O Allah! Make my love for You the most beloved thing to me, and my fear for You the most fearful thing to me, and remove from me all worldly needs and wants by instilling a passion for meeting You, and when You have given the people of the world the pleasures of their world, make the coolness of my eyes (pleasure) in worshipping You.
Friday, April 27, 2007
O Allah! Make my love for You the most beloved thing to me, and my fear for You the most fearful thing to me, and remove from me all worldly needs and wants by instilling a passion for meeting You, and when You have given the people of the world the pleasures of their world, make the coolness of my eyes (pleasure) in worshipping You.
Thursday, April 26, 2007
I just couldn't wait. There was still so much time, but I had already started planning for the dinner. The dinner was going to be attended by the who's who in town, and of course, I was going to be one of them. And what made me even more special was.. I was travelling from very far to attend it, and many were expecting me. I was looking forward to meeting the old faces, and some new ones too.
Everything just had to be perfect. Today, I wasn't just an attendee- I had earned a respectable status, and I had to live up to him.
The biggest question was... whom would I go with? The person standing next to me should be someone who'd make a statement just by the way he walked, and posed and conversed. He should have a flashing smile, and a sense of importance reflecting in all directions around him. Tall and handsome, more from inside, than out. And he's the one who would be by my side. Just for fun, really.
This was tough, very tough. I sifted through the names of my friends... none of them seemed to be that good! If I asked them to accompany me, they would... but I had to think carefully about which one who make the impression I wanted. And of course, with the two of us together at the dinner, it just had to be a blinding light.
I had a little friend who really missed me a lot, and he held me in high regard..so I asked him casually if he'd like to go with me, and he jumped at the opportunity. That was rather an impulsive decision of mine, but perhaps I could consult a friend and ask her what to do.
Which I did, and she asked me.. "why does it have to be a guy??"
"Well..... because it's very far, and I'll need a ride... and if I'm gonna get a ride, it's most likely gonna be a guy... so if it's a guy, why not get a good guy!"
It definitely sounded hilarious. She gave me a couple of names. But really, this is absurd. I can't go with someone I don't know well enough. He just wont act right. And I didn't want to be with one person all evening, because I had many people to meet, and many conversations to make, so I wouldn't want to hurt my friend.
"Listen, I can come...let me mark my calendar".
"Are you serious? If you're coming, I don't need a guy! But all you girls are busy with something or the other; or you're not interested in the dinner, that's why I didn't ask".
Then a few days later I thought about it. I had decided the dress I was going to get tailored, and the colours too. But I had to make sure the guy I was going with wouldn't wear something that wouldn't contrast well. How would I ask him what he was going to wear? He'd think I'm making a big deal of the dinner. Hmm... I had seen him wear only two suits. A black, and a brown. What other choices do guys have anyway? Grey and blue. Perfect. All these colours would go with my beige evening dress, I just had to make sure he wouldn't wear a shirt that's coloured purple or green!
I loved my little friend, even though I never used to see him a lot, but he was always full of humour and debate. I call him little because he was younger than me, and acted like a kid all the time. But he wasn't tall. Would that be a problem? He didn't fit the description I was craving.. so I went through my MSN lists, and my emails, and also facebook. A few names popped up, but no...
It was just depressing. My glamourous idea was just going down the drain. Well, it seems as if I was just going to have go with my backup.
The little friend was ecstatic about her coming to visit after so long. It had been years, and she had no idea how he spent the time. He'd think of her stuck in traffic, at work, and definitely when trying to learn the Qur'an. In the last few years, he didn't realise how much he wanted to be close to her, as he collected information about her discretely. He wanted to know everything about her- her past, her deepest secrets, her desires and her future. He just didn't know why. The reality was, it had been so long, her picture was not in his mind; only what he felt about her, in his heart. And that was a big problem. She didn't have him in her heart, and he didn't have her in his mind. And the matters of the heart and mind can be very misleading. In short, he wanted to grow up, and marry her. And he felt very positive, since she asked him to accompany her to the dinner. After all these years. Why else would she ask?
Too bad there was no dance at the dinner, he thought. It's true that wont be halal, but...it could be halal if only the woman and her mehram were allowed to dance....
And his regular, unnecessary thoughts trailed off.
So, what's going to happen at the dinner? We'll find out July 2007.
Monday, April 23, 2007
From an old post of mine: [17/01/06]
I spent the evening today listening to the RIS III lecture: Great moments in the life of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him), by Tareq Suwaidan
I've divided the lecture into several posts, this being the first. I had to listen to it tonight, (my first time) because I felt a sheer drop of emptiness in me. And I know this is because when you stand on a cliff, you can see vastness around you, and that's when you feel empty inside.
There's lots to be learnt- I'd appreciate detailed thoughts :) The only downside is I didn't bother editing or completing my notes, but they're still traceable.
The night of revelation
The night when Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) was in the Cave of Hira. He had devoted his life to Allah (the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful). He had no messenger, no book, didn’t no know to pray. He chose to pray according to religion of Ibrahim, and all he knew was glorifying Allah, and that’s what he did for a month. Then in a human form Gabriel appeared- white clothes, green pillow, with a book on top of the pillow.
He was illiterate.
“I don’t know how to read”
Gabriel hugged him so hard, and told him to read again.
“Ma ana bi qarid”
And once again.
And the 4th time he said, “What should I read?”
Iqra, bismirabbikal ladhi khalaq….
These words were the beginning of all change. He was shaking lots, he didn’t know what this meant. He started to run, towards his home, to his wife.
Running towards Khadijah, on the way, in that small distance, one of the greatest events happened.
The Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) said, I heard a sound, coming from the sky, so I looked at the most amazing scene that I have never seen (besides Mi’raj). He saw Gabriel, sitting on a throne, filling heavens, from East to West, with 600 wings, so powerful. The Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) saw Gabriel in that form only twice. And he spoke to Muhammad, “ya Muhammad, anta rasoolullah, wa ana jibreel” thrice. And then disappeared. The Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) could not move. He stood there for several hours. That’s when they were looking for him. And he went home, asked to be covered.
He said to Khadijah, when she asked him to sleep, “there’s no more sleep after this”.
The 10 year struggle and Isra & Mi'raj
He went through a struggle with a few companions of spreading the message, under the protection of his uncle. He was under the protection of his beloved wife, Khadijah, and who supported him financially. 10 years later, his uncle died, and then 3 days later, his wife died. The most beloved, the closest two to him, he lost them within 3 days. Quraish took the chance to oppress Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him), there was no one to protect him.
I need You.
Mut’im ibn Jubair was still an unbeliever, but he gave protection to Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him), out of pride and shame, what will people think an Arab has been outcasted? But he told him that he could not spread his message. He was restricted, and felt humiliation. He has less than 150 followers. 83 were in Ethopia.
Allah wanted to calm his heart, and the great journey, Al Isra wal Mi’raaj happened.
He was taken to Jerusalem, to Masjid Al Aqsa, which was built by Sulaiman (as) and at that land, all had gathered everyone- all his messengers and prophets.
Abu Dharr asked the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him), “How many are the messengers and the prophets?” “There are 314 messengers and 124,000 Prophets”- not ordinary people.
And all of them waited, for the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) to lead in the prayer. The greatest prayer ever on earth. Imagine the crowd. Why did they gather in Aqsa? Why not in Makkah? And from there goto heaven?
Because Allah (the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful) wanted to give a message.
Al Masjid Al Aqsa, how could you lose it? This sacred place, and let the worst people on earth lose it? What happened to you Muslims?
After this prayer, Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) went to the heavens. After he finished with the 7 heavens, he continued beyond the seven heavens. He went to a place never reached by any human or angel. The Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) tells us that he was Gabriel, only, and he’s the only angel Allah (the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful) would talk to directly, and give revelation to the messengers. The Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) turned, and he saw Gabriel- At that moment, he resumed his real form (Surah Najm), near the tree, Sidrat-il-Muntaha, The Last Tree. This was the second time.
In the first scene, Gabriel was huge and powerful. Here, the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “I turned towards Gabriel and he was shaken and pale like an old rug.” The most powerful creature, and he was shaken, and Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) was stable. He stopped and turned to our beloved Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him). “Proceed, Muhammad, I swear by Allah, if I step one more step, I would burn.” And Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) went further to a place that was never touched by a creature, and he continued. “I saw a huge tree whose leaves were like the ears of the elephant, and its fruits were like big jars. I continued towards the tree, and the light of Allah (the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful) touches the tree” [Qur’an]
"I cannot describe what happened". In a hadith, “when it was covered with the light of Allah, the tree changed and it was surrounded with something like butterflies of gold". At that moment, the greatest moment in the life of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him), which happened in the weakest point in his life, he talked directly with Allah (the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful).
Musa (as)- Kalimullah
Ibrahim (as)- Khalilullah
Muhammad (saw)- Kalimullah wa khalilullah
The Battle of Trench
He came back from the Ascension. He never felt weak after that, he had a strong heart, even when the Muslims were weak.
At the Battle of Ditch. 10,000 non-Muslim army: collected, guarded, Jews. They surrounded the Quraish. Madina was totally protected on all sides. Only the South East part, were Bani Quraidah, the Jews of the Madinah, where he had a treaty that the Jews would protect that side, and 1000 left with him. At that time, the Jews broke the treaty, during the war, and they were getting ready to attach from South East. The hypocrites ran away. Many of the believers, who had weak hearts also ran away. And Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) was left with 300 men- that was a weak moment. What did he do? He prayed two prayers. He led the true believers in prayer.
Whenever you’re weak, don’t weep, go and pray.
If you’re weak, and depend on yourself, you’re very weak.
But If you’re weak, and depend on the strongest of all, you’re never weak.
After the prayer, he turned to his companions, “Thank Allah”, they said, “Alhamdulillah”. Thrice. “I swear by Allah, that there is no one on this earth willing to fight for Allah, except for you”
Are you willing to do this for the sake of Allah? To be amongst those who will not leave his faith, and continue to struggle? That is the message.
He ordered Hudhaifa, in the middle of the night to go and see what’s going on in the enemy’s army on a very cold and fearful night. Imagine the scene. A very dark and cold night. They can be attacked from any direction any moment. There was fear everywhere. They were facing 10,000 from Ahzab, and 700 Jews, and there were only 300 of them. Hudhaifa was once approached by the follower of the companions, At-Tabi’een. He was telling the people about the legacy of Muhammad (pbuh)- One of the attendees was so touched, and said, “You the companions of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) did not do enough for him. I swear by Allah, that if the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) was amongst us, his feet would not touch the ground, we would carry him everywhere.”
Hudhaifa continued to speak, “It is easy to say. At the end of the battle, we were so cold and poor, I swear by Allah, I had nothing to wear because of poverty. The only thing I had was my wife’s dress that only reached my knees. And it was a fearful night, and we were shaking. It was so dark that the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) stood up to talk and we could not see him, The Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) told us ‘who among you is willing to cross the ditch?’ – Abu Bakr, Uthman, Umar, Ali, Zubair: nobdy moved. The Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) repeated again, who would be willing to cross the ditch and see the enemy’s army, and I promise him Jannah?’. And he asked thrice, and he would guarantee him heavens, and no one moved.” The Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him).
When fear touches the leader, everything is gone. He was the only fearless.The Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) moved. His foot touched my knee, and I drew back, fearing he would ask me to go. He asked, ‘Who is that?’ ‘I am Hudhaifa’ ‘Hudhaifa, get up, and go on the mission’
They are human. They were different. The real difference is, when the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) told ONE of them to stand, they had no hesitation. It is NOT that we’re not human, we will be oppressed, we will fear, we will be impoverished, endangered, but this great religion, will not be carried by those who will not obey when Muhammad says “Stand up”. The true legacy is not to talk about Muhammad. The true legacy is, despite being oppressed, sinning, desiring, bad leaders, we continue to be those who hold on to the legacy of Muhammad.
Hudhaifa left. Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) prayed unstoppably, until Hudhaifa came back and said, that the enemies were blown away by a wind so strong, only on their side, and they all ran away.
He continued to pray.
Three years later, the conquered Makkah, and spread all over Arabia.
The story of 'Adi
One of the Arab kings, ‘Adi, the son of Hatim-At-Taee, from the tribe of ‘Tai. The most generous person at that time, everyone used to talk about his generosity- Northern Arabia, close to the Romans. ‘Adi was very intelligent, he didn’t want to become Muslim, and instead of going into Islam, or preparing to fight, he did neither. He failed his people. He thought only about himself, and his family. Like many leaders today. He prepared for a journey- put wealth into containers, spies in the direction of Muslims, and said let me know when they come. When the Muslim armies reached, he took off with everything, and ran towards the Roman, and left his people helpless. They do nothing for their people, they care nothing for them. The Muslims took everyone prisoner, including ‘Adi’s sister. The Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) would keep them in a camp, next to the Masjid. The Masjid was just a few pillars, covered with palm tree leaves, a very simple building. And the prisoners could see. And they saw everything for 3 days. Everytime the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) entered the Masjid, ‘Adi’s sister would stand up, and said, ‘O Muhammad, be merciful on me’. ‘Who are you?’ ‘I am the daughter of Hatim-At-Taee’ ‘You’re the sister of ‘Adi, who ran away from the Prophet and Allah’. He didn’t say anything and went into prayer. This happened the next day as well. The third day, she had lost hope. Ali pointed at her, and she said the same thing again. The Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) said, ‘your brother who ran away, if he had come to me, I would have treated him well. He is the son of Hatim’.
So he freed her, after letting her hear this.
She immediately went towards her brother. She forgave him, and told him the words of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him). He felt he had 2 choices- he could be from the Romans, who treated him as a follower. This is a message that many of our leaders do not understand. IF you put your alliances with other than your own people, then you’re a slave. The other choice is to go to Muhammad, who promised to treat him well.
“I was not sure, is he a king? Or a Prophet? The best thing is to see him in real life, and then I can tell.’ So he went. After prayer the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) met him, treated him, and invited him over. Suddenly, there were no guards. We walked alone. He was my enemy, he took my people as prisoners. This is a Prophet, not a king’ On the way, an old lady said, ‘I wish to speak with you ya Rasulullah’ and she took him away by his hand. ‘Adi said, ‘He left me, for an old woman, powerless, me, the greatest king of Arabia’. This is not an act of a king. In front of Muhammad, they both were equal. She talked to him for a long time. I entered, there were no guards, or furniture. Only an old rug, that he used as a bed, a pillow, full of leaves, and a jar for water. That was it. So, I said to myself, this is not the house of a king. On of our leaders, sons, built a palace for $3 billion. There are people in his country are starving- That is the difference. Muhammad took the pillow and put it for me, and asked me to sit on it, and he sat on the bear floor. I tried to refuse, and he insisted. I sat down on the pillow, and Muhammad, sat on the bare floor. And I repeated the same words to myself. ‘Adi was a Christian, because of the effect of the Romans.
Muhammad asked a very strange question,
"Adi, are you not following the religion of Ar-Raqussia?" [In between Judaism and Christian, rare in those times, almost non-existent today].
I was shocked, who amongst the Arabs would know about Ar-Raqussia, and even more shocking, how could he know when my own wife and children did not know I secretly practiced it, and not Christianity?
I said, “yes”.
“Don’t you take from your people Al-Mirba’a tax?”
“’Adi, Isn’t it true that according to Ar-Raqussia, it is haram?”
At that moment, when I heard this question, about this strange religion, and I said the Shahadah.
Then the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) asked him a question that relates to him so much, that we’re going through, today.
“What delayed you from becoming a Muslim? Is it because you see Muslims as afraid, attacked from everywhere, fighting wars, oppressed?” Doesn’t it remind you of something going on today?
I was silent, because that was one of the reasons.
“’Adi, I swear by Allah, that if you long enough, you will see a woman traveling from Iraq to Makkah, without any protector.”
I said to myself: Impossible’, because the road to Makkah, from Iraq passes through Taee, and my people were criminals and thieves.
“ya ‘Adi, what delayed you from becoming a true believer? Is it because you have met Kisra, and Kaiser, the leaders of Persians and the Romans, and you say that no matter what Islam becomes, you do not want to lose that? I swear by Allah, that if you live long enough, you will see the White House, the palace of Kisra, in the hands of Muslims”
I said to myself, Impossible. How could Persia or Rome compare with Arabs?
“Is it because Muslims are poor? I swear by Allah, if you live long enough, you will see a man, with zakat not being able to find anyone to give it to”
‘Adi narrates, after the death of Muhammad (pbuh), Islam had reached Iraq. I saw a woman travel to hajj from Iraq safely, during my lifetime. I was among the army that conquered Persia, and I was among the army that entered the White House, and I’m waiting for the third sign.
But he died before that, and that third sign happened less than 100 years later, in the time of Umar bin Abdul ‘Aziz.
Prophethood shall last among you as long as Allah (the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful) wishes. And then, Allah will take it away.
Then, the Muslims will be lead by rulers, khalifah who will follow the path of the Prophet directly. And then Allah (the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful) shall take it away.
Khilafa ‘ala minhaajin nubuwwa
Then, after that will come Kingdoms that will last long periods of time- Umayyads, Abbasids, Uthmani. It would last among you as long as Allah (The Most Gracious, the Most Merciful) wishes. Then Allah (the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful) shall take it away.
Then will come leaders that will rule by force, dictatorship. We see that today.
Thumma khilafatan ‘ala minhaajin nubuwwa
Then, shall be followed by a rule that will be on the path of the Prophet.
[Mentioned in Musnad]
Dawn comes after the darkest part of the night.
Sunday, April 22, 2007
Monday, April 16, 2007
Once the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said to Ali(May Allah be pleased with him):
"Do five things before going to bed at night, that is,
- Give 4000 dinars in charity
- Read one entire Holy Quran
- Fulfill the rights of Heaven
- Reconcile between two people fighting, and
- Perform one Hajj."
- "Read Surah Fatiha 4 times, and you shall gain the reward of 4000 dinars in charity
- Read Surah Ikhlaas thrice, and you will gain the reward of reciting a Quran
- Recite Durood Shareef thrice, and you will gain the reward of Jannah
- Recite Astaghfirullah (Rabbi min Qulli Zambin Wa Aatubu Ilaih) ten times, and you will gain the reward of making peace between two people fighting, and
- Recite the third Kalima (Subhaanallahi Wal Humdu lillahi Wa Laa Ilaha Ilal laahi Allahu Akbar Wa Laa Hawla Wa laa Quwata Illa Bil laahil Aliyil Azeem) 4times and you will gain the reward of performing Hajj."
On hearing these words, Ali (radi Allahu anhu) said: "As from this day onwards, I will always follow this practice."
"Wanted! A vegetable that will grow in any climate, will rival meat in nutritive value, will mature in 3 to 5 days, may be planted any day of the year, will require neither soil nor sunshine, will rival tomatoes in Vitamin C, will be free of waste in preparation and can be cooked with little fuel and as quickly as a ... chop."
- Dr Mc Kay
Sprouts are rich in vitamins, minerals, amino acids, proteins and phytochemicals, as these are necessary for a germinating plant to grow. They are also rich in nutrients essential for human health.
Advocates of a raw food diet promote the use of sprouting as an effective way to increase the nutrient value, and digestibility, of beans, seeds and nuts. Sprouts are in fact the most nutrient dense food on earth– nutrient density refers to the amount of nutrients per calorie. This is why many people on a low-calorie diet make sprouts and baby greens the mainstay of their diet, especially blended for easier digestion.
Dr. McKay was talking about soybean sprouts. He and a team of nutritionists had spent years researching the amazing properties of sprouted soybeans. They and other researchers at the universities of Pennsylvania and Minnesota, Yale and McGill have found that sprouts retain the B-complex vitamins present in the original seed, and show a big jump in Vitamin A and an almost unbelievable amount of Vitamin C over that present in unsprouted seeds. While some nutritionists point out that this high vitamin content is gained at the expense of some protein loss, the figures are impressive: an average 300 percent increase in Vitamin A and a 500 to 600 percent increase in Vitamin C. In addition, in the sprouting process starches are converted to simple sugars, thus making sprouts easily digested.
If you examine what is happening during germination, it looks like a vitamin factory. Imagine, sprouts are what grow into plants which have the ability to make seeds and then grow into plants again.. and again and again and again... ever-lasting energy!
Here's a great read!
How do you sprout?
I hate to make this really simple, but sprouting is simple!
- Wash your seeds well with fresh water and put them into a glass jar
- Fill with about 2-3 inches of fresh boiled water
- Cover with a cloth held by a rubberband and store in a dark place (preferably an airy cabinet)
- Wash your seeds twice a day, they dont require more than that. Please wash them well
- Watch them grow!
-> Dave shows it with pictures
Please refer to a good website for sprouting charts to get an idea of how long a seed, nut, legume, etc would take to germinate.
Sunday, April 15, 2007
Farmer buried with beloved vintage car
5 April 2007
KOMBAKONAM — A farmer in a Tamil Nadu village loved his car so dearly that when he died, his relatives decided to bury his old Morris Minor along with him as per his wishes.
Narayanswami, headman of Sivapuram village near Kumbakonam, in southern India died last week at the age of 64. A wealthy farmer with three sons and daughters, he bought his prized Morris Minor in 1958. According to reports, Narayanswami was spiritually inclined but lavished his affection on his vintage car. He had earlier expressed the wish that he be buried with his car when he died.
When his friends and relatives gathered to bury him on Monday, they decided that the Morris Minor should definitely go with him. The car was decorated and Narayanswami's body was placed in it. A huge grave was dug with an excavator and a large crowd gathered to see the master and his machine laid to rest together.
A lot of my readers may have heard of CAMP- Council for the Advancement of Muslim Professionals.
Most people think that CAMP is a "pick-up joint", "marriage organisation", "inter-mixing social club" etc. Perhaps its true that people may join it for that intention.
I wanted to share my "version" of the CAMP's vision. Good role-players in any organisation come with their goals. They have to fulfill their responsibilities keeping in mind their goals- what they want to achieve. The Leader of the organisation is responsible for getting all the leaders on the same platform- One vision for all.
In the last few years, I've been in the scene of many organisations. To list a few: CAIR Can Toronto, CIC, MSA @ UofT St George, ICNA Relief, FMW, CAMP Toronto, CAMP Intl, MAC, MAC Youth Give, Antiwar, ISNA, IRFAN, MAP, IMAP IT, DawaNet, YM, YM Academics, TorontoMuslims, RIS, NAMF, UM.
I'm a big fan of evaluation reports. The evaluation report of the biggest event I had led and organised was 15 pages long. And through my volunteer work, I analyse leadership structures, people dynamics and learning curves.
If it wasn't so late in the night, I'd go into how I got involved with CAMP, but I'll just stick to the vision inshallah. I've been part of CAMP for 2 years now, initially serving as their leadership development coordinator.
First, I'll state what is required for the CAMP ideology to work:
- Modelling the way
- Inspiring a shared vision
- Enable others to act
- Challenging the process
- Encouraging the heart
[By the way, these 5 points are what makes school teachers and principals good leaders]
CAMP has grown marvelously, with full-fledged chapters spread across North America. They organise events- socials, sports, recreational, book clubs, dinners, and much more. CAMP now also has a sister organisation called CAMP Cares, which is the community/charitable wing, to give CAMP members recognition for their community work under the banner of CAMP. I attribute the growth of CAMP to 2-3 leaders who are extremely outgoing, committed and visionaries. CAMP also works with the policy of "mutual benefit" with most organisations. And this is what the organisers of, for example, MuslimFest are learning- The importance of mutual cooperation.
A lot of organisations have collapsible structures. They have problems such as: the older uncles not giving up, ethnic conflicts, finger-pointing, stretched-out resources, short-sightedness, etc. Such organisations are like weeds. They wont last long, they're wasting good resources, they're depleting their people, etc.
CAMP members are qualified professionals. These are the people who are run the economy, make political decisions, manage people, invent technology, etc. MAC, Muslim Association of Canada is an organisation that's devoted to "training" Muslims. If MAC is a wise organisation, it would train the CAMP professionals. However, some key players in MAC think that they should focus on training the younger group because that has far-reaching effects. True, but what about people who're already out there, they just need some orientation, but they are in a position to make decisions that would positively effect the society?
The problem in our (Toronto) community is that we're stretched out on resources and we lack good leadership. Everyone knows this. At any given time I work with several organisations so I know it. And I've also built foundations for several projects that people were dreaming about, but couldn't to launch them.
My vision for CAMP:
I believe CAMP is going to continue growing very fast. So far, the backbone has been these 2-3 people. (I wish I could name them here, but I dont want to reduce their award). If for the next few years we continue to have an influx of good quality leaders, CAMP will be more than just an organisation of Muslim professionals- It will be a training centre, the largest network of Muslims, established in community services, perhaps even with a rich philanthropic wing...
The 5 points I mentioned about, I have seen them in CAMP's leaders. These current CAMP leaders need to continue training the incoming leaders. CAMP leaders do a good job of identifying committed people from their members. There's no agreement, deal, commitment- people join in easily. Unlike in some organisations where you feel a lot of pressure, or even dont have the option of quitting once you're in. Now, it's true that not everything CAMP does can be classified as 100% halal. All their events are mixed. I consider it a big issue. A book club or even a movie night could pass, but perhaps rafting wont. So, which way is CAMP headed? In order to fix that, CAMP needs to get good scholars on an advisory board. And that's where a training wing is extremely important- train Muslims to realise their position in the community, their relationship with Allah (swt) and the importance of personal development.
On Friday congregations.. all sorts of Muslims assemble. Most of them don't even pay attention to what the Imam is saying. It's the same type of thing with CAMP. It's a big crowd of a mix of people- from the most religious to the least. Through wisdom and communication in various forms, the leaders are shaping their members for a better society.
Thursday, April 12, 2007
Professor Rodney Shakespeare writes,
A bridge over the river Humber (in the UK) was required. The materials and expertise were available; the finance was by the UK government which provided interest-bearing loans; and construction was begun in 1972 at an estimated cost of £28,000,000. Because of price inflation, difficult ground conditions, labour relations difficulties and adverse weather, the cost rose to £98,000,000 but, by the time the bridge opened to traffic in 1981, interest charges had taken the cost up to £151,000,000.
At which point an important fact should be noted ─ every year since being opened in 1981 the bridge has made an operating profit i.e., its running costs (basically, repair, maintenance and staff salaries) are exceeded by the fees it receives from travellers crossing the river Humber. Put simply, it’s a money-maker.
With that fact in mind, now consider what happened in the years that followed. In 1982, because of compound interest, the debt was up to £164,000,000. However, by 1992 ─ only ten years later ─ it had shot up to an amazing £439,000,000! Wow!!
Whereon, to stop the huge repayment burden falling on the Humberside residents, the UK government intervened to reduce the rates of interest, write off amounts and give grants of £40m per year so that the debt was effectively pegged for six years. Further ‘re-structuring’ then took place to reduce the debt, i.e., a large proportion of it was cancelled. (Readers are advised not to even think of the horrific level the debt would be at today if the government had not ‘re-structured’ the debt by cancelling a large part of what was due.)
The story of the Humber Bridge then gets egregiously preposterous and completely outrageous. The original money was lent, at interest, by the UK government, which had borrowed the money at interest! Thus, today, the National Debt carries the whole burden (at whatever fantastic level it is now at) and the UK public as a whole (as opposed to the residents of Humberside) will be eternally paying for the never-ending interest on the Humber Bridge!
Please note that, like the Nigerian example, repayments were being made all the time but the figure was up to £439,000,000 by 1992 whereon the government stepped in and, in effect, took the cost of the whole thing away from the residents of Humberside and put it onto the National Debt -- for ever!!! The usually quoted UK Nation Debt figure in the UK is around £8/9 per person per week.
All this information should now put you in a position to understand why Albert Einstein is allegedly quoted as saying that compound interest -- not E = mc2 -- is the greaterst mathematival discovery of all time (or the most powerful force in the unverse).
Whether or not Einstein did say it (or a version) I'm sure that you now get the point about the nature of interest.
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
Most of these towers will be completed within the next two years. Pictures taken from Ten real estate
Vision Tower- Transparent glass all the way to the top- clear view from inside and outside
Executive Towers- 10 buildings
Binary Towers- Contains an aqua-massage unit and an oxygen bar
Dancing Towers- Centrepiece of Business Bay, connected @ the bottom, and the top
Sunday, April 08, 2007
It's past 1am... my parents are still downstairs watching the cricket match. Mummy studied for a bit in between, regularly checking the score from my father, then she sat and watched the rest of the match, making dua constantly for Bangladesh to win... lol
Everyone in my family knows cricket except me... it's rather embarassing, but no one tries to explain how it works either!
Mummy just came and said "Good news, Bangladesh won"..
Wednesday, April 04, 2007
I learnt about Jheel everything a person could, when they're travelling together. and our journey wasn't some ordinary journey: It was the highest spiritual quest possible. When I first met her, I could see through her veil, and I thought to myself she's so young! But she wasn't, she had been married 14 years.
In the many days we spent together, she did everything she could for me. She would wash my clothes, make tea for me, let me borrow anything of hers I needed, advise me, ask me if I'm okay, and just wouldn't stop talking! Out in the streets, she stressed that I should spend with ease, for the reward is double because we were in sacred lands, and her phone conversations would be either about donating 200 Qur'ans to a masjid, or about some other form of charity.
The most beloved people to me are the ones who give freely in charity.
She never cringed when she had to pay exorbant fare to the cab drivers. She was always smiling, always happy. I would often think.. Subhanallah, if only people would give away money the way Jheel did. That's why Allah has blessed her with so much.
She had no children, but her husband and her had decided that was Allah's Will, and they will live for each other. And they were two remarkable companions.
Then we departed, and I didn't see her for 3 months. We decided to visit her when she returned from her travels. She had prepared a feast for us, and she was the same cheerful self. But I was shocked. Jheel's appartment was barely furnished. The kitchen and the washroom were the same size. She had lit candles for me, and presented a gift to my mother. Their furniture was old and unattractive. There were piles of paper stacked on the shelf above where I sat. With all of us, we seemed to have filled up the space in the entire appartment. I had believed that she was rich. And, she was rich, but she lived simple. She spent where she needed, and gave away the rest in the name of Allah, and her only purpose in life, was to gain knowledge and to serve her Lord.
My sister says my weirdness cannot be expressed in words.
Hafsa tagged me.. so 10 unnecessary things about me:
- I like to do lists. I have to do lists/alerts/reminders/deadlines:
- On my phone
- Google calendar
- Google desktop
- Googe homepage
- In notepad text files on my desktop and in various folders
- In my calendar on my desk.
- on a whiteboard hanging from a switch in my room
- In my last few sleepiest moments in bed, I often think of left over tasks.. so I started keeping a pen and paper close to my pillow
- And of course, grocery lists in my bag
- I'm a fast driver. I think it comes from being a part of family of fast drivers, including my mother.
- I live in UAE... across the Globe from Canada, but I live most days Toronto time. Love it!
- I challenged someone to get me a pink rose that was all by itself, out of reach in a big shrubby bush back in 1999 when I went to Egypt, and I still have the dried remains.
- I love animals, and I spend time watching them... but from a reasonably safe distance :P I don't think I'd ever get a pet.
- The only types of movies I watch, once in blue moon are animated movies :) Simply loved Hoodwinked. I can imitate the characters from these movies too.. hehe. But sometimes, these movies get to me. Like the time I watched Garfield on the plane to Toronto. And then when I'd see a cat on the street, I could swear it was talking to me...
- I used to be one of the lead singers in school. Ms George used to call us the "nightingales of the school". Renu was the best, she still sings.. she's in US now. We went to Dubai for competitions as well. I dont sing anymore the way I used to, I've replaced my singing with reciting the Qur'an as I memorise, and I feel very grateful Alhamdulillah. I'm definitely not an engineer @ heart.
- I'm a very impulsive person, and my impulsive nature has often made me come across as immature, irresponsible and rude.
- I talk to Hafsa more than anyone else in the world I think :P
- When I eat something (really) spicy... my eyes start tearing, and my ears go red. But that still doesn't stop me!
“Each player of this game starts off with ten weird things or habits or little known facts about yourself. People who get tagged must write in a blog of their own ten weird things or habits or little known facts as well as state this rule clearly. At the end you must choose six people to be tagged and list their names. No tagbacks!”
um.. I dont think I'm gonna tag anyone!