Friday, July 14, 2006

Growing up

We all know that as the years pass, we change in ways that we never thought possible or probable. We mature and we learn how to deal with difficult issues and people. We gain knowledge and wisdom. An event took place today that made me realize just how profoundly we can change. I bought a Chunky Kit Kat today, just because I thought it was time to try something new instead of the old 4 stick Kit Kat. To my surprise, the Chunky Kit Kat (which I thought would be mediocre at best) was actually quite good. And I thought to myself, what a wonderful worrrrld. I mean, I thought to myself: wow, if I hadn't tried this bar, I would have been stuck eating the same old Kit Kat, and that was a scary, scary thought. So I am now on a journey to expand my experiences in order to develop what we call wisdom. On this journey, as perilous as it may be, I must be steadfast. I must have the courage to try new things, whether that be a new brand of chips or chocolate or maybe even cola. Only time will tell. Growing up. It's something you can measure Growing up it happens everyday Being young is something you can treasure But life is good when you're growing up Life is good when you're growing up... -Care Bears

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

messy on the inside

I usually don't like blogthings, but I found this one to be rather insightful.
You Are a Jelly Donut
So you're a little rounder than most folks - but it's only in the right places! You maintain a clean exterior, even if you're all messy on the inside. You think you're the best, and that's mostly true... But remember, you're just an empty shell without your jelly!
Where's my jelly at?

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Clearly, there is "error" in Terror

"Two buildings were bombed and two thousand people died on September 11," he smiles. "And then they continued on and hit the Pentagon!" A chorus follows: "Takbeer! Allahu Akbar!" That's what I saw on CNN a few hours ago. And yes, I know that CNN isn't exactly a reliable source of information, but this was sickening. It was a gathering of Muslims in Britian - I won't name the specific group - and they were talking about September 11. They were so proud of what happened to the point of screaming "Takbeer, Allahu Akbar." I would venture to say that is a real case of blasphemy. We try to defend Islam and Muslims, we try to clean ourselves after we've been dragged through the mud of the media, and then people like this pop up. We've all heard Imams and Islamic leaders say questionable things at times, but this is beyond questionable - this is insanity. I want to shake these people and tell them: look, you're taking the lives of human beings - human beings that you have no right over, and taking their lives, making them meet their Lord. How can you live with yourself? And this gathering of men was made up of the kinds of people you would look at and say "MashaAllah, what a nice beard he has." You know, the kinds of people that you think are at least somewhat knowledgeable of Islam, who are honest, and who have a degree of morality. What is really angering is that these people think they're pious, they think that this is what Islam is about, and they like it. But they're doing nothing but following their violent desires (why someone would have the desire to be violent, I do not know). It reminds me of those people in previous nations who took the parts of their revelations that they liked, and deleted the parts they didn't like. Apparently these men have deleted from Islam everything related to respecting a human life, morality, accountability, understanding and cooperation. Oh wait, that is all of Islam. Sorry. Not only that, they've ADDED this notion that God wants them to carry out random acts of violence in His name. SubhanAllah, Glory be to Allah from what they ascribe to Him. Since terrorism has been discussed to death, I won't talk about it much more. But I will leave you with a little home-grown analogy. According to my dad, terrorism is like this - a man slaps you, then you want to retaliate so you go to his neighbour and slap him. It makes no sense.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Here I am

I had somewhat of an interesting weekend. My family, or what's left of us travelled to the States to attend an Islamic conference. We were detained at the border for quite some time. My dad had to park his car and we went into this building to be questioned. Man, if you saw the waiting room we were sitting in, you would have been freaked out. It was like something out of George Orwell's 1984. There was a huge American flag hanging from the ceiling, some framed portraits of George Bush and other government officials lining the walls, and of course, there was a TV in the room playing CNN News (just in case you forgot what country you were in and what loyalties you should have). The whole time I was sitting there I was thinking Alhamdulillah that I live in Canada. The border officials eventually figured out that these four cookie-eating, lame-joke-making, ball-bouncing people in our car were not a threat to national security and we were on our way. Right across the border, cars bearing a diverse array of world flags for the occasion of the World Cup became non-existent. Instead, stickers bearing the "Support Our Troops" slogan. Some cars had several of these stickers plastered all over their cars. I wanted to roll my window down and tell them: "okay, we get it!" The sudden replacement of Tim Horton's with Dunkin Donuts was also disturbing. Driving through this one neighbourhood, I literally counted 7 Dunkin Donuts within a 2 block radius. It was really despicable. It was an interesting trip, that's all I'll say for now. I could go on about the vices of America, but I won't. Instead, I remind myself and you that patience is the key to living righteously, and to everything we do and say. Here's to thinking twice before rolling down the window and yelling things, telling people who stare at you "listen, I know I'm hot, but it's rude to stare," muttering angry words under your breath, and losing hope in people: "And obey Allah and His Messenger. and fall into no disputes, lest ye lose heart and your power depart; and be patient and persevering: For Allah is with those who patiently persevere" (Al-Anfal: 46).