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Purpose

I’m sorry, my friends, but at this point in my life I do not have the time to live as a muslim the way that I’d like.  This includes research, though thankfully not reflection.  The upside of lonliness is at least an interesting train of thought now and then.

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about purpose.  The purpose of my own life, lifestyle, choices, emotions, these kinds of things.   But when it comes to “religion” (perhaps as separate from “spirituality”), that much of what is taught in Islam are guidelines – like the food pyramid or the golden rule -which help give shape to life, but not define it.

This brings some negativity, in my mind, to people who focus their lives around Islam in an obsessive way.  At the moment I’m drawing parallels with anorexics.  The food pyramid, exercise, eating healthy – all of this is important and hard to maintain, especially in this country.  But when the only things that are important to a person are being “healthy” (or what have you), well, something seems out of line.   Like someone is focusing on the wrong thing entirely.

But then, what would the right “focus”, or purpose to life be?

Discuss.

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Wth?  Yes apparently Brigette Bardot is actively campaigning against Islam.  Just generally against the idea of us apparently. 

Apparently she’s already been cited 4 times, the heftiest fine being for a 2004 charge of “inciting racial hatred in a book.”  This new charge is for inciting racial hatred in a letter.  The lady is an avid proponent of the written word. 

I guess the message here is to watch out for former sex symbols.  With no one wanting to see them take their clothes off, they’ve started looking for other things to become their purpose in life.  A lot of them pick animal rights (another Bardot raison d’être, also see Pam Anderson), but a few become trendsetters in world of charity causes.  Some matchups that I’m waiting for:

~Bo Derek tackles peanut farming

~Sophia Loren battles dirt’s right to exist

~Ann Margaret lunges at the Amish

*Asiah*

It’s a common knee jerk reaction that birthdays in Islam = haraam.  In fact if you Google “birthdays Islam,” this is the first thing you get. 

So, many new converts, encouraged to go hardcore and do EVERYTHING in Islam the second they convert, choose to give up birthdays (along with Christmas, Halloween, nail polish, pork, music, movies, tv, their pet dog Muffy, their non-Muslim relatives (God forbid they die, b/c you ain’t going to Nana’s funeral now), Skittles, Starburst and every other questionably haraam candy, Crest toothpaste, rice crispy treats, photographs etc, etc, etc, omg the list goes on forever).

But wait.  How do we know birthdays are not “part of this matter of ours (i.e., Islam)?” Birthdays are a part of American culture, and American culture isn’t intrinsically haraam.

O mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that ye may know each other (not that ye may despise (each other).  (Q. 49:13) 

“In Islam, birthdays are not considered `eid (a festival) like `Eidul-Fitr or `Eidul-Adha, because `eidshave conditions and guidelines such as not being allowed to fast during the days of Eid. Therefore, birthdays are simply occasions of a person’s date of birth and are a matter of culture. If a person wants to commemorate his/her date of birth, then he/she may do so, especially if he/she takes the opportunity to reflect on the past and pledge to be better during the following year. However, to make the birthday an important occasion is not recommended or encouraged.” (From Islamonline, which abridged it from islamicity)

Still, many of my friends don’t believe in celebrating birthdays.  And that is their right and I applaud them for shedding one more part of the dunya.  I recognize my birthday.  I don’t know if I should have balloons and a party (presents and cake are always accepted, for any occasion).  I don’t know if I will throw my kids parties.  But recognizing that I was born on a certain day, that my mother labored on that day and brought me into this world, that Allah created me for this world:  that makes me thankful. 

The Prophet (saw) used to celebrate his birth by fasting.

Muslim reports on the authority of Qatadah Al-Ansari that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), was asked about fasting on Monday and he replied: “It is the day on which I was born and on which I received the Divine Revelation”.

And maybe that is a good example for us.  

Anyway, Happy Birthday Audra. 🙂

*Asiah*

P.S. Clowns are DEFINITELY haraam.  Just say no to clowns. 

Apparently it has become normal practice to start rating incendiary films based on their ability to rile up Muslims protest boringness of Dutch filmthe Muslim hoards.  Fitna, having failed to bring about the type of rioting, protesting, destruction, murder and mayhem that fellow Dutch projects Submission and the Muhammad cartoons brought about, was declared a flop.  “So far, the fallout has fallen flat.” 

Oh, too bad for Mr. Wilders.  No fame and fortune.  No death at the hands of a crackpot extremist.  Maybe next time?

The film sucked.  Watching it, I was actually bored.  I guess I should be enraged?  Nope.  Just bored.

Even Irshad Manji thinks Wilders is misguided.  But then again, I’ve never seen her support anyone or anything that doesn’t directly promote her or her book or her celebrity.

Should have posted this earlier, but eh.  Who cares?  Yawn. 

Additionally, this caught my eye.  Says Al-Saeed, “I made it in less than 24 hours.”  (Ooo burn to Geert!)

I guess it goes to show any religion can be edited to seem hateful.  Let’s all do videos!  I call the Amish! 

I mean seriously.  It wouldn’t take that long.

*Asiah*

Lately I’ve been noticing a conference calling trend within the Muslim community at large within the US.  This past Ramadan muslimmatters featured a call
with Sh. Yasir Qadhi and Sh. Birjas.  Baba Ali just held one this past March to promote his Ask Baba Ali series.  And I get emails daily from different Muslim groups using conference calls to get meetings done with members across the country – maybe even across the globe.

But my favorite is a small weekly conference call my friend started – a tele-halaqa, held each wednesday night.  The members are all over the country, have very little time.  But the tele-halaqa allows for us to have a meeting while some of us are in the car, stepping away from a social gathering, or even lying in bed in our pjs (I’m totally guilty of this one).  My friend uses Free Conference to set up the tele-halaqas.

Awesome idea.  Easy to start up your own.  No excuses – it’s free and you can meet anywhere.  Talk about Islam while you’re ironing or eating or getting ready for bed.

(Hint to Audra – I think we should so something like this to get you, me and Djordy together, what ya think?)

*Aasiyah*

From an article on the NYTimes website:
‘The parents, “want their girls safe at home and away from evil things like boys.”

enough said. But there’s more:

‘Hina Khan-Mukhtar decided to tutor her three sons at home and to send them to a small Muslim school cooperative established by some 15 Bay Area families for subjects like Arabic, science and carpentry. She made up her mind after visiting her oldest son’s prospective public school kindergarten, where each pupil had assembled a scrapbook titled “Why I Like Pigs.” Mrs. Khan-Mukhtar read with dismay what the children had written about the delicious taste of pork, barred by Islam. “I remembered at that age how important it was to fit in,” she said.’

Lol. “Ok Billy, why do you like pigs?”

“They taste delicious!”

Classic. And surprisingly anti-hippie for the Bay area.

Also, I think it’s important to point out that this whole article seems to revolve around Muslims homeschooling in California, which has one of THE WORST school systems in the US, especially in regards to public schools. And evidently the changes the Schwarzinator is pushing through are expected to push the educational system down to number 50, yes, dead LAST in the nation. Focus this article around any other state and maybe I might find the home schooling a little more unusual, but in this case it really just seems smart.

~Audra~

I wrote a blog about this and it got deleted. I’m still bitter about that, so this will be short.

Coworker asked me about this the other day. Almost a month later, I’m still not so sure why this would cause such a stir. In particular given that: “The policy only applies to one gym, a facility mainly used for intramurals. Because of its location at the edge of campus, it is the university’s least used gym…”

Ok, so…?

Also ridiculous, this gem from a Muslim student who doesn’t even use the school facilities to work out: “The majority should be willing to compromise…I think that’s just basic courtesy.”

Hmm, of course, the new democracy.

Yes, it’s a cool idea. Yes I would love Muslim women to have their own time in the gym. But I don’t really see the controversy since Curves has been making money from this idea for awhile. And really I’m sad since the article seems to infer that no women, Muslim or other are using these hours. Claim your space ladies!

But I have to throw in that I feel completely capable of working out in a coed gym in sharia-compliant clothing. Big shout out to my PSUMuslimah gym buddies who sweated it out together to get healthy (it is the sunnah btw).

It IS possible to be covered and work out at the same time. And not only is it possible, it’s down right American. I refer you to a classic:

Rocky is a muslim woman

 

~Asiyah~