Saturday, November 28, 2009

Bakra Eid/Eid ul Adha


Happy Eid Mubarak :)

The day was really nice, but as usual, sad in the beginning. Whenever our precious bakra (goat) is sacrificed, there is a fair amount of sadness in my heart (after all, you're just feeding it moments before, and then it's like... gone :S:S:S). But as usual, I have this further intense feeling of incredulity and increased respect/awe/reverence for Hazrat Ibrahim (May Allah be pleased with him), and HIS sacrifice... whose Sunnah we follow and celebrate Eid-ul-Adha every year.

I may have read about this sacrifice since I was a kid, and it was always a normal thing. Yeah, Hazrat Ibrahim, he passed many tests and the most important thing, he agreed to sacrifice his son, Hazrat Ismail you know. Simple. But eventually, this scenario has presented myself to me in newer ways, replete with so many more lessons in this act of worship that was performed by Hazrat Ibrahim. Some of the lessons are:

1. There is NOTHING, more important than Allah and His commands for a believer. Nothing. Not a thing. Not family, not relatives, not wealth. Nothing.

2. When a believer (a true one) is asked to do something, and he is convinced that this command is directly from Allah (like, in the case of prophets when they had dreams. In our case, whatever is ordained in the Holy Book etc), he/she does NOT use reasoning, logic, or any other human faculties in order to process that command and weigh it against the scales of reasonable/non-reasonable. And THEN obey. Nopes. The true believer will always act on that command, without any arguments, any selective reasoning, ANY line of logic.

3. This world's life will always be full of trials. There will be good parts, happy ones too. But a major portion will be trials, heavy ones. The believer is expected to expect them ... and er, accept them .. without the usual moan "why me?"... or "why always me?" or ... "How come my trials are always so difficult?" ... etc.

These lessons are important ones to remember. The key is...actually, to remember them, and somehow make use of this knowledge and the past incidents which are present in the Quran/hadith. All of them contain important lessons and reminders. Our job is to study the Quran Majeed in a manner that we realise each verse's importance, and apply it to our daily lives. I often wondered how come the Companions of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) used to take just ONE Ayah (verse) of the Holy Book and study it, and contemplate on it, apply it, implement it etc.. Why just one? And now I get it. My recent forrays into the meaning behind the Quran has made me realise that it's not a Book to be taken lightly by anybody. Not something just to be recited once during the month of Ramadan, and then forgotten for the rest of the year. This is THE Book of life.. :S You (and I) have to study it each day, a little or more, doesn't matter. But every day...and ponder upon its lessons.

Hope we become what we aspire to be Insha Allah. (me more than anybody else :S -- because I seem to have these lofty expectations, and somehow, always fall short of them).

So long :)

“A Race Against Fate”

In a race against fate, they struggle to contain
The light of truth from making gain after gain
Sitting in this cell, I can never complain
While countless other victims are sharing my pain

Victims of a regime that stands confused
Of what will befall it after all it has abused
Despite its claimed virtues over those it has accused
It nullifies its claim with the tactics it has used

They tortured one brother into a painful mess
Until his torture forced him to falsely confess
Life in Supermax for what he said under duress
Seems to be acceptable in the present-day U.S.

And our sister, our pearl, a cover-up gone wrong
Imprisoned by her captors for six years too long
Shot twice in the stomach and still remaining strong
Sleeps in a prison cell where pearls don’t belong

And the scientist, the doctor, the scholar with a plight
They claimed they got him because he urged others to fight
The truth is that he never spoke out of fright
And his persecutors wanted to extinguish his light

The examples are many, but this is just a taste
Of those whose suffering should not go to waste
To helping the oppressed, let us run in haste
It is towards this goal that true men have raced

And remove from yourself the shackles of fear
And make their agenda abundantly clear
With honor, let us defend what we hold dear
Our beliefs, and our brethren—we must start from here

Until when will our sons be dragged from their beds
To be handcuffed and kidnapped by invading Feds
Before our mothers can even cover their heads
It’s the new McCarthyism, and we are the Reds

If you speak out against this, you’re a ‘terrorist’
The black label reserved for those who resist
It doesn’t really matter how much you insist
That you’re no monster, they will always persist

In the deception they have managed to master so well
That only the fair-minded are able to tell
That this plan that could’ve only been hatched in Hell
Is for all who speak up to be thrown in a cell

They think they are ‘free,’ but they are truly constrained
The thirst for oppression leaves their humanity restrained
In the end, they will see that all they have gained
Is the attention of He who defense those they have chained…

Written by Tariq Mehanna who was arrested on October 21st, 2009 from his home in Boston, US. This poem was part of a letter he wrote to his friends from inside his cell -- this letter has been published in a website that has been developed byhis friends for rallying support for Tariq's freedom.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Life begins, life ends - and in between? (sigh)


Again, a death in the family today. Not very immediate, but close. It wasn't sudden. D Nana was ninety. I can't even imagine being ninety. He had multiple illnesses since the last few years, and now he had landed in hospital *heaves a big sigh* .. there, he was pretty okay till yesterday morning when he lost consciousness. Unfortunately, his son who came back from UK, found him unconscious. And even more unfortunately, this was his favourite son.

His funeral was today at zuhr prayers. Alhamdulillah everybody was talking about how lucky he turned out to be. I mean, imagine. 9th Zulhijja here, 10th in Saudia. Ayyam-e-Tashreeq, AND a Friday. I guess if I die on a day like this, I would be really lucky.

Masha Allah he was a nice person, pretty thankful for everything he had (despite his various ailments). But the sad part is: He had two sons, and both were abroad. Not that its a crime to leave your parents when they're like really old, but it's just sad a/c to me. And if it comes to me, I'll at least never choose this option. Being away from parents in their old age, when they need us the most. If you think about it, they never left ME when I was completely helpless, needing somebody to even make me burp! (can't imagine those times though - but they MUST have happened) :S

Khair. The cool part is that D Nana's grandson (son's son) was the one whose family lived with him, and they all kept him well-cared for, and they were the ones crying the hardest today. I really hope Allah Gives him an amazing place in the Jannat-ul-Firdous, and rewards abundantly those who went out of their way to take care of him.

Usually at funerals, I'm thinking about how one day I'll be where the dead body is and usually some things along these lines. Today, however, as I saw D Nana's daughters sitting and sobbing near him, and saying stuff like "Pappa, please forgive us for anything wrong we have done, Pappa Allah Hafiz" ... it was heart-rending. I can't imagine what they were going through : losing a Dad. It's unimaginable. It's a reality. But an unimaginable reality. And now come to think of it, what in heavens special time do I (the moron) spend with my own father. Usually it's something on the lines of academics and grades, but now even that has kinda fizzled out. Sometimes he narrates funny stories from his clinic and about his patients etc ... but what else? Nothing. Nothing in common :(

[sometimes I do secretly wish my dad was an engineer too.. it would have been cool]. Khair. I sure hope to improve here. And those of you who easily have long conversations with your dads.. I envy you. Keep it up :)

My last firm determination (Insha Allah) for today is that I really MUST get to know my maternal relatives more. I know it's a complete singaporean rice here.. what with cousins marrying their cousins, and their kids marrying their cousins, and everybody named similarly (We have loads of sulaimans, ismaails, ibrahims, yaqoobs, yousufs, ishaqs ... etc You get the picture :)). I should somehow .. juggle my stupid memory and START remembering their names. It doesn't matter whether they're a LOT, their names are all similar, their language is similar (:'( .. think about it. And I can barely understand Gujerati. Kem cho , and aao jo is the best I can do!), never mind some of them are here, some in Surat, Ahmedabad... doesn't matter! I have to get to know them. They're my community, my family. And btw, the Surti community is basically the friendliest community ever! (not that I saw many, but still). They're simple, unpretentious people. They don't care whether your kid is dressed up in Zubaida's clothing, or you're wearing a CK scarf.

Families rock. This Eid, make sure you visit/talk/etc with family loads and loads.. Immediate, or otherwise. India, or Pakistan (or wherever). Doesn't matter. My next stop: convincing mum to go visit the whole huge clan in India. And she would need somebody to carry the bags right :S:S Hope she agrees.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Do they have a heart?

I came across a rather unpleasant bout of apathetic attitude residing among our doctors today. What happened was that this distant relative of ours complained of high BP and was taken to this amazingly posh cardio hospital in Defence on Sunday late night. They checked him out, did an ECG, looked at the ECG, concluded that it wasn't norrmal at all (there is this something called MI) *scowl*

So the doctor sahib was called, and he supremely informed them that he will be availabe shortly. The poor man (relative) was there in the hospital, for about 4-5 hours, without the amazing doctor turning up. Finally, one of the patient's family members pulled some strings, and got another doctor down there eventually. That doctor, after one look at the patient, declared an emergency angiography. They informed the family that it's just going to take them 15 minutes to do so.

What ultimately happened (oh so sadly) that the angiography simply couldn't be carried out. The patient's heart was so advanced in its failure, that the major coronary artery was completely blocked. They tried and tried to clear it (with er, guide wire), but it was blocked!

The angiography lasted 6 hours. They failed to clear the pathway .. :'(

Later on, Uncle was still okay, talking and everything.. but of course, what do you expect with a blocked coronary artery? :(

The lungs began filling with water, and the last image his wife saw of him when she peeked in the room, was a group of doctors trying hard to administer CPR and this person passed away late Monday night (yesterday night).

Everything, every trial is from Allah, and our belief is that the times of deaths and births are pre-written. So I will never say that IF that doctor had made it, Uncle would have made it. Never. But if that doctor had displayed some sense of responsibility, honesty... then maybe Uncle wouldn't have had to go theough the severe pain he endured because of the said doctor's negligence.

And now, the worst bit. The extreme apathetic attitude from the bunch of doctors/technicians (or I dunno WHICH people who stand besides the main doctor when surgery is going on).. Their comment was heard by one of Uncle's immediate family members,

"Abay yaaarrr... Agar marna hee thaa to 4 ghantay tak khwaar karaanay kee kiaa zaroorat thee !!"

(Man! If you only had to DIE in the end, why did you make us work on you for 4 hours damn!!)

:'( :'( :'(

Advice of the day:

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A pretty insightful story :)

of how one person (a Muslim by birth) who had no acknowledgement of God, turned towards the deen. May we become those who SEEK OUT the message of Allah, and not assume, that just because we are born muslims, we're all set. Heaven is just waiting to welcome us, and there is nothing that can prevent us from attaining the heavenly abode.

Hope we realise that it's not too late to start the quest.. the quest of learning the Quran (not just recitation, mind you). The quest of finding out WHY this Book is called miraculous (and no, not all because of scientific facts found here). May we be sucessful in this oft-neglected endeavour of our lives. Ameen.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Of music, and time wasting habits .. :)

An extremely good reminder that is related to what I had been saying in the previous post. Do go through this, and I pray we all make better use of our time Ameen.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Some really good advice

Salam. I'm feeling lazy. (wanted to do a post on the dars today, but too tired. Is it shaitan?) I guess the lecture today was a little on the draining side ... The upset stomach is NOT helping. Me and my passion for milk... serves me absolutely right. (I have milk allergy).

Yesterday night, I was kinda looking for inspiration. I didn't want to sleep (wastes time). So did my favourite thing in the world. Went up to my bookcase, and started browsing.

Me the weak human being came up with two books. You can see the difference between them yourself :

Sometimes, my actions shame me a lot.

The problem wasn't Shopaholic ... it was this book ALONG with another very worth-reading book. And (aur to aur), I read the shopaholic series few chapters FIRST, laughed at all the funny bits (the book's senselessness can REALLY cheer one up!), and then guiltily looked at the other book.

I seriously needed to be happy :D.. so of course, i had chosen this book from the bookshelf. Now, after reading the first few chapters, I've decided to share some good advice with you.. it's simple. And it makes sense. We might hear it day after day, but if we REALLY implement it, then I do believe this can make a real positive difference in our lives.

Found the first chapter in pdf form :D. Yeah. So these simple NOs are extremely effective in eliminating stupidities from our lives. Check out the first NO and the fifth one.. (actually, check out all). But the first and fifth NO strike home a lot. Time. It's the entity by which Allah has Sworn in the Holy Quran :( and said that man/mankind is in loss. And this time, is the one which has to be managed correctly and efficiently. Watching idiotic stuff on TV and comforting ourselves with the fact that "hey, we needed the entertainment" falls under the first NO. Basically, anything that gives us nothing in return ... is a NO. And it includes each and everything we do -- from browsing to emailing to blogging to watching movies/TV/youtubing... etc. The list can go on.

This shallow people thing. Stop here a minute. What exactly does the word shallow mean? According to my humble opinion, it surely refers to those people for whom, this world is nothing but a place to have the most fun, laughter, jokes, wit etc, and they make their duty to spend every minute of their lives pursuing these goals... Nothing serious, nothing to ponder upon. When you sit in their group, and get up 4 hours later, you have gained nothing,...absolutely nothing except that your throat is raw from all the singing, cracking jokes, giggling and rioting you have done. And if you have talked, you have talked about nothing .. useful. Current affairs? Nahi bhui .. hum to politics main nahi parna chahtay.. (very common sentence -- means that we don't want to indulge in politics). So basically a complete waste of FOUR precious hours of your precious lives.

One other NO that REALLY applies to me here is the "No to thinking of past calamities and dwelling on past mistakes" ... :S I really need to implement this. And it's funny. I'm a hugely forgetful person. But the brain is stupid. It remembers the past mistakes, the past deeds, the past stupidities, and things I know for sure have no good purpose in my life now.. but they persist. So here is a chance to improve ourselves, and at least try one NO per day :P.. Hopefully IA.

May Allah Make our tasks easy for us and enable us to have the right 'attitude' towards things. Ameen.

Friday, November 20, 2009

What am I doing here ??

This is a warning to those who are in no mood to listen to some idiotic set of questions. No offense, but this is what I feel like doing right now.

There are too many questions flooding my brain and I have to get them out of my system. Now that I have defended my upcoming post adequately, here it comes..

1. Why do I choose the wrong things?
2. Why do I want the wrong things in life?
3. Why does every wrong thing appears to me as the right thing?
4. Why is it that every door seems to be closing in my face?
5. What is wrong with every move I make that it turns out to be null and void?
6. What is wrong with wishing to have a good education? Worldly one I mean?
7. Why don't things work out for me?  (and no, I don't say why me... I have an idea how others can be a worse position).
8. What was so wrong with teaching?
9. Why, when I attend the weekly dars, I feel like a moron?
10. By moron, I meant, why do I feel like escaping this whole academic mountain that I feel determined to build, and start afresh?
11. By start afresh I surely mean, why don't I feel whatever I have done is ... right for me?
12. And thus, everything I have done loses all its importance. Why?
13. Why, with every passing day, my unsettleness is increasing, with the thoughts that whatever I'm here for, I so SURE AS HECK haven't done.
15. If I'm meant to do something else besides engineering, why doesn't it appear in front of me, wave its arms and yell "Oye! I'm the career!"
16. Why are all these questions rhetorical?
17. Why do people assume that single-hood is associated with these feelings? Last I checked, being married and having done nothing with academic degrees means that one has just wasted at least 4 years of their lives doing something they wouldn't have anything to do with, ever again! A cause for extreme concern and despair, actually. Why?

Why indeed.

These questions nag me to no end. They get worse in the weekly Quran class. There, when the teacher talks about how she made the transition to a daa'ee, I become acutely aware of the fact that there are woefully few people on the planet, who have opted to make THIS their career. And out of those few people, most aren't really aware of current knowlegde/sciences. And my guilt increases.

These questions bug me, and unsettle me, with each passing day. Not to mention my Mum's acute indifference to my current studies (and bachelor ones too) and her stance that 'What in heavens will you achieve with this, just tell me?" whenever I moan and groan about exams... this whole attitude (besides annoying me), again gives rise to questions. I live with this, the doubt, the uncertainty, the growing dismay/despair. And I have no respite.

Till now, I have done nothing worth mentioning in my life. Worse, I was questioned when I took admission in the particular department where I am studying "What are you doing here?" ... and now, I ask myself the same question.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

What do these pictures have in common ? :)

In answer to the question, all of these images are of our sun, and were taken by SOHO — the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory, a project that is an international collaboration between the European Space Agency and NASA to study the sun from its deep core to its outer corona and its solar wind. Many of the images were modeled using a synthetic modeling program that allows astronomers to determine the temperature of surface layers, the sun’s chemical composition, and the relative abundance of the various elements. Known as SYNTSPEC, the modeling program is run on Baltic Grid and Lit Grid. 

Image courtesy SOHO  

Source: iSGTW


13. Then which of the Blessings of your Lord will you both (jinns and men) deny?

Monday, November 16, 2009

And fury rages through me ...

I realise it is not healthy to be angry, and remain angry. But being human, I sometimes can't help it. (This post is going to have a lot of italics today ...*mutters darkly*)

I wish it could be conveyed via typing, how viciously one is hitting the poor keyboard. Not that I have something against it, but each word pounded out here is a reflection of the intensity of rage/pain I have felt today. I don't normally drive blindly -- but I did today. Oblivious to the tumultous traffic around me, I didn't even notice when a group of hooligans in a van called out as my car passed by theirs ... peering inside (and leering outside) ... there was a chorus of "Hii!!" ... '"Hiii!!!!" ... *scowls*

The point of this post (there HAS to be one -- I'm trying desperately to make sure this isn't some ranty whiny rave by an enraged beyond enraged ...person! I was about to write 'woman')

Khair. There is a hadith that says "The strong man is not the one who overcomes the people by his strength, but the strong man is the one who controls himself when angry." (Bukhari, Muslim)

So I should be the stronger person here. Not that I ever did lose control today.. The rudeness I faced, and heard, wasn't directed at me. But the way it was directed -- was what really shook me. It was directed in a manner in which one should not even talk to the least educated person on the planet. Today, I saw what disdain and superiority festers in an arrogant heart. I learned how people can be extremely polite and kind on face, and what venom they spew later on. I also saw what the real meaning of "shallow" is .. what exactly people do for "show-shaa" and "dikhawa" ...

It should be noted, that these things (or at least some of them) reside within us as well. How do we act when extremely rattled? What do we do when our feathers are all ruffled? I was amazed and awed at Mum's patience today. I could not believe that in the face of such .... humiliating beyond humiliating outbursts, she remained calm, and didn't turn a hair. She could have lashed back. We all have that choice. But Mum, I really admire you for what you did today. For all your scolding us :P, I never thought I'd see a day when somebody would be unleashing their wrath on you, and you'd remain calm and not answer back. Even once.

Today also marked my learning.. that me and my sis have grown up in a house, where it's a given thing that you never ever ever misbehave with another person. No matter how rude they become. It's also a given that you be nicer and kinder to domestic servants. Not so they can work better for you... but so that you give them the equality that they have a right to...and you do ehsan, which means something that is greater/bigger than naiki (virtue) itself. I have seen Dad's behaviour with his employees. It's been like, more than courteous. Always. His biggest concern at the end of the month, is that he should be giving them their salaries at the FIRST of every month. And I wrote it in caps, because it is made SURE that it never ever goes beyond the first. In case of strikes, it's done on the 30/31st.

But today... Alas, people like these exist on the planet who have no mercy/regard for those lesser in social strata than themselves. Worse bit, they teach the Quran to others. Ha. What good has the Holy Book done to you, I ask them. If you can't win others by your character, what else will you use for inspiration? I would like to end this ramble with an Ayah, and would like to ponder on the meaning, and hope you ponder on it too. It's just ONE ayah.. and it contains a world of instruction/lesson... and it is a quality only the Quran's miracle shows.

Surah Nahl, Ayah 90:

"Allah commands justice, the doing of good, and liberality to kith and kin, and He forbids all shameful deeds, and injustice and rebellion: He instructs you, that ye may receive admonition."

This is the Ayah Mum took for explaining in the mini-dars today. And the points highlighted were that if we're Muslims, agreed to come under the fold (and remain in it) of Islam, then these are some of the criteria of our behaviour.. the way we should behave, to whom is this behavior really important to, and avoid all the opposites of virtue. The point here, is that the doing of good (ehsan), is something bigger than virtue. It means if somebody is rude to you (thinking of today only), then you ought to be NICE to them. And that's something I saw in my mum today. And even though it still infuriates me, in some way or the other, I am glad I have parents who ... function this way. Not many people would. Masha Allah multiplied by 78765 to the power infinity.

The fact about kith and kin is important. Usually people forget to do dawah to their own immediate families. Nobody really thinks of these things. If you're doing something for others, why not do it for your own immediate folks. The saying is common 'ander shair baher bakri' (meaning, one is bold beyond bold inside the house, and outside, he's the epitome of politeness). The worst qualities come out inside the house. And it isn't all that difficult to hide this stuff. Mostly people are so concerned with outwardliness and dikhawa, they would make extra sure their dirty laundry is never hung out in public. But that's the point. You're not supposed to have dirty laundry -- and if you do and can't help it, then you're supposed to turn the knobs (wash, rinse, spin) and thus clean it up.

Enough now, I guess. I'm all spent. I so totally wish things had gone different today. It's horrible beyond horrible to see a loved one being subject to such excrutiatingly cutting words, harsh insults, and all justified ... because the accuser's "ideology" is not really agreed to ... by us, lesser mortals.

So long.

Oh yeah. The miserable ‘pi’ I tried to make on the custard. But it cheers me up, since everybody loved it :D

Okay.. Electricity gone and I am still not in the mood for ending this post :P .. A sad poem is in order!

The storm

The storm rages through the room
Winds of insult blowing hard
Pebbles of words hitting the heart
As the trees of resolve sway in the doom

Life is unfair, everybody knows
Why so hard to be polite
Our presence isn’t a delight
Don’t worry, we know

Ahh.. I think I have to run now. *hurriedly*.. Copyright Uni Furious-oony 2009

And the semester ends...

I so want to type out a random post today. Yesterday marked the last class of my first semester. It's over... ! Hard to believe, it seems just a few days back I had been nervously getting ready for my first class, and since it was a change of department, battling a feeling of venturing into the unknown - alone.

And now, the situation is fairly better :) Allah ka shukkar.

Yesterday's last class was fun. I wish it wasn't the last. And I know none of my classmates would second me here. The best part about yesterday was the teacher calling on me to explain the code to a bunch of people. If I had ever imagined me doing something in class, it would NOT have been explaining the code to a group of computer grads!

Before I get too pleased, let me blow my own bubble. This programming language is NOTHING like the normal coding which requires a kinda binary-brain structure, and an assembly approach towards life .. *grin*
This was Artificial Intelligence's Win-PROLOG programming using the FLEX toolkit. And since it was simple english language words, it didn't require the cool collectivity, a, say, C++ code would.

Later, my bubble blew even further. Sniff. The Fibonacci sequence. Me, with my Dan Brown experience, couldn't understand how to code THAT. *feels like a worm (pun intended)*.. the worst bit, was one of the group members who I had explained some coding to, trying in vain to explain to me, that fibonacci sequence adds the PREVIOUS two numbers to produce the result... and me persistently asking him HOW in the world did this series begin with 1 -- what previous air particles did it add to get THAT! ... -- and finally, him asking me .. 'Ap ka kuch programming main background bhe hay?'  ... (Do you have any background in programming?)

Not to mention, the other kid besides him explaining that no, she's from a different department, and they don't have programming there... with my feeble attempts to say 'Yeah I know SOME programming -- listen, we're not dimwits' dying on my lips.

*scowls*.. I so hate not understanding something.

Khair, AI has been fun. I can't wait for the next AI course (this was the intro to AI). The best thing I like about it is the appreciation I always always feel .. of the great design and intelligence behind human beings. Even the natural instincts of a baby is unable to be captured, or programmed by the most sophisticated expert system in the world Alhamdulillah and SubhanAllah! :)

Friday, November 13, 2009

This is a MUST read

I received this via e-mail. A gazillion thanks and JazakAllahs to the person who had the wisdom to pass on this knowledge. I think these things are easily understood by the common mind -- only we never bother this much about the Holy Book.

Please take out time to read this.
Use and Mention of Words
For myself, as I said everyone knows something for sure or has an interest and experience in life; my interest is in mathematics and logic. There is a verse in the Qur'an which says:
"This a scripture whose verses are perfected and then expounded."(11:1)

Which tells me that there are no wasted words in the Qur'an; that each verse is perfected and then it is explained. It could not be in a better form. One could not use fewer words to say the same thing or if one uses more words one would only be adding superfluous information.
This directed my attention to a particular mathematical subject, a logical subject, and I examined the Qur'an to see if I could find something of what I knew to be the case.
A revolution in logic has occurred in the last one hundred years, primarily over the difference between use and mention of words. A structure of logic seemed to be in danger of collapsing about a hundred years ago because it came to the attention of the people who studied these matters that the structure was not quite sound. The issue involved 'self-reference' and the use and the mention of words which I will explain briefly.
Aristotle's law of the 'excluded middle' was the statement that every statement is either true false. About a hundred years ago, somebody pointed out that the law of the excluded middle is a statement and is therefore not a law after all. It could just as well be false as well as true.
This was a tangled knot for the logicians to untie until they came to understand the difference between the use and the mention of a word.
When we use a word, we consider its meaning. When we mention a word, we are discussing the word itself. If I said Toronto is a large city, I mean Toronto, that place, is a large city. If I say Toronto has seven letters, I am talking about the word 'Toronto'. In the first case I used the word and in the second I mentioned the word. You see distinction.

Jesus and Adam
Connecting these ideas and the idea that the Qur'an is composed of verses that are perfected and then expounded for us, consider the verse which says:
"The likeness of Jesus before Allah is as the likeness of Adam." (3:59)
It is very clear that what we have in the statement is an equation. This verse goes on to explain how that is true because they both came under unusual circumstances rather than having a mother and a father in the usual human reproductive way. But more than that, I got to consider the use of the mention of words.
The words are used clearly enough. Jesus is like Adam and by Jesus and Adam, we mean those two men. But what about the mention of the words? Was the author aware of the fact that if we were considering the words as words themselves, this sentence also read that 'Jesus' is something like 'Adam'. Well, they are not spelt with the same letters, how can they be alike in this revelation? The only answer came to me fairly quickly and I took a look at the index of the Qur'an.
The index of the Qur'an has been made available only since 1945. This book was the result of years of work by a man and his students who assembled a book which lists every word in the Qur'an and where it can be found.
So, when we look up the word Isa (Jesus), we find it in the Qur'an twenty-five times. When we look up Adam, we find it in the Qur'an twenty-five times. The point is that they are very much alike in this book. They are equated. So, following up on this idea, I continued to examine the index looking for every case where something was set up as an equation, where the likeness of something was said to be the likeness of some other thing. And in every case, it works. You have to example a verse which reads:
"The likeness of those who reject our signs is as the likeness of the dog." (7:176)
Well, the phrase is Arabic for 'the people who reject our signs' could be found in the Qur'an exactly five times. And so is the Arabic word for 'the dog' (al-kalb). And there are several instances of exactly the same occurrence.
It was some months after I found this for myself that a friend of mine, who is continuing this investigation with me, made a suggestion that there are also some places in the Qur'an where one thing is said to be not like another thing.
As soon as he mentioned this up to me, we both went for the index and had a quick look at several places where on thing is said to be not like another thing and counted their occurrence in the Qur'an. We were surprise, and maybe should not have been, to find that, after all, they do not match up. But an interesting thing does happen. For example, the Qur'an makes it very clear in the verse that “trade” is not like “interest (or usury)”. The two words will be found six times for one and seven for the other. And so it is in every other case.
When one thing is said to be not like another, they are over for a difference of one time. It would be five of one and four of the other, or seven of one and eight of another.

Good and Evil
There is one interesting verse which, I felt, spoke directly to me from right off the page. It mentions two words in Arabic, al-khabeeth (the evil), and al-taib (the good). The verse reads:
"Say, the evil and the good are not comparable, even though the abundance of evil will surprise you. So be mindful of your duty to Allah, O Man of understanding that you may succeed."(5:100)
Well, I had a look at those two words in Arabic, the evil and the good, and found in the Qur'an that they both occur seven times. Yet the verse here is saying that they are not comparable. I should not expect to find that they occur the same number of times. But what does the rest of this verse say?
"The evil and the good are not comparable. The abundance of the evil will surprise you" and it did for there were too many of them. But it continues:
"So be mindful of your duty to Allah, O Man of understanding, that you may succeed."
So press on. Use your understanding and you will succeed. That is what the verse said to me. Well, I found the answer in one verse further on where it reads:
"Allah separates the evil from the good. The evil HE piles one on top of the other, heaping them all together."
Here is the solution to the difficulty. While we have several occurrences of al-taib (the good), according to the principle of this verse, evil is separated from good and is piled one on top of the other and heaped all together. We can not count them as seven separate instances.

Perfect balance of Words
Now, what is the point of this perfect balance of words? For myself, it shows the author was well aware of the distinction between using words and mentioning words, a fine logical point. But more than that, it indicates the preservation of this book.
After giving a lecture on the subject of the Qur'an , I touched on some of these subjects and a questionnaire from the audience afterwards said: "How do we know we still have the original Qur'an. Maybe pieces of it have been lost or extra parts been added?" I pointed out to him that we had pretty well covered that point because since these items, the perfect balance of words in the Qur'an, have come to light only in this generation, anybody who would have lost the portion of this book, hidden some of it, or added some of their own would have been unaware of this carefully hidden code in the book. They would have destroyed this perfect balance.
It is interesting to note too that, well, such a thing might be possible to organize today by the use of a computer to coordinate all words so that whatever thought you might have as to a meaning of a sentence or however you might construe an equation out of a sentence, you could check for yourself and the book will always have the balance of words.
If that were possible today, if it were possible fourteen centuries ago, why would it be done and then left hidden and never drawn to the attention of those who first saw this book? Why it would be left with the hope of the author who contrived this, that maybe, in many centuries, someone will discover it and have a nice surprise? It is a scheme that does not make sense.

Best Explanation
We are told in the Qur'an that no questionnaire will come to the Muslims with the question for which a good answer has not been provided, and the best explanation for whatever his question. This verse says:
"For everything they say, say we are given something to go back to them and reply." (25:33)
We looked again to the index of the Qur'an and we found the word, qalu (they say), is found three hundred and thirty-two times. Now, what would be the natural counterpart? The Arabic word, qul, which is the command 'say' and you will find at the index it also occurs three hundred and thirty-two times. 

Source: Dr Gary Miller's articles.
Dr Gary Miller is a Canadian Mathematician and former Christian Missionary who has converted to Islam

And today finally arrived...

day has reminded me a lot of the Day of Tearful Departure (Sis the priss's rukhsati). I tell you. It sucks to be one of two sisters. I mean, it's great a lot of times, but it sucks when one of us has to go away, and live somewhere else. Like, forever.

So I'm recalling those days and nights, how empty they seemed (don't think I wasn't happy for my starry-eyed sis, I was). But it's just not right to have no yells at me to "Switch of the lights!! I wanna sleep!" and what not. I remember trying to stay awake as long as I could, only so I don't have to think of anything when I finally fall into bed. I also remember swallowing various-sized lumps in my throat, and comforting myself with the thought "I'll just cry later" ... in various times throughout those days.

This time, it was worse. Sis was here for two weeks, but she wasn't alone. There was a bundle of spindles along with her. A bundle who didn't behave like sweet, angelic babies -- cried well into the night, didn't cry - he yelled, really... dirtied his clothes the minute they were put on.. yelled when massaged, yelled when put to shoulder for burping, yelled when gripe-water was given to him via a dropper (many times, he even squirted it right out of his mouth -- he disliked it SO much) -- And all this for a toodle poo who isn't even a month old.

How I miss him.

This is like, saying goodbye all over again. Only this time, it's worse because it's two people you have to let go off. I know it's going to be all different and settled a week from now on. (Insha Allah). But for now, I can just wallow in my misery, miss them both like crazy... and mope.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Nothing much required...

No electricity required
Only a flame
And it burns

No longevity required
Only a touch
And it scorches

No novels required
Only a word
And it conveys

No news stories required
Only a visual
And it's crystal

No rambling required
Only a sniff
And it's heard

No attitude required
Only submission
And it's faith

No explanations required
Only a statement
And it's enough

Copyright Uni Bonker-oony 2009

Btw, if you feel like this after reading the above claptrap...

Don't worry. I feel the same way.