Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Eid Day

Wow - What a wonderful Eid, sans the lack of monetary accumulation (Sniff - I lost so much money this year - Damn Kids and smaller sibling). I couldn't sleep the night before, perhaps this had something to do with me staying up every night during ramadan and only sleeping after fajr, i would rule Eid excitement out. Also, unlike girls who have to position themselves intricately so as to not mess up the mendhi patterns, I didnt have those problems. However, even though I was up, we were still late for fajr. They changed the times the night before, and because i was at spur instead of the musjid, i guess the guilt of missing the first rakaat was punishment. whew - lucky thats over and done with. Whats also great is that in fajr they read long surahs... and i dont mean long as in Surah Duha or Iqra- i mean loooooong like Yaseen long. so since i missed the first rakaat, it pretty much meant that i was about ten minutes late. I was hungry- sure the dates were good, but i wanted food, i know while the imam was reading the dua, all i could think off was the night before Spur. MMMM....ameen ... MMMMM (there, peek into my head)
Straight after Fajr we left for the Eid Gah. We provide the sound system for the Eid Gah ( shameless plug) - my dad has been doing it for the past 42 years. We go to the Springfield Eid Gah - Probably the most famous in the Durban region, i think it might have something to do with me being there, although i have been wrong many many times. This year Moulana Patel opted not to give the Eid talk, which was a pity as his talk last year on ill-treating employees was amazing. Anyway, Mufti Zuber Bayat gave this generic 'we must inculcate Taqwa' talk. It felt like it was one of those normal Friday Kutbahs ( aah- Dholl and Rice). I'm not dissing the man, its just that I expect more from him as he has delivered in the past. Then was the Eid Salaat.
Funny story happened last year. Because we set up and stuff, I usually sit in prime property, that is- opposite the imam, three spaces to the left. If this was Monopoly- it'l be Strand or one of those Red Streets after 'Free Parking'. Anyway, a few minutes before the talk could end this man walks up to me and in a gruff voice, quite rudely demands that i vacate that seat for him by going to the back of the congregation. I kindly ( perhaps i'm being biased) informed him that if he wanted to sit in the first saf, he should have come in a little earlier. Again, he insisted i give him my spot - i guessed he thought that he'd be the first to get the Sawaab or something, as if it were a spray from a water hose. After telling him to be quiet as I couldnt concentrate on what Moulana Patel was saying, he moved a few places down and squeezed next to two 'uncles'. Moments later, we stood up for the Eid Salaat, and lo and behold, this chap was the imam. My brother in law had a good laugh, its a wonder he could even remember the order of the six takbeers. I used to peek at my dad to make sure i was doing it right ( when i was six, sheesh, come on guys)
The duaa is a fascinating affair. The people are generally more or less quiet until the Moulana asks God to forgive us for adultery and fornication. then the howling begins, Tears start to flow and whatnot (however, this year the duaa centered around kids and drugs. those crazy kids tsk tsk). After the Duaa, before I greet my father or go to our truck to greet my brother, the first thing I have to do is pick up our Musallahs. Thats the rule - phase one- pick up Musallah, phase two - hug father.
After having breakfast, i shave and change into a black short sleeve shirt, black three quarters and my Eid shoes- a pair of sneakers. Yeah - i know, the clamdiggers dont go with the outfit at all, but hey, just because i have thin indian legs, doesnt mean i have to hide them. A local Islamic Organisation, in conjunction with Solly Manjra's Caterers had a huge Eid feeding scheme, and i volunteered to help out. Sadly, they didnt let me make the food, not that i'm known for my culinary skills or anything, but it would have been nice to put some salt in the pots or throw a few carrots in. Sigh, maybe next year. So I ended up loading a whole lot of twenty kilo buckets of food into various trucks. They did allow me to scoop the food out for a bit, but i felt i was being wasted like this( the truth is that the heat was unbearable). At twelve I had to leave as I was going to be on air on a local community radio station. Not a 'world-domination' media press conference, i'm saving that for later, just a usual run off the mill dedications programme that i hosted with my brother and his technicians (big bro is the Head of the Technical Team at the radio station.) Simple work really, the callers will phone in, and judging by their voice, we will ask them if they got Eiddee, or if they had their lunch yet, before they rattle off a list of names, wishing everyone they know a Happy Eid Mubaruk.
By this time I was starving and after our slot ended I drove to my aunts place to have the Eid Biryani. My Dad, grandmum and uncles were having a serious conversation about the different Indo-Pak ideologies, and I couldnt wait to put in my opinion ( I read a few books on the issues and assume I know everything) Unfortunately I couldnt stay long enough to get kicked out, as I had to go to campus to attend the third year's Advertising Presentations. Six groups were bidding for Marmite and Koo respectively. After campus I drove home, stopping at the service station to buy garlic rolls. We were having a huge braai at my place, and they forgot about the rolls. A few chicken fillets later, and I couldnt keep my eyes open. It was good to have an early night, much to the disapointment of one of my cousins who wanted to play pro evo. A lovely Eid indeed

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Concerning Eid

Just had a weird thought…

The Metrosexual Muslims Eid Morning

….The night blankets the streets in silence. Somewhere down the road, an Indian ‘red-lines’ his VW city Golf. The tyres screech on the tar, scarring it, like a black crayon on a rain cloud. Somewhere in a small suburb in Durban, a cellular phone goes off. Asif grumbles, as he searches for the phone in his sleep. The phone lies on his dressing table, nestled between the men’s health and his topi. It’s on charge – undoubtedly due his ‘mxiting’ the night before (damn battery killing programme!) he scrambles to switch it off- its two thirty in the morning – and the house is asleep. ‘Gosh’, he exclaimed- ‘only an hour to get ready for Fajr’. Asif runs to the bathroom. ‘So many choices, so many choices. Do I rinse once then condition or just use a two in one? The organics has a nice smell, but the head and shoulders give me volume, which is vital, but I’m wearing a topi, so I don’t need volume… decisions, decisions’. Asif’s shower rack resembled his mothers spice rack, except that instead of an assortment of spices, he had cosmetics. He surveyed his nails proudly and thought to himself, ‘the guy reading Salaat next to me had the grossest nails. Half bitten, filthy. When he raised his finger for tashahud I felt like dying, like it was gonna jump out and attack me’. As he reached for his loofah, he realized that his shower gel had finished. Asif was horrified- he had read in Cosmo that normal soap dries out your skin- the sacrifices a young Muslim boy has to endure. Meanwhile, next door, Ossie was sleeping, dreaming of watching some of the soccer matches he taped in Ramadan because his dad didn’t allow him to watch (actually it was his mum, his dad just seemed to agree with whatever his mum said). Asif emerged out of the shower half an hour later. He scanned the mirror instantly, looking for telltale signs of dried skin (he had watched a national discovery channel special on tortoises the week before) ‘Why didn’t I buy shower gel’ he bemoaned as he tilted his body to the left.

If his shower rack resembled a spice cupboard, surely his dressing table resembled a chemical warehouse in Iraq before the U.N inspectors popped in. Moisturizers, of all sizes and aromas. Cream to remove lines from the eyes. Sticky pieces of paper to eliminate blackheads. Asif had his routine down to the last scrub. ‘Half an hour to fajr- where is my toner? And I have to moisturize as well, some uncle is going to dab some foul smelling Attar on my hands, I just know it. I don’t mind the nice smelling ones, but the strong black stuff that stays on your hand for three days and smells like an old Kitaab is just so not cool. Next Door, Ossies father knocks on his door quietly, ‘Son, wake up, I need the Musallahs, we going for the Springfield Eid Gah and those mats are like sandpaper’. A combination of hair mousse, salon gel and hair putty (that thing in a can that gives you the ‘just woke up look’) is applied mutinously to Asif’s scalp – These days it would seem that its harder to achieve a disheveled look as opposed to brushing neatly. Wardrobe choices stump poor Asif. He contemplates a black Kurtah with a white topi, or a White Kurtah with a gray Topi. ‘But I don’t have any shoes to match the white Kurtah, if I wear the grey topi, even though no one will see my shoes in the mosque, someones bound to notice when I’m outside. No No, Hmm – Eid Gah is gonna be outdoors, the white will look good with the sun rising, better put on a little more sunblock.

The End

Eid Mubaruk


Sunday, October 08, 2006

Concerning Haiku

today's post is rather different from most, as I would like all comments to be posted as Haiku - for the culturally challenged, haiku is a form of Japanese poetry that has a specific rhythmic pattern (google it). For purposes of uniformity, I have decided that we will stick to the common five syllable, seven syllable, five syllable meter.
Here's the piece that inspired me
We thrash, curse for air
As our strangler declares, look
How violent the Arab
Zein El-Amine
While I can only hope to some day achieve the poignancy of the above poem, for now, here are some of my own - Hmm - a few on Ramadaan, and a few on life. Enjoy

Which we break fast with daily
Nafs, hard to control

Shoulder to shoulder
Please switch off cellular phones
Allahu Akbar

Chaos, cruelty
Men Fighting for survival
Free Palestine Now

caramel goodness
Also cleans stains from toilet
Life does tastes good, coke

Boredom, and insomnia
Solution, MXIT

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Lord Of The Rings - Halaal version

Written by MJ Khan
Three years into the caliphate of Sami Yusuf, the cruel Shaitaan Sauron plotted against Muslims. Muslims were growing progressively weaker after the passing of the Rightly Guided Leaders. Sauron, sensing this vulnerability of the Ummah, made a ring, and in it he poured all his malice and evil, in an attempt to ensnare all the practicing Muslims on earth. Sauron grew stronger as Muslims weakened, but finally in the great alliance of Zain Bhikha, Sauron was defeated. However, the ring of Sauron was not destroyed, and what was fact, turned to legend. And legend had turned to myth, and for one thousand years, everyone had forgotten about the ring of evil. During this time, Europe stepped out of the dark ages, and with its progresses in technology, science and hedonistic consumerism, Sauron was able to regain his strength and started searching for his ring.Unknown to Sauron, Hafez Suleiman Nafsi unearthed the ring during one of his whirling dervish exercises. Not knowing its value, he called his Sheik, Buzrook Gandalf for spiritual guidance (and hopefully some monetary remuneration – rich sufi’s are a dying breed) Hazrath Gandalf, upon seeing the ring, screamed out Naoozubillah and snatched the ring from his ignorant mureed. He had to have a Mashurah with all the different ulema bodies and Muslim NGO’s. But first, he had to stop at Hobbitton for the annual Jalsa that his friend Bilbo Baggins threw. After all, he realized that you can’t save the world on an empty stomach, and the thought of tasting Bilbo’s world famous Dholl and rice filled his heart with warmth. This is where our story begins…
Hazrath Gandalf, rode his white steed Musafir, swiftly across the vast fields and paddocks of Hobbiton. It has been exactly a year since he saw his good friend Bilbo Baggins. Gandalf reflected affectionately, on their many adventures, defeating the Templars, conquering Constantinople and Spain. ‘Aah Good Memories’, thought Gandalf. Gandalf was going to be the guest of honour at Bilbo’s annual jalsa and Meelad. Even this great Honour could not suppress the burden he felt in his heart, nor could it lighten the weight he carried in his woolen pocket. ‘ Why didn’t I just go to a Daarool Uloom, instead of being self taught’, thought Gandalf. ‘That way I could have spent my time byhearting lectures by Moulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi instead of knowing about the significance of this cursed ring’. Not even the thought of the sweet cold Khier ( rice pudding) at Bilbo’s function, could make could brighten his spirits.The familiar yet captivating Athaan of Pippen welcomed Gandalf into Bag End. As he rode in, he saw Sam, the gardener making whudu at a rusty tap outside of Bag End. Sam, and his father have been the Baggins Gardener’s for many long years. Gandalf smiled affectionately at Sam, because even though Sam’s family were Black, the Baggin’s were good muslims who believed that everyone is equal in the eyes of Allah, ‘unlike those damn Dwarves’ thought Gandalf, ‘ acting holier than thou and calling all the other muslims Kuffar’. Gandalf sniggered to himself when he thought about the dwarves literal interpretation of the Qur’an.
‘Asalaamu Ailakum Ya Akhi’, a voice bellowed in the distance. Out waddled a stout man, not larger than five feet tall – Hobbits were well known for their diminutive nature. ‘ Wa Alaikumusalaam Buzrook’ hollered Gandalf, as the two embraced. ‘Hope the Journey went well my brother?’ asked Bilbo? Sorry for not waiting for you – I had to deal with some Jehovah’s witnesses in my backyard’. ‘No problem Hazrath’ beamed Gandalf, ‘did you ask them to show you where exactly in the bible they talk about the trinity?’ ‘Why do you think I took so long’ replied Bilbo, with a gleam in his eye. ‘I dare say you have met my nephew Frodo, Gandalf? Good boy – gets all his Salaah on time, he kept all his fasts this year as well. He protects his modesty…. Aah good boy akhi, good boy, Masha Allah’. Gandalf motioned towards the Jamaat Khana and said, let us perform our Asr, I have important news to discuss.After the Fardh Salaat, Gandalf sat with Bilbo and explained everything. Frodo entered the room and smiled. ‘Frodo my son – get Uncle Gandalf and I some bhajjias and murkhoo. Good boy Good Boy, Masha Allah’. ‘You see Bilbo Saahib’, I have to tell the other Muslims – this is big news, bigger than that Moon sighting dilemma we had three years ago, bigger than that hajj Scandal too’. ‘I remember that’, piped Bilbo, ‘those stupid dwarves insisting we had to fast thirty days because they didn’t believe the elves saw the moon. No unity, no unity’ said Bilbo, shaking his head frantically. ‘Well’, said Gandalf, ‘I intend to leave tomorrow after Fajr Insha Allah’, I still have to find Moulana Aragorn first, last I heard he was making Ziyyarut in Verulam, visiting the house of Sheik Deedat’. ‘Aah Deedat, good boy, good boy – Masha Allah’ said Bilbo. ‘ Why don’t you take Frodo and his friends’ said Bilbo. ‘Let them do some Da’wah for a change. Jihad has been ordained on them’. ‘Then it is done’ proclaimed Gandalf, Tomorrow we make haste for the fourth holiest site in Islam, after Makkah, Medinah, Al Aqsa. Tomorrow we make haste for Rivendell.
It seems that even though the various Ulema bodies cannot come to a consensus, regarding media and communications, they all have the latest in cellular technology, and everyone arrived in Rivendell timeously, except the dwarves, who stopped to read Zuhr but spent forty minutes trying to gauge which way was Qibla. As the name-calling began, we take our place at the entrance of the halka. Muslims of all different denominations start streaming in. The elvish Muslims from the Great woods, dwarves from Moriastaan, Sufi’s from all over Middle Earth. An entourage of men from Gondoristaan. Unfortunately it seems like no one bothered to inform the Shiaa’s. Each group huddled into little camps. The Great Woods elves started reciting some Islamic Rap, much to the dismay of the dwarves, who muttered ‘Bidaat, bidaat’ beneath their breath. A splinter group of men sat in the corner and whipped out their tasbees and started reading Zikr. It appears that they didn’t want to get involved in these affairs. The meeting commenced with the arrival of Moulana Aragorn and Moulana Elrond…
Elrond : Asaalamu alaikum to all that have come in. I know many of you have traveled great distances to join us in this Mubaruk Istima to exalt the oneness of Allah.
Boromir : Alhumdulillah
Gandalf : Actually we are here to discuss the Ring of Sauron, and to decide what to do with it. The ring is filled with fitnah- we have to destroy it
Elrond : Right Right brother Gandalf, the Istima is next weekend Insh Allah. I forgot that Easter is next weekend. Maaf
Mufti Gimli : There is no such ring, we do not believe in all this superstition and hocus pocus. I have not come across it in any of the Hadith Kitaabs, neither has it been mentioned by our great scholars of Islam
Moulana Aragorn : That is because the Ring was created after the Wisaalat of Rasoolullah. You haven’t read about it because you only read books form the Indo – Pak region Mufti
Boromir : Astaghfirulah
Mufti Gimli : And what do you know AragornSahib? You’re beard is not even the Waajib fist length! Do not pollute my ears with your shirk.
Legolas : That Dawg is wack, aint no brudda gonna get ahead. Aight. Don’t worry Aragorn – the Nation of Elves, we got your back, word up to your mazhab
Boromir : Subhanallah
Mufti Gimli : Why are you imitating the Kuffar you ignorant elves. Allah’s wrath be on you. You don’t even have a beard. WaNaaoozubillah. And pull your pants up. We can all see your underwear. Have you no modesty. And your pants are below your ankles, fold them you kaafir. And your long long hair – like women. Disgusting!
Legolas : Yo Dawg – The prophet has long hair. And speaking about women – where are all our sisters tonight. Why aren’t they here at the meeting? No Hijabbis in the hizzy?
Mufti Gimli : A women’s place is in the home
Moulana Aragorn : That isn’t true. Women were at the forefront of Islam during the prophet’s time you backward dwarf!
Mufti Gimli : Fat Lot you can say Aragorn. Running around with Elronds daughter, without Nikkah – probably fornicating. Astagfirullah – Allah’s curse on you.
Gandalf : Brothers, keep your personal issues at bay, we have to decide what to do with this ring. We have just learnt that Saruman the wise is in cahoots with Sauron
Boromir : Astaghfirullah
Mufti Gimli : Saruman! That Kuffarri Zionist. I never trusted that one.
Legolas : Does that Boromir say anything else? That crackers vocab is lacking dawg
Aragorn : Gimli, How can Saruman be a Zionist – There is no Israel in Middle Earth
Gandalf : ENOUGH!! We need to destroy this ring
Boromir : Insha Allah
Elrond : Cant we read Ayatul Kursi and blow on it or something?
Gandalf : It can only be destroyed at the place where it was made. We have to travel to Mordor, passing treacherous lands, until we reach the fiery Crack of Doom where we shall thrust it.
Legolas : Sounds Whack
Gimli : The Elf has a point. Best if we send those four Hobbits to destroy it. Allah will protect them
Gandalf : They are too young to undertake this journey- we shall accompany them, besides, if its in my taqdeer to fall into a chasm in some abandoned mine shaft, so be it. Allahu Alam
And so the Fellowship departed from Rivendell, to destroy the ring. Stay Tuned for part two

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Random Thoughts Between Rakaats

I Read my Taraweeh at The Westville Mosque. After every fourth Rakaat, we get to sit for a little longer while two old men crank out almost melodiously...almost " Subhanallahi Wa'lHamdullilah. It is usually this time when my mind wanders. This is what went through my head tonight

  • Gawd, I'm Hungry - Mum's akhni was a blessing tonight - too many samoosas and half moons, this past week. Wait, I cant believe that I actually enjoyed the Akhni so much. But Akne and sarbat , not a good idea. But now that i've had it, I wish we have pasta tomoro. Gawd i'm hungry- hope the brats haven't eaten my finni yet. MMMmm - Dhai Bhara's ( they probably finished as well- Dam extended family- acting like they fasted the whole day) OK - takbeer, time to get up. Hmm - Let me look menacingly at the kid sitting down next to me. Doesnt he know that Surah Faatiha is almost finished!
  • I need to sit somewhere else. The uncle next to me burped during the second rakat and blew it my way! My mouth was open and everything! I think he got the point when I stared at him after Salaat. The other Musallees probaby thought i was bonding with my left shoulder angel , and thats why I took so Long to say Salaam to it. I could tell exactly what this uncle had for iftaar just by looking at him and smelling his belch. Hmm - The crumbs on his beard imply samoosas or pie - probably pies as i can see some poppy seeds. the pink stain near his top pocket is definately Pink milkshake ( hmm - deep pink- must be that Dada's spice one that smells like vanilla essence. He definately had fish curry for iftaar ( my kryptonite) I could smell it in his hands when he raised them for takbeer. Thank God this guy isn't a Shaafi or any other mazhab that has multiple takbeers gestures. Sweet - Its the end of the eight rakaat, which means half the mosque will clear out, so i can jump two safs front - this feels like a game of snakes and ladders. I really dont know why people only read eight rakaats - come on guys - Ramadaan is once a year- read the full twenty you pansies!
  • Have to go to campus after this. Cursed journals can only be accessed from superbowl. Luckily the internet is faster now - The hordes of people sucking up bandwith to forward ther pointless "friendship is caring" powerpoint messages are all on mxit now. Oh No! The damn foreign students will be there watching Baseball on You tube and just being extra Loud - hope i packed my ipod. (What! its got nasheeds on it) Someones phone rings- Oh great - Candyshop is going to be playing in my head for the next two rakaats
  • SRC elections are on tomorow - What a dillemma! I initially ran as a dare. Now my student card picture is plastered all over campus . That too, a picture taken in first year. As Q and Jo said - before the years of cynicism filled my face. not to mention some pimple marks as well. Hmm - Lucky my eyebrows haven't grown any more bushier. My hair is short in the picture - hope people know its me.. unless they hate me, then they must think its some first year and still vote me in. Hmm - one more Subhanallah to go - time to think of a slogan " Vote For MJ - Its not like you were going to vote anyway you apolitical bastard . Good One- I must remember that - but i shouldnt swear in the musjid, even if its a thought.
  • Oh, I got an SMS. Hope its from someone important. I wish it isn't one of those Al Imdaad messages - Disaster in Tokyo - Earthquake kills three people in paddy field, send your millions to the family of these three victims - I want to check the message but the other musallees are going to think i'm logging onto mxit. Better make a dash for the Whudu Kanaa. I can drink water and check message at the same time

Wait a minute, we just read three Rakaats. That means Witr. Sweet! Akhni here i come