Posts Tagged ‘Religion’

Advice for Attendees of the Harrow Mosque 9/11 Counter-Protest

// September 10th, 2009 // No Comments » // Blog

I wrote the following article in a hurry this afternoon, after receiving messages from certain friends and acquaintances, encouraging me, and other Muslims, to attend a counter-demo taking place outside Harrow Mosque tomorrow (Friday, Sept 11th, 2009).

As some of you may have heard, a coalition of fascist groups are planning to hold a static demo outside the Harrow Mosque in NW London, tomorrow, i.e., on Jumuah, Sept 11, 2009. A counter-protest has been organised by 'Unite Against Fascism', with support from various elements of the London Muslim community.

It is clear that tensions are now running high in the lead up to the event. I, myself, have received numerous text messages from Muslim acquaintances encouraging their fellow Muslims to go “defend the mosque” – without actually explaining what that means. I can't help but feel that this is all reminiscent of several violent clashes between fascist protesters and Muslim youth, that have occurred in the recent past. In this regard, sister Yvonne Ridley gave clear warning to attendees of the protest, via her Facebook profile… continue reading.

I actually heard about the event earlier in the week, but didn't really know what it was about, so I mistakenly ignored it. It's only when I received yet another text message about it this morning from a good friend, that I was spurred into writing something, worrying that all this buzz was leading somewhere bad, God forbid.

I am praying that the right-wing media, and the fascist thugs, don't get the anti-Muslim front page headlines they are no doubt salivating for, and that there are no casualties – on either side (I'd rather the opposition be guided, than beaten up, tbh; besides, doing so would only serve to start up a cycle of revenge attacks).

Tips for Ramadan Taraweeh (Tarawih) Prayers

// August 29th, 2009 // 3 Comments » // Blog

My latest contribution for MuslimMatters.org: a list of simple tips for a more productive Taraweeh experience, inshā’Allāh. Please visit the site and add your own! :)

A Pre-Ramadan Thought

// August 19th, 2009 // 5 Comments » // Blog

I left a comment on Organica's latest post, which I wanted to share here, mainly as a reminder to myself:

“It is much easier to do good deeds in Ramadan because your nafs is weakened by fasting, and the shayateen are locked up. This illustrates that there is something inherently good about humanity, which shines through when worldly temptation is removed.

It's a lesson for us to seek that [good] out within ourselves and others all year round, inshā’Allāh.”

An early Ramadan Mubarak to you all!

Channel 4 Revelations: “How Do You Know God Exists?”

// August 16th, 2009 // 1 Comment » // Blog

Programme synopsis:

“Leading figures in the five principal faiths in Britain discuss their beliefs and answer questions about their basic faith and their own spiritual journeys.

The key figures interviewed are Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Westminster Vincent Nichols, Muslim theologian Tariq Ramadan, Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks and Swami Pramtattvadas.

As well as addressing the 'big questions', including their concepts of God, heaven and hell, they speak frankly about their struggles and frequent moments of doubt, about the divisions within their ranks and crimes that have been committed in the name of religion.”

I only caught the second half of the show, but was just in time to see Tariq Ramadan do a really bad job of explaining the infamous 'wife-beating' verse in the Qur'an. It's not entirely his fault… editing is a dodgy business, and he only had one sentence to work with, really. But that's why I get quite annoyed with these types of shows. You aren't given the time to do justice to any topic.

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British Government’s Meddling with Islam & the Muslim Community

// August 5th, 2009 // No Comments » // Blog

Not the most catchy of titles, I admit, but it'll do.

It's for my article that was published today, over at MuslimMatters:

As I've mentioned on more than one occasion, I am subscribed to alerts from They Work For You – a free site that allows the public to keep track of parliamentary proceedings. Even so, I will continue to remind you all of this fact, because I think everyone should make use of this amazing service. I am hardly politically astute, but I still choose to keep an ear open for when the British government decides to talk about me (or rather, things dear to me), i.e., Islam and the Muslim community.

Recently, there was a sudden rise in the number of alerts I received, containing my keyword of choice, “Islam”, all because one particular British MP, Ben Wallace (Conservative MP for Lancaster & Wyre, Former Conservative MSP for North East Scotland), has been asking a lot of questions on the subject lately – six questions in just two days. After reading through them, I become somewhat alarmed, as they described a number of initiatives that have the potential to directly affect how Islam is understood and practised in the UK. This includes scholarly efforts to 'contextualise' Islam in Britain, and the teaching of Islamic Studies in universities. To add some further context, several of these questions were posed in relation to “Paragraph 9.21 of the UK Strategy for Countering International Terrorism“.

The six questions and answers are presented below.

Continue reading…

I was quite worried about how this article would be received – mainly because politics is not my forte. However, I don't consider this article to be 'political', rather, the intention was simply to be informative. These are matters that concern me – and the rest of the British Muslim community – and I felt it my duty to spread the news.

I am also concerned about sounding like 'just another paranoid Muslim, thinking the government is out to get us'. But the thing is, though my own opinion can be utterly ignored, the facts cannot. And that is what I have aimed to do: present a set of facts – without editing, and providing original sources – then analyse those facts, and present my own theory. The theory could be way off, but the facts remain as facts. Facts, facts, facts… FACTS. [I thought I'd throw that word in a few more times for added emphasis.]

I asked a friend of mine to read over the article while it was still in draft form, and she wasn't aware of any of the initiatives described therein. I'd call her an 'average' Muslim – in that she is conscientious, but not politically active, as such. She, too, was alarmed at the information. So, I am hoping that I am not way off base with my assessment.

Thanks to Indigo Jo for giving the article a once over too, and confirming a mistake that I had made. Though he never told me whether he agreed with my paranoid instincts or not – I'm sure he'll share his opinions soon enough, inshā’Allāh.

My Big Day Out

// July 27th, 2009 // 7 Comments » // Blog

As I mentioned in my last status update, Thursday 23rd July ended up being quite a productive day for me, māshā’Allāh. For a start, I was actually active between the normal working hours of 9.30am and 4.30pm. Amazing! I didn't even manage that during my PhD.

The day involved two major meetings, each relating to the two main projects that currently dominate my unemployed life: Deaf Muslim initiatives (e.g., SignLabs), and blogging. As the content of both meetings was pretty much confidential, I'll skip the details, and just describe the basic aims.

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Don’t Play Shaytaan’s Blame Game

// July 10th, 2009 // 10 Comments » // Blog

I attended the much hyped (my own doing) “Emasculated Muslim Men and the Feminist Hijabi” debate this evening. I actually bumped into my good blog buddy, Sumera, prior to the start of the event; so I know that I wasn't the only intrigued blogger in the audience.

Anyway, I don't have much to say about it all. Partly because I was asked to film it, so I was too busy paying attention to my camera, to soak in much of anything. I can tell you that it was a very mature, rational discussion, māshā’Allāh; there wasn't really any kind of 'debate' as such, as all the speakers pretty much agreed with one another (even though the panel consisted of Muslims and a non-Muslim, men and women – “Yey!” for social harmony).

However, one tidbit that made a lasting impression, was offered by the entertaining, yet informative, Imam Shahnawaz Haque (Psychotherapist, Teacher and Khatib), in response to an audience member asking why all the attention was being placed on the deficiencies of men – what about women's deficiencies?

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Definition of Friendship

// June 28th, 2009 // 2 Comments » // Blog

I just wrote a mini-paper on the meaning of friendship, in response to a contact's status message on Facebook. It kinda sucks to take over someone's profile like that, so I am transferring the rant from there, to here, and replacing it with a much shorter URL. :)

Plus, I want a longer term record of what I said, because it's the kind of advice that will bite me in the bee-hind one day, if I ever forget it – this post will hopefully serve like a post-it note, for when I will inevitably need the same 'talking to'.

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Have You Thanked Allah?

// June 9th, 2009 // 1 Comment » // Blog

I was e-mailed the following by a friend, and thought it contained some great bite-sized chunks of wisdom.

Have You Thanked Allāh?
by Imâm Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah

Salmân al-Fârsî radhiyAllahu anhu said:
“There was a man who was given many of the luxuries of this world, and then they were taken away from him. But he continued to praise and thank Allâh until everything had been taken from him, even his bed. And then he still praised and thanked Allâh. Another man, who had also been given many of the luxuries of this world asked him, 'What are you praising and thanking Allâh for?' The man said, 'I am praising and thanking Him for blessings which, if others asked me to give them to them in return for all that they have, I would never give them up.' 'What can they be?' asked the second man. 'Can't you see?' asked the first man. 'I have my eyesight, my tongue, my hands, my feet…'”

Allāh/#more-2094" class="more-link">Allāh?">(more…)

Taking Advice From the Past To Save the Future

// June 2nd, 2009 // 9 Comments » // Blog

You know those Sci-Fi films where the protagonist receives an unexpected visit from their future self, heralding grave news of a disastrously sticky end if they don't do an incredibly important task, that can conveniently be achieved within the 75 minute remainder of the movie?

The kind of scenario that always throws up the problem: “Well, if they complete the mission, then that version of the future will no longer exist. Therefore the character won't be able to return to the past to warn themselves about avoiding said disaster. But without such a warning, the bad things will happen anyway. Ah, but then if they… no, that won't work… unless they manipulate the space-time continuum…? Yes! No. Wait… using the graviton emissions of a nearby worm hole…. perhaps… Multiverse theory would allow… would allow… wo- Oh look: time for Hollyoaks!”.

Anyway, I experienced something like that this evening, at a sisters-circle I attended – but in reverse.

Continue reading my post at MuslimMatters.org…

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