Saturday, April 19, 2008

Muslim Notions of Strangeness and Eminence Pt. 1

This previous Friday, the khateeb mentioned the all to famous quote on Islam, Muslims, and strangeness. A reminder that Islam and Muslims were seen as strange and that being seen as strange is not something to be seen as problematic.

Yet there is another notion of Islam and Muslims that is oft repeated. The history of Muslims academic, military, cultural, and political eminence - reminders of us to walk and talk with pride with others of our past and revive it.

On face value, these two seem conflicting opposite visions of what Muslims should live like... After all, to be accepted as the eminent authority in a field is exactly to leave you as the stranger.

I will continue part 2 - Feel free to leave preliminary thoughts on your own views below.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

The Philosopher and the Revolutionary
a short story

Standing outside the masjid, the philosopher embraced the idyllic snow that settled upon his beard, waiting to be brushed off or slowly lose shape and melt into water droplets that would seep into his hairs. It was the third friday of January in New York and the streets were visible with snow enough to mask the sight of pedestrians from a distance. The philosopher paced a few steps forward and then retreated to cover his initial steps. He had done this a few times over the last half hour while he waited for the revolutionary to meet up with him. The philosopher told the revolutionary to meet up with him in front of masjid so they could enter together. The real reason was that the discreet location of the masjid made it difficult for the untrained eye to pick it out from the apartment complexes surrounding it.

The philosopher did not mind the wait but rather took the moments to observe and reflect upon the congregation members who had passed him by to enter the building. He kept his distance from the middle aged women with the brown paper bag who asked for the congregation member for a donation as to prevent himself from being in that intimate space where one can ask another for help. Amongst those who passed him by were various African street sellers, South Asian cabbies, Arab restaurant workers, students from the local community college, and elderly people of different classes and backgrounds, each with their own pre-Jummah ritual and demeanor as they entered the masjid.

to be continued...

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Fathers and Daughters

I like these pictures. I'd like to share it with you because it shows how men can be loving fathers. I believe the girls featured in the picture are the daughters of the men, but symbolically it shows that men be be loving towards their children, specifically their daughters.

One day I hope to have children - I grew up around 2 sisters and in my teens saw my aunt give birth to 3 daughters who frequented our house often. I raised them in one way. I feel with little girls that I think that if all my children were girls, I would be content but not if all my children were boys.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Confessions of a Former Poet

I used to be a poet. I used to see poetry in everything - I used see the rich complexities of life, the pain and pleasure of living... yes, I had that poet vision.

I have not see that vision in me... I'm afraid I have lost that sight. I want to return to that vision I had.

Any suggestions from the readers who pass by?