Saturday, September 30, 2006

Someones getting Old!

Its my birthday today - 24 Years old! Dam, I'm getting old. Hmm - Lets see, what do i want this year. An Xbox 360, Season three to five of Smallville ( preferably DVD), someone to finish my thesis for me ( its torture) -- peace in middle east, end of poverty, nuclear disarmament etc etc. And before you ask.. its a jelly baby in my hand

Something interesting about my birthday - the day i was born - 30 September 1982 was the same day Cyanide laced Tylenol killed six people in Chicago- Poor Souls. Anyway - I share a birthday with my favourite Poet and mystic, Rumi, one of his poems is displayed at the bottom of my screen. Its also the death anniversary of two victims of Jack The Ripper

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Six Years On

Many people can recall what they were doing when they first heard the two planes hit the world trade center. September eleventh ushered in a 'collective moment' so to say in terms of global media consumption. i mean, sure, the world did tune in previously to catch the world cup finals in France, or to see Titanic sweep the floor at the Academy Awards. But never before have we as a society, as humanity, experienced a feeling where we can say, this is where i was or this is what i was doing on September eleven. Even if we were not necessarily angered ( cynics argued that America had it coming, we were all shocked to some extent)

But this post is not about 9/11. Six years ago, to this day, on a thursday, much like today, a man walked into a mosque in Palestine and an uprising began. On September 28 2000, Ariel Sharon, accompanied by an army of riot police entered the Al Aqsa compound and lit the flame for the second Intifada. I remember where i was on that day. sitting in school, listening to Moulana Kalid Yacoob perform the Zuhr Prayers. Playing Volleyball during the lunch break. Chewing on a piece of meat that did not resemble a burger, neither in taste nor texture, but only in name. Sitting in Mr Adam's Math class, trying to concentrate on the demonic formuale of Logarithms. Thats where i was. Six Years later and the fighting continues. the bloodshed stains the holy land. Six years later, we still pray for peace and justice. A two state solution with the 1967 Borders and East Jerusalem as the Palestinian capital. Six Years later, we pray for understanding between the faiths. Six Years later, and not much has changed - Mothers weep and I still do not understand Logarithms

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

The Princess and her Nut

The princess and her Nut

Once upon a time there was this beautiful princess. And this princess was very upset because she had small breasts… so she cried and cried and cried. One day she was strolling through the woods and saw a squirrel trapped in a hedge. She helped the squirrel by pulling away the branches. The squirrel was so thankful that it scooted up to the top of the tree and brought her a choice nut. This was no ordinary nut. It was the Woolworth’s of nuts. The princess was so delighted at this gesture that she kissed the squirrel on the forehead. She didn’t know that the squirrel had rabies. And after kissing it, it leapt up and bit her. The princess didn’t live to see the next day.
The End

Monday, September 25, 2006

Ramadaan Has cometh

Peace be upon you

Its that time of year again, where you update your ipod playlist - In with the Yusuf Islam and Out with the James Blunt ( well, unless, like me you have a bond with food and then the words "goodbye my Lover" has a special meaning). time to pack away the PS2, and open the Quran again. Sadly, I fear that we are quickly turning into a 'Yaseen' generation in that we have abondoned the Quran in its entirety and rather decided to only read one Surah, namely, Surah Yaseen. In this sense, the rest of the Quran is being lost. Don't get me wrong- Reading Surah Yaseen is very beneficial, but not when it replaces the Quran. This brings me to my rant about Sawaab. Are we only doing things in order to build mansions in heaven? Have we lost the plot somewhere. I recall a friend telling me that I should read Surah Iklaas as I would get the reward of A Hajj. While, i'm not questioning God's bounty, are we not being caught up in this treasure hunt of Sawaab so much so that we lost the essence of actually doing good deeds, i.e, for the pleasure of Allah. Reminds me of the incident regarding Rabia Basri ( R.A) who said "O Lord!If I worship you from fear of Hell, cast me into Hell.If I worship you from desire for Paradise, deny me Paradise

While the promises of virgins in Heaven does well to fuel my heterosexual and carnal desires ( yes, Angelina Jolie for breakfast, Salma Hayek after lunch etc) Should this be my only motivation to do good deeds and to be a good human. I dont want to forget that being a good Muslim is to serve humanity.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Ghazal on Iraq

The solitary land of rubble left in the Gulf is Iraq-
These discoveries were expressed to me in a land not Iraq.

Soldiers, you’ve deserted me a crater in the countries valleys-
Why don’t I prostrate, in your presence, for freedom in Iraq?

Ismail, his arms lacerated, still cries for Iraq.
Oh, this is the reality of the war, his insignificant Iraq.

Who cares about Ismail? Every minute he bleats out:
Soldiers, put away your guns, stop the looting in Iraq.

From Baghdad Robert Fisk reports to the objective media:
You’ll all feel the bitter injustice of Iraq.

The roof is blurred; it’s become a shrine of fire.
I warn you that it must not burn. So march, march for peace in Iraq.

At a meeting of the Security Council, such diplomatic tension:
United nations tied into defending the honour of Iraq.

The Hawks proposed a war of shock and awe.
Well, it’s all done, in the devastated land of Iraq.

When Saddam fled, he left the country vulnerable and defenceless:
His loyal resisted, on the periphery, in bundles in Iraq.

People are no longer oppressed, they have a freedom-
Says Bush: Free every person in dead and crumbled Iraq.

Where there were people in Kerbala, you’ll see metal plantations-
Ploughed in shrapnel. Where is this Iraq?

I too, Oh Blair, witnessed the blood of young children.
And everywhere else, just like you, in Kosovo, Afghanistan, and Iraq.

Media Jihad

the original link to this article is here

Following the 9/11 attacks, there was a call within the Muslim community of South Africa to persuade our youth to study media and communication, journalism and its related trajectories. Previously, it would seem that only medicine, law or economics was a viable option after matric. Sure enough, numbers increased. Coming from a media background myself, I was delighted in the surge of numbers wanting to educate themselves about the media, with the hopes of maybe one day providing an alternative to CNN that was less biased. Many journalism students entered the field yearning to be the next Robert Fisk or Jon Pilger. The question I ask now is, how do we as Muslims use the media as a vehicle for Jihad and dawah?

It is essential to give a working definition of media jihad to explain what I mean by it. There are five kinds of Jihad in Islam. The Jihad that I refer to is known as Jihad bil Qalam/ilm (Jihad of the Pen and Knowledge) This is the struggle for good against evil through scholarly study of Islam, Ijtihad (legal reasoning), and through sciences (medical, communication science etc). Media Jihad would imply using the media as a vehicle for clarifying distorted images of Islam or even increasing awareness of Muslim activities. We must not get into the trap of using Media Jihad only as a reactionary tool. there are many encylcopedias ( Wikipedia comes to mind) which people use to research Islam. Muslims should make sure that the information that goes into these resources and learning tools is accurate and truthful. If we do not fill these spaces, others will.