Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Aleppo Takes Preparations as Capital of Islamic Culture for 2006

Accoding to SANA

Governor of Aleppo Tamer al-Haja on Tuesday briefed journalists and media men on current preparations taken to make the celebration of “Aleppo, the capital of Islamic Culture for 2006” a success.

“The celebration, due to start on 18 March, includes different activities, among them presenting 8 seminars, 150 lectures, restoring 20 historical site, organizing exhibitions, TV and Radio programs in addition to issuing a special magazine for this event,” al-Haja said during a press conference.

“Aleppo city has recruited more than 500 persons in different domains to prepare for this celebration… Spain and Germany will take part in the event through offering books, CD’s, and films on the historical sites of the city,” he added.

The Syrian second city of Aleppo was elected the capital of Islamic culture for 2006 as it represents an example of the Islamic cities in its religious tolerance, recognition of the other and coexistence among different religions and doctrines as well as its historical image.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006


Originally uploaded by *_Stellar_*.
Here in Damascus there isn't much conflict between Muslims and Christians. A mosque and a church in the same street, as you see in this pic, can coincide peacefully without any violence.

Can the rest of the world coexist in peace?

Peace to all.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Islam's Billy Graham

The preacher and Muslim Youth

More popular than Oprah Winfrey, the world's first Islamic television evangelist

Commands an army of millions of followers. DavidHardaker reports from Cairo

In a tiny house on the West Bank a young Palestinian woman is jogging the length of her hallway and back Again and again. The pain becomes unbearable. But she keeps going. Eventually she completes two thousand laps. Why? Because Amr said so. He called on young Muslims to get fit, and the woman could find no other safe place to run.

In the choking grime of Cairo, another young woman is tending to a small tomato vine, struggling into life atop a 10-storey city block. Why? Because Amr wants his young followers to see something grow. It will provide hope- and maybe a small income- in a part of the world where both are in short supply. The greening of rooftops in the filth and decay of this Arab mega city is a story being repeated again and again throughout the Arab world. It is a powerful metaphor for the work of a religious and marketing phenomenon called Amr Khaled, who is trying to pump oxygen into the arid lives of Muslim youth. Amr (rhymes with "charmer") Khaled is the Arab world's first Islamic tele-evange-list, a digital age Billy Graham who has fashioned himself into the anti-Bin Laden, using the barrier-breaking power of satellite TV and the internet to turn around a generation of lost Muslim youth.

"When you look at the reach of what he is doing and when you look at the millions he is touching, I don't know another single individual in the region who is having the impact that Amr Khaled is having," says the American Rick Little, an adviser on youth issues to the UN who has worked with Khaled on job creation schemes in the Middle East.

Khaled, 38, defies the stereotype of the Islamic preacher. In his Cairo office it would be easy to mistake him for a City banker. No flowing robes for him. He wears a hand-tailored cream suit, an open-necked sky blue shirt, brown loafers and a Bulgari watch.

The accountant-turned-preacher shifts easily between the worlds of religion and business.
To demonstrate the success of Khaled Inc, the CEO has at the ready a series of graphs and pie-charts in a tastefully designed Annual Report. Inside he points to the proof of his proudest boast: that Amr Khaled is more popular than the US talk show juggernaut Oprah Winfrey.

Certainly, It seems to be the case. A corporate graph shows the number of hits on the amrkhaled.net website soaring far and beyond the Winfrey line. It is a strange point of reference for an Islamic preacher. He explains, though, that he is neither a preacher nor an Oprah. "I am in my own box," he laughs. And perhaps he is.

Unlike other Middle Eastern preachers, Khaled has had a taste of life on the other side of the religious and cultural divide.

Three years ago he was banned from speaking in Egypt because of his popularity. In self- imposed exile, he set up shop in London, where he says he lived "a wonderful life, in freedom".
Khaled has returned to his home country in the past few weeks, but his experience of the West sharpened his perspective on the problems facing young Muslims, in England and in the Arab world. He has come back with a dream: "I am going now to build a bridge between the East and the West," he declares.

There is more than a touch of the thespian in Khaled, and he is well aware of the power of his words to motivate. His prime target is the youth of the Arab world, who feel that they are second-class citizens in a world dominated by the United States and its values. To these young people he has a tough message about the destructive force of self-pity. "We Muslims are living as parasites on the world. Our problem is that we have got used to taking without ever giving," he says.

"Don’t tell us it is a Western conspiracy against us, it is not."

Khaled's words capture what official reports into the Middle East have been pointing to with increasing alarm: that rising poverty, unemployment and illiteracy have made a toxic cocktail. Combined with authoritarian governments and hostility to the United States, the cocktail has turned deadly and made its young people easy prey for the likes of Osama bin Laden.

Khaled's remedy is a tough personal regime of self-renewal, based on what he says are real Islamic values. His messages are drawn from the Koran, but they are shaped to the 21st century.

Muslims are told why it is contrary to Islam to smoke, to litter the streets or to be lazy, and why it is good to collect clothes for the poor or to vote in elections.

One devotee is the Egyptian graduate Iman Salama, 24. She listens to Khaled through a walkman tucked under her veil while she does the housework. "I am a big fan," she says. "I like that he wants to make the beliefs of Islam more something that you can do in your day-to-day life." Like thousands of others, Iman Salama has grown impatient with the establishment preachers, who are determined not to move with the times. "They are not really up to the standards that are needed to make the Muslim people relate to Islam in a changing world," she says.

In the eyes of Arab elders, though, the TV preacher is little more than a showman, a judgment which is reinforced every time another high-profile celebrity signs up to the Khaled cause. Around Cairo's establishment dinner tables there is much tut-tut ting about the lay preacher's lack of formal religious training.

Muslim scholars scorn his "air-conditioned" brand of Islam.

However. In the best traditions of United States tele-evangelists, the Khaled style on stage is a big seller. With eyes shut tight the preacher will summon a message as though from the depths of his soul. His face contorts. There's a rush of emotion. His voice rises to an excited squeal. In a trice he brings his audience back down again, his voice dropping to a near whisper.

Khaled's connections range far and wide across the spectrum of politics and business. Little, who is also CEO of an international philanthropic organisation, Imagine Nations, first heard of the preacher's influence when he was interviewing young Muslims for a book he is writing with Queen Rania of Jordan.

"I was shocked by the number of young people from a diverse number of countries and backgrounds and socio-economic levels who kept on talking about Amr and the influence he was having in their lives," he said from his Maryland office in the US. "I thought who ever this guy is, he is someone I would like to get to know and learn more about."

Khaled is a favorite of Queen Rania. His brochures are littered with happy snaps of him with the influential: with the President of Yemen, being presented with a UN award, signing a deal with the chief of Dubai police.

It makes the preacher a powerful political lever for the West in its quest to neutralise the anger of young Muslims. The British Government has already seen the potential. In mid 2004, leaked Cabinet papers named Khaled as a figure worth promoting as a counterweight to the imams preaching jihad in England.

In the face of evidence of hostile intent from within England's own Muslims communities, Tony Blair asked the Cabinet Secretary, Sir Andrew Turnbull, to come up with strategies. Sir Andrew reported: "We need to find ways of strengthening the hand of moderate Muslim leaders, including the young Muslims with future leadership potential, through the status which contact with the government can confer, and through practical capacity building measures."

The British Government has been happy to back Khaled's efforts. Last August, the Foreign Office minister Kim Howells sent a message of support for a conference organised by the preacher, praising him for his "courage and strength" in attempting to bring cultures together.
A month before, Khaled was in London when the terror attacks killed 52 people. "This," he hisses, "is nowhere in Islam. If anyone kills children or women, this is not acceptable not only in Islam, in the Jewish faith, in Christianity, in all the religions."

Khaled's words are music to the ears of Western interests. But while the preacher might be hip, he is deeply conservative.

The Khaled phenomenon is being fed by a range of forces, not only companies such as a Nike Corporation, but by billionaire Saudi businessmen as well. Of the latter, Khaled says: "I chose the moderate people, not just anyone from Saudi Arabia."

It certainly makes the man with the simple message a more complex proposition. One of Khaled's toughest hometown critics believes the West has been tricked by Khaled. "His appearance is calculated to deceive," says Hala Mustafa, who is one of Cairo's prominent liberals and the editor of a government funded academic journal, Democracy.

"He is just like the other Islamic theocrats, but he says it with a smiling face."

Mustafa has written widely on the growth of Islamic fundamentalist groups, and exhibit No 1 in her prosecution of Khaled is the headscarf, the emblem of conservative Islam. He is commonly held to be the single major force behind young women taking the veil. Removing it, he has told his followers, is "the biggest sin, the biggest sin, the biggest sin".

In one of his lectures he directed a tirade towards any Muslim girl who wished to mimic the West and not wear the veil: "Who respects the woman more? Islam or the ones who cannot even sell a box of matches without painting a half-naked woman on it? Are they the ones who have respected women or ill-treated them? Has not Islam respected women, covered them and liberated them from such exploitation?"

Khaled has saved some of his fiercest rhetoric for the ethics of the West. In his addresses to his Arabic-speaking audience he has alleged that Western people are "fatigued by depression. Suicide, addition, broken families, we pray they will go back to the right path, Allah's system. We don’t want to lead lives like the "West."

He claims that Muslims are being "oppressed and tortured all over the world". So how does this square with his vow to build a bridge between the East and the West?

"To say we are building a bridge does not mean we are making a copy of life in the West," he says. "There are some things we don’t accept in your vision of life. We have many things in our culture [where there is a] big difference between you and us, and if we say we need to take the West and to make a copy of the [West's] civilisation then no one will listen to me, because no one thinks like that."


A confession is on the way: "Yes, I did say these points but I will be very honest to tell you Amr Khaled's vision after he went to stay in the UK is not like Amr Khaled's vision before he went to the UK."

The concession only adds to the riddle of what Khaled really stands for. Mustafa says it all adds up to one conclusion: "He is very close in style to the Muslim brotherhood," she says, invoking the name of the Middle East's original political Islamic organisation, which is pursuing Islamic government through the ballot box and which recently made massive gains in Egypt's elections.
"Whether they use extreme language or moderate language, they all have the same aim."

It remains to be seen where Khaled is leading his army of young believers and whether or not the plants springing into life on Arab rooftops might ultimately be a bitter harvest for the West. The Khaled phenomenon is a work in progress, one which might yet see the accountant turned preacher take another turn, perhaps into politics.

"Anything at the right time," he says. Now I have good dialogue with the West and I have millions of people who are listening to me. So what is the next step? Let's wait and see."

Wednesday 4 January 2006 THE INDEPENDENT

In my humble opinion, I believe that he is hope for all Arabs and Muslims. We haven't been doing anything to get out the dump that we are so comfortable in. It's time to actually not accept anything less than the best of the best of wht we can be.

Lately, I've been using the word" Pro-active" a lot. It's because it's in engraved in my soul now. I am one of those young Muslim that Amr Khaled changed their lives to the more positive. I can say, I know I found a beautiful purpose in life. I no longer am lost because I have loads to offer this world to make a difference.

May Allah bless my dearest brother in Islam, Amr Khaled... May there will be more out there like him.

Thursday, January 12, 2006


I know this comes a little too late but I'll share it anyways...

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

New Music...

I'd like to thank whoever stopped by to read my blog. I hope you enjoy it and would like to see you be active on the blog. Anyways... I'm writing this post so I can spread my music a little bit to get feedback from you guys...


There are 2 categories. Just a bunch of bad recordings and an album called Emotions. That isn't the final name of the album but it's there just to separate the categories. Listen to the Instrumental music from Emotions and tell me what you think and feel free to download the songs and share them if you like them enough, as long as I (the composer) am mentioned.

I recently uploaded 2 new songs, Calling Out and Mystical Path. Hopefully, in God's will, I'll have more up there soon. If Calling Out is not up, wait till the next day till I get the approval. Thanks again...

Hope you enjoy the music.

Monday, January 09, 2006

To Believe Or Not to Believe???

I got this email today and I thought I'd share it... I have no idea who this person is to be honest. Sounts tempting but I mean what the?!?! If you can't trust family, you tend to trust a stranger??? Who knows?

Hello Friend,
My name is Abdulla Hassan, A Bahraini national. I have been diagnosed with
Oesophageal cancer .It has defiled all forms of medical treatment, and right
now I have only about a few months to live, according to medical experts. I
have not particularly lived my life so well, as I never really cared for
anyone(not even myself)but my business. Though I am very rich, I was never
generous, I was always hostile to people and only focused on my business as
that was the only thing I cared for. But now I regret all this as I now know
that there is more to life than just wanting to have or make all the money
in the world. I believe when God gives me a second chance to come to this
world I would live my life a different way from how I have lived it. Now
that God has called me, I have willed and given most of my property and
assets to my immediate and extended family members as well as a few close
friends .I want God to be merciful to me and accept my soul so, I have
decided to give alms to charity organizations, as I want this to be one of
the last good deeds I do on earth. So far, I have Distributed money to some
charity organizations in the U.A.E, Somalia and Malaysia. Now that my health
has deteriorated so badly, I cannot do this myself anymore. I once asked
members of my family to close one of my accounts and distribute the money
which I have there to charity organization in Bulgaria and Pakistan, they
refused and kept the money to themselves. Hence, I do not trust them
anymore, as they seem not to be contended with what I have leftfor them. The
last of my money which no one knows of is the huge cash deposit of Eighteen
Million dollars($18,000,000,00) that I have with a finance House abroad. I
will want you to help me collect this deposit and dispatch it to charity

N/B:KINDLY NOTE THAT 20% of this funds must go to victims of recent
disasters and another 20% for your effort and time.
Please do reply if you are willing to assist me.

Mr.Abdulla Hassan.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

If you're wondering...

I just wanted to share this piece of information from one of great scholars, Imam Suhaib Webb. Br. Suhaib contacted me when I sincerely needed help this summer. I once again needed to read this and I hope this can help anybody who needs it.

Asalamu alaykum,

I pray all are well. I was blessed to hear brother Sami last night here in the Bay Area and Mashallah his new songs sound great! I ask Allah to bless him and increase his good.

Regarding our dear sisters question:

Dear sister,

Your lack of focus and concentration could be do to a number of issues social and spiritual.

On the social level:

1. Stress- For many young brothers and sisters in Musilm lands there is a great amount of stress. School and marriage seem to be some of the main issues in Egypt amongst my friends. However, there are a number of things you can do to assist with this.

a. Take some time out and enjoy yourself. Go to the park or place of recreation. It is important to recharge your batteries and give your mind and soul a rest. The Prophet (sa) said, "Your body has a right you." (sound hadith)

b. Try doing something benefical in your community. Work with youngsters and teach them to read. I know of alot of children of Bawabs in my area who cannot read nor write. Perhaps do some type or work that will relax you and bring you closer to Allah.

c. Sports: Sports are a great way to let of steam and relax.

e. Keep a diary. Writing your thoughts down every-day is a great way to let things out and make muhasaba of yourself.

2. On the spiritual level:

1. I was sad to see you asking for an answer besides supplication and prayer. Such a statement reflects a great spiritual problem! For indeed, if the Salah and supplication are not the greatest assistance at your disposal then what is? Such a statement is like a a patient complaning to a doctor with the cure for their disease sitting in front of them. I encourage you to think deeply about your relationship with Salah and Supplication. Allah says, "Seek help with prayer." And "Your Lord says call on Me and I will answer you." And, "Indeed, with the remembrance of Allah hearts find rest."

Dear Sister! Know that there is no better medication than prayer and dua. Perhaps, and this is the case with myself, it is not the supplication nor the prayer that is not working, but the one praying and supplicating? For that reason the great poet Al-Mutanabi said, and I'm sorry I have no Arabic on this computer,

"If the eye is ill and fails to see the beauty in an object, then let it not blame the object. And if the tongue is ill and it fails to taste the sweetness of food, then let it not blame the food."

Thus, my advice is to revisit your prayers and supplication. Everything has a means of travel. From Medinah Nasir to Hussein we use a micro-bus. From Salmiyah to Sura (yes Kuwait!) we take a taxi. And from Cairo to the USA we use an air-plane. But how do we travel to Allah (swt). Allah (swt) says, "Flee to Allah." We travel to Allah with sound healthy hearts. Thus, my advice would be to work on your soul, then revisit your prayers and supplication. Imam Al-Ghazzali said, "Prepare your hearts for knowledge as land is prepared for cultivation." Thus, I advice the following:

1. Establish a daily time to sit and remember Allah.

2. Make wudu, pray two rakats and run with your heart and tears back to your Lord. Allah (swt) loves those who turn to Him and He is sure to be there for you. But, you must knock on the door, if no-one answers, knock louder
3. Remember that tears of sincere pentance are worth more than gold and rubies. Thus, give some Sadaqa from your eyes to Allah. Money is a great form of sadaqa, but sincere tears for Allah have cannot be valued. The Prophet (sa) said that those tears and what every they touch will not be burned by the Hell fire.

I ask Allah to bless you and forgive me if my words were harsh.

Your brother

"One has to conquer the fear of death if he is
going to do anything constructive in life and take a stand against evil."

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr

Asalamu alaykum,

After reading out sister's response I recalled a beautiful statement of our Prophet (sa) that should really boost everyone's faith.

The Prophet (sa) said, "Whoever, works towards improving his/her Islam. Then for every, good action, he/she does it will be multiplied 10 to 700 times. And for every sin or mistake he/she makes, it will counted as only one." (Sound hadith)

Mashallah! Such great news and glad tidings for those who stuggle and seek to improve their relationship with Allah.


Friday, January 06, 2006

A post from a sister's blog..

I was going through some blogs and I came across this post... Hajar, if you're reading this, please forgive me for stealing your post but I couldn't help but stop laughing at how you ended the conversation. It's toooo funny. I wanted to share it with everybody.

This is something I feel as well and I've been told to stay away from non-Muslims. The problem is not the religion itself, it's the ignorant ones who want to force their views on other people. La ikraha fideen

This is a post by Nuralhuda.

Salafis, Again...

'who is that?'
'a friend'
'why is she not wearing hijab?'
'maybe cos she's not muslim?' [ i would have thought the crucifix gave it away]
'i see. have u tried to guide her?' [Allah is the one that guides, no?]
'she's a very religious christian, and is happy that way'
'and yet she's your friend?'
'ya ukhti, you should stay away from the kaffirs'
'and you, ukhti, should go to hell'

i guess she wont be bothering me anytime soon.

if you want to sport a 10 ft beard and 3/4 length trousers, thats your choice.

if you want to wear niqab, get married at 13, and have 35 kids [to increase the ummah's population], fine. but dont force your messed up choices on me.

and if Im doomed to hell for having christian, agnostic, hindu and even jewish friends, then that's my concern. not yours.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

I'm getting over it already.

Now that I calmed down and I looked back at my previous post, I feel seriously foolish. I guess the reason why wrote it because I just needed to vent. This is what I have to say now with a smile on my face.

It's funny how things are in life. I know God works in mysterious ways. There is much more to what I'm about to say but I think I'll just leave it to this:

All I'll say is that I had a really idealistic image in my head that I thought might be part of reality that I'm looking for in my life that will benefit my deen(religion). Then reality struck me real hard; it's so not going to happen. I can accept that without a problem because in the end it's not really my choice. I guess the timing isn't right or just there are bigger plans for me... Allah knows best.

Don’t despair of Allah’s Mercy (Az- Zumar: 53)

O Allah, I seek your protection from anxiety and sadness, and I seek your protection from helplessness and laziness, and I seek your protection from stinginess and cowardice, and I seek your protection from heavy debt and the oppression of men. (Bukhari)

Say: ‘Nothing will happen to us except what Allah has decreed For us: He is our Protector’; And on Allah let the Believers Put their trust.

O Allah, I hope for your mercy, so do not entrust me to my soul for the twinkling of an eyelid and rectify my matters totally. There is no God but you. (Bukhari)

There is no God but you, Glory be to you. Indeed I was of the wrongdoers. (Tirmidhi)

There is no God but Allah the exalted the forbearing. There is no God but Allah, Lord of the supreme throne. There is no God but Allah, Lord of the Heavens and Lord of the Earth and Lord of the Honourable throne. (Bukhari)

I only complain of my distraction and anguish To Allah, and I know from Allah That which ye know not…

If Allah do touch thee with hurt, there is none can remove it but He; if He do design some benefit for thee, there is non can keep back His favour: He cause it to reach Whomsoever of His servants He pleases. And He is the Oft-Forgiving. Most Merciful.

I put my trust in Allah, My Lord and your Lord! There is not a moving Creature, but He hath Grasp of its fore-lock, Verily, it is my Lord that is on a straight path.

What Allah Out of His Mercy Doth bestow on mankind None can withhold: What He doth withhold, None can grant, Apart from Him: And He is Exalted in Power, Full Wisdom.

Say: “Sufficient is Allah for me! In Him trust those Who put their trust.”

(They Prayed): “Our Lord! In Thee do we trust, And to Thee do we turn In repentance: to Thee is our final Return. “Our Lord! Make us not a test and trial for the Unbelievers, But Thou art the exalted in Might, the Wise.”

“O Allah! I am Your bond servant, son of Your bondsman, and son of Your bondswoman. My forelock is in Your Hands; Your judgement is continuously being carried out upon me; Your sentence upon me is just. I ask You with every name that is Yours, with which You have named Yourself, brought down in Your book, taught to one of Your creation, or have preferred for Yourself in the hidden knowledge, with You; that You make the Qur’an the delight of my heart, and the light of my chest, and the means of dispelling my grief, my worry and my sorry. (Ahmad)

I give thanks to my dear brother Haroon for the simple yet deep advice he gave me. You rock, bro...

I also give thanks to Asma for being the sweetest sister one can have... I love you.

OK, I now feel this is some sort of award speech. Hahaha... Well, maybe it should be because I've been rewarded with the greatest brothers and sisters in Islam. Alhamdullah. I love you guys. You know who you all are. *wink wink*

Salam to All

Here we go again.

ok, this is going to be seriously vague post and say that it's happening to me all over again.

Earlier this summer I was one of the most happiest person on earth. I connected with a friend on so many levels and it was great and thought maybe something would come out of it. Then that didn't work for some complicated matter that took place and I got involved in something that I shouldn't have because I feel I lost a friend that was dear to my heart... Things was never the same since then. So what do I do? Just move on. I have no other choice now do I?

Then tonight it happens AGAIN. Same exact situation. The only difference is that this time, I wasn't ready at all to do favors because I didn't want to lose ANY friendships this time. I feel bad about that though. So it's not a really win/win situation, it's like you're damned if you do and you're damned if you don't.

I'm disappointed to the I'm hurting. I feel like an idiot. I know I'm a good person and likeable but I just can't help but feel something is not right with me. Here I am with tears rolling down my face as I type this and talking to my friend wanting to express what I truly feel but I just can't. I don't want to sound like a maniac. I just don't know what to say. I guess, just accepting it and for once not express myself would be in the best interest of everybody involved. Knowing me though, I can't do it because I'm about to just let it all out. I don't understand why I'm that upset in the first place. So what?!? It's not meant to be and something better should come my way.


Nobody will ever love me more than my creator does. Alhamdulillah for everything for he is the most loving, mercifel and most compassionate...

Allah Kareem...