Saturday, 30 May 2009

21, Pride Decade

Title: Pride Decade
Language: English
Format: Documentary, Martial Arts
Running time: 2 hours
Release date: 2009

Compulsory viewing for mixed martial arts fans. Excellent presentation of Pride Fighting Championships' ten-year lifespan (1997-2007), from inception to sale. Good mixture of narrative, interviews and fight footage (not to forget the dramatic music!).

Monday, 25 May 2009

20, Into the Light

Title: Into the Light - A selection of personal accounts of modern converts to Islam
Paperback: 60 pages
Publisher: UK Islamic Mission
Language: English

Sometimes it seems that the ways to reject and distort the message of the Prophets (peace be upon them all) is as numerous as the people on this earth. I had a conversation with a non-Muslim recently stemming from him asking me directions (geographic direction, not spiritual!). His problem with "the Islamic faith" (as he called it) was (is) that we refer to "the Creator", "the Most Magnificent" (his choice of words) as "He". He said doing so, referring to Him (!) as a man, dishonoured "the Creator", "the Most High" (he didn't like the word God I think). Every time I would say "He", he would say "see, see, you said 'He'". Of course, when we, as Muslims, refer to God as "He", the corrupted thought of thinking God as man is far far from us.

An example: In Arabic, the word "huwa" can mean "it" or "he". When we refer to a pen as "huwa", we do not think of the pen as a man. Likewise, we make a fundamental clear distinction between the Creator and the created. Anyway, getting to the topic at hand...

Reading this booklet, 'Into the Light', was a good eye opener of how it really is the coherency and simple things of Islam that attract people to it. Well-written, short, touching, personal accounts, of people who have chosen to become Muslim. Definitely worth the read. Inspires one with renewed vigour and confidence to spread the message of Islam, and really reinforces the belief: Whomsoever God guides, none can misguide.

May God guide us all and may He keep us guided on the straight path.

Saturday, 23 May 2009

Game of Choices

"Karate is in my blood. Since a very young age, fourteen/fifteen years old, we got up 5:00 in the morning. 5:30 in the morning was when our father started training us."

"You wake up early, so your first opponent is yourself. You must decide, do I go or not? Is it raining? Am I tired? Just getting out of bed is winning the first fight."

(Source: Lyoto Machida and his father (respectively), UFC 98 Countdown)

I really need to cut down on my sleeping. Averaging 9 hours at present. Unacceptable.

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

"Islamist" overkill

Letter I wrote to The Economist:
Dear Economist,

I have been reading your magazine for a couple of years now and the ever increasing use (and abuse) of the word "Islamist" increasingly irritates me. Take for example this passage: "... Though many female undergraduates in Algiers wear the Islamist headscarf,..." (Match 7th 2009, 'Steady but stale') What is an "Islamist headscarf"? It is difficult (impossible maybe) these days to find a single article about Muslims or Islam in your magazine free of the word "Islamist". And, of course, you only ever seem to use the word "Islamist" with obvious negative connotations.

Regards,
Adil Hussain
London, England
I thought twice before sending it, lest I come under the "Islamist radar", but it's almost impossible not to these days, so I thought might as well.

Saturday, 16 May 2009

Remember Gaza - National Demonstration

I popped down to the beginning part of this demonstration today in central London. Good lively atmosphere but numbers nowhere near as high as the demonstrations back in January - in the hundreds rather than the thousands. We are indeed a people moved by mass media. Free Palestine.

Saturday, 9 May 2009

Hit and be not hit

"My body is my sword. My mind is my blade."

(Source: Lyoto Machida, UFC 98 In Depth)

Of course, it is better to win a fight without fighting (war is deception) but circumstances don't always allow for that.

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

Britain and its Muslims

"... The sad fact, in a country that has come to live in fear of terrorism, is that many Britons are indeed more interested in assessing Muslims' potential for violence than in anything else about them."

(Source: The Economist, February 28th 2009, How the government lost the plot)

Old article but still a valid read.

Also, you might want to listen to 'Ungoverned Spaces' and 'Struggle on two fronts':
economist.com/audiovideo/britain

Monday, 4 May 2009

19, Muhammad The Last Prophet

Title: Muhammad The Last Prophet
Language: English, Arabic
Format: Animated, Colour
Running time: 95 minutes
Release date: 2004

Touching account of the Prophet's (SAWS) life and messengership. Well worth the watch.