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Saturday, 28 November 2009

Celebrate What?

2009. November 27/Dhul Hijjah 10th. Eid ul Adha.

It's so weird living in this time of the Earth's life. A few hundred years ago,you have people celebrating some guy being electrocuted while flying a kite. Go back another few hundred years,you have people being blamed of being witches and people celebrated when they were burnt alive. Dotted between these two are people celebrating their victories in wars. They all had something to celebrate and they all knew the reason they celebrated - finding electricity, destroying evil and triumph over their enemies. You can hardly say the same for this era.
People celebrate things because they see other people celebrate it. They don't have an inkling of why those people were celebrating it in the first place. Some people skip all the ritual doodahs and only appear when they see something in it for themselves. This is exactly what's happening in Eid.
I've always thought that Eid was a time of happiness. At first, it was just a thought, but then my parents told me the real reason we're celebrating Eid ul Adha and I was actually happy. The reason was that Nabi Ibrahim (aalaihisalam) saw a dream that he was going to sacrifice his son, Nabi Ismail (aalaihisalam)-a vision from Allah- and both Prophets agreed to it. The moment Nabi Ibrahim's knife went up into the air, preparing to sacrifice his own son, Allah stopped him saying: O Ibrahim! You have fulfilled the dream(Ch 37:99-111 Quran). He stopped him and instead sent a great ram down to be sacrificed instead and eaten by the Prophets as a reward for having complete faith in Allah and following his orders without question.
The reason Nabi Muhammad (sallallahu aalaihi was salam) asked us to celebrate the 10th of every Dhul Hijjah was to remember Nabi Ibrahim's unwavering obedience to Allah.
Now, I'm not saying people do not know the history of Eid ul Adha, rather, they tend to celebrate it without the real reason in mind. They celebrate it because there's loads of food, people gather in huge numbers and the tea is exceptional. I just find it really sad that Nabi Ibrahim's obedience is no longer a cause of celebration. I really want to see how the people of Old celebrated it and compare it to this time. I'm sure there will be noticeable differences.
The Takbir is just words if you don't mean any of it. And I don't think that saying it beautifully is the reason we actually recite it. Umi said that the reason that the people of Old recited the Takbir was to show the strength of the Muslims and not their beauty. This means that we're meant to say it loudly and proudly and with power that scares the Kafiruns.
The cause, the mindset and the methods were changed over time unwillingly, maybe not hugely but still significantly.
This was one of my only posts that I had put thought into. I hope anyone that read this finds it helpful for next year.

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Good. This is very Good.

Once upon a time, not so long ago, 4 boys named Ala', Faidhi, Nasa and Muaz had gone to watch a movie and play bowling. Rather, they played bowling first and then they watched a movie.
During the bowling match, it was needless to say that Faidhi won, with Ala' closely following behind on points. Muaz and Nasa were left far, far, far behind. We all wish them a better luck next time.
Off to the movie, Faidhi stayed behind to get a quick bite at Hardee's - some nuggets dipped in cheese - while the others went to claim their movie ticket seats. Having finished his meal, Faidhi quickly rushed off to the cinema, not wanting to miss out on any important bits of the movie.
He hurriedly passed through the security points and was very relieved when he saw that the cinema was still showing some advertisement. The only one he could remember afterward was a preview of a Jackie Chan movie. Apparently, he didn't remember it because it looked like it would be fun to watch but because the commentator had said some of the lamest cliches in the history of movie-making; "He tried his best to protect life, but was repaid.... with DEATH!" (cue sad music)
When he got to his seat, his friends gleefully told him that they had managed to sneak in some drinks from outside the cinema by stuffing it down their bags. They were very clever friends of his. A few more commercials after the Jackie Chan one, the movie started...
Now, Faidhi does not want to spoil the movie for any one who hasn't seen it yet, so he has chosen to skip the movie synopsis and go straight to the lesson learned from the movie.
When I say ''learned'', I meant more of what came across his mind when he saw the movie. He thought: well, if the world was going to end, might as well head to Makkah and pray, asking for forgiveness and do the Hajj. But what he saw from the movie was people still caring about each other and trying to save each other. He wondered:if the world was really ending, people would be really selfish, trying to save themselves and not caring about who lived or who died. This seemed more logical as once you know the world is going to end, even if you save someone, you won't be there to see them again. There is just no way all those people were that unselfish. Those were his thoughts about the movie's plot.
His thoughts on the movie itself, however, was slightly different: he thought they portrayed the plot really well and that it hooked the audience by using so many different nationalities at it's core. They used a fat wealthy man from Russia to accumulate comedy into the story as well. It was all very well done. Although, he would have preferred it if there were subtitles included during the movie; he had to translate the Arabic subtitles to understand the Mandarin spoken which really messed up his head.
Then, satisfied with the movie and each with their own say about the movie and the scores of the bowling match, they headed back to their respective homes.
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