Sunday, December 31, 2006

The King is Dead, Long Live the King

So Saddam's dead.

Somehow, I dont rejoice in his execution. It has come too late to change anything. Does it help at all the situation in Iraq now? If it does not, why kill him then? So it will satisfy the lusts of vengeance burning in the hearts of some people? So how is that different from throwing some people to lions in a stadium? Does it matter now that it is proved that he committed his crimes? I mean, was that ever in question that it needed proof?

I know that he was an evil, evil man, and he earned this come uppance, but do we have to stoop down to his level and kill him? Why couldnt he be tried in the Hague instead for crimes against humanity, like Milosevic? So many questions surface in my mind at this time.

Whatever it is, no matter how evil he was, I hope that he had time to reflect and repent before he left this world. The alternative would be too terrible to imagine. Indeed from Allah we come, and to Him we shall all return.

Allah humaghfirlahu warhamhu wa affihu wa'fu'anhu,
Allah humaghfirlana warhamna wa affina wa'fu'anna.

One door closes, another opens.
Question is whether it will be a better door.

Omar and Xmas tree

Omar and Xmas tree
Originally uploaded by LilMudPie.
There is still a leftover Chritsmas mood here in KL, so here's one of Omar with a tree in our hotel restaurant.

Hotel room view

Hotel room view
Originally uploaded by LilMudPie.
The Mudpie family stayed in a hotel in Petaling Jaya, and our rooms overloooked this building. Omar thought it was a mosque. Ibrahim couldnt understand why there is a dome on a building that is not a mosque. Come to think of it, I dont either.

Wedding dinner

Wedding dinner
Originally uploaded by LilMudPie.
The malaysian weddings I've been to in KL always have this big silver tray in which the dishes are displayed. It is quite cool. Most of all it is neat. I wish we had this contraption here in Singapore instead of having messy plates all over the place.

Eating Up the Miles

Eating the miles
Originally uploaded by LilMudPie.
Mudpie family drove up to KL for a wedding invite - Zil's youngest brother Azril, was getting married to an American lady named Jennifer. Mrs Mudpie was wonderful. She drove at least a third of the way. Alhamdulillah we arrived safely. We could see some parts of Melaka and Johor that was still under water, though. May God bless the people affected and give them patience. After druiving through some really heavy sheets of rain in Johor, the weather cleared up in Melaka onwards, and we were blessed with a smooth and safe drive the rest of the way.

Thursday, December 28, 2006


Family and I are driving up today to KL for a few days to attend a wedding. It stared downpouring in the late morning, and it looks like we would be driving in the rain. To add salt to it, my car started to make a little rattle sound. I am already a little tired, as I have been busy all of yesterday at IKEA pushing around big pieces of furniture. I hope insha Allah to reach KL safely and without hassle so that I would be able to chill a little. Will post some pics when I get back, insha Allah.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006


Wife and I have been attending a course on sickness, deaths and funerary issues for the last several weeks at a somewhat far away mosque, and I must say I enjoy it tremendously. The class is well attended, and the teacher was eloquent, clear and attractive. He uses Sabil ul Muhtadeen by Syeikh al-Banjari, an ancient book that nobody uses anymore nowadays. In fact I was so impressed by it that I went on a queest to look for the book (the course only provided a few photocopied pages) around Singapore. It was not available in Latin script, so I bought the Jawi version. It is really old style Jawi that does not follow the present spelling conventions, and the words do not have spaces between them, so a sentence is like a very long word. Like how the Quran is written. Gave me a headache. Of course one door opens another in matters of religion, so when I discovered Syeikh al-Banjari, I also discovered about al-Batani and the more colourful (read controversial) al-Fansuri. I then bought and read Islam and the Malay-Indonesian World by Riddell, and discovered a host of other great ulama whom I now realise that I have neglected - such as the late great Hamka. I of course went out and bought Hamka's Di-Bawah LIndungan Kaabah (which to my surprise is different from the movie of the same name) and Tasawuf Moderen. Leafing briefly through the latter book, it struck me how all the Muslims in the Malay world are indebted to him, because he singlehandedly dragged the oldfashioned and superstitious Sufism, that was in danger of being discarded by the more educated post independence generation, into the 20th century, while at the same time demolishing the then ascending modernist movements sweeping through South East Asia. If every century produces a mujadid, he certainly was ours. May Allah bless his soul, Rahimahullah.

Pilgrims' Progress

Originally uploaded by LilMudPie.
My wife's aunt and cousins and their spouses and in laws are making the Grande Voyage. It is a repetition of the same ritual every year - the prayers, feasts, get togethers, gifts, airport sendoffs at midnight - but I just love it all. Wife has booked for me and her and the kids to go in 2008, Allah willing, I am beginning to build up some excitement towards it, seeing other people going.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

At the Graveyard I Shall Be

Muslim Cemetery Singapoe
Originally uploaded by LilMudPie.
As part of Muslim Malay tradition, I went to visit the graves of my departed loved ones today. "The mutual rivalry for piling up (the good things of this world) diverts you (from the more serious things), Until ye visit the graves." ~The Quran.

Last Tarawih Tonight

Originally uploaded by LilMudPie.
Me with Ibrahim and Abdullah in front of Abdul Aleem Siddique Mosque, our fave port this Ramadan. Ever since the renovations were done to this little mosque, it has become a spiritual magnet for likeminded ones in the East who are inclined to the Sufism Path. I had feared that renovations would detract from the barakah that this mosque had, but Praise be to God, the new look only magnified its Luminescence. It was designed by architect Osman Sidek, my friend from university. Unlike other mosques in Singapore this mosque shines out like a beacon in the area, representing how God is The LIght of Lights.

Monday, October 02, 2006

The White Threads of Dawn

ISLAMICA is a wonderful, God-sent magazine that does not insult your intelligence like most other Muslim magazines I know of. I know it's already a week into Ramadan, but I guess it is never too late to include some reading on it, so I would like to share this article from the latest issue of ISLAMICA. May God accept your fasting sacrifices and give you strength of will to persevere. You know, after fasting for a day, at maghrib, you realise that water turned to wine ....
IslamicaMagazine - The White Threads of Dawn

Sunday, October 01, 2006

We Kill In Peace

Some Muslims killed a nun in retaliation to the Pope's speech. What's the matter with these people? "Islam is a religion of peace. We'll kill you if you dont agree". I am saddened at the state of the Muslims in the world today. We kill women and children and saw people's heads off on video. In the name of Allah and the Prophet. We devise the most ingenious ways to kill as many innocent people as possible. In the name of Allah and the Prophet. And we are surprised (offended, even) that other people think we are violent and bloodthirsty, that the Allah and the Prophet in whose name we kill is the cause of the sickness? We are surprised that a Danish person draws a cartoon that shows the Prophet with a bomb as his turban. Hellooo ... he is drawing what he sees. We are the ones in denial. We are violent. We are killers. We are bloodthirsty. We are the plague (not the blessing) to the Worlds.

It just fortifies my suspicion that a large portion the ummah has been hijacked by Dajjal - who will make people do evil whilst thinking it is noble. They create corruption in the earth to suit their devillish purpose. The US invades Iraq and its the Wahabis who are going on a Shiite killing campaign there. What??? And they are truly against any sort of peace with Israel - because it will lose them the excuse to campaign for the Palestinians - the biggest claim they have to work up poor ignorant Muslims around the world to anger and senselessness.

That is why they are so against Muslims doing things they do not prescribe, such as loving the Prophet, because if we love the Rahmatan lil Alameen, we will realise that he would love all other people, and would not condone any of these goings on. Seriously, would the Prophet kill a nun in Africa for what the Pope said?

We are always yelling and burning for apologies, when have WE ever apologised?

Saturday, September 23, 2006

My Car & My Faith

I have a Citroen C5, which is a car I really love. It is big inside, and totally comfortable and quiet. It does not look flashy and fancy, but I like her understated elegance. I chose it because I feel it reflects what a car should be to me. It is powerful, well made, sophisticated, asthetic and yet simple in appearance, unimposing, unextravagant. Great on the inside but simple on the outside. Sort of Sufistic. Most people look and say, "Citroen? Why? I've heard all sorts of bad things about it. And for that price, you could get something better, more popular. Japanese or German". It is almost like they are talking about my choice of religion, not car. I then realised that it does have a parallel with religion. Being a Muslim is equally not about following the crowd and opinion of others. It is about looking beyond the externals and trappings. It is an experience that is personal to the believer. Like why my car is so special to me. I like the way she feels, the smell of her leather, the way the mahogany wood lines the interior understatedly, the unobtrusive gadgets and most of all, the silence of the ride coupled with the best suspension system in the world. It emphasises the experience than the show, how the car presents itself to its driver, and not to the world. I have come to an age when I realise that the external manifestations of religion are as meaningless to the believer as the outside look of the car is. It is how the religion affects the believer internally that is important, after all that is the main purpose of religion, isnt it? The driver, not the passerby, is more important in the case of a car. In the past, in my eagerness to judge people by their externals - no tudung, doesnt pray correctly, - or their "brand" - infidel, modernist, fundamentalist - I forget that I am just judging books by their covers, and then burning them all.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

The Seduction of the Tree

But Satan whispered evil to him: he said, "O Adam! shall I lead thee to the Tree of Eternity and to a kingdom that never decays?" In the result, they both ate of the tree, and so their nakedness appeared to them: they began to sew together, for their covering, leaves from the Garden: thus did Adam disobey his Lord, and allow himself to be seduced.

The Walled Garden of Truth

Hope and fear drive fortune from your door;
lose yourself, and they will be no more.

At his door, what is the difference
between Muslim and Christian,
virtuous or guilty?
At his door all are seekers
and he the sought.

God is without cause;
why are you looking for causes?
The sun of truth rises unbidden,
and with it sets the moon of learning.

In this halt of but a week,
to be is not to be,
and to come is to go.

And does the sun exist
for the cock to crow at?
What is it to him
whether you are there or not?
Many have come, just like you,
to his door.

You won't find your way
in this street; if there is a way,
it is on your road of sighs.
All of you are far
from the road of devotion:
you are like donkeys,
straying for months and years,
deluded by vain hopes;
sometimes you are virtuous,
sometimes you are wicked:
so you hope for yourselves, fear for yourselves;
but when your mask of wisdom and folly
at last turns white, you will see
that hope and fear are one.

~ Hakim Sanai, 1130 AD