Archive for May, 2009

Marshmallows: A Metaphor For Jannah?

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

A TED video explaining how self-discipline can lead to success. Warning: the following film contains hilarious clips of kids trying their hardest not to eat free marshmallows. Wear some waterproof pants, if possible!

Divan 2.0: After Thoughts

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

The video from Divan 2.0 hasn't yet been released. However, I'd like to share my thoughts on some of what we discussed that evening (at least, what I remember, anyhoo), before it completely evaporates from my brain. Plus, it gives me an excuse to blog something worthwhile (as opposed to posting random shots of my bling collection).

(more…)

The Tree of Bling

// May 23rd, 2009 // 4 Comments » // Photos

I was testing some new AA batteries out on my camera. Their half-life was terrible (a matter of seconds), but I managed to capture this before the camera died.

Watch iMuslim ‘Live’ Tonight, on Divan 2.0 (7.15pm, UK Time)

// May 22nd, 2009 // 1 Comment » // Blog

I've been invited to be a panellist at a Radical Middle Way event tonight. The subject up for discussion is Islam and the Internetz… so at least I'll be familiar with the subject matter – inshā’Allāh!

I'll be representing MuslimMatters, so please make dua that I don't let the side down, as it'll be my first time doing anything like this (I'm trying to minimize your expectations; remember, blogging and public speaking are two different animals!).

Welcome to Muslim 2.0 – a wired generation whose members would rather pose their tough questions to Shaykh Google than their local Imam and who feel more connected to the Facebook ummah than the congregation at the local mosque. Never has Muslim conversation buzzed with so many divergent, combative and off-the-wall perspectives.

But is more Muslim chatter really better?

Has Web 2.0 democratised Muslim debate, and if so at what cost?

Are we talking to each other or at each other?

With so many blogs, websites and forums to choose from, are we actually engaging with other points of view or are we comfortable staying in our intellectual (and spiritual) ghettos?

Join us for Divan 2.0, as we bring together some of British Islam's most (in)famous bloggers, web pioneers and online warriors for some face-to-face debate. They will be taking your questions in this special “Question Time” style event.

Challenge and be challenged – submit your questions in advance and come ready to jump into fray!

For those who can't make the free event in London, you can watch live via the little video box below. It'll start approx. 7.15pm BST (GMT+1), inshā’Allāh.

Wanted: British Muslim Bloggers

// May 20th, 2009 // 22 Comments » // Announcements

I don't know enough of them… they must exist. Where are you?

If you're a Muslim blogger based in the UK, please leave a comment below with your blog address in the URL bar. Alternatively, paste the relevant link in the comment field… but a warning that your comment may get spammed if you add too many URLs.

Mums Say The Funniest Things…

// May 19th, 2009 // 3 Comments » // Blog

Scenario: iMuslim enters the living room, illuminated by the soft glow of the tellybox, and sits next to her mother on the sofa.

iMuslim proceeds to kiss her mum on the cheek, and notices a flowery scent.

Me: “You smell of talcum powder…”

Mum: “Whaaat?!

Me: “I said: 'You smell of talcum powder'…”

Mum: “Ohhh… I heard something else…”

Me: “What?”

Mum: “I thought you said, I smelled of cow ka powder.”

Me: {guffaws}

Mum: “I was thinking: 'Cow ka powder is milk!'”

Mother and daughter erupt into giggles. Dad looks on in confusion.

And thus a new parent-child in-joke is born.

Beyond Blogging

// May 10th, 2009 // 12 Comments » // Blog

It's funny… I made all the effort of moving my blog to a new, independent location. Furnished it with a unique theme, that suits my needs, and reflects my personality. Added widgets and codes that do my bidding, and enhance functionality.

And yet I seem to have missed the part where I actually reveal my thoughts, share my life, and generally – y'know – blog.

I just don't have much to say, these days. I still have my random thoughts, and enough footage to make at least five short videos (unfortunately, I recently discovered that I am not so keen with the editing, hence the delay in producing new stuff).

I think all the “rant” has left me. That's what started me off on this blogging malarky: pure frustration with my situation, and a longing to reach out and connect with others who may just be as peeved as I am.

Alhamdulillah, I seem to be less frustrated these days. That's a good thing for sure. But I actually enjoy blogging… especially the aforementioned connecting part.

There are still things in my life that I find somewhat annoying. However, they're all to do with me.

That didn't make sense.

What I mean is: the only frustrations I feel comfortable in making public, are the ones that are external: such as my PhD, society, politics (okay, rarely politics), and the odd dodgy marriage-related dillema.

But I don't want to share the frustrations I have with myself. Perhaps it's a matter of protecting the ego, or just a desire to avoid excessive self-indulgence.

It's not that I'm never tempted to pour out my soul to the world. Especially when it concerns matters of the heart. Oh, the cheesy poems that my mind comes up with! You should be thankful that I am sparing you. Really. I'm doing a public service here.

At least pictures say a thousand words. I'm currently doing an Organica/ Shazia, and attempting to keep the blog alive with the odd photo entry. It's not the same as writing though… It's funny how I've come to appreciate the medium, considering that I've never aspired to become a writer.

You know what? I just really need a job. It has to be a job – I have too many degrees.

Though I did have a random thought the other day about doing a Masters in – well, I'm not sure what; just a Masters degree – if/when I reach 50 years young. At that point, I'd be studying purely for the sake of learning about this crazy world. It wouldn't be about my career, or pleasing my parents, or shutting up the neighbours (actually, I've never studied for that reason – not sure why I mentioned it). Just learning 'cuz I'm a four-eyed nerd, through and through, and that's how we roll, bebeh.

Okay, I've run out of things to ramble on about. Plus, dinner is on the table. Though I'm not all that hungry… I swear that I could get away with one meal a day, if my mind was sufficiently stimulated. Yesterday (or was it the day before – I've lost track of time), I went on a coding spree to make-over the SignLabs website, and even the smell of my favourite home-cooked meal couldn't tear me away from the MacBook. I ended up eating dinner at 7am.

Anyhoo… Is there anything you'd like for me to write about? Something other than the Theory of Evolution: I am working on a collaborative piece, in that regard, and I'll be sure to make an announcement when it's ready, inshā’Allāh.

Anything else?

What can iMuslim do for you?

Love <3s

// May 7th, 2009 // 2 Comments » // Photos

These Love Hearts were part of the goody bag that I received at my PhD graduation yesterday. I didn't expect something so corny from a university as sophisticated as Imperial College. :)

Why Muslims Can Catch Swine Flu

// May 1st, 2009 // 2 Comments » // Blog

I co-wrote an article on Swine Flu for MuslimMatters.org:
Swine Flu (H1N1 Influenza A): Facts & Precautions | What is Your Local Muslim Community Doing About it?

I provided some biological insight into why the avoidance of pork is not the key to keeping safe from swine flu, and the role of commercial pig breeding in the emergence of dangerous new flu strains.

I tried to keep the biology as simple as possible. I'd appreciate your feedback on the article.

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