Ramadaniyat (IIIV)

My grandmother raised me almost as soon as I was born since my mom was too young when she had me, and my next in line sibling came right after, and naturally my mom could not handle both of us. And, although my grandmother was an illiterate person, she was a very intelligent person due to the fact that she was raised in an intellectual environment, where her father was a doctor of medicine as well as a poet with several published books; yet, all his poems were about love in the context of religion. And that was the main reason for her to be a devout person practicing her belief with love and not fear.
My first encounter with religion was through her; she used to recite a verse or tow from her father’s poems, which she knew by heart, whenever I asked about any issue concerning my belief. Yet; they did not divert from the original line of thought.
My mother, on the other hand, although literate, was less religious at the time, and perceived her believes through “good” and “bad”, “permitted” and “taboo”, “heaven” and “hell” and so on.
Being exposed to the different approaches of preaching created in me a natural debating mentality, which started with me rather early, and was mostly palpable in later years of schooling. This got me into a lot of troubles with others. And slowly I withdrew from questioning and took whatever suited me to form my belief within the context of Islam, and discarded what didn’t.
But, as I grew older, and was exposed to different beliefs and religions, I started looking into these beliefs with open mentality but secretively questioning my belief.

The above introduction was only an entrance to the subject of this post; Debate.
Why is debate considered a taboo in one’s belief? And why does the society detest these debates?

A belief, in my opinion, is not just a set of recitations that one acquires under the umbrella of his religion. No, it should not be public. A belief should be a private matter concerning each person alone. And to get a belief; one should question, research, debate; one should also research alternatives with open mind.

Most religious debaters though engulf themselves within the boundaries of their religion, that’s if they permit debate in the first place. And as a result; their answers to questions become repetitive and lengthy, dealing with words more that the issue itself, outlining other people’s thoughts instead of their own. This creates a mentality of which I dub here as being Static. Static mentalities do not allow any divergence from the dogma and the mere divergence from it causes tension that might lead to accusing others of being infidels. Moreover, static mentalities get frustrated when there are no set answers to certain questions, so they fight the debate itself for the fear that it could lead to infidelity.
Yet; debate should not be taken as just a show off of one’s religion, debate should be taken as a tool to reach a belief. Like a puzzle, one works around it, and then says; aha… this must be the most logical answer.
Many philosophers used debate to reach answers, and except for very few; religious philosophers, especially Moslems, used the debate to ornate points that are already existent in the context of their religion, instead of questioning the validity of these points. And the result is not the answer to these questions, rather; a glorification of these points for the intellectual Muslims who seek ready-made answers. That’s why most Moslem philosophers who took a different approach, got either killed or expelled from their societies.
An example of that is women’s basic rights according to Islam; if one already takes his beliefs as dogma, then one does not have to think much about it, there are many ready-made answers to that. Yet, if he wants to prove it, at least to himself, he would run into difficulties, since what he would reach at the end is a mystery if not disbelief. And to lighten this annoying issue from his chest; he’d probably blame it on the clerics who interpreted his religion instead of admitting that it’s a weakness within his religion.

Yeah… go ahead… blame it on the moon

The Closing Message

Delicately, elegantly, exuberantly written words
With ornamented tang dagger stabbed right in the core
Although I knew from before they were coming
The truth was shockingly numbing

Remember that morning when you said no?
Like an open book I read you
In all those years you never said no
You’re not the only one who could read faces, you know

But you scribbled the book
Mocked my illiteracy
Shuffled my doubts
And I trusted you

I’m not the one who threw it all away
I lived on the pages of the meeting day
Touched your silhouette on the settee
And like the cabernet, I waited

Yes, I’m angry with myself
I thought you never lied to me like I never lied to you
You knew I’d understand
Don’t I always do?

“Good luck” is the only reply to your message
For I’m much more worthy than just a message
Be it a fancy message
Be it your message

Ramadaniyat (III)

Dr. Emoto, a Buddhist Japanese academic, spent more than a decade in researching water and the effect of the surroundings on it. He has proved in laboratory research that water crystals are affected by music, words and writings. Positive words make the hexagon water crystal appear like precious Jewels under the microscope. While negative words can distort the shape that even the hexagonal shape is destroyed.
I watched his magnificent documentary “Massage in Water” about six months back and it made me re-evaluate many things I believed in, or did not believe in before.
In this post I only want to highlight one thing in his research; he believes that people can actually heal ailments through reciting positive words in a glass of water, which is then to be consumed by the sick person.

Doesn’t that remind you of something?

How many times your mom read verses of Quran in a glass of water and asked you to drink it when you were sick?
And how many Moslems have gone to Mullas who read Quran verses in a glass of water to cure their illness?

I for one never believed in such stuff, but to prove in laboratory? What do I know?

The thing is that many Moslems believe that it’s the words of Quran that did the trick, and this is its miracle. But the truth is; positive energy that one emits is the curing factor regardless of what one reads, or otherwise a Buddhist who doesn’t know anything about Quran can never do that.

Now let’s go a bit deeper into that; is it really the words that cause such a change in water crystals, or is it the intention behind the words?

As we know the major mass of human body consists of water, and on that account, we do not need to drink sacred water to feel better; words like “Peace”, ”Love”, “Harmony”, “construction”, “heaven” and “Success” immediately bring a surge of relief. On the other hand; words like ”war”, “hate”, “tension”, “destruction”, “hell”, and “failure” bring ill feelings. Same thing with music, and that’s why it was said that music heals the soul. Why is that though? Is it the words themselves that cause such feeling? Or is it our response to these words?

Most Moslems say that when they read Quran they immediately feel better. But is it the words that they read that brings them this feeling? A lot of non-Arab Moslems hardly know the meaning of these words, yet the affect is the same. Arab non-Moslems, on the other hand, do not get this feeling of relief when they listen to Quran. Couldn’t it be the preset Moslem mentalities that are associated with Quran that brings them this feeling and not the verses in Quran as we were led to believe?

Same thing goes when visiting sacred places and the feelings it brings, I remember the first time I went to 3omra and saw Kaba, my feet trembled to a point that it hardly could carry my weight.

How about evil eye?

Ramadaniyat (II)

Two days ago, I was turning the channels to see what’s going on with Ramadan programs on TV, and accidentally I switched to Alhurra and there was this interview with a Yamani Academic by the name of D.Ilham Mani3 in a debate with a cleric from Alazhar ( forgot his name). The interview in general was about how women are unjustly treated in Islamic societies.

Dr. Ilham; like many other Moslems believes that the problem with Islam is not religion itself, but rather the clerics who misled Moslems throughout the years.

Is it really?

I for one disagree with her and believe that the problem is not in the interpretation of religion; rather; it’s in the core of religion. But this is another issue that I might address in other Ramadaniyat post.

She believes for instance that covering the head (7ijab) is not a dogma (thawabit) but a debating issue ( masa2il khilafiya). She also says that women don’t have to cover their heads while praying. This I agree with 100% and I have posted about it before here

Now the issue that really took me by surprise was the fact that she believes that women can perform all the practices of her faith including praying while she has her period!!!!!
Now that was news to me, but come to think of it, why not?

Human body consist more than 70% of its weight of water in the form of blood. And it circulates all over the body. This blood carries nutrients to each cell activating it to perform its duty.

Now what happens in women’s body each month?

In each cycle the womb is preparing itself with nutrients in the form of blood to house and nourish the fetus if it gets to be formed. This blood differs from the blood in other parts of the body by being more pure from the toxics; it naturally gets filtered for the safety of the fetus.

Now if someone has a cut in his hand and puts a band-aid to stop the leaking, can’t he resume his prayer?
If yes, then can’t women insert a tampon and resume their prayers?

Yoga

Let’s do some yoga 😀

Change is Refreshing

September to me was the month of drastic changes;

The first change  was to transfer from my IBM ThinkPad to 17 inch Apple MacBook Pro, I got this laptop back in May through the Net, but being blank-headed in Apple technology on one hand, and busy with the orange movement on the other (excuses, excuses), I did not try to use it properly, or may be I was too scared of change, so it lay down as a nice accessory in my bedroom, using it once and a while to watch my DVD’s in bed with it’s cute little remote control. But that made me feel guilty, I had to make time and gather courage. But when I finally did at the beginning of this month, I ran into different problems when I tried to connect to the Net.
I thought at the beginning that the problem was with my novice trials to use the Mac (which was true in a way). But Mac is very prompt in providing step-by-step directions of use as if aiding a blind. So I resigned to the fact that I’m not a Mac person and went ahead and loaded 30% of the Mac memory with Windows XP operating system. But that was a stupid move, why did I pay so much for Mac if I wasn’t going to use its facilities.
 Anyway; I realized that the problem was neither with Mac instructions nor the Net, but rather with my left brain cells that were hooked to Windows. And now that I released myself from my addiction to Windows, I find Mac to be much easier to deal with than I thought, and even friendlier than IBM and its windows. The resolution is superb and it feels like a jump from earth to the Milky Way galaxy.
All I need to do now is to uninstall windows since it’s slowing down process operations, install Microsoft office since the one I have is only a trial version, and engrave the keyboard with Arabic letters and I’ll be set and ready for a complete transformation.
And boy I’m loving my new toy 😀

The second change was the host of my blog. Blogspot has many limitations, and if you are an ambitious freak like me, wanting to work around your template, making constant changes here and there when your HTML IQ is equivalent to almost zilch, then forget it. You either learn HTML which I’m too rusted to do, or just depend on others to make the changes and I hate to do that.
But when the beta version of blogspot came out with loads of promises, I thought; ah.. now I can solve all my problems, especially with categorization which I needed the most. And like diving in the sea blindfolded, I jumped into it without hesitation, only to find out that beta is still at a testing stage and its problems are immense.

بس بعد شنو, بعد خراب بغداد!!!

My frustration with beta amounted to a point that I decided to discard the whole blog all together and switch to WordPress (call me a traitor if you may) since it does not require being a nerd in HTML, and more suitable for “ Blogging for Dummies” like me. Why take the hard route in life if you have the option for an easier way out?
Easy way out?????

هوه دخول الحمام زي خروجه!!!

First WordPress does not have the facility to import my files that were transferred to beta version, at least not yet, although they promised to add it soon. Second; blogspot is a selfish, nasty kid that only recognizes other bloggers that are registered in its domain, and unless other blogspot bloggers enable options like “other” or “anonymous” I won’t be able to comment on their blogs easily. So you can imagine the hassle I go through trying to post a comment on your blogs; I have to sign in, sign out then again sign in and sign out just to be able to leave a lousy comment on each and every blog I visit!
SO THE LEAST YOU CAN DO YOU BLOGSPOT GEEKS IS TO ENABLE THE OPTION “OTHER” ON YOUR BLOGS SO THAT PEOPLE LIKE ME CAN FEEL MORE WELCOME IN YOUR PREMISES, THAT’S IF YOU CARE FOR ME TO VISIT YOU  😛

Then the third change was my mobile; I have been a Nokia person for as long as I can remember, and if you know me, you would know how attached I am to my old stuff. I have used this mobile till it gave up on me and started having a mind of its own, when it’s in the mood; it would ring when someone calls, and send all messages simultaneously. And when it’s not; it just lists missed calls and late massages.
My dad knew that it would take a miracle for me to change my mobile, so he decided to do that miracle and got me Sony Ericsson (K800). The first thing that attracted me to this mobile and did the trick was the digital camera facilities it provides, and it tempted me like a magnet. The temptation was harder to resist even if that meant throwing away my dear old beloved Nokia.
Now I have to do some learning and readjusting to a new system altogether 😦

Will there be more changes?
Well, September is not over yet, and if there is, then I will throw the old me to the sea and embrace the wind of change, for nothing is more refreshing than the rejuvenating change. 

Ramadaniyat (I)

My dad asked me yesterday if I was going to fast this Ramadan and I said “NO”, my brother joined the conversation and said” sure”. Now I know my brother is a heavy smoker, and every Ramadan he fasts for a couple of days and pretends to be fasting the rest of the month, what I don’t understand is “why?” why should one lie? He could have said “I’ll do my best”, or “I’ll give it a shot” or even “I’m not sure” but why lie? Why pretend to be doing something when you’re not? Was he doing it to respect my dad’s feelings? And why should my dad’s feeling be hurt in the first place? Or was he trying to avoid the questions and the lectures that might follow? Each person is responsible for his actions and I think that my brother is a mature person that should bear the consequences of his actions.

Now this takes me to another question that arises when people find it strange to have ethics when you don’t believe in religion. Why should ethics always be franchised by religion? Can’t one have ethics without believing in religion?

And this again took me to another level; what is ethics? And when was it introduced and by who? Was it first introduced by monotheism? Ancient Greeks didn’t have a religion, or more accurately; they had a pagan religion, yet morals and ethics was part of their society, otherwise they wouldn’t have had a civilization. Even if those ethics change from one belief to another; or one society to another, there are certain universal ethics that are common in all beliefs; like lying, stealing or killing perhaps.

This reminded me of a blogger who asked me once” if you don’t believe in religion; then how can you raise your kids?” When I read the question I started singing “what’s love got to do, got to do with it?”

It is really amazing how people are one track minded in the sense that they think when you don’t believe in religion; you have no belief at all. Things like:

“هذي ما عندها دين. يبا هذي كافره”.

I think the word “kafra” or “infidel” is an insult by itself. It give the sense of absoluteness to certain beliefs on the account of the others, it carries a sense of biasness and prejudice Not believing in religion is a belief by itself. It might not be a common belief, but nevertheless; it’s a belief.

And talking about Ramadan; the very fact that I’m writing this post today might be outrageous for some; they may even take it as a personal insult to their beliefs, especially now that Ramadan is at the door. And although Ramadan is considered scared for most Moslems, yet, why should it be treated differently, faith is faith throughout the year, you either believe in what you are doing or you don’t.

Oh and expect more from me now that I have nothing to do but lie on my back and babble on the net

يعني فضيت لكم :p

Happy Ramadan ya’ll, and may it be an easy fasting experience to those who really fast, and don’t be surprised of my greetings, I respect your beliefs and expect you to respect mine.

Now one more question: what are the good Ramadan series ( mosalsalat) that deserve watching? And on which channels and what times? Mind you; I’m only interested in historical ones, thanks in advance 😀

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