Sunday, November 28, 2010

The Good, the sad and the apology

Exams are over and the holidays are finally HERE! The beginning has to be the best part of holidays since the 7 weeks seem to streeeeeeeetch in front of me... Laughing Laughing Laughing Also, its summer time -  YAY!

This is not exactly sad but apparently my blog template links to some malware site, so my very much loved template will havta go. Expect to see changes until I find something else that I really like.  Cry
[Google Chrome users - please tell me if you still see a warning message when trying to visit my blog?]

Apology: Embarassed
I must say sorry for my somewhat disappearance from the blogosphere (don't worry, I'm still alive), especially for not replying to comments - I had terrible internet connection problems and more importantly it was the exams that just seemed to hijack all my time! Embarassed

Friday, November 19, 2010

After hardship will always come ease

My extreme ecstasy on this beautiful day of Jumu’ah, I cannot refrain from blogging this –
My Sister has completed her degree successfully and is now a doctor! J J J

Need I say more??
Of course all this was only achieved through the help and blessings of Allah Azza wa Jal and we cannot thank Him enough for this!


Thursday, November 18, 2010

(delayed) !عيد مبارك

السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته

I hope you all had a splendidly awesome Eid-ul-Adha. Eid in South Africa was celebrated on Wednesday (17th November). Mine was spent here in Bloem but I don’t think it really brings out the actual SA style of Eid-ul-Adha so I won’t say much about ‘SA style Eid’. As I mentioned to someone just the other day – “In Bloem we have loads of animals, just not enough Muslims!” lolTongue out

The Bloemfontein Muslim community, in an attempt of spending Eid together, organised a braai for the entire Muslim community. The food was great, but actually the best part for me was that Muslims from different racial groups spent the afternoon together – I love seeing this! I met a number of interesting people too. It was definitely a new experience for me – first time I ever spent my Eid with total strangers! Pity that there was no Qurbaani atmosphere though.

I had to unfortunately attend a lecture yesterday, it wasn’t all that bad since it was only 2 ½ hours long. However, one the lecturers had me frustrated. Her lecturing style includes much humour and her presentations are always filled with funny pictures to help us remember stuff. Enjoyable, no doubt. However, her one acronym read “HAMMAS” and she had a picture of a bearded skeleton entitled “Achmed the Terrorist”. She made mention of a group somewhere in the Middle East that wore baklavas and used guns. The class laughed at the idea; and while I fully well understand that she mentioned it only in jest (& to help us remember) – I was irritated with this perpetuation of negative stereotypes already formed by the media. Now most of the class would associate “Hamas” and “terrorism”. I didn’t find it particularly funny.

On a more pleasant note, I had the beautiful (and sometimes difficult) opportunity of explaining our celebrations to my not-so-well informed friends. [Through my limited experience I have realized that explaining Islam adequately in English can be quite a trying and difficult experience, for instance, in English there is one word - prayer - but in Arabic we have 'Du'aa', 'Salaah', 'Zikr', 'Qur'an recitation' etc.  and after all my explanations, I often receive a 'blank look' or an 'Oh' suggesting that my audience didn't actually understand. I recall my one classmate asking me "What do you do when you'r home, I mean your exact routine?" She almost didn't believe my response and smirked " that means you pray all the time???" What is seen as the absolute minimum in the life of an average Muslim was considered to be overtly religious!] Anyway, I think practice makes one better at correctly explaining Islam, this time wasn't bad at all because my friends related to the story of Prophet Ibrahim (a.s) and I seemed to sense a bit of amazement that we actually commemorate this occasion.       

Sjoe! I've no idea why I discussed all of the above in a post titled "Eid Mubarak".
How did you spend your Eid?

Ps – the picture is not mine, I got it from a brother’s blog a long time ago but can’t seem to find the link right now so I can’t acknowledge it. 

Smileمع السلامة و في رعاية الله

**this ought to have been posted yesterday but remained as a draft due to exhaustion, sleep deprivation and exams. Sorry**

Monday, November 15, 2010

Witnessing excellence in action

Israel Ponty Moletsane (a SA revert to Islam) hit the front page of Arab News. Israel PM is pretty well-known to many listeners of Channel Islam International [even though he never really comes on air, many presenters often refer to him].
Working at CII was instrumental in changing his misconceptions about Islam (e.g. Islam was something only for Indians) and he publicly announced his conversion when a scholar made du’aa for him in ‘Arafah last year. I’m amazed. **aside: I feel responsible for not doing enough in detoxifying the toxic-waste-stories about Islam**

This year Israel PM spoke to CII from the plains of ‘Arafah and said that one of the most outstanding aspects of Hajj was the total brotherhood that exists everywhere. No distinction.
He also, (in return for the du’aa that was made for him last year), promised to make individual du’aa for all CII listeners by making use of the CII Facebook page.

Israel PM was sponsored a Hajj trip by Mr Yacoob Vahed of the Al Imdaad Foundation. Now, I simply cannot bypass this opportunity to highlight the remarkable selflessness of the Al Imdaad Foundation, particularly Mr Y Vahed. A man who so subtly and quietly touches individual lives of many people globally, [including mine]; and admirably accepts no gratitude for the amazing stuff he does! It is utterly amazing how Allah Ta’ala places total strangers to assist one in the time of need.
May Allah bless the Al Imdaad Foundation and reward them in both worlds. Ameen.

Anyway, I am aware that this is a completely random post and I apologise for ending off even more randomly but I cannot seem to continue without divulging too much unnecessary information about myself – so we’ll leave it there then.


Friday, November 12, 2010

Bloem is furious, ‘woedend’!

 [I know this a somewhat delayed but anyhow, here-goes a summary...]

The story: A 35-year old female doctor (currently specialising in paediatrics) was raped while on a weekend call at Pelonomi State Hospital in Bloemfontein on Saturday (6th Nov 2a.m.). According to news sources she was attacked with a brick by three men, on a staircase; and was subsequently raped. All attackers where arrested 3hours after the incident and were expected to appear in court on Tuesday (9th Nov). Read the full story here and here.

The medical students of the University of the Free State, with a strong desire to express their resentment and support for the victim, decided to go to court on Tuesday morning in a form of ‘dumb protest’. Approximately, 100 Kovsie medical students (*do you think we were more?*) gathered outside the court in the hope that their ‘passive movement’ will ‘speak louder than words’. The main intention was to show support for the doctor and at the same time silently protesting against abuse/crime. One of the students on encouraging others to join: “...if it’s what we do that defines us, then, let’s make our presence felt by this support movement”.

The entrance of the court gradually became crowded with the different organisations/representatives that came to show support.

The nursing staff came out strongly with their mini-protest; ‘toi-toi – ing’ with placards. Their energetic shouting of ‘Amandla’ and ‘Awethu’ in response still resounds in our ears. (‘Amandla’ = power, ‘Awethu’ = will be ours / belongs to us). Some nurses encouraged medical students to join in their protest - “Let your voices be heard” said one nurse; but the students were firm on silent support only. The nurses handed over a memorandum requesting ‘NO BAIL’ for the criminals.

Amongst other representatives were:

  • ·         “Bikers against abuse”
  • ·          South African Medical Association (SAMA)
  • ·         African National Congress (the current ruling political party), Women’s league


General feelings of students:

  •              Combination of shock, disgust, pity and fear.
  • ·         Students fear a similar heinous crime recurring and expect the officials to make changes that would ensure a safe working environment. (It is unfortunate that incidents like these have to occur before safety is evaluated).
  • ·         Safety at the Pelonomi Hospital was further questioned when a random man was found sleeping in doctor’s quarters. This occurred after the rape incident – something must be done!

My thoughts:
In addition to the above mentioned opinions and concerns; I think South Africa needs to review its punishment for serious crimes. Perhaps harsh punishment would deter future would-be criminals?

*can you spot me in any of the pictures?* :P

What are your thoughts?

Thursday, November 4, 2010

The rope: Author unknown

The night fell heavy in the heights of the mountains and the man could not see anything. All was black. Zero visibility, and the moon and stars were covered by the clouds. As he was climbing only a few feet away from the top of the mountain, he slipped and fell into the air, falling at great speed. He could only see black spots as he went down, and the terrible sensation of being sucked by gravity.

He kept falling. And in the moments of great fear, it came to his mind all the good and bad episodes of his life. He was thinking now about how close death was getting, when all of a sudden he felt the rope tied to his waist pull him very hard. His body was hanging in the air.

Only the rope was holding him and in that moment of stillness, he had no other choice other than to scream: “Help me Allah”

All of a sudden a deep voice coming from the sky answered: “What do you want Me to do?”

“Save me Allah”

“Do you really think I can save you?”

“Of course I believe You can”

“Then cut the rope tied to your waist”

There was a moment of silence and the man decided to hold onto the rope with all his strength. The rescue team tells that the next day a climber was found dead and frozen. His body hanging from a rope. His hands holding tight to it. Only 1 foot away from the ground.

Conclusion: And we? How attached are we to our rope? Will we let go? Don’t ever doubt the words of Allah (SWT). We should never say that He has forgotten us or abandoned us.