Sunday, July 31, 2005

Omar and the birthday cake!

Tonight something happened that made a whole lot of people laugh… My son comes up with some behaviors that are just unexpected and are so funny, as many children his age. My mom had a gathering for dinner for my mother in law today. She had requested mom for a certain Egyptian meal called Fatta… I personally am not into it so much, but I enjoyed the gathering anyway.

My cousin was not in Cairo for her birthday which was on the 9th of July, and we usually get gathered to say a family and close friend happy birthday to who ever. Any way, mom suggested that we get gathered for dinner and get a cake and blow candles for my dear sweet cousin.

Since we got gathered around the dining table to eat dinner, my son was going to my mom and telling her "to you", his way of saying lets blow candles, since he was with us while getting the cake and candles so he was aware there will be candle blowing this evening… Any way, he went and got busy with something then came back again and saw that we were done eating and realized the table was all clear and clean… So with questioning eyes he looked at mom and then said "to you?" she replied yes Omar, now we can have the "to you", but who’s the to you going to be for tonight? He went and fetched my cousin and said "din" (her name is Nadin). He is now in the cutest phase of pronouncing words and names..

We got the birthday cake, and he was insisting on putting the candles in it, which of course was kind of messy, but went well without too much damage! I thought oh well, that went with no serious damage. The unexpected was yet to come.

We turned off the lights and Nadine came close to him in front of the cake, but he was impatient, blowing off the candles as every one was attempting to light them… That phase was over with, and we managed to tell him to be patient till we light them. Then we started singing, he usually makes a strange impression with his lips and face when he is shy, which made us all laugh in the course of singing. Then came the blowing out of the candles, which of course he was part of. We opened the lights and to our surprise, Omar's face was on the cake and he was actually taking bites out of the whole thing from the edges! We all could not help but laugh our heads off! He actually took bites all the way round and none of us could tell him to stop! It was just too cute and funny. His mouth and nose were all messed up with chocolate from the cake and he was actually on top of the dining table. We tried to tell him that it was enough but it seems he was enjoying it too much and of course my mom was telling us all to let him do what he wants (which is something I do not always like because I believe in discipline, but I felt it was alright to let it go this time). It was kind of embarrassing but cute and funny, actually I was too busy laughing my head off to be in any position to give discipline at that point! I guess sometimes we can let them get away with things as long as they are not harming themselves or being a menace to others.

I wish I could have published some pictures of him in the process, but unfortunately I didn't have the digital cam, only my mobile cam, and I am totally unable to connect my mobile to the computer since the blue tooth's software will not work for some reason.

Children are so cute!

I would just like to add, as mentioned in the Quraan, they are the Zeena (decoration) of life. They really are!

Friday, July 29, 2005

Lost meanings

I just read a post at Roora's and Doshar's that stimulated me to write this.

Why is it so difficult to say "sorry"? Why is it so difficult to admit that we did wrong? Actually admitting to a fault or a wrong doing and wanting to mend it is the first step to bettering oneself and making a difference in people's lives and thereby in society!

Altering meanings seems to have become something normal in society. I feel this altering has lead to the loss of so many essences in life.

So many people suffer because of the loss of these true meanings. Why not go back to the true meaning of things rather than this superficial big lie everyone seems to have gullibly taken up and actually let it take over? I personally never let society affect me. If I am not hurting anyone then there is nothing to worry about. Right?

I personally suffered for a while when I tried to consider what society thinks. That was why I felt I should stop feeling that way. There must be something wrong. I sure did not have a very easy time, but I made a point, at least with myself. I never hurt anyone, on the contrary was hurt by people. Strange enough now when I think about it, I believe more and more that what I believed in and still do was and is the right thing (at least where I am concerned).

A couple of things I would like to give examples of. Equality between women and men. In certain societies a man is allowed certain things while a woman no. I always found this awkward, since in Islam for instance, a woman is no different than a man, in the eyes of God that is, except in some instances which are quite understandable and logical, but this is not the area of discussion I want to deal with now.

Some examples that are on my mind now are for instance:

Divorce. Society views a divorced man as normal, while a woman always fears the way society will judge her or view her as a divorcee. I never understood and will never understand this bit.
Being opinionated and having a strong character. Some men do not like such a woman. Some do, but sometimes after getting married, they change their minds and do not like their wives to be so anymore.
Being independent. Some men fear getting involved with an independent woman
Friendships between males and females. A man can have as many female friends and not have a bad reputation or is still accepted by society (even if some of these relationships are not decent), while if a woman does (I mean clean and decent friendships of course), she is a …. I would like to also ask, why is it that if a man has an affair with some one he is not married to and a woman does the same, she is called a slut and he isn’t? Whilst in the Quraan they are treated equally. They both shall receive the same punishment… Opps! I forgot, society again! Society gives excuses to a man but not to a woman!

So many things I really find agonizing and frustrating. God gives certain regulations, and societies simply altered them!

The issue of "women's rights" has been allegedly been introduced by the west, whilst in fact It was originally something given by Islam (where the Moslem societies are concerned). Allah and His Prophet revered women to a great extent. A woman's role was very important at the time of the prophet. In the Arabian societies before Islam came, during the period of Jaheleya, a woman was treated with insignificance and disrespect as if she were of no significantvalue. Quraanic verses and Prophet Muhammed (Allahoma saly 3aleih) gave women respect and honored them. They were given rights.

So how can society deprive or lessen these rights? And why are the westerners always thinking that they are the ones who originated this so called women's rights issue? In western societies women did not have so many rights as it seems to many people, they had to fight for their rights which had no origin or record anywhere in their society. Even in the Bible, Geneses, Eve was said to have temped Adam to eat from the apple after being tempted by the serpent?!

In the Qurann, Adam and Eve were both responsible for their doings, which was again something amongst many that society tampered with due to simple ignorance since the verse in the Quraan was quite clear about. Thank God many scholars are now stressing on it to the Moslems in order that they change this strange understanding or belief about Eve being the reason for Adam and her being sent down to earth instead of living in Heaven.

Women in the west were not treated any better than ones in the Arab world. Many examples here but will give only one. In the Islamic Sharee3a (Laws according to Islam), when a woman is about to get married, there is a minimal dowry and certain conditions that a man has to abide with when marrying her. In the text of words said during the marriage ceremony there are certain things that a man and woman are obliged to abide with according to the Sunna (Prophet Muhammed Allahoma saly 3aleih's practices). If they haven't been practiced, then that is again the fault of society and not the core of Islamic teachings. A woman is to be treated with care, respect, justice and tenderness. These were briefly the teachings of Prophet Muhammed (Allahoma saly 3aleih). If she were to get divorced, there are also many conditions of respected attitudes a man is obliged to fulfill towards his divorcee and kids if any.

Again, what has society done with that? What have the new (man made laws, which almost have nothing relevant from Sharee3a) done? The more people drift from the core teachings, the more injustice and chaos will take place.

Man made laws and chosen beliefs have ruined so many teachings in Islam! Islam is and always will be innocent from who ever was responsible for this to happen. I am also pretty sure; God will have a very good say and action with those who altered His Laws and orders.

So many non Moslems think Islam is a tough and difficult religion to follow. I would just like to say, I have lived my life in two ways. I lived the easy going life without fully abiding to Islamic teachings and another where I am now and God willing will continue to live by the Islamic teachings and conducts of behavior.

First I thought I was happy and free. But since I started really trying to go in depth in Islam, and am trying to abide with as much of it as I can, I feel much more comfort and peace. It is not as difficult as many people think it is. I was living in an illusion i thought was "happiness" whilst I never encountered the peace I have now.

The only thing I haven't changed is my view towards society. I only stick to what Islam tells me, not to what society wants. To stick to Islamic conducts and teachings, is to be in peace, it is to be a fair and considerate person which I believe at the end of the day should keep us to a great extent in peace with people who are rational enough to also apply and understand what Islam teaches.

However those who do not like the following might have a problem:

1) Honesty in terms of dealings or sayings
2) Justice
3) Peace
4) Love
5) Care
6) Strength
7) Good will
8) Modesty
9) Cooperation
10) Respect for oneself and others
11) Hospitality
12) Equality
13) Tolerance amongst all people and all ethnicities and religions

Etc, name it (any good trait that may come to your mind), Islam orders its followers to apply it!

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Giving hope, giving a chance

Doing good lasts as we live and after we die!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Posted by Hello

I just finished watching an Arabic movie titled Tito. It was so strange because I had posted something earlier that was quite similar to the story in the movie. After what I have to say you shall find it posted again. However, the way I portrayed the story was more optimistic, which is what I tend to like more. Optimism, hope and persistence for a better day and tomorrow!

The movie does sadly portray a reality in many communities, the kids on the streets who have no guidance whatsoever. Some might have parents who aren't really parents. Some might be totally without parents.

What makes a person a criminal? No one is born with a criminal record. When I was back in University, for an entire semester this was the main topic of the English 113 class I was attending.
Parental guidance is very important. In some cases the parents are corrupt but the children turn out good, and vise versa. Religion pops in again. To me religion means every thing. If the love of God is properly embedded within a heart, it does so much good. It is like a charm. It guides one to fight with the evil Satan tries to pull us too, and also the weakness of the soul (al nafs al 2amara bel sou2).

Tito never had guidance. But somehow, there was good in him. It is the nature of the human heart.. Good is there, it is born with a child, and so is bad, but for some reason, I feel the good within all the human race is stronger than the evil.

Again, I want to remind myself and anyone reading this to remember to be nice to those unfortunate kids and grown ups on the streets. A Good word will not harm. It may take a few minutes from our time, but it may change an entire life of one of those people, if we lay the words in a caring and persistent encouraging tone. Don't worry; it will never be a waste of time even if you feel that the listener will not be affected, because in our scale of deeds, it shall weigh for us. Just remember the neya. Summon your good will and intention you are doing good because you want to help and because you are sure down deep within Allah will be pleased with the least you shall attempt to offer.

I don’t know why, but I had this strange feeling I would have married Tito if I were put in Hanan's (can’t remember her name in the movie right now J) situation. I think I would have been scared but I think I might have agreed. Allah forgives all sins apart from Shirk. The man wanted to be a better person. I would have married him but told him that he must not put up a fight if the police were to arrest him, that he would give in to them and ask for repentance from God, and that I would marry him knowing he might be put to death just to prove that If God can accept repentance from His creation, people also must have the courage to allow and help wrong doers to have a chance to be better people, even if it were for a day. I feel that this might have encouraged lots of criminals to re-think and try to change their lives.

I know that in our societies after someone has spent time in Jail, they become outcasts in society. Some try to take a different path in life, but society just doesn't allow them giving them no choice but to get week again and go back to what they were doing or even become worse!
Why is it like that in our society?

Those people must be given a chance to change.. Those children on the streets must hear more positive words of encouragement and receive help if possible. Prophet Muhammed (Allahoma Saly 3aleih) told us al kalmia Al tayeba sadaka (A kind word is Charity).

No more

As I walked to my car late at night
I saw a shadow of a child

He knelt on a wall on the cold side walk
Trying to sleep where it was not so dark

I said: Hey, little child
He looked at me and sadly, slightly smiled

I asked: are you out here alone
All on your own

With a melancholic look he answered yes
And continued: but why do you ask, you couldn't care less!

At that moment I did not conceive his answer as hostile
I felt his feelings were fragile

He was about to leave so I shouted: No! Wait! I care!
He said I don't think anyone really cares

I asked: why?
He seemed some how shy

For a minute he remained silent
He seemed reluctant

He looked surprised that I showed interest
But at this point I think he thought I was unlike the rest

People see him every day
But no one sensed his dismay

I insisted again and asked: tell me your story
I will listen to you, do not worry

In sorrow he said: I opened my eyes to this world and found myself on the streets
Nothing to do but run around in search of food or some sort of treat

Form just any one who might believe my need
And give me something to drink or eat

I never bathed except under the cold rain
And had nothing but endless pain

I always wondered what it would be like
To have someone to take care of me and be kind

Like that child, look! Over there
With his mother and father to care

He stopped talking, took a long breath and sighed
He tried to hold his tears, but then he cried

I could not bear the sight
I held him in my arms so tight

He wept and wept
Till he slept

I found my self carrying his frail body
I tried to stay steady

My tears came down quietly
I cried silently

To myself I thought: Why leave such innocence alone
And simply be gone!

I could not find an answer for I always found reasons
Oh no, but not his time! I could no bear any answers

Children are a blessing
This poor one was collapsing

I took the frail one to my home
I couldn't leave him all alone

I am old and alone
He is too young and on his own

I was lucky and had a good life
Why leave this one in strife

Maybe it was destiny
For me to be his good company

I will bathe him and nourish him
Dress him and comb him

I want to give him a proper life
And make an effort to end his unbearable strife

He suddenly woke up from his sleep
To find me sleeping by him cheek to cheek

With my big arms lovingly wrapped around him
He could barely lift them

I woke up and told him hush my child hush
Sleep and don't think too much or rush

You are safe, here with me
Try to sleep in serenity

Taste what it would be like
To have a father for at least this night

He was too tired and confused, but smiled and came to me
He slept as if he hadn't before in his life, he slept quietly

As the morning came and the sun shined
I woke up, but didn't find him by my side

I jumped in fear
But found him near

He had been standing by the bedside
Waiting for me to lift an eyelid

He said good morning kind sir
Tell me why did you bring me here?

I smiled and said
Are you afraid?

He said no, you seem very kind
But I want to understand

I told him it is simple
You are too little

To be all alone out there
I want to watch for you as you grow and to care

Yesterday you said that I wouldn't care less
But to me you were a great bliss

I also was alone
Out there on my own

And someone came to me and asked
Why was I all alone?

We were both lucky and blessed
For destiny to give us a rest

Now you and I are together
Hopefully forever

No more shall you be hungry or cold
Or feel emptiness or hear a scold

From someone who might be heartless or cruel
Or someone who might be rude

Only now we need to try to find
More of our kind

This house is big and spacious
We can use it to make others gracious!

Hand in hand you and i
We can at least give it a try

I have faith in you although you are still so young
But someday you will grow up and be so fine

I know you will grow to have lots of compassion
I know you will be able to put so much addition

Into this effort of helping the homeless and needy
Those who have trouble fitting into society

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Marriage? Why? Tolerence? Kindness? Society?

Sub7an Allah (glory be to ALLAH)

I read a joke about marriage. I did many times before, and the jokes are sometimes so funny. And sad enough are true, but portrayed in a comic way.

I do have a problem though. Maybe I am too much into reflecting on things. I realized I cannot take things just as they are. I automatically find my brain working on the deeper and more serious level. I find myself coming out with morals of stories and incidents, sometimes even Walt Disney movie cartoons! Or something might stimulate me to do something. Usually positive, since I hate pessimism by nature. I had a tough life, so I always have this urge to find ways to make life easier, more constructive and idealistic. I want to leave this life feeling I made efforts to make it fruitful and acceptable by God. I always had this urge in me, but it grew and still is growing after I was blessed with my son.

After I read the joke a Roora's site, I just sat back and thought to myself, why? Why is it that most married people loose the beautiful feelings and moments they started with in the first place? Why not try to increase those feelings and building on them rather than giving into the routine and boredom almost every couple are experiencing now a days? Why can't married people be in a never ending state of Romace most of their lives?

I am quite aware that life is filled with difficulties, but even those can be dealt with in a loving way. Or so I am convinced. But it has to be a two way conviction and I believe that is what would make it work. I also happen to believe so, because I have in fact met or read of people that lived and died this way. They started their lives with love and died in a state of love.

I happen to have a theory behind this issue. Marriage is the Justified and 7alal (Religiously acceptable) way of a man and woman being together under one roof. Before marriage every thing is sweet and all. after marriage it becomes somehow gradually sour then tasteless! The reason being i believe is SATAN. I have a conviction HE is the source of all evil, at least always the initial spark is from his bestowed –unwanted and undesirable- favors on humanity, and many people fall to that initial spark and, oops, before you know it, the spark becomes a big fire! Extinguishable, yes, but leaves lots of damage!

He tries to make the man and woman loose interest in one another, thereby creating problems, thereby leading to weak family ties, thereby, leading to a weak society, and finally guaranteeing lots of burning souls in hell with him in eternity! Or at least for a very long time.

When a man and woman whom happen to be the back bone of a family, are not content, children will never be content and will grow to be fragile individuals in society.

There should be respect between married couples. Respect leads to many other things. Mainly strong love, compassion, understanding, and most important of all "tolerance". Tolerance is an important aspect that we should work on seriously.

I would like to give an example. Many men go to work and come back home after a long day thinking they were the only ones having a difficult and harsh day, whilst the woman also has lots to do around the house and kids. Instead of sharing his miseries or anger of whatever it is he encountered throughout the day, he simply takes it out on his wife. And more over he not expects, no feels it is an obligation for some reason that she must cope and not be upset! I find this shocking. Islam doesn't encourage this attitude at all. In the Holy Quraan, Allah said a wife is a sakan (a home), never did God imply a woman is a trash can, or a boxing bag or anything of the sort!

Some women are unbearable too. Some happen to be so selfish and sometimes they are just bestowed with husbands that are too kind, but at some point they pop, or die popping!
Many different situations I am sure most of you are aware of tons and tons of stories.

Conclusion is, both men and women must learn to properly direct their anger. To contain it, to feel for one another. And incase one looses their temper; the other should try to be wise. To try to avoid anything that will elevate the situation. In turn the partner that lost the temper should be able to appreciate their partners tolerance and wisdom, and talk about what made them loose their anger and be strong enough to make up for it one way or the other.

Kindness is a quality we should all work on. Tender hearts are those whom Allah repeatedly referred to in the Holy Quraan as being the closest to him.

Apart from the main subject, we as members of society must train ourselves to have tenderness in our hearts. I am Positive it will make a great difference in so many aspects of our lives. We need to work on encouraging good traits amongst us.
By the way, I am not only a dreamer, I am a realist as well. I do know dreams can come true if we work hard enough for them to! Or at least die trying knowing we were not passive :-)

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Peace Be on "ALL" mankind, be they near or far!

I believe that with the current insecurities we are all living, it is now that we need to really streangthen ourselves. We need to strengthen one another despite all the negative incidents. We must try to work harder on becoming better people, and begin to really look around. We all matter. We could all make a difference. No one should think within a confined limit or boundary. It is this negative, self centered or unconfident attitude towards the "self" that made the people of this world become so distant.

Insecurities, chaos, and apathies have arisen and became the current result. If there was solidarity, if there was care and consideration amongst people, if there was unity there would have been more peace. We need to work on both our minds and hearts. We need to relate to strong and pure faith. We need to go back to the teachings of Allah and his messenger. We need to properly understand and correct the misconceptions about religion. We need to educate ourselves and those who are unable to gain proper knowledge and understandings of the true essences and teachings of Islam.

Islam is innocent from actions such as mass killings of innocent people no matter what religion they follow. Those who use the word Jihad as their excuse for their terrorist actions, where killing innocent people are concerned do not really understand what they are doing, and have no clue what the consequences will be when they are judged by ALLAH. Jihad only applies when you are in a state of war or self defense, and Jihad has many forms and rules.

When you are in an occupied land like Palestine, Jihad is totally understandable. But what I don't understand is the bombings in Cairo a couple of months ago and earlier, Taba, and now Sharm El Sheikh, and I sure don't understand the ones in London and many more.

The terrorism should wake us all up. It should not break us or scare us. It sure should not make us feel ashamed of being Moslem, rather, we should confidently enlighten those who are not Moslems and do not know Islam that it doesn't approve or accept by any means mass murders like the ones taking place now.

We must stand up for these gruesome minds in every way possible! Islam is a religion of Love and Peace. The least example is the way Moslems are encouraged to greet one another and others.
We are to say Al Salamo Alikom (PEACE BE ON YOU). That alone says a lot about Islam and its goals and aims!

How would you view this picture? A sunrise or sunset, or could it be either? Why do you think so? Are you optimistic? Are you pesimistic? Are you hoping for a better tomorrow? Or have you lost hope? Posted by Picasa

Generalizations about a certain issue....

Why is it that most if us tend to generalize about certain things when it is really an unfair thing to do? Generalizations are really unfair. If you give it some thought, you will notice that most of us do that in many situations. Let us take an example.

There are the people who come from areas where religion, education and general knowledge are not properly taught and embedded to a great extent. I think that maybe negligence played a role for this to happen. I really am not sure what to think, whether it is the financial aspect that caused this problem to arise, or the lack of education, negligence and indifference that did it all. I personally feel it is all the former together, because knowledge can be acquired by anyone if they want to (at least minimum knowledge), or if they are encouraged to do so by someone who they happen to mingle with who does not come from the same background as they do, namely someone who is well educated and on proper grounds of religion and ethical standards. It is those who need to give some attention to the less fortunate ones that were deprived of such knowledge. I believe it is those who need to wake up and realize that they do have a responsibility towards certain people in society.
The problem is every one is too busy with their own lives and couldn't be bothered to care for those around. That in turn lead to fissures and cracks in many societies, and I believe not only in the middle east, but world wide.

Back to the main issue, there's this strange heritage of indifference which inflated greatly amongst many people of the poorer segment of our society, leading to terrible outcomes.

The view of Islam about women, for instance, is very fair and just (for those who really understand the true meaning of the Holy Quraan and Hadeeths). However many people in such societies (and some in the higher ones too) treat a woman as if she is nothing. She has become an object rather than a being. Her rights are different and inferior to those of a man.
The men in such societies (on a larger scale than the higher and educated) interpret the meanings of the Quraan and the Hadeeths in the way that suits them, or as a result of a misunderstanding that passed from generation to generation, rather than the truth put forth by God and his Prophet (Allahuma Saly 3ala Rasoul Allah).
Again, I believe this is a result of the inheritance process of misunderstood (or misinterpreted) beliefs from one generation to another.

For instance the Hadeeth of the Prophet (Allahuma Saly 3ala Rasoul Allah) that mentions the phrase "Nakisato Aklin wa din". This section of the Hadeeth does not mean a woman is less intelligent than a man, nor does it imply that a woman is naturally less in belief than a man. It points out to the emotions of a woman. Meaning that a woman is more emotional than a man by nature (nakisato Aklen), and the other part (nakisato din) points out to a woman's physiology where it comes to her getting a monthly menstrual cycle not enabling her to being able to fast or pray or the year through.
Men from that segment of our society misinterpret things like that. They just take things literally without proper comprehension of the true meanings behind them. Islam has in fact given many rights and respect to a woman, and Prophet Muhammed (Allahoma Saly 3aleih) emphasized on women's rights in so many Hadeeths and even in his farewell khutbah (speech) to the Moslems.

Anyway, to get to the point, I wanted to mainly discuss the Hijab issue in Egypt. I want to first state some things then discuss them. I felt a need to categorize some the following though
Here goes:

When I state the following I am referring to the lower class majority of the Egyptian society

a) On the streets sometimes we see young ladies wearing a scarf, yet walking with a young man or maybe even sitting in one of those public gardens where there is some privacy and they are practically all over one another! (very negative, isn't it)
b) A young lady wearing a scarf, yet wearing tight jeans or trousers with a very short shirt on top, or sometimes a very tight skirt with a big slit at the back or on the side.
c) A young lady going to her work with the scarf on, but takes it off (I personally encountered that at the hairdresser's and at my dentist's clinic, and many other places). Many go veiled and take it off while working in front of other men whom are not maharem (not maharem - are ones that are not supposed to see them unveiled).
d) Other young ladies dressed very decently as muhajabat (dressed Islamicaly, i.e. a veil and long clothing, not tight or revealing) yet still walking hand in hand, or the man practically hugging her, or has his arms wrapped around her shoulders, as they walk or sit intimately at some public garden or elsewhere (and in many cases they are not engaged or married).

When I state the following I am referring to middle and high class Egyptians.
a) At a club for instance, young (sometimes women too) veiled girls dress in tight jeans, short shirts on top
b) A veiled young girl can be seen walking with a nice young man holding hands (supposedly her boyfriend, which is not supposed to happen in the first place not even with a non muhajaba/veiled Moslem young girl), or sitting having an intimate talk some where, in public (I guess they think it is acceptable! And even if not, who cares because they do it any way!). Here I am mainly referring to the physical closeness more than the talk itself, because I guess some people can sit and have a talk together in public without giving others a chance to feel there is something wrong going on. Mixing amongst men and women is alright but with conditions. Won't dwell into that now though.
c) A veiled young girl can be seen standing alone amongst a group of guys and you can hear them joking and laughing around for quite a while, you may hear the girl's laughter quite clear (even from a distance).

I personally find all of the above as unacceptable and provoking somehow, whether the female is low class or high class. But what really startles me is the attitude of many of lower class, Muslim, veiled Egyptian females! (the higher classes will take their turn, but later!). They are no model of a proper veiled Muslim young lady or woman, and here I am referring to the attitude. What makes me say this is I have had several discussions with different people about this issue and what really upsets me is that they tend to generalize! "All veiled women do this and that, why wear the hijab then?" is usually the phrase used.

First let's take the lower classes:
We cannot assume that all of the low class Egyptian females are bad, or the ones that are of higher social status either! Maybe a larger percentage of the lower classes are truly not good in terms of general attitude or in character (as in honesty for instance) but we still cannot say "all". There is good and bad every where. I also feel for them. The misconceptions that have risen amongst this specific segment of our society, I believe, did so because of how the men of their societies deal with them. A woman has to be veiled in their society as a symbol of piety and goodness! The parents and the society forcefully make them wear the veil, without understanding what it truly symbolizes. The veil is something obligatory on each and every Moslem girl and woman after they reach the age of puberty or even before that if the girl's body starts taking a feminine and desirable shape, but wearing hijab should be encouraged in a proper sense. According to true understandings of what it symbolizes and obliges one to do.

In other words when a woman wears a veil, she should do it because she wants to and not because it is a social obligation. The Islamic veil is not just about extra clothing, but it is very much about certain conducts of behavior too.

The outcome of this forceful veil is that the girls take off the veil once they know they are far from their area's site! And moreover, the conduct of behavior as a whole changes. The families in such areas are messed up in their beliefs and applications to such beliefs! Most of them, unfortunately have no clue what religion and ethical conducts are truly about or how to bring up their children to be constructive individuals to them selves or to society.

Conclusion is, many women in those societies wear the veil as a response to their societies' demands rather than religious obligations. Only a few percentage do it in response to proper understanding of religion.

When we come to the higher sector of the community, it is more complicated. Most of the women and young girls wear it because they are aware that it is a religious obligation, a fewer percentage wear it because they are told they should, and another fewer percentage seem to have wore it but are not really aware of the aspect of change of conduct, i.e., again as I mentioned earlier, the hijab, or the veil, is not just a matter of extra clothing, but also a matter applying a certain conduct of behavior encouraged by Islam.

However, in the higher segment the issue is much better than that of the lower due to the education and awareness. There are some negative aspects I do agree, but even here we cannot generalize.

Conclusion is, for the latter there is much more awareness and sincerity amongst the veiled of the higher class society regardless of the fact that not all apply it properly, but at least they do not take it off after they leave home! I still do not blame those young women in the lower classes since they truly haven’t received proper awareness.

The conclusion to both sectors is, WE cannot say ALL of the women in the lower sector or the higher sector are bad. We can rather say, "Some".

We must rid ourselves of the habit of generalizations about issues concerning people. We must view each case individually and if we must, then we should not keep on criticizing or blaming the concept, rather than the person applying the concept itself. We should not say for instance: "the muhajabat are all bad" or say: "the muhajabat are wearing hijab uselessly" when we see someone not behaving accordingly to the rules.

We should just view things separately and try to actually not comment much, unless if we happen to know the person and will be able to be of advise or help rather than just sit and comment uselessly, or end up in a gossip session! If someone has something constructive and useful to say, then so be it, if not then just pray for them to be better. I hope this would be a good idea.

I do believe however, that there is a growing awareness amongst many sectors in our communities about religion, and general understandings. I would just like to add, that we must all make an effort to the lower and less educated. We must begin to make approaches to help enlighten them if we ourselves have enough knowledge. We shall all continue to be recipients of information till the moment we die, all I am trying to say, we must share what we receive with others. Those of us who were lucky to know something new, share it, do not keep it to your self.

I would like us all to work on wanting to make a nation Allah and Prophet Muhammed (Allahoma Saly 3aleih) and all the other Prophets (Allahoma Saly 3alihim) would truly be proud of!

Monday, July 11, 2005

Kingdom of Heaven

I Found the movie Kingdom of Heaven quite nice, I can dare say a movie produced by a non Arab- non Moslem that finally says or shows "some" truth about a respected leader amongst the Moslems. I do beleive some of the scenes were not totally correct though. There was one scene where I found myself jumping out of my seat.
The part when the King was held captive with the Moslems with Renau (I know I did not spell that right, but never mind me.. I just need to get something through).
When Salah Al Din gave the cup to the king to drink from (I cannot remember the dialogue word for word) and Renau took the cup and drank, then Salah Al Din told him I didn't give you the cup.......and so forth, then all of a sudden Salah Al Din slashes his throught and then he was taken outside the tent and decapitated! THAT DID NOT HAPPEN.
Renau dared Salah Al Din to fight him with the sword and Salah Al Din won.. That was it. Moslem leaders of the old days, when the leaders still held tight to Islamic laws of battle and really feared God, and abided by the God given rules (unlike now a days ofcourse, since most leaders do not abide to the Sharee3a) did not kill their prisoners of war or harm them after being held as prisoners. It is forbidden in Islam as a direct command from Allah and His Prophet. Degrading prisoners was also forbidden. here I am referring to how the movie showed the way the king was dealt with as a prisoner of war.. If you have seen the movie you will understand what I am referring to.
Balion was just great. A truely respected figure just as the Arab told him he would be at the first quarter of the movie.
I also liked the part when he stresses that they were fighting just for protection and not for the concept of claiming Jerusalem to any one in particular.
The best part of all also was when King Richard of England wanted Balion to go out to war with him against the Moslems and he refused twice.
It is a movie worth watching.

The Jelly Fish and my feeling of guilt!

I regret so much that I didn't say or do anything about that jelly fish. Here I am writing about how bad I felt about it, but honestly, what did I do? Nothing!

There might have been a possibility the man would not listen to me, but I still feel bad I didn't do or say something. We are supposed to encourage one another for doing and saying good.

Like I mentioned before, the way I see it, the sea (or whatever water body is the natural place for all kinds of fish to be. We are just visitors in their home. If we cannot cope, then leave!
Some people might argue saying something like "then where can we swim?" I feel this is selfish. I say, what about those creatures? Do they have to die so we can have the time of our lives? I just don't like it. I feel this is very selfish. I feel it is wrong. Besides there is something that I kept wondering about, would that man have reacted the same way if there were more jelly fish around? This one was alone. I guess not, I guess he would have just walked out of the water. Sub7an ALLAH..

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

The Jelly Fish

We were at the beach a couple of days ago. My husband is usually not around in Marina with us.
Anyway, I usually say Bism Illah al-Lathy la yadouro ma3a ismihi shay2oun fel ard wala fel sama2 wahowa al samee3o al3aleem before going into the water (Just incase any of u wonder, i wear an Islamic suite, although not very convinced there is such a thing, but I am obliged for Omar's sake since my husband is almost never around).
I always loved the sea, never feared it, but since I had Omar, I always feel it is better to say this duaa before I go in.

Anyway, after Omar had all his fun we went out of the water and he was playig in the sand. I was just staring at the water when all of a sudden I see a purple Jelly fish at least 70 cms of diameter. I said Al hamd lillah that we were out of the water and that no harm was done.
However, there was a man standing quite close to the Jelly fish with his son. I expected him to get his son and himself out of the water, but he was just stading there, about a meter or less away from the Jelly fish. He was just staring and staring. I wondered to myself, isn’t he worried that he might provoke it and end up with a nasty sting? Isn’t he worried his son might get hurt?
His son walked out of the water, yet he was trying to get closer to the jelly fish. To my surprise his son walked into the water again, but with a stick in his hand. He passed it on to his father. Then the father started poking the jelly fish! I was just shocked, what on earth does he think he is doing? And what is his son still doing in the water. I asked myself why? Really why is he poking the creature?

Anyway, the father said something to his son, and the next thing was his son walked out of the water again. In my mind I said, good. But the man was just following the jelly fish from a little distance. Again, the kid came back but this time with an umbrella stick! Ya ALLAH, I said to myself, why don’t they just get out of the water and let the fish swim away. I watched anxiously. The man kept trying to push the jelly fish to shore. I was just asking myself over and over again, WHY???

He kept making attempts and he was getting closer and closer to the beach, till they got it out of the water and one of the beach boys came and carried it from the top and threw it on the sand. I found myself pittying the poor creature. Next thing was some kids and grown ups gathering around it. One poking it and another throwing sand on it, and it continued for a while.

I felt angry at the people and sorrowful for the Jelly fish.

The way I see it is the sea is the natural place for any fish to be. We are allowed to only catch fish to eat, not to kill and throw them away for absolutely no reason! They have a right to live just as we do, especially the non edible creaturs of the sea or any other evironment!

Can any one please tell me, am I weird for thinking so? I feel that we should just live and let others live peacefully.. all creatures that is. Apart from the ones we need to eat and all.. I mean not killing for pleasure or sport.. or for just the fun of it!
Why can we not stop tampering with nature in such a negative manner?