Thursday, December 23, 2004

The Real Christmas

As it has been mentioned in the books of supplication and hadith, the 25 th of Dul Qa'dah (January 7 th of 2005) is the day of Da'wul Ardh (also known as Earth Day).

According to some hadith, this event actually is on the 29 th of Dhul Qa'dah (January 11th 2005) – however, keeping these dates in mind, we highlight the importance of this day, some of the events that had transpired in history and what actions we should perform on this blessed day that Allah (Glory and Greatness be to Him) has granted to us. What is the importance of this day?

It is said that the Sacred Ka'bah was sent down to Earth on this day and this is also when Allah (Glory and Greatness be to Him) spread out ALL the land on the Earth under the Ka'bah. According to the same narration, this is also the day when Prophet Adam (peace be with him) was sent to Earth after he and his wife, Hawwah ate from the tree in the ‘Earthly Paradise’. The Qur'an refers to the Ka'bah as being the first house of worship for mankind on this Earth in the following verse:

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Picture and Ayatul Kursi

I haven't put up a picture in ages. I don't have any terribly exciting photos, but I do have a picture of an unplanned purchase: I went with my mother to the mall so she could get a new purse and ended up getting one too. Hers is blue and mine is cool. :)

Ayat al-Kursi is verse 255 (I thought it included other verses surrounding it, too?) of the second chapter (Surah) of the Holy Quran, Surat al-Baqarah (The Chapter of the Cow).

In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful.
Allah! There is no God but He,
the Living, the Self-subsisting, the Eternal.
No slumber can seize Him, nor sleep.
All things in heaven and earth are His.
Who could intercede in His presence without His permission?
He knows what appears in front of and behind His creatures.
Nor can they encompass any knowledge of Him except what he wills.
His throne extends over the heavens and the earth,
and He feels no fatigue in guarding and preserving them,
for He is the Highest and Most Exalted.

One who recites Ayatul Kursi every morning will be in the protection, safety of Allah until the night.

For those of our dear ones who have passed away, recitation of Ayatul Kursi and giving it as Hadiya to them, gives them light (noor) in the grave.

Frequent recitation makes ones own death easy.

When leaving home, if one recites it once, the Almighty has one group of Angels to come and protect you. If recited twice, 2 groups of Angels are assigned to do this. If recited 3 times Allah tells the Angels not to worry as the Almighty himself takes care of him.

The Holy Prophet has said: If one recites Ayatul Kursi before going to sleep, Allah will send an Angel to come and look after you and protect you till the morning. His home, family and also neighbours will remain in safety until morning.

When one is alone in the home, recitation of Ayatul Kursi and asking Allah to help will make you remain calm and you will not fear.

The Holy Prophet has said: When leaving home,if one recites Ayatul Kursi the Allah will send 70,000 Angels to do Istighfaar for him until he returns home, and upon his return Poverty will be removed from him.

One who recites it after every prayer, thier salaat will be accepted, they will remain in the safety of the Almighty and He will protect them.

Sunday, December 19, 2004

I thought of doing this, but don't know if I could handle a full day of nothing but LOTR



J.R.R. Tolkien was annoyed when his publishers refused to meld his fantasy epic, “Lord of the Rings,” into one huge book. Director Peter Jackson sympathizes. He thinks of his Oscarwinning adaptations of “Rings” as one huge movie — albeit one originally released with yearlong intermissions. The movies hit theaters in December 2001, 2002 and 2003 respectively.

To honor the intent of Tolkien and Jackson — and with no new “Rings” movie to keep me occupied — I decided to settle into my sofa and watch all three “Lord of the Rings” movies in succession.

We’re talking the extended versions, here, including the new “Return of the King,” which was released Dec. 14, just hours before my Middle-earth marathon began. The movie’s release marked the first time geeks like me could spend a full day in Middle-earth.

You could watch Disney’s “Sleeping Beauty” three times before the credits would roll for “Return of the King.” Put all three together, and you’ve got an 11-hour, 22-minute feature, which makes the 3-hour, 58-minute “Gone With the Wind” look like a throwaway lark in comparison.

Admittedly, I’m a fan of the “Rings” movies.

But 11 hours and 22 minutes? It’s enough to challenge even the hardiest of couch potatoes. Would the experience make me swear off the movies forever? Would it break my sanity? Would it make my feet grow big and hairy?

Should I stretch first?

Tuesday, 12:02 a.m.: I blearily weave into a local Media Play store to pick up my reserved copy of “Return of the King.”

I’m a latecomer.

According to a Media Play official, at least 10 copies were picked up and purchased in the 120 seconds before I arrived. About a half-dozen sweatshirted, 20-something guys are loitering in the store, gently caressing their blue “Return of the King” boxes. It might be my imagination, but one appears to be muttering “my precious” under his breath.

9:06 a.m.: I start “Fellowship of the Ring.”

9:30 a.m.: Less than 30 minutes into the first film, I realize I should’ve bought a bigger television for the marathon. Maybe I could’ve expensed it.

10:16 a.m.: I’ve been sitting for more than an hour. It’s hard work, and I need to keep up my strength. I grab a chocolate-chip cookie.

10:18 a.m.: Another cookie wouldn’t hurt.

10:25 a.m.: Saruman is hatching an army. Well, actually, he’s growing soldiers, plucking them out of the ground like huge, evil-looking carrots. The imagery makes me hungry, but two cookies is my limit.

11:34 a.m.: Poor ring-bearing Frodo. In the past hour, he’s been stabbed, skewered, held upside-down by a gigantic octopus and, just now, had to make a death-defying leap across the chasm of Ultimate Doom. C’mon, guys. At this rate, Frodo’s never going to make it through another nine hours.

11:36 a.m.: Take your King Kongs, your Godzillas, your T-Rexes. For my money, the most wicked-looking movie monster ever has got to be that horned, flaming Balrog.

12:10 p.m.: Does anyone else think it strange that, with so many natural wonders and ancient ruins in Middle-earth, no one ever runs into a park ranger?

12:30 p.m.: “Fellowship” is done, and I’m feeling just dandy. This movie-marathon thing is a snap. Now that I’ve lost feeling in my butt, I can go for days.

12:45 p.m.: I start “The Two Towers” and chow down my lunch — a plate of pizza rolls.

12:55 p.m.: Gollum — everybody’s favorite pale, anorexic, computer-generated character — shows up and starts making trouble with Frodo and his best bud, Sam Gamgee. You know what they say: Two’s company . . .

2:43 p.m.: All this stationary viewing is hard work. I wish I could take a walk. Maybe I will. Over to the cookie jar.

3:04 p.m.: My kingdom for a nap. Better yet, Peter Jackson’s kingdom for a nap.

3:30 p.m.: My youngest child is home from school. I nod in her general direction and ask her to fetch me a cookie.

3:35 p.m.: In watching these movies straight through, I’m getting a sense of deja-vu. I see a girl huddled in the caves below Helm’s Deep that, just hours before, was a little Hobbit at Bilbo’s birthday part. Is she an exchange student?

3:42 p.m.: Talking treethings are holding a meeting. One of them says “We never say anything unless it is worth taking a long time to say.” I betcha Peter Jackson has that line hanging up on his bulletin board somewhere.

4:24 p.m.: “The Two Towers” ends in gloomy fashion — fitting my mood. My head is throbbing, my tailbone is sore and I think I’ve eaten too many cookies. To top it off, I’m concerned the tree in my front yard might decide to walk off. Or worse, eat one of the neighbors.

4:37 p.m.: I start “Return of the King.” Only four hours, 11 minutes to go.

4:41 p.m.: It’s sad and moving to watch Frodo progress from a happy little Hobbit to a ring junkie. The transformation strikes me harder now, it seems.

5:30 p.m.: I know Minas Morgul is supposed to be the second-most evil place in all of Middle-earth. But that emerald green glow makes it look like the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas. I can almost hear the Orcs playing the slots inside.

5:39 p.m.: Hey, another battle! Imagine! Now, I have nothing against a little fabricated blood and death, but even I have my limits. In Middleearth, the leading cause of work absenteeism is beheading.

5:40 p.m.: The mountaintop beacons are lit. It’s probably the first time those beaconlighters have had anything to do in ages. Man, that’s a job I’d hate: Just sitting around, not doing anything, hour after hour . . .

6:11 p.m.: There’s that little girl again — only she’s in Minas Tirith! She’s no exchange student; she’s either an enemy spy or Peter Jackson’s granddaughter.

7:06 p.m.: That giant spider looks more realistic than some real spiders I’ve seen. Or is that just my 10 hours with these movies talking?

7:46 p.m.: Chaos breaks out among the enemy, and Orcs are beheading one another with abandon. One of them looks like Ron Artest.

7:51 p.m.: As much as I’ve liked these movies, I’ve always been disappointed that Sauron, embodiment of all evil, is really just a huge, bus-sized eyeball. It seems like Frodo could’ve saved everyone a lot of trouble — and me a lot of time — if he had just packed a BB gun.

8:11 p.m.: Oh, stop with the “No, Sam, I can’t recall the taste of water” shtick. Just climb to the top of Mount Doom already!

8:22 p.m.: Sam and Frodo take care of that pesky ring. Now they must endure another quest: meandering through the movie’s 16 endings.

8:49 p.m.: It’s really, truly “The End,” and thank goodness. I’m tired, cranky and headache-y, and I swear I’ll never eat another chocolatechip cookie again.

It (the marathon, not the cookie) was worth it. The films do carry more oomph when viewed together. The characters develop more fully, the story line progresses more coherently.

But I don’t plan on doing it again any time soon. At least not for another week or so.

Friday, December 17, 2004

Eric's Adventure - Especially for Carol!

More random silliness as I count down the minutes until Winter Break officially begins:
Eric's Adventure

Follow the link for an amazing adventure. :) Then if you want more, go to the Eric Conveys an Emotion Site on my sidebar.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Questionaire on a lot of my blog friends' blogs so I thought I'd join the fun:

WHAT COLOR ARE YOUR KITCHEN PLATES? white with light blue, and transparent, and white with green

2. WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING NOW? Nothing, I finished Istikhara and a Trek book, haven't started another

3. WHAT'S ON YOUR MOUSE PAD? at work it is a CSEA (union) pad with the union logo and here at home it is Wile e Coyote and the Road Runner

4. FAVOURITE BOARD GAME? This great early 80's game called Dark Tower!

5. FAVORITE MAGAZINE? At the newstand I might buy Discovery or Scientific American. I get Entertainment Magazine in the mail because I bought a DVD at this store one time and they automatically signed me up for a free subscription. But, I have to abashedly admit it is kind of a fun read.

6. FAVORITE SMELL? a good men's cologne, or freshly cut grass, or the smell after a clean rain.

7. LEAST FAVORITE SMELL? sour milk or something spoiled


9. FAVORITE COLOR? I like different colors for different things. I tend to like blues. I also like true reds. And I love ashgray t-shirts.

10. LEAST FAVORITE COLOR? Peach, or terra cotta on something that has no business being terra cotta.

11. HOW MANY RINGS BEFORE YOU ANSWER THE PHONE? I don't answer it unless I know who's calling, usually.

12. FUTURE CHILD'S NAME? I'm thinking 'Ali or Abdullah. For a girl I just don't know!

13. WHAT IS MOST IMPORTANT IN LIFE? To remember that it ends and then we are called to account.

14. CHOCOLATE OR VANILLA ICE-CREAM? definitely chocolate.



17. STORMS - COOL OR SCARY? They always scared me if they were loud when I was growing up. They still make me nervous, but sometimes they're beautiful.

18. WHAT TYPE WAS YOUR FIRST CAR? 1981 Oldsmobile Omega.

19. IF YOU COULD MEET ONE PERSON DEAD OR ALIVE? Fatima (as) or Khadija (ra)

20. FAVORITE DRINK? diet soda, soy milk, milk, water

21. WHAT IS YOUR BIRTHDAY? it is the day that I was born, of course. :) just playing (9/30/74)

22. DO YOU EAT THE STEMS OF BROCCOLI? Usually not. I'm not a big fan of broccoli, especially if it is cooked. I can eat it raw but I never want broccoli.

23. IF YOU COULD HAVE ANY JOB WHAT WOULD IT BE? I like teaching, but I'd give myself the ideal class and ideal school and ideal administration, etc. Or I'd get paid to teach online stuff or write online stuff that I would've done anyway.

24. IF YOU COULD HAVE ANY COLOR HAIR? I can, I just pick a different scarf! I saw this cool bright purple die at Sally's with my mom the other day for streaks. That'd be fun, but I don't want really want to mess with my hair, I'd go for something more realistic.


26. FAVORITE MOVIE? Bourne Identity, Thunderheart, LOTR trilogy, Zoolander,....

27. DO YOU TYPE WITH YOUR FINGERS ON THE RIGHT KEYS? yes. If you don't you seriously need to take a typing class! :)

28. THE BEACH OR THE MOUNTAINS? Mountains!!!!!

29. WHAT'S UNDER YOUR BED? A dresser. A few empty shoe boxes. Maybe a cat.

31. WHAT IS YOUR SINGLE BIGGEST FEAR? Punishment in the afterlife or in the grave

I kind of grabbed it off someone's blog, but all the friends who had it on their blogs are just that - great friends.

33. FAVORITE CD. I don't know.
34. FAVORITE TV SHOWS? CSI, Mythbusters, History Detectives, miscellaneous TLC/Discovery stuff

35. KETCHUP OR MUSTARD? definitely mustard

36. HAMBURGERS OR HOT DOGS? either. If I'm cooking it, halal hot dogs because it is easier. If I'm at a cook out and I can choose, then a halal hamburger sounds good right now.

37. FAVORITE SOFT DRINK? diet dr. pepper

39. THE BEST PLACES YOU HAVE EVER BEEN? Prophet's (saw) Mosque, and the Haram Mosque, British Columbia, and right here in my house.


41. BURGER KING OR MCDONALD'S? Neither. If they were halal and not on boycott lists, McDonald's. If I'm with my mom or brother and they're going, then Burger King for the veggie burger.


Sunday, December 12, 2004


From Principles of Upbringing by ibrahim Amini:

The Prophet of Islam (saw) said:
 “A generous person is closer to Allah’s creations and the Heaven. He is away from the Hell. The miserly person is away from Allah, His creations ( the men) and the Heaven. But he is closer to the Hell Fire." (al-mahajjatul bayda,v 3, p. 248)

Parents can make use of the following guidelines for cultivating the habits of generosity and magnanimity in their children:

1. Encourage the child to give a part of the things he has to the parents and his other siblings. The child must be suitably praised for the generous act and thanked. .In the beginning the child may be reluctant to part with his possession, but, by and by, he will get into the habit of being generous. When the child is reluctant for this experiment, he should not be forced into giving. This might make the child stubborn.

2. Sometimes encourage the child to allow other children to play with his toys. The child should also be encouraged to share his sweets and chocolates with other children. When he does it, give him a pat on his back.

3. Sometimes encourage him to give a part of his pocket money to the poor and the needy. Or ask him to spend some money for any good cause. If this becomes a habit, it would have a salutary effect on the character of the child as he grows up.

4. Ask the child to invite his friends home for a meal and see that he entertains them with care.

5. The parents can give some money to the child everyday to be given as alms or for some good cause.

6. Discuss with the child the difficulties and hardships of poor people. If possible take him along with you to the hospital, the orphanage and the home for the poor and aged. In his presence help some needy persons.

This way the child can be initiated into the habit of generosity. We, however, cannot claim that this method will work on all the children. The parents should make their best efforts and the success can differ from child to child. Every individual has his own nature and the capacity to accept change. For the children their habits also come as a genetic factor inherited from generation to generation. But careful breeding can definitely have some good effect.

A lady writes in a letter thus:

“…. At a pleasant place we had an orchard. Different varieties of fruits used to grow there in abundance. My Mom and Granny used to send some fruits to the needy. They were particularly generous to such of those needy persons who were serving our family. They used to entrust this task to me. From the age of six or seven years I got into the habit of doing this work. In the village there were families of two blind persons. My heart used to feel much for them. Every day when I visited them, I used to catch their hands, bring them out for some fresh air and take them back to their homes. .I used to bring fresh water for them from the lake. These blind men used to bless me and pray for me. When I told my Mom and Dad about this, they were very pleased. My mom said, one who has become blind is really deserving of all help.

My parents always used to encourage me for doing good deeds. I used to save from my pocket money and give to the needy. Slowly I got habituated of doing this. I am now a member of a social help organisation that is taking care of fourteen needy families.

My children too have taken good effect from my attitude. One day a child said,’ Give me some money every morning.’ I asked him, ‘ Why?’ he said, ‘ I shall save this money’ I give him the money regularly and remind him not to waste it. After some days he came to me with his treasure-trove. He had forty-eight coins in that. He said, ‘ Momif you permit me, I shall give the money to a blind person. He lives on the way to our school.’ I was very pleased with the child and I kissed and hugged him.”


Wednesday, December 01, 2004


Sharing a few things I've encountered in the past few days:

I am as My servant thinks I am.
I am with him when he makes mention of Me.
If he makes mention of Me to himself, I make mention
of him to Myself;
and if he makes mention of Me in an assembly, I make
mention of him in an assemble better than it.
And if he draws near to Me an arm's length, I draw
near to him a fathom's length.
And if he comes to Me walking, I go to him at speed.

- a Hadith Qudsi (from Allah swt)

Right of the Tongue:
What Corrupts The Tongue
Researches in ethics say that there is a cause of corruption for everything. The tongue is not an exception to this. Many things will corrupt it. At this point i will mention one of them
The Noble Prophet (sawa) said:

"You cannot attain full faith unless you quit verbal arguments even if you are right."
He also said:
"whoever knows he is right but quits arguing shall be given a residence in a high heavenly place.
Whoever knows that he is wrong and quits arguing shall be given a residence in a low heavenly place"
(From the book A divine perspective on Rights, Imam a-Sajjad, commented by
Ghodratullah Mashayekhi, pg72)

Also check out Ninhajaba's blog (link on my sidebar) - there have been great things going on there lately, masha'allah.