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Everything posted by Spider

  1. MM Awards 2024

    ^ Better to have one more, so I nominate Breeze and Spud to do it.
  2. MM Awards 2024

    I agree. I think we should.
  3. Inspirational Quotations

    "Creativity requires taking what Einstein called 'a leap into the unknown.' This can mean putting your beliefs, reputation, and resources on the line as you suffer the slings and arrows of ridicule. Other common attributes are a strong motivation to bring order and definition to the world, as well as independent judgment. Creative people are able to go against the mainstream. While in many ways they can be quite conventional, they tend to rebel against conformity as they accompany their own private visions down lonely, untrod paths." Frank X. Barron (1979)
  4. Happy Birthday Summer Haze!

    1. Breeze


      Happy bday Summerhaze wherever you are!

  5. What are you reading?

    I like him too. I am planning to get this book next: Jung on Art: The Autonomy of the Creative Drive Lots of crazy but interesting ideas.
  6. What are you reading?

    Glad to know your opinion.
  7. What are you reading?

    Neither, but I'm going to a vocational/employability type of program so that I can find something which is easier for me. I've already worked before, though. Are you asking me that because I'm not on MM a lot these days?
  8. What are you reading?

    I'm not sure, but I like to think that there's probably a relationship. The contents of a book are ordered in such a way so that the ideas or lessons being taught can be connected in a much easier manner. However, I seem to have a hyper-associative type of cognition, which means that I can easily find connections between something I read on page 6 and something else that I read on page 96, for example. So I can read in a pretty chaotic style and yet be able to understand quickly what the connections are. I don't even read fiction anymore.
  9. What are you reading?

    I started reading a book titled Trying Not to Try, by Edward Slingerland. The book elucidates on a Chinese philosophical concept called "wu-wei" (pronounced oo way), which has been given a paradoxical meaning, roughly translated as "doing through non-doing" or "effortless action." I was specifically looking for a book on this subject because it piqued my interested while I was reading articles about wu-wei on the internet. Essentially, the author talks in length about the counter-intuitive effects of trying too hard or striving too much in life, and explains that instead there is a 'right' way to try, a kind of trying which is more natural, spontaneous, and effortless - or, in short, a matter of commitment vs. manipulation.
  10. What are you reading?

    Well, sometimes I do wish I could read a book in order, just the way it should be, but once I start reading this way it feels like there is more of a demand and pressure on myself now. And then it reduces my comprehension somewhat (or it feels like that a little bit). So, then my brain tells me to read in a different way, in a more relaxed and care-free manner: to start reading from wherever I want to.
  11. What are you reading?

    I have a weird way of reading. That is, I don't read from front to end of a book as most people do. I read the first chapter or two, and then I start to read by just opening the book and reading from wherever I feel like, in a more random fashion. For some reason reading that way makes it easier for me to stay focused and interested in what I'm reading. And I can also understand everything as I read, since I read non-fiction only, unlike fiction which has to be read from beginning to end without skipping.
  12. Thread Al-3rabi

    I knew that already.
  13. Thread Al-3rabi

    What's a fatha?
  14. Random Islamic Questions

    In short, it's because Prophethood is an extremely heavy task, and by nature, men compared to women are better able to handle it. But Allah knows best. Here's a fatwa on that, if you want a little more elaboration: https://islamqa.info/en/158044
  15. Happy Birthday M-C and Faerie

  16. Hadiths on Fasting

    FASTING (TRANSLATION OF SAHIH BUKHARI, BOOK 31) Volume 3, Book 31, Number 115 Narrated Talha bin 'Ubaid-Ullah: A bedouin with unkempt hair came to Allah's Apostle and said, "O Allah's Apostle! Inform me what Allah has made compulsory for me as regards the prayers." He replied: "You have to offer perfectly the five compulsory prayers in a day and night (24 hours), unless you want to pray Nawafil." The bedouin further asked, "Inform me what Allah has made compulsory for me as regards fasting." He replied, "You have to fast during the whole month of Ramadan, unless you want to fast more as Nawafil." The bedouin further asked, "Tell me how much Zakat Allah has enjoined on me." Thus, Allah's Apostle informed him about all the rules (i.e. fundamentals) of Islam. The bedouin then said, "By Him Who has honored you, I will neither perform any Nawafil nor will I decrease what Allah has enjoined on me. Allah's Apostle said, "If he is saying the truth, he will succeed (or he will be granted Paradise)." Volume 3, Book 31, Number 116 Narrated Ibn 'Umar: The Prophet observed the fast on the 10th of Muharram ('Ashura), and ordered (Muslims) to fast on that day, but when the fasting of the month of Ramadan was prescribed, the fasting of the 'Ashura' was abandoned. 'Abdullah did not use to fast on that day unless it coincided with his routine fasting by chance. Volume 3, Book 31, Number 117 Narrated 'Aisha: (The tribe of) Quraish used to fast on the day of Ashura' in the Pre-lslamic period, and then Allah's Apostle ordered (Muslims) to fast on it till the fasting in the month of Ramadan was prescribed; whereupon the Prophet said, "He who wants to fast (on 'Ashura') may fast, and he who does not want to fast may not fast." Volume 3, Book 31, Number 118 Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah's Apostle said, "Fasting is a shield (or a screen or a shelter). So, the person observing fasting should avoid sexual relation with his wife and should not behave foolishly and impudently, and if somebody fights with him or abuses him, he should tell him twice, 'I am fasting." The Prophet added, "By Him in Whose Hands my soul is, the smell coming out from the mouth of a fasting person is better in the sight of Allah than the smell of musk. (Allah says about the fasting person), 'He has left his food, drink and desires for My sake. The fast is for Me. So I will reward (the fasting person) for it and the reward of good deeds is multiplied ten times." Volume 3, Book 31, Number 119 Narrated Abu Wail from Hudhaifa: Umar asked the people, "Who remembers the narration of the Prophet about the affliction?" Hudhaifa said, "I heard the Prophet saying, 'The affliction of a person in his property, family and neighbors is expiated by his prayers, fasting, and giving in charity." 'Umar said, "I do not ask about that, but I ask about those afflictions which will spread like the waves of the sea." Hudhaifa replied, "There is a closed gate in front of those afflictions." 'Umar asked, "Will that gate be opened or broken?" He replied, "It will be broken." 'Umar said, "Then the gate will not be closed again till the Day of Resurrection." We said to Masruq, "Would you ask Hudhaifa whether 'Umar knew what that gate symbolized?" He asked him and he replied "He ('Umar) knew it as one knows that there will be night before tomorrow, morning. Source: http://www.usc.edu/dept/MSA/fundamentals/h...ri/031.sbt.html
  17. Solar Eclipse 2017

    https://eclipse2017.nasa.gov/ Illustration is from here, which also shows the path of the total eclipse on the US map.
  18. I think that all bad experiences can either be good or bad for you depending on how you react to those situations. Also, it's easy to blame others or denigrate others when they treat you badly, or to think that they should apologize or something (and maybe rightly so), but yet sometimes we fail to realize that we ourselves may react in ways that make the situation even worse. Then we recount and rationalize things in a way which makes us feel as if we have the higher moral ground, with no faults of our own. In other words, many people just aren't very willing to take responsibility for their own actions, and they don't even realize this. I think there lies the more hidden but dangerous problem. And I think we all have this problem to some extent - thus, I try to remind myself also.
  19. Cosmological Argument

    This may be true, but now this would make science itself circular (in a physical sense), because we are essentially a highly organized collection of particles which are learning and thinking about it's own self. In short, we are a part of nature, and we are made up of nature (atoms, molecules, etc), and this "nature" that we are composed of is trying to understand nature itself. Therefore, science is sort of like nature having a dialogue with itself. That is, we human beings pose questions to nature through experiments and scientific reasoning in order to gain knowledge about the universe, but there's a circularity behind the whole thing given that we ourselves are a part of nature. Carl Sagan also once summed up this idea when he said, "We are a way for the cosmos to know itself." Well, so if nature can have a dialogue with itself, and if it is trying to "know itself," then this is like saying that nature already has some kind of a "mind." And if you accept that, then it shouldn't require much of a leap of thought to go from that idea to the idea of an intelligent being (God).
  20. Cosmological Argument

    It's not like belief in God (or belief in anything else, for that matter) is supposed to have a rational chain of arguments. As I said, we cannot ignore the inner aspects of being a human, especially given that the way we reason and perceive things are not independent from our emotions (gratitude, yearnings, etc.) Are we all Turing machines? No, I don't think so.
  21. Cosmological Argument

    You wouldn't have to "assume" anything if you were simply and truly grateful to God; rather, you would believe in His existence. Therefore gratitude and faith are interconnected, and there is something that connects them, but it's not circular. Maybe it's a level of moral maturity, a sense of connectedness of things, an emotional intuition about God, a sense of responsibility to give thanks, or something of that nature which unites the two. Edit: It's probably one of those chicken and egg type questions. But he didn't say that you can't contextualize the Quran in history, as you stated earlier.
  22. Cosmological Argument

    To share another insight of mine, I think that people's faith becomes weaker in part because they are not appreciative or grateful enough of the countless blessings that they've been given. And no one can "educate" you about these things. One might be very cognizant of his intellect as being one of the favors of Allah, but there are so many other things which most of the time we don't even think about. I think that when some people get very ill or they lose something valuable that they had, that is when they realize the greatness of what they had, and then they might even make dua or start calling Allah to help them recover what they lost. But we seldom appreciate things when we already have them. The fact that I am breathing right now without effort, that my fingers are typing these words, that my brain is functioning, that my heart is beating, and so on and so forth, these are all things to be grateful about. But if we start losing this feeling of appreciation and gratitude towards Allah, then, gradually, our entire faith will also leave us. And then we will just try to rationalize and logicize everything, because we've forgotten the essence of what it means to be a human.
  23. Cosmological Argument

    We were discussing what he meant by "historicizing the Quran," so you sort of sidestepped that point by mentioning that Yale historicizes the Quran (which I don't disagree with). So do you agree with this: "Again, I think what he meant is that the Quran should not be studied as if it is just a historical text, thereby ignoring the universal and timeless nature of it." If so, then I'm not sure why you wrote "nah" (twice) to my responses.