Sunday, September 30, 2007

Karbala When Skies Wept Blood

This is a well made English documentary program! Please watch it!

19th Ramadan (tonight/tomorrow)

Munajat of Imam 'Ali (as)

Imam 'Ali - I wanted you to stay

The death of the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him occurred before dawn of Friday, the twenty-first of the month of Ramadan, in the year 40 A.H. He was a victim of the sword. Ibn Muljam al-Muradi, may God curse him, killed him at the mosque of Kufa, which he had come out to in order to wake the people for the dawn prayer on the night of the nineteenth of the month of Ramadan. He had been lying in wait for him from the beginning of the night. When he (the Commander of the faithful) passed by him while the latter was hiding his design by feigning sleep amid a group of people who were asleep, he (Ibn Muljam) sprang out and struck him on the top of his head with his sword which was poisoned. He lingered through the day of the nineteenth and the night and day of the twentieth and the first third of the night of the twenty-first. Then he, peace be on him, died a martyr and met his Lord, Most High, as one who has been wronged. He, peace be on him, knew of that before its time and he told the people of it before its time. His two sons, al- Hasan and al-Husayn, peace be on them, performed (the tasks) of washing him and shrouding him according to his bequest. Then they carried him to al-Ghari at Najaf in Kufa and they buried him there. They removed the traces of the place of his burial according to his bequest which was made about that to hath of them by him, because of what he, peace be on him, knew about the regime of the Umayyads (which would come) after him, and their hostile attitude towards him. (For he knew) the evil action and abuse to which they would be led by their wicked intentions if they had been able to know that (place). His grave, peace be on him, remained hidden until al-Sadiq Jafar b. Muhammad, peace be on them, pointed it out during the Abbasid regime. For he visited it when he came to visit Abu Ja'far (al-Mansur) while the latter was in al-Hira. Then the Shi'a knew of it and they began from that time to make visitation to his (grave), peace be on him and on his pure offspring.

On the day of his death he was 63 years of age.


Kitab al Irshad - Pages 1 - 6
The Book Of Guidance
By Shaykh al Mufid
Translated by I.K.A Howard

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Day 15 - funny animal video

Someone sent me this picture!

Tonight some friends of mine met me at Fargo's for dinner - they had a birthday card, decorations and cake for me. :)

Smart animals:

Talking Animals:

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Day 14

Tonight is my niece's 12th birthday. So, I'm breaking fast at my parents' house, where insha'allah the family will have dinner together and she'll get presents, etc. I may have to wait a bit to eat after everyone else. Mom's making alfredo noodles with some noodles that are gluten-free - I'm interested to see what they're like. I hope my niece enjoys everything; she's been going through a phase of angst the past several months. I just don't want anything bad to happen to her while she's figuring stuff out.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Systematic Omission of Islamic Knowledge in the West

Today I was reading the wikipedia article about the stone city of Petra in Jordan. You know, the one used in the Indiana Jones movie. I read the article and there was no mention whatsoever in it about the theory many have that Thamud, oft-mentioned in the Qur'an, is the same city. The only sources mentioned were Roman or Christian.

That reminded me of numerous Discovery Channel or History Channel shows about religion. There was a series I remember in particular that was about Abraham and other prophets. The show referred repeatedly to what Jewish sources and Christian sources said about Abraham but they did not mention what the Qur'an says about Abraham at all.

This leads to two conclusions: 1. People are aware that Islamic sources (in particular the Qur'an) has something important to offer on these topics but choose to ignore it because it doesn't say what they want it to say or they do not want to use Islamic sources because they do not want to bring to light anything to do with Islam.
Or, 2. Even scholars are woefully ignorant about a huge field of sources for their topics, those sources that come from Islam and Islamic sources.

Either way, it leaves me thoroughly annoyed and saddened.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Day 12

This is an episode of a kind of cute TV serial of the month of Ramadhan - with subtitles - from Malaysia. You can watch most of the series on Youtube, all with subtitles, although the early ones have only partial subtitles - educational and nice. (It does have typical TV music.)

Northwest Passage is open

BBC Video report

Day 11

American Ramadan (preview)

Saturday, September 22, 2007

The next Supercontinent

I find it interesting to imagine what this world would be like in the future or what it was like in the past.

One thing I always liked to imagine and wish I could see is to 'float' over a spot and see everything that ever happened there, or to witness events that answer questions of the past - such as witness the peopling of the Americas, climate changes over time, etc.

If such a world were to exist, its weather patterns would be completely different than ours - that inland sea would be interesting to see, wouldn't it?

Friday, September 21, 2007

The Equinox is Here! (On Sunday morning)

From infoplease:
In the language of science, an equinox is either of two points on the celestial sphere where the ecliptic and the celestial equator intersect. For the rest of us, it's one of two times a year when the sun crosses the equator, and the day and night are of approximately equal length.

At the autumnal equinox (Sept. 23, 2007, 5:51 A.M. EDT), the sun appears to cross the celestial equator, from north to south; this marks the beginning of autumn in the Northern Hemisphere.

The vernal equinox, also known as “the first point of Aries,” is the point at which the sun appears to cross the celestial equator from south to north. This occurs about March 21, marking the beginning of spring in the Northern Hemisphere.

On the date of either equinox, the sun is above the equator and night and day are of approximately equal length; the word equinox is often used to refer to either of these dates.

The equinoxes are not fixed points on the celestial sphere but move westward along the ecliptic, passing through all the constellations of the zodiac in 26,000 years. This motion is called the precession of the equinoxes. The vernal equinox is a reference point in the equatorial coordinate system. [My two cents: this is evidence to the ridiculousness of horoscopes, as the dates in which the sun is in a particular sign change over time and is not the same as when the astrology was created in the first place.]

More detailed information at wikipedia.

Happy Fall - my favorite season! I love the crisp air, brilliant night skies, first snow, cooler weather, nice smells and colors. And when I was a kid I was always excited about going back to school in the "fall". Further, my family has lots of fall birthdays.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Day 6

This is probably my favorite of the nightly dua'as of the month of Ramadhan:

In the name of Allah the Beneficent the Merciful.

O Allah bless Muhammad and the family of Muhammad.

O Allah, gladden the people of the graves,

O Allah, enrich every poor person,

O Allah, satisfy every hungry one,

O Allah, clothe every unclothed one,

O Allah, help every debtor pay his debts,

O Allah, relieve every distressed one,

O Allah, return every traveller (to his home),

O Allah release every prisoner,

O Allah, correct every wrong in the affairs of the Muslims,

O Allah, cure every sick one,

O Allah, ease our poverty by Your wealth,

O Allah, change our evil state to a good one

through Your excellent state,

O Allah, relieve us of our debts, and help us against poverty,

Surely You have power over all things.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

5th day - intention/sincerity


At the advent of the holy month of Ramadhan, The Holy Prophet (saww) delivered a sermon in which he (saww) said to the Muslims:

“O People! Verily the month of Allah has come to you with blessings, mercy and forgiveness. It is a month that is considered by Allah as the best of all months; its days are best of all days; its nights are best of all nights; and its hours are best of all hours. It is a month in which you have been invited to become guests of Allah and you have been made in it the favourites of Allah. Your breaths in this month are counted as glorifications (of God); your sleep is considered as worship; your (good) actions in it are accepted; and your invocations therein are sanctioned…”

At the end of this sermon, Imam ‘Ali bin Abi Talib (a.s.) asked, “O Prophet of Allah! What is the best deed one can perform in this month?” The Holy Prophet (saww) replied, “O Abul-Hasan! The best deed in this month is to become cautious (and safeguard) against forbidden things”. (Meezan al-Hikmah)

In order to derive maximum spiritual benefit from any good action that we perform in compliance with the commands of Allah (SWT), the most important thing that is required is ‘Ikhlaas al-Niyyah’ which means ‘purity and sincerity of intention’. Our intention of those deeds should be clearly for the sake of Allah (SWT). This means that we should not be fasting in this month only because we have to, or we should not engage ourselves in extra prayers simply because everyone else does so, rather we should ensure that our every good act should be for the sake of Allah (SWT). This indeed is what Allah (SWT) wants from us and this indeed is what will please Him.

“Verily We have sent down the book to you with truth; so worship Allah and be sincere to Him in religion”. (39:2)

“Say (O Muhammad): I am commanded to worship Allah, sincerely devoted to Him in religion”. (32:11)

The Holy Prophet (saww) said, “Perform your deeds purely for Allah, for verily Allah does not accept (the deeds) except from the one who sincerely performs for His sake”. (Kanzul-‘Ummaal)

One of the obligatory acts of the holy month of Ramadhan is to fast – which means to abstain from certain things from dawn to dusk. The question is why has Allah (SWT) commanded us to abstain from all those things?

In reality, if we careful reflect, the things that we have been commanded to abstain from in the month of Ramadhan are the same things that usually hinder us from getting closer to Allah (SWT). By making us abstain from them, Allah (SWT), with His Mercy, is actually training us to become sincere to Him thereby getting closer to Him and earning His pleasure.

Prophet Musa (a.s.) once asked Allah (SWT) to show him a creature of His who had purified himself for His worship and was unpolluted in his obedience towards Him. Musa (a.s.) was instructed to go to the shores of a certain sea where he would see what he desired for. Musa (a.s.) did as instructed and observed that on a branch of a tree that drooped over the water, sat a bird engrossed in remembrance of Allah (SWT). The bird said to Prophet Musa (a.s.), “From the time Allah has created me, I have been on this branch engrossed in the remembrance of Allah and His worship..” When Musa (a.s.) asked the bird if it desired any thing from this world, the bird said that it yearned to taste a drop of water from the sea. Musa (a.s.) exclaimed, “But there does not exist a great distance between your beak and the water! Why don’t you dip your beak and drink it?” Thereupon the bird replied, “Out of fear lest the enjoyment derived from the water should make me heedless of the pleasure of the remembrance of my Lord”. Musa (a.s.) clasped his head in astonishment. (Khazeenatul-Jawahir)

Imam ‘Ali (a.s.) has said, “Allah (SWT) has made obligatory… the fasting to test the sincerity of the creatures”. (Nahjul-Balaghah)

Mulla Mujahidali Sheriff (from

Saturday, September 15, 2007

3rd day

A traveler once came to the mosque to see the Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam). After greeting the prophet, he was asked where he was from. The traveller replied that he came from very far just to get a few questions answered.

Following is the dialogue between the traveller and our beloved Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam).

Traveler: I do not want adha’b (punishments) to be written in my account.
Prophet (S.A.W.): Behave well with your parents.

Traveler: I want to be known amongst people as an intelligent person.
Prophet (S.A.W.): Fear Allah (Jalla Jala’l), always.

Traveler: I want to be counted amongst Allah’s favourites.
Prophet (S.A.W.): Recite quran every morning and evening.

Traveler: I want my heart to always be enlightened. (Roshan and Munawer)
Prophet (S.A.W.): Never forget death.

Traveler: I never want to be away from Allah’s blessin
Prophet (S.A.W.): Always treat fellow creatures well.

Traveler: I never want to be harmed by my enemies.
Prophet (S.A.W.): Always have faith in only Allah.

Traveler: I never want to be humiliated.
Prophet (S.A.W.): Be careful of your actions.

Traveler: I wish to live long.
Prophet (S.A.W.): Always do sile rahm. (Goodness towards blood Relations)

Traveler: I want my sustenance to increase.
Prophet (S.A.W.): Always be in wudhoo.

Traveler: I wish to stay free of adha’b in the grave.
Prophet (S.A.W.): Always wear pure (paak) clothes.

Traveler: I never want to be burned in hell.
Prophet (S.A.W.): Control your eyes and tongue.

Traveler: How do I get my sins forgiven?
Prophet (S.A.W.): Always ask forgiveness from Allah with a lot of humility.

Traveler: I want people to respect me always.
Prophet (S.A.W.): Never extend your hands of need at people.

Traveler: I want to always be honoured.
Prophet (S.A.W.): Never humiliate or put down anyone.

Traveler: I don’t want to be squeezed by fishare qabr. (Squeezing in the grave)
Prophet (S.A.W.): Recite surat el Mulk (The Dominion) often.

Traveler: I want my wealth to increase.
Prophet (S.A.W.): Recite surat el Waqiah (The Inevitable) every night.

Traveler: I want to be safe and at peace on Day of Judgment.
Prophet (S.A.W.): Do zikr (Praises) of Allah from dusk to night.

Traveler: I want to be in full attention and concentration during prayers.
Prophet (S.A.W.): Always do wudhoo with concentration and attention.