Category Archives: islam

Islam and Science

I attended an event hosted by the Western Muslim on campus the other day titled Islam and Science. To some, the content may have been a revelation of sorts. For me, the documentary presented basically hammered home the message my father had been made sure was deeply implanted in my and my brothers’ heads.

“Do you know what Muslims were ya baba? Scientists. Everything we know, from algebra t0 algorithms to medicine to chemistry to astronomy. Muslims, they were the founders of these science, ya baba. Allah yerda3 3alaykum (May Allah be pleased with you).”

Threaded throughout this heartfelt reminisce would be the central message: we, as Muslims growing in the West, had a duty and an obligation to take advantage of our position and once again bring fame to a Muslim name (rhyme unintended).

Now you can imagine that with that kind of perfectionist personality beat into my head, I’ve grown up more than a little of anal-retentive with a touch of OCD. But that’s besides the point, especially as my professor reassures me that all great men and women have a little OCD in them.

Following this presentation, a short talk was given by our chaplain, Sh. Fayaz Tilly. Jazak Allah khair to the brother; although he is not, as he proclaimed, in any way a scientist, he did his best under what seemed to be exceptionally short notice.

What irked me, however, was the discussion that ensued. There was one gentlemen in particular, non Muslim, evolutionarist (or as my professor is wont to call them, educated beings), who seemed to be there to raise some hackles.

Question 1: Now, I’ve never read the Quran and don’t know much about it. But let’s say, hypothetically, that science proved a statement in the Quran to be undoubtedly wrong. Let’s say, it said the Earth is flat. I don’t know any real examples, but let’s say it did and science showed that no, it’s actually round. Would you admit to being wrong?

My problem with this? How on earth do you expect to be taken seriously at any form of debate or discussion by arguing a hypothetical scenario after claiming complete ignorance? HOW? Were the reverse true, were I, as an identifiable Muslim, to attend a scientific discussion and proclaim that although I know nothing of the subject matter I wanted to throw my two cents in, I would be ridiculed. Please don’t be demeaning.

Question 2: (following Sh. Fayaz’s reference to embryology in the Quran). So did Mohamed mention the reptile gills and monkey tails then?

I will admit there were other, relevant questions that were aimed to gain answers and not entice hatred. Nevertheless, I wish some people would give-up on the let’s enrage the Mozlems and see what happens game! Frankly, it’s getting old!

*edit*

A link to the documentary: 

And I will find a link for a comprehensive explanation of embryology and the Quran inshaAllah =)

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Filed under Head-Bangers, Ignorance, islam, MSA, Western Muslim

An Awful Knowing

It’s been likened, quite disgustingly, to the warm, wet feeling when you pee in the swimming pool (a practice I strongly advise against, people); only you can feel it, and you really can’t tell anybody because you shouldn’t have peed in the first place!

I guess the point I’m belabouring here is when you’re told something, or find something out that you really have no business knowing. It’s when you know something you’re not supposed to know, and that knowing keeps you up at night, consumed with wishing you didn’t know and wondering how you can forget what you now know. I didn’t want to know. I feel like this knowing has violated me, tainted my mind in a silent and forceful manner. I can’t pretend I don’t know, when I do. And I can’t say I know, when I shouldn’t!

“O you who believe! avoid most of suspicion, for surely suspicion in some cases is a sin, and do not spy nor let some of you backbite others. Does one of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? But you abhor it; and be careful of (your duty to) Allah, surely Allah is Oft-returning (to mercy), Merciful.” (49:12)

I guess this warm, wet, icky feeling is my penance. Only time can tell at this point.

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Filed under Head-Bangers, islam, Personal, Reflections

Luqmaan’s Ten ‘Commandments’

In the Holy Quran, our Ummah is presented with precious pearls of wisdom; advice that, were we to adhere to it, we would surely regain our place as a strong, unified Ummah. One such advice is given in the form of Prophet Luqman’s advice to his son:

وَإِذْ قَالَ لُقْمَانُ لابْنِهِ وَهُوَ يَعِظُهُ يَبُنَىَّ لاَ تُشْرِكْ بِاللَّهِ إِنَّ الشِّرْكَ لَظُلْمٌ عَظِيمٌ – وَوَصَّيْنَا الإِنْسَـنَ بِوَلِدَيْهِ حَمَلَتْهُ أُمُّهُ وَهْناً عَلَى وَهْنٍ وَفِصَالُهُ فِى عَامَيْنِ أَنِ اشْكُرْ لِى وَلِوَلِدَيْكَ إِلَىَّ الْمَصِيرُ – وَإِن جَـهَدَاكَ عَلَى أَن تُشْرِكَ بِى مَا لَيْسَ لَكَ بِهِ عِلْمٌ فَلاَ تُطِعْهُمَا وَصَـحِبْهُمَا فِى الدُّنْيَا مَعْرُوفاً وَاتَّبِعْ سَبِيلَ مَنْ أَنَابَ إِلَىَّ ثُمَّ إِلَىَّ مَرْجِعُكُمْ فَأُنَبِّئُكُمْ بِمَا كُنتُمْ تَعْمَلُونَ- يبُنَىَّ إِنَّهَآ إِن تَكُ مِثْقَالَ حَبَّةٍ مِّنْ خَرْدَلٍ فَتَكُنْ فِى صَخْرَةٍ أَوْ فِى السَّمَـوَتِ أَوْ فِى الاٌّرْضِ يَأْتِ بِهَا اللَّهُ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَطِيفٌ خَبِيرٌ – يبُنَىَّ أَقِمِ الصَّلَوةَ وَأْمُرْ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَانْهَ عَنِ الْمُنْكَرِ وَاصْبِرْ عَلَى مَآ أَصَابَكَ إِنَّ ذَلِكَ مِنْ عَزْمِ الاٍّمُورِ – وَلاَ تُصَعِّرْ خَدَّكَ لِلنَّاسِ وَلاَ تَمْشِ فِى الاٌّرْضِ مَرَحاً إِنَّ اللَّهَ لاَ يُحِبُّ كُلَّ مُخْتَالٍ فَخُورٍ – وَاقْصِدْ فِى مَشْيِكَ وَاغْضُضْ مِن صَوْتِكَ إِنَّ أَنكَرَ الاٌّصْوَتِ لَصَوْتُ الْحَمِيرِ

  1. “O my son! Join not in worship others with Allah. Verily, joining others in worship with Allah is a great Zulm (wrong) indeed.”
  2. And We have enjoined on man (to be dutiful and good) to his parents.
  3. “O my son! If it be (anything) equal to the weight of a grain of mustard seed, and though it be in a rock, or in the heavens or on the earth, Allah will bring it forth. Verily, Allah is Subtle, Well-Aware.”
  4. “O my son! Perform the Salah…
  5. ….Enjoin the good, and forbid the evil…
  6. …and bear with patience whatever befalls you…. Verily, these are some of the important commandments.”
  7. “And turn not your face away from men with pride
  8. …nor walk in insolence through the earth. Verily, Allah likes not any arrogant boaster.”
  9. “And be moderate in your walking
  10. …and lower your voice. Verily, the harshest of all voices is the braying of the asses.”

Here you go Z. May Allah bless is with the strength required to put action behind these weighty words.

As a side note, isn’t Luqmaan an absolutely beautiful name?? Um Luqmaan? Hmmm.. it does have quite a ring to it, don’t it? 😉

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On Coffee Shops and Muslim Creeps

Over the winter break I’ve been subbing at my dad’s coffee place in the downtown. The regular girl is off on vacation for Christmas and New Year’s and I decided what the heck? With six years of convenience store experience under my belt, I’m more than qualified. And here’s the funny thing – I actually like it! I especially enjoy the regulars – the interaction, the quick humour, the light-hearted banter. And since I’m a happy person at heart and nothing pisses me off more than a surly sales rep, I’ve always got a smile ready. And the unlimited coffee refills kinda help, to be honest =P

But sometimes, it’s not all smiles and fun. Sometimes you get the creeps. Especially since this particular coffee shop is located in the downtown, and you can’t quite control who has access to the building it’s situated in, you kind of have to put up them.

Example one: The man who always fill his large cup half way, then insists I charge him for a small. Always. Regardless of whether or not the pot is brimming with fresh coffee, there’s never quite enough to fill his large.

Example two: The man who spent an hour and 34 minutes assuring me that while Canada may be cold, at least I feel safe. Unlike the Middle East, where gun-fights break out randomly, and people with bombs strapped to their chest are running around willy-nilly. Yes, indeed. The cold is a small price to pay for safety. When I informed him that in I-raq, a war has been waging for the past nine years he looked at me blankly and said “Oh yeah! 1960s wasn’t it? Yes, it might be warm there, but it’s dangerous” *repeat stories of gun fights, bombs, and Al-Qaeda and a foray into Turkish coffee – which I’m told is worth giving up for safety*

Then there are those that occur outside the coffee shop, as I walk towards my car which is parked seven blocks down (free parking, so sue me).

En route to my car the other day, I went into the Calgary Public Library to get the address of my friend’s house. On my way in, this man stops in front of me to beat the snow off his shoes before entering, effectively blocking my way. I waited, because I had no other choice, and when he noticed me behind him he smiled and apologized. I told him not to worry and brushed by him to get into the library. I head towards the empty computer and he follows me, standing behind me. I figure, whatever, all the computers are full and he’s probably just waiting for me to finish. I tune him out, finish my business, and leave.

A block later, I notice that he’s right beside me, grinning at me while he walks along. Okaaayyy. I look away kind of hoping that maybe if I don’t show recognition he’ll just walk on by. Well, if wishes were horses, beggars would ride. He comments on the weather, I reply. To sum the next five blocks up as painlessly as possible, he follows me making inane conversation revolving around my Islam, and how he’s Muslim, and how I should consider meeting up with him at the mosque. At the edge of downtown I stop and ask were he’s going. He thought we’d take the LRT together. Seeing an out I quickly inform him that, unfortunately *cough cough*, I’m actually headed towards my car. Turns out that’s fine, he’ll walk me to my car – still two blocks away – and then head back towards the station which we’d passed two blocks ago. I assure him that is not necessary, but he insists and we walk on.

A block of his chattering and my mumbling later he stops and I brace myself for the expected. Can I have your number? No. Email? No. Dad’s number? No. Will you meet me at the Mosque? Uh.. no. Will you take my email/number? Sorry, no. Am I sure? Yes. Positive? Very.

He heaves a heavy sigh, informs me what hours he frequents the NW mosque and stands watching while I half-run the rest of the block to my car. I get in, lock the doors and sit there shivering in the darkness of my car, too damn creeped out to get out and brush the snow off the windows. Through the rearview I can see him standing there, staring. 15 minutes later and I guess he’s convinced I’m not about to change my mind. He heads back and I start my car, driving over a curb in my haste to get the heck out of there.

I get to my friends house and share the story. I’m not surprised to learn every girl there has had multiple similar experiences – and all by Muslims. Nonmuslims will ask for your number, or ask you out for drinks and if you choose to decline, they’ll graciously back out. Muslims, on the other hand, use the religion you have in common as a wedge, convinced that through that mutual ground, there lies the path towards a wonderful, lasting relationship.

Creeps.

*shudder*

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Filed under Canada, Cultural Observations, Head-Bangers, islam

What’s your flavor?

You’re all probably familiar with the faith-o-meter. That elusive yet very real measurement of just how well our faith is doing. And you notice its fluctuations based on how that faith translates over into your life. Are you going to the mosque more often? Murmuring an ‘alhamdulillah’ after you sneeze? Thanking God more often than usual?

Well for me it’s always been my eyebrows. They too fluctuate according to my deen level. Right now, I’m at an all time high. I’ve decided that my tomorrow begins today, blah blah blah, etc etc, so I put an end to it. The plucking that is. And I’m now sporting two, untouched fringes above my eyes. They’re not that bad. Just very untouched. Huh.

Right, so a friend was over, one that I haven’t seen in about two years, and she remarks upon them.

F: You looked so much hotter before. What in Syria it’s halaal and in Canada it’s haram? What an embarrassment! You’re going to university.
S&S: Embarrassment how?
F:  You look like a monkey.
S&S: Thanks, I love you too oh buddy mine! But seriously, embarrassing how?
F: I mean, uni’s full of hot, eligible guys.. no one’s going  to look at you twice like that..
S&S: *with the whole excuse me attitude* Habeebi, those guys can kiss this goodbye. I’m not into that. It’s all about the brothers who wouldn’t like it any other way… the one’s with their beards down to their navel, you feel me??
F: EWWWWW!!!!! That’s so gross!

LOOOOL! Thing is, she was sooo serious. Haram. This was while we were putting the food down for iftar. I think she lost her appetite.

But seriously…

Do you know what I’m saying?!

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Filed under Canada, Cultural Observations, islam, Personal, Syria

Spoof like you’ve never seen!

K, while this might not be Islamicaly sound, it’s vastly amusing! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did =)

Here’s a quick translation of all the Islamic terms:

Iftar – meal that breaks the fast (when the sun comes up). Panculturally most awaited time of any day, hands down
Witr – one prayer. You do the sequence only once.
Sahoor – meal that starts ones fast (before the sun comes up). Panculturally, the time of day when the most stuffing of the face ensues
Thob – long white robe wore by men.
MashAllah – Whatever Allah (God) wills. Said when you see or do something good
Salat
 – prayer
Jammat – congregational prayer
Qiyyam – prayer at night (supererogatory)
Dhikr – remembrance of Allah.
Fajir – morning prayer (before the sun comes up) or…
Fajir – the time of day before sun comes up
Jummah – Friday congregational prayer
Taraweeh – congregational prayer after the night prayers, exclusive to Ramadan
Akhi – my brother!
Masjid – mosque
Jumma – also Friday.
[covered in black spots] – refers to a heart that has sinned. Each sin results in a black dotwhich stains the heart
Alim – scholar
Kufi – we all know what this one is
Sidi – sir, also like buddy, or pal
Hooka – waterpipe
Haram – non permissible
Maghreb – prayer that occurs at sunset


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Filed under Humor, islam, Lyrics, Ramadan

Ramadan ’09 – 01

Every year I do the same damn mistake. I leave off my days till the last possible minute, and end up fasting them directly before Ramadan. So, I practically start a week earlier than everyone else. And while it’s nice because that way I get some practice in and the first day isn’t as hard on me as it is on others, it would be nice if it was by choice rather than having to do it because I falied to do it earlier.

But it’s all good. The first day was reallllyyy easy. I was craving cookie dough like you wouldn’t believe though. It’s all my fault =(! I became a fan of cookie dough on facebook, and then went through the pictures. OHMYGOD in heaven. *sniffle* I made my Dad drop me off at Shoppers so I could pick up some serious chocolate on the way home from taraweeh though. And then I couldn’t eat any of it…

Speaking of praying at the mosque. I heart fajir prayer there like you wouldn’t believe <3. Only I get there with about enough time to pray the taheeyat and the sunnah and then we start. Tomorrow, I’m going to make an effort to go a little earlier so I can just sit there and reflect and read some Quran.

And speaking of reading Quran, who’s on page 41? That’s riiighhtt! Moi! Why am I so excited? Because this is only the second time I’ve ever read so far. I have a confession to make… I’ve never read the whole Quran. Never, ever never. The furthest I’ve gone is 49. So would you look at that; living in Syria did pay off! *gasp*

And, finally, speaking of Syria. I miss Ramadan there sooooo much =(. I’m honestly considering spending next Ramadan there. You never know. If our house in the Sham is empty by then (there are tenants right now) why not?? It’d be nice to be all alone (LOOL. right. with my family? Imbossible. But a girl can dream, no?)

Ramadan Kareem everyone!!!!!

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Filed under islam, Ramadan