Archive for category Islam 101

Of course you have four of those!

This narrative is based on a true story.

Abu Pokemon: The lego figurines that I try to get have to be as diverse as possible but it is hard sometimes.
Person A: Home come?
Abu Pokemon: For example it is hard to get female figures.
Person A: How many do you have?
Abu Pokemon: I have a total of more than 30 figures but out of those only 4 are female.
Person A: It makes sense.
Abu Pokemon: What do you mean?
Person A: You are Muslim and you have four figures
Abu Pokemon: No, its a coincidence!
Person A: Of course it is.
Abu Pokemon: It is!
Person A: Right.
Abu Pokemon: I mean it!

This also reminded me of how back in the days, many of my conversations used to start like the following. It was pretty annoying at that time but in retrospect they are funny.

Random Person: So you are a Muslim.
Abu Pokemon:  Yes.
Random Person: Cool, so you can have four wives.
Abu Pokemon: Well, amm, theoretically yes.
Random Person: Dude that is so awesome.
Abu Pokemon: Well, why would you want to have more than one. Isnt it supposed to be hard to have one wife?
Random Person: It is very cool nonetheless!

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Eid Mubarak from Abu Pokemon!

Better late than never, Eid Mubarak to everyone!

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What not to do in Ramadan – The sequel

I usually dont do sequels but perhaps its not a bad idea. Mezba did a post on a similar topic to my previous post so I had no choice but to steal, err I mean borrow the post from Mezba. Here is Mezba’s post Legoized. (Just in case you folks are wondering I do have Mezb’a Blessing). Note to Mezba: I had to modify a couple of things in order to fit these in the lego world but the main theme is still the same.

Here are Mezba’s 5 tips for night prayer:

(1) Its not a hurdles competition

(1A) Jamil: Dang, I am late again. If the rate of blessing are inversely proportional to the distance from the imam then I wont reach my target tonight.

(1B) Luckily I am a pole vaulting champion.

(1C) Almost there.

(1D) Jamil: The engineering degree was going to come in handy one day.

(1e) Fill me up with blessings man. Woot!

(2) You are not having dinner:

Masud (The guy with the Turban): That was a yummy iftar.
Mezba (The buy with the big nice smile in the back) : I need to find a way to get to the front row.

(1b) Mezba (The buy with the big nice smile in the front): Front row, awesome.

(1c) Mezba: Why has that guy been burping the Ameen’ for the last 12 rakats.

(1d) Mezba in some fantasyland far away.

Mezba: Alright stormtroppers, I know the economy is tough so if you want to make a few bucks on the side, there is this guy at the masjid ….

(3) Allah loves cleanliness

(3a) (People in sajda while praying salat/namaz)

Behroz: What is that smell, oh God. Please help. I am suffocating.

(3b) Jamil: I dont know what that guy’s problem is what is standing behind me.

(3c) Congregation: Ina’lil’lah’wa’ina’ila’hi’rajioun. Masha’Allah he must have been a really pious brother. He must surely go to jannah (heaven) since he died while in prostration before God.

(4) Stop scaring the kids

(4a) Reyhan: I love being in the masjid, this is so fun.
Abdulrehman: (Better not cross me boy.)

(4b) Abdurrehman: That does it!

(4c) Abdurrehman: You stupid @#@% kid. Don’t cross in front of people who are praying. You deserve a sound beating!

(4d) 10 years later when Reyhan is passing by a masjid, this is what he is what comes to his mind when he thinks about the masjid.

(5) Sleep First

(5a) First Rakat:

Hashim: (I am getting a little sleepy.)

(5b) Second Rakat:
Hashim: (This must be a miracle, I am feeling sleepy and magically a support has appeared. All praise is to God.)
Muneeb: I am feeling sleepy.

(5c) Third Rakat:

Hashim: Zzzz ….
Muneeb: (This must be a miracle, I am feeling sleepy and magically a support has appeared. All praise is to God.)
Mezba: (If you have to sleep, please remain on your bed, not on my shoulder. There is actually a saying that you should not pray when you are sleepy. So either sleep before and then come to the mosque, or please stay in your bed.)

(5d) Later that night …

Mezba: Dr. Fransworth I have heard that you are looking for some test subjects for your sleep related research ….

To quote Mezba verbatim:

“To desi FOB uncles: If you follow the above tips, I am sure you can make your experience and the experience of the rest around you a lot better.”

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What not to do in Ramadan

I have not disappeared folks, it was just that I was busy in Thesis Proposal Exams and thus could not post in time. This post should have been done at least 10 days ago if not more when Ramadan/Ramazan had just started but since there is still a week left so better late than never. So here are a list of things that one should not do in Ramadan but people still do them.

(i) Stuff yourself

The point of fasting is to abstain from eating so that you can get close to God. The point is not to eat like a hog. Besides pigs are haram anyway so and is eating like them.

“Man I need to exercise yaani, I have yaani put on 20 pounds this Ramadan.”

(ii) Masjid Parking

If you have kids, a pregnant wife or sister or if you are pregnant, or have older parents or older relatives who are accompanying you then you should park close to the masjid or in the masjid parking lot. If one the other hand neither of these conditions are met then please refrain from parking since there are other people who are in such a position and so it is our duty as Muslims to give them parking space.

(iii) Dont be the Grinch who stole Ramadan

Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) stated that smiling to your brother is charity. Some brothers have however taken it to themselves to have a grouchy face all day long.  Given that working all day without food and water can make some people grouchy but one is supposed to be extra nice to other people during Ramadan. So this Ramadan please dont be a Grinch, be nice. 🙂

Ali: As salam o alaikum
Ahsan: wa’alaikum Grrr
Ali: How are you?
Ahsan: Grrrrr
Ali: Emm, …, I think I hear my mom calling I will be back.
Ahsan: Grrrr

(iv) Musalla as playground

I am not saying that dont bring your kids to the mosque but if they are unruly and you cant make them keep it down when people are praying them please refrain from doing so because it disrupts other people’s players. One of the most annoying things to hear while praying is, “Veeeeeeeeee.”

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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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Muslim Environmentalism Message

One of my friends in the offline world, Nandita called me half way across the country and asked me to create a public service message for a new Muslim environmentalist organization that she is a part of. (Note to the readers: Next time if you have a public service message you know who to contact). Here is the result:

(I) Introduction:
Peace be upon you. We would like to welcome you to Meem. Here is MEEM’s mission statement in a visual form.  

  

(II) MEEM:  

MEEM is an acronym that stands for “Minnesota Ecology and Environmental Muslims.” Our purpose is to create environmental awareness and promote a more humble outlook towards conserving our footprint on planet Earth. MEEM is a network of environmentally conscious Muslims centered around the Minneapolis-Saint Paul Twin Cities area where our aim is to spread awareness about the environment, help make people better and environmentally conscious choices, volunteer for environmental causes and try to make the word a better place for all.  

  

Here are the various ways in which you can help and spread environmental Awareness  

(III) Reducing your carbon footprint:  

(a) Whenever possible, instead of driving cars ….  

  

(b) Take public transportation like buses.  

  

(c) Or ride bikes if that is possible  

  

(IV) Recycle:  

(a) Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) told us that cleanliness is half of faith. Thus if you see trash lying here and there and it is in your capacity to take care of it …  

  

Then be sure to properly dispose of it. Recycle whenever you can.  

  

Use recyclable bags instead of plastic bags.  

  

(V) Planet Trees:  

Plant trees. This is good for the environment and this is what the Prophet (peace be upon him) has commanded us to do.  

  

(VI) Spread the word:  

If you are not going to take these words from me then …  

  

Take these words from scholars who have discussed the importance of the environment in relation to the concept vice-regency of humankind.  

  

Spread the word amongst other people, in chats, discussions, in masjids, khutbas etc. insha’Allah you will get blessings (ajar) for this.  

  

(VIII) Last Word:  

If we sit as idle spectators and do not do anything then our descendants will inherit a morbid planet.  

  

Or in artificial environments where they may not be able to enjoy many of the things that we have availablt is  

  

Together we can and we will make a difference, insha’Allah.  

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The use and abuse of Saladin

This is a more serious post. In the news these days there many stories about violence perpetuated by Muslims. Most of  the instances are actually Muslim on Muslim violence. While such type of news articles are given disproportionate coverage in the media, the rhetoric employed by some Muslims is also very disheartening. Media fairness is however not the topic of this post. In this post I wanted to point out something else i.e., the type of rhetoric that is used by some Muslims which is free of any compassion towards the other side. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said that “He who has no kindness has no faith.” I sometimes wonder that it may be our arrogance which is keeping us down in the world and not the other qualities and conditions that we like to think.

The figure of Salahuddin Ayubi (known as Saladin in the West) is fascinating as he is considered to be one of the greatest Muslim heroes who ever lived. He is routinely invoked by all sorts of people, from people who are compassionate to people who are like demagoges. What the extremist elements forget is how different Saladin is from their distorted vision of Islam.

(i) Salahuddin (Saladin)’s Attitude:

Saladin: You have laid down your arms. We are obliged to treat you well. You are free to go anywhere you want.

(ii) The Extremist Attitude:

Abu Imran: We are the heirs of Saladin. We dou nout like beoble who disagree with us. We will conquer your cidies and teach you a lessoun.
Abu Pikachu: Then what will you do?
Abu Imran: Then we will kill them.
Abu Pikachu: Cant we then just let them go? Why do you want to kill innocent civilians? Isnt that againt Islam?
Abu Imran: You are a wuss. In fact I think you are Al-Wuss or better still you are Al-Wuss Al-Akbar, Abu Bicachu.
Abu Pikachu: What? I am just saying what Islam teaches, you are leading people astray.
Abu Imran: Bikachu, what kind of berverted name is that? Haram!

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