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Monthly Archives: November 2005

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La hawla wa la quwwata illa billah

“Whatever of Mercy (i.e. of good), Allah may grant to mankind, none can withhold it, and whatever He may withhold, none can grant it thereafter. And He is the All-Mighty, the All-Wise.” (Qur’an, 35:2)

The Qur’an states that if God wills something for you, no one can withhold it, and if God chooses to withhold something from you, no one and no thing can grant it.

It makes sense, no? Without God we don’t even have existence, how then can we pretend to have any power or ability unless it comes from him? We acknowledge that because He is the Source, it is foolish to seek from anywhere else. Creations have no power over the Creator.

There is no power nor strength except with God, so why then, do we put our faith and our hopes in people and things other than Him? Why do we feel that certain objects will possibly entice (or coerce?) God to grant a prayer that we feel hadn’t been answered so far? If nothing and no one in the world can withhold what Allah chooses to grant you, then why are we waving around holy chapattis and tying black strings around our childrens’ necks?

That black string, btw, is called a tavees, and people take verses of the Qur’an or write Allah’s name on a piece of paper, sew it into a black piece of cloth (because black is holier than other colors?) and tie it around the necks of their children to protect them from harm. The power of this tavees is apparently stronger than that of God, because is this not a better, more surefire measure than simply asking God to protect your children? I mean, maybe God had intended to let your child get a cold, but then you tied a tavees around the kid’s neck and now God has been enticed/coerced into changing His mind? Astaghfirullah.

Or hey, maybe you’ve had a bad fiscal year and someone tells you that you need to burn some chili peppers in your house while reciting verses from the Qur’an. So you’ve already been making dua and you feel it’s not working? Chili peppers also have the power to change your fate. God may have been testing you with a tough year, as He said he would, but chili peppers can change that because chili peppers are yet another way of making God reconsider His will. You thought they were just hot? Oh no, they’re also Powerful and Mighty.

We know it’s wrong to lend divine power to people, it’s easier to say that the dirty man in the green satin has no power to either change or thwart God’s will. But why is it not wrong to try ‘curing’ things with burnt peppers and chapattis? Or a black goat sacrificed in the moonlight on a Friday facing East and reciting Surah Fatiha?

“If Allah touches you with hurt, there is none can remove it but He; and if He intends any good for you, there is none who can repel His favor which He causes it to reach whomsoever of His slaves He will, and He is the Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (Qur’an, 10:117)

We are all linked to God through our hearts, our thoughts, and our prayers, and there is nothing more direct, more “powerful” than asking Him for help. If you’ve been asking for something you haven’t gotten yet and you feel it’s time to take stronger, holier measures and break out the green peppers, what are you basing your actions on? Do you feel that God owes you something and that perhaps you should take stronger measures so that He grants it? Do we know something that God doesn’t, or are we just hoping to get our way with the Creator?

“If Allah helps you none can overcome you, and if He forsakes you, who is there, after Him, that can help you. And in Allah (alone) let believers put their trust.” (Qur’an, 3:160)

We must not let impatience with our trials lead us to the bizarre cultural form of shirk of associating foodstuff with our worship of God. We must also be wary of the shirk of drinks (make a prayer, blow on a glass of water and drink it, your prayer will be answered?), both hot and cold (try with an espresso?) Beware also of associating a certain location in your worship, because there are people who tell you that a prayer at such and such a grave will be answered, guaranteed. What guarantee are they talking about? Whose guarantee is it? The guarantee of the curator of the shrine, whose word supercedes God’s?

“And whosoever fears Allah and keeps his duty to Him. He will make a way for him to get out (from) every (difficulty), and He will provide him from (sources) he could never imagine.” (Qur’an, 65:2-3)

There is no power nor might except with God. Beware the outrageous belief that man can, with the power of worldly objects, change God’s mind about what’s been willed for him.

What the Muslim world needs is more chapatti

There’s a tv channel called QTV- Qur’an tv- upon which there’s a sort of ‘ask the scholar’ type of program. People call in with their problems and a learned man sitting off-camera advises them. Yesterday’s program was rather interesting.

Woman caller: I have a problem with my son, he’s not disobedient, but he sleeps all day and he stays up all night. What should I do?

Moderator: This is a common problem among our youth these days, what do you recommend?

Learned man: When you wake him up for breakfast, make him a chappati and write ‘Ya Allah’ over it with your finger seven times. Then feed it to him.

I’m sure there’s a logical reason for this. The logical explanation must be that chapatti has hyper-religious powers that we don’t. Even though Allah states that He is nearer to us than the jugular veins in our own necks, chapatti can bring Him even closer. That’s how to bring your teenager nearer to God, feed him God.

And if you feel your prayers about your son have been going unanswered, then just address God on a chapatti, because despite the fact that Allah is All-Hearing and All-Knowing and listens to our quietest prayers and hears our secretest thoughts, chapatti is still better at getting His attention than we ever could be.

Such wonders from a home-made flatbread.

I wonder what miracles one could work with a jalebi?


We now return you to your regularly scheduled apartment

Well, I’m back home in ze apartment again, sleeping in my own bed and coughing germs onto my very own husband. Ah, the comforts of home. My three-day fever being over, I’ve moved on to tackling my five-day cough. It sounds pretty gross, really, and is not at all the debonair vocalization that one comes to expect from a ladies’ man like myself. *wiggles eyebrows*

I’m sort of weak and wobbly feeling, and if I was a better sick person I could use this to my advantage. I could delicately wheeze and look yearningly towards the window, meaning I wanted an ice-cream sundae, or I could turn over in bed and sigh, indicating that I wanted a new laptop. The opportunities are endless, but I have failed to avail any of them because my brain is running below standard too, and by the time I come up with really good demands, the opportune little cough or sigh has already passed.

I’m no good at being sick. I get bored lying in bed and I don’t want “sick person food” (except for my Momma’s chicken soup, which is magically delicious regardless of whether you’re diseased). I want ice cream. I want pizza. I want nachos and chocolate cookies and the stomach sez that if these things taste good, then logically they must be good. And what harm can come of it? Illness is bacterial, or viral, or psychological (hehe) not nutritional, so why can’t “sick person food” be stuff that makes you happy and therefore more energetic and more likely to recover? Does chocolate ice-cream not make one want to get up and dance? If they served more ice-cream in hospitals they would have a lot more dancing patients and therefore a lot less sick people.

That’s it, isn’t it. Feeding sick people bland food is all a conspiracy by hospitals to keep you sicker for longer, therefore increasing hospital revenue. Trust me, I’ve had hospital food, and it definitely saps your will to carry on. We, the common people, have simply carried the hospital’s ‘wisdom’ into our own lives, not realizing the damage we are causing to ourselves.

Friends, colleagues, I believe I have made a valid case, and a review of my theory (boring food makes you sad, sadness leads to lethargy and weakness, your weakness gives the germs the upper hand in the battle) proves, without a doubt, that HF should bring home a pint of chocolate ice-cream.


Thank you.

It’s been a long ole while

What have I been up to lately? Well, at the moment I’m under quarantine. Momma, Owlie and I are ill and keeping each other company with flu germs. HF has gently and tactfully suggested I enjoy the Chateau for as long as I like.. and am infectious, hehe. I suggested he come and visit me, he muttered something about sick people having such unreasonable demands. :p Everyone should keep their distance, actually. Knicq bhai, Mona, BL, back I say! back! The Chateau is a red zone for flu germs and unless you want to lose a week of your life to blown-out tissues and bottles of cough syrup and aspirin, you’ll stay away.

On top of it all, because I’m, err.. hehe, expecting (InshaAllah, InshaAllah) the meds I can take are quite limited. Acetamenaphen is safe, and so is Robitussin DM, but nothing else that I know of is ok for now. I have to pop in to my Tabiba and ask her what will clear up my nose without hurting my lil Bebe.

*sappy smile*

Yeah, we’re expecting a Bebe, a cute little bundle of MashaAllah to be delivered late this March, hopefully via UPS, and InshaAllah healthy and well and naked and pink. 🙂 In the mean time, I’m still sick and I’m going back to bed. I woke up at the unholy hour of 7:30 am when the cough syrup wore off and have been up HTML’ing since. (I fixt my blog, see?) Back to sleep with me.


You know, for a while I broke my blog? hehe