Month: April 2009

Life in Manchester: The Final Hours (I)

 

young and wild and fat

Came across this pic from my album, can’t believe that it has been three years since this pic was taken somewhere in Caingorm – you see every one has changed, their statuses (one is already a mother, two are process engineers, and the other two still badly immersed in dissertation), their physicals (generally, everyone is slimmer, except for you Kimah!) and the smiles…

You see the smiles?

Those were the smiles of  first year students starting to enjoy their lives abroad – and I guess all of us have grown much wiser since then. Lots of things happened along the way, and probably, if you asked for the same smiles – you could never have them re-produced. That is what life has done to us – all the loss of loved ones some of us faced, the difficulties forced to us, maturity gained and bigger responsibilities burdened on our shoulders…

All in all, I praised Allah for such lovely circle of friends, accepting me most of the time unconditionally (and yes, I do love you guys whether you are a sanguine who has an incomprehensible love for attention, a phlegmatic whom I have to use my full assertion to move, or a melancholy who thinks a little too much it’s annoying) – you kept me sheltered for four years, and sooner I am out wandering in the world, probably all by myself!

This is the melancholy side of me, in case you could not understand why today I turned sentimental.

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Sustainability: It Takes Two to Tango

…and it takes both you and the others to make the world a better place.

Came across this short film/commercial entitled Carbon Footprint while completing my dissertation. Though it does not at all relate to carbon footprint, it is still a good production, winning award(s) for this beautiful effort:

The second one is even more beautiful and, I’d say give a clearer image on how dirty and polluting and energy consuming our lives could be:

Madly in Love

No, this is not an entry that is due to the ‘Final Year Syndrome’ as my friends have always described it.

My after-prayer reading currently is this e-book I downloaded from http://www.tasawwuf.org/ – Love for Allah.

I haven’t read much, but I will put here some of the words that moved me – for the fact that things I wrote here in my blog, I tend to remember them better, and of course, hopefully these words give an impact to you too.

‘A famous commentator of Al Quran once summarised the commentary of the entire Quran in a single sentence:

Gain the pleasure of Allah through worship,

Gain the pleasure of Allah’s Messenger through following his sunnah,

Gain the pleasure of creation through serving them.

[How wise was this man]

For the mind, heart and sight, the first shaykh is ‘ishq (love). If there be not ‘ishq, then Shariah and deen become but idols of whimsical idea.

[True. Never lose sight of why we are fighting for things we fight. Out of sentiment or out of the love of Allah and His Pleasure? ~ a tazkirah for the cholerics!]

Love is the beginning; Love is the end; Love is everything;

Love is the branch; Love is the tree; Love is the flower. 

[I’m touched. Everything I do should be out of Love]

The first principle: Heart is always in love with someone.

The heart is the ocean of love; love is its act; Guard it a thousand ways; It will still fall in love.

[Gotta do self-check every now and then – who is it in your heart that you seek to please? Allah or some person or the society?]

That’s it for today. Banyak-banyak nanti susah nak hadam dan lekatkan kat otak untuk terjemah dalam peribadi.

p.s. I went to this discussion ‘Women and Religions’ – sort of discussing if being feminist allow us to be religious at the same time. Well, my brand of feminism is a part of my definition of being religious and a practising Muslim, so they don’t clash.

p.p.s I forgot that today is the Earth Day! Ouchh! So the resolution for this year’s Earth Day : Complete my ‘Carbon Footprinting of Ready-meals’ the best that I can.

p.p.p.s Siapa-siapa yang tak tengok lagi filem Che (Part One and Two) silalah tengok. Very inspiring. A number of websites allow you to watch this movie (streaming), just google it. Fine – I am yet to watch Sang Murabbi or Laskar Pelangi or whatever, but you don’t need the label ‘Islamic’ to derive something good from something, no?

Try again!

I love their previous video,’Charlie bits me!’ well, the world wide favourite too – but this one is lovable too!

What a great attitude their parents have nurtured in them:

‘If you are good at rolling over, you are good at walking!

That is what I call motivation!

Of Religious Knowledge: The Long and Winding Road

If I were to be given free time to kill, here’s what I think will be my ultimate first choice:

To go and attend religious classes on tafseer, the classical one and also listen to tasawwuf lectures from some notable shaykh.

Within branches of religious knowledge I have came to know, tafseer has always been my favourite, and tazkiyatunnafs, for a choleric, outwards and ‘just do it’ kind of person like me, is essential. You know you just need a consistent dose of that to keep your feet on the ground.

But why?

It is the safest route – I guess. Rather than squeezing your brain  studying modern and ‘secular’ knowledge which you probably never know whether it is wrong or right, it is always safer  to resort for something that require less of your intellectual effort – classical, traditional, somehow seem to have acquire the status of ‘never proven wrong’. All that you need to do is listen and agree. No confusion at all.

And that was what I did in my two months in Egypt. Attending lectures on classical texts every morning, Arabic classes in the afternoon, tafseer classes in the evening  – everyday for two months.

Yes, I was happy, but it was not satisfying. I have to say that, I am sorry.

To be a muqallid really seems to be safe a choice.

But then I come to this conclusion – the safest may not be the best.

You might have to challenge yourself to think – and given the correct intention, and some contigency plan in the case of serious confusion and possibilty of being led astray – I think it will be alright.

I know it will be alright.

It is of the same nature as the case of enjoining goodness and forbidding evil : you know you might be influenced if you go out there and face the evil world, but you still venture out because there is some goodness you can bring about.

In this case, probably here’s a simple example : you know there’s some bad things there in Richard Dawkins’ The God Delusion’ that might confuse you, but you still read it because somehow you know you can learn something from it.

Done.

p.s. I am feeling numb (and dumb) from my cough expectorants – in case this entry doesn’t make sense, just ignore it!

No Sex Please

This is really amazing. I have always thought that everything comes in pair. Or maybe, it was just me superficially interpreting the Quranic verses that say:

(Yaasin:36)- Glory be to the One, who created in pairs all things that the earth produces, as well as themselves, and other things they do not know. 

No, this entry has nothing to do with me being a so-called feminist or anything – though Women’s Week is starting tomorrow:

Feminism Rocks!

Feminism Rocks!

I am just plain amazed. Subhanallah.

An Amazonian ant has dispensed with sex and developed into an all-female species, researchers have found.

The ants reproduce via cloning – the queen ants copy themselves to produce genetically identical daughters.

This species – the first ever to be shown to reproduce entirely without sex – cultivates a garden of fungus, which also reproduces asexually.

 

No sex please

There are advantages to life without sex, Dr Himler explained.

“It avoids the energetic cost of producing males, and doubles the number of reproductive females produced each generation from 50% to 100% of the offspring.”

But combining genetic material in sexual reproduction gives future generations many more advantages.

“If we’re more diverse, we’re more resistant to parasites and disease,” explained Laurent Keller, an expert in social insects from the University of Lausanne.

“In a colony of clones, if one ant is susceptible to a parasite, they will all be susceptible. So if you’re asexual, you normally don’t last very long.

“But in ants we’re seeing more and more reports of unusual methods of reproduction,” added Professor Keller, who was not involved in this study.

Read further here.

*****

I love this!

I love this!

Events:

Monday:
12-2 – Wall of Shame – write your views (outside Students’ Union)
7.30pm – Open Media Documentary night – showing Lumo (Council Chambers)

Tuesday
1-2 Fairtrade Feminist Tshirt Making (Meeting Room 4)

Wednesday
2-4 – Women and Religion: Our Experiences. Discussions and lunch! (Meeting Room 4)

Thursday
5.30pm – The Riveters meeting (Advice Centre)
7pm – Feminist University Challenge (Samuel Alexander Lecture Theatre)

Friday
1pm – Women and Climate Change (outside union)
6pm – Critical Mass and Reclaim the parks (meet at central library)

Saturday
1pm – Museum Trip (meet at Whitworth Art Gallery)

All Week
‘This is what a feminist looks like’ board (outside library)
Feminism Rocks stall (students’ union)