the danish cartoons

greets. so i have not written anything on the subject, but i’ve been reading the opinons of others (ayman’s, for example) and the news and such, and i finally thought to post some thoughts here.

note, however, that this post is influenced by amr khaled’s message to the world about the danish cartoons, which i highly recommend everyone (muslim or not) to read (or, if you understand arabic, to listen to or view).

so what i want to address and focus on in this post is the comics themselves (i know ayman talked a lot in his blog about the world reaction, and i agree with some of his points and disagree with others, but this is not my topic here). the mere publication of the comics is, as amr khaled said, not only something degrading to islam and muslims, but its something degrading to all of mankind - yes, that includes members of all faiths and all religions. why?

let me start by using the words of george bernard shaw, a nobel prize winner for literature in 1925 - he said:

“I have always held the religion of Muhammad in high estimation because of its wonderful vitality. It is the only religion which appears to me to possess that assimilating capacity to the changing phase of existence which can make itself appeal to every age. I have studied him - the wonderful man and in my opinion far from being an anti-Christ, he must be called the Saviour of Humanity. I believe that if a man like him were to assume the dictatorship of the modern world, he would succeed in solving its problems in a way that would bring it the much needed peace and happiness: I have prophesied about the faith of Muhammad that it would be acceptable to the Europe of tomorrow as it is beginning to be acceptable to the Europe of today.”

this quote comes from a non muslim playwright and nobel prize winner - and its not off some “Abdullah Muslim’s” webpage (you can find it on the link above, and you can also find it on wikipedia). why would a non muslim say this about the Prophet Muhammad (SAW)?

regardless of whether people are muslims and revere the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) as a prophet or not, one thing remains true: no one, including his enemies, ever pointed out a fault in his character - why? because he was like no other man in his character. he showed unbelievable amounts of love and mercy to all of mankind.

the comics are a sign of pure ignorance on the side of the person who published them. does jylland-posten really know who this man he portrayed with a bomb in his turban is? he (SAW) is the first man to bring about the issue of equality - equality between everyone despite their gender, race, or economic status. it was he (SAW) who built the first hospital in Madinah at the time and made the person in charge of it a woman. it was he, (SAW), who on his deathbed, “take care of your women.”

it was he, (SAW), who gave the most honorable task of the calling to prayer to Bilal, a freed abassynian slave. it was he (SAW), the man people dare attribute to terrorism, who was the first to put forth rules of war - “do not kill any women, do not kill any children, do not kill any old people, do not cut any trees.” it was he (SAW) who conveyed to us the verse revealed to him in the Quran which states, “… that whoever slays a soul, unless it be for manslaughter or for mischief in the land, it is as though he slew all men; and whoever keeps it alive, it is as though he kept alive all men” (5:32).

muslims love the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) more than they love themselves. if you want to get an idea of this, find any place with an arabic satellite dish and sit down and watch one of the talk shows - people call in and break down crying at the mere thought that someone could dare talk about their Prophet in that way.

no one is against freedom of speech - however, i heard someone say that there’s a very thin line between hate speech and freedom of speech. and i believe this is one case in which it was obviously crossed. i am passionate about this subject because i love the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) just like all muslims do. and, in the same way as i would stand up against such comics against another prophet (Moses or Jesus (peace be upon them), for example), i would hope that people of the world stand up against this blasphemy and blatant lie as well.

so i am hoping this post actually shows up on planet arabeyes, but i think they’re using a buggy version of planet software, but that’s a different story.

memory stick, anyone?

i can’t really say i saw this one coming… but uh, memory stick, anyone?

random engadget links

first, there’s this weird pedant which blocks electromagnetic fields, and, as a bonus, also blocks negative thoughts!? rather odd…

second, there’s this honda accord that drives itself. not that i would not have expected this to happen, but just kind of neat to see it happening. i wonder if 20 years later, we will all have automatically driven cars that drive on special roads at crazy high speeds and with no errors… i guess it would be kind of like your own personal train that can switch tracks intelligently and take you from any one point to another…

happy new year - 1427 AH

kol 3am wa antum bekhayr. (transliteration will have to work until i can go home and type it in arabic :)).

green tea, microsoft keyboard

not that the two aforementioned subjects have anything to do with each other, but i figured i’d combine them in one posting anyway… so yesterday was my first real venture into green tea - i mean, seriously, how could i not try it when the back of the tea bags (which are provided free for employees to drink during the day, along with a whole slew of different other kinds of teas, coffee, and soda) reads: “Indulge in the soothing ritual of Bigelow Green Tea and discover a tastier, cleaner, smoother cup of tea that is high in antioxidants, and has no calories, carbs or fat. It’s a whole new dimension in green tea enjoyment!” – actually, i only just read the back today. the real reason i tried green tea again (which, by the way, doesn’t appear anything close to green to me) was because my throat was bothering me… and i realized its not too bad actually.

as for the microsoft keyboard… i bought one of those natural keyboards yesterday after seeing the deal on fatwallet and slickdeals… it was cake to install in linux (i didn’t have to do anything at all actually, it just worked (i was worried and expected to have problems because it was a usb keyboard, but didn’t)). but i found out that lilo doesn’t support usb keyboards, so unless my bios supports it (which i didn’t bother to check), lilo boots always into the default os, which is linux :)

but yeah, i decided to return it, simply because it was too “unnatural” for me – it felt weird, plus i had to stretch for keys that i usually wouldn’t have to stretch for as much, so, as a result, i made more typing mistakes. i think i’ll stick to my cheap labtec keyboard :)

that’s all for now.

i want this checkbook!

despite the fact that i pay almost all my bills online and barely ever write checks, i’d love to have the katamari checkbook… or, as the author pointed out, a debit card would be quite nice… but for some reason, i can’t see wachovia giving out katamari debit cards :)

why world of warcraft is like real life

world of warcraft, the popular mmorpg by blizzard, despite being over a year old, still has millions of subscribers. i’m still subscribed now (although i did quit for a few months). what i realized, however, is that with few exceptions, the game is highly repetitive and is usually played as a means of escape into a fantasy world (or, as some people claim, as a means of socializing).

but i discovered that WoW isn’t all that different from the real world - you can eat and drink in both - you can get sick, you can get disease… you can be well rested, or you can suffer from fatigue. if you try to swim across the ocean, you die from fatigue. rather than airplanes, we have gryphons or hippos. your deeds earn you a reputation with the cities and communities you work for - helping the community earns you a good reputation, whereas killing its people or harming them earns you a bad one.

in addition, as you “grow up,” you learn more, just like in the real world. just like in the real world, you need money to do anything useful, including, but not limited to, going from one place to the other (and, just like in the real world, you could, in theory, walk almost any distance, but you will pass through bad areas, see highway men, and it will definitely take you a long time), buying new equipment, buying food, drink, etc. just like the real world, you can also learn to utilize the gifts of God to man in nature - you can learn to be a miner or herbalist, or you can learn to skin dead animals. and, like in the real world, you can use these raw materials to make something useful - to make medicines to help people who are sick, or build a nice leather armor, or fix a broken sword as a blacksmith. you can even fish or be an amazing ‘chef de jour.’ heck, you can even be a jeweler!

like in the real world, you can make friends and add them to your friends list. you can join a group of people or a faction and call yourself part of them, just like our typical nationalism today in the form of guilds. moreover, you can can communicate with a lot of people. like in the real world, there are many languages depending on your race and origin. oh, and like the real world, there are many races, humans, elves, dwarves, and gnomes among others.

just like in the real world, there are good people and there are bad people. there are trustworthy people and there are thieves. besides the fact that you can pickpocket enemies (in a robin hood style “take from the rich give to the poor” fashion), you will also meet people who, when questing with you, will steal from you or be dishonest. and, of course, you’ll meet honest, friendly, and good people.

just like in the real world, there are spiders and other bugs. there are also bears, wolves, and tigers. there are also forests, oceans, and skies. there is a concept of day and night. there is a moon at night that shines so beautifully in the horizon. just like the real world, parts of world of warcraft are beautiful. just like the real world, there are areas with forests and areas that are mountainous and areas that are desert. just like the real world, there are a set number of continents, and travel across the is possible.

just like the real world, you can be religious in world of warcraft - i mean besides the fact that you can be a priest as a class, there are churches in many of the major cities. i have not stumbled across many mosques, although i have often found empty open homes which would be suitable to pray in. and, of course, for a muslim, the whole world is a masjid. in addition, all my characters follow the sunnah and thus have beards.

so yeah. world of warcraft is like real life. and that’s all.

_ [disclaimer: i don’t really believe this… or do i? ;)]_

update: i’ve tried again to run WoW under linux, except that this time, i was trying with a dell 2005fpw. all i can say is wow, transgaming really did an awesome job with cedega. i get pretty decent performance, even with an ati card on the 2005fpw. linux rocks!

namaztime development

i’ve done some work on namaztime. i made a few improvements to the interface and to the calculation algorithm, and hopefully fixed some bugs.

namaztime screenshot 1/16/2006

insha’Allah hope to release sometime soon, just got a couple more things that i want to get done for this release, a couple of small things to fix, etc…

eid mubarak!

salam 3alaikum… this post comes from our reporter in cairo. man sub7anAllah, this is the first 3eid i spend in cairo. i woke up, as usual, to the fajr athan. i got up, prayed, and went back to sleep, only to wake up a little later to the loud speakers broadcasting the people saying, “Allahu akbar, Allahu akbar, la illaha illa Allah… Allahu akbar, Allahu akbar.. wa lillahi al 7amd…”

so i got up, took a shower, and went… i went to a local masjid… after the prayer itself, most people left… but after that, i listened to the (interesting) khutbah - one of the interesting points made that i never really thought of is the fact that sub7anAllah, 3eids come right after a big pillar of islam or a big piece of worship… kinda as a reward.

anyhow… chilled the majority of the day - it was really cool though seeing the groups of goats, hearing the occaisional “baas”, and seeing everyone slaughtering them, seeing people move the dead goats around, cleaning them, skinning them, seeing rivers of animal blood in the streets, and seeing people selling the animal furs in the street.

… and at the end of the day, it rained. i think it was the first time i saw rain while i was in egypt. that’s all for now..

update: i came across this article about the eid salat khutbah on in… it quotes a 7adith which states that its not actually mandatory… i didn’t know this… but, of course, Allahu a3lam.

مصر

my flight to مصر is in 4 hours insha’Allah. i’ll be back friday insha’Allah. its short, but on the bright side, i get a few days off of work and i get to celebrate eid there insha’Allah. eid mubarak to all in advance.