Archive for November, 2008


The Obama Administration

November 20, 2008

All hail his majesty, the Sultan Barack Hussein Obama II.  :)Sorry, I couldn’t resist.  His name just sounds like a 12th century Muslim African sultan. 

In all seriousness, I believe it to be a monumental achievement for a man of color to reach the White House.  He climbed up the backs of many African Americans (and others as well) who have struggled for equal rights for all people in this country.  It is inspirational to so many youth who have been told that they can’t reach their dreams.  Well, my children, rest assured, you can.

Now, however, the business begins.  Like any president, Obama has to put his words into action.  He is a fallible man who will make plenty of mistakes, but my hope is that, unlike Bush, he will learn from them, listen to the people he serves, and make himself and the country better.

I’ve always believed in the power of people to make a difference.  Bush did not drag the American people into two wars.  We let him do it.  He did not care about opinion poles or protesters, and we, the American people, allowed him to continue in his deviance.

My hope, to use Obama’s own favorite word, is that he is someone who will listen to the people, who will not beat the drums of war when the people prefer the melody of peace.  That is my hope for change.  It is up to you, President-Elect Obama, to make the dreams of Americans a reality.


The Intellect

November 8, 2008


It has been related that the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said:

created the intellect from a stored-up light which was hidden within
His fore-knowledge, and neither emissary, prophet nor high-ranking
angel has seen it. Then He made knowledge its ‘self’, understanding its
spirit, abstension (zuhd) its head, modesty (haya’) its eyes, wisdom its tongue, compassion (ra`fah) its purpose, and mercy its heart.

Then he filled and strengthened it with ten things: certainty, faith, truthfulness, tranquility (sakinah), sincerity, kindness (rifq) generosity (`atiyyah), contentment (qunu`), submission (taslim), and patience.

Thereupon He spoke to it saying, “Go back,” and it went back; “Come
forward,” and it came forward; then, “Speak!” and it replied, “Praise
belongs to Allah, Who has neither enemy nor rival, to Whom there is no
likeness, no comparison, and no equal, before Whose might everything is
submissive and humbled.”

Then the Lord said, “By My power and
splendor, never have I created anything finer than you, nor anything
more submissive to Me than you, and nothing more noble than you; by you
My unity is affirmed, by you I am worshiped, by you I am called upon in
prayer; hope is placed in Me through you; I am desired through you; by
you I am feared, by you is the reward, and by you the punishment.”

Mishkat al-Anwar


My voting experience

November 4, 2008

I woke up at five, hurriedly made my lunch and gathered my things.  I did most of my preparation the night before so that I’d be ready to go by 5:30.  The polls opened at 6, and I figured I’d need to get there early in order to vote on time and still make it to work by 8:30.

Sure enough, when I arrived, in the cold, in complete darkness, there was already a line formed outside of about 60 people.  I stepped up behind a friendly couple and waited.  Everyone there was excited and upbeat.  No one complained about the cold or the wait.  It was as if everyone had a purpose, a mission to make something positive happen.

As we gradually moved into the building when the doors opened at 6, it was clear that the line would move pretty quickly.  They had 6 booths set up in the gymnasium of our community center.  I live in a predominantly African American area, and to see so many faces of color exercising their right to self govern this country was sight to behold.

At one point, we all paused at the sound of the vote-counting machine giving a loud beep, kind of like a microwave.  A woman stuck her ballot into the machine again, and it beeped a second time.  More people who had finished voting formed a line behind her, and a volunteer quickly got on his mobile phone to ask someone, apparently an expert on the machines, what to do.  After a few minutes, the situation was resolved and voting resumed.

By 7:00 I was finished and extremely tired.  I prayed salatul-Fajr and headed to work.  There was no point in returning home.  I stopped at a store to pick up some donuts and orange juice, and even the cashier and other customers were so upbeat and enthusiastic about voting.

The overall experience made feel like I was a part of something important.  I only pray that the votes are counted without hassle and that history is made.  More than anything, I’m hoping my first voting experience is not my last.


Jim Brown's new job

November 2, 2008

The following is only my poor attempt at humor.

Jim Brown and Abdul Mahmoud Mohammed

We always knew that Jim Brown had multiple talents: playing football, acting, er…um… diplomacy?  Apparently he has been masquerading as Sudan’s ambassador to the United Nations.  Take a look at the photos.