April 28, 2005

Windows is weak | cNet

Windows is weak: where's the alternative?

At least there's that PDF thing.

Microsoft to Take on PDF Technology | Web Host Industry Review

Microsoft to Take on PDF Technology

Microsoft doesn't innovate much, but I will give them this that they often do better work than their competitors. I personally can't stand the slowness of Adobe Reader, and was hoping that some alternative would be made available eventually. Despite that, I still send all my documents as PDF to avoid incompatibility issues. That Microsoft is embracing open standards for this document format should mean that it can easily be implemented on various platforms, and document incompatibility will be a thing of the past.

April 27, 2005

The Power of Nightmares

CBC Newsworld just aired an excellent documentary called "The Power of Nightmares: The Rise of the Politics of Fear". It ran from Sunday through Tuesday, and exposed the media manipulation of the 2001 attacks on America and other incidents.

Among the assertions made by the filmmaker was that there is no organized international terrorist network with tentacles all over America. Rather, the American media machine has invented this group in order to instill fear and mistrust in the people. They have been so successful that a simple tourist video of Disneyland became "smoking gun evidence" of a nefarious plot. According to the American propaganda machine, a two second camera shot of a garbage can was proof enough that terrorists were planning on blowing up the "happiest place on Earth."

Truth is stranger than fiction, indeed.

April 25, 2005

Uniting for the Prophet | SunniPath WebCast

SunniPath WebCast: Uniting for the Prophet

I think that would be 8:30am - 4:30pm in Eastern Standard Time.

April 24, 2005

How computers make kids dumb | The Register

How computers make kids dumb | The Register


Experts say Shakespeare portrait is a fake | CBC Arts

CBC Arts: Shakespeare portrait is a fake: experts: "The art experts who work at the gallery say they found traces of chrome
yellow paint dating from about 1814 embedded deep in the picture."


April 22, 2005

How Will New Pope Handle Ties With Muslims?

How Will New Pope Handle Ties With Muslims?: "How will Pope Benedict XVI be different from his predecessor in dealing with other faiths and nations?"

It's funny but sad that many Muslims are more concerned about how popes and other celebrities view Islam and Muslims, rather than how Allah SWT views us. If we correct our relationship with Allah SWT, our other relationships will be corrected in the process.

April 19, 2005


I recently had a chance to visit Nadwatul-Ulama, one of the most respected Islamic institutions in India, and throughout the world. Wandering through the libraries and study centres of the school, I thought to myself: "I wasted my life."

Not that my Engineering degree from the University of Ottawa was useless, but somehow seeing the oceans of Islamic knowledge that have been passed down throughout the centuries was a humbling experience. We've barely scratched the surface.

This is why I am particular excited about the upcoming Darul-Uloom of Canada, located in the city of Bowmanville about 30 minutes out of Toronto. A project of this scale is really an exceptional challenge, and I believe that the success of the project will play heavily into the success of Islam in North America as a whole. I am also particularly impressed with the Shariah Program, where I am currently enrolled in a distance learning course. All these projects are important contributions to the community, and should be supported. I wrote somewhere in my Hajj journals that I admired the British Muslim community, and that insha-Allah we would eventually reach that level. Such projects make that closer to reality.

In Ottawa, the Al-Maghrib Institute seems to be doing good work, though there is still a lot of work to be done. Rather than compare the different programs and criticize those that do not conform to our particular view, we should wish for the success of all those efforts that are done for the sake of pleasing Allah Subhana wa ta'Ala and elevating the deen.

April 15, 2005

Raindrops keep falling on my head

It seems like blogs have become all the rage now, even among family members. I believe I started this thing towards the end of November 2004, but have not updated it much thus far, aside from my Hajj journals.

Anyway, it's been a full two weeks since I returned to Canada after my three-month excursion that took me from Montreal to Toronto to Vienna to Cairo to Jeddah to Madinah to Makkah to Kuwait to Delhi to Lucknow. Thus far, we've covered in the Hajj journals. I went back to Delhi after some time, from where I was sent to Vaniyambadi, a small city not far from Madras in the state of Tamil Nadu, India. The city had not received rain in several years, to the point where shrubs growing on the mountains there literally caught fire from the intense, dry heat. It was a disturbing sight, seeing charred ashes of greenery littering what would otherwise be a beautiful mountain landscape. Somehow I felt confident that before we left South India, Allah Subhana wa ta'Ala would provide rain to that community through our collective prayers. And thus it was destined, that a heavy rainfall did occur shortly after we left Vaniyambadi, to the neighbouring city of Ambor. Incidentally, Ambor also received their first rainfall in a long time during our brief stay there.

"Is not He ( best ) who created the heavens and the earth , and sendeth down for you water from the sky wherewith We cause to spring forth joyous orchards , whose trees it never hath been yours to cause to grow . Is there any God beside Allah? Nay , but they are folk who ascribe equals ( unto Him ) !" 27.60

We rely so heavily upon the favours of our Creator, and yet we still tend to ignore Him. Over and over again, we are reminded of the favours of Allah SWT but even then we persist in disobedience. When we are thankful of the favours of Allah SWT, Allah SWT will increase our bounties. And as for those who reject those favours, well, the Creator is not in need of our thankfulness.

Rain fell down upon the pilgrims in Mina on the 12th of Dhul-Hijjah, and we scrambled and panicked. People died in the ensuing floods. At the same time, rain came down upon the aforementioned cities of South India, and the people celebrated. It should be understood, then, that creation cannot inherently provide harm or benefit; harm and benefit are for Allah SWT to decide, and the creation is simply a means for that harm or benefit.

On a related note, a scholar mentioned that sometimes people sacrifice for the sake of religion, ask from Allah SWT, and become surprised when they see their prayers answered. This surprise, the scholar mentioned, is due to our lack of conviction in the promises of Allah. Had we possessed the proper conviction (yaqeen), we would not be surprised by such things; rather, we would be surprised when the help of Allah SWT does not come. If a person puts sugar in tea, he should not be surprised that the tea becomes sweet; rather, he should only be surprised if after putting sugar in, the tea does not become sweet. If we have true conviction in what Allah SWT promised for His loyal servants, then divine help will surely follow us in all aspects of our life.

And since rain has been the underlying theme of this post, one more anecdote seems fitting. The same scholar mentioned that when rain falls upon a certain area, it does not leave those areas which may not provide fruit. The rain falls on everything, and will bring about whatever fruits the buried seed will produce. The effort of the rain is one, but it brings about various fruits without discrimination. Similarly, when one wishes to make effort for religion, the effort should be general, and no one should be excluded. Some people will produce certain fruits, others will produce other fruits. Still others will produce no fruits whatsoever from the effort of the inviter (da'iee). But even if we do not expect results from the effort, we must do the effort nonetheless. And whatever fruit is unearthed through our efforts is indeed a great bounty. If the fruit is not to our tastes, that should not bother us. Somebody will surely benefit from that fruit.