30 Jun 2005

DATE TEST

I stumbled upon this Test your date which talks about body language clues that your date is attracted to you.

1. Symbolic Reaching. 'It’s when your hand is subtly reaching toward the other person.'On the other hand, if someone sits on their hands or conceals them, that indicates a lack of interest.

2.Matching and mirroring. 'It’s when your date mimics your gestures, voice inflections and patterns of communication. Their voice will speed up if yours does, or slow down with yours.'

3. Frequent Blinking. 'One of the natural responses is to get nervous and blink a lot.'

4 Distance. 'If someone’s not interested in you they’ll leave a lot of space between your body and theirs…two feet or so. But if a person sits or stands right next to you, or even 16 inches away, that reveals physical intimacy—and real romantic interest.'

5. The feet. 'Where the feet go, the heart follows. The lower portion of the body is under the least control, and the feet are the most telling of how someone feels.' So if your date is liking you, his feet will move towards you, they’ll stretch their legs out under the table at dinner. That’s a very clear declaration of 'Let’s get closer.'

Well, I get 1, 4, 5.

TEARS

I wish things can be easy for me at one point, at any point. The sadness that sweeps into and from my heart is unbearable at times. The endless revolving and stumbling upon bad luck, disappointments, unrealized hopes have eaten my heart and cracked it to pieces. I am not asking for much. I am willing to give much. Everything. Just for the feeling of being safe, at home, heard and appreciated. I spent all my life alone. And I do not wish to continue like that. I wish and pray for a partner. A simple partner with whom life can be easy, meaningful and bearable. To be able to put my head on his shoulder and know that nothing else in this world will matter. I know how I would be if I am in love.

Nothing harder than being alone. Knowing you can love, be loved, do the best for your partner, sacrify even with your life for his sake without him asking. I can do that. WIllingly.With no favours or thinking or calculating. It naturally flows and I am naturally willing to surround him with all I can give.

The problem, it sounds, is in me. I hardly loved anyone at school or college. Even the ones I claime to go on with, I put an effort. Just out of guilt or compromise because I know how hard i can be. I remember that there was H. with whom I connected. I was stupid to let him go. I guess I was afraid to be a substitute. But we clicked. Dared to let him in on my little walks and secrets. He enjoyed my walks and i enjoyed his company. But it was my bad luck that I rejected him. I remember I was terrified when he called me to tell me what he wanted; when he later emailed. I do not know where he went. But this could have been a soul level connection.

Bad Luck.

God, I really pray for finding someone. Who can see me. Who I can see. Feel comfortable with. To trust my kids with. To trust myself with. To love and cherish. I am sure You know how loyal I am, and how giving I will be.

If the problem is in me, please help me see it. I know I wont be able to handle this life alone; this sadness alone; this grief and desire to share my love of you alone. Please!

29 Jun 2005

FLY TRAP

Z. had asked me to drop some stuff by his friend I. in garden city. What a nice place she has. One of the old buildings that still holds its beauty and not ruined by weird colours or rennovations. It kinda reminded me of the building Mohamed Fawzy was singing under its balcony to Laila Murad, Shahat el gharam. Not sure if it is the same one, but very similar.

We sat in the balcony and ordered food. Later, her husband A. joined us. A very sweet doctor, and a very good friend of Z., his camping, fishing, diving and IC buddy. He sat there and talked about community development and his never-ending efforts to provide support to rural areas through his work and community work. Very generous giving man, actually the whole family is, even the little T. who wants to be a vet. specializing in Turtles. Very cute. I like how they treat their 7 years old son.

We were talking when suddenly A. decided to show us a small trick. He brought 3 drinking bottles. He starting carving and cutting it, then painting parts of it, putting bits and pieces together leading at the end to making a 'fly trap'. Really. Unbelievably. He explained to us the mechanism of how this fly trap works, and how it fits the 'fly' way of thinking resulting in trapping and killing all the flies that come voluntairly to the trap. We tried it and it worked. Although we didnt capture many flies but there weren't any, more mosquitos. I wish he would have invented a mosquito catcher instead.

Z. finally got a signal today. Not strong enough to call but to msg. He sounded very happy and enjoying an 'incrediable' trip. A. was telling me that he heard it was very windy this weekend where they were diving, and probably have seen lots of sharks. Well, I didn't even try to ask Z. about that. I hope nothing will go wrong. But since he has signal this means that they are pretty close. I hope everyone is safe.

Going home I had to pass by Qasr el Aini street. There was a traffic jam. I opened the window and sat silently in my car waiting for the cars to move. While there I hear 'tick-tick- touf.. trak-trak-touf..bak bak bak.' I looked around and in the car next to me the driver and his whole family were eating lib, spitting the cover from the window, and then drinking water. Very funny yet disgusting. Everytime he spitted I had to look to him. He would look to me. And so on, until I decided to just close the window and turn on Umkalthoum 'Hazihi Laylati' song. What are they eating? Seeds!!! Why are they spitting it in the street. Can't they spit it in a plastic bag or is spitting the seed cover double the pleasure of eating this challenging habbit of azaza??? Don't really know.

SUCCESSION

Issue of succession to the prophet had occupied not only the minds of historians but also the minds of the muslims living during that time. Should they have chosen 'Ali, the cousin and the son in-law of the prophet, or did they do the right choice choosing Abu-Bakr, 'Umar and then Uthman, postponing 'Ali to the very severe of times.

I personally don't know. But I wish they would have never chosen 'Utham as the 3rd caliph. He did a pretty terrible job on the political front. Too many raids in too many directions with the wrong strategic decisions. I also blame him for reviving the tribal aristocracy and favouring his relatives.

I think 'Ali should have just been chosen after Umar's death. In fact he was close to get appointed but the keyword was 'ajtahid be ra'yi'.

28 Jun 2005

BACK THEN

I was watching on Rotana Tarab one of Um Kalthoum's songs. Absolutely entertaining. Everything. From the music, words, way of singing, audiance, the orchestra, the setting, and... everything. I love it when the camera crusises among the audiance and you can get to see the faces. Some faces I recognize, and others I sure know.

Back then, not a single woman was veiled, no? Judging from the female audiance attending haflet al-siet. Could it be because these women were relatively upper class and thus the Hijab is not their thing. Maybe. But even in the old films hardly would you find a veiled women, apart from the low-class workers, and peasants from falaheen. I don't even think that these people were putting on the veil because they were religious or not, but because it was the norm. It was the dress code that constituted part of their identity. For instance, it was very easy to recognize a falaha from fayoum from another one from Mansoura, or Qina, Alex, Behira or zagazig. Their dress code differentiated between them. Everyone had his galabiya designed in a certain way, and with certain colours. The fayoum galabiya was the best. Beautiful light colours underneath which they wear a pants, and loosly cover their head with a black light scarf. Beautiful. Absolutely beautiful. They looked vibrant.

Now, everyone, anyone and anywhere, they all wear the same dull coloured veil. Either the long scarf that covers them to their waist, and a long scarf, or if you are more into fashion you wear the tayeer, 2 pieces outfit, and put the scarf. I am not even going to talk about the more more fashioned group of veiled young girls and women. They managed to make the veil so a la mode and has its own fashion.

Men too have their own hijab. I don't mind them wearing white galabya to friday prayers, but I do mind when they wear a pants and make it a point to shorten it and make it obvious it is a short pants. Well, it looks lousy to me. I mean, it is not a pantacourt, nor a normal pants. Just looks like Adel Imam in one of al-Mohandise's shows. What is the point of shortening the pants?

They say because the prophet asked the men to shorten their galabiya as a sign of modesty, no? Well, this was in the past where arabs used to brag about that, and thus was a sign of arrogance, a jahili trait that the prophet sought to change. But now? Eh, we have Aramani, Valentino (my favourite), CD, ..... and we have the best designer one can go wear from them. Long pants or galabiya no more is the criteria of an arrogant people. On the contrary, the shorter you wear, the cooler you are. I also think that pantacourt pants were made specially to bug muslims. Really. You wear short pants, so here you go, a Pantacourt. Can you complain now. It is short, even shorter than the one you wear. Isn't this your logic?

Fake. Fake. Fake.

27 Jun 2005

CAR NIGHT

I followed my friend's advice and spent a quiet night alone. Not talking to anyone. Looking at the sky. Counting the stars. The hours. The minutes. The seconds.

I came from work and took a quick nap. I woke up around 8 p.m. I just felt like going out. I washed my face, pulled my hair back, put on an old jeans, an old tshirt, and a slipper. I took a book just in case I felt like reading. I didn't know where to go. I certainly didn't feel like talking to anyone or meet up with any. So I drove around for a bit. The weather was actually nice, and for some reason, it was not crowded. What happened?

I chose a slightly quiet spot and parked my car. There was a nearby coffee shop that I could see from my car's side mirror. The coffee shop put the chairs and tables outside on the sidewalk, in what would roughly look like a parisian cafe. It was packed. I thought of going there, sit and get a cup of coffee but I would certainly look like a bohemian in the midst of all these dressed up girls.

I sat in the car turned on the radio. I kept searching for something light to listen to until I found Nojoom FM. I haven't heard it before but my friends loved it. Well, all I wanted was some light songs and light talks. I think FM stars would just do it. I opened the windows and the breeze was so refreshing. I just sat there from 9pm to midnight, listening to the radio and watching the few people coming and going infront of me.

At certain point, I felt so hungry so I waited until KFC infront of me was not crowded and I went inside to get an apple pie. KFC was turning on the same station I was listening to. So I didn't miss much. To my dismay, there wasn't any. Not sure if they stopped baking it in the first place. Anyways, the guy convinced me to get the new cinnamon bun. I got one for 3 pounds. I opened it in the car and it was like this tiny mini baked roll that I won't pay .75 for. Anyways, it tasted horrible too. But I ate it, and continued with the FM stars program.

The songs they chose were not that great actually. Ali el Hajar, Sally 3allah el naby, or something like that song. A song I never heard of. Plus a bunch of songs that I never heard of in my whole life. Didn't like it. But was ok. Everynow and then when the songs are really boring, I will browse around other stations in search for an old song. I found parts of Um-Kalthoum's song, Muharam fou'ad. I actually memorize all these songs for some reason. I like it when I do that and love it when my family and also Z. exclaime how, when and where did I memorize all these songs. I don't know either.

Around midnight, I drove to a local Shawerma place and got myself a Shawerma sandwitch with tons of Mikhalel. I love this pickles from this shop. I sat in the car and ate the sandwitch while continued to listen to the radio. Now, it was Usama Mounir show. A really sweet guy. He was talking about 'Nadam' or feeling guilty when you do something to someone you love and then regret it. It was funny. He is supposed to give advice to people calling. Hilarious.

I drove home while listening to the lovers confessions. All the callers were 18-20 years old females. They were calling to ask Usama for advice regarding their love life. You can tell that these girls are calling from behind their parent's back. They were whispering as if speaking from under the pillow. The 3 callers, 18 or 19, are in dilemma what to do and if they should wait for the ones they loved dearly. 'I feel like he is koll haga fee hayaty. El habeeb, el saheb, el ibn, el akh, el ukht, ......' said one of the girls. Another one said, 'ana moush adra atakhayal nafsee ma3 hadd kherouh. Ezzay! Da houb hayatee.' This particular girl had another guy proposing to her and she is in confusion what to do, 'ahakem alby wallah 3a'ily. El walad elly meta'demly ghanee gedan, markaz wee 3eyla....' And how old are you lady, 18, and he, 21!! What are you talking about. Seriously! The poor Usama was giving her advice asking her to wait for the other guy for another couple of years. It wont really hurt!

The coolest call was this girl, 19 years old, 'mesahba wee kedda' someone from university. They have been going out for 2 years now. For his sake she stopped talking to her guy friends because her boyfriend is jealous. Then one day she found out that he was talking to some girl from the Chat, sending her msg on her mobile and calling her. When she discovered that she asked him to stop his relation with this girl. He said, ok. But he didn't. The caller girl took the girls number and called her to 'STOP calling my sa7bee.' When the guy discovered that, he apologized to the 'chat girl'. What is that. Usama adviced her to never ever again do this 'calling the chat girl' again. Guys don't like to feel they are being watched or told what to do. Just be strict and ask her boyfriend to choose between her and the other.

Well, I couldn't risk missing one minute from the show, really. I arrived home, and I turned on the radio on my cellphone. I entered to my room and continued listening to the show. It reminded me a little with 'Nigh confessions.' but a little kiddish. Usama is actually a really nice. His voice is so attractive and the way he speaks is really friendly.

I woke up this morning only to find that I still have the cell radio on and the light songs keep playing. I sat in bed for 10 minutes listening to the songs and then off to work.

The refrigerateur guy suppose to come today. Hopefully nothing serious, and hopefully the problem is not the 'tilting'. We made sure it was set straight. Will see what will happen.

One sentence keeps ringing in my ears from the confession Usama's show. The girl's sentence in a really shy quick low tone, 'aoulak haga ya Usama. Howa koll haga fee hayatee. Ana baheboou awee.'

26 Jun 2005

SHAME

Arabs are awesome. Not the oil arabs but the bedouin arabs. From the little I read about them, I just realize that these people are the micro cosmo of the entire world. They knew everything. Not sure who said that they were ignorant, not up to standards and that God sent chose to send a prophet from among the Arabs to tease the Jews and slap them on their arrogant face.

Back to shame. Arabs are very famous with their tribal solidarity. Tribes were so closely knitted together, with a cheif and the members of this tribe respecting each other and swearing alleigance to their tribe. Every single individual has to be connected with some sort of tribe. No one was just roaming alone as an individual. Fulan Ibn Fulan from the tribe of X. The whole geneology of the person is rooted back to the tribe and its reputation. They function clan wise. The worst punishment of an individual is when expelled out of his clan or tribe and thus become tribeless. He either has to find another tribe that will adopt him or thus face the wildest destiny. Lost in the desert with no belonging or roots. This was the severiest punishment an individual may suffer. Worse than any physical punishment. This emotional punishment with what it brings with Shame to the individual is just enough to make him suffer all his life. And they were right.

Recent studies have shown that the worst negative energy level is that which results from shame. It proximates to death, as banishment from a society leaves the individual feeling dead. No person. No body. In our modern society, it does happen to us, of course not in the old tribal sytle, but it takes various forms, almost any occasion where you just feel the pain of 'losing face' and the result is your wanting to disappear and slink away. No doubt, the severity of the situation determines the degree of 'shame', counter reactions or hidden suppressed ones. We all have some degree of shame from situations that we were exposed to. At times we consciously and unconsciously bypass it, other times these situations, no matter how trivial it might sound, but it is been carried with us through our lives and represent itself in different situations.

Unfortunately, the easier way parents use to punish their kids is by making them feel ashamed and guilty. Hardly did I ever see any of my friends talk and take their kids away from these feelings. 'You made mama upset.' is the most delicate statment of this 'Shame' as far as I know. Well, I just don't like it. Maybe if I were a mother will probably do the same. Maybe just slap them and make them feel nothing and move on. But at least now I am more conscious of the effect of these negative inputs and will think twice before sinking in these kind of raising my kids.

I aslo noticed that Egyptian, in general, carry a good amount of shame. Appearing either in them being very passive towards what is happening around them, or by 'false pride, and false anger', and thus false reactions that hardly ever took a constructive end at its very end. Usually things are left half done. Moreover, I see this shame behaviour appearing in their attitude as if they dont deserve to have a decent neighbourhood, a decent transportation system, a decent government. 'We deserve it' sorta thinking because we are worthless. On the otherside of the mediterranian, our fellow Lebanese are the complete opposite. If they did something, they do it in the best way ever. It is their image. The image that must portray PRIDE, WORTH IT, I AM HERE, I DESERVE TO BE HERE. Not like most egyptian, 'who I am. I deserve to eat subsidized bread like my pets.'

I know I might be exaggerating, but this could be part of the truth. Also, and I dont want to relate it all back to Religion, but I do feel that our 'view of religion' contributes big time in our behaviour. Not to say religion as the teaching, but what have been taught to us. For instance, idolizing the salaf and how wonderful they were. Who are you compared to al-salaf. They did everything they can to have you live the way you are. No matter what you say, do, pray, fight, work, try to interpret,..... you are still incomparable to them. You are a kid and not suppose to think you can compete with them.

Hagah te'ref!

REFRIGERATEUR

I just got the new refrigerateur yesterday and installed it as directed. My mother passed to check on it this morning and gave me the news: Fridge is not working. OUF! Why things can't just work. Well, she called the service and they will send someone tomorrow. Tomorrow I exclaimed. What the hack! Somenone told her that it is not working because it is tilted or something. Wehyat oumak! Tilted eih ya falhous enta. And the more funny thing that my mother said, 'yes, yes, it is tilted.' Tilted eih bass ya Ma!

I am in a bad mood actually. So irritated. This whole weekend and today too don't want to hear any noise or anyone talking. Just want to be left alone. I really am looking forward to move out, and have my own stuff and things placed and organized the way I like. Leave something anywhere and come back to find it in the same place. Read a book and place it on a the floor on certain page and come back find it in the same position. Hate it when they close the book and put it on the shelf for me. 'Leave the freeken book where you find it'. Listen to music without hearing the TV on from a distance. Sit in my room for days without someone nagging me over and over asking me questions.

My own family starts to irritate me. Not that they are doing anything to me, just that I am getting more opinionated and critical and I just can't hide it. They just do things in a way that I don't particularly like. Sometimes I remain silent, sometimes I just voice it, and they get upset and take it personal. I have to say the same things that bother me over and over. Almost everyday and still they will stop doing it for couple of days and then I back again to the same habbit. And then I say it again. Now my mom will have a different excuse. And...on and on. Endless loop.

I hate to wake up in the morning to find the TV on and someone watching the news. Silly, right? But this is me. I just don't like that. Hate to go out and find the stairs all dusty because the doorman decided to clean the stairs in the morning. Hate to find our neighbour putting a plate full of food for the freeken cats. What cats! Want to do it, place it next to your apartment, not in the common area. I hate cats, and hate to find dirt and garbage everywhere. Hate it when our neighbour puts the old newspaper next to her door, and now my mother is doing the same. I have to collect our neighbour's and our newspapers and place them in the bag and give them to the doorman. Not sure why my mother does this weird stuff.

We also have a horrible neighbour who lives in the building just infront of us. She is a major gossiper and watches people. She sits all the day in the balcony watching everyone passing and looks inside the apartments and share their news with her husband. Whenever I go out, she will stick her head inbetween the iron bars to watch me. M' emmene with her eyes from my building door until I drive my car. Not me in particular but everyone. I look up and she is staring. What the .....? Once I had to go visit her for some occasion and she just gave me the news of all the street. She can see everyone, grace a her strategic location, even what they are doing in the bedroom. Horrible. Horrible.

24 Jun 2005

CILANTRO x3

Early morning ambiance and weather are awesome, even in the summer. Zamalek in particular is just gorgeous at 5 a.m. Little noise. No cars. Cool weather. This morning was a little cooler than other days, and less swaming, more lethargic because everyone is just snoozing.

I walked to cousins place. They are going on a diving trip for a week. Something they has been looking forward to since last year. It is an annual trip, different than his bi-weekly fishing trips. Is there any difference. Oooh yeah. Big difference. To everyone maybe, but to me they are all the same. A boat. Middle of the red Sea. Fish eating. Relaxing. I actually enjoy the fishing trips more. Could be because the group is nicer. Closer, more fun and M. just makes the best fresh sushi.

Anyways, we passed by E. and then off we went to the airport. We didn't go straight to the airport, we stopped by Cilantro Korba and sat there for an hour to have breakfast. Never knew that this Cilantro is so big. Bigger than the one in Zamalek, at least 5 times bigger. The waiters seemed to be too lazy to do any service. Well, we didn't care, we were just as sleepy as they were. Finsihed breakfast, and hopped to the airport just in time only to find out that the flight was delatyed for 2 hours. No biggy. Nothing new. Both Z. and E. expected it. 'Local flights.' Who cares. We laughed because Z.'s secretary booked them a business class seats. Hilarious. Business class on a charter. Crazy. What was she thinking!!!

On my way back, I passed again by Cilanto, this time a different Cilantro. It is the smaller one, still bigger and nicer than Zamalek, on Mirghany street. Actually I like this one more than Korba. It is quiter. I chose to sit next to a window ovelooking a small garden. Really nice and relaxing except of the coffee maching that kept roaring everytime there is an order. I sat there for like an hour staring through the glass window. I was just gawking to the clientele. The people of heliopolis look really nice.

There was this veiled woman with her, maybe, 30 years old son, speaking next to me in french. One word arabic, 2 words french, 3 arabic. I think this lady and her sons own a business or something. She was speaking in an authoritarian tone about this guy they just fired. She looked kinda kind for this tone actually. Her son seemed a little like a snob. To make his order he kept changing his mind like 5 times until he finally decided: spicy chicken wrapped. Oh No wrap. cold. oh, heat it. No don't. I mumbled to myself 'matotloub ay haga wee khalassna...koloaha firakh madrouba ya falhous enta.'

10 minutes later a lebanese looking guy, he turned out to be Egyptian, entered. He looked like a broker. He had FT with him, and was followed by a big guy. They sat just next to me. I overheard them speaking about politics 'this dual citizen restriction is a blow to Jimmy.' I am not sure: is Jimmy a Brit? They drank espresso, double shot, and left. Later came 3 girls, one of them with a laptop. I think I knew her from somewhere, but was to lazy to fetch in my memory. I just burried my face in al-ahram newspaper which I didnt read. I don't read egyptian newspapers actually in general.

They sat close to me and this girl started writing an email. I think it was for her boyfriend, or for someone whom she liked. Her friends were telling her what to say. 'Take it easy. Don't push it. Let him do the first move.' They had a little fight with the waiter. They asked for a regular capucciano and they got a flavoured one. The manager tried to convince them it was not flavoured going into talks about the coffee taste and what not. Well, man just change the cup for them and get done with the business. The girls were insisting and he defending. I think the manager was just bored and wanted a little chit-chat.

On the other corner, a lady was talking loudly on her cellular. She was sharply talking to 'lateef': 'efham ya lateef. Ba'oulak eih. Esma3nee. La' la'. Moush deeih el hekaya.' Why did she have to fight over the phone, wait until she goes home.

I changed my place as the sun started hitting the glass window. I went inside to the comfy tables. Dark corner a little hidden. There sat a veiled girl with a guy. They were talking loud enough for me to follow their conversation. I think the guy is a T.A. at her university and she is his student. She was smoking a cigarette after the other. Talking, actually gossping on some couple. I think she was just jealous of the couple. The guy, T.A., sounds like he is in-like with this veiled girl. He listened to her gossips one story after the other. He finally said, 'ana te3gebnee tari'it tafkerik....' and continued with his flirting or whatever he was trying to say. Obviously the girl doesn't like him. She just ignored what he said and kept talking. 30 minutes later, they left. Finally, some quiet time.

I stayed for a while and then decided to leave. It was getting hot, but still not crowded. Heliopolis is really huge compared to Zamalek. I drove Z.'s car back. The car was super clean actually. How does he manage to keep it like this. I put on Buddha-bar CD and headed to Zamalek. I stopped by A. and O. and went up to see them. It has been almost 3 weeks since I last saw them. They were having breakfast in the balcony. I just threw myself on their coach and slept. I guess I was so tired. They woke me up later after they finished breakfast. I washed my face; ate this weird fruit and we went again to Cilantro.

No more coffee. The more coffee I drink the more sleepy I become. I sat there for 10 minutes and then had to leave. Was dead tired. Went home. Turned on T.V. and found this Hala stupid show. She was hosting Hendi, this comedian who makes me cry from his silly jokes. He was doing this weird woman's character in a new movie. Not sure what it was. Didn't get it. It was ridiculous actually. Never understood how this guy is a comedian, an actor in the first place. Zero charisma. Hala Sarhan is just too loud. I slept on the coach and watched the whole show. Not really getting the jokes. There is a gap between their sense of humour and mine.
BORING. BORING. Just like my post!

21 Jun 2005

I DO



FOREVER WILL DO.

MAR-YAM & JESUS--TABLET & PEN

The story of the staggering birth of Jesus has always interested me. It is strange. Not just a normal story that after you hear it, you just continue with sipping your tea and eating your English cake.

However, regardless the deep significance of this incident, it just passed us like a normal thing. Musalamat as our friends will comment. Sure, Jesus was born without a father. Of course, Maryam was virgin. No doubt Archangel Jabriel came to her. She shacked the palm tree. Palm and dates are good for pregnant women. They ease delivery. Ya salam welnaby sa7i7. And on and on we go talking about the palm tree and forgetting about the real 'incident'and key players. Maryam. Jabriel. Jesus.

'..they say every person has some naseeb from his name' this was statment said by Doshar on my blog. Interesting statment. I agree. And this is what Maryam had from her name. The name Maryam can be divided into two parts, Mur & Yam. Yam in the Coranic/Arabic meaning means, river like in the story of Moses (...fa leyloukihi al-yamo be-alsahel). The other part of her name, Mur, could mean Sour, or could also mean, 'passage'. All in all, for me, this could stand true of the nature of Virgin Maryam. She was the water that allowed the passage of the 'word' of God to come to existence. Could be!!?? Why not!

There is a relation between Spirit and Soul. The spirit is considered active, luminous and commanding, while the soul is more passive, dark and receptive, ready to recieve the determining impress of the Spirit. Pen and Template as expressed in the Coranic language. In this way, Maryam is considered the Soul, the Tablet that was preparing itself to be written on through the Pen, in this case the Spirit of God sent to her through his messenger Jabriel. Jesus in this case is the product of Maryam, who personifies the 'water' and notional water of Jabriel, who represents by his blowing the seed-word of the Spirit.

The creation of Jesus is a special case. He is not the product of the Spirit 'impergnated' throught the loins of a mortal man, but directly by the angelic instrument. Thus, he is being informed of his prophecy, not only verbal, but also vital, in that act of spiritual blowing, thus able to communicate the divine Spirit not only verbally but also vitally, since the Spirit enlives at every level.*



*Ibn Al-Arabi, Fusus.

Inspired by All are but prophets.

20 Jun 2005

3 THINGS MADE BELOVED TO ME

'Three things have been made beloved to me in this world of yours: women, perfume and prayer. As for prayers, it is my essence, الصلاة قرة عينى. Or in other translation, 'I found solace in prayer.' Nasa'i, XXXVI:1

Out of all the sayings of the prophet, I didn’t choose except this one. It speaks tons about the Prophet. On the initial look, one can’t help but notice the order of the things that was made dear to the prophet. Women? Perfume? Prayers? Doesn’t it make sense to at least have prayers come first since it signifies the connection with the Divine. Well, some people just happen to go deeper than outside image to the symbolism everything around us holds. And this is what the Bezels explained.*

The core philosophy behind this hadith lies in the thought that everything in this universe revolves around the One. Everything is at its very essence a reflection of His Beauty and Face.

'...and I blew into him of My spirit.' The relation of man to the Divine is a relation of a part to its whole. For it is through God's Breath the entity of the human being become manifested. In this context, the story of the creation of women is explained. Splitted off from man, woman was separated and manifested in feminine form. Again a relation of a part to its whole. A relation that creats a mutual longing. The yearing of the whole for its part in search for completion. Yearning of the part to connect with the whole. It is through woman that man comes to know himself as a whole, a step that comes before man's knowledge of his lord. 'Who knows himself, knows his Lord.' Thus, the love of the prophet for women, is not out of sexual lust, but a love that draws him closer to his Lord.

Perfume, or Tiib, is mentioned in the Coran in the context of 'conjugal union' when God says, ' ...just as good (sweet-smelling) women are for good men and good men for goood women.....' [24:26] Thus, 'God speaks of them as sweet smelling, since speaking implies breath, which is the essence of Human, and again another reminder of the Divine Breath, the essence. The perfume (tiib) is placed after woman as an indication of the deeper connection with the woman is done on the Breath level, and through recognizing the essence of God.

Prayer is an an intimate discourse between God and His servant that couldn't be performed perfectly before experiencing the two previous stages. A complete spritual state that was preceeded with the servant knowing himself and ability to taste the divine Breath and Essence. During these previous states, the propeht was in the state of rememberance of his lord, and thus this is the actual meeting.

The word, qurra 3ayne comes from the word istiqrar, fixation, so as that the lover eyes might be fixed on the beloved to the exclusion of all things. It also comes form qurra from aqarr, testimony, believe, and attest. It is the attesting of ones essence to the Divine and its contemplation of ones essence to 'be' in servanthood with the Divine. It is as if the whole body, is totally present infront of the One. Present with their seeing, smelling, hearing and recognizing nothing but the Divine. A Lovers meeting that needs some preparation.


*The core idea behind bezels is an attempt to seeing the Reality behind every picture we see. The Reality lies in its connexion to the One, who is Wajib al-Wujud for anything else to exist. Bezels is 'Fusus al-Hikam' by Ibn Arabi.
*For a different interpretation, check Doshar comment at Kayla's

15 Jun 2005

SMART VILLAGE

Wow. Never knew it exists until I saw it this evening. It is a huge 'electronic, IT, tech' village in Egypt built next to 6 of october. Huge huge huge. I am super impressed. I am not really into technology, but this village is impressive. Very hi-tech-wired place. I do not really know what is there, or how hi-tech it is, but it is very tech to me. Z. explained to me the 'technology stuff', which I did not get, but it sounds impressive.

Anyways, I went to this mansion to attend a reception with Z. I did not really get what this whole business was about. I just thought I was in wonderland. People talking about all sorts of things, and I have no clue what on earth are you people talking about. Totally off. People talk very well. Represent their ideas in the best english, and best phrases I could ever listen to. Thought for a while that I was listening to the BBC, business hour. I am baby compared to their presentation skills, how to engage the audience. Although, I as an audience, didn't really get what they were talking about, but still they managed to impress me. Oh well!

But again, the smart village is impressive. About time that Egypt does something perfect from A to Z. Finally. I hope no one will depress me and expose the cons. Seriously, don't disappoint me. If you know anything 'not good' please, just keep it for now.

13 Jun 2005

.....IN THE EYE OF THE APOLOGISTS

How is history seen and written through the eyes of apologists historians? Was there manipulation in the way history was written? How reality is transformed by apologists into an idealied view of history ?
*Will elaborate later, for sure.
*This post is not particularly about religion.

HAPPENED WITH CONDI TOO....

George: Condi! Nice to see you. What's happening?
Condi: Sir, I have the report here about the new leader of China.
George: Great. Lay it on me.
Condi: Hu is the new leader of China.
George: That's what I want to know.
Condi: That's what I'm telling you.
George: That's what I'm asking you. Who is the new leader of China?
Condi: Yes.
George: I mean the fellow's name.
Condi: Hu.
George: The guy in China.
Condi: Hu.
George: The new leader of China.
Condi: Hu.
George: The main man in China!
Condi: Hu is leading China.
George: Now whaddya' asking me for?
Condi: I'm telling you, Hu is leading China.
George: Well, I'm asking you. Who is leading China?
Condi: That's the man's name.
George: That's who's name?
Condi: Yes.
George: Will you, or will you not, tell me the name of the new leader of China?
Condi: Yes, sir.
George: Yassir? Yassir Arafat is in China? I thought he's dead in the Middle East.
Condi: That's correct.
George: Then who is in China?
Condi: Yes, sir.
George: Yassir is in China?
Condi: No, sir.
George: Then who is?
Condi: Yes, sir.
George: Yassir?
Condi: No, sir.
George: Look Condi. I need to know the name of the new leader of China. Get me the Secretary General of the U.N. on the phone.
Condi: Kofi?
George: No, thanks.
Condi: You want Kofi?
George: No.
Condi: You don't want Kofi.
George: No. But now that you mention it, I could use a glass of milk. And then get me the U.N.
Condi: Yes, sir.
George: Not Yassir! The guy at the U.N.
Condi: Kofi?
George: Milk! Will you please make the call?
Condi: And call who?
George: Who is the guy at the U.N?
Condi: Hu is the guy in China
George: Will you stay out of China?!
Condi: Yes, sir.
George: And stay out of the Middle East! Just get me the guy at the U.N.
Condi: Kofi.
George: All right! With cream and two sugars.

Mini-dialogue between condi and G.W.Bush who too stands on solid ground.

Thanks Diane for the funny email!

12 Jun 2005

C’est ta maman

Mon grand père m’a dit que j’étais prête pour voyager à une destination inconnue où je n’avais besoin de rien sauf d’avoir confiance en lui et à ses choix qu’il a faits pour moi. Bien qu’il ne m’accompagnait pas, mais il serait mystérieusement toujours la pour moi. Si j’en ai besoin, il fallait l’appeler. J’ai accepté!

Le jour suivant je me suis réveillée et j’étais seule dans un sous-marin foncé et sombre. Je ne pouvais rien voir ni entendre. J’avais un peu peur mais en même temps j’étais trop curieuse. J’ai appelle mon grand père qui irai m’a rassurée et m’a souhaite un bon voyage.

Le sous-marin a été conduit par quelqu’un que je ne pouvais même pas voir. Alors, j’ai commencé à entendre quelques voix, hautes et basse, douces et dures. De tous ces bruits, j’ai aime la voix du conducteur du sous-marin. J’ai commencé à attirer son attention et cherché un moyen de communiquer avec lui. Toutes les foies que je voyais quelque chose je frapperais la porte. Quand j’avais faim, je frapperais une fois; quand je voulais une nourriture différente, je lui donnais un coup de pied. Le conducteur a compris ces signaux. J’étais attachée au conducteur. J’ai voulu le voir. J’étais impatiente!

Neuf mois après, le sous-marin a été ouvert. J’ai vu beaucoup de lumières et de couleurs. J’étais très inquiète. Tout ce que je cherchais était le conducteur mais je ne pouvais ni entendre sa voix ni le voir. J’ai commencé à pleurer. A ce moment, j’ai entendu la douce voix. Quelqu’un m’a dit, ‘C’est ta maman’ !


*Written more than a decade ago.

8 Jun 2005

STARTS THE SPRING

I love this posting by Moon Light Shadow.

MUSLIMS & THE COLLAPSE OF TIME

'When sacred texts and religious institutions are fixed in place and time, there is always a need to adapt to change, albeit without formally compromising that which had been declared sacred. When compelled by changed circumstances, a still vibrant community of believers will inevitably relax its critical judgment and favour instead an interpretive license with which to accomodate new realities. But, sooner or later, that effort to legitimize the present by creating a past out of new cloth will strain credulity even among the most trusting of the faithful.' J. Lassner.

The death of Prophet Mohammad ended revealtion for all times. In theory, the prophet's actions were considered guidance for all muslims, not only during his time but for the many generations to come. This forced the reliance on God's last revealed text and sunna established by his final messenger. But, as with other revealed religions, neither the scripture nor historical precendent provided a viable foundation for contingencies that evolved over time-- and in this case, in regions far removed from the birthplace of Islam. And so a process of determining precendents, particularly regarding law and religious practice were invoked to authenticate developments taking place well after the prophet's death and well beyond Arabia. Institutions and practices that had taken root among Muslims subsequent to Mohammad, institutions often adapted from foreign models of governance and from the customary law of conquered regions, were recast in Muslim mold by way of back projections made consistent with the Prophet and his age. These later institutions and practices were thus endowed with legitimacy and authority as if time had no historical boundaries.

What else could they have done? With they I meant .......

5 Jun 2005

I am so tired this morning. I can't even open my eyes. My nose hurts. Don't feel like doing anything. Want to go back to bed. Work is so slow today. SM is also down. So, everything is really sleepy.

Dying to go get Z. and go eat Pizza Thomas and thomas Salad after work but today is his last day at this candle workshop that he is attending. I can't believe he goes to that stuff. Also, my mom is cooking chicken with oranges today for lunch.

Night! Probably go see A. and go out to our favourite place. She is finally back from Canada.

Night came and I went with A. to Sequoia. Was super crowded but later by 11 pm it started to be empty. Strange. I am surprised people leave early now. To do what? maybe to join another place. Around 10:30 or so S. joined us. She was ok. Complained about H. forever. I then saw A., our finance(s) friend, and then we saw, H., A., and A. sitting on the other side. It was funny. They knew we were here but didnt tell us they were coming. We later joined for a while before I had to leave.

I missed A. so much. I don't go to sequoia except with her. She is my sequoia buddy. Initially I hated the place, then now it is my favourite spot. I love the food and so does she. Sounds like she loved canada so much. Aganist all odds, she was staying just behind where I stayed when I was in canada last year. Very funny.

S. was as usual hating H. for whatever reasons. All the time telling us how she is more 'classy' than him. How irresponsible, failure, loser,...bla bla. I dislike that really. I turned my face the other direction after I said that H. is really a fine, polite guy, and he is no loser. Well... She wanted to do a canadian immigration thing like A. and her husband A. I told her that H. will get her so quickly because his field is so wanted. She looked to me and said, 'really.. i don't think he can be accepted anywhere.' I was like, 'well, i think you will be a problem when applying. You never worked, and you don't know a second language and have zero experience.' I couldn't imagine I said that. A. was kicking me from under the table. Well, I wasn't really rude when I said that, but I meant it. I just am really bored from all this disrespect of partners. And moreover, I like H. so much. And yes, S. is my friend too but I just couldn't stand arrogance and superficial attitude.

Anyways, Z. didn't go with me to Thomas, neither did I go alone. He aske me to postpone 'pizza night' to someother time. He had this workshop and then he was going to work on editing his 'strategic' document for his work. He finally sounds excited regarding his new job. Thank God. I went to AUC got him some graphs and recent analysis for his illustration section, and dropped it by his office to work on it when he is back. Z. is really ambitious. Sometimes this scares me. He does want to have a unique mark on whatever he does. To be distinguished. To do a perfect job. I tell him that he is a perfectionist, but he always denies that. Well, he is, but for sure he is super smart actually--and this is a burden not a bonus to him. He had been stressed out now for more than a month since this new job. Anyways, I really hope this document he is working on will be awesome and leaves a sound positive effect.

3 Jun 2005

NO SOONER

...had I came home from Cilantro than P. called asking if I was willing to join him to Cilantro, this time in Heliopolis. Well, I had just arrived home from the other Cilantro, however, I said yes. It had been so long since I last visited Helioplis. Why not. So, he stopped by and I drove there. Well, Helipolis is awesome. I love this place too but don't like to go there because I feel sad.

Anyways, we went to Cilantro in the Korba area. The weather was actually nice and the streets were not busy. Cilantro was super crowded. P. and myself sat there surrounded by students from all kinds. Laptops, papers, notes, cigarattes (vicory mainly a new brand probably), groups studying. No one had any books, all notes. The guy sat next to me was studying english literature. Well, I joked with him and said pointing to P.'well, if you need anything you have england sitting next to you.' Not a funny joke. The table next to us from the other side sat this group of 3 veiled female students, studying and smoking. Strange, I thought to myself that they smoke in public. How regressive I am thinking this way, right?

In fact, I always laugh when I remember how I smoked for 2 weeks in the States. It was during December when I decided to go buy my first cigarette pack. I took my driving license and bought a pack of white Marlboro. I still remember that I was shy doing that. I thought that the old lady gave me this look. I don't think she cares, but I was self conscious. I was doing this whole cigarette suuff as a joke. I tried to make myself feel as if I am stressed out, being away from home in this busy place, so busy with work and alone. I knew I was just pretending but wanted to just live the sillyness of this stage. I still remember so vividly that during a very cold winter night, I was working in the lab and I just decided to go downstairs and smoke. It was freezing cold, but just pretending that of God I need to a cigarette. Of course I didn't need any, I didn't even inhale this shit. I just houff houff the smoke and would laugh at myself for doing this stuff. Pretending. Well, because of this 'pretending to smoke' crap, I met this guy from india who I think became my smoking buddy, but not for too long, only until this pack of mine was gone. I never bought except this single pack and decided it was totally stupid thing to do. It was all a pretending to be stressed out, when I was actually enjoying my being away and busy life in the states. Smoking is totally not my thing.

Anyways, P. and I had a great connection. He is doing his masters in TEFL at AUC. Had a PhD in christian theology from Uof london. He had been travelling for more than 20 years all over the place. Never settled down, just going from here to there. Joining peace corps in Tunisia, yogslavia, south east asia.... Extensive traveller. The conversation was so cool, and it totally suited the mood I was in. He kept saying 'I know nothing. You knew more', but the guy was just so well versed in sufism, hinduism, religion, theology, politics, philosophy, Islam. He met many professors who I have been reading their stuff. Hawtings for instance was someone I wanted to meet and work with for so long. Although I never liked his long sentences but his ideas and research area just is among the many things I wanted to research one, satanic verses, roots of the Corn,... many things. At any rate, P. and myself for some reason connected very well. A little scary.

Later on, we took a short walk around Heliopolis. There are really great old villas in that part with Hurumah entrance and nice architecture, in fact, more authentic than that in Zamalek. But just walking there and seeing how some of these places are just being turned into garbage places makes me really sad. We walked past the church. I stopped to say hi to my dentist and then went to get some syrian food. Food was great but the service was horrible.

Our next stop was Huraya bar in Bab al-louk. It is just behind AUC. I always pass by this bar or coffee place but never thought about entering. They serve stella, tea, people sit there and play chess. P. said that they are professional players. This hurriya bar is interesting. Feels like a coffee shop in a train station. An old bar from the 1920's. Very famous for famous writers sitting there, musicians stopping by after midnight for a drink, westerners just sitting there read and drink beer. P. does that all the time. He is very famous over there. The waiter is his friend, the guy who cleans the shoes is his friend, the chess players are his friends. Very funny. I just didn't like it that much. I didn't talk in arabic at all. Just pretended I wasn't egyptian. I talked english to the waiter and let P. do all the talking in his semi-fluent arabic.

The most interesting part was meeting up with this Irish friend of P. He was like 65 years old man who has been living in egypt for over a decade. He is brilliant. Brilliant. Brilliant. I can't say more than that. We talked for like half an hour, and I couldn't help but just listen, listen and listen. I mean, this guy is really very well read, together with P. they just hit it and I just felt like this ignorant baby.

I finally dropped P. off at his house in Mounira and headed home. Z. called on my way back home. Perfect timing actually. I told him about my day, and was just in the mood to tell him everything that bothered me from him the past couple of days. How I was so pissed at him last night that I was just going to cancel our lunch plans and leave him waiting at the restaurant; how I was really pissed at our recent fighting that happened twice in a row this past week and last night over trivial stuff. He laughed and called me stupid, and agreed that he was also thinking about that last night, and that both of us are just too stubborn at times to stop arguing and let go. Well, yes. I second that. The best part that we just cleared out this stuff. I think we both are stressed out.

(my english is getting worse and worse. maybe from switching languages. I will re-write this post later.)

YES SCHIMMEL...MY SOUL IS A WOMAN

In this floating mood recently. Not really concentrating. I kinda like this mood as it makes me go slightly deeper inside. Do some reflection & revert back to flipping through some old books of mine. This time luckily I got 'my soul is a woman' by the greatest writer Schimmel, a woman I met almost 10 years ago.

I went to diwan last night after Phillies. I was just planning to go sit there read a book on children that I picked up before I left to paris. I read a little in the book but I wasn't really into that for some reason. I just found it not as interesting as I thought before. I went to the sufi section, eye browsed through the books and found myself grabbing Schimmel's book. Then I went to Ed. Sa'id and bought another book of his, then to B.L and bought another two books. I think this is my usual habbit when I am desperate to read and feel like wanting to connect to a person(s) who I met and liked: Sa'id and Schimmel. But why Bernard Lewis, well, I hate the guy but I like that he triggers me. It is enough for me at least that I just look to his books and just tell it 'not reading your shit'.. or read his stuff and say, 'ok I see your point but I am not totally convinced.'

Anyways, I went to Cilantro this morning. The weather was good. I took Schimmel's book with me to read. I found myself crying while reading. More than once. Something there when describing love, pregnancy, marriage, women, children that really got me. How she talks about mother's role was very moving; how she describes V. Mary was touching; how she describes the longing to visiting the Ka'ba and how it is a metaphor of a veiled bride, and the strive to go on a journey to it was so beautiful; sexual intercourse. Lots and lots of short lines of deciphering symbols that we took for granted. I love that. Indeed, religion is so limitless. Religion is everything, poetry, linguisitc, culture, us, Coran, prophets, stories, nature, pens, writings, thoughts,......everything.

Well, to those Iranians who frequently attack religion, please read your Ibn 'Arabi or Rumi endless love!
Coincidents. Happens on blog too. Reading through my favourite blog, I found Dan writing about exactly what happened to me on that weekend. I was super surprised.

Last night, after I returned back from phillies, I was feeling so pissed at something and then I found a sweet decent blogger digging out an 8 years old writing and posting it. Maybe there are some similarities in the situations, but the feelings there were exactly how I was/am feeling now. For me, inability to decide. Confusion. Trapped somehow regardless.

At any rate, last night, in fact this whole week, sucked big time. I am just bracing myself from doing any irrational reaction, trying to be patient and understanding. I have to train myself to that. Will see what will happen.

2 Jun 2005

HURUMAH

If you walk in Mohamed Mazhar street you can't help but notice this lovely building on your right over looking the nile. It is not an old villa or a fancy embassy house, yet a solid building full of dignity and pride. Very different from the other houses in the neighbourhood. For me, this building has been always one of my favourites in the area. Whenever I walk up and down the street, I have to take a look and ask the bawab if there is an apartment for rent. I would love to rent in this particular building when I settle down this November, plus maybe a couple of other places, but this one in specific remains on the top of my list. What's unique about this building? Hurumah.

An apartment building with a hurumah. Yes. What I consider the hurumah of a building, is this small garden that welcomes you before entering the actual building. It is usually a passage made out of huge tiles or small spanish stones velvety cutting through a garden that stands on its two sides. Usually a sorta of beautiful wild garden. This little inside garden is embraced by the building, which takes a slight curve cosseting the little garden between its amorous balconies, and watching over the little garden. I always imagined this building in the 1920's when house-wives would just sit in the balcony knitting, chatting over a cup of tea while watching their kids playing in this garden. The bawab sitting on his comfy white dikka, with his super clean white jalabiya, one leg up, drinking his tea and semi watching the kids playing. I hardly would imagine these kids wearing jeans or lousy tshirts, slippers, but even when playing downstairs would wear classical outfit. A shirt, pants or shorts, socks, and sandals. Playing quietly in the garden. Maybe everyone will have a little portion of the garden where the kids would plant mint, flowers, smuggle the fruit seeds under the bed and rush in the morning to plant them with a sweet fancy of growing a mango tree or palm tree. Overwhelmed with sadness when his flower droop. Or just maybe ride the tricycle back and forth in the corridor.

Apart from the kids part, my grandmother used to tell me that these Hurumah part of the buildings were put for good use weddings. She remembers that a large table would be situated there with all sort of food during for the bawabs, gardeners, workers or almost anyone working in the area to stop and share in the celebration. Sweet actually. Global sharing. Unlike today where only the well-fed people are the ones invited to fancy wedding dinner.

1 Jun 2005

ZOSS & MOHAMED

Zoss: I've long argued that God has given us snapshots of the creation account, but it was never described in full detail. That is to say, there is room for conjectures and theories; them being philosophical or linguistic, or -indeed- in the realm of natural sciences. However, this insatiable curiosity comes with the ultimate humility in the recognition that they're all, after all, conjectures. God says in surat elkahf (18:51), what could be loosely translated as: (I have not made them witness the creation of the heavens and the earth, nor themselves ...); the operative word here being "witness" (ashhaddtohom), which could also be interpreted as "shown them" as in (maybe) with signs or teachings. To that effect, these efforts might always remain as conjectures, but even then I don't think they should be abandoned nor silenced.

Mohamed:So can I argue that the snapshots are to help us believe (get closer), yet if the snapshots become complete pictures we don't really become believers anymore (because the evidence is right there).

Zoss: Even though we might claim -with the utmost diligence- some form of congruence between our knowledge of the seen world and its reality, we shall try to avoid the pitfalls of assuming knowledge of the intended wisdom, except for maybe that which is made explicit by the divine. I feel this needs to be stressed always; if we are careful one fold with interpretation of the signs, we should be a hundred fold with extrapolating for the cause or the reason.

That being said, Mohamed; yes, maybe you have an argument; maybe in this instance you can invoke this more general argument about the essence of faith: the logic chain seems to be intentionally linked at some point via a belief in the unseen, the non-manifest -- guided by the verse (26:4), which would be loosely translated like (if We will, We would send down from the sky a sign, to which their necks would remain (stooped) in compliance). Again, is this the reason why we are only give snapshots? I highly doubt we can make any verifiable argument to that. We can also think of some other things that might be parallel conjectures to yours. For instance, and very breifly, maybe the essence of the creation is in the snapshots we are given; that is to say, the parts that have not been explicitly mentioned are somewhat less relevant. Or, maybe the idea is that some of these bits are being revealed on daily basis; verse (41:53) (We shall show them Our portents on the horizon and within themselves until it will be manifest unto them that it is the Truth); remember 'show'? it has come up before. But, will some ultimately remain partially hidden?

This brings me to the heart of my argument, and I believe, to the heart of the philosophy of science in islam. It should come as no surprise to you that the motivation for science (natural science in particular) varies with the varying principles of the scientist, overlapping as they maybe. For example, Einstein is famously quoted as saying: "I want to know how God created this world. I am not interested in this or that phenomenon, in the spectrum of this or that element. I want to know His thoughts; the rest are details." This might overlap quite a bit with what the average muslim philosopher of science would consider as the driving force behind science. Knowing God's creation; Knowing God. From this starting point, spew out all your wonderment and curiosity; these are tools to help you know. Are you going to be stopped by somebody telling you that there are limits to what you could know? even if you know that God, the All-Knowing, (provides whom he wills with no measure) (2:212)? Ah.. at this point, I cannot make any intelligible comments about the philosophy of science in islam that has not been dissected by scholars (like Seyyed Hossein Nasr in the past thirty-some years; e.g. here), but isa maybe soon.

Mohamed:Regarding knowing God, and if we should search into everything. There is a good example about how there are things about the qualities of God that cannot be questioned (and some argue must not be questioned since it adds no value, while might 'shake' the faith). The example is when God says "yabseto kaffayh" or "estawa 3ala el3arsh", people might start to imagine how God's "kaff" looks like, or how He can "yabsetoha" or how he can "yastawy 3ala el3arsh" or how His "3arsh" looks like, but these are all characteristics to be left mysterious and not to be looked further into, no?

I second you in always searching for the reasons, but never really being sure of them, or of the signs themselves for that matter. Isn't the Quran itself one of the great signs. Interesting that I was looking for the tafseer of the two of the aya's (26:4 and 41:53) you provided, and alTabary in both ayas says "ekhtalafa ahl elta'aweel", deliberately unclear by God I believe.

Zoss:I have to disagree about the "example about how there are things about the qualities of God that cannot be questioned".

I feel you are using 'imagine' and 'question' interchangeably. I beg to differ; and, while this might be a marginal disagreement, I had to point it out to make the rest of this comment more sensible.

The meat of it is: I believe this matter is not mysterious at all; it has been affirmatively resolved with the utmost clarity in the quran: ليس كمثله شيء (Naught is as His likeness 42:11); i interpret: in essence, in attributes, and in actions. Naught is as His likeness. Whatever you can imagine, is naught. So, i say, if you believe this verse, then imagine away if you will, for there's plenty of room for your imagination. I could be wrong. what do you think?


On to a general comment: there is a subtle (nontheless, crucial) difference between the 'how' and the 'why' type questioning that might skip some. That was one of the things I tried to squeeze in my previous comment, but maybe not in so many words. If it was missed, I would suggest re-reading the previous comment; to highlight the difference, notice which of the two was used by Einstein.

Mohamed:I think you're right Zoss. If I get you right, I totally agree, and that's my point. Some people try to imagine how God can "yastawy 3ala el3arsh" for example, but they can imagine all they want, it is naught. What some argue, is that we shouldn't imagine such things in the first place, as when one starts to imagine, then He becomes "kamethlehee sahy'a", that shay'a is your imagination, eh.

I think I might be using imagine and question interchangeably indeed. Sometimes I find them to be the same thing when it comes to this stuff.

The "how" vs. "why" did indeed skip me, and it is a very crucial difference indeed. Good to point it out.