Monday, January 19, 2009


I’m in the middle of my exams and my mind is a bedlam but I’m determined to write today no matter what. I know by the end of this I’ll be screaming with self-condemnation and whatnots, but for now, let me be. This won’t be a long essay outlining some key guidelines to world peace, nor will it be an angsty commentary on why no football player is worth a hundred million pounds when people in Gaza are starving and that Kaka is hundred million times better off in Milan anyway (Giorgio Armani agrees with me too).

I just want to make a few statements to people who matter to me- specifically those whom I don’t contact often. OK, that would make ALL the people that matter. To my defence, firstly, my archaic hand phone has officially been retired.

The fall from grace was gradual- the screen initially went blank, though I could still receive calls and send messages (with a blank screen, mind. Kinda like a twisted version of Braille). The state then progressed to receiving calls but not hearing the caller’s voice when picked up (but he/she could still hear me). So the phone could still be useful if, say, hypothetically, I was kidnapped and managed to call my sister and informed her of the situation so that she could get help, but would be totally ineffective if the situation was reversed. By then, I already sensed the downhill direction of this device I bought a little over two years ago after ‘donating’ my previous faithful one to the hospital where I had my practical classes.

And as of today, I can’t even use it as an alarm anymore- gotta be content with that shrieking monotonous sound of my table clock. No more good music waking you up. But that’s the least of my concerns- bottom line is, I can’t contact any of you guys. For some of you who use the internet as much as I do, it’s not that big of a problem, but I know some of you who don’t.

To get to the point after that dismal, rather unnecessary ode to my hand phone, I miss a lot of people back home. Especially after talking to my parents the day before yesterday- I sorely miss home. I want to go home. And I’m not talking about the food one bit this time. Really.

Perhaps it’s part of the exam syndrome. Or the after-effect of “Hari bersama pejabat dekan”. Anyhow, I’m so not in the mood to study now (aah, finally I let that out loud and clear!). I think I’ll make myself a cup of tea.

ps: Great photos by my brother Muhammad taken during Palestine solidarity rallies in Cardiff and Bristol. Way to go, badut!

This pic was published in Reuters's site. (Hope you won't mind me putting it up here. My site carries more weight than theirs. Hahaha.) ;)

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Day of Ashura

In the month of Muharram, we should remember the Hijrah of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) from Makkah to Madinah. There are many lessons in this story and it can help us understand the basic significance of the Hijrah calendar. It is good to remember that Hijrah was a significant move for the growth of Islam and throughout history, Islam has benefited from the Hijrah.

It is also the Sunnah of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) to fast on the 9th and 10th of Muharram. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) used to fast on the 10th day (`Ashura'). When he came to Madinah, he found out that the Jews of Madinah were also fasting on this day remembering Prophet Musa (peace and blessings be upon him). The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) admired this tradition and he said to the Jews, "We are closer to Musa than you are." He fasted and he also told his Companions to fast on this day. Later, before the end of his life on this earth, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) told Muslims to add the 9th day also. Thus, it is recommended to fast on both the 9th and 10th of Muharram.

It is also good to remember the great sacrifice of Al-Husain and his family (may Allah be pleased with all of them). Theirs was the true Jihad for the cause of truth and justice. We should learn the lessons of courage, patience and perseverance from the episode of Karbala' (year 61 A.H. / 680 C.E).

Dr. Muzammil Siddiqi, president of the Fiqh Council of North America


New year holidays are a blanket term that predominantly comprises of study leave for winter exams. So whilst I should be out there painting the town red (or white, to be in tune with the mood) or stuffing snowballs into some poor fella's hood, I'm glued to these four walls, torn between the bed and the table. I did go out yesterday, actually, but it didn't snow. Those white thingies are mischievous- they would usually choose exam days and those surrounding them to pay us a merry visit. How befitting.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Making a stand

I remember entering 2005 with the world shrouded by the Indian Ocean tsunami tragedy. Today, we usher into 2009 and 1430 with a parallel atmosphere- in the form of classic work of terrorism by the Israeli Zionists. There are so many emotions compressing my chest when asked to voice my opinion on this particular issue, mostly excruciating to try putting into words. Whether you’re a Muslim and think that this is by and large an issue of native Palestinians wanting to regain the rights to their land and deny the primary cause being religious (which is a misapprehension, if you study the Quran and hadith), or a non-Muslim who think this an Islamic cause and has nothing to do with you, you can’t deny the fact that what we see happening in Palestine today is an injustice in the most extreme of definitions. What indeed is the justification of the Zionists invading the land, ousting its inhabitants by force, besides it being their so-called promised land? And how can the rest of the world even justify that when 99% of us are not even Jewish? I fail to see the logic in an era overfed with a supposed sense of political correctness and pretend civilisation.

It is difficult to resolve the crisis when the bad guys get all the backings from certain giant superpowers who swiftly pave the way for these people to play big bullies, quashing any efforts from other parties to restore integrity. What then, can we measly members of the society do?

Firstly, we have to take a stand. I, as a Muslim, perhaps feel a greater sense of kinship with this issue, but it’s a cause everyone should be aware of. What can we do against these terrorists, being so far away from our brothers and sisters? We pray, pray, and keep praying. We spread the news; build up awareness within the public. And a point strongly stressed in yesterday’s weekly halaqah centering on this current predicament- strive to improve ourselves, to make ourselves worthy Muslims whose prayers will be answered.

Why do we boycott their goods? To show our solidarity and earnestness, with the ambitious goal of subverting their economy. Why do we make public protests? Again, to show our solidarity AND to pressure these people into retracting their actions. International pressure has been proven to work in past aggressions, and although it may not bear similar results in this case, what do we have to lose? I believe it’s better than going about in our everyday complacency, perhaps occasionally condemning these abominable acts when they’re shown on TV, and that’s that. It’s something I feel strongly about, and although I can’t have everyone seeing it through my eyes, I wish they would. I’ve blogged about this issue a couple of times already, but it’s a timeless cause, and I will continue to bring it up in the future.

So I guess that ends my reflection of December. As of the year 2008- it has been a good year, but I wish I had written more. I wish I had done a whole lot more. Well.

And I miss home.