Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Tariq Ramadan is a genius

Seriously. When the man talks, he just makes sense.

Is Islam in Need of Reformation? a lecture by Dr Tariq Ramadan

I'm also reading his book "In the Footsteps of the Prophet," which is excellent as well. I will put up a review when I'm done, I promise.

However, I am stuck midway through "Western Muslims and the Future of Islam." It's a little to academic-y for me at the moment. I think my brain has gone on strike after being in school for, oh 21 years straight. It's unfortunate, because this book is chock full of ideas that every muslim interested at all in the western portion of the ummah should know and be able to discuss.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Plan Would Replace Cairo's Calls to Prayer


Ok, there is a lot that could be changed in Cairo. Pollution control would be at the top of my list. Spend any time there, and you're sneezing black snot for weeks afterwards. Doing something about the piles of garbage all over the place is pretty high up there too.

Athan reform doesn't even crack the top 10. For a westerner, where religious sounds in the public sphere are limited to church bells ringing on Sunday, to live in Cairo and be surrounded by religious sounds 24 hours a day is something almost magical. When it is time to pray, and athans echo from all corners of the city, I can't help but fall silent and appreciate the sounds. Ok, maybe it's not quite magical when the athans are all amplified to the point of distortion, but those echoing calls to prayer are part of what makes Cairo Cairo.

If I had a magic wand, I would wave it and replace the distorted microphoned calls with natural voices calling. After all, you don't need to inform people half a mile away that it's prayer time in your masjid, because there are probably 5 mosques that are closer where it's also prayer time.

Plus, now with the athan possibly coming from the radio, everyone will crank up their radios to the point of distortion, and it won't be pretty anyways.

Damascus Maghrib Athan

Cairo Asr Athan

And, the athan from the Hussein Mosque in Cairo. Oh, I had issues with this mosque here. The women's section isn't anything to write home about, but the men's section is beauuuutiful. I wanted to go inside for some pictures, but the shoe guys wouldn't let me in. dur. I had a brief argument with them with my husband translated, but alas, I didn't persuade them. What really got me though, was that there were plenty of male (presumably non muslim) tourists inside. Dur!

Saturday, March 24, 2007

"Never do I argue with a man with a desire to hear him say what is wrong, or to expose him and win victory over him. Whenever I face an opponent in debate I silently pray - O Lord, help him so that truth may flow from his heart and on his tongue, and so that if truth is on my side, he may follow me; and if truth be on his side, I may follow him." --Imam Al-Shafi'i

Found this quote on the Zaytuna website today. Definately food for thought.

Friday, March 23, 2007


One of my favorite all time pieces of Islamic Advice is a piece from Sunnipath called Don't Get Angry. Alhamdulilah, I've read it so often, that I actually apply it's advice now. Amazing how that works, isn't it?

As mentioned earlier, I used to post often on CF. I popped in a few times this last week and posted re: the 6 imams at the Minneapolis airport situation. I definately got to put the advice about anger into practice on these threads. How does one respond to drivil like this? Or this?

At this point, I'm putting advice number 2 into good use:

2. Silence. Do not say anything when angry, lest it contravene the Sacred Law,
or go against your personal or social interests. The Messenger of Allah (Allah
bless him & give him peace) said, “If you get angry, stay silent.” [Ahmad]

I'd would like to provide a cool, rational response to these people, to show them that muslims are not a cancer, that we're ordinary people who simply live to please their Lord. But, sometimes it's hopeless. *sigh*

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

A thought

It is related from Abu Hurayra that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "One of the Prophets alighted under a tree and an ant bit him and he commanded that his bags be removed from under the tree and then he commanded the ant colony be burned. Allah revealed to him, 'Was it not just a single ant?'

What do you read from this? I see that we are not to take revenge against a whole for the actions of a few. I wish muslims would approach Islam as a whole, and impliment it as a whole.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007


First off, let me just state I'm CAIR neutral. I may or may not volunteer for CAIR MN to get a better feel for the organization, but my interactions with them thus far haven't been too hot. I greatly appreciate their Muhammad Asad Qur'an program, but I was deeply disappointed with the political worship they put on at my University, where the CAIR political person admitted that he just figured out how the electoral college worked, so he could explain it all to us *rolls eyes* I also wasn't happy when I asked this political person how one gets a job at CAIR. He said that he was interning on the Hill (aka the Capital) and hobnobbed with CAIR people at jummah prayer. Umm, ok, so how can someone who (a) doesn't have mommy and daddy to help pay for an internship on the Hill, and as such can't and (b) is a woman, so can't really hobnob with the guys after prayers, get a job with CAIR? He didn't have an answer.

Ok, now on to the thing I was actually going to post about

Anti-CAIR accusations have been flying around the internet for ages. A few months ago, I emailed them asking for something to counter these accusations. No response. Dur. Today though, I stumbled on a list that counters the common accusations. Alhamdulilah. Of course, it would have been nice if they had emailed it to me. You know, save the emails of people asking how they can help your organization and actually responding to them would be a good idea.