Tuesday, October 31, 2006

In the Interlude

It was one of those cold, windy, rainy nights in the city, and she was walking along a dark road. A lost soul, questioning herself uncontrollably on destiny's games, completely unaware of the rain drops trickling down her cheeks, and soaking her clothes. It was her tears that blended with the darkness around her, causing cracks in her already low confidence, like cracks in an old wall...
But she had no answers. And the rain continued to pelt her. Many moments later, her legs gave way, and she collapsed along the sidewalk.
None of the passerbys noticed this silhoutte against the backdrop, lying lifeless, fighting with the desires of herself and the reality.
In this world, who stops for a stranger anyways?

I finished serving my duty at the hospital, and was looking forward to going home to rest. It had been a tiring day, dealing with the family of the deceased baby, and all I really needed was some time to reflect on what went wrong. The thought of the mother giving up her child began to haunt me, and I didn't realise I had wandered off in the wrong direction, until I saw a figure, barely noticeable in the bad weather.
"A young mother?" I thought to myself... "perhaps not. Just a homeless person." But it was one of those moments where your instincts fire up, and mine definitely did.
I quietly walked upto her, and sat by her side. I noticed the laces of her shoes were undone and were mixed with mud. "Did she trip?".

"Hi... are you alright?" A simple silence, that seemed almost deafening against the beating rain. I placed my umbrella next to me. "Listen... it's getting cold. It's not safe either. You need to go indoors. Did you hurt yourself? Are you tired? Should I call a cab?"
She finally shifted, turned around and faced me. "Oh Lord...what a sad face.." In that brief instant, I saw her inside, on her face. Every single emotion she was feeling was painted by the streaking tears on her face, a face not much older than mine.
"Can you help me? Can you answer my questions?", she asked.
"Uh...I can try. But first, let's get warm."
I escorted her to a nearby shade, and the blasting heat from sewers below warmed us up in no time.
"They took everything away from me... I lost everything in hours. Everything that I had worked hard and saved up in so many years...", she began.
"Why did it have to be me? I don't have an address to my name anymore. In a matter of hours I ended up on the street. My worst fear, in all these years just came true... how am I going to live?"
I realised she was a victim of some fraud. I couldn't do much to help her. She was scared, lost, and confused. I had to get home. It had been such a long time, and I have an early day tomorrow. She'll find a way. Something, someone should be able to help her. The city offers lots of programs.

"You know what- I don't know what happened with you, and why. But all I can say is...you'll be fine. In this life, you don't need a whole lot to survive, and sometimes, you learn that the hard way. But once you learn it, everything falls into place. Just don't hesitate to ask for help. Good night!"
And I walked away.

Pat Robertson on Feminism

Feminism is a "socialist, anti-family political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians."
- 1992 statement from Rev. Pat Robertson, offering his views on empowered women

About songs I post

I don't listen to music anymore- These are all old songs I remember from when I used to listen to music. Most of these are... nice.

Viva Forever- Spice Girls

Do you still remember
How we used to be
Feeling together, believe in whatever
My love has said to me
Both of us were dreamers
Young love in the sun
Felt like my saviour, my spirit I gave ya
We'd only just begun

Hasta Manana,
Always be mine

Viva forever, I'll be waiting
Everlasting, like the sun
Live forever,
For the moment
Ever searching for the one

Yes I still remember,
Every whispered word
The touch of your skin, giving life from within
Like a love song that I'd heard
Slipping through our fingers,
Like the sands of time
Promises made, every memory saved
Has reflections in my mind

Hasta Manana,
Always be mine


Back where I belong now,
Was it just a dream
Feelings unfold, they will never be sold
And the secret's safe with me

Hasta Manana,
Always be mine

[Chorus x2]

Watch it on youTube

Monday, October 30, 2006

What next?

Foot reflexology....
If you're around, join me for dinner tonite @ Hernando's Hideaway- 545 Yonge St @ 7pm.

Friday, October 27, 2006

@ the Daily Bread Foodbank- MYG Event

Two hours of food sorting... was definitely a mind-juggling task! There were 32 categories of food, and it was important to ensure that they don't get mixed up. MAC Youth Give organised a day @ the Daily Bread Food Bank on October 14th.

Syma made a comment when she saw all the other people helping out: 'People are so nice! I didn't know they'd care!' It's true- People of other faith come out in much larger numbers than us. Muslims are quite passive.
There were some very interesting donated food items. The worst was putting away a box of lindt chocolates... and handling food for that long while fasting was very exhausting!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Ramadan Fast-a-Thon

UofT held a fast-a-thon this year, and it's the 3rd one in a row. Alhamdulillah it was well attended, and Safiyyah has a really nice account on her blog.
At Sana's high-profile iftar, I met Grahame Rivers- one of Sana's friends, and an avid Liberal just like her. Grahame was quite interested in experiencing fasting, and when I told him about the fast-a-thon, he just had to give it a try!
When I saw Grahame @ 6:30, his face was awfully red, and he could barely speak. Sana and I distracted him until we got to the food [the food was awful...], and after that it seemed all normal.

I'm glad I got to hear an account of a non-Muslim's experience of fasting. It really opens your eyes to the gifts in your religion.

Raindrops on Roses

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens;
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens;
Brown paper packages tied up with strings;
These are a few of my favorite things.

Cream-colored ponies and crisp apple strudels;
Doorbells and sleigh bells and schnitzel with noodles;
Wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings;
These are a few of my favorite things.

Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes;
Snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes;
Silver-white winters that melt into springs;
These are a few of my favorite things.

When the dog bites,
When the bee stings,
When I'm feeling sad,
I simply remember my favorite things,
And then I don't feel so bad.

When Galloway spoke...


Senator, I am not now, nor have I ever been, an oil trader and neither has anyone on my behalf. I have never seen a barrel of oil, owned one, bought one, sold one - and neither has anyone on my behalf.

Now I know that standards have slipped in the last few years in Washington, but for a lawyer you are remarkably cavalier with any idea of justice. I am here today, but last week you already found me guilty.

You traduced my name around the world without ever having asked me a single question, without ever having contacted me, without ever written to me or telephoned me, without any attempt to contact me whatsoever and you call that justice.

Now, I want to deal with the pages that relate to me in this dossier and I want to point out areas where there are - let's be charitable and say errors.

Then, I want to put this in the context where I believe it ought to be. On the very first page of your document about me, you assert that I have had "many meetings" with Saddam Hussein. This is false.

I have had two meetings with Saddam Hussein, once in 1994 and once in August 2002. By no stretch of the English language can that be described as "many meetings" with Saddam Hussein.

As a matter of fact, I have met Saddam Hussein exactly the same number of times as Donald Rumsfeld met him. The difference is that Donald Rumsfeld met him to sell him guns and to give him maps the better to target those guns.

I met him to try and bring about an end to sanctions, suffering and war and, on the second of the two occasions, I met him to try and persuade him to let Dr Hans Blix and the United Nations weapons inspectors back into the country - a rather better use of two meetings with Saddam Hussein than your own Secretary of State for Defence made of his.

New Toronto Phone Number

It's official, I finished work yesterday, October 24th and inshallah I'll be leaving Canada on November 10th. Leaving a country is definitely a tough decision, despite months of mental preparation. I can't live without my friends, who are Alhamdulillah too many to name, so I got myself a Toronto phone number in UAE!
It's already active, I'll be emailing out the number in a few days.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Real Men (or rather, no more real men)

"Women will no longer be able to give birth to the likes of Khalid bin Al-Waleed."

- Abu Bakr, May Allah be pleased with him

[Ibn Kathir, Al-Bidayah wan-Nihayah, Dar Abi Hayyan, Cairo, 1st ed. 1416/1996, Vol. 7 P. 141]

Melting Pot- by Boyzone

Take a pinch of one man
Wrap him up in suntan
Add a touch of blue blood
And a little bitty bit of
whatever you choose
Curly black and kinky
Mix it with love and let's see
If you lump it altogether
Well you've got a recipe
for a get along scene...
Oh what a beautiful dream
If it could only come true
You know you know...

What we need is a great big melting pot
Big enough to take the world
and all it's got
Keep it stiring for a hundred years or more
Turn out coffee colored people
by the score

Mick and Lady Faithful
And everyone who's graceful
You know the living could be tasteful
And we should all get together
in a mixing machine
Yeah yeah yeah

The poorest and the wealthy
Weakest and the healthy
If you lump it all together
Well you gotta recipe
for a get along scene
I'd better call up the Queen
It's only fair that she know
you know you know...

On not neglecting one's household responsibilities

Abu Said recorded that an aggrieved woman came to the Prophet (pbuh) expecting him to support her against her husband. She said: 'Messenger of Allah (swt), my husband Safwan ibn al-Muattal beats me when I pray, and makes me break my fast when I keep fast, and he doesn't offer dawn prayer until the sun rises'.
He asked Safwan, who was present there, about what she said. He replied: 'Messenger of Allah, as for her statement 'he beats me when I pray', she recites two surahs and I have forbidden her' The Prophet (pbuh) said: If one surah is recited, that is sufficient'. Safwan continued: 'As regards her saying 'he makes me break my fast', she (will) keep fasting; I am a young man, I cannot withold myself'. The Prophet (pbuh) said on that day: 'A woman should not fast except with the permission of her husband.' Safwan said: ' As to her statement that I do not pray until the sun rises, we are a people belonging to a ( certain) class, and (our profession of supplying water) is already known about us. We do not awake until after sun-rise'. The Prophet (pbuh) said: 'Offer your prayer when you awake'. (Abu Dawud 2453)
[Water carriers supplied people until almost the end of the night, and therefore found it impossible to rise for prayer before sunrise).

Monday, October 23, 2006

The Wall Must Fall

Sign and send the campaign postcard to the Prime Minister. Insist the Canadian government publicly work to uphold the decision of the International Court of Justice.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

A new blog!

This was coming... it had to come!
But it's a short project inshallah.
I've created a new blog that's going to have really short excerpts from the life of Umar bin Al Khattab, May Allah be pleased with Him.
The link is: http://umar-farooq.blogspot.com

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said, that if there were to come a Prophet after him, it would have been Umar.
Umar (ra) reached excellence in all areas of his life: his simplicity, sense of leadership, administration, conquests, compassion, justice...
We have so much to learn.
May Allah, subhana wa ta'ala, guide us, and lead us in the direction of the Khulafaa-ur-Rashideen.

A Special Bond

His face was always smiling, and that smile would emanate a special illuminating light, that I'd notice everytime I saw him. I know he's been struggling for a very long time now, fighting to accept the reality, yes it's true- I am leaving for a long time without a plan of return. The first time he heard it, his silence made me realise how shocked he was. I felt sad. I'll be leaving everything and everyone behind. He made me feel as if he wants me to stay more than anyone else. And he repeated that, sincerely, over and over again. 'Please stay...It will never be the same without you.'
And today he called and said, 'perhaps you don't realise, I love you a lot. You might think it's a joke, but it's true.' I said don't make me cry.
'Is this brother of yours deserving of your time? Can we meet once before you leave? Somewhere...special, where I can cherish and remember our memories until you return?'

Under my breath, I quietly said, 'but I will not return...'

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Diversity Issue in Netherlands

I was invited by br Nouman Ashraf, Anti-Racism and Cultural Diversity Officer @ UofT, to attend a brainstorming session held on campus, on the topic of Diversity in Netherlands. The session was organised for a delegation of high profile Dutch political figures. They included mayors of various cities, and a few police representatives.

The hour-and-half went by pretty fast. Everyone present had a lot to say. Br Nouman had selected a few students he knew to come share their experiences, and aid in the discussions.
I must commend these group of people, who flew all the way here from Europe- They sincerely cared about solving the issue of diversity, and dealing with Muslims, and wanted to learn as much as possible about what the difference between their country and Canada was.
I've always been proud of this place, and today, I was even more thankful.

A bit of background:

Government and their agencies, including police, are not willing to respect the customs, traditions, beliefs and behaviours of minority (non-Christian) groups. Neither do these groups try and work with each other to 'problem solve" issues, which is one of the primary functions of Community Based Policing. This is how this mission to Toronto originated. The Netherlands have a lot of minorities groups, most who originated from their former colonies.
They cause a lot of problems and dilemma for the 55, 000 police officers in The Netherlands.
The chief constable decided that we must import a document with a profiled vision to deal with diversity - minorities, homosexuals, the Muslim community.
As a result of the killing of film producer Theo van Gogh, the Muslim community has been targeted, not only by the police but the mainstream communities. The police officers are not adequately trained to deal with diversity and their interaction with the public is very poor. They do not understand customs, cultures, religious beliefs, the need for Muslims to prayer 5-times a day, the refusal of some Muslims to shake hands with female detectives, refusal to talk to females detectives, assumption that Muslim women are not allowed to speak to male officers, etc. Every day, the police Force experiences about "30 dilemma dealing with diversity issues."
Toronto was chose over London (UK), New York City and Baltimore, because everywhere in Europe, it is acknowledged that Toronto is recognised, by the United Nations, as one of the most diverse cities in the world. So then, what is happening there ? What are communities getting on ? What is the police doing to police such a diverse society (city), What training do the front-line police officers receive ?
Some of the facts that came up:
- The clause in the Canadian charter of rights that talks about equality and no discrimination is EXACTLY the same as the Dutch
- Canada has 60% immigrant population. Netherlands has about 40%: The difference is that the 40% are Muslims, but in Canada, it's a mix.
- Immigrants in Canada have an average of 1.2 degrees compared to the locals:0.97. Immigrants are highly educated, whereas in the Netherlands, the immigrant community is mostly the labour class.
- The first wave of Muslim immigrants entered the Netherlands around the 1960s, so their population is much older than ours.
- Netherlands is densely populated. A very small country, yet it's the next after Bangladesh in their population density.

Issues in the Netherlands:
- Do they want the immigrant community to stay?
- Have they done enough to teach the language to foreigners?
- This generation (the third) seems to be more extreme and radical than the first generation that came here.
- There are about 10 Muslims political leaders in the entire country.

So what makes diversity work in Canada?
- Canadians have great programs for immigrants.
- Immigrants are praised for their achievements, regardless of their background
- Diversity is @ all levels- not just in religion.
- Educated Muslims have integrated well, and are even part of the political process.
- Muslims here are also deeply involved in society, and social upliftment.

I concluded that there's an absolute need for the Muslim community to teach others about Islam. The government has made no such effort, nor have the Muslims.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Eid Program @ Masjid Toronto

It's been a very busy Ramadan @ Masjid Toronto, and inshallah on Sunday evening after Isha, I'll be organising an Eid program for sisters. I still have to get Sawitri's approval.. hehe :)

The program is:
- Qur'an recitation
- A short reminder
- Eid gift exchange (~$15 value)
- Henna!!
- Islamic board games
- Dessert & refreshments: potluck
- Other activities for kids
- Donations for the Mac Youth Give food drive

I better start shopping!

Chaplaincy- The beginnings Part I

I can't believe it's been a year since I've been working here. A year ago, I went looking all over for the Muslim chaplain @ the Hospital for Sick Kids, having seen his business card in the ISC Prayer Space, to ask him about Eid arrangements @ work. I had started working here on October 24th, and Eid was only a few days away.
After passing by Br Ayman's office several times, I finally managed to run into him, and little did I realise what I would get myself into by the end of that meeting. For some odd reason, br Ayman thought I was there to volunteer my time to help him, and having some sort of chronic inability to say no, I took up the position as the Muslim Chaplain Assistant. Pretty spiffy!
Any new project that hasn't existed before excites me, and this was definitely not only exciting, but rewarding. Over the course of the year, I pulled together an awesome committee Alhamdulillah, incidentally, all sisters only, and started many projects.
Br Ayman is a part-time employee, and paid by the hospital, unlike the other chaplains, who are supported by their respective communities. Because of his limited presence @ the hospital, it was often hard to get a lot done- Having an eager team of dedicated volunteers, and not enough work is quite dangerous :)
Plus, this summer, as usual, I had stretched myself, and balancing the Sick Kids Muslim Task Force was definitely a challenge I enjoyed, Alhamdulillah.
Br Ayman immediately entrusted me with visiting patients in his absence, in case there was an emergency. He often stressed the need for sisters to be around- The person affected most by a patient's sickness or surgery is often the mother, and it would be hard for him to reach out to women. This is where my role came in- And I never played this role without Sawitri. Our lack of experience in caregiving and chaplaincy would get overridden by our eagerness to just be there for the patient's families.
We would often tell br Ayman how, being engineers, we didn't quite have a lot of feelings. He would laugh. He's an engineer too, Alhamdulillah. He would tell us that we're steps ahead of others, that our being there showed that we cared, and it was enough, and that a task is done only for the sake of gaining reward from Allah (swt) alone.
When I had to visit patients in my most stressed out times, br Ayman would know just the right thing to say. '70,000 angels watch over you'. What an amazing reward, subhanallah!

The Taskforce Part II

Over the course of the year, we met about a dozen children, and their families. I love diversity, and Sick Kids always always reminded me how diverse this place was. It would always make me reflect on our barries of language, and Allah's vast expansive earth, wherein he's placed people who are different, but they're all created with the purpose of worshipping Him alone, the Almighty. There's so much to learn from one another!
I was able to identify and define some very interesting projects for the Taskforce. One was translating duas from an Arabic book into English, building a video and Islamic book library for all age groups, visiting program, general awareness, fundraising, and Eid gifts for children.
The response from the community for the donations and books/videos was overwhelming. May Allah (swt) reward each one of the sisters involved multifolds. I'm so happy to have had the chance to work with these sisters, Alhamdulillah.
This inshallah is going to be work in progress. There will always be patients, unfortunately, and there will always be need for Islamic education. I've been thinking about whom to handover this to. It's quite a challenging task. It's handing over an amanah to someone. You have to find someone deeply committed, and very trustworthy. In today's world, it's really hard to find such people, unfortunately.
People say one thing, and it could mean the other. It's quite easy to break promises and move on, or just give others false hopes...
Alright, enough digression.
There's a very strong sense of giving and compassion that you develop right away. You want to do your best to help the other person. Your heart softens immediately, and your own troubles seem like a drop in the sea. You want to thank your Lord, and you want to think Him again.
So, if you're interested in being part of this enriching experience, drop me an email/comment. I'll be holding a meeting before I leave. I've tonnes to do, hopefully this doesn't get lost in the loop!

Part III The Pager continued below
Read Part I

The Pager Part III

Br Ayman and I left the country for vacation this summer around the same. Rania was in Lebanon (please pray for her and her family, and her sister Afifa who's suffering from MS- This Ramadan has been fairly difficult for her), so Sawitri was handed over the pager. For her, it was a terrifying experience. It could beep anytime- be it 1am. And you had to show up @ the ER. It could mean anything- a death, an accident, a surgery, support. You'd be in constant fear hoping that everything is alright. Sawitri was very thankful when I got back, and she handed over the pager to me.
I examined the device, and pocketed it. She explained how it worked briefly, and that was that.
I ended up with the pager for about 4 months. I wanted to be as accessible as possible, and Alhamdulillah, most of the times it worked out.
A few weeks ago, br Ayman returned, and I gave him back his pager, minus the battery cover.
Anytime the pager would beep, I'd call the number back, and the on-call chaplain would brief me on the situation. They are so very little aware of Muslims and their habits. Of course, my first instinctive reaction would be to call up Sawitri: ' Sawitri, I got paged!!! The patient is... wait, I can't read my writing. I think this is the name... hmm... did he say 5B, or 5D?'
And I'd get 1/2 an earful for being so careless with those details. At work, my colleagues don't know that I help out with the chaplaincy, so I tried to be discrete while taking these calls.

These children are so brave. Sawitri and I would meet up in the main lobby, give each other assured looks, and proceed to the elevator. There wouldn't be much conversation, I'm sure each of us was thinking about how inexperienced we were, and what exactly where we thinking, and now that we're here, what are we doing!
I can't imagine what the heart of a mother goes through, when she sees her child suffering in front of her, and she can't do anything.
We'd show up @ the main desk of the ward, much like the housekeeping in hotels, who chime at your door, and go, 'Laundry!', except that we'd say, 'Chaplaincy' and that would be our passport to the patient. I'm pretty sure with our helmets, bags and all, we were a sight. 'Are these girls really the chaplain...?' Sometimes, I'd flash my badge.
Allah has blessed the kids in the hospital with a lot of strength and endurance. I don't understand medicine, or diseases, or procedures- And shamefully, I haven't picked up much either, but when you have wires going across your chest, needles in your arms, scary devices all around you, you really don't want to see that in a nightmare either.
I'd see the little babies, and would often muse, 'why do they have to suffer this?' There was this one girl who was unbelievably lively. Sawitri spent an unbelievable amount of time with her. Very cool. Sometimes I really helped me switching to Urdu. At other times, Sawitri and I just didn't know what to say...I'd wonder if the parents would even understand what we were upto!
La ilaha illa ant, inni kuntu minazalimeen

Read Part I & Part II.

Monday, October 16, 2006

with Love

He sent me
A box of chocolates
with Love

A square box
With red wrapping
Gold ribbon

I paused
Of what it may hold

Neatly arranged
with Love?

I passed my hand
Touching slightly
the perfect round shapes

It can't be that
He really cared
But, what if?

I lifted one
Let down my guard
He must care!

It touched my lips
I quivered slightly
And dropped down dead

Sunday, October 15, 2006

The Parable of the Light of Allah (swt)

God is the Light of the heavens and the earth. The parable of His light is, as it were, that of a niche containing a lamp; the lamp is [enclosed] in glass, the glass [shining] like a radiant star: [a lamp] lit from a blessed tree - an olive-tree that is neither of the east nor of the west the oil whereof [is so bright that it] would well-nigh give light even though fire had not touched it: light upon light! God guides unto His light him that wills [to be guided]; and [to this end] God propounds parables unto men, since God [alone] has full knowledge of all things.

[Qur'an: Surah Nur: 35]

Friday, October 13, 2006

Job description for a position in Dubai

Dig the benefits!

Skills:Systems, Database, Software, Engineer, Hardware, IT, LAN, Developer, Designer, .Net, Technical, Oracle, SAP, SQL, VB, Project, Web, Application, Manager, Linux, Microsoft, Cisco, C++, Administrator
Location:Dubai, AE
Area code:212
Pay rate:US$ 220,000+
Length:3 yr renewable contr
Job description:
Top Fortune 500 US group requires a well-rounded IT Manager for its recently established regional office in Dubai.

Guaranteed highest salary (tax-free) US$ 220,000 p.a (negotiable) along with lucrative company benefits for you and your family i.e: fully furnished family housing, executive car, medical, comprehensive health/life insurance, children's schooling, 45 days annual paid holidays with flight tickets, generous profit-sharing plan, and quarterly bonuses.

** Sign-on bonus of US$ 100,000 for the deserving candidate ! **

Three year renewable employment contract. Full tax-free status. Bright prospects to be promoted as 'I.T Director' at other international locations upon completion of the three year contract in Dubai.

Job Description:

This position will be responsible for managing and leading IT Operations of the technical infrastructure team to include Network Operations, Help Desk and Desktop Support, Data Backup/Restore, Telecommunications, Applications Support and facility related technical operations.

Job Responsibilities:

* Provide direction and management of IT services including: Help Desk, Desktop Support, Information Security, Networking, email, Server Administration, Voice Communications and Account Administration and Data Backup/Restore.
* Provide 'hands-on' on-site support to the users
* Provide input into IT Operations Strategy
* Function as the technical resource for existing and future technical services and solutions in a shared services environment.


BA or BS degree from an accredited University and 5 years relevant experience. IT Certifications will be advantageous. Proven ability to manage subordinates, multiple projects, design effective IT solutions, manage vendors, and meet deadlines.

Thorough awareness of web technologies, Windows 2003, Windows XP, Microsoft Exchange, VPN, and Networking required. Good understanding of contemporary ERP software and business analysis is desired.

Dubai is "the happening place" offering fully westernized life style, cosmopolitan work environment, splendid tropical weather, and top-class sports / entertainment facilities. Your spouse can also seek gainful employment in Dubai.

All travel and relocation expenses will be paid in advance.
Work visas ready. Both male/female can apply. Interviews scheduled in mid-November 2006.


Please do not contact us by phone and please do not send us any e-mails.

1- Upload your resume' online at our web site,


2- Apply by clicking on "Apply for this Job" red button below.

Thank you for your interest. We look forward to receiving your resume' and credentials.

This year's iftar menu

Turkish & Spanish theme
- Courgette & feta fritters
- Pollo en escabeche
- Eggplant salad

Main course
- Gozleme
- Lamb skewers with vegetable rice (Morroccan style)
- Wonderbread chicken casserole

-Turkish coffee pudding
-Baked banana in cheese

-Milk with rose water
-Strawberry banana smoothie

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

You Were My Strength- Celine Dion

For all those times you stood by me
For all the truth that you made me see
For all the joy you brought to my life
For all the wrong that you made right
For every dream you made come true
For all the love I found in you
I'll be forever thankful baby
You're the one who held me up
Never let me fall
You're the one who saw me through through it all

You were my strength when I was weak
You were my voice when I couldn't speak
You were my eyes when I couldn't see
You saw the best there was in me
Lifted me up when I couldn't reach
You gave me faith 'coz you believed
I'm everything I am
Because you loved me

You gave me wings and made me fly
You touched my hand I could touch the sky
I lost my faith, you gave it back to me
You said no star was out of reach
You stood by me and I stood tall
I had your love I had it all
I'm grateful for each day you gave me
Maybe I don't know that much
But I know this much is true
I was blessed because I was loved by you

You were always there for me
The tender wind that carried me
A light in the dark shining your love into my life
You've been my inspiration
Through the lies you were the truth
My world is a better place because of you

You were my strength when I was weak
You were my voice when I couldn't speak
You were my eyes when I couldn't see
You saw the best there was in me
Lifted me up when I couldn't reach
You gave me faith 'coz you believed
I'm everything I am
Because you loved me

I'm everything I am
Because you loved me

Yea, old songs... but I still love singing (though I can't sing much anymore), and they keep coming

I learnt this in school

Oh, we ain't got a barrel of money
Maybe we're ragged and funny
But we'll travel along,
Singin' a song
Side by side.

We don't know what's comin' tomorrow
Maybe trouble and sorrow
But we'll travel the road
Sharin' a load
Side by side

Through all kinds of weather
What if the sky should fall?
As long as we're together
It don't matter at all.

When they've all had their quarrels and parted
We'll be back to where we had started
Just sailin' along
Singin' a song
Side by side

Well we've all had the quarrels and parted
We'll be the same as we started
Just sailin' along
Singin' a song
Side by side
Side by side!

It's all over

I woke up with a throbbing headache. What happened last night? Wait.. it's still not morning yet. Have I slept at all? I realised... I hadn't. And suddenly, I had a memory flash. My heart was pounding, and I could feel as if there was a thunder around me, inside me, about me.. What's going on? Oh Lord... all these memories... My mind had captured each image of his, so vivid, I could make out each curve on his face everytime he smiled, or frowned, or showed concern. I could hear him speak, sometimes his words mixed with laughter, and at others, I could tell he was waving his hands in the air while talking. How perfect the match. I remembered each quiet moment we had, especially those when silence rippled across our hearts...
And I was in that state for a long time...

Late afternoon I got a call. 'Mateen... I've been missing you. I've had a very bad feeling about you for a day now, so I prayed 2 nawafil and called you. Tell me what's wrong?'
'Nothing Ma... Alhamdulillah, everything's fine. What could be wrong?'
'Do you think my heart's mistaken?'
'It's all over. I've shed tears, I can shed no more. And I'm leaving it all behind me.'
'It had to be done. This is a test. It's a test. You have to be firm and overcome yourself'.
'Truly, its nothing but a blessing. I'll come around, inshallah'.

Somehow, the day passed, and then Hiba called.
'Listen, it's been 3 weeks now, I was advised not to tell you, but I need to. He's out of my life now. Sometimes, I wake up crying. I have to be strong, but I have all these thoughts. I so wanted to tell you earlier, can't believe it's been so long, Mateen. Will I ever get the fulfillment I want?'
'Remember Hiba- If you feed your strength, it will grow, and eat up your fears. But if you feed your fears, it will become a monster and eat your strength and you with it. It's all over for me as well. Last week, I talked to him. His response to my first statement made me think- Oh Lord, he's talking just like Burj. Burj said the exact same words to you, didn't he?'
'Yes he did. For once in my life, I know how you feel. I wish I could do something for you.'
'I count your presence in my life as one of the biggest blessings Allah has granted me.'
'Mateen, I do too. Thanks for listening'.
'How are you doing?'
'How I'm doing without the person I could worship? Pretty good! You and I hold on to each other like the fibres of a rope. Nothing will separate us inshallah'

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Ad on Craigslist

I came across this ad, and was deeply touched. How many of us possess this much compassion, or even come close to it?

Hi to everyone reading this. I'm not going to go too much into this, but I'm a single working mom, my hours just got cut and I have a problem. I have to make money to take my cat to the vet, it's not serious, but it is very important.I have 2 girls(cats) and a boy(cat) I was told that he was a she when I got him, later inspection had revealed that she was infact a he. I now have a delemma I can sell some things to get enough money, or i can find him a new home, I have chosen to sell my things, I love Kumo he is a part of our little family. I am not putting a price in anything cause to be honest I wouldn't know what to ask. All I ask is that your fair. The chairs are from the 60's are in great condition, but are in need of 2 bolts to keep the back on the chair. The originals were not with them when I purchased them. Thank you to all who respond. I know the pics are not the greatest, but the blue in the chairs is bright and beautiful. The gold dish is fine china If the pics do not work email me and I will send them to you. Thanks again

Monday, October 09, 2006

Description of the Righteous

It is related that a devout worshipper by the name of Humam came to Imam Ali (May Allah Ennoble his countenance) and asked him to describe the pious people so vividly that he could almost see them.

Ali responded:

Their speech is truthful; their clothing is moderate; and they walk with utmost humility. They lower their gaze from everything Allah has forbidden. They allow their ears to listen only to that which is beneficial. Their souls accept exposure to trials and tribulations as easily as others accept luxurious living.
Were it not for their appointed term, their spirits would not have remained in their bodies the span of a twinkling of the eye due to their intense longing for their Lord. Because the Creator is magnified in their souls, everything else is viewed as insignificant in their sight. Their hearts are sober; people are safe from any wickedness from them; their bodies are slim [they don’t overindulge their appetites]; their basic needs are few; and their souls are chaste.
They patiently endure the few days they spend in this world knowing that they will be followed by a long, peaceful rest—this is the profitable life-transaction which their Lord has allowed them to enter into. The world desired them; however, they had no desire for it. It imprisoned them, but they ransomed their souls from it [with their restraint and righteous deeds].
At night, their feet are arranged in ranks as they dutifully recite the Qur’an in slow measured tones. If they come upon a verse that stimulates [in them] longing [for the delightful things which Allah has promised] they ponder it, craving to attain them. Their souls soar due to the intensity of their longing for those delights. If they come upon a verse that frightens them [with the threat of Allah’s dreadful punishment] they hear it reverberating in the depths of their hearts. They imagine that they hear the dreadful sounds of the Hellfire in the innermost recesses of their ears. You find them kneeling down [before their Lord], begging to be liberated from the Hellfire.

As for their days, they are forbearing, clement scholars. They are righteous and pious.
Fear [of Allah] surrounds them, piercing them like arrows. One who gazes upon
them thinks that they are sick. However, they are far from being sick. They are
not satisfied with a minimal amount of righteous deeds, nor do they consider
excessive amount of worship to be great. They see their faults, and they fear that their deeds won’t be accepted. If someone praises one of them, he says, “I know myself better than others [know me], and my Lord is more knowledgeable of me than myself. O Allah, don’t take me to task for what they say, and make me better than what they think of me, and forgive me for those sins which they are unaware of.”
One of the signs [of such a person] is that you observe strength in his religion. His gentleness is accompanied by sobriety. His faith is coupled with certainty. He longs for knowledge. He acts with forbearance. He lives moderately, even when blessed with wealth. He is humble in his worship. He endures poverty with dignified grace. He patiently endures trying circumstances. He seeks his sustenance from the lawful. He hastens to right guidance. He is agitated if he perceives greed in himself. He works righteousness all the while trembling, fearing that his deeds won’t be accepted]. His greatest concern is gratitude. He arises in the morn preoccupied with the Remembrance of God. He goes to bed at night overwhelmed, apprehensive. He rises in the morning overjoyed. His apprehension arises from the awareness of his heedlessness. His joy is caused by the bounties and mercy Allah has showered upon him. If his soul presses him with something he despises, he does not concede [to it] and withholds from it what it desires. The comfort of his eye is that which cannot be eradicated [the reward of his righteous deeds]. His abstinence is from temporal things. He mixes clemency with knowledge, and speech with action. He expects death at any moment. His slips are few [because of his cautiousness and deliberateness in speech and actions]. His heart is content. He is easy-going. He is constantly on guard against assaults upon his religion. His lusts are dead.
His anger is suppressed.
People anticipate goodness from him. They are safe from any wickedness from him. If he is in the company of the heedless, he is recorded as being mindful [of his
Lord]. He overlooks those who oppress him. He gives to those who deny him. He joins relations with those who cut him off. He is far removed from any indecency. His speech is gentle. You find nothing bad in him. He is always a source of good. During calamities, he is composed. In dire straights, he is patient. In times of ease, he is thankful. He does not oppress those he dislikes, nor does he sin for the sake of those he loves. He admits the truth before his witnessing is sought. He preserves all he is entrusted with. He does not hurl abusive names at people. He never harms his neighbor, nor does he insult people when he is experiencing hardship. If he is transgressed against, he perseveres until Allah takes revenge for him. He relies on himself while he himself is a source of relief for others [they can rely on him]. He tires himself for the sake of his salvation, not burdening others in any way. His
distance from those who remove themselves from him is a form of abstinence,
while his drawing near to people is from his gentleness and mercy. Hence, his distance from people does not arise from arrogance and haughtiness, nor is his
closeness to them motivated by cunning and treachery.

Hearing this, Humam dropped dead. Imam Ali said,“This is what I feared would happen to him.”
- From Nahj al-Balagha, Translated by Imam Zaid Shakir

Charles Blondin

In 1851 Blondin was recruited by the agent of Mr. William Niblo to perform with the Ravel Troupe at Niblo's Garden. It was while he was with this company that he devised the show-name of Charles Blondin -- the troupe had two brothers with the last name Javell, and it was thought there would be confusion at the similarity. He chose "Blondin" for the color of his hair. Blondin was with the troupe for several years. On their American tour he found his way to Niagara Falls, and his greatest fame.

Blondin became obsessed with the idea of crossing the falls the first time he saw them in 1858. A year after his initial visit, he returned to accomplish the feat. The stunt was not without controversy. Many people felt that a stunt like Blondin's would trivialize the falls, turning them into a backdrop for a circus act, and should not be allowed.
Blondin's original plan was to string his rope to Goat Island, but the owners supported the opposition and denied him permission. Eventually, Blondin was allowed to string his wire a mile further down-stream and on June 30, 1859, he was the first man ever to cross Niagara Falls by tightrope. A large crowd of 100,000 people watched him walk on a single three-inch hemp cord, 1,100 feet long and 160 feet above the falls at one side and 270 feet at the other. You can read the details of the crossing on page 3 in the copy of the July 4, 1859, Chicago Tribune article.

Blondin made many more trips across the gorge during the next year and became popularly known as "the Prince of Manila" (the rope he used was made of Manila.) Each time, he thrilled larger crowds with more exciting acts. He balanced a chair on the rope an d stood on it. He took pictures of the crowd while he balanced on the rope. He cooked a meal on a small portable cooker and lowered it to amazed passengers on the Maid of the Mist below. He crossed blindfolded, in a sack, on stilts, and trundling a wheel barrow. On August 17, 1859 he increased the risk by carrying his manager, Harry Colcord, across on his back. When the Prince of Wales visited in September, 1860, Blondin carried his assistant, Romain Mouton, across and performed antics on the way. The prince, like other spectators, was left breathless and asked Blondin never to do it again. Imagine the Prince's reaction when Blondin offered to carry him across on his back or in a wheelbarrow!

Who is Charles Blondin?

Masjid Madness

Praying taraweeh @ Masjid Toronto has become quite a challenge. If you can actually keep your khushoo amidst crying children, boys charging up and down the stairs, screaming girls, and women who find the only time to chat is when the prayer starts... then you must be quite rare!
Every day we have a different strategy for dealing with kids. Today I decided Sawitri and I would pray alternatingly so that we could supervise the women and kids @ all times.

The basement was surprisingly empty today, so I decided to take the kids on a trek down the elevator. Of course, the kids have now learnt that getting into the elevator means that as soon as the doors open, they have an unlimited license to scream.

And there are all sorts of kids. One little girl apparently suffers from socksomania (taken from kleptomania)- she'd just yank a sock off her sister and run away with it. Another boy would just want to hop on one leg for as long as he could, then fall down and restart. This one grade 4 girl just loved telling the Who-Ate-Who story: There was a bear who ate the lion. And the lion ate the rabbit, and the rabbit ate the cat, and the cat ate the donkey. And then there was a tiger who ate the eagle, and the eagle ate the duck... Another little girl was given a pedometer by her mother earlier in the today, so she was jumping as much as she could to see the electronic display number go up. The boys were pulling off each other's sweater, and the elevator was screaming to be released. One particular baby just liked to run after any moving human. At witr time, I was trying to quieten a few girls, when one of the sisters asked me, 'are you the baby sitter? Or did you decide not to pray taraweeh today?' 'I'm helping out the Masjid board...' 'Mashallah sister, you have so much patience. I'd just make the kids sit left and right. May Allah bless you with 4-5 children'
Umm... not too sure about that!

It's kinda sad that I heave a sigh of relief when the first 10 rakahs are over- Great, most of the kids and women will be gone by then!

Sunday, October 08, 2006

There's a Hero- by Mariah Carey

There's a hero,
If you look inside your heart,
You don't have to be afraid of what you are,
There's an answer,
If you reach into your soul,
And the sorrow that you know will melt away.

And then a hero comes along,
With the strenght to carry on,
And you cast your fears aside and you know you can survive,
So when you feel like hope is gone,
Look inside you and be strong,
And you'll finally see the truth that a hero lies in you.

It's a long road,
When you face the world alone,
No one reaches out a hand for you to hold,
You can find love,
If you search within yourself,
And the emptiness you felt will disappear.

Lord knows,
Dreams are hard to follow,
But don't let anyone tear them away,
Hold on,
There will be tomorrow,
In time you'll find the way.

Friday, October 06, 2006


The water of ablution was trailing down my face, as I hurried to join the congregation. I managed to squeeze into the second row, and the Imam said his takbir. I folded my arms, and said the dua...
I could hear the words of the sister next to me, she was loud.
I know her..
I met her a year ago...
And I lost my concentration thinking about her fate.
She narrated her brief story to my mother a year ago. She must be about 41 now, I thought to myself. She told my mother that she was single, and this shocked mummy. Of course, mummy had to ask her why, and she simply mentioned that she always sought a righteous man, but her parents never looked outside their
culture, and she never found anyone.
Wow... time flies! Forty years... and haven't found the right person? That's quite scary.
A few days ago, as we were all exiting the mosque after night prayers, she asked me which way I was headed. "I'm walking on Dundas", I responded. To which she said under her breath, her face turned away from me, 'I'm going home.. all by myself. No one's walking that way. Maybe one day I'll find someone to go with me'.
I could only make a silent prayer for her @ that point.

Children of Hope

Children Of Hope is hosting a telethon and radiothon over the long weekend. Their goal is to raise $100,000 for the education of 200 Earthquake orphans in Pakistan currently being taken care of by SOS Villages Pakistan. This money will be used towards their school tuition fees, uniforms, shoes, backpacks, full course textbooks, and school operating costs.
The telethon will be braodcast as follows:
Saturday October 7, 2006 from 10am to 11am on Eye on Asia (City TV)
Sunday October 8, 2006 from 10am to 11:30am on Eye on Asia (City TV)
The radiothon will be a live broadcast as follows:
Sunday October 8, 2006 from 9pm-11pm on 100.7FM
If you are able to watch or listen to these shows, then call into the toll free number 1-866-398-7588 to make your donations during the broadcasts.
If you are unable to catch these shows and would like to make a donation at any other time, then please go to the website at www.childrenofhope.ca and make a secure on-line donation.

Remember, your wealth only increases with charity, it's Allah's promise.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

When facing difficulty...

Allaahumma laa sahla illaa maa ja’altahu sahlan wa anta taj’alu al-hazna idhaa shi’ta sahlan
O Allah, nothing is easy unless if You make it easy; You can make all difficult tasks easy.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Verses to ponder on this week

[But as for you, O believers,] never shall you attain to true piety unless you spend on others out of what you cherish yourselves; and whatever you spend - verily, God has full knowledge thereof.

[Al-Imran 92]

Be not like those who are divided amongst themselves and fall into disputations after receiving Clear Signs: For them is a dreadful penalty,
[Al-Imran 105]

If misfortune touches you, [know that] similar misfortune has touched [other] people as well; for it is by turns that We apportion unto men such days [of fortune and misfortune]: and [this] to the end that God might mark out those who have attained to faith, and choose from among you such as [with their lives] bear witness to the truth- since God does not love evildoers
[Al-Imran 140]

"...This day have I perfected your religion for you and completed My favor unto you, and have chosen for you as religion Al-Islam..."
[Maidah 3]

"Come, let me convey unto you what God has [really] forbidden to you: "Do not ascribe divinity, in any way, to aught beside Him; and [do not offend against but, rather,] do good unto your parents; and do not kill your children for fear of poverty - [for] it is We who shall provide sustenance for you as well as for them; and do not commit any shameful deeds, be they open or secret; and do not take any human being's life-[the life] which God has declared to be sacred -otherwise than in [the pursuit of] justice: this has He enjoined upon you so that you might use your reason; and do not touch the substance of an orphan - save to improve it-before he comes of age." And [in all your dealings] give full measure and weight, with equity: [however,] We do not burden any human being with more than he is well able to bear; and when you voice an opinion, be just, even though it be [against] one near of kin. And [always] observe your bond with God: this has He enjoined upon you, so that you might keep it in mind. And [know] that this is the way leading straight unto Me: follow it, then, and follow not other ways, lest they cause you to deviate from His way. [All] this has He enjoined upon you, so that you might remain conscious of Him.
[Al-An'am 151-153]

Duas for this week

O our Sustainer! Lay not upon us a burden such as Thou didst lay upon those who lived before us! O our Sustainer! Make us not bear burdens which we have no strength to bear! "And efface Thou our sins, and grant us forgiveness, and bestow Thy mercy upon us! Thou art our Lord Supreme: succour us, then, against people who deny the truth!"

[Surah Al-Baqara 286]

"O my Sustainer! Bestow upon me [too], out of Thy grace, the gift of goodly offspring; for Thou, indeed, hearest all prayer."
[Al-Imran 38]

"O our Sustainer! We believe in what Thou hast bestowed from on high, and we follow this Apostle; make us one, then, with all who bear witness [to the truth]!"
[Al-Imran 53]

"We believe in God, and in that which has been bestowed from on high upon us, and that which has been bestowed upon Abraham and Ishmael and Isaac and Jacob and their descendants, and that which has been vouchsafed by their Sustainer unto Moses and Jesus and all the [other] prophets: we make no distinction between any of them. [68] And unto Him do we surrender ourselves."
[Al-Imran 84]

"O our Sustainer! Forgive us our sins and the lack of moderation in our doings! And make firm our steps, and succour us against people who deny the truth!"
[Al-Imran 147]

"God is enough for us; and how excellent a guardian is He!”
[Al-Imran 173]

Our Lord! Thou createdst not this in vain. Glory be to Thee! Preserve us from the doom of Fire.
[Al-Imran 191]

"Our Lord! any whom Thou dost admit to the Fire, Truly Thou coverest with shame, and never will wrong-doers Find any helpers!"
[Al-Imran 192]

"Our Lord! we have heard the call of one calling (Us) to Faith, 'Believe ye in the Lord,' and we have believed. Our Lord! Forgive us our sins, blot out from us our iniquities, and take to Thyself our souls in the company of the righteous.
[Al-Imran 193]

"Our Lord! Grant us what Thou didst promise unto us through Thine apostles, and save us from shame on the Day of Judgment: For Thou never breakest Thy promise."
[Al-Imran 194]

"Our Lord! we believe; write us down among the witnesses."
[Maidah 83]

"We have no knowledge: it is Thou Who knowest in full all that is hidden."
[Maidah 109]

"...provide for our sustenance, for thou art the best Sustainer (of our needs)."
[Maidah 114]

Sunday, October 01, 2006


What do you when you have to leave behind your most precious possession?
Perhaps the question you should be asking yourself is...
Is it really mine?