Archive for February, 2007

A Good "Innovation"?

// February 28th, 2007 // 9 Comments » // Blog

Last night, one of the most popular articles on the BBC News website was about Islam's pioneering women priests, also known as, The Mourchidat. My curiosity was mainly fuelled by the word “priest” rather than the word “women”, as Islam doesn't have an organized clergy, as such, although we do have scholars and community leaders, who are often referred to as “imams”:

A radical innovation in the Islamic world has arisen in Morocco – women preachers. The Mourchidat, as they are known, are the first women ever in any Muslim country that can perform the functions of a male Imam in a mosque, except lead the prayers.

Reading the article, it seems to me that this “innovation” is no such thing. It is in fact, a revival of an old practice that has sadly been lost in the Muslim world. It makes absolute sense that a woman should be educated in Islam so that she could offer support and advice to her community, especially fellow women, who may be too shy, or even scared, to approach the males imams.

I feel that the term “priest” has been used simply to analogize the situation with that of the Anglican Church, who went through a battle and a half, before finally allowing women priests. I don't have an opinion on whether Anglican women priests are a “good” or “bad” thing; that's for the Anglicans to decide, obviously. However, as I said before, there really isn't such a thing as an ordained priesthood in Islam; rather, any individual who has been schooled in Islam, and has a level-head, and good character, is suitable for the job of Imam. In fact, I am sure many Muslim women fulfill this role in an unofficial capacity every day.

The Mourchidat are still not allowed to lead the salaat (congregational prayer), which is a wise decision IMO, only because it is such a controversial topic at present, that going so far would have caused a real uprising. To be honest, I don't really see the point in the controversy; there is no real power, privilege or extra reward associated with being the person nominated to lead the prayer. You don't even have to be an official imam; you just need to know how to pray, have memorized parts of the Qur'an, and have good recitation skills – so why rock the boat?

I suppose the biggest “controversy” about the Mourchidat programme is that it has been initiated and backed by the Moroccan government. I don't know much about Moroccan politics, but looking at the general state of Muslim politics, I can understand why there is such mistrust. Governments rarely meddle in religious affairs, except for their own selfish purpose. I just hope this time the effects of such meddling will actually be beneficial for the Moroccan people, as well as their rulers.

Now, wouldn't that be a refreshingly good innovation?

Three Years for Blogging

// February 22nd, 2007 // 12 Comments » // Blog

Egypt blogger jailed for 'insult'

I'm confused; how does insulting Al-Azhar University constitute insulting Islam?

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Get Outta My FaceBook

// February 22nd, 2007 // 9 Comments » // Blog

In the last month, i've received a number of invites from various folk, ranging from my distant to not-too-distant past, to be “friends” on FaceBook. I'd heard of this site before, but never felt any need to register. Even though it took me a while to recall who a couple of the people “inviting” me were, and even though i have no idea what this site is for, and even though i doubt i'll ever meet or talk to many of these people again, i accepted their invites, mainly because i'm too nice to say no!

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Any Budding Authors/ Artists Out There?

// February 21st, 2007 // 2 Comments » // Blog

I came across a very interesting publishing site today, via a post at Umm Yusuf's blog, called Lulu.

Basically, LuLu allows you to publish your own work, on your own terms. As the site says: You retain all rights to your work. You decide on design and layout. You set the price and creator revenue. Lulu's not the publisher — you are.

Sounds pretty nifty to me. It almost makes me want to write a book, just to see who buys it! Hmm, i don't think my thesis will be a best-seller. Not unless people are running low on firewood/ toilet paper (i'm so mean to myself).

So, does anyone fancy a go? It looks too good to be true… but you don't know until you try. [Two proverbs for the price of one – bargain!]

Protected: A Blast from the Past

// February 20th, 2007 // Enter your password to view comments. // Blog

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Urgent: Please make dua

// February 19th, 2007 // 7 Comments » // Blog

Faraz's little niece is ill in hospital. Please remember her in your prayers.

She is so sweet & adorable, māshā’Allāh; the same age as both my 'niece' (my first cousin's daughter) and my 'nephew' (my best friend's son).

May Allāh cure her, with a cure that leaves no trace of sickness. Āmīn.

Funny, The Things You Miss

// February 19th, 2007 // 3 Comments » // Blog

I seem to be making a number of embarrassing 'confessions', of late. Well, here's another one to add to the collection: one of my favourite films is… (more…)

Protected: Where you gonna run?

// February 18th, 2007 // Enter your password to view comments. // Blog

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Fair in the Eyes of Men

// February 17th, 2007 // 2 Comments » // Blog

Verse 14 from Surah Aal-e-Imran (The Family of Imran):

Fair in the eyes of men is the love of things they covet:
Women and sons;
Heaped-up hoards of gold and silver;
horses branded (for blood and excellence);
and (wealth of) cattle and well-tilled land.
Such are the possessions of this world's life;
but in nearness to Allāh is the best of the goals (to return to).

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A Question of Guilt

// February 16th, 2007 // 1 Comment » // Blog

Italy orders CIA kidnapping trial

Who is more guilty?

The Americans who ordered the rendition, the Italians who assisted them, or the Egyptians who performed the torture?

Personally, i think they're all sick.

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