Monday, September 24, 2007

Ramadan Challenge Update

Hello Friends,

Well I'm not too good at the Ramadan thing. I am about 4 ajiza behind and fasting is completely out the window because of a nasty chest cold.

I still fully intend to catch up on the ajiza readings and finish the Qur'an cover to cover. I will have more time in a few weeks to play catch up during my international flight and my more relaxed schedule in Paris.

While in Paris I hope to see the Parisian mosque. I will probably wait until after Ramadan though as not to interrupt.

Later my fellow sprinters

Friday, September 14, 2007


It's not uncommon to stumble across articles ranging from lovable and quirky to downright bizarre during the week. TGIFF - Thank Geebus, It's Freakin' Friday - is an amalgamation of short blurbs dedicated to the oddities I stumbled across during the week.


Arrested for a-SALT-ing an officer

A quick-serve restaurant employee in Georgia was arrested for over salting hamburger meat. The young lady was charged with reckless conduct after serving a police officer with over salted meat. The office became ill after eating the burger and came looking for answers. I doubt the arrest will stand in another example of abuse of power by the police force in this country.

Darwin's Starch

It seems the reason the human race may have succeeded over other primates can be found in potatoes. Yes, potatoes. Our ability to break down starch could be the reason we out performed our primates cousins. Shouldn't Idaho be the most advanced state in the nation then?

Look out Wii

It was only a matter of time until gamers got even lazier. As if it's not bad enough the paddles turn off the console now, new game systems may eliminate the new to even move our thumbs to play the game. Brain waves will communicate with the game to move your character. Some are worried the game will takeover the brain of the gamer. Isn't that already the case with World of Warcraft and Everquest?

Maybe she's born with it, maybe it's engineered

Japanese schoolgirls are taking eye make-up to the next level. Engineered lashes are the new rave in Japan. Perhaps it's only a matter of time until the lashes have the messages you can program like the fans. Then when a girl blinks she can tell us guys if it's flirting or dirt.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Tawhid: 13-Sept-07 ed.

Tawhid is a series on the Middle East, Islamic jurisprudence, and Islamic theology. The word "tawhid" (TAW-heed) roughly translates to "unity" or "oneness".


The Ramadan Challenge

Sundown 12-Sept begin the Islamic month of Ramadan in 2007. This holy month is believed to be when Muhammad received his first relevation from Gabriel in the year 610 CE. Every year Muslims around the world celebrate this month through fasting and prayer. Because the Islamic calendar is a lunar calendar the month of Ramadan starts on a different date each year (vis-a-vis our Roman calendar).

Observant Muslims fast from dawn to dusk during the month of Ramadan; smoking and sexual relations are also to be avoided during the fasting period. Age, illness, travel, and menustration are acceptable reasons for not observing the fasting period. Travel and menustration usually are treated as temporary stays in fasting, with most observant Muslims "making up" the fasting, prayers, and Qur'anic readings after the end of Ramadan.

Concomitantly, most observant Muslims seek to read the entire Qur'an during Ramadan. The Qur'an is broken in up into chapters and verses (suwar and ayat respectively in Arabic) much like the Judeo-Christian Bible. However, if you read the Qur'an you are not reading the suwar in chronological order - the order in which they were revealed to Muhammad. Instead the Qur'an's layout is by lenth of the surah (the singula form of suwar). The suwar decrease is length as the Qur'an progresses. The only exception is the first surah, - The Opening/Prologue - the Islamic analogue to the Christian Lord's Prayer. This surah is recited during daily prayers and is a statement of the Islamic faith.

In order to facilitate the completion of the Qur'an during the month of Ramadan the Qur'an is read in 1/30 sections called juz' (ajiza (pl)). Juz' do not run surah to surah, as the Qur'an contains 114 suwar.

Last year I tried to fast and keep up with my juz' readings. I failed to complete the process for the entire month, falling about 12 days short. My fast ended because of illness, and my readings failed when the fast ended. This year I intend to again try to keep up with the Ramadan readings and fasting. I will admit now that my fast will end early and that I intend to drink water during the day - thus my fast will not be a true fast - as I am still not 100% healthy. My wedding and honeymoon fall within the month of Ramadan. Travel is the excuse, however I don' t know that I will "make up" my fasting days. However, I intend continue with reading a juz' per day.

I challenge my readers to keep pace with me, thus the tile, "Ramadan Challenge". An online copy of the Qur'an in English can be found here or here. Most Qur'ans have a marker in them to inform the reader where a juz'begins and ends. Given that some English translations and the online translations do not have this marker, a breakdown of the length of each juz' and the corresponding ayat can be found here. The site also has some explanations of the first couple ajiza.

While I have read large portions of the Qur'an, I am yet to read the entire book. I hope to rectify that situation over the next 30 days. I hope some of you take the journey with me.

Friday, September 7, 2007


It's not uncommon to stumble across articles ranging from lovable and quirky to downright bizarre during the week. TGIFF - Thank Geebus, It's Freakin' Friday - is an amalgamation of short blurbs dedicated to the oddities I stumbled across during the week.


It's a short TGIFF this week, kiddos. I didn't have much time to stumble across weird stories.

Beer Me

Scientists at the University of Wisconsin, of course it was in Madison, have released a study which argues that Guiness is just as good as aspirin at fighting heart clots. Back in the day post-op patients were given the "beer you eat with a fork" to replenish their iron! Can you imagine that now?

Acupunture to a Whole New Level

A women in China went to the doctor because of blood in her urine and the doctors discovered 26 sewing needles imbedded in various regions and organs of the 31 year old woman's body. Doctor's believe the needles were stuck into her when she was little because her grandpartents were angry that she was a girl and not a boy. Interesting method of murder, the pin cushion torture technique.