Archive for January, 2006

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The Real Tragedy

January 31, 2006

As we begin the month of Muharram, it is important to remember the true purpose of the sacrifice by Imam Husayn at Karbala. Karbala is not meant to be a tragedy. No doubt, it brings us tears and causes us to reflect on Allah, but if it only brings us tears with no action, are we truly grasping the correct message? If we are saddened by our dark past but continue to perpetrate the same vices that cloud our history, have we actually learned anything?

Imam Husayn did not fight because his right (the caliphate) had been taken from him. All of the Imams, before and after him, had their rights taken away by those in power. What was so different under Yazid? Imam Husayn (peace be upon him) could have given allegiance to Yazid as a form of taqiyya. Instead, he resisted. Why?

The answer is that rights of the community of Muslims were being violated. The rights of Allah over the people were being ignored. The rights of Allah’s house were being desecrated. More than anything else, the blood of a human being is sacred. It is not lawful to kill even an animal without Allah’s permission. So, how can anyone kill a human being?

That is the question that Muslims today must ask themselves. Every human being has unalienable rights that cannot be taken away, even by the highest scholars or the most decorated rulers. The tears we shed for Imam Husayn are declarations that certain things are right and certain things are wrong. Allah is just, and certain things cannot be reinterpreted or explained away through conjecture. Murder is wrong. Female mutilation is wrong. Nationalism is wrong. Racism is wrong. Lying is wrong. Hoarding of wealth at the expense of the poor is wrong. Oppression is wrong. Torture is wrong. Every person in any form of leadership (even over their own household), must uphold certain principles, and it is the responsibility of their followers and patrons to ensure that they do uphold them.

In this way, there should be a little Imam Husayn in all of us, fighting injustice and calling all people to return to the path of Allah.

As-salaamu Alayka Ya Waritha Muhammadin Rasoulullah, Ya Aba Abdallah il-Hussayn!

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Happenings

January 30, 2006

Photographers in Hawaii crawled through a lava tube to capture rare pictures of baby spiders riding on their mother’s back. This is never-seen-before footage. Check it out.
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Duas.org, which is a great site in its own right, has a particularly excellent page on Qunoot (the optional/recommended du’a said before or after ruku, depending on your school). It covers a series of Qur’anic ayaat that are commonly recited as supplications and details the significance of each. It adds significant depth and meaning to a very important ritual.
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Muslim Message was down all day today due to some incompetent system administrator goofing up PHP on the server. Actually, it wasn’t his fault, just a bad version of PHP.
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All this talk about Windows Vista just makes me chuckle. I don’t think people can truly appreciate software freedom until they’ve been removed from the whims of corporate software companies for a while. Then, to look back and read all about the things windows and mac users go through, is quite comical.

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Consolidating Blogs

January 29, 2006

I’ve decided to consolidate my blogs. I’m just having too much trouble trying to maintain all of them. You can read more about it here. As a result, I’ll be posting more technology-related and work-related posts on this blog, in addition to my normal personal posts. Insha’Allah, this will make things easier for me and anyone who happens to like reading what I write.

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Closing Down

January 29, 2006

I’ve decided to call it quits on this blog. It’s simply becoming too much work to keep this blog up and running while I have another, much more successful blog to maintain. I will keep this site open and post relevant news about the Lanterntorch.net organization, but all personal, technology-related, and work-related posts will move to my personal blog, LanternTorch.com (http://www.lanterntorch.com). I apologize for never getting the whole software thing going. Hopefully, I’ll have more time to do some stuff like that with less blogging on this blog.

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Group Thikr

January 28, 2006

I’ve been meaning to post this for several days. Now, I finally have a moment.

When I speak of “group thikr” I am essentially referring to three methods of remembering Allah:

1. Certain phrases that have been prescribed in the Qur’an and through the prophetic Sunnah (such as saying subhanAllah, alhamdulillah, Allahu akbar – – Glory to Allah, Praise be to Allah, God is the Greatest).

2. Reciting a du’a (supplication), such as Du’a Nur or Du’a Kumayl.

3. Reading the Qur’an

In order to be “group thikr” these activities should be performed in congregation (jama’ah) and should be recited audibly.

Unfortunately, some parties of Muslims have forbidden group thikr and even condemn it as as a reprehensible innovation (bid’a). My intent is to provide a few choice verses and narrations that prove its validity, without doubt.

Allah says in the Qur’an:

Those who believe in Allah and whose hearts are set at ease by the remembrance of Allah. Without doubt, remembrance of Allah (thikr Allah) will bring peace to your hearts. (Qur’an 13:28).

Then do you remember Me; I will remember you. Be grateful to Me; and reject not Faith. (Qur’an 2:152).

And remember your Lord much and glorify Him in the evening and the morning (Qur’an 4:41).

Except those who believe and do good and remember Allah much…(26:227)

Shaykh An-Nawawi, in Riyad us-Saliheen, relates the following hadith:

Abu Hurairah and Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri (May Allah be pleased with them) reported: The Messenger of Allah (May Allah bless him and grant him peace) said, “When a group of people assemble for the remembrance of Allah, the angels surround them (with their wings), (Allah’s) mercy envelops them, Sakinah, or tranquillity descends upon them and Allah makes a mention of them before those who are near Him.” [Muslim]. 1448

It is related from at-Tabarsi in Mishkat al-Anwar fi Ghurar al-Akhbar:

The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and grant him and his family peace) said:

“Whenever a group sits down to remember Allah, then a voice calls from heaven, ‘Stand up! For I have exchanged your wrong actions for good [ones], and I have forgiven you everthing.’ Whenever a number of the inhabitants of the earth sit down to remember Allah, a number of angels sit down with them.”

He (blessings and peace be upon him) also said, “Whenever a group of people remember Allah, angels circle around them, covering them with mercy; tranquility descends on them, and they make mention of those making remembrance of Allah amongst themselves.”

Imam Ja’far ibn Muhammad As-Sadiq (peace be upon him) was once asked who were the noblest of creation. He replied, “Those who remember Allah the most, and those who are most knowledgeable through their obedience to Him.”

We can see, from the above, both the merits of remembering Allah in general, and the specific merits of remembering Allah in groups. May Allah grant all of us such a rewarding opportunity.

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The Quartet Meme (Grrrr)

January 27, 2006

Wives shouldn’t be allowed to tag husbands, but here goes…

Four Jobs I’ve Had in My Life

1. Grocery Bagger at a Supermarket
2. Tuxedo Salesman
3. Computer Technician
4. Librarian (Media Specialist) — this is my current job and only one I’ve ever liked.

Four Movies I Could Watch Over and Over, and Have

1. Star Wars, episodes 4,5,6
2. The Last Dragon (Sho Nuff!)
3. Coming to America
4. I’m drawing a blank…no I really am…that’s not a movie.

Four places I’ve lived
1. Indianapolis
2. Terre Haute, IN
3. Oak Lawn, IL
4. Chicago Ridge, IL
(those are the only four places I’ve ever lived).

Four TV Shows I Love To Watch

1. Monk (all the time)
2. Any Star Trek
3. Andromeda
4. Stargate SG-1 (and Stargate Atlantis is growing on me).
See a pattern?

Four Places I Have Been On Vacation

1. Mexico
2. California (including Hollywood)
3. Florida (I fell into the ocean when I was six…almost drowned).
4. Tennessee (my favorite place).

Four Websites I Visit Daily

1. MuslimMessage.net
2. Slashdot (yeah, I’m a geek)
3. OverdueMedia.com (I read the comic strip).
4. IndyMedia

Four Favorite Foods

1. Chicken 1,000 ways…seriously, any kind of chicken, anytime…but it’s gotta be zabiha.
2. Sambusas…no not those Indian samosas..I’m talking about some serious Afrikan food!
3. Anything Persian, especially from Noon-o-Kabab in Chicago
4. Kifta Kabab

Four Places I Would Rather Be Right Now

1. Home
2. Malaysia
3. Noon-o-Kabab
4. Bed

Four people whom I tag next (let’s get some brothas involved):

1. Akram’s Razor
2. Planet Grenada
3. My dear friend, Aiman
4. Indigo Jo

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When weird things happen…

January 27, 2006

This has been quite a new year for LTNET. In the month of January, our server has been attacked at least 5 times. None of them brought the server down, but it was annoying. I’ll post more technical stuff at LTOS. I try to leave my “techie” stuff off of LTCOM because there wouldn’t be room for anything else.

In the meanwhile, I intended to post something about Group Thikr. A weird thing happened last night, and somehow that post is missing. I’m at work now, so, I don’t have my personal library (I really need to digitize it).

PRI’s “The World” has an interview with a political consultant to Hamas, talking about their victory in the recent Palestinian parliamentary elections. It is definitely worth it to lend your attentive ear. I think you’ll see that the prospects for peace have actually gotten better rather than worse.

Finally, it’s good to see that Sunni Sister is back and blogging, alhamdulillah.

Oh yeah, another thing. I have to work tomorrow (Saturday)! It’s for a good cause though, inshaAllah.