Work has been eating up the rest of my life like A Very Hungry Caterpillar, hence no posts here of late.

I often have ideas for posts fizzing in my head, but so rarely have the chance to sit down and write them.

Nafs. Mine are sadly sturdy and well-fed creatures, but lately, they’ve not just been running the show but wearing military uniform and having parades in their honour. As the summer light causes the prayer times to slide apart, opportunities for revolt abound.

Fajr is obedience. Not only awakening from the sweetest sleep, but getting up, splashing water then standing, bowing, sujood and sitting. I do this for me, but more then this, I do it for Him, to start the day with the right hand angel writing.

Tonight I came home wanting to eat and set my brain adrift from the comfort of the sofa, but it was time to pray. I made myself go and make wudu, then pray.

It was not the best prayer. My recitation was faster then it should be, concentration lacking, for I am a poor servant, easily distracted, eating bread at the circuses. Yet, by the end I am sitting feeling the honour of the prayer, the joy of the connection.

Al Halim, let my heart be Yours always


Cult Friction

At my old job, a while ago, we were sitting watching the tv in the staff room. The news was on, and one of the stories featured Sarkozy. Involuntarily, I grimace.
A colleague asks me, “So you’re not a fan of Sarkozy then?”.
“Definitely not. I’m just glad I’m not a French Muslim.”
“I can understand that”.
“Yeah, I have to say, the U.K is definitely a good place be Muslim, compared to most countries in Europe.”
“Then why do we have such violent extremists here?”
“I don’t know… I don’t understand it at all”.

I didn’t know what else to say. His question was a valid one and I did not know how to answer it.

I have to point out something that is very obvious, but rarely stated:

Violent extremists are just as frightening and perturbing to Muslims as they are to Non-Muslims, because they care as little for the lives of other Muslims as they do for anyone else. To them, we are either not true believers, or we should be happy to die.

Indeed, death will come to us all, as Allah the Almighty and Glorious wills it, but it’s fair to say that I don’t want to be blown to bits while sitting on a bus and I’m sure my coreligionists feel similarly.

So why do these people attempt or carry out such violent acts? Firstly, I do not accept U.K foreign policy as a valid excuse or justification. The vast majority of the U.K people are opposed to the Iraq and to intervention in Afghanistan. The 15/02/03 protect against the Iraq war was the largest in U.K history. I was there and can testify to how colossal it was.

I’m tired of whataboutery. We know our deen. Injustice in Iraq, Palestine or anywhere else will not be stopped by a burning car at Glasgow airport. Such acts are not just futile, they are gravely sinful. The vast, overwhelming majority of Muslims know this, so why are some deluded into thinking otherwise?

The key phrase here is deluded. Their mind has been deceived, twisted. How has this happened?

Brother Tariq Nelson and Brother Hood, both wrote excellent posts about the cult mentality of some Muslims and Muslim movements.

Recently, at a programme of presentations aimed at converts to Islam, I attended a talk by a charity called the Cult Information Centre (CIC). The talk focused on what a cult is and their techniques of psychological coercion. The congruence with cases of suicide/attempted suicide bombers were astounding.

CIC defines psychological coercion as having two basic principles:

1. If you can make a person BEHAVE the way you want, you can make that person BELIEVE the way you want.

2. Sudden, drastic changes in environment lead to heightened suggestibility and to drastic changes in attitudes and beliefs.

So what now? I think a key is to educate our young about the dangers of such groups and thinking. Just saying “These actions are haraam”, is not enough, we must equip our community to recognise the tactics of such groups and why they are dangerous.

Some people at the talk were unhappy that a non-Muslim was talking about such things to Muslims. It’s seen as dirty laundry. Well this ‘dirty laundry’ affects everyone and we need to fix it, without squeamishness or short cuts.

Three years + of being a Muslim….

… and I still can’t sit still on the floor for long periods of time. There are children in the mosque who fidget less then me. Legs crossed, legs folded, legs tucked underneath – pins and needles, must stretch legs, legs straight out in front. Hope no-one thinks I’m being rude by pointing my soles at them. Try to wangle feet so they point away. Feet get cramp from being at such an odd angle. Cross legs and repeat cycle.

Ah dear blog I have missed you. I have lots of ideas but very little time and what I want to write I feel like I need to sit down and take my time over and… see my sparkly crown? I wear it because I’m the queen of procrastination.

So in lieu of writing an actual post, I’m updating my blogroll.

New additions are:

# Abu Sinan
# Darvish
# Dictator Princess
# Impossibly Blue Skies
# Jamerican Muslimah
# Lucky Fatima
# Mama Mona
# Mother of One
# Multicultural Muslimah
# Muse
# Saudi Stepford Wife
# Sweep the Sunshine

I do love the islamiblogosphere. Masha Allah, there are some amazing writers and minds out there.

If you would like to be added to my blogroll, let me know. Note, everyone gets a comment by their link (hover the cursor over to read it). It generally involves alliteration, because I have a childlike fascination with it.