Archive for category Tales from Absurdistan
I was initially planning to have the following two images without any commentary but then I realized that some people may not have heard about it. The story is funny, sad and shameful simultaneously. Just in case you have not heard about it before, what happened was that the Egyptian newspaper Al-Ahram ran a photo of President Obama, King Abdullah, Mehmud Abbas, Netanyahu and Mubrak. The photo was however photoshopped to make Mubarak seem as if he is walking in front of everyone including Obama. Thanks to the internet however the word got out that the picture was doctored. He is what the editor of Al-Ahram had to say afterwards ” expressionist photo is . . . a brief, live and true expression of Mubarak’s unique role in leading on the Palestinian issue. “
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!
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.
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.
(3a) (People in sajda while praying salat/namaz)
(4a) Reyhan: I love being in the masjid, this is so fun.
Abdulrehman: (Better not cross me boy.)
(5a) First 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.)
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
…. 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!
There was a time when people has to actually sit down and think about writing satire or social commentary but the world has changed so much now. News these days can be its own satire and the absurdity of current events can be their own commentary. One such event happened just a few weeks ago in Manhattan when scores of people were protesting the construction of a Mosque close to the 9/11 site. To prove my point, instead of giving any commentary I will just excerpt from a news story.
(i) NEW YORK — Richie Mitzner of Fort Lee revved up his motorcycle and headed for Ground Zero on Sunday to proudly declare himself an “American Infidel.” He was not joking. As a hot, humid wind blew off New York Harbor, Mitzner joined some 500 others to stir up a rhetorical whirlwind of protest against a proposal to build a mosque and Islamic cultural center near the site of America’s bloodiest terror attack. Unfortunately, this is what Ground Zero has now become — a scene of protests.
(ii) At one point, a portion of the crowd menacingly surrounded two Egyptian men who were speaking Arabic and were thought to be Muslims.
(iii) “Go home,” several shouted from the crowd.
“Get out,” others shouted.
In fact, the two men – Joseph Nassralla and Karam El Masry — were not Muslims at all. They turned out to be Egyptian Coptic Christians who work for a California-based Christian satellite TV station called “The Way.” Both said they had come to protest the mosque.
“I’m a Christian,” Nassralla shouted to the crowd, his eyes bulging and beads of sweat rolling down his face.
(iv) But it was no use. The protesters had become so angry at what they thought were Muslims that New York City police officers had to rush in and pull Nassralla and El Masry to safety.
“I flew nine hours in an airplane to come here,” a frustrated Nassralla said afterward.
The incident underscores how contentious — and, perhaps, how irrational — the debate over the mosque has become.
This should be in the hall of shame but unfortunately this actually happened. The names and places in this story have been changed. The appearance of the people involved have been changed as well. I can assure you that the faces of the lego characters bear no resemblance to the people involved in this incident including me (It would be weird if it did.)
(i) A long long time ago, actually not that long, around 2002-03 timeframe. One day I was hanging out in my apartment with my friend Saeed on a leisurely Friday evening.
(ii) My roommate seemed to be getting ready for going out somewhere as he passed by us. My other rommate was in the shower so he is not in the frame. I usually hung out at home with Saeed on Friday nights, was not really an outdoor person back in the days. Saeed asked him, “Whats going on bro? Where are you guys going?”
(iii) My roommate Abbas replied, “O nothing, we are going to the strip club.” Saeed seemed a bit concerned after hearing thi, so he said in a non-lecturing tone, “Abbas I know that your father is a good and pious person. How do you think he would react if he heard about this?” To this Abbas replied, “I tell my father whatever I do. Besides, Saeed you have no right to lecture me on this since you also talk to your fiance on the phone and in Islam we know that it is haram to talk to a non-mehram woman for any reason at all.” This was perhaps the only time in my life when I felt that I was speechless. Saad and I did not say anything at all. Both of my roommates did go there that night. I felt like banging my head on the wall after hearing such. Just in case you folks are wondering I can actually testify to the fact that Saeed did not talk anything haram with his wife, justtalked about stuff related to how to raise kids islamically, how to deal with family, living in a non-Muslim majority country etc.
(iv) So folks, lets recap and visualize the moral equivalence of my ex-roommate’s universe.
(a) Talking to your fiance over the phone ….
(b) is equivalent to ….
The picture had to be censured since this blog is supposed to comply with Islamic principles on not showing questionable material.
Brother, sisters, friends and enemies, this is the first edition of Abu Pokemon. Here we explore and discuss questions of relevance for us. In the face of so many hardships and so many problems in the world sometimes the medicine that one really needs is laughter.
In the first installation of Abu Pokemon we will address the issue of women driving in Saudi Arabia. In that country women are prohibited from driving by law based on a fatwa with which most Muslims outside of the country actually disagree with. If you ever wondered what is the reasoning behind the ban then you are at the right place. It may sound like something from South Park or even the Onion but somebody actually said this. Let us visualize the Sheikh’s reasoning in the following series of “photographs.”
Note: Yaani is a figure of speech in Arabic. Its kind of like how American use “Like.”
Why women should not be allowed to drive?
(i) Women will stop wearing hijab!
Excerpt: “If someone were to say that a woman can drive a car without taking off her hijab, by covering her face and wearing dark glasses over her eyes, the answer to that is that this is not what really happens when women drive cars. Ask those who have seen them in other countries. Even if we assume that this could be applied initially, it would not last for long, rather the situation would soon become as it is in other countries where women drive. This is how things usually develop; they start out in an acceptable fashion then they get worse.” (Source: http://www.islamqa.com/en/ref/45880/women%20driving)
Observation: I suppose you have noticed that this is the case because there are no Muslim women who drive and wear hijab and the women who wear hijab stop wearing hijab as soon as they start driving.
(ii) Women will be able to go wherever they want?
Caption: “Yippee! I can go wherever I want.”
Excerpt: “You may find a divorced woman going where she wants, whenever she wants and however she wants, for whatever purpose she wants, because she is alone in her car, at any time she wants of the day or night. She may stay out until late at night. If people are complaining about this with regard to young men, then what about young women, going all over the place the length and breadth of the country, and maybe even beyond its borders.” (Source: http://www.islamqa.com/en/ref/45880/women%20driving)
Observation: Does that explain why women are so immodest in the other 55 Muslim countries?
(iii) Female Drivers are immodest?
Omar: “Get off me, what has gotten into you Fatima. I am shocked by your behavior.”
Fatima: “I just learned driving.”
Caption: “I can do whatever I want, Yaani now that I have a driver’s license!”
Excerpt: “Another evil consequence of women driving cars is that they lose their modesty.” (Source: http://www.islamqa.com/en/ref/45880/women%20driving)
Observation: Does that mean that we should not associate with any woman who drives? Just look at the face of the women in the second image and the beer in her hand.
(iv) Women will leave their house?
Caption: “Bye honey I am doing drive aimlessly especially that the oil is cheap in this country. Yaani Yipee!”
Excerpt: “It also leads to women going out of the house a great deal, …., because those who love to drive enjoy it very much, hence you see them driving around in their cars here and there for no purpose, except to enjoy driving.” (Source: http://www.islamqa.com/en/ref/45880/women%20driving)
Observation: Next time think twice before asking your sister to drop you off to school.
(v) Driving Leads to Fitnah
Policeman: “Excuse me Madam but you just violated the traffic signal but perhaps I can let you off, you know what I mean Yaani?”
Excerpt: “It is a cause of fitnah in many places: when stopping at the traffic lights, or at gas stations, or at inspection points, or when stopped by policemen at the scenes of traffic infractions or accidents, or if the car stalls and the woman needs help. What will her situation be in this case? Perhaps she may come across an immoral man who takes advantage of her in return for helping her, especially if her need is great to the point of urgency.” (Source: http://www.islamqa.com/en/ref/45880/women%20driving)
Observation: Isn’t that a rampant problem?
(vi) Taking the space of more deserving men
Caption: “Yaani so long sucker. I am going to take your spot on the street. Yipee!”
Excerpt: “When women drive it leads to overcrowding in the streets, or it deprives some young men of the opportunity to drive cars when they are more deserving of that. ” (Source: http://www.islamqa.com/en/ref/45880/women%20driving)
Observation: That explains why the Holland Tunnel is so crowded with traffic.
(vii) Rebelling against family?
Caption: “You know what? I don’t like you. Yaani, I am like, Yanni, I dont like you. I am like Yaani leaving home like Yaani dad and I am like Yaani going to like Yaani drive Yaani.”
Excerpt: “It is a means of women rebelling against their families and husbands; at the least provocation they may go out of the house and drive in the car to wherever they think they can get some peace, as happens in the case of some young men, who are able to put up with more than women. ” (Source: http://www.islamqa.com/en/ref/45880/women%20driving)
Observation: How did they come up with that idea?
(viii) Women Love Fashion and you know what that means
Caption: “I duped my old car last week. It was getting old, I mean, Yaani, it was three months old.”
Caption: “Well that did not last, I am like Yaani, I cant go to another party with the same car.”
Excerpt: “It causes fitnah to flourish because women – by their nature – like to make themselves look good with clothing etc. Do you not see how attached they are to fashion? Every time a new fashion appears they throw away what they have and rush to buy the new things, even if it is worse than what they have. Do you not see the adornments that they hang on their walls? In the same way – or perhaps more so – with the cars that they drive, whenever a new model appears they will give up the first for the new one. ” (Source: http://www.islamqa.com/en/ref/45880/women%20driving)
Observation: Cash for clunkers anyone?