The Illuminati was here

Look at the similarities. The Illuminati is already around us! Our ancestors were poisoned! And you know what that means. No more ketupats for hari raya.

(Seriously, with my news feed recently being flooded with the illumanti-is-everywhere-and-in-the-olympic-tree, this should knock some sense into the people.)

(Image source)

 

Also, Imam Suhaib said it pretty well here:

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CNET, Chinese accent is NOT Singaporean accent

CNET Asia, you guys really dissappoint me. I saw this video of you guys testing Siri:

http://asia.cnet.com/videos/first-look-siri-and-asian-accents-45699808.htm

At first there was the Filipino accent, then Malay accent. Then a guy with distictively local Chinese accent tested the phone, and the caption reads “Singaporean accent.”

My reaction, had I been eating cereal.

Chinese accent = Singaporean accent??

Really??!!

And that Malay and Indian accents were not in any way “Singaporean?” I guess that Freudian slip clarifies the way you think, and how you look at others.

Mr John Chan, CNET Asia editor, you’ve really got some editing to do.

Tsk tsk.

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Post-GE2011: Where are my real Malay-Muslim leaders?

A member of the infamous million-strong PAP Makcik Batallion. How can the opposition win them over? (Image credit)

So GE2011 wasn’t what I wanted it to be. I am not happy with the results. To be frank, I was hoping that Tin Pei Ling and the whole of PAP Marine Parade team to succumb under the pressure of NSP and Nicole Seah, but let’s focus on the Malay issues.

Did the bulk of Malay-Muslim voters still side with PAP? Let’s see.

A day after polling day, hey-Muslims-be-less-strict-lah LKY and his dutiful son LHL came out a day just to rub a bucketful of salt and sand into the gaping wound. The former insisting that his comments didn’t affect Malay votes (link), and the in latter’s exact words: “I believe that the Malay votes were with us in this general election. I think Yaacob (Ibrahim) would confirm that.” (link)

I take it their electoral analysts have really managed to narrow down the vote patterns based on the ballot boxes. So do the Malays really forgive that fast?

Then two days later I found myself having teh tarik with some friends, and naturally GE hogged the conversation.

“You know,” said a friend. “I think the reason the opposition failed to get more seats was because of their weakest link.”

“Weakest link? You mean Chiam See Tong?” said another who’s more concerned with emotional articulation than substance. Fair point though given he’s one of those first-time voter.

“No, not him. I mean, the Malays in the opposition lah,” the friend quipped.

True enough, I thought.

To be honest, I cannot even name more than two of the Malay opposition candidates correctly. And the one I can name correctly is because I know he looks very familiar – which I found out later he’s a friend’s acquaintance.

Most of us followed the frantic 9 days of campaigning. But can you recall a time where a Malay opposition candidate was singled out because of merit? Not once. Heck, even TPL garnered more publicity than any of the Malay opposition candidates. Granted for the wrong reason, but still, why is there no prominent Malay opposition candidate?

I know of so-called up-and-coming Malay professionals who claimed they were courted to join the PAP, invitied to one of those tea parties, and even interviewed. But none of them were even appraoched by the opposition parties. I know the opposition lack resources and funds, but they really gotta work the ground. And if they are really serious about getting Malay votes, the have got to find the right Malay candidates.

For me, I like the opposition not because of their Malay candidates, but because of their manifestos and policies. Really, it’s a world apart from the pro-corporatist PAP which doens’t sem care if the rich gets richer and the poor gets poorer. It’s like the freaking GDP is their holy grail, and if they get that, all other problems are magically solved.

But somehow, it seems to me that a bulk of the Malays are not able to process anything beyond the candidates personality or qualifications. Of course, the extra cash ala Grow and Share helps too, especially to those who are cash-strapped and regard the handout as a literallifesaver.

Yet this particular Malay demography do raise a pertinent point for the opposition parties to ponder; they don’t want some Amat, Mamat or Rahmat to represent them in parliament. Read again: these electorate don’t care about policies. They see themselves in a weak state, and they want someone highly qualified to be their voice in parliament because of that feel-good factor. I know how irrelevant a Malay PAP Member of Parliament is for the Malay-Muslim cause, but again it seems that to this particular demography, it doesn’t matter. So read this again: Choosing between some Malay diploma holder or obscure businessman or financial consultant, I really believe they will instead pick someone with a “Dr” behind their name. See their logic? Irrational as it is, you gotta whink like one to win their hearts.

And then comes the next issue, and here’s my personal grouse. The Malay-Muslim Singaporeans – in general – should better position themselves in politics in order to ensure that they stand a chance to actually shape the direction of Singapore. Look, I’m not saying we go about doing some covert ultra-right-wing nationalist underground clan, but the own community should make sure that they are represented in parliament with good, strong Malay-Muslim individuals.

Look at the other minority, the Indians. We have a whole lot to learn from them in politics. Be it in the PAP or opposition, they have really capable people represented there. Look at the likes of Pritam Singh, or Vincent WijeySingha, or even the Singaporean-celup Janil Puthucheary. It’s not hard to imagine one of them to be appointed as ministers. But do we have Malay candidates who shine like that? Where are our real Malay candidates? When will we ever have our own Rajaratnam or Dhanabalan?

It got to start from now. At least to look after our own interests, we should have good, solid, people throughout. We gotta stop thinking short-term and make sure that we are prepared when the next wave comes by the next general election. Maybe it will take another 2-3 terms to see the opposition breaking the two-thirds majority. And that means we have between 5-15 years to groom some solid Malay-Muslim politicians. One who is strongly rooted in the community, with excellent qualifications and experience, and most importantly born with titanium backbones. For own our sake.

And by we, I’m looking you, opposition parties.

PS: Even the semi-foul-mouthed Tuan Johari Awang is looking at these issues closely. He had a blast with his first piece, and has agreed to contribute more to this blog. So keep on a lookout for him in future postings, which will be categorized under “Johari Awang.”

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Woi Vote Betul2 La!

(Image credit)

Presenting our special guest writer today: Johan bin Haji Awang

“Melayu takde bodek!

Bila time berbual, satu2 macam betul je kutuk PAP itu lah, ini lah, harga HDB mahal nak mampos, harga bas/MRT asik naik even though tiap2 tahun untung ratus2 juta. Harga barang kat pasar naik pasal government pilih landlord ikut harga supermarket, harga hospital naik, obat naik, klinik naik, semua naik. Gaji je tak naik2. Kalau naik pon very pathetic.

Dah tu duit CPF sendiri, da lah kena paksa simpan tiap2 bulan, dah tua belum tahu dapat keluarkan. Suka aku ah nak buat beli kereta ke nak pegi haji ke nak bukak bisnes goreng pisang. Duit aku apa! Tiap2 bulan aku simpan! Da lah kau makan duit bunga dia puluh2 tahun tak kenyang2 ke?

Abistu orang melayu masuk army pangkat tinggi2 pon jadi apa? Berhenti masok Ass-tar? Pilot cume boleh bawak cargo plane je. Navy? Hahaha jangan buat kelakar sini ok aku serious.

Apa Singapore takde corruption? Takde nepotism? Kau tengok sape pegang post paling tinggi? Anak dia jadi apa skarang? Anak dia nye bini kerja mana? Gaji brape? Apa takde orang lain ke boleh buat kerja2 tu semua?

Please ah. Ada banyak lagi. Orang luar datang belajar ada scholarship, da tu dapat PR senang2. Gaji pon muai, NS tak kena. Sini punye policy semua pasal duit aje. Duit duit duit. Takde duit pegi mampos. Kau tengok casino. Kena pelawa mcm anak dara. Kompeni2 semua lagi precious dari orang. Ugama jangan cakap, aku tanya ustat2 aku, diorang pon tak tahu apa direction skarang.

Aku da give up. Ramai orang da give up.

Cuma yang aku tak paham, lepas ye2 berbual2 macam gini, aku tanye orang diorang nak vote sape, satu2 takot nak jawab. Bukan pasal secret, tapi pasal diorang takot kalau diorang vote PAP nanti tak dapat beli rumah, kena target pat kerja, hidop susah lah.

COME ON LAH!! Korang dah kenapa??! Berapa ramai orang vote PAP pon susah dapat rumah jugak, bodoh. Nak bet? Kau tanye makcik2 pengampu PAP yang selalu pakai baju putih, rebut2 salam cium tangan dengan MP PAP semua. Kau tanye diorang anak diorang senang dapat rumah tak? Kau tanye diorang time diorang bayar bill api air ada dapat special “Pembodek PAP Discount” tak? Ke diorang ada special EZ-link card bila naik MRT jadi orang cacat nak kena kasi diorang tempat duduk?

Takde dok! Semua sama je. Ni semua dalam kepala otak kita je. Aku baru baca pat suratkhabar hari ni, ada opposition punye orang dia dulu2 pon vote for opposition, padahal dia keje civil servant siak. Lepas tu dia masih dapat promoted macam biasa. Kawan2 aku vote opposition pon masih sama je. Pakcik makcik aku vote opposition pon lepas tu dapat promotion boleh tinggal bungalow some more!

Kenapa?

Pasal vote tu secret. Diorang tak boleh track. Blog agaknya orang boleh track, tapi vote tak boleh.

Memang voting card ada serial number, tapi tu untuk make sure yang that the card is authentic. Lepas tu kau tengok cara the vote is collected, dalam kotak, diorang longgokkan semua, dengan kehadiran (kan aku da pakai proper Malay word) opposition party members, it is impossible to know who voted for whom exactly. Kalau kau rajen sket pegi baca la pasal ni (link 1, 2). Jangan jadi pengecut tak tentu pasal! Macam mana Melayu nak maju gini?

Jadi kau, orang Melayu, yang konon2 berani, jiwa pendekar, cucu Hang Tuah, sepupu Badang, and most importantly orang yang ada agama. Kau tahu apa yang betul, apa yang salah. Kalau kau hidup bawah Fir’aun yang zalim, lepas tu Fir’aun intimidate/bayar kau untuk pilih dia jadi raja lagi, padahal kau tak agree dengan dia, AND kau ada choice lain. Tapi kau still vote for Fir’aun. Kau rasa what does that say about you?

Bodoh, focus sikit boleh tak. Walaupon PAP macam Fir’aun, aku tak cakap yang opposition tu Nabi Musa. Aku tanya, kau punye punye prinsip harga brapa? $600? $800? $1000? Atau the perception yang hidup kau akan susah?

Nanti lain kali kalau kau kene make hard choices, kau cuma nak pilih yang hidup senang dapat duit je? Kalau gitu, kau memang patot jadi PAP supporter sampai mampos.”

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The Divisive Power of LKY

(Image credit)

As a post-65er, along with the vast majority of my peers, LKY is generally seen as a person who is past his prime. Look at across the Causeway, and you see Mahathir aptly knowing his place. He was ordained as a Tun, kept out of politics (more or less), but at least relinquished his official position. Over on this side, you see Malathir’s mirror image, except the senior citizen here somehow is still warming the same seat for the past few decades.

In an attempt to ensure relevance, or perhaps due to the insistence by some opportunistic quarters to milk the cow before it lays permanently on the pasture, a book was published. Reeking of a sense of desperation by the marketing team and thus entitled “Hard Truths,” it not only affirms an unmeasurable degree of haughtiness (in which his word is the truth) and immensely prejudiced worldview, but also confirms an eccentric paradoxical characteristic; the relentless, repugnant stubbornness that ceases to shrivel unlike overripe grapes, or an 80-something year-old’s skin.

Irrelevant analogies aside, I tried hard not to take note of this recently-published book. Admittedly it is difficult to do so when passages of it screamed into front-page headlines in the national broadsheet. So whether I like it or not, the customary morning coffee-newspaper routine is distracted with noises coming from old, broken records.

Then after days of brushing aside incessant and blatant indoctrination through the Straits Times (well it’s inherent to be fair), counter-propaganda was finally provided by its international counterparts. Along with the unrealistic, obsolete view of the Malaysia and Indonesia [wanting to conquer Singapore], and that higher-educated parents make better children than gardeners (yes he actually said that), the AFP, and republished in the Jakarta Globe, Malaysia’s My Sinchew, among others, highlighted parts of the book deservedly. And this takes the cake:

“I would say today, we can integrate all religions and races except Islam,” he said in “Lee Kuan Yew: Hard Truths to Keep Singapore Going,” a new book containing his typically frank views on the city-state and its future.

“I think we were progressing very nicely until the surge of Islam came and if you asked me for my observations, the other communities have easier integration — friends, intermarriages and so on…” he stated.

“I think the Muslims socially do not cause any trouble, but they are distinct and separate,” Lee added, calling on the community to “be less strict on Islamic observances.” (AFP)

“Less Strict?”

As expected, reactions come in hard and fast.

But first, let’s divulge at the crux of the issue: What is exactly meant as “less strict,” and that Islam can’t really be “integrated?”

Here’s the exact context:

Apparently, to integrate, one must be able to drink beer and not eat halal food. Shortsightedness is the weakness of many, and can be rebutted rather easily:

1. Just how imperative is food in “integrating” with one another? Is there not other ways that people can mix with another? Sports? Reading? School? Work? Eating is just one of the various forums of “integration.” To single it out is simply unreasonable. Apparently he has never seen canteens in schools and universities, where Muslims and non-Muslims sit together eating their respective food with no issue at all.

Edit: BBC interviewed author/scholar Jill Partington who said that food has never been a uniting factor among peoples of different culture. In fact, it’s the opposite, as each has their own dietary requirements;  halal, kosher, vegan, etc.

2. Even if one decides that eating together is somehow most vital for one to know another, then must a Muslim disown his principles in order to “integrate?” Hell, no.

Similarly, would any sane person, one who is sincere in integrating with others, force a vegetarian to eat meat? Or a non-alcoholic to drink?

3. What sort of integration are we talking about here? Only the integration between religions? What about secularism? Secularism is not a value-free concept. It has its own values and principles; secularism must also make effort to integrate with religions. Integration is not a one-way street.

4. Integration of religion is one. What about integration of various “classes” of Singaporeans? Some years ago, there was a blog about some high-ranking official’s daughter who berated against the “commoners.” And I distinctively remember reading a letter in the ST, in which a person from a “privileged background” who had never endured any sort of financial hardship in her life, whose friends only live in private properties (apparently only one of her friend lives in a 5-roomer HDB flat), expressed her surprise at what us common Singaporeans go through everyday.

So why single out an egalitarian religion as an obstacle for integration? One which forces its adherents to help the poor and teach them to mix with peoples of different background?

To sum up, it seems to LKY the way to properly “integrate” Singaporeans is if Muslims become “less strict,” to be able to drink beer (and eat pork?) together. Unfortunately this is where his logic fails, as he conceded in the earlier part of the interview that religion supersedes everything. And to even ask someone to be “less strict” in religion, and this coming from an atheist politician, then published in a widely marketed book, only serves to amplify daftness, and the subsequent fair (although fiery) responses.

Many more points can be used to rebut against the statement, but that is not the intention here. Instead, let’s focus on the reactions.

Division and Reaction

Online, news spread like wildfire, and the retorts and rejoinders have been critical. The swearing around closed circles is even more damning. These are all understandable; malediction towards religion by anyone is not tolerated, moreover a senior citizen with in statesman’s cloak, which at the very least attracts similar imprecations.

The level of impunity shown by LKY at the efforts of playing down ethnic rhetoric in local politics is not only undermined, but he had it effectively tied down and gagged, with bigots standing around and laughing at the abuse. While Straits Times itself has been very reserved, giving only a glimpse of what the online citizens really think of LKY, although just because something is hardly reported doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. The social undercurrent is just boiling with frustration at the old guy, and to some extent the writers who allowed such statements to be recklessly publicized in the first place.

So what are we to do, as Muslims? Hit out at him? Shout at the top of our voices? Fill up Facebook walls with wails of disappointment and chagrin?

That seems to be the case with most people. While I do not deny that there must be a clear signal of our disagreement with the statement above, I also find it hard to accept that such a statement was included in the book, given its very candid nature (see video above) which to me resembles purely of coffeeshop talk.

Yet most unfortunate, to me, is how some Muslims blame to other Muslims for not reacting. Reaction – to me – is required in the first place to show displeasure; we are not a spineless ummah. But reaction which blames other Muslims for not reacting is more counter-productive and divisive. To the extent that some pointed fingers at individual religious leaders. For sure, I know some wouldn’t respond as they see it as something that doesn’t merit a reply. Others say the candid nature of the interview means that some remarks should be taken with fistfuls of salt and some hefty sieving, registering some blame to editors instead.

Let’s get this clear, Muslims can either disregard the comment as irrelevant, or react. And if we choose react, we should react in the right way. So I find it very difficult to even fathom those who race to justify and support what LKY said, without even analyzing the context in the first place. Seriously, what were they thinking? (And don’t get me started on the citation of Faisal Abdul Rauf and Akhil Hayy.)

To sum up, we should act moderately, not one extreme of tafriT (تفريط), yes-manning everything PAP leaders says, and neither the other extreme of ifraT (إفراط) and condemning everyone who doesn’t.

Based on the reactions (and non-reactions) so far, three points can be singled out:

1. The “effective” institutionalization of religion

Not surprisingly, Islamic religious institutions remain quiet. On one had, they wouldn’t want to worsen the circumstances. On the other hand, religious institutions, once constitutionalized and institutionalized, operates mostly at the behest of the government orders which it ironically seeks to circumvent in first place (by ensuring continued existence though AMLA). But once it is part of the system, Singapore’s bureaucratic hierarchy places such institutions (religious or otherwise) in a pecking order in line other government-related entities. Also, cultural norms of kowtowing to leaders (likely an extension of colonial practices) exacerbates the reactions for Muslims, especially in defending against top-down policies and directives which are deemed offensive.

That’s why – to me – the independent Pergas is the still relatively the “loudest,” although to rope Pergas leaders into government-supported institutions/entities may be seen as a conscious attempt to temper some of the more vociferous opinions.

2. The “sensibility” of mainstream, pro-government media…

…With colossal qualifications, that is. I’m particularly referring to the lack of exposure in the local media, as the people responsible must be aware of what kind of reaction if the mass public sees this in the news. Bits of it which were reported had been sanitized, though I think it’s a futile attempt to show that they’re really not that 154th in the world (we all know they are). For instance, Straits Times (26-27 Jan 2010) reported on the reactions of Malaysians on the issue, focusing on LKY’s phrase of Muslim Singaporeans being “distinct and separate” instead of “less strict.” And nothing on what the local Singaporean think. Furthermore in the local Malay paper Berita Harian (owned by SPH, which also owns ST), a media blackout is apparently enforced on the topic.

So they seem to know what is sensitive in local news. Ironically, the book was written by them (newspaper journalists/editors) and published by the same newspaper company in the first place.

Edit: AMP has taken the lead in this by issuing a strong statement (hooray!). And MUIS too, though expectedly a very dissappointing weak one. And surprise surprise, both statements were reported in the Malay paper today (Berita Harian, 28 Jan 2011). Interesting developments here, as (a) maybe the media people suddenly realized that this won’t blow over that easily; ST has already published similar news days earlier, with online discussions impossible to curb, and (b) more likely, this is a calculated attempt to stem the boiling anger of the Muslim community; by playing things out in the public mainstream media sphere, the government at least has a better chance of directly handling the furore through press statements (aka whitewashing) rather than leaving it “uncontrolled” on the wild wild net.

3. The opinion that is an anomaly

The lack of support for the statement also shows that LKY is simply way off-course among local politicians, and I see that as a good sign. Seems that no one wants to even touch on the subject, and let it be LKY’s problem. Or maybe his son’s at worst, or they’ll say that his role is just advisory and it doesn’t reflect PAP’s official view. This won’t happen of course, instead worse comes to worst they’ll just sugar-coat it like they did in justifying his “educated parents vs. gardener” remarks (see ST, 26 Jan 2011, pg A3). But I’m sure deep inside, many would like to blame it on his “seniority.”

And I imagine many intelligence officers are cursing for having to keep more tabs on the responses on the internet. Analysts who are given more last-minute workload before the long Chinese New Year break must be extremely delighted at Singapore’s so-called founding father now!

Post-Reaction Action

Aside from the necessary reaction to show disagreement, the best way is still to ensure that we have a long-term action plan to counter not only LKY’s, but similar perverted ideas that religion should be made to fit secularism.

And the best way is to make him eat his own words. I secretly wish we can do that literally, but that’s another issue.

Muslims should trounce remarks like LKY’s by emphasizing on the principles which we do not negotiate with. Like prayers five times a day, aurat/aurah, halal food, refraining from alcohol, etc. Emphasize this in all the inter-faith/religion integration meetings, and more so within our own young brethren, making sure that everyone understands its position and reverence in Islam, that these issues should be considered when organizing events which foster “integration.”

Our principles are never bargaining chips in the first place. We can cooperate and integrate in many other forums with our principles intact and untouched. In the long run, it is not hard to prove that religious principles are not an impediment between neighbors helping each other out, or friends playing badminton, or colleagues collaborating at work.

Because the biggest impediment to integration was never principles which each of us hold, but prejudice and intolerance to others’ beliefs.

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Reflections in Ramadan

Ramadan comes, and so does all those who try to profit from it, whether spiritually or financially. The former congregates to mosques, the latter to bazaars which are mushrooming faster than I can consume iftar. And in any place where hundreds of people get together, some are bound to stand out more than the rest.

The short shirt + low jeans combo

Most people seem to forget that when going to mosques, you are not encouraged to eat food that may give off a foul smell, like onions, and to apply perfume, wear nice (non-smelly) clothes, brush your teeth, keep your voice down, etc. The purpose of which is to make sure you do not cause any form of distraction to those who want to perform their prayers in the house of Allah.

Unfortunately distractions still occur, and increasingly nowadays, one of the most irritating and common distraction is when a person do not even realise the proper way of covering their aurat.

Empirical evidence suggests that those who wear jeans are unaware it may get pulled down when you prostrate (sujud). Combine this with a short t-shirt that rides up your back, the result is visible buttcrack inter-gluteal cleft upon sujud.

For the recored, male aurat is between his navel and knee. The backside is between the navel and knee. Based on that infallible logic, one must ensure that portions of the derriere should be covered at all times when praying.

What has been seen, cannot be unseen.

I actually approached a stranger who unknowingly revealed his backside during prayers. The conversation was awkward; trying to explain politely to someone you haven’t met before that you can see that uncompromising cleft of his. And he replied, “What? I don’t understand.” I wouldn’t want to repeat that experience again.

People have been trying hard all Ramadan to lower their gaze, and sharing your backside with the rest of the saff behind you is hardly a gesture one can appreciate. Not that it’s something they enjoy anyway.

The most expensive biryani

Last weekend going through a road leading to a shopping mall, I found the traffic slow and congested. As a Ramadan bazaar was set up just beside it, at first I thought it was purely due to the immense concentration of people in the area. I was partially right. The culprit is the people – inconsiderate ones – who happily parked their cars along the stretch of road leading to the carpark. As I trundled along these parked cars, I realise that they are people who are rushing to buy food for iftar. Fellow Muslims.

One of the many bazaars in Ramadan. (Image credit)

I was so disappointed. Not only that, some were double-parking, making the already small road much harder to inch along. Such inconsiderate behaviour should never be displayed by Muslims, especially one who is fasting. What about the beauty of this religion, which tells you to watch your adab when you are in public. There’s hardly any display of commendable adab in inconveniencing other road users.

Maybe they’ll learn it the hard way. My father told me a story about a $75 dollars biryani. A man went to one of those Ramadan bazaar, and due to parking shortage, he parked his car by the side of the road to grab a pack of biryani. When he got back minutes later, there’s a parking ticket on his windshield. Price of the biryani: $5. Add the $70 to the total bill, and you have the most expensive biryani in town.

The ambiance of buka

I remember when I was in my teens, I used to earn the wrath of my father for always insisting to go out with friends for iftar. My father sometimes refused to let me go out, and would instead lecture me on wastefulness and many other things. I knew it was wasteful since you had to fork out money while there’s always food on the table at home, but I thought he never understood my appreciation of good company over food.

Recently for the first time in a long time, I decided to have my buka (aka iftar) at a popular eating place. With a variety of spread and reasonable price, I was looking forward to have a good meal at sunset. Alhamdulillah I must say the food wasn’t bad at all, but the same cannot be said of its ambiance.

Upon taking up seat prior to the iftar, we saw many Muslims who were rushing to get the food ready for themselves and their family. As sunset drew nearer, tables were getting filled fast with Muslims of different background. Some with colored hair, rashly conversing to their acquaintances. Others are in short skirts, while some are in bermudas with kids in tow. There’s a table behind me where its occupants were having heated discussions and almost shouting at each other. It was noisy, rowdy, and hardly qualifies as an Islamic impression.

While the company and food were good, I find there’s something terribly “empty” about having iftar at a commercial venue. Our routine is still the same compared with iftar elsewhere; afterward we went to perform our prayers and terawih. There’s a nagging feeling that something was missing in iftar, but I just can’t put my finger on it.

Iftar in a mosque. (Image credit)

Nevertheless, I did realize how it contrasted from having your iftar at home. or a mosque. At home, while the spread is usually more modest, it is definitely more relaxed. Even in a mosque with many others chattering away waiting for Maghrib, the background is calmer, and the whole place just seems brighter.

I’m not sure what it is, perhaps the nur and barakah of those who are sincere in preparing iftar?

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The Ramadan-Raya Redux


1. An Idiot’s guide to Ramadan

Excerpt:

Ramadan, What does this mean?

Ramadan is the 9th month of the Islamic calendar.  It’s when Muslims all over the world spend 30 days observing fast and bettering themselves in principles of faith.

Observing fast?  Is that something to do with running, then?

No.

Oh, what is it then?

Observing fast, or fasting, is when a person abstains (or keeps away) from eating and drinking. More»

2. On “racial harmony” events being held in Ramadan

This is a banner of what is supposed to be “Racial Harmony Sports Day”. At first glance, all seems to be okay; everyone from all races are invited to participate – a wonderful thought.

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The true test of endurance: Sports + fasting.

One little issue though, the date 13/09/2009 is the final week of the fasting month of Ramadan, prior to the Muslim Hari Raya celebration. More»

3. On the meaning of Ramadan

If you see Muslim kids fasting, it teaches them not to be a wuss when they grow up. More»

4. On that soccer fatwa and Ramadan

…al-Azhar Scholars Front: “Playing football is not a necessity of life which allows relief or dispensation (يرخص) of breaking of fast, and it is not among the matters which are considered to be burdens (تكاليف) of this religion, since everybody has the right to play (soccer) as entertainment, and not as an occupation or job.” More»

5. On tarawih and witr

When do I perform the qunut for witr in Ramadan?

According to the al-Shafi’e mazhab, on the second half of Ramadan, i.e. starting on the 15th night onwards. (Source 1, 2)

After praying witr, can I perform other prayers in the same night?

Yes. More»

6. On Court’s relentless riba-marketing targeted towards the Malay-Muslims

The proliferation of purchasing the latest non-essential items has turned into a sarcastic Malay joke; if the home of some Malay doesn’t have an LCD television or some kind of home theatre system, then it is not a “true” Malay home. The importance of having the latest big-screen TV and entertainment system, which has now evolved into the obsession for the latest car accessories and handheld gadgetries, epitomizes the sad state of affairs for those who find pride in such items. More»

May you have a blessed Ramadan 1431AH/2010CE.

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