Archive for February, 2009

Virtopsy: The Non-Invasive Autopsy

// February 28th, 2009 // No Comments » // Blog

The subject of death, and especially autopsy, is a little more macabre than I'm used to dealing with. Even so, I could not resist sharing some information on the matter that I discovered via an unlikely source: my “They Work For You” email alerts. A free, online service that allows users to track UK Parliamentary goings-on, by keyword and/or a manner of other useful filters.

The email linked to a debate regarding an amendment to Clause 15 of the Coroners and Justice Bill, which covers the issue of post-mortem examinations. Muslims (and as it turns out, Jews as well) require the body to be buried as soon as possible after death occurs. In addition, generally speaking, many people have a special sensitivity towards surgical autopsy, as they don't wish the body of the deceased to be 'harmed' in any way.

The debate revealed that Manchester's coroners jurisdiction has been offering MRI-based autopsies for some time, developed in response to the needs of its sizeable Muslim and Jewish communities. Apparently, not only is the procedure non-invasive, but it is also much quicker than the traditional, dissection-based method, as it does not rely on the analysis of biopsies, which can delay the results of a post-mortem for days, or even weeks.

Continue Reading at…

New Theme – Already?

// February 25th, 2009 // 5 Comments » // Blog

Update (26/02/2009): My new theme has been temporarily retracted considering that it is PNG-heavy, and some people are still using Internet Explorer versions 6 and below, which have no-PNG support. I am looking for a quick fix that doesn't involve me designing a special IE<6 site!

It's been approximately two days since I launched the all new site – and already an updated template?

The few readers who knew me back when I started blogging on Blogger over two years ago, will remember how much (and how frequently) I loved to redesign my blog. Moving to denied me that luxury (though it did mean I had more time to spend on useful activities).

Now I have upgraded to a self-hosted blog, the opportunity for my behind to form a near-symbiotic relationship with the computer chair, as I spend countless hours wading through a maze of CSS stylesheets and incomprehensible PHP files, has finally been returned to me. Good thing I finished my PhD already, huh?

In this latest case of design fever, inspiration came from a doodle I drew on my iPod Touch:

Expect more drastic changes, whenever I feel bored and/or inspired!

Celebrating the Prophet’s Birthday

// February 23rd, 2009 // 7 Comments » // Blog

Something new that I learnt today, from the lips of Sh. Yasir Qadhi, during an AlMaghrib Q&A session…

It's not actually an innovation to celebrate the Prophet's birthday, sallalahu 'alayhi wa salam. It just depends on the manner in which you do it:

Abu Qatada Ansari (Allāh be pleased with him) reported that Allāh's Messenger (peace be upon him) was asked about fasting on Monday, whereupon he said: “It is (the day) when I was born and revelation was sent down to me.” [Sahih Muslim]

Thus, according to the sheikh, the Prophet actually 'celebrated' his own birthday every week – by fasting Mondays!

So, if you're looking to mark the blessed occasion, that's the Sunnah way to do it. And Allāh knows best.


Update (11/03/2009): The sheikh has posted an article regarding the Mawlid on

New Website Launched

// February 22nd, 2009 // No Comments » // Announcements

I have merged my personal blog and new vlog, into one site:

Please update your feed readers with the new RSS feed link, and your blog rolls with the new homepage link.

Let me know if you spot any problems, and what you think of the new look!

To HD or Not to HD…?

// February 20th, 2009 // 16 Comments » // Blog

Mujahideen Ryder brought up a good point on my MuslimMatters crosspost about the drawbacks of HD video. Something I happened to be thinking about just last night:

Sidenote: linking to HD videos is not a wise decision. Most PCs can't handle HD streaming on YouTube, unless they wait at least 5-15 minutes depending on their connection. Then after that, the playback will be choppy if they don't have a good graphics card.

Providing two links would be better. One for HD and one for regular quality.

I realized the same problem last week when I tried to watch one of my videos on a display MacBook at the Apple Store, and the playback was “choppy”; a sign that the graphics card was not suitable for HD (which is not good show for Apple, come to think of it).

The problem is that YouTube only provides two viewing options for HD resolution videos: normal quality, or HD. Normal quality looks like the piece had been filmed using a webcam from the late 90s. I.e., not good. HD is obviously the best option, but as MR pointed out, it is not widely accessible by the masses just yet.

So, should I forget HD for the short term?

Or should I upload two versions of my work: one in HD, and one in stand definition that can be viewed in “high quality” mode, which is the next best viewing option?

Will the latter strategy mess up my viewing stats?

How many people even care about HD right now?


P.S., I am not sure if it makes a difference to use a different video host either… HD is HD, right? Plus I'd prefer to continue using YouTube as it has an established online community of users and subscribers, which means more exposure for my work, inshā’Allāh. Hmm…

We’re Going To Gaza – More From Viva Palestina

// February 20th, 2009 // 4 Comments » // Video

On February 14th 2009, after only four, short weeks of preparation, the Viva Palestina convoy finally left for Gaza, from its starting point at London's Hyde Park. Watch interviews with the founder, George Galloway MP, the journalist, Yvonne Ridley, as well as a variety of footage from the departure event.

At the time of publishing this video, the convoy had already reached Morocco. Receive daily updates and send in your donations via

Happy Valentine Palestine

// February 14th, 2009 // 9 Comments » // Blog

Let's forget the halality or haramity of Valentines Day for a moment. Today, true love was in the air at Hyde Park.

That was the departure point for the Viva Palestina convoy, who are now all on their way to Ramsgate, from where they will begin their long journey to Gaza.

I didn't expect it, but I was quite overcome by emotion at times: both with joy, as well as a happy kind of sadness. My heart was genuinely moved by the people around me. We should all thank Allāh for allowing us to witness such devotion and selflessness. Alhamdulillah. In fact, such were my feelings, that I was sufficiently motivated to come down to the Apple Store, just so I could blog about it!


Viva Palestina: Send Your Love To Gaza

// February 12th, 2009 // No Comments » // Video

The British MP, George Galloway, has launched a bold, new initiative to help the beleaguered people of Gaza, called Viva Palestina. On February 14th 2009, he will lead a large convoy from London, all the way through Europe and North Africa by road, to personally deliver much needed aid into Gaza.

Find out how you can help at

Closed Captions available

Green Week

// February 8th, 2009 // 5 Comments » // Blog

I Don’t Do Labels

// February 7th, 2009 // 11 Comments » // Blog

I have recently discovered something about myself.

I really don't like to be labeled.

I am not referring to my Islam (i.e., Sunni, Salafi, Shi'a, etc.). Rather, me, as a person.