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A Few Stories and a Juvenile Picture

November 8, 2005

kr’s note: I shed a tear of sadness and dedicate this post to my hero, Terrell Owens, the innocent victim of unjust oppression


Keep your thumb up my man, you’re still the greatest receiver in the
NFL right now… too bad people don’t recognize talent when they see
it. I hope the Bears sign him next year… imagine the tandem of the
Moose and TO… that’d be the best receiving corps in the NFC, hands
down.

1. Mawlana Rumi writes:

… God has men who never show themselves because of God’s excessive
jealousy of them, but they do bestow gifts and exalted goals upon those
who seek them. Such great kings are rare and precious indeed.
    We said, “Great men come into your presence.”
    “We (i.e., Rumi) have no ‘presence’ anymore,” he
said. “It has been a long time since we have had ‘presence.’ If they
come, they have come into the presence of an image they themselves have
shaped by belief. Some people once said to Jesus, ‘We will come to your
house.’ ‘Where and when in this world,’ he said, ‘have we ever had a
house?'”
    A tale is told of Jesus walking through the desert.
A heavy rainstorm began, so he took momentary shelter in a jackal’s den
in a cave until the rain should stop. While there he received an
inspiration to this effect: leave the jackal’s den for its young cannot
rest with you here (kr’s commentary: perhaps out of their awe in the
presence of a Prophet?).
    “O Lord”, he cried, “there is refuge for the jackal’s young but none for the son of Mary!”
    “If the jackal’s young has shelter,” God replied,
“it has no beloved to drive it from its home. You do not have such a
motivator (to stay at home). If you have no home, what cause is concern
for it. The grace and honor done specially to you by such a motivator
to drive you on is a thousand thousand times more valuable than the
sky, the earth, this world, the next world, and the Divine Throne all
together.”

2. (an interesting commentary of Rumi on the famous statement of
al-Hallaj when he exclaimed, “I am Reality” (ana ‘l-haqq)”, a famous
theopathic locution that led to his public execution on the charges of
heresy and blasphemy… I’ll write this down here and perhaps this may
lead to an interesting discussion…) Whatever motion comes from a
drowned person is not really from him but from the water. If he is
still thrashing about in the water, then he cannot be said to have
drowned yet. People think that to say “I am God” (referring to Hallaj’s
statement) is a claim of greatness, but it is actually extreme
humility. Anyone who says ” I am God’s servant” predicates two
existences, his own and God’s, while the one who says, “I am God”
nullifies himself–that is, he gives up his own existence as naught. It
is said that “I am God” means: “I do not exist; everything is He.
Existence is God’s alone; I am utter, pure non-existence; I am
nothing.” There is more humility to this than any claim to greatness,
but people do not comprehend. When a man acknowledges his servitude to
God, he is aware of his act of being a servant. It may be for God, but
he still sees himself, and his own act along with seeing God. He is not
“drowned”; drowned is he in whom there is no movement or action but
whose movement is the movement of the water.

3. A notorious criminal was brought before the Caliph, al-Ma’mun. Upon
seeing the criminal, the Caliph, out of his fury and anger, exclaimed,
“By Allah, surely I will slay you!” The criminal begged for the
Caliph’s forgiveness, and after the Caliph’s anger subsided, he felt
compassion for the man but felt that he was in a dilemma as he had
already made an oath to God. He expressed this quandary to the
criminal, who then remarked: “It is better to meet God as a liar than
as a murderer.” Upon hearing this, the Caliph forgave the man, who upon
receiving the Caliph’s pardon, immediately reformed his ways and lived
out the rest of his days as a devout believer.

Anyway, if none of the above was entertaining, here is the juvenile
picture that’s sure to strike a laugh. I was the Adler Planetarium
today, and well….


I don’t think I’ll ever grow up…

Oh, I think it’s a damn SHAME that
Terrell Owens got suspended… yet another example of the man trying
to keep people down. The Eagles are nothing without TO, and they know
it too… mann, he was on my MSA fantasy team too. I know at least that
loser Hisham will be happy… I think we should have a rally to support
TO in the wake of this oppression that he’s undergoing. Nevertheless, let it be known: TO’s my hero.

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32 Comments
  1. I have no clue who Terrell Owens is and the Uranus picture is juvenile even by my standards and I still wet my bed. But I was rather intrigued by the Al-Hallaj mention. Poor guy, I think he was just misunderstood.  If Allah breathed the soul into the son of Adam from His breath, and everything is in a state of annihilation except Allah, and in the end, the only thing that will remain will be Allah and the souls of Adam and his descendants in Hell or Heavan, then wasn’t that poor guy right? Aren’t we all Haq since we’re from Haq? Allah alim. But yeah, Terrell Owens Whoo!

  2. I like point #3 – JazakAllahu Khairan.

  3. props on that story….keep it real in the field my man =)

  4. I don’t get the picture. Uranus is a planet. What’s so funny about that? I like the commentary on Hallaj’s statement. But beware of an onslaught from anti-sufi folk.

  5. great post alhamdulillah.especially the rumi story and caliph al-ma’mun story.
    but the best part….no doubt…was the ayah min ayaatil planetarium!
    Concerning al-Hallaaj’s statement however – though it is well argued that his statement was a statement of humility – as he is in fact saying: “I am nothing and Allah’s is the only true existence”, I do think there is great validity in the argument that had this attitude/view been a commendable one in the eyes of Allah (swt), we would have seen it uttered from the lips of our blessed Prophet, and taught to (and by) his companions.
    Rather, we see that even in the verse of the Quran in which Allah (swt) takes our beloved Prophet up to Himself in the most intimate, closest moment between Prophet and Lord, in His most glorious presence, on the night of miraaj, he says:
    “Glory to be Him who took His SLAVE by night…” (17:1). Thus, the idea of being a slave – of EXISTING IN SERVITUDE and ACKNOWLEDING IT – is no doubt, from this verse and our entire tradition, the best position for a creation to be.
    Thus, many people feel that to take al-Hallaj’s statement and give it so much credence is1. To give credence to a view/words/attitude never taught by the Prophet (saw).2. To put a strange twist on a simple yet profound idea of servitude and Godship – straight simple pure Uboodiyyah.
    Why pollute such a simple idea with philosophies and logistical statements of existence/non-existence/nullification? This is exactly how the other religions started to go astray.
    Many are much more comfortable with this statement and its pure, raw, simplicity as taught by the Prophet (saw):
    “Allahumma anta rabbiy, laa ilaha illa anta. Khalaqtani wa ana abduk…””Oh Allah, You are my Lord, there is no god except You. You created me and I am Your slave.”I honestly believe these two sentences (and the rest of the dua) are more profound than the volumes which could be written on anything men have said/concluded.
    If the Prophet has told us that this dua is “the best means to seek forgiveness”[bukhari], why would be want an attitude/terminology that strives for anything better?” Rather to base our new personal duas/dhikrs upon this foundation would be most excellent (such as Hasan al-Basri’s narration of the duas of forgiveness, Hasan al-Banna’s Mathuraat, etc)
    As Abu Abdul-Rahman said when he was called by Abu Musa al-Ashari to investigate a circle of believers doing certain practices in the masjid, “By the One in whose hand is my soul, either you are following a way that is more guided than that of Muhammad, or you have opened a door of misguidance…!”
    The said: “By Allah Oh Abu Abdur-Rahman, we only wanted to do good!”
    He said: “How many of those who wanted to do good failed to achieve it!”[As-Sunan, Ad-Daarimi no.210]
    Some may simply say: the Prophet taught us the perfection of servitude, why pollute it with the ideas/words of men which needs paragraphs upon paragraphs to justify to the common man (for whom this religion goes out of its way to facilitate things for?)
    I believe both extremes, to champion Hallaj as a saint who was completely correct and a model for us to follow, is just as wrong as branding him outside the fold of Islam. Rather to see the point of his statement, to inculcate certain ideas from the point into our lives, but to leave the elements of it which are not found in the Sunnah of our Prophet is the best way to treat the situation.
    After all, even if we think that his statement was outside the Sunnah or more problematic than beneficial, he was probably closer to Allah than most of us will ever be.
    Just my two cents…ia.

  6. Happy Eid Mubarak…sorry for being late…

  7. Anonymous permalink

    salaams,
    number 1 is cool

  8. lol…at the picture…bay sharam BUT tameez…

  9. Anonymous permalink

    *looks at your Rumi shpeal*
    *points*
    YOU SUFI!

  10. TO deserved what he got. He couldn’t get along with the rest of the team, he insulted the organization, and he sold out his quarterback. Football is the ultimate WE game, it has no room for “ME’s” like TO. I admit, he’s a great player, but the EAgles are better off without him.
    Just my two cents.
    Uranus… lol.

  11. NaseehaMan: i’m not sure who you are but you seem to have posted quite a few comments lately, especially one wherein you said everything i wrote against the wahhabis was a bunch of crap or something. not sure what you were implying by that comment, or even this “comment”, which is nothing more than a hyperlink to another website. fyi, yes, i have read a few texts from the abdul-wahhab, and i was not impressed. as for this particular post, anyway, understand this: i’m neither championing nor attacking al-hallaj’s statement. i just found Rumi’s commentary on the matter to be interesting, to say the least. websites that attack and champion every Islamic issue under the sun are a dime a dozen, so i find it best not to put my complete stock into just one site. the article, while informative and sound, does contain its own prejudices and slants (essentially everything these days does)… i think its more important for people to be aware of different opinions instead of remaining comfortable esconced in the mindset they were given while growing up. hence, i’m neither championing nor attack Rumi’s commentary, but simply posting it for others to read and come to their own conclusion about such matters.

  12. Anonymous permalink

    You’re an idiot KR. Friggin the Eagles shoulda done this earlier. I would be offended to have TO on my team because of his shinanigans he brings. This team is built around team players. No doubt TO is a great reciever but he brings alot of baggage. And in my opinion its not worth it however great the tanded of Moose and TO is.
    Philly is a perfect example of how team chemistry is much more valuable than one star player.

  13. I liked what believer2 said personally.
    As for you Kamran, people all over the world go to the Adler Planetarium everyday, BUT when Kamran Riaz goes, he “becomes” the planetarium:(and i quote):
    “I was the Adler Planetarium today…”
    I know you well enough to know that wasn’t an example of humility 🙂
    Peace out,-Mohd

  14. With TO gone, Philadelphia will make the playoffs and lose to the Panthers, who will make it to the Superbowl to play the Colts, and the Colts will win (run on sentence, I know).

  15. Anonymous permalink

    1. the eagles will not make the playoffs w/out TO. neither will TO. period.
    2. one of ur best mini-writeups ever, concerning #1,2
    3. i can see how your #2 can cause confusion. i read it three times.
    4. late eid mubarak. nov 13th, my school, dont forget. i know where u live.

  16. shuttari, you’re an idiot… the eagles aren’t gonna make the playoffs after losing their best offensive weapon. especially not in a division stacked with the redskins, giants, and cowboys. sorry philly, i love mcnabb, but the window of opportunity has officially shut on the eagles. and what about the bears huh? 5-3 baby, 5-3. we’re gonna get into the playoffs and do some damage son… don’t be surprised. get on the bandwagon now, there’s still some seats left.hisham, you lost all credibility with that comment. philly is a perfect example of how they didnt know how to manage a prima donna, baby him, go ahead and stroke his ego, and realize that winning is the most important thing in professional sports. forget about winning the “right way”, its all about winning, everything else is secondary. the eagles knew that TO just wants attention. they shoulda given him all the attention this guy wanted, kept him happy, and felt they owed him some loyalty after that gutsy comeback and performance in the superbowl. face it, i like mcnabb, but the eagles lost the superbowl cause mcnabb took forever to get the “hurry up” offense going. TO? he played like a beast that game. philly’s so called team chemistry is going to keep them at the bottom of the NFC east… is that more valuable than going ahead and appeasing one star player? perhaps in other venues of life yes, but this is professional sports… you gotta win, no matter the cost.mohd: hahaha, i meant, “I was AT the Adler Planetarium today…”

  17. I liked the first Rumi story… I was somewhat confused about the second one.
    TO was on my fantasy team too… =(

  18. ooooh, magnificent post mA. i very much like the juvenile picture because, indeed, TO IS A FREAKIN BABY. theres nothin more juvenile than him.nice of you to bring in the al-Hallaj bit. i love the guy, God Have mercy on him. this debate is an interesting one as it does not remain confined to the notion of existence, but also very much encompasses the idea of creation. so i offer three foodstuffs for thought: 1)  hm, what happens if we approach the subject from the point of human origin – maybe then the claim of “ana ‘l-haqq” is one that separates the status of man upon his creation from the status in which he sees himself in such a statement. i wonder if this bestows some unlawful agency on man… 2) ive always sort of dually interpreted “khalaqtani wa ana abduk” as “You Created me and i am Your slave” and “You Created me as Your slave” (the latter being a construction supported by numerous shawahid). but who the heck am i to interpret – altho it offers some insight into my first foodstuff, about a single purpose in creation and existence. 3) finally, what offering would be whole without a little poetry… i like these two lines, from poet-philosopher Iqbal: what should i ask the sages regarding my origin / it is my ultimate destiny about which i am really concerned…” of course, the next two lines open another philosophical can o worms about khudi and agency, but there is wisdom mos def in all their words…barakallahu feekum.peace,IJB

  19. good post, I really liked the stories…

  20. I’m so glad T.O. got kicked off the team. It’s about time someone stepped up to these egotistical losers who think they’re God’s gift to mankind. This should be a lesson to the rest of the inflated heads that exist across sports that sooner or later you’re shananigans will not be tolerated. Hopefully, this will make T.O. a more humble individual. I remember reading in ESPN magazine a few years back about Keyshawn Johnson when he started playing for the Cowboys. Supposedly, there was a wide reciever on his team who started complaining about not getting enough catches and would often get in the face of the coach. Of all people, it was Keyshawn who confronted this young WR and told him not to ruin his career like he himself had done in the past. So, believe it or not, what Tampa did to Keyshawn had an impact on him and I believe the Eagles deciding to marginalize T.O. will be better for them and him in the long run.

  21. As Salam Alaikum:
    I am sorry I didnt any part of your blog. *wondering* (am I slow?)…anywho, I liked brother Believer2’s comment though.
    As for me quitting, I am not sure if it is for the best. I can still be xanga surfing all day without having one of my own. This makes me want to reconsider. So, I am not sure yet, but 80% chance that, that thing is to die in a week or two. But one thing is for sure, I didnt save any time by not posting a post the last whole week. I was wasting time on other people’s xangas! Sheesh, I need to do something about myself.
    Anywho,
    Allah Hafiz

  22. Anonymous permalink

    KR you are a fool. You only want people to treat TO that way because you never get treated that way on the football field. All the antics you throw on the field. Yeah enough said.
    The point is, the Eagles were more cunning than you gave them credit for. They realized TO wasnt going to be happy for long, thats why the contract was structured as it was, it was to use and abuse TO for two years (the contract was frontloaded so much!) and then part ways with him.
    I wouldnt want TO on my Bears team.
    And for the record folks, even KR jumped on the Bears bandwagon late. I have the convo to prove it, after we lost grossman and then hutch sucked it up, KR was like were not making no playoffs. He also predicted them to go 5-11 or 6-10. (Which are still possible still) The point is, KR is the BIGGEST bandwagon hopper of them all.
    Whatever we’ll let you other guys get on. You gotta ask the smooth sensei first though. He steers the bandwagon. respek

  23. KamKam, thanks for the stories.  I like the ‘its better to be a liar than a murderer bit.’ 
    As usual, the sports stuff goes in one squirrely ear and out the other.  Sigh.  If I only had a magic wand. 

  24. Anonymous permalink

    lol..your funny..

  25. fine…forget the Eagles…LIONS BABAY, LIONS! 
    the Lions will be at the SuperBowl, one way or another 🙂 (figure that one out…)

  26. i liked story #3. eventually got #2. still don’t get #1. someone will have to explain it to me. unofficial props to Mohd and the uranus joke is sad… ok fine it’s a little funny, … but still SO sad.

  27. If your purpose isn’t to champion or attack, and you’d  just like Muslims to be more accepting of differences, then why did you attack Salafism by calling it an evil bastard in the title of one of your posts?
    And there ae some things that can’t just be accepted as “difference”. When a guy says “I am Allah”, then yes, we’re *supposed* to attack him. Not make “interesting” excuses for him. You can twist it any way you like, but at the end of the day, he made the same statement as Fir’awn. No wonder he was killed, and rightfully so.
    And for the record, I’m not really Salafi, nor do I call myself such. In fact I don’t like extreme Salafi sectarianism. But at the same time, I also dislike extreme *anti*-Salafi sectarianism.

  28. in regards to the salafi post from 18 months ago: i didnt call it an evil bastard, please quote me correctly. the title of the post said that salafism was evil… the text of the post used the phrase “illegitimate child”. no where did i use the phrase “evil bastard”. i did attack salafism (for the record i identify more with the people of tasawwuf), and i laid out my arguments for why i believed it. i accept a “salafi” Muslim and i give him the same rights as i would to any other Muslim (hence the fact that i mentioned in that same post that i have salafi friends should be enough proof that i am accepting of such differences). however, there is nothing wrong with me finding their practices and beliefs as incorrect and dangerous. this ikhtilaf is fine, as long as it doesnt lead to anyone not giving his brother their proper rights and dues. bottom line: i respect and love salafis, yet, i just think they’re plain wrong.again, please quote correctly… al-Hallaj never said “I am Allah”, he said, “ana ‘l-haqq (I am the Truth)”. if you read carefully, im not making any excuse for the statement and i agree, as the majority of scholars agree, that he was rightfully executed. he did NOT make the same statement as Fir`awn, however, since Fir`awn demanded that people worship him and outrightly claimed his divinity over his people. al-Hallaj was the complete opposite of this Firawnic aspect. i mentioned the Rumi commentary simply to get people to start thinking outside the box. Aristotle said that the mark of an educated man is to be able to entertain an idea even if he doesn’t agree with it. the previous Muslim communities were able to do this… it’s high time that we got to that point as well.

  29. Right, you didn’t say “evil bastard”, you said “Evil Illegitimate Child”. I don’t see the big difference. Kinda like I didn’t say you’re post was “crap”, I said it was “garbalogical”.
    He said “ana al-haqq”, yes. And isn’t al-haqq one of the names of Allah? Even according to your Rumi quote, he understood that the guy was essentially saying “I am God”, and in fact, that is what he was killed for. So why you gettin’ into semantics braw?
    Then you go ahead and post a quote basically making excuses for the guy saying, “No no no, see, what he *really* meant is since ‘everything is Allah and Allah is everything’ (a pantheistic kufr belief by the way), he is also part of Allah”. Then people comment saying how “great” the commentary is, and yet you still don’t reply with some disclaimer saying something like “this does not mean he was justified in saying this, and he was in fact, rightfully executed”. When someone does finally protest this shirki blasphemy, you come with the excuse that you were just promoting “thinking outside the box”. What is this man?!
    And the early Muslim communities were able to entertain “difference of opinion”? That’s why they executed him, I guess, right? This “let’s all accept each other’s differences” thing people are always talking about nowadays – it’s just wack, cuz ikhtilaaf has limits.

  30. dude, do you have something personal against me, cause this is what’s certainly coming out of your comments over the past few posts. i dont even know you, so im not sure why you’re thinking this. i apologize if you’re thinking that im taking this to you on a personal level for that wasnt my intent either.and “braw”, it isn’t a matter of semantics. properly narrating quotes, word for word, is something that is taken quite seriously in our tradition. by no means am i trying to make this into lingustic acrobatics. if you can’t see that, then well, i dunno what to say….i thought i made it quite clear in the post but if i didn’t: i don’t agree with al-hallaj’s statement. im not trying to defend the guy, so im not sure why youre thinking that. even the other sufis of his time, such as junayd al-baghdadi, agreed that he was rightfully executed. so i’m not here to argue whether or not he was “right” or “wrong”. the Rumi commentary was posted so that people could understand where al-Hallaj was coming from and understand that he didn’t just utter this statement in a vacuum. understanding context of statements and actions is important so that we as people removed from the situation can get a better idea of what was going on. an analogy to this is the idea of suicide bombing in palestine. my opinion on this is that this is completely antithetical to islam… yet, understanding the mentality of WHY someone would go to such lengths and tactics is also a worthy knowledge to have because you can then understand the reasoning, circumstances, and mindset of people who feel they have to go to such limits. again, this is not to justify suicide bombers or al-Hallaj but to get us sophisticated enough to understand the mentality of such people. hence, the aristotle quote.the difference of opinion bit… again, that was in NO WAY referring to al-Hallaj, i was referring to that if you don’t agree with my opinion that we should understand the mindset of such people, then you should let it be. im not demanding that everyone also analyze al-Hallaj or other such issues… if they don’t want, that’s fine to. however, for those of us who want to entertain ideas even if we don’t agree with them, i think those who disagree (such as yourself) should be more willing to let us explore this branch of knowledge. since this is my blog, naturally, i’ll post things that are of interest to me. if you don’t think these are interesting, alhamdulillah, that’s your opinion, i’ll respect it. just don’t think im going out of the way to personally start something with people such as yourself who don’t agree. perhaps the best thing would be to just hit the back button and go on with your day.

  31. Awrighty. And no, I don’t have anything personal against you. Actually, I like you. But I just thought that quote was a bit much.

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