Monthly Archives: October 2006

Never too old to act the fool

Halloween and the freaks are out…not that they weren’t before

Sightings today:

An old man in a Jason mask wielding a plastic chainsaw.  He was waving it in people’s faces as he walked down the street.  At one point he stopped in front of the plate glass window of H and R Block where a little old lady was sitting inside, and started waving it furiously up and down, mimicking sawing motions.  I wasn’t sure which one was closer to having a stroke – him for exerting himself so much or her for being scared witless.   It was amusing…I mean he finally gets to live out his fantasy of being a serial killer.  In broad daylight.  And people thought it was..ummm cute.

On the bus a guy with long straggly hair gives me a grin as I sit down.  Because I’m trying to practice being approachable I half-smile back and then immediately regret it.  He turns in his seat so he is facing me and proceeds to grin at me the entire bus ride all the while looking me up and down.  Because I was sitting his eyes weren’t getting very far down – in fact they rested way too often where he wasn’t welcome.  (Ahhh …so that’s where the long hijab comes in handy!!!).  Did I mention he was wearing a long flowy black cape?  All the way to his feet.  Very creepy.  This is why I do not make eye contact with people on the bus, or anywhere.  Forget approachable- I don’t think it’s for me.

But I need someone to answer me why it is considered completely normal for a grown-ass person to dress up like something the earth hurled out of its bowels, yet Muslim women are constantly harangued for wearing too many clothes.

The next person who comments on hijab or jilbab or niqab, I’m going to start stripping.  Seriously you want me to look like you?  Fine, tell me how many clothes I need to take off till you’re satisfied!  That’ll freak them out.  Or maybe not.  People are sick today.  Maybe I should just smack them.



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Take that Jack Straw !

You have to watch this clip of Iranian women graduating from Police School.

Who says you can’t function while wearing yards, and yards…and yards of fabric ?


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Defender of the Flag: In Memory of Alia Ansari
By Imam Zaid Shakir

This past Tuesday, Muslims celebrated ‘Id al-Fitr, one of Islam’s two
festivals. For me, it was a beautiful day that began with a truly warm
vibrant ‘Id gathering at the Zaytuna Institute. God afforded me a
opportunity to see friends who had been “missing in action,” to meet
enthusiastic new converts to the Islam, and to kiss so many babies I
like a politician. During that time, I was also able to break away from
gathering to visit the graves of some distinguished Muslims buried in a
nearby cemetery. Visiting the local Muslim cemetery on ‘Id day is a
I have been able to maintain since my earliest years in Islam. They
serve as
a solemn reminder that all of us have an appointment with the Angel of

I was blessed to stay at Zaytuna until the early afternoon when I
to attend a meeting at a local school, a reminder that we are in
America and
sometimes, despite our best efforts to clear our schedules on the day
of our
festivals, the requisites of our everyday duties intervene. After that
meeting, I was able to visit some of the Muslim families in the area.
All of
those visits filled my heart with awe at the simple dignity of ordinary
Muslims, many of whom are struggling valiantly to survive in this
cruel, always challenging and complicated society.

The last of those visits was to the family of Alia Ansari, the
Afghani-American mother of six who was gunned down in central Fremont
Thursday as she walked to pick up her children from school. The Ansari
family are everyday people—and, they are proud people. As I talked with
Alia’s husband, brothers, and cousins who were gathered in the family’s
humble apartment, it became clear to me that, most of all, they were
to be Ansaris, descendants of the companion of the Prophet Muhammad,
upon him, Abu Ayyub al-Ansari, and the great Muslim mystical sage,
Abdullah Ansari. In Afghan society, they are people who are identified
piety and they endeavor to live up to that identification, in their

Alia Ansari migrated from war-torn Afghanistan at the age of 17. When
father died shortly thereafter, she became a second parent to her
siblings. A life of hardship could not suppress her inner beauty,
most readily in an irrepressible smile. Her husband, Ahmadullah Ansari,
auto mechanic struggling to make ends meet for a family that includes
young children, five of them girls, spoke glowingly of Alia’s martyrdom
the place God has reserved for her in Heaven. Her story impressed on me
truth embodied in the words of a poet who said, “Be yourself beautiful,
you will find the world full of beauty.”

Her husband, contrary to the caricature of the vindictive, hateful,
Muslim, mentioned how the family did not wish her martyrdom be treated
as a
hate crime, because he did not want her death to be a source of
agitation in
the area’s large Muslim community. He also mentioned that the family
not want the murderer executed, because that would not bring his wife
His wife was a martyr, her place in Paradise secure—for him that was

His gentle voice was most emphatic when he mentioned that he did not
his wife’s death to be politicized. Rather, he wanted her spirit of
love and
reconciliation to prevail after her passing as it had during her life.
spoke of his desire that her funeral be a solemn service, where people
all faiths could gather to remind each other just how important it is
work to remove the pernicious stain of racial and religious hatred from
society lest it lead to ever deepening spirals of senseless violence.

As we sat on the floor of their sparsely furnished living room to eat a
of traditional Afghan food, our gathering was overseen by four walls
decorated with only an unframed picture of the Ka’aba, and a tapestry
Ayatu Kursi, the Qur’anic Verse of the Throne (2:255), printed on it.
Husband, brothers, and cousins gathered around to tell me more about
who Alia Ansari was. They spoke proudly of a deeply religious
individual who
embodied the true spirit of the “Ansar,” the Helpers. The original
were those Muslims in Medina who welcomed into their city and homes the
faithful believers who had migrated from Mecca, fleeing the persecution
that city’s population. The Qur’an mentions the spirit the Ansar
in the following terms:

As for those who had previously established homes [in Medina], having
adopted the faith; they show their love and affection to those who
to them [seeking refuge]. You will not find their hearts harboring any
desire for that given to those migrants; rather they give preference to
over themselves, even though they are themselves afflicted with
poverty. (59:9)

Alia was indeed a helper. In addition to her tireless and faithful
to her immediate family, she was constantly helping relatives and
many of whom themselves had recently migrated to this country from
native Afghanistan. Her brother, Humayun, remarked that she did the
work of
six people and never complained. A typical day might find her preparing
meals for the family, dropping the children to school, taking a
shopping, shuttling a newly-arrived relative to the immigration
watching a neighbor’s child, nursing a sick relative, or numerous other
tasks demanding the sacrifice of her time and energy.

Although never formally educated in Islam, she was a deeply devout and
spiritual individual. Her husband noted that she never missed a prayer.
quietly added that she would stand for voluntary prayer every night
she wept beseeching God to save her daughters from the ravages of the
violent, promiscuous youth culture of this country. Her deep
spirituality is
illustrated by the following incident. A few days before her demise,
told her husband that she had seen her deceased grandfather, an
well known for his righteousness, in a dream. The learned sage
that the end of her worldly struggles was near, and a resting place in
Paradise would soon be hers.

As a pious Muslim woman, she never left home without her hijab, the
traditional head scarf worn by Muslim women. She was proud of her
hijab. In
the aftermath of the attacks of September 11, 2001, some of her friends
relatives, afraid of reprisal attacks, took off their hijabs. Alia
encouraged them not to compromise their religion, especially when they
nothing to do with those crimes. As for herself, she told them that she
would never take off her hijab, even if someone put a gun to her head
demanding that she do so. Alia said that her hijab was her flag. She
not have known as she began the fateful walk to her children’s school
Thursday that her path would cross that of a lone gunman who in a
single act
of mindless violence would bring a close to a life of dedication and
service. She could not have known that her grandfather’s words were so
to fulfillment. She could not have known that she would soon die
her flag.

Among the believers are those who have been true to their covenant to
Among them are those who have given their lives, others patiently wait
turn, having never weakened in their resolve. (33:23)

Imam Zaid Shakir
Zaytuna Institute

The author requests that you share this article with non-Muslim friends

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A last glimpse of Ramadan before it goes

I am procrastinating but I couldn’t resist.  The pics are so beautiful -especially the one of the mosque in Bosnia.

Ramadan Slide Show

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Inna Lillahi Wa Inna Ilayhi Rajioon

Shaheed during the month of Ramadan.  May Allah have mercy on her family

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psycho – neuro – immunology (all together now!…)

The misery of midterms:

Up till 5am studying – M&Ms – Red Bull – Carrot Cake – Chinese food

Trying to understand psychoneuroimmunology …

Watching Safiyah weep over Greek philosophy …literally

Large lattes with an extra shot of espresso please – yes I said an extra shot…mind your own business.


Cat Stevens

The dilemma of wanting to go to bed at 5am but fajr doesn’t come in till 6am.  Swearing you will just close your eyes for a few minutes – waking up 5 hours later.

Ignoring all phone calls – it seems like everyone wants to get a hold of you when you are studying .

Running over to the University to print stuff out cause you have no printer cause every flippin printer you’ve bought in the last 4 years has lasted about 4 months .

Cat Power

Stocking up on chocolate (research says it aids memory)


I lost 10 pounds this Ramadan – I am in the proces of gaining it all back.

But at least I’ll get straight As !

Side Note:

Ramadan is just about over.  My last du’as of the month will be that I am given another opportunity to redeem myself.  Next year will be better – if I get a next year.

Eid Mubarak to everyone.  And peace.  And love. 

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One Word

One word….Midterms



Now that I’ve gotten that out, on to better things.  So while I am supposed to be studying I have managed to become addicted to youtube.  Don’t know how it happened.  I mean procrastinate?  Me?

Oh look the ohone is ringing.

Oh. My. Gawd.  I just answered the phone “O-hospital Bonjour!”  Sooooo embarassing.  The lady was like..”umm who did I call?”

I have officially lost my mind.

I have been compiling my favourites list on youtube …much Cat Stevens.  Check this out

Brilliant.  I can’t wait to get his new album.  Oh and I made a new discovery too.  I found out who Dawud Wharnsby was.  I had no clue who this guy was.  For years I heard people chattering on about him and I always kind of nodded my head like I knew who he was.  No clue.  And for some strange reason I got it into my head that he was Black.  I swear I just discovered he was White a month ago.  Anyways I love his music -I am a bonafide fan. Wooot!

Today at work my TL told me I couldn’t have my religious holiday off becasue we are in Canada and I should get over it.  Now I’m not known for my calm nature and even though it is Ramadan, I almost kicked him in the shin.  My fast  immediately went out the window as I proceeded to call him ” f*** ignorant ” and to get out of my face.  I wanted to throw something at his head.  Who says stuff like that?  I went to my boss and she was ultra ‘sympathetic’, probably cause she’s scared I’ll take it to Labou Relations and get his ass in trouble.  But I think I’d rather get the day off, rub it in his face and make his life a living hell for the rest of the year.   Idiot.

Gotta go study.


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