Archive for September, 2008

A Tentative “Eid Mubarak”!

// September 29th, 2008 // 24 Comments » // Blog

Tentative, because I haven't received the usual flurry of text messages and phone calls that normally arrives at this time (i.e., approximately one hour after Maghrib, the night before ‘Īd). I do know they have pronounced the end of Ramadan in Saudi (my uncle called and informed us, from whichever one of the two Holy Cities he happens to be in, alhamdulillah).

Anyway, while I wait for the moon dust to settle, I'll leave you with this fantastic text message my friend sent me about ten minutes ago (edited restoring 'txt spk' to 'real speak'):

Mubarak. It has been formally and unanimously agreed upon by all the religious bodies, jamiat, Imam, radio stations, Dewsbury [a town in England], Saudi, Morocco, Madina, along with all the biggest governing bodies – and not to mention Islam and 'S' Channel – that tomorrow, inshā’Allāh, will definitely be….

..

..

..

..

‘Īd-mubarak/#more-811" class="more-link">‘Īd Mubarak”!">(more…)

Understand Qur’an the Easy Way

// September 25th, 2008 // 4 Comments » // Blog

This was worth breaking the hiatus for…

The Understand Qur'an course has been around for a while… but now level 1 is available in a easily-accessible, browser-based, flash version, māshā’Allāh.

Summary of objectives:

  • Learn 100 Arabic words that are repeated around 40,000 times in the Qur'an.
  • The Qur'an consists of approximately 78,000 words.
  • Thus you are learning 50% of the Qur'an!

I've been meaning to take this FREE course for so long, and now I really have no excuse! I pray that you join me in this learning journey. Maybe we can travel together?

The Last Ten Days of Ramadan

// September 20th, 2008 // 7 Comments » // Blog

They are here… Well, for most of us. Some lazy North Americans are still in yesterday… catch up already!

I will be attempting a life of severely reduced net access during this time, as part of my own lesser version of i'tikaaf. I would say, “no net access”, except that I expect some errands to pop up during the course of the week.

I'm a little nervous. Not about leaving the internet – I'm not that bad (famous last words).

I have no excuse to mess up this Ramadan. I have no job, no spouse, no kids, no real responsibilities to distract me greatly, or tire me out.

It's just me, my nafs… and my Creator.

And as I wrote on Facebook yesterday, I'd really like a break from my nafs.

If I fail this Ramadan… what does that say about me? “Loser” is not the word.

Please God, don't let me fail. Don't let any of us fail. They have excuses; I have none. Please ya Allāh: make up for our inadequacies with Your Perfection. Allow us to reap the full benefits of Laylatul Qadr. Don't let us be “Ramadan Muslims”. Let this be the beginning of the journey to You; not the end. Let us only get better and better. We are so far from being amongst your Awliyah, but if we don't even pray for this status, how will we ever hope to achieve it?

Oh Allāh you are the Forgiver. You love to forgive. Forgive us.

āmīn, ya Rabbul 'Alameen.

I won't be answering comments till '‘Īd. May Allāh bless you all, and grant you the best Ramadan ever. Āmīn.

Picture credit: marcopesavento

CookieMonster: Not As Sweet As It Sounds!

// September 17th, 2008 // 3 Comments » // Blog

A recent WordPress announcement brought the following article to my attention:

Websites used for email, banking, e-commerce and other sensitive applications just got even less secure with the release of a new tool that siphons users' authentication credentials – even when they're sent through supposedly secure channels.

Dubbed CookieMonster, the toolkit is used in a variety of man-in-the-middle scenarios to trick a victim's browser into turning over the authentication cookies used to gain access to user account sections of a website. Unlike an attack method known as sidejacking, it works with vulnerable websites even when a user's browsing session is encrypted from start to finish using the secure sockets layer (SSL) protocol.

[Continue reading here…]

I don't really get the tecchy stuff, but in short, there is a new way for nasty hacker types to get hold of our private information, especially when we're using less secure public networks, such as free wifi at the local net café. They suggest the following method to determine whether the website you are using is vulnerable to attack:

To find out if your bank is susceptible, clear all cookies and then log in to the site. Next, clear all cookies marked as “SECURE” (in Firefox, go to preferences > privacy > show cookies. Delete only the cookies marked as “Encrypted connections only”). Then visit the site again. If you're logged in, there's a strong chance the site is wide open.

You have been warned…

The End of an Era

// September 16th, 2008 // 12 Comments » // Blog

As of yesterday, I am officially no longer a member of Imperial College London's current study body.
(more…)

Peace Be With You

// September 15th, 2008 // 10 Comments » // Blog

Imagine…
A place of peace.

Lying on an open plain.
Cool grass beneath bare feet.
Arms outstretched above your head.
One hand playfully fiddles with smooth blades.
The other strokes long, soft, silky strands of hair.
A slight smile rests gently on your lips.

Eyes closed, but filled with light.
A light that shines so brightly.
But doesn't burn your eyes.
It bathes your face like a warm embrace.

Imagine this moment…
A moment of peace.

Not a care.
Not a worry.
Not an ounce of stress.

The light envelopes you.
Makes you.
Loves you.

Then you realise…

The sky is not a canopy of blue atmosphere.
But the Throne of Ar-Rahman.

And the light is not that of a brilliant star.
But the Noor of the One that you have craved for all eternity.

And that this is no ordinary garden.
But it is the only place of true peace.

Your real home.

Your Jannah.

Waiting for you to return…

Photo Credit: Jo and Paul's pics

This World vs The Hereafter

// September 11th, 2008 // 2 Comments » // Blog

Ibn Hazm al-Andalusi (May Allāh have mercy upon him) said, “If you look deeply into worldly matters you will become melancholy and will end up reflecting upon the ephemeral nature of everything here below, and the fact that truth lies only in striving for the hereafter, since every ambition to which you might cling will end in tears; either the goal is snatched from you, or you have to give the attempt up before you reach it. One of these two endings is inevitable except the search for God the Almighty the Powerful. Then the result is always joy, both immediate and eternal. The immediate joy is because you stop worrying about things which usually worry people; this leads to an increase in the respect paid to you by friends and enemies alike. The eternal joy is the joy of paradise.” In pursuit of virtue.


Image Credit: *Muhammad*
Source of quote: I was forwarded this via e-mail. I can't claim that it is a genuine quote… plus the translation and transcription might be off… but I still found truth in it, māshā’Allāh. [/ end disclaimer]

Boycott Israeli Dates

// September 10th, 2008 // 10 Comments » // Blog

I was shocked to learn that Israel is a major producer and exporter of dates to the European market!

They are grown in the Jordan Valley, West Bank, and are the most profitable crop of the illegal Israeli settlers, who exploit the desperate poverty of their Palestinian workers – including children – with appalling working conditions. One company, Carmel Agrexco, even boasted about producing an early crop in time for Ramadan!

Imagine: to be proud that Muslims are breaking their fast with such blood-soaked dates. A product of illegal, oppressive apartheid!

How very, very, very sad… and sick.

Watch the videos below to learn more:

YouTube Preview Image
YouTube Preview Image

Information from the Inminds Campaign Website:

What else can we do?

*** BUY PALESTINIAN DATES ***
http://zaytoun.org

– Post this information onto your websites, blogs and forward onto your contacts.
– If you spot these brands in your local shops, complain to the owner (download sample letter of complaint, produced by Inminds) – ESPECIALLY IF THE SHOP IS MUSLIM-OWNED!
– If you spot these brands in someone's house, POLITELY point out their origin. Most Muslims don't know about this (I didn't), and would not have bought these dates if they had known. So please be polite.
– Remember our Palestinian brothers and sisters in your dua, when placing a date in your mouth this Ramadan.

Hat-tip to bro Tariq for making me aware of this.


P.S., I know this may seem like just another average Muslim-lead boycott – and oh how we Muslims do love our boycotts – but in this case, it is clear that this is the most direct means of action we can take. It targets the offending companies that are mistreating their workers, as well as the illegal Israeli settlers. Plus, do you really want to be buying dates that were grown on stolen land? Stolen at gun point. It's just not right, is it?

Prayers Please

// September 6th, 2008 // No Comments » // Blog

For my dear sister Organica, and her future family, inshā’Allāh.

Allāh.html">More details here.

NISAA Podcast: Ramadan Special 2008

// September 3rd, 2008 // No Comments » // Blog

The relaunch of the beautifully made-over Nisaa website, and the arrival of the sacred month, inspired Organica and I to reflect over our best and worst Ramadan moments for a new episode of the NISAA podcast.

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