Age of Jahiliyah

A blog of wide and varied interest, including Islam, Muslims, Poetry, Art and much more.

Archive for the month “December, 2007”

Poetry by Marianne Moore

I, too, dislike it: there are things that are important beyond all
this fiddle.
Reading it, however, with a perfect contempt for it, one
discovers in
it after all, a place for the genuine.
Hands that can grasp, eyes
that can dilate, hair that can rise
if it must, these things are important not because a

high-sounding interpretation can be put upon them but because
they are
useful. When they become so derivative as to become
the same thing may be said for all of us, that we
do not admire what
we cannot understand: the bat
holding on upside down or in quest of something to

eat, elephants pushing, a wild horse taking a roll, a tireless wolf
a tree, the immovable critic twitching his skin like a horse that
feels a
flea, the base-
ball fan, the statistician–
nor is it valid
to discriminate against ‘business documents and

school-books’; all these phenomena are important. One must
make a distinction
however: when dragged into prominence by half poets, the
result is not poetry,
nor till the poets among us can be
‘literalists of
the imagination’–above
insolence and triviality and can present

for inspection, ‘imaginary gardens with real toads in them’, shall
we have
it. In the meantime, if you demand on the one hand,
the raw material of poetry in
all its rawness and
that which is on the other hand
genuine, you are interested in poetry.

Selections from Hadiths: Be in the world as if you were a stranger…

Narrated ‘Abdullah bin ‘Umar: The Prophet took hold of my shoulders and said, “Be in the world as if you were a stranger or a wayfarer.” Ibn ‘Umar used to say: “When you survive till the evening, do not expect to be alive till the morning; and when you survive till the morning do not except to be alive till the evening; (Do good deeds) when your are in good health before you fall sick, and (do good deeds) as long as you are alive before death strikes.” (Al-Bukhari)

Quotations: Life is a long…

Life is a long lesson in humility.- James M. Barrie

Sheikh Hosary Recites Surah Al Furqan

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Quotations: Time is too slow for those who wait…

Time is too slow for those who wait; Too swift for those who fear, too long for those who grieve, too short for those who rejoice, but for those who love time is eternity. – Henry Van Dyke

Ummah Films: The Haram Police


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The Words Under the Words by Naomi Shihab Nye

for Sitti Khadra, north of Jerusalem

My grandmother’s hands recognize grapes,

the damp shine of a goat’s new skin.

When I was sick they followed me,

I woke from the long fever to find them

covering my head like cool prayers.

My grandmother’s days are made of bread,

a round pat-pat and the slow baking.

She waits by the oven watching a strange car

circle the streets. Maybe it holds her son,

lost to America. More often, tourists,

who kneel and weep at mysterious shrines.

She knows how often mail arrives,

how rarely there is a letter.

When one comes, she announces it, a miracle,

listening to it read again and again

in the dim evening light.

My grandmother’s voice says nothing can surprise her.

Take her the shotgun wound and the crippled baby.

She knows the spaces we travel through,

the messages we cannot send—our voices are short

and would get lost on the journey.

Farewell to the husband’s coat,

the ones she has loved and nourished,

who fly from her like seeds into a deep sky.

They will plant themselves. We will all die.

My grandmother’s eyes say Allah is everywhere, even in death.

When she talks of the orchard and the new olive press,

when she tells the stories of Joha and his foolish wisdoms,

He is her first thought, what she really thinks of is His name.

“Answer, if you hear the words under the words—

otherwise it is just a world with a lot of rough edges,

difficult to get through, and our pockets full of stones.”

Sheikh Hamza Yusuf at ISNA 2000 (Muslim Youth)

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Selections from Hadiths: The heaviest thing…

Narrated Abud-Darda: Allah’s Messenger said, “The heaviest thing to be placed in the balance of a believing slave on the Day of Judgement will be good behaviour.” (At-Tirmidhi)

Mauritania’s Manuscripts

From Saudi Aramco World

By Louis Werner

One could easily lose something precious in Mauritania’s million square kilometers (398,000 sq mi) of dune fields and rocky steppes, stretching north from the Senegal River and east from the Atlantic into the Sahara’s most desolate corners. Nomadic encampments are few, villages are far between, and the wind blows inexorably from the west, scattering all that comes before it.

But Ahmad Ould Mohamed Yahya, director of manuscripts at the Institut Mauritanien de Recherche Scientifique (IRMS) in Nouakchott, believes it is not a fluke that something precious should recently have been found in the small town of Boutilimit, some 150 kilometers (95 mi) east of the capital city of Nouakchott: the world’s only known complete manuscript of a work on grammar by the great Spanish-Arab physician and philosopher Ibn Rushd, known in the West as Averroës. This find, so far from the Mediterranean basin, means that historians must rethink just how far Ibn Rushd’s writings and influence extended into the Arab hinterland.

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