05 November 2006

Doing justice means giving everyone his due.

[View of Table Mountain in Cape Town from a plane.]

Things change so much and yet so much stays the same! Spent most of my week at the university library studying for my upcoming exam. And found it to be a real learning experience. You want to know the state of the youth, what makes them tick and what is on their minds? Spend a few days wandering through the corridors of your local university. An amazing learning experience! And on a lighter note, maybe slightly inspired by our maniac brother, it’s sometimes necessary to introduce some dryish humour. Check this out.

Stand up comedy is also a discipline (if you can actually call it that!) that Muslims need to start exploring. Maybe using more humour we can break down the many stereotypes and misunderstandings of both Muslims and Non-Muslims. What better way to serve and uplift humanity, than using good old laughter! Not that easy I must admit, not that I tried it, but the funniest comics on the cool running scene tend to rely heavily on the worst of profanities and crudeness!

In one of my study breaks, instead of spending a few minutes relaxing on the lawns, I unfortunately picked up a book, which fortunately turned out to be very interesting. I would like to recommend it to all you out there. Women and Islam by Fatima Mernissi. Read it with an open mind and I’m sure you will learn and discover much. Not everything in books needs to be agreed with- read whatever you get your hands on and using the Quranic framework in your mind, sift through everything…

To see sickness and suffering is possibly one of the best manners of character development- no matter how much of suffering and tests we may go through, there is someone close by who is experiencing a more complex trial and then there some others who pay the ultimate price! Paid a few visits to a family member of a friend who was sick in hospital. Then while visiting him met yet another young man who was suffering from cancer. This brother has recently passed away and we pray that his family is granted patience and he is granted a lofty seat in Paradise!

To attend a volunteer day at an orphanage/crèche at the risk of missing a march for Palestine is a tricky predicament. Maybe contributing to the planning and organisation could be a fitting consolation, and hence the risk I took and lost. The day was fulfilling and fun; painting murals, faces and finally a smile on many a face! Such extreme poverty lays clear its ugly face right in our backyards. Maybe its normal, maybe its not. Maybe we can do something to change it, maybe we can’t. But who cares- let’s die trying! Let’s try to be part of change that is most definitely coming! Is it really coming? From what I hear, and if John Pilger knows what he’s talking about, major changes are round the corner…

A snake around a tree has always had biblical connotations for me- but this painting rather exhumes a more innocent idea of the same in my mind. Maybe its coz it’s a palm tree or the snake is a bright yellow and blue! Just hope the kids don’t get a fright in their new playroom!



'liya said...

I read the conversation - funny stuff :D

Ek Anjaan Ladki said...

if doing justice is giving everyone their due, than how many people do justice, justly? :p

saaleha said...

is that book available at Wartenweiler?
or your personal copy?

kimya said...

oh wow. You picked up one of Prof Mernissis most renowned islamic feminist texts :) to Saaleha, it certainly is available in Wartenweiler as well as in Cullen, and believe it or not theres supposed to be one on West, either at the Law or Educom. In addition, I recommend a concurrent or subsequent read of Prof Amina Waduds "Quran & Woman", wherein she comments on the patriarchal bias in general readings and interpratations of the Quranic text. Makes for thought-provoking reading.

kimya said...

aaah, i found it..

i have in my possession, 'The Veil and the Male Elite: a feminist interpretation of womens rights in islam'.. also by Prof Mernissi.. as pretext to "Women in Islam", but a great place to start is her captivating autobiography, "The Harem Within", which illustrates her growing up within the confines of the womens quarters/harem of a rather elite family. If i recall, shes the daughter of her fathers third wife.. or something. Gripping stuff! Thnx, Bilal, I think Im gonna re-read Mernissi :)

Bilal said...

Do you think I have a future in comedy?! Are the students on schools in Canada the same?

True- not many people are just. Period.
We can change- ourselves- those around us- the world.

The one I read on 2nd floor in Warts. Or Kimya knows quite a few more;)
But please remember what I said- read with an open mind and be smart. And sincere.

'renowned islamic feminist'- I don't like the word feminist! Maybe due to how femisim is practise and encouraged in the West.
I have a very different idea of how women should be rightly taking back their God given rights and also fulfilling their God given roles and responsibilities.

I do not agree with everything she says and encourages. But there are lessons to be learnt by us all.

On the other hand, the little I have read from Amina Wadud, I did not enjoy. She seems to take the opposite extreme...

But glad if this helps as many out there as possible, to also learn more!

Fatima said...

it's like the typical conversation we used to have on campus. oh how i miss those types of conversation.

Thanks Bilal..when I get an opportunity to hit a decent library soon (whenever the heck that happens...eek), I'll search for Prof Mernissi's works.

Hanna said...

oh wow! Volunteering at the orphanage sounds great!! Looks like so much fun, and definitely rewarding as well. I dont know how u managed to find time to do it amidst your hectic schedule - but that's the cool thing about you. You always find time for things that matter.

'liya said...

Hmm well I attended some comedy event awhile ago called Allah Made Me Funny and it was quite good. I definitely think we need more muslim comedians out there though. We need to laugh!

Bilal said...

what is it with Muslim guys- we all proud to know nothing and too ashamed to admit we study:P
and guys & girls just want to flirt:)
Do that- her books are interesting- but read widely for your own good...

It was good fun:) Schedule is not so hectic- but did have to sacrifice some study time to go to Soweto! Make a dua- for the kids and for me to pass my exam!
Me cool, thanks:) [Fatima- its universal:P]

Azhar Usman is part of Allah Made me Funny- heard his CD. Awesome stuff! Will probably get lynched if he comes to SA- we need to gradually prepare things before people will start laughing at themselves...

Saaleha said...

the animated activist strikes again!

Unaiza Nasim said...

Best of luck for the upcoming exams.

Bilal said...

animated could be read in different ways:P Think I'll settle for the 'animated as in animation"!

Thanks! Studying a bit slow at the moment- make a prayer...

cellardoor said...

2 members of my family have had cancer. i remember when my uncle was in hospital, how strangers used to come and chat 2 him. just the fact that they took the time to ask how he was and chat 2 him always made his day. he used 2 say my muslim brothers and sisters r looking out 4 me, and i know i'll be missed.

kimya said...

slms.. islamic feminism in no way refers to the fifties bra-burning variety, i assure you :)

read Na'eem Jeenahs MA thesis at Cullen library on his groundbreaking work in Islamic Feminism in South Africa. While i dont ascribe to labels in general, i find such a reference of deep significance to us all, men and women are two sides of the same coin of human interaction.

As you know, ur recommendation inspired me to search works by Mernissi, and i came across her Dreams of Trespass: Tales of a Harem Girlhood (1994). Excerpt found at my blog gives an idea of why i find her so readable.


icedmocha said...

is the studyin sleepin combo any bettr dude? ur pretti amazinn with all that ya doo. will chek out that book..sounds intrestin.

ermm i think the bunny scares me the most. it looks lost nd confused..y so darkk..nd wudnt the cat want 2 eat the bunny. hahahh wot am i on abt lolzzzz

zee said...

when u said with an open mind - i take it that she's a bit of a feminist????

anywayz like the new blog but u stole da name from our buddy - or are u killing the blogspot one and redirecting it to wordpress?

just curious so i know which to delete:) clutter mu frend...clutter:)

Ali la Loca said...

When I visit my local university, I feel just one thing: O-L-D! And it wasn't even that long ago that I was a student!

I have already a huge reading list, but this book looks like an intriguing addition.

Nice mural, by the way!

Bilal said...

Sorry to hear, thats sad. Its a real wake-up call to witness pain and suffering at the hospital. But you also see so much goodness coming from fellow human beings...

I understand the different contexts that words are used in today- but also, from Mernissis writings, I find that she initially had a 'feminist' slant, as directly opposing the male-dominated arena of scholarship, but over the years she went beyond the feminist battles and took up Islamic scholarship as I believe Muslim women should!
That's the outcome I would hope many would be inspired to with her writing- the need for there to be more Muslim women who are scholars- not feminist activists...

I will be sure to find Na'eems thesis and also visit your blog! Thanks...

I didnt paint the bunny! It was an American who did it:P But she did try her best! Its just that we South Africans are more creative:)

No. I think she has long since moved away from feminism the way its popular understood- she now brings a female scholars view on many issues that is fresh and engaging- a fairly new platform for discussion and debate on the path of progress. I hope.

I know- I guess its such a constantly changing environment- even a year or two and you're out of it!
Add it to your list- you wont be sorry.
Thanks- I'm thinking of taking up art:)

[a}ma said...

azhar usman is a really funny muslim comedian...i attended one of his shows, they're hilarious!

[a}ma said...

nm, i scrolled up nd some1's already mentioned him..