Friday, January 26, 2007
The series is not finished yet, so be sure to check back
The Rise and Fall of the Salafi Dawah in the United States
My husband comes from a long line of Egyptian sufis. His grandfather was even a sufi sheikh. My husband, however, has rejected sufism in favor of a more Qur'an and Sunnah based approach found in the works of Ibn Hazm. He is not, however, a salafi. Despite his rejection of sufism, he doesn't seem to mind (too much) that I carry on a love affair with sufism and with dhikr. He certainly isn't fond of sufism, but he does read pro-sufism articles from time to time.
I post (on occasion) on Islamway Sister's forum. While I was aware that they are salafi, I haven't felt too alienated from them until yesterday. One of my friends posted a link to one of my favorite websites - Sunnipath. It was deleted, because Sunnipath is a "sufi site." Rrrr. So today, someone else started a thread asking what sufism is. I posted a link to an article by Sheikh Nuh Keller that was a response to claims that sufism is bidah. Now, it just so happened that others on the thread had made the claim that sufism is a bidah. Of course, the mods deleted the link, and proceeded to post how sufism was in fact a bidah, and that Sheikh Nuh is a bidah too.
I've encountered this attitude on other salafi leaning sites as well, like LI Islamic Forum, where my links to Sunnipath and Zaytuna have been deleted.
I lurk more than post on Sunniforum, and although this is a very strict madhab based website, I don't think I've ever seen them delete links to salafi based sites. They certainly warn against salafi authors and books, but I haven't seen anything as extreme as I've encountered on islamway and LI islamic forum.
Perhaps my favorite forum out there is Islamicaweb, which I joined shortly after I converted to Islam. It's populated mainly by teens and 20 something young desis, with a mix of other ummah members thrown in. Most of the posters are muslim, some salafi, some more madhab based, but there has always been a free mix of ideas and exchange of opinions. I like that.
It seems to me that it would be best to present both perspectives, carry on a little debate, and then let people decide for themselves which members of the ulema they would like to follow. That's what I have in my marriage. DH will talk about Ibn Hazm, I'll look to a more madhab based approach, we may disagree, but in the end, both points of view are presented.
Wednesday, January 24, 2007
Friday, January 19, 2007
Happy 1428 AH!
Lots of good things to do in this month, including fasting on the 10th, the day of Ashura. Sheikh Rabbani covers other obligations and recommendations in his article on the fiqh of Muharram at Sunnipath
For the Shi'i perspective, Sister Scorpion used to do some spiffy Muharram blogging, which she has archived on her blog. She hasn't mentioned anything about it this year though.
Thursday, January 18, 2007
I'm moping today. I went to the doctor for what I thought was a follow up appointment in regards to my allergies and whatnot, and low and behold, I'm diagnosed with asthma. Dang. I went from no medicine at the beginning of December to a whole cupboard full today. I can't keep track of a pair of mittens. How on earth will I not lose 2 inhalers?
Also, even better, it's triggered by the cold. Good thing I live in Minnesota, eh, cuz we never get any cold here. I suppose it could be worse. It could be exercise indused, and that would suck. Alhamdulilah, I can keep up my exercise (lost 4 pounds since I was at the doctor's in mid December, subhanAllah). The doctor even said that it may increase my exercise capacity! I have this dream of running a marathon some day (hijab and all), but I've kinda hit a wall at 3 miles. I hope that's been due to my breathing issues and not just the fact that I'm not an athlete. inshaAllah these inhalers will be a blessing and help me push for my goal of 26.2 miles.
I'm planning on doing a massive overview of the burqini coverage that seems to be all the news rage this last week. I did get my own swimsuit from Splashgear earlier this week, and I'm lovin it. I did laps on Tuesday and I'm planning on swimming again tonight. I'll do a full review of that too.
But now, I'm just going to mope.
Oh, and from "Reflections of Pearls, a concise & comprehensive collection of prophetic invocations & prayers" compiled by Inam Uddin & Ubdur-Rahman Ibn Yusuf, this supplication:
When feeling helpless regarding a matter:
Wednesday, January 17, 2007
Some posters are very agressive in their posting styles. Yesterday, one of these posters posted an apology about his past style, and posted a beautiful reminder of how we should interact with one another. SubhanAllah, the Qur'an has answers to everything. This is one of the reasons I'm a muslim - adab:
Allah says in the Quran to discuss in the best possible manner when youcall to Islam, because not even you yourself know who will get Paradise and who will not:
"You shall invite to the path of your Lord with wisdom and kind enlightenment, and debate with them in the best possible manner. Your Lord knows best who has strayed from His path, and He knows best who are the guided ones." (Quran, 16:125)
I should not retaliate to aggressive posts because Allah says:
"But if you resort to patience (instead of revenge), it would be better" (Quran, 16:126)
"You shall resort to patience--and your patience is attainable only with Allah's help. Do not grieve over them, and do not be annoyed..." (Quran, 16:127)
And even if someone insults my religion, I should remember Allah's injunction in the Quran:
"And remain steadfast in the face of their utterances, and disregard them in a nice manner." (Quran, 73:10)
Even those who reject Islam, Allah says to just give them time:"And let Me deal with those...who reject (the Call); just give them a little time." (Quran, 73:11)
I do not wish to drive a wedge between myself and other Muslims. Allah says in the Quran:
"Tell My servants to treat each other in the best possible manner, for the devil will always try to drive a wedge among them. Surely, the devil is man's most ardent enemy." (Quran, 17:53)
Tuesday, January 16, 2007
(Clip from Farenheit 911)
Awootho billahee min shaytaan nirrajeeme bismillah hir Rahman neer raheem
This is one’s for all my brothers and sisters who died in Iraq, Israel,
Afghanistan and right here in America (Jesus Walks)
And Moses split the sea
(Jesus Walk with me)
I ain’t tryin to profit of the prophets so this one’s for free
G’s up along with Muhammad and Jesus
In the Quran they call him Isa
Don’t think Osama and sadaam are is our leada
We pray for peace, but the drama intrigues us
All, so we fall for the illusions of the beast
So instead of tryin to teach we show our teeth
Saying God, different beliefs
Hijabs, Sunday clothes, yamika, kufi, same mission beneath
We all tryin to get to where the sufferin ends
In front of the Most High bein judged for our sins
Can front for the Most High, so the struggle
You, every bird, bird and tree, me, her and me
We virtually on the same boat
With the same goats, on the same sea
Tryin to stay afloat, and put the devil in the yolk
With a couple of God’s quotes
Now, the American Muslim online zine has done a much better job. Anyone who discusses Islam and muslims online should bookmark these lists for easy reference:
Monday, January 15, 2007
Allah loves, when one of you is doing something, that he [or she] does it in the most excellent manner.
Muhammad (p) cited in Al-Qaradawi, Yusuf, Dawr Al-Qiyam Wal-Akhlaaq Fi Al-Iqtisaad Al-Islaami. Maktabat Wahbah, 1995.
Friday, January 12, 2007
When I embraced Islam in 1977, one of the first things I learnt, even before I learned al Fatiha, was to say assalamu alaikum. Even before I was taught al Fatiha, I was taught how to say assalamu alaikum. peace be with you. And our Prophet (saws), peace be upon him: "You will not enter heaven until you believe. And you will not believe until you love one another. Shall I not guide you to a thing which if you do it will increase love amongst you? Spread salaam."
Give the salutation of peace to the world. That is our responsibility.
At around 11 minutes, he sings "The End," which was originally composed for 1985's Live Aid, and is on his new album An Other Cup.
Thursday, January 11, 2007
The Kaffiya Kraze: Revisited
With a great deal of discomfort and a tad bit of pissed-off-ness, I regret to (re)inform the KABOB-o-sphere that Palestine has officially become a trend…That's right folks, for a mere $20.00 (or 75.0127 Saudi Riyal) you too can jump on the socially stupid hipster-doofus bandwagon by rocking your very own "Anti-War Woven Scarf!" (available only at Urban Outfitters… or..err..uh… the Middle East)
Besides – what the hell is so "anti-war" about a kaffiya anyway? Are people wearing it in solidarity with the Iraqis? If so, which Iraqis? And what do they propose the US' role should be in the country after the war is over? I wonder how many of these "anti-war" Iraqi solidarity fashion moguls voted to reinstate G.W. Bush for second term in 2004 - or didn't show their solidarity with the millions of Iraqi children who suffered and/or died during 10 brutal years of American endorsed UN sanctions... oi vey!
I don't know about you – but I, for one, don't appreciate being tokenized! What next - a FUBU yarmulka? Puh-leez! If you're sincere in your display of solidarity, buy your kaffiyas from here.
More of the kafiyya in another Kabobfest post
Wednesday, January 10, 2007
One of the reasons I am a muslim is because I love the Prophet Muhammad (saws). When I picked up my first biography of the Prophet (saws), I felt an instant attachment to this man. His life is full of poweful examples of how a good person should live, full of compassion, mercy and justice. Tariq Ramadan's new book In the Footsteps of the Prophet: Lessons from the Life of Muhammad highlights these moments in the Prophet's life. inshaAllah non muslims will pick up this book, as opposed to say, ones by islamophobes, and will be introduced to this fantastic man and to Islam.
In every aspect of his life except his adopted faith, Abd-Allah shows, Webb was quintessentially a man of his place and time. It was because he was so typically American that he was able to serve as Islams ambassador to America (and vice versa). As Americas Muslim community grows and becomes more visible, Webbs lifeand the virtues he championed pluralism, liberalism, universal humanity, and a sense of civic and political responsibility exemplify what it means to be an American Muslim.
Tuesday, January 9, 2007
I'm excited to see that Sister Aheda's Ahiida swimsuits are getting lots of press. The most recent article is found in the January 9th ediction of Christian Science Monitor, and is about Aussie hijabi lifeguards.
The only beef I have with the article is this:
The group's trainer, Tony Coffey, says the burqini makes swimming more difficult compared with being dressed in a bikini or swimsuit. "It's the biggest hurdle the girls face. But we can't do anything about it, it's part of the deal. They just need more intensive training."
If someone is going to be a lifeguard, they better be a strong enough swimmer to be able to swim with some extra clothes. When I took lifeguarding training a decade ago, we had to swim for an entire hour, no stopping, wearing jeans and sweatshirts to prove our strength before they even let us into the class. And from what i understand, these swimsuits don't drag a person down, especially if they're a good swimmer. I'll let ya'll know when I test mine out (huzzah!).
Kudos to the hijabi sisters getting out there and getting things done. If you enjoy swimming yourself, please consider patronizing some of our entrapanurial sisters out there, like Sister Aheda or the Sister at SplashGear.
Monday, January 8, 2007
al-maraya at Bidayah wa Nihayah and PM at PM's World have written about a subject near and dear to my heart - the Universality of Islam and the culture of the convert wife. I have noticed a tendancy of my convert aquaintences to adopt completely the cultural trappings of their husband, or at least squash most of their previous "jahilyyah" culture in favor of becoming a pseudo arab or pakistani. Heck, sometimes this happens even without marriage. Around the time of my conversion, professor told me the story that still sticks in my mind today, of a single american woman who had converted to Islam and adopted the culture of Saudi Arabia. She wore the complete Saudi outfit, cooked only Saudi food and would only allow Saudi Arabic in her home (which was quite difficult for her and the kids at first, not knowing Saudi arabic). Islam is for all times and places, but all too often, we restrict it to a narrow subset of muslim cultures. In order to be muslim, one must be arab, or be pakistani, etc.
As a girl growing up in the small town midwest, my idea of diversity was lutherans and catholics with a side of chinese food once a month. But, alhamdulilah, my parents raised me to be very open minded. Sometimes, I bet they wish they didn't raise me quite so open minded to have embraced Islam, hehe. I have always loved to explore new culture and new ideas, and with islam came a bunch of new cultures and things to try. I enjoy wearing abayas and jelbab, but I look terribly silly in salwar kameez. I really dig afghan food, kabob, briyani and shwerma, but I can't stand moloqiya. However, even when exploring new cultures, I've always maintained my identity as an american muslim. Sure, I wear abayas on occasion, but I'm just as comfortable in a jeans, long tshirt and a scarf. I love going to the gym or out for a run with my husband.
Alhamdulilah, I'm married to a very sweet Egyptian man, but he has never expected me to be an Egyptian wife. He immigrated to the United States in 2005, and alhamdulilah, he's found america to be pleasantly suprising. He takes the good from this country and our culture, and leaves the bad. If anything, I think the american-ness dominates in our apartment, as opposed to egyptian-ness, and that's unfortunate. I've been to Egypt 3 times, and I love it more each time I'm there. We watched the Yacoubian Building a few months ago, and I felt homesick for Cairo. I need to learn arabic, inshaAllah, not only to read Qur'an but also to watch Egyptian movies with my husband. My Egyptian cooking needs help. I can make tamiyyah and muddle my way through fried cauliflower, but yet can't manage to make foul out of the can taste good. Oh, heck, to be honest, my cooking in general needs help, lol.
I have this dream of a raising bicultural children in a bicultural, bilingual house, children who are proud to be Egyptian/Italian/German/Norweigian Americans and American/Italian/German/Norweigan Egyptians. It's definately a balancing act, but it's a challenge I'm willing to take on. Viva the bicultural muslimeen!
Thursday, January 4, 2007
Raw footage from the AP can be viewed here
Husband and I missed Keith's send off to Washington. I thought it was on the 7th, but it was really on the 2nd. If I had been thinking and not just spacing out, maybe I would have realized that it would be a wee bit silly to have a send off after he'd already been sworn in. Do'h!
Do us Minnesotans proud Brother Keith!
Slightly deen-y related, I'm in contact with the lady who runs the SplashGear website about getting some swimpants custom fit for my short stubby legs. She has been uber nice and responded to all of my questions with lengthy and informative answers. She gets an A++++ in the customer service department from me. Once I get the swimsuit and take it for spin, I'll give a full review.
Hijabi geared swimwear has been popping up, and I've been looking for something decent. The turkish stuff looks a wee bit too much like a rain coat for me, while ahiida looks pretty good, but it's really expensive coming from Australia. I do believe though, that I've come upon the perfect swimwear at the SplashGear website. I'm getting this outfit in black (I think), although I'm now wavering between that and this navy blue. Anyone have any thoughts?
Ok, totally deen-y, my goal this year is to learn all the surahs that MountHira creates tutorials for. I also have arabic on my plate again. I've dabbled in it before, taking a semester in college, and attempting to teach myself, but I've forgotten just about everything. inshaAllah husband will be helping me this time around :)
Wednesday, January 3, 2007
I'm sure most people have heard of Rep. Virgil Goode of Virginia's attack on Rep. Keith Ellison of Minnesota's decision to swear in tomorrow using the Qur'an.
Take this Rep. Goode
But It's Thomas Jefferson's Koran!
Rep.-elect Keith Ellison, the first Muslim elected to Congress, found himself under attack last month when he announced he'd take his oath of office on the Koran -- especially from Virginia Rep. Virgil Goode, who called it a threat to American values.
Yet the holy book at tomorrow's ceremony has an unassailably all-American provenance. We've learned that the new congressman -- in a savvy bit of political symbolism -- will hold the personal copy once owned by Thomas Jefferson.
"He wanted to use a Koran that was special," said Mark Dimunation, chief of the rare book and special collections division at the Library of Congress, who was contacted by the Minnesota Dem early in December. Dimunation, who grew up in Ellison's 5th District, was happy to help.
Jefferson's copy is an English translation by George Sale published in the 1750s; it survived the 1851 fire that destroyed most of Jefferson's collection and has his customary initialing on the pages. This isn't the first historic book used for swearing-in ceremonies -- the Library has allowed VIPs to use rare Bibles for inaugurations and other special occasions.
Tuesday, January 2, 2007
Now, he's launched a fascinating new website - A Muslim A Day - destroying the myth of a muslim monolith.
I’m not a photographer nor am I a journalist trained to seek out
interesting subjects and present them neatly labeled and interpreted. I am just
an American Muslim who travels, studies, and sells funky t-shirts along the way.
The main thrust of Muslim-A-Day is simply to show the multiple facets of Muslims lives. The best ideas always seem to be the simplest ones, don’t they? Here we are, you and I, presented each day with images of Muslims as the enemy… the veiled,
bearded, mysterious enemy that worships a God named Allah.
That’s where Muslim-A-Day enters. Muslim-A-Day aims to provide you with a photograph of a Muslim everyday. Here, you’ll find Muslims in all shapes, sizes, and colors. Some have piercings, some wear the veil, some are clean shaven, some are even Malaysian (Imagine that!). They all believe in Al-lah. Literal translation? The
When the opportunities presented themselves, I captured the faces that touched us. I love to witness the reflection of the Divine in all that I experience; I love to make you a witness by posting these photos.And many thanks to all of the contributors, past present and future. Those of you all over the world who join me in debunking the myth of a Muslim Monolith.