nice nasheed on youtube

one of my friends told me about this nice nasheed video (islamic song) on youtube - interestingly enough, i saw it being played on tv while i was flipping through the channels the following day… and i made a youtube account so i can use the favorites list and added it as my first favorite on there :) by the way, who sings this, does he mean mishari rashid?

edit - i was going to put a direct embedding of the video here, but seems as though i have to jump through some hoops to get wordpress to do this. so the video link is here.

discovering non whats the plot plots...

(translated into normal english, the title would read, “discovering the things that have happened and/or the news in places other than this weblog”).

so for the longest time, i’ve been using bloglines… a while back, i gave google reader a shot, but it was totally unusable. finally, a few days back, they released a new, much nicer version. so much so that i would say i easily prefer it to bloglines… the new google reader solves the main issue i have with bloglines - that once you’ve read the feeds, you can’t ever see them again and they’re gone forever. it also adds some nice new features (starring, and the public watchlist are really neat features). and the new ui is awesome…

so far, i only have two complaints about the new reader - first, it doesn’t refresh automatically (or does so after a very long time). this isn’t a big deal because there are firefox extensions to do this kind of thing. the second is a bit more problematic - the default refresh values for feeds seems to be way too long to me. this is fine for 99% of sites because they typically are not updated that frequently. however, for watching something like the fatwallet deals forum, the default rate doesn’t seem to cut it (bloglines also has some default, but i never really “noticed” it with fatwallet for example, whereas i found myself often wondering, “wait, no new deal postings?” while using google reader - which may also mean that bloglines also has this problem, i haven’t really done any real testing on this). recently, i’ve also subscribed to the del.icio.us hotlist and y! top news, which change pretty often.

so my solution to this problem is to handle those types of feeds with a combination of netvibes and my desktop rss reader (so if i miss them while i am at work during the day, i can see them when i go home). so for the time being, i’ll probably try to stick to using google reader. if you’re still using bloglines and haven’t tried google reader yet, i suggest you export your feeds from it and give google reader a try. even though there is no perfect rss web based reader yet, maybe one day there will be :)

more on the moonsighting issues...

so much stuff about these calculations – yesterday, mansoor posted a link to what sheikh 7amza yusuf had to say about the fiqh council decision. today, sas sent me a link to dr. zulfiqar ali shah’s 60+ (!) page paper supporting the calculation theory. in sas’s words, and i quote:

“ok basically i saw the video and was very upset since he broght nothing from the quran and sunnah and went against what i thought were clear texts… its AMAZING how much proof they brought like fiqhi and responses and clarifications - its out of this world… the arguments are so amazing dude - this is islamic scholarship (contempoary) at its finest man..”

when i came to post this, i saw OK’s comments on the previous posts, where he points to some links that critique the paper. mind you, i didn’t read any of those links really… but regardless, at the end of the day, as the introduction to “3asr al-a2imah” used to say:

“علي الأصول اتفقوا و كانت حكمه… و في الفروع إختلفوا و كانت رحمه”

which means, “with regards to the usool, the fundamentals or principles, they (the 4 imams) agreed, and this was a wisdom… and with regards to the branches, they differed, and this was a source of mercy…”

رمضان كريم

ramadan kareem to all! i am so glad that the moon was actually seen in some places, otherwise i was going to have a hard time deciding whether to fast on saturday with the masjid or on sunday… this, of course, didn’t stop some people from deciding to fast sunday anyway :)

by the way, mansoor pointed me to this video on the isna page where dr. muzammil siddiqi talks about the reason for the fiqh council’s decision. good watch.

new domain!

the site can now be accessed at whatstheplot.com. going to slowly phase out piousity insha’Allah (piousity.net 301 redirects to whatstheplot.com, so there should be no broken links). anyone have a good idea for a new secondary title? the old one was “the latest plot at piousity.net,” but that doesn’t really apply anymore…

i need to find another good theme for this site or make a new one for it at some point…

freaky...

someone sent this link to one of the mailing lists i read. man is that scary… if you search for yourself and it doesn’t find you, try searching for your parents or your friends’ parents…

on moonsighting for ramadan...

our masjid here announced the dates for ramadan and 3eid being this saturday (923) and monday (1023) respectively. this is based on the fiqh council of north america’s decision to use calculation to determine the dates for ramadan and 3eid.

something about this struck me as odd, determining the dates of both ramadan and 3eid this far in advance. i used to think that basing the moonsighting off of calculations was a good thing, until i found out that calculations could be wrong. i found this out when i read sheikh isam’s excellent answer to this question on islamicnetwork (link courtesy of OK, jazahAllah khair).

in my personal and non-scholarly opinion, i would figure that since the world is so small today and news can travel from one part of the world to another within seconds, that if any trustworthy people say they saw the moon, then we should all fast, and if no one sees it, then we should wait. but of course there is difference of opinion on all of this, and its from the mercy of Allah on us, and of course as always, Allah knows best.

namazTime update

soner eker emailed me some beautiful graphics and a redone ui for namazTime, so i redid the ui based on what he sent me. you can see the screenshot here.

a neat tip for gmailers

this is a priceless tip that could prove useful to some of the gmail users out there…

about the facebook feeds...

today, the facebook “gets a facelift,” in which they add feeds and such. here’s a screenshot.

facebook redesign

so as you can see from the screenshot above, it basically gives you detailed information about almost everything that all your friends are doing - you know when someone has added a friend, joined a group, left a group, changed his or her status or profile, and so on.

while facebook was never really that private (any of your friends could look and see these changes if they wanted to, but it would take time and effort), i think that this will cause me to be a bit more cautious about what i change and when i write on people’s walls and so on. in some ways, i can see how this may increase interaction (if you’re just logging on real quick to check messages, you may see a friend’s update that may cause you to react in some way (post a message, etc), which you otherwise may not have seen), but at the same time, i can see how it would cause people to be cautious.

it is interesting to see the reaction of people to these changes - i think the screenshot above suffices in explaining what i am trying to say…

update - check out mark zuckerberg’s reply to all the negative feedback on the facebook. check it out here on the facebook blog.