Archive for August, 2010

Happy Independence Day and Flood Relief

To my Pakistani, Indian and Korean readers, Happy Independence day. Just like Ramadan I am late in the announcement but better late than never as the adage goes.

(A) The British left South Asia 63 years ago and like many other place from where the British Empire left its mark, the place has been a mess since then.

(B) The independent nations of Pakistan and India were born in 1947 and have been going at one another since then but since its the independence day we will not discuss that today but just wish these two nations well for the future and hope for peace and prosperity for more than 1.35 billion people in the Indian Sub-Continent. Ameen.

(C) I wanted to wish Pakistani and Indian people Happy Independence day and also point out to a great humanitarian crisis in Pakistan. By many accounts it may be the biggest humanitarian disaster of the last 10 years and yet the media here is not really talking about it. Consequently the international response has been woeful20 million people have been directly affected by the flood and more than 2 million people have become homeless. The international community has been slow to respond but things seem to be changing slowly.

Pakistaniat has a list of relief agencies where you can donate money for the relief effort. Here is the link:

ATP Gives: What Are Good Ways to Help Flood Victims in Pakistan?

Please also remember these people in your duas.

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Ramadan Kareem and Ramadan 101

It is that time of the year folks. Ramadan/Ramazan/Ramjan is upon us. Actually a few days have passed but the important thing is that we are here now. Ramadan Kareem to all of the readers of this blog and also to the non-readers. For our non-Muslim friends and reader who may not be familiar with this Ramadan here is a quick primer on Ramadan.

This is an educational post. The funny/weird Ramadan post is reserved for next time.

(1) As you may know, Muslims are supposed to fast during the month of Ramadan. We are supposed to refrain from the following from dawn to dusk.

(A) Drinking

(B) Eating

(C) Relations between men and women

(2) In addition to this people are encouraged to engage more in acts of worship. Thus the attendance of mosques greatly shoots up during Ramadan.

(3) Muslims are usually more charitable during Ramadan and are encouraged to give charity.

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On Sister’s Day

Most likely many readers of this blog do not know that the first sunday of August is supposed to be Sister’s day. While I do not have a sister I do know someone who comes close and so this post is dedicated to her. The first sunday of August was about a week ago so this post is somewhat late but I presume that is somewhat appropriate since we haven’t talked to each other for a year now. If one does not talk to another person that does not necessarily mean that one cannot wish them well. To make a long story short, she asked for forgiveness from me but at that time perhaps I was not ready to forgive. And now we do not even talk even if we are in the same room and that does happen quite often.

A couple of weeks ago I was at the Jummah and the imam mentioned a narration from the life of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) which I had heard before but had not really thought about.” The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) was seated in a gathering with the companions when he (pbuh) looked towards the entrance and said, “A man of Paradise is coming.” At that instance someone who seemed to be very ordinary entered the mosque where they were seated. A companion was curious as to why the Prophet (pbuh) said this, so he followed the man to his house. This Sahabi told the man that he was a traveler and stayed as a guest. For three days the Sahabi saw nothing unusual, so he finally told the man what the Prophet had said and asked him what was so special. The man thought for a long time and said, “There might be one thing — before going to sleep every night I forgive everyone and sleep with a clean heart.” ” The narration made me realize the meaning of forgiveness and humility. The following verses from Moulana Rumi come to mind while reading this narration.

Our brotherhood is not one of despair
Even though you have broken
Your vows of repentance a hundred times, come.

Fast forward to the present. The other day, when I saw my sister, she looked so sad. I wanted to say hi and ask whats wrong or even say that I forgive you sister but I did not. You might ask why I did not say anything, its because I know that she would not respond positively or even respond at all.

And so whatever hardship or problems that she is going through I just pray to Allah that may he make it easier for her.

And to my sister I say, “Even though we may never talk to one another and you may never read this post, I wish all the best to you and I forgive you Nuna.”

Hopefully there will be a smile on her face today. May Allah have mercy on all of us. Ameen.

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Time Traveling for what!

Note: This is a work of sature, please dont take it seriously. I have to add this disclaimer because there are people out there who are likely to take it seriously. This particular story refers to two infamous fatwas where the scholars suggested that a man and a woman who are working in an office can interact with one another if  they are mehram. They can become mehram if she breastfeeds the man and thus they can work in the same environment. The fatwa caused an outrage in Egypt and it had to be retracted. The following story is inspired from that fatwa.


(I) In the year 2040: This was a problem that scholar and scientists had wrestled with for millenia but no one had a solution which everyone could agree on. The perrenial problem was how to ensure that people can interact with one another without falling for their lustful desires. Large number of “scientific” studies had shown that even in academic environments whereever people interacted

uncovered

or covered

…. it always led to disaster.

(II) Finally the scientist and the scholars sat down and after billions of dillars of research found an “elegant” solution to this problem – Time Travel.

(III) The solution works as follows: Suppose that Fatima and Abu Imran are two colleages in an office who have to interact with one another but they cannot because they are not mehram. They will be first taken to the Time Travelling facility.

(IV) Where the scientists will take the DNA sample from the man and feed it to the supercomputer who will find an appropriate point in time in the past for the necessary changes.

(V) One of the agents of the Temporal Religious Police would be selected to go back in time.

(VI) The agent will go back in time when Abu Imran is just an infact and at a  moment when no one is looking he will grab Abu Imran.

(VII) Now that he is back to the future with the young Abu Imran, Fatima can breastfeed him and thus the mehram relationship will be established between them.

(VIII) Afterwards the infant Abu Imran will be sent back to his own time and thus there  will be no paradox. Muslims all over teh world have shown interest in using this technology of time travel to solve other problems e.g., the Palestinian conflict but the authories say that they do not want to interfere in the affairs of God and besides what can possibly be more important that breastfeeding one’s colleages from the past!

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