Saturday, 19 January 2013

Abu Taubah

Went through some Abu Taubah audio recordings last night whilst trying to fall asleep. Here's a couple of quotes that stuck:

We don't care how much you know
until we know how much you care.

Note that he wasn't belittling knowledge in the above! (He's pretty well travelled, and learned himself.) Rather, he was emphasising the role of compassion. Like he said elsewhere: you wouldn't eat food - even the most finest cuisine - brought to you in a trash can! Form is important. Here's the second quote:

'O you who believe...',
this [statement] is not only a calling [i.e. an address]
but it's [also a qualifier,] like saying
'If you truly believe...'.

For those who don't know, he's a Muslim community leader in the States who was conveniently arrested a couple of weeks before September 11th 2011 and then a couple of weeks before September 11th 2012 a story emerged of his having taught a supposed-would-be-Jihadist-turned-FBI-informant some martial arts! He has pleaded guilty to (the non-terrorism-related-charge of) having an unlicensed hand-gun at his home and let's just hope he can do the time required, get back to his family, and get on with his life! His wife explains a bit more about his arrest here.

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Life of Pi, by Yann Martel

Good premise - boy stranded out at sea with some animals - and not badly executed but I couldn't help feel the author got his priorities wrong. The book is at its finest when the author writes about zoos, animals, the wild and human nature. Some great insights here about social rank, fear and loneliness. However, the author is fixated on trying - explicitly - to convince his reader of the existence of God. And it's here I felt he didn't quite deliver. I thought the book would have been so much more impactful had he focused on the beauty and subtleties of creation and left the rest to the imagination of the reader.