Reflections of a Muslim Mind

Reflections on Islam, Current Affairs, Politics, Books, Life in London and anything else of interest.

Friday, January 20, 2006

This blog has moved

Better functionality, better design and regular posts!

I'll no longer be posting here, find me at my new blog:

http://mkuk.wordpress.com

Salaams and duas

Monday, January 16, 2006

Learn to use an iPod at Selfridges - for just £65

I was stunned to read in the Guardian this morning that Selfridges are charging £65 for a 40 minute tutorial on how to use an iPod. I'm sorry but why pay over £100 for something if your not going to take the time to figure out how it works? Ask most males (I'm not sure about the female population) and they will tell you that the best part of getting a new gadget is actually figuring out how it actually works.

Selfridges have stated that the 40 minute tutorial will include: using iTunes, installing videos, creating playlists and downloading podcasts. All of the above are pretty easy to figure out.

I think its just all part of the lazy consumer driven culture we are now part of.

I urge anyone considering wasting £65 on this tutorial to instead donate it to a good cause.

Coming soon: 'Company charges £100 to switch on computer.'

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Bookshop rant

Go into any bookshop and head towards the relgion section. Look for Islam and what you will find is the usual slim selection of so called material about Islam, surely with the massive increase in interest about Islam, bookshops (especially the big chains like Waterstones, Books etc)could and and do have the budget to make quality books about Islam available to the public. There are now enough publishers that produce very high quality Islamic material (Islamic Texts Society, Fons Vitae, Starlatch, Alhambra Productions) surely material from these publishers are ripe for the main stream non muslim market.

I'm not sure if it is down to the bookshops themselves that quality Islamic material isn't stocked, maybe some of the publishers above should be pushing harder to get their books into the mainstream, non Muslim hands. The fact that quality Muslim publications such as Islamica & Emel are available in mainstream bookshops is proof that breaking into the mainstream is possible.

My second gripe is -- whay are the Qurans nearly always on the lower shelves near the feet of people? Surely someone must have pointed out to the bookshops that having a Quran that low is very disrespectful, in fact for any religious book to be down near a persons feet is disrespectful. Bookshops should be mindful to keep copies of the Quran and other sacred religious texts on a higher shelf to avoid causing offence.

Rant over!
Imperialist Devastation of Peoples and the Evils Done in our Names

By Manuel Valenzuela


"The world burns while we live lives of consumption and production, happy worker bees stuck in hour long commutes working most of our productive lives. We live in peace and harmony at home, distracted from reality by our television screens and movie theatres, by our lavish lifestyles and wasteful society. In the land of the individual the communality of peoples is an alien principle. Content, conformist and passive thanks to our nation of plenty, we care not for peoples outside our borders."
US Army its own worst enemy: British officer:

A senior British Army officer has written a scathing critique of the US Army and its performance in Iraq, accusing it of cultural ignorance, moralistic self-righteousness, unproductive micromanagement and unwarranted optimism.

Friday, January 06, 2006

From DeenPort, created by the webmaster and mad genius Sidi Omar Tufail. :-)

DeenPort lessons: Abdul Qâdir al-Jaylâni , His lineage, background and early years

Abdul Qâdir al-Jaylâni was one of the most prestigious offspring of the
Messenger of Allah, upon him be peace – a gem from the source of all
spiritual treasures. He descends from Hasan, the prophet’s grandson
through a lineage of scholars and saints. His grandfather, Abu
Abdullah al-Sumâi’ was renowned for his piety as was his mother,
Fatima and his aunt, Aysha. Miracles were attributed to all of them
and local people used to seek their supplications.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Email from Yemen - Shaykh Nuh visits Tarim

I received this email from my brother a few weeks back. One word, Beautiful:

Shaykh Nuh came to Tarim for about a week,it is the first time I've seen him.

Masha-Allah it was amazing,we had around 4-5 lessons with him. He is amazing, I was really affected by him, it was wonderful feeling seeing Shaykh Nuh and Habib Umar together, Habib Umar spoke about how he met Shaykh Nuh's grand shaykh, truly spiritual stuff, words cannot explain, you have to visit this place Insha-Allah.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Converting

I was talking to a Jewish colleague the other day and we somehow got onto the subject of conversion. This particular colleague asked me about how a person converted to Islam to which I replied that they take the declaration of faith (Shahada) and that when the person utters this with conviction then he/she becomes a Muslim. My colleague then informed me that a friend who wanted to convert to Judaism had to study for seven years before they could actually convert!

Although I can see some benefits in this, in particular the person becomes well versed in the religious rites and also obligations I couldn't help but feel that for some people having to study for seven years before actually converting might be too much and might actually stop the person from pursuing the conversion.

In Islam it is paramount that when a person feels that they are ready to take the Shahada then they take it as soon as possible because as Muslims we don't know when we might depart this temporal life so in essence every second counts. What I have also found is that converts (or reverts if you prefer) nearly always seem to be a lot more eager to learn and take their religious obligations a lot more seriously than those Muslims who in some respects take their religion for granted and are almost lethargic in upholding the obligations that are due from them. We only need to look at some of the outstanding shaykhs that are contributing so much to Islam in the west, people such as Shaykh Hamza Yusuf, Shaykh Nuh, Shaykh Abdul Hakim Murad and Imam Zaid Shakir, all of these outstanding figures were not born Muslim but embraced Islam and they are now all making a huge contribution to understanding and teaching Islam to western born Muslims and non Muslims.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Extremists 'hijack Islam's image'

Between March and August 2005 the survey team carried out more than 2,400 online interviews in Britain, France, Germany, the Netherlands and the US. Their findings included:

* Muslims rated lowest in overall favourability among various religious groups.

* Ignorance of and lack of empathy with Islam is widespread.

* The portrayal of Arabs and Muslims varies according to the type of media, "but it is typically stereotypical and negative, although improving especially in certain prestigious news organisations".

* TV documentaries and news are the most influential media in influencing feelings about Arab Muslims, followed by newspapers.

* Nearly three-quarters of respondents believe that the media depicts Arab Muslims and Islam accurately only half the time, not often or never.
 
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