25 April 2005

'Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood.'

I’m amazed- the number of replies to last weeks email are shocking:) Therefore I will try my outmost to make these emails more beneficial in some way- for me and for you! And again, I must emphasise that feedback is more than welcome…

This past week was really busy- Raiman and Vees were here till Wed so I was understandably late for week every day of the week! But the cool thing about working 5 minutes away from work is that I get no traffic so still get to work earlier than most of my team…

Monday- we had a feast at Bismillah with all the guys- then moved on to serious consortium meeting! (You will be reading more about those meetings in Finance Week and Financial Mail in years to come!)
Tues- we invited to Raimans cuz for supper- good to eat a home cooked meal! Went for a movie to unwind after…
Wed- meeting with cii about impending youth show and then coffee at Nescafe…

Thurs- Instead of out normal meeting; went to Soweto to meet with the brothers of a Halqa group there. My first visit to Soweto and not what I expected! Ok, maybe it was a bit dumb to think it would be just miles of shacks, (like some foreigners think SA has animals roaming the streets!) but what’s really amazing is how big it is! Like a city on its own- we drove through Soweto for about 30min to reach the meeting place. Traffic is unreal- apartheid gov probably never planned for people all buying cars! Really worth a visit if you haven’t been yet- if to just better understand the lives of the people. The brothers there seem very committed and insightful, so hopefully together we can accomplish some good!

We got back just in time for Esha and I stopped at the first Musjid on my way home- Sultan Bahu in Mayfair. I know I may be stirring up something here, but here goes- they were having a Meelad celebration, which I assume was a celebration of the Prophets SAW Birthday. (If I’m not mistaken, it was also the day he passed away…)
Decided to look into the history behind the Meelad so to better understand. Correct me if I’m wrong, but this is what I found out:
It first started somewhere in the east, where Muslims decided that people were moving away from Islam and forgetting about the Prophet SAW. So they decided to use the month of his birth as an opportunity to learn and teach. This was done by speaking about the Prophets life and singing songs about him. Now today, we still have the songs being sung, but majority of the crowd does not understand the language so it has become a ritual with less than optimal benefit. So without commenting on the technical acceptability of these functions, I just feel they are definitely not serving the intended purpose! Not that many other Masaajid are doing anything better by the way- instead of speaking about what Biddah other people are committing, maybe the lectures of this week should concentrate in educating people on how to live their lives as Muslims, exemplifying the life of the Prophet SAW…

Fri- once again my car, ‘The Mighty One’ (as some refer to it!- no, not che’), gave up on me in the centre of town. Quite exciting getting stuck in the middle of town on a Friday afternoon:p Got it towed, to a different mechanic this time, really hope if gets sorted out this time!

Sat- Went to tutor basic computer literacy skills to underprivileged matrics at RAU- was quite fun and something worthwhile at the same time! They need more tutors and its not hectic stuff, so please let me know if you or anyone else is interested… Met up with the guys at Wits and then headed to Crowne Plaza, Sandton for a celebration of the Prophets Life by a Turkish organisation. Very posh event, and probably lots of money spent, but it was aimed at non-Muslims mainly so I was impressed with their effort. Some might say that the money would have been better spent on some poor community, but I think it’s about time we had Dawah aimed at the rich… And Ebrahim Rasool is just too good- he spoke for a few minutes, totally off the cuff, and he really left an impression on everyone there. He is extremely intelligent and seems to be on the mission to take Islam forward… Viva Ebrahim Rasool!
There was some function for article clerks but we didn’t end up going for it- with a name like JACASS (Joburg Article Clerk Assoc) it would have been interesting… stopped at Melrose Arch for a short while! (How could we not- we’re congregating Indians after all!)

Spent most of yesterday working on the Freedom Day newsletter- thanks to everyone who took the time to contribute! We will need help printing and distributing, so if you willing to assist please let me know…

18 April 2005

Advice is what we ask for when we already know the answer but wish we didn't.

Who reads these emails? I know at least some people enjoy them and reply every week, but for those who don’t reply- what do you think? Some of the guys are complaining that it’s too boring and monotonous- but I suppose that’s how my life is and I spend most of my time with them! But I enjoy writing these things so it’s really for me and not for them;-p but to those still silent participants- can I get a reply?

Working hard this week- Tues I worked till 9:30! But the job is finishing next week so it’s going to get more relaxed. Wed after work my car was clamped and it was flipping frustrating to get it unclamped! Went for a MSA meeting- they planning a Freedom Day celebration like what we did last year at UDW- I miss campus and all the fun we used to have!

Thurs was work as usual and then went for a meeting with Jamiat- the purpose of the meeting was to get the ‘ulema’ and the ‘professionals’ to start discussing how they can work together to achieve common objectives… very interesting…

Dr. Mo Raiman, Cum Laude (that means all A’s) came on Friday- he is here for a few days on his way to Durban. Took him to Friday night halqa to meet up with the guys. Raed the Jordanian also left- he was here for 19 moths straight. The sacrifices people have to make to acquire knowledge… Had a nice coffee and chat at my place till the early hours of the morning. And there was no bread- didn’t you get the email:-)

Sat morning Raiman and I had to wake up early and pick up Vees from the airport- the bugger bought a cheap ticket that’s why we had to cut short our sleep! Habib had arranged for the guys to go tutor underprivileged kids at RAU- think I should start doing it at least every second weekend… Took Raiman and Vees for a tour of Wits and then someone had the bright idea of going to find a Portuguese fair that was supposedly on- Mohsin joined us and we drove around in two cars for about two hours trying to find the place- eventually did but with our luck the fair only starts next week! Ended up at the Zone for supper and then Nescafe at the Arch for coffee- the Nutella waffle rocks!!

Yesterday was my birthday and for those of you who knew but forgot- don’t worry, you’re forgiven! For those who didn’t know- now you do…
Had a really good day though- went to Zoo Lake for a braai and all the guys were there- had a fun time and smoked huka and played around- we even had a cake with candles and about 20 guys, who cant sing to save their lives, singing happy birthday in the middle of Zoo Lake! Joey Rasdien also made a guest appearance there- funny guy! With funny hair!
Ended the day off with a stop at the pub with ZakP- also a very funny guy! Then rounded off the evening with a few hours at Fordsburg Nescafe…

Meeting Raiman and Vees for lunch now…

Latest suggestion from Ismail Moola: Randerees Random Rumblings

12 April 2005

Nothing in this world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity

I have just discovered something strange- you know the snooze button on those cell phone alarms? Guess who designed them? The Devil himself! Last week I was late for work almost everyday- I try to catch an hours nap after Fajr, but when the alarm rings I just need 10 more minutes, and then another 10 minutes and suddenly I wake up and its past 8 already! You know what else the Devil designed? The control setting on the toaster- it never comes out right; it’s always too white or too burnt and trying to get the right setting just makes me even later for work! Any other things you think he had a hand in designing? (note: I don’t really believe it was the Devil; as in Shaytaan, Iblees, etc… Just a bit of humor!)

So, late for work most of last week but managed to get away with it. The guys I’m working with are really cool so work is not as bad as I had imagined. Working in town so takes me only 10 min to get to work- Joburg city centre is so cool- has a whole different vibe to it- nice walking around during my lunch breaks. But apparently it’s not too safe, but that also kinda adds some excitement! Plan on visiting Carlton centre as soon as I get a chance…

The week was very sporty with tennis on Wed and squash on Thurs. Finally managing to get my week in order- but still have a few free evenings- any ideas?

Had to drop Raed, the Jordanian guy, at the station (I feel like a taxi driver- always commuting guys to and from the airport and station).
He is done with his Masters and leaving for Jordan next week. We planning on arranging for students to go and study Arabic in Jordan- anyone interested- will send details as soon as I get some…

This is the latest suggestion I received- “RANDREE'S LONG BUT FUNNY DIARY CHANTY” anyone knows what ‘chanty’ means?

Friday night Halqa was quite relaxed- had some good discussion- word of advice; if you aren’t in a Halqah yet, join one asap! It’s extremely good for the soul.
And here’s a bit of advice from a great man! Think hard and ponder over this- “Its all about substance over form- religion, work, getting older…substance ALWAYS trumps form. We need to always focus on the substance, form will sustain u in the short run, but it definitely expires. And substance is deeply rewarding, in any sphere.”

After Halqah we saw a fire work display in the city centre and decided to investigate- after driving around for almost 30 min we stumbled on the GTi launch at the Carlton Centre. By invite only; but we tried to sneak in. First through the front door and then through the parking! Was a bit weird that they had it late on a Fri night in the centre of Joburg! You needed to have bought a new VW recently to get an invite- Habib just bought a new Polo but didn’t know about it;-p

Sat was a busy day- Hakim quick student program in the morning, Awqaf volunteer meeting and also Msa meeting in the afternoon. Full day but really good stuff- Hope something sustainable and worthwhile comes out of all these initiatives… Help out wherever you can!

Sat night was the Heavy weight comedy festival at the Sandton Convention Centre- with Riaad Moosa, John Vlismas, David Kau, Wackhead Simpson and a whole bunch of foreign comedians as well! Was extremely funny and a really enjoyable experience- seriously think we need more Muslim comedians- especially to make fun of us so that we loosen up a bit and maybe start rethinking stuff… We carried on with our own show after- hilarious!

Woke up late on Sunday and just had a relaxed day- met up with the boys for a Halqa and tea in the afternoon.
My body is aching all over- played squash again last night and just realised how unfit I am! Thinking of joining a gym or finding a heated pool somewhere…

Going to ask my manager if I can take leave later this month so can go to Durban for the long weekend- hope I get it!

Later
Wasalaam

And it may be that you dislike a thing, which is good for you and that you like a thing, which is bad for you. Allah knows but you do not know.
(2:216)

05 April 2005

We give advice by the bucket, but take it by the grain.

Isn’t it amazing how we totally miss the essence of so many aspects of Islam! Here are a few examples:

-Friday Jumah: The Arabic Khutba is part of the Salaah- you are not allowed to talk or be distracted during the Khutba. So the idea is that, in Arabic speaking places, you are forced to listen to at least one Islamic lesson a week. Here in SA, we do have lectures in English but not many listen or even get to the Musjid in time. So should we change the Khutba to English (don’t know if that’s allowed) or force people to attend the lecture? But I suppose if the lecture is any good then you probably wont have to force anyone anyways…

-Hajj: Muslims from all over the world are obliged to perform Hajj during the same period. It would make more sense to have Hajj at different times in the year so we don’t have problems of overcrowding, stampedes, etc. So there must be other important reasons, besides the obvious ones, to have Muslims from the whole world meet at least once a year- if Muslims were smart and united, we would use this platform to plan and strategise, to assist and help those in need, and to just make contact once a year. But we end up just staying in groups that we leave home in, perform the ritual and return- hardly making any contact whatsoever with the outside world…

There have been some interesting theories explaining how Aprils Fool came about- it truly amazing how stupid Muslims are. What’s even more surprising is that these idiots go on to repeat these dumb theories that they come across. Heard the one about how Muslims got drunk and lost Spain? What about the one about how the word ‘mosque’ came about? Really funny stuff!

Had a nice post-Jumah lunch with a bunch of first years last Friday. There defiantly seems to be a change in the way Muslims think- we need to harness and take advantage of any opportunity we come across.

Went for Pro 20’s cricket on Fri- the game was kinda boring but the atmosphere was nice. First time I went to Wanderers and a long time since I saw a cricket match- reminded me of the good old days in Durban and the World Cup games we used to go for;-)

Had to drop Shaakir at the airport early Saturday morning and then left for Newcastle. Was good to be home for the weekend- it’s been almost 2 months since my last visit. The town is growing nicely and there are some very positive changes happening- for those who haven’t been to Newcastle yet, I must say, you have a gap in your education. And if you ever looking for a nice place to settle down- I can arrange immigration papers for you!
My cousin was on holiday for the week but hurt his leg and couldn’t drive up- so I drove them up and then got a lift back with a buddy who had to bring a car back. Now that I’ve clocked card in Newcastle, I can plan my Durban trip for the following weekend.

Time flies- we grow up, leave home, study, start working, etc, and it all seems to have happened like a flash! Yup, we getting old- and I sometimes feel getting old is a fascinating thing. The older you get- the older you want to get!

Was a bit disappointed that I missed the Pavarotti thing on Sat- but it rained out and wasn’t so good anyway…

Family from Zim is down so went to visit them on Sunday night- they actually comfortable with Mugabe winning the election. Apparently things are not as bad as the media makes it out to be. And I also think that Mugabe can’t be blamed for all the crap that’s happening- he is actually quite an intelligent guy- or at least he was… I picked up a book written by him back in 1978 and honestly he was an extremely intelligent and insightful freedom fighter. But then again, power corrupts and he’s probably changes a lot since his glory days…

Had to pick Shaakir up from the airport again last night- took ZakP and Monoreng with me- any opportunity I get, love to make a road trip of it!

Doing actual work after a really long time so don’t have much time to email and stuff- but keep the replies coming and I’ll make sure its worth your while;-)