Friday, September 19, 2008

Concerning Graphs

Ive changed alot in the past year.
Ive become more proactive, but at the same time more cynical. More reflective and more disconsolate. Parts of me matured, and yet other parts denigrated. As I read more, I became more despondent. I took on more responsibilities, and the economic imperatives that control our lives became so clear. Now apart from the price of a movie ticket, I know how much bread and milk costs. This might sound silly, but before this year I never worried about these things. I never appreciated the seemingly endless supply of it we had in our house. The amount of work my father had to do so that we would not go an afternoon hungry, let alone a day.
As I concentrated more and more on media issues (as opposed to the previous two years where all I looked at was Video Games), I could see how we were slowly destroying each other. Destroying ourselves. War was no longer an event, but now a state of mind. So much has happened since my last Ramadan, but at the same time I feel like i'm in a similar place. Running parallel I guess.
Theres a lot of things I want to mention about Ramadan so i'l just get into it, and i'l develop a flow later. Maybe.
Firstly - I used to never keep a beard before purely because I thought I was being a hypocrite if I did. I knew I was going to shave it anyway. But now I keep one in Ramadan. I'm going to shave it a few weeks, but I like that I have it now. Does it make me any less of a hypocrite? Well, my anons will probably answer that. So to the guys and girls that wear a beard and Hijab (hopefully not both on the same person) in ramadan - good for you. For those who keep it all year long, good for you. For those who dont, good for you. We all know why we do what we do. Heres a little graph I whipped up which kinda shows the beard/Hijab Ramadan phenomenon
As you can see - We start of with half the people wearing it, then by day ten or so, some of the guys are over it, and shave. (Most of the girls however tend to go the entire month if they have decided to wear Hijab, but this is my observation so please correct me if you think otherwise) and then it grows again until you hit a sharp decline on Eid day where it returns to a slightly higher number than at the beginning of the month.
OK, next up we have Taraweeh. I love the Taraweeh, and it is one of the highlights of ramadan, but at the same time I have some concerns.
1) The worst thing in the world is getting hit by a Taraweeh Burp. This is when some guy stuffs his face at iftar, and had gas during taraweeh. Instead of closing their dam mouth and letting it go through their nostrils, people burp and then blow it in your direction. As if they wanted it appraised or something. You'l be concentrating on your Taraweeh (which, lets face it, is tough enough as it is because many of us dont understand Arabic) and BAM, the guy next to you hits you with this Weapon of mass Disgust. Look, have some etiquette. The prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) would have never done something like this. I love onions, but I have the decency and etiquette to brush my teeth before Esha so that I dont knock people out. Heres another thing - If you want to bring your kid to the musjid, you make him stand next to you so he doesnt create a racket in the back. From the time I was a child my father made me stand next to him, and i'l always be grateful for this. Now that i'm older, I still like standing next to him because he is my inspiration. Everytime I hear the Takbeer and I see him stand immediately, I realise that here is a 65 year old man that is standing, yet I am a 25 year old kid and i'm prolonging it slightly. I hope Allah gives him the strength to stand for many more years.
The next thing is the whole 8 Rakaat issue. Whats up with people only reading 8 these days? Heres jamiats newsletter concerning the matter, but something I havent noticed in any of the fatwas Ive read regarding this - is that if you read eight, you are not completing your quran. Its as simple as that folks. Since I had a graph for the Beard, heres a graph for taraweeh

First day - Huge crowd - because people want to know whether to fast the next day or not. The ramadan excitement is still there until about the tenth day or so, and then you see numbers dropping ( If Islam was ratings based - this is what we'd call a slump) Slowly it picks up as we enter the last ten nights and then Boom - the 27th Night and the Musjids are overflowing and there parking issues, and people are reading in the whudu Khana and you see Bob and you realise he is a Muslim and his real name is Bilal (you know how it is) and then it drops again until the 29th Night because people want to know whether Eid is the next day.

I'm so afraid of sounding preachy or condescending or anything like that. Its not my intention - I'm just writing about whats in my head.

On a final note, I have decided tonight that I would like to sit for Itikaf again, and as such I will be away from the blogs, email and facebook for ten days. I love sitting for Itikaf because it seems to capture my thinking at that time.This is the fourth year that I'm sitting for Sunnat itikaf, and I wish I get more chances. The first time I sat was in 1999 and I was at the age where i was fascinated with Major signs of Qiyamat, so I would read about Gog and Magog, and the Dabatul Ard, and Dajjal etc. After that when I sat for Itikaf I was into Islamic History. Last year I sat because I wanted to read Istikarah salaah for something that was on my mind. At this time I was interested in Tafseer and interpretation. This time, my reason for sitting is different, and I might blog about it at a later stage but for now, know that I am sitting so that I find some contentment of heart. If you can, Sit. I'm lucky that my students are on holiday next week so I only have to take one day off from work in order to sit.

Funny thing about Itikaf is that whenever I come out of it at the end, Everyone always tells me how much Noor I have on my face. I was in a building for ten days with no sunlight - what the hell do you expect?

Eid will either be on my birthday or the day after so lets see what happens. I wont get a chance to wish so Happy Birthday to Aasia, Pam and R. I hope you guys have an awesome day.

Please remember me in your duas, as I will you (everyone, not just those three)

MJ Khan

p.s - Will you anons give it a break on my chatbox please. At least wait till I get back so I can defend myself


Zahera said...

yaayy to Itikhaaf! :-D go for it Emmy. I know its something youve been doing for the last few years. Must make the heart feel very content- concentrating on nothing except the Oneness of Allah and His majesty!

Make lots of duaas for me pleasee :-D for my hubsy, for my family, for my brothers and sisters and Islam and lastly but definitely not the least.. my lickle bubba :-)

Crimson Shimmer said...

Dude i am oblivious.
I visit your blog like i do the kramat.
I do not care for heartbreak, except what is built from it.
From my last visit, it feels as if a little flame had been lit between your words.
And it makes your blog a warm place to be.
I think these flames may only be kindled by utterly truthful spirits.
And even if it sounds gay,
Its something i admire.
Makes me happy to find truth,
More in people than anything else.
keep it up,
and njoy your journey.

Shafinaaz Hassim said...

gay, in a happy way :P

lank beuootiful, ustaad rawoot..


Waseem said...

Ameen to your dua.

Shafinaaz Hassim said...

happy birthday to you and to Rumi..

Anonymous said...

One day i'll sit Inshallah. Riz says Mashallah for sitting. Yums said 'See Bibi, he's such a good boy' Little does she know:-p Hope you made lots of dua for me.

I think the graphs were spot on. Just a note-I read 20 rakaahs but I know of people who read 8 & they read longer portions & thus also complete the quran.

Hope you've found the contentment you were searching for...

M Junaid said...

ahera - i made more dua for the baby than anythign else :) May Allah bless you with a wonderful child Insha Allah

Crimson - :) your comment made me smile :) I have found some contentment. It is beautiful

Kimya - thanks for the wishes

Waseem - Insha Allah. Some have already been answered

Spiji - I am a good boy :)
I did...