Friday, November 25, 2005


Peace to you

well here I am in my friendly internet cafe next door with brother Haider this sweet Bangalorian who runs the joint, in liue of my powerbook which is still sitting in Dubai's high tech district, finally they received confirmation of warranty now the part must be sent, installed & when ready hopefully shipped to me, I'm guessing another month : it's just totally unacceptable Apple!

the Middle East in offically Windows territory Arabs just can't understand the advantage oh but when I show them they're gobsmacked .....forget it ranting here!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

OK Friday afty, attended the usual Juma' where I don't understand anything, more & more words yes but together, God Help me!....over 2 years now, every week pretty well the same; I must admit it's not something I get enthusiastic about. It's true what SH Hamza says about juma'ah today everyone seems asleep...and there's brothers everyweek keeling over & missing the iqama, having perfecting sleeping sitting up...the government of course, plays a role in sanitizing the khutbah before it's read, and in case you forget, there's machine gun toting guards awaiting you on the steps as you walk into God's special house

I tried to organize an English speaking one with the billionare owner of the local private hospital but it got bogged down, as the local Mufti had to write a letter to Riyadh to get official permission & even if they did agree, the text would have to be carefully vetoed etc too much of a headache, nothing's happened after 3 visits...I've lost motivation

I really do want to leave!....if I could only find a job in a neighbouring country at approx the same salary so I can stay on schedule for the film! hmmph dunya I dissapoint myself everytime

...no use fretting it's in God's Hands & has been already Decreed long ago we'll see, and I submit to His Will & look at the advantages of being here in the mean time ...that's the spirit!

Such as next eid al adha, soon, one week holiday: this time, intended destination Hadramout, Terim & the Haba'ib!! , they're relatively close, it's crime not to have made the Journey fisibillilah

I've had to undergo the demeaning embarrassments of the medical check up for my iqama renewal but its going to be late....hope I can get the visa on time
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


otherwise oh yes! I teaching this group of French helicopter mechanics twice a week from the nearby military base, they're non-Muslims but it's a pleasant relief to have some contact with my old favourite culture & guess what one of them generously gave me a nice chunk of Roquefort cheese!!

WOOOAH!

from the miles of the Kraft blandverse that covers the supermarket selves here was something that is truly wonderful & unique, I thank God(Exalted Be He!) for the taste after all these years...golly i'm gong to have some now my mouth's watering

back in tick...

....aaahh

he he....had to jot down to the local for some fresh bread rolls, haaa not fasting...finished my 6 days Praise be to He!

well if you haven't tried it, do yourself a favour: the Bounty of God!....! not for nothing is it known as the King of Cheeses....

any way these French guys ( al dafda'oon: the frogs for my workmates) giggle & are often red faced & admit they're able to drink inside the base, it's amuzing to me, from a wine growing region of South Australia, something that is celebrated & venerated & I become Muslim in the middle of it...! nothing further at the other end of the spectrum

I really used to enjoy that glass with my father with the meal, the discussion of the vintages, it's complex character....something that brought him great sadness when I was no longer able to share this experience with him, particularly with the Epicurean club back in Renmark & their strange dinners & covered up wines...its amazing how the members were able to guess the maker, place & year from a single swig

anyway it'a all in the past, all in the shadow of yesteryear and a long way to the top if you wanna rock n'roll on the sirata al mustaqueeem

:)

so I sign off for today...your du'a are always a gift..

God Bless! & Salams to all who chance upon this!



Friday, October 28, 2005


Ya salams to all..

if you're wondering were the posts are well, if you're like me, you'd be just too shagged, with little time tarawe'ah, tajahud, work, iftar, invites, unable to get away quickly etc

what's happened of note, well...

I was setup to meet a sister!, well an indian ex-hindu girl from kerala

you know that place on the malabar coast where they speak that most difficult Malayalam language?

golly well, my hopes weren't high but I thought I'd give it a go, but boy she was really pretty!

beautiful eyes & teeth, waist long, black hair dressed in an expensive green sari, the other sister who arranged it all, in a fullblown abaya & niqa, urging her to speak, she was really shy, there were 3 other males in the room I guess to make sure I didn't jump on her & rape her etc audibillahi!

thank God a sense of trust developed & so they left, so it was just me, her & the black shrouded one, the official chaperone

I asked her a few simple questions but she kept answering other questions that she thought she'd heard instead & had to ask me to repeat them....groan, she could barely speak English,

the reality

& then that uncomfortable silence, you know I realized immediately that this was not possible, so I did my best at some affable small talk, I'm good at that when required despite my distaste for it

anyway, the males returned, she left & was told to get some refreshments, ( it was a bit strange the 'abayaed' sister ordering her about!) man I mean how do you explain the impossibility of the without being offensive?

the abayaed sister was asking me what did I think, just ludricous, I mean I can't believe this is how most Muslims get married!

man it's an alien chasm I just can't bridge it, too much hanky panky before I was Muslim...

anyway she came back more uncomfortable silences & the other well meaning sister was urging her to speak but she just froze up poor girl, God Bless her

in time we left, what a relief, with the abayaed sister in tow & she started apologizing for her

"you know Indian girls are so shy when they don't know you"........"don't worry she'll be speaking good English in no time in Australia"

as if it were a done deal!, so embarrasing.......

I took the black clothed, sister home, with my other keraly friend Abdul-Majid & was invited in for the obligitory refreshments & chit-chat, I did my best to explain in the most gentle way that she didn't speak English & it wasn't really going to work etc but they kept insisting! got me talking to her absent husband on the phone also! she gave me a harcopy of The Sealed Nectar & she's big on dawa, I've read it though in softcopy, so I gave up & left the impression I was considering it, as graciously as possible, she was so earnest & piously trying to do her duty as a sister, May God Reward her for her intention in any case

& just made it clear to Abdul-Majid later

then isha was called & that was that, outta there.. whew!

haha oh well got to see a real woman, wow something you just take for granted in the west but it's been well since July since the rihla that I've seen one..!

I never imagined I'd mind it so little, but I guess I'm well used to it now

Dr Osoma the obsessive Egyptian Surgeon, about whom I've alluded to in earlier who thinks I'm his son & wants me to marry his 19 year old daughter, is always giving me the willies about how I'll end up alone, you know & giving me examples of other Englishmen he knew he were alone all the time, insisting that he wants to 'hold my babies in his arms', feels it's his sacred duty etc so pushy, so Egyptian, he can't help it, part of his strange charm

anyway doesn't work, ha ha

thank God (Exalted Be He!) for tawakull (trust in Him)!


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

looks like I managing to make to UAE next week after, I've been promised my exit visa tommorrow, after getting the big manager here to kick some butt on my behalf, although I'll believe it when I see it, such lazy incompetant Saudis in the Riyadh office, they're new, replaced the really efficient Indians-onward Saudization!....hello nightmare

anyway

heading to Mecca in anycase on the 1st Nov,

taja'hud's (night prayers) amazing, I'm glowing mostly, doing it home, man gotto keep this up after Ramadan, insha'allah

hope you are too!

& God Bless to all who chance upon this!

more posts from UAE soon Godwilling




Ya salams to all..

if you're wondering were the posts are well, if you're like me, you'd be just too shagged, with little time tarawe'ah, tajahud, work, iftar, invites, unable to get away quickly etc

what's happened of note, well...

I was setup to meet a sister!, well an indian ex-hindu girl from kerala

you know that place on the malabar coast where they speak that most difficult Malayalam language?

golly well, my hopes weren't high but I thought I'd give it a go, but boy she was really pretty!

beautiful eyes & teeth, waist long, black hair dressed in an expensive green sari, the other sister who arranged it all, in a fullblown abaya & niqa, urging her to speak, she was really shy, there were 3 other males in the room I guess to make sure I didn't jump on her & rape her etc audibillahi!

thank God a sense of trust developed & so they left, so it was just me, her & the black shrouded one, the official chaperone

I asked her a few simple questions but she kept answering other questions that she thought she'd heard instead & had to ask me to repeat them....groan, she could barely speak English,

the reality

& then that uncomfortable silence, you know I realized immediately that this was not possible, so I did my best at some affable small talk, I'm good at that when required despite my distaste for it

anyway, the males returned, she left & was told to get some refreshments, ( it was a bit strange the 'abayaed' sister ordering her about!) man I mean how do you explain the impossibility of the without being offensive?

the abayaed sister was asking me what did I think, just ludricous, I mean I can't believe this is how most Muslims get married!

man it's an alien chasm I just can't bridge it, too much hanky panky before I was Muslim...

anyway she came back more uncomfortable silences & the other well meaning sister was urging her to speak but she just froze up poor girl, God Bless her

in time we left, what a relief, with the abayaed sister in tow & she started apologizing for her

"you know Indian girls are so shy when they don't know you"........"don't worry she'll be speaking good English in no time in Australia"

as if it were a done deal!, so embarrasing.......

I took the black clothed, sister home, with my other keraly friend Abdul-Majid & was invited in for the obligitory refreshments & chit-chat, I did my best to explain in the most gentle way that she didn't speak English & it wasn't really going to work etc but they kept insisting! got me talking to her absent husband on the phone also! she gave me a harcopy of The Sealed Nectar & she's big on dawa, I've read it though in softcopy, so I gave up & left the impression I was considering it, as graciously as possible, she was so earnest & piously trying to do her duty as a sister, May God Reward her for her intention in any case

& just made it clear to Abdul-Majid later

then isha was called & that was that, outta there.. whew!

haha oh well got to see a real woman, wow something you just take for granted in the west but it's been well since July since the rihla that I've seen one..!

I never imagined I'd mind it so little, but I guess I'm well used to it now

Dr Osoma the obsessive Egyptian Surgeon, about whom I've alluded to in earlier who thinks I'm his son & wants me to marry his 19 year old daughter, is always giving me the willies about how I'll end up alone, you know & giving me examples of other Englishmen he knew he were alone all the time, insisting that he wants to 'hold my babies in his arms', feels it's his sacred duty etc so pushy, so Egyptian, he can't help it, part of his strange charm

anyway doesn't work, ha ha

thank God (Exalted Be He!) for tawakull (trust in Him)!


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

looks like I managing to make to UAE next week after, I've been promised my exit visa tommorrow, after getting the big manager here to kick some butt on my behalf, although I'll believe it when I see it, such lazy incompetant Saudis in the Riyadh office, they're new, replaced the really efficient Indians-onward Saudization!....hello nightmare

anyway

heading to Mecca in anycase on the 1st Nov,

taja'hud's (night prayers) amazing, I'm glowing mostly, doing it home, man gotto keep this up after Ramadan, insha'allah

hope you are too!

& God Bless to all who chance upon this!

more posts from UAE soon Godwilling



Friday, September 30, 2005


Ya Peace Be With Thee all!


ha! finally sussed the password conundrums at ourarchive.org & managed to post the Sh Hamza audio with photos attatched, as a 'video' see the video! section side bar....it's incomplete, as no-one had any idea that he would suddenly start singing! It took a little while to turn on the camera & the last shot you see, that zooms in on from afar is just after he finished, God Bless him...

Speaking of moving image: being a genuine admirer of Stanley Kubrick's work, I couldn't help but share this alternate promo cut from his psychological tour de force The Shining which pokes a stick at all the candified Hollywood narratives vomiting thick & fast out of California recently and have been parading as somehow, profound emotional experiences, and simultaneously, laying bare the deceitful nature of the 'Hollywood' trailer, itself: it's brilliantly farcical...if you dig the art of cinematic language, check it out!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The day has long gone, the tendrils of light have faded, tommorrow work again and we're sitting on the cusp of of another Ramadan, which I deperately need....no doubt all of us do...the profound wisdom of this month is staggering

A strange peace has overcome me this past few weeks with, goals firmly in sight, it's now a matter of staying the course...

forgive me for any offence I may created in your hearts with anything that I have written!

it all feels so inane in the face of eternity



Thursday, September 22, 2005



stone hut
Originally uploaded by enthogenesis.

purpose unknown, seems ancient




Sunday, September 11, 2005



Najran Mud Mihrab
Originally uploaded by enthogenesis.

from inside the mosque at he Najran Mud fort, totally unused, cobwebbed & thick layers of dust on the rotted carpet, anyway I prayed away the first since God Knows when!




Tuesday, August 30, 2005



Sh Suliman at AlKhalil Mosque, Adelaide, Dec 2004
Originally uploaded by enthogenesis.

The biggest mosque in Adelaide about 7km from the city centre towards the port

...Sh Suliman what can I say, a wise, loving, open minded & always smiling Sheikh, he got me & many others, on our way in Arabic, he teaches for free 3- 4 nights a week, as well as administrating to the small community. He lives in accomodation provided at the mosque, so buzy!

He's the antithesis of the wahhabi, never would he scowl at Muslims who had girlfriends or whatever, he would always encourage with love & smiles to come & have a little special ceremony instead... he's just that, never doing anything that would Jeapordise the ability of a lapsed brother to come & start praying

i cried when I said goodbye to him! he was one of the few to welcome me in true 'hibb al Al Islam', he understood more than most what it was like for me as a new Muslim in the extreme secularist environment of Adelaide...God Bless & Reward him!




Sunday, July 31, 2005



brother Daoud Helleman
Originally uploaded by enthogenesis.

this sweet Torontian brother, who lives over here also, did much to assist me in independant accommodation in Madinah in the Said Nursi Madrassa, he's suprisingly knowledgable for a young whipper snapper khawaja Muslim, I predict Sheikh status one day! inshahllah- Watch out for him....he's off to Turkey in the next phase of his life very shortly ...May God Almighty Reward him, Unveil him much Further & Assist him all his travails amongst the remains of the Ottoman empire ....amiin!




Friday, June 17, 2005



Pre '83 Najran Roof Top: Tchekof Minosa
Originally uploaded by enthogenesis.

Peace to you,

In lieu of my own, here's Tchekof Minosa's taken in the early '80's, Saudi was a very different place, minimal development, crazy salaries for all who worked, more to come...hope he doesn't mind, I'll try & track him down

Otherwise things have slowed, PSC has wound up, I've very few students but marking has not yet finished, then I can hopefully finish the practise DVD of the trip to Mecca

My application to the Rihla in Madinah has not yet been answered for almost 2 weeks & despite follow up emails not a glimmer of response which quite strange since you spend up to 5 hours filling out the application you'd think they'd at least acknowledge their receipt of it!, oh well it's looking unlikely as a result, maybe there's a problem Allahu Alim

Hopefully more time to post soon, Godwilling

& God Bless to all who chance upon this!




Sunday, May 29, 2005


and peace to you

a curious corollary

I emailed Darsh's colleagues & he sent me this

"You emailed a few of my colleagues about one of my
submissions to the "Art of Science" gallery, and they
forwarded me your email. I think you are referring to
the one titled "Strange Crystal" in your email. The
"crystal" depicted is not actually a physical crystal
that I grew, if that's what you thought; it's merely
an image I created on my computer. My use of the word
"crystal" in the description is intended as a metaphor
to help explain the algorithm that generates the
image. Sorry for the confusion, if there was any."

and he did! a 1.8mg file to be exact, very cool that I can see this on the web, in the mountains of Saudi Arabia & in less than one day contact him personally and have him send it to me!

a bright young whipper snapper indeed! keep your eyes peeled to the mathematical journals.....ha!

you never know where it might lead you,.........

............for example the strange story of

Fermat's last theorem

see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fermat%27s_Last_Theorem

(for a page that can represent all the squigly bits)

(sometimes abbreviated as FLT and also called Fermat's great theorem) is one of the most famous theorems in the history of mathematics. It states that:

There are no positive integers x, y, and z such that in which n is a natural number greater than 2.

The 17th-century mathematician Pierre de Fermat wrote about this in 1637 in his copy of Claude-Gaspar Bachet's translation of the famous Arithmetica of Diophantus: "I have discovered a truly remarkable proof of this theorem that the margin of this page is too small to contain". (Original Latin: "Cuius rei demonstrationem mirabilem sane detexi hanc marginis exiguitas non caperet.") However, no correct proof was found for 357 years.
This statement is significant because all the other theorems proposed by Fermat were settled, either by proofs he supplied, or by rigorous proofs found afterwards. Mathematicians were long baffled, for they were unable either to prove or to disprove it. The theorem was therefore not the last that Fermat conjectured, but the last to be proved. The theorem is generally thought to be the mathematical result that has provoked the largest number of incorrect proofs.

The Proof!

Using sophisticated tools from algebraic geometry (in particular elliptic curves and modular forms), Galois theory and Hecke algebras, the English mathematician Andrew Wiles, from Princeton University, with help from his former student Richard Taylor, devised a proof of Fermat's last theorem that was published in 1995 in the journal Annals of Mathematics.

In 1986, Ken Ribet had proved Gerhard Frey's epsilon conjecture that every counterexample an + bn = cn to Fermat's last theorem would yield an elliptic curve which would provide a counterexample to the Taniyama-Shimura conjecture.

This latter conjecture proposes a deep connection between elliptic curves and modular forms.

Andrew Wiles and Richard Taylor were able to establish a special case of the Taniyama-Shimura conjecture sufficient to exclude such counterexamples arising from Fermat's last theorem.

The story of the proof is almost as remarkable as the mystery of the theorem itself. Wiles spent seven years working out nearly all the details by himself and with utter secrecy (except for a final review stage for which he enlisted the help of his Princeton colleague, Nick Katz). When he announced his proof over the course of three lectures delivered at Cambridge University on June 21-23 1993, he amazed his audience with the number of ideas and constructions used in his proof. Unfortunately, upon closer inspection a serious error was discovered: it seemed to lead to the breakdown of this original proof.

It began to seem that Wile's proof was destined like so many others to be fatally flawed, and that although he had made many important discoveries, the ultimate goal had eluded him. Wiles was on the point of giving up finally, when he decided to have one last try at solving the last remaining problem in his proof in collaboration with Richard Taylor, one of his former PhD students in 1994. He commented:

"... suddenly, totally unexpectedly, I had this incredible revelation. It was the most important moment of my working life. Nothing I ever do again will mean as much ... it was so indescribably beautiful, it was so simple and so elegant, and I just stared in disbelief for twenty minutes, then during the day I walked round the department. I'd keep coming back to my desk to see it was still there - it was still there."
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Praise Be to God (Exalted Be HE!), Al Fatah (The Opener) Who Provided That Experience!

A Muslim, a believer even knows with conviction, the explanation for this remarkable process, and how many different opening's there are......

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Coincindentally, I visited Fermat's home in the corner of the delightful village square of Beaumont De Lomagne (the village of Garlic: there's a huge garlic float parade every year!) when I was resident in the very same town for while, I never forgot it! A museum that hardly anyone visits. I had to chase up, with the help of my girlfriend's family, one of the descendents, a kindly, bespectacled madame, to open it up for me, and inside there's a few dusty cabinets holding some of his original papers & some explanations. I tried to imagine what it must be like to be able to encompass all of this in one's head, for some reason it fascinates me.

I don't think anyone had been in there for months when I visited in 1991, I remember the puffs of dust being drawn upwards in small mushroom clouds, as she eased open the door. I remainded interested, of course, in this unsolvable theorem that had stumped every mathematician alive, for hundreds of years.

That was until a year or two later when the above proof (see Wikipedia for details) was furnished by Andrew Wiles in Cambridge & it blew everyone away, even people who didn't understand it...

In fact, there's a gripping BBC horizon doco made about his by a chap called Simon Singh, where Andrew Wiles describes the whole experience & you can see the emotion & lazer like focus he invested for years working it out: absolutely awsome

and so to him and , to Darsh Ranjan, and to all seekers of Truth

May God, All Exalted!, Guide Them to the Source from Hence It Came!

and to you all!

wa salam walykum a rahmatullahi wa barakatuh.....



Friday, May 20, 2005



censored lesson
Originally uploaded by enthogenesis.

Peace to You

yeah, but the muttawa who did this was so stupid he forgot to censor the arabic translation & the CD-ROM video

it's was about two guys arguing over a girlfriend




Tuesday, May 10, 2005



'feel the world'
Originally uploaded by enthogenesis.

'feel the world'

for brother Parisian artist, Rafael Gray for his 'feel the world project'

www.kraked.com/2mondo/base-2m/lieu00.html

..almost ended up in the slammer for this, a off duty Mutawwa ripped the camera out of my hands several moments after this shot, it took 20 minutes of near violence & intervention of his supervisor to get it back, with heart pumping and hands shaking with thanks to Khalid & Abdullah who tried to wrestle it out of his hands but by God was this mutawwa strong!

the anger was horrible, right next to God's house, helas! May He Forgive Us All but we got the photo, BTW it is officially forbidden to take photos even outside the Haram, however I didn't know, it was only the Ka'aba it self, I thought, that was offlimits

wa salam! I'm eating an omlette

why do I choose such moments to blog?




Tuesday, April 26, 2005


Had to Share this one Peace to You thanks Ross whoever you are


Cinematic
Expressions of
Inner Self-Loathing
If There Were
No Mirrors
to Smash.

BY ROSS MURRAY

- - - -

Junkie jazz singer sees self in back of spoon; uses clairvoyant powers to bend it until it snaps in two.

Actress who clawed her way to the top catches reflection in pond; uses nearby backhoe to drain pond.

Woman who married for wealth rather than love looks at photo on driver's license; goes to DMV to ask for new photo.

Politician who has forsaken his grass-roots values discovers potato in shape of own head; mashes it.

Burnt-out rock star looks down at himself during out-of-body experience; refuses to go back in body "until we start seeing some changes around here, mister."

Aging supermodel has plaster cast made of face; backs over it in SUV.

Alcoholic author looks at reflection in a tumbler of Scotch; drinks Scotch; pours another to see if he looks any better in this one.




Had to Share this one Peace to You thanks Ross whoever you are


Cinematic
Expressions of
Inner Self-Loathing
If There Were
No Mirrors
to Smash.

BY ROSS MURRAY

- - - -

Junkie jazz singer sees self in back of spoon; uses clairvoyant powers to bend it until it snaps in two.

Actress who clawed her way to the top catches reflection in pond; uses nearby backhoe to drain pond.

Woman who married for wealth rather than love looks at photo on driver's license; goes to DMV to ask for new photo.

Politician who has forsaken his grass-roots values discovers potato in shape of own head; mashes it.

Burnt-out rock star looks down at himself during out-of-body experience; refuses to go back in body "until we start seeing some changes around here, mister."

Aging supermodel has plaster cast made of face; backs over it in SUV.

Alcoholic author looks at reflection in a tumbler of Scotch; drinks Scotch; pours another to see if he looks any better in this one.



Thursday, March 24, 2005



Escape!
Originally uploaded by enthogenesis.

this is a typical daily notice in 'Arab news', there's a flood of khawaja's (white westerners) running away screaming from this country....

they can't believe what they got themselves into, it's amuzing that the company uses a word we use for Prison inmates....indeed it's how many companies view their 'valued' employees.....well paid slaves is a more appropriate term

Salams!




Friday, March 18, 2005



sunspiral
Originally uploaded by enthogenesis.

Peace

my desktop at the moment, it's the best I've had so far, another vision of Light City from brother Tae...sorry he's instructed me to keep the rez down

love to animate it with him somehow for a short film called Endoplasmic Conjecture, I'll post it here soon




Sunday, February 27, 2005



Entho1flyerwebcontents
Originally uploaded by enthogenesis.

for your interest aaand edification ... quite a night!




Wednesday, February 16, 2005


Peace & Blessings to All,

In lieu of uninteresting news just 50+ hours a week teaching.....totally draining but I'm coffeed up enough today to let this rip

An account of one of the best dreams I've ever had, that I found scribbled on a piece of notepaper from Dec 2001, at culmination of my first ever month long fast of Ramadan

I hadn't fully embraced Islam, it was more like 'solidarity with the Muslims month', an experiment to see what it was all about...

It was a gift from the Beloved, as I perceive it. A reward for my 1st ever sacred month of denial of my desire, at the time I was experiencing a lot of psychic phenomena and it was becoming strangely normal

Although all that's tapered off in these sober Saudi days of acquiring basic rank & file spiritual disciplines

It's something I'd like to share....here's what I wrote or thereabouts:

~

"A stupendous dream, to be sure, an account no less of man's seeming emergence out of waking conciousness into something so, so BEYOND that which is, already, a waking miracle......there is no speech to do it justice but I shall try...

Presented in supra wide screen infinite rez, direct to consciousness InfiniteScope, rich Transcolour: richer even! Played as a slickly directed & produced Heavenlywood blockbluster, segues, dissolves, jumpcuts......tailored in style to my personal taste

FADE UP

To a desolate rocky landscape, with me, wandering the land, dressed very simply, almost in skins. I was aware I was one of several sons of a travelling nomad family, but they were no where to be seen.....

I was known as the deep-thinking one, prone to meandering off by myself into some surrounding hills to sit upon a large rock under trees, perplexed with it all

.....you know, trying to make sense of my life when all of a sudden I noticed a 'Gandalf' wizened one 'type', descending a narrow gorge nearby to my right, that I hadn't noticed before

Fascinated I jumped down & made my approach, when I got close I saw that he was suspended in a strange trance underneath the roots of a tree that had wrapped themselves around him, in this position he was morphing & trembling in & out of space/time....: I had just met the Teacher

After an indeterminate period, and some subliminal instruction I began to notice that with a little concentration I could change my sense perception of the space surround my head, a higher resolution richly coloured 'reality' would start to literally crystallize out of the air, swarming with scarlet red, glittering facets, a seeming 'truer' more real place that i had never imagined but I was unable to sustain it & it would condense & collapse, the exact details have faded here but I remember The Teacher smiling 'that's the way', I re-attempted and immediately 'crystallised' a large spectacularly resolved area about my person, literally entering upon an entire other Universe bound up within, the rough almost black & white, high grain, low res excuse for that which we called reality

I was able to 'condense' my way up to even higher levels, strange kaleidoscopes of fantastical 'disney' like doorways to bizzare incomprehensible places with swirling violet, red & yellows, glittering, then amorphous globular weird aesthetic forms, each of which I got to know.. then fading....

SEGUE

Back with my 'brothers' in the desolate rocky wasteland, somehow they too were aware of this strange phenomenon and one could crystallise just a little bubble of the first level, then looked at me pleased and unaware of what I knew to this point, so I said 'oh yeah you mean like this......?'

.......and I summoned as much energy as I was capable of and literally blew away time & space as they knew it in an instant.

Somehow I had jumped a whole new level in this 'window' opening and they were standing there stupefied with me, before a giant creamy white staircase and a huge crystal floor with doors or portals starting on this level and continuing up the staircase it was as real if not REALER than as you are reading the page right now in front of your computer.

The colours were so deep, the features so resolved, so tangible: I knew at this point that I had manifested this reality (to my perception at the time: in fact God (Almighty) Is the One Who Manifests) up to level 22 or 23. I was also aware that they're were many more beyond that.....

Smooth, rich unbroken sheets of deep red, vermilion and azure blues on transparent faceted surfaces that transformed & ballooned open if I focussed hard enough.

The stairwell was glowing white, with almost the feeling of rendered plastic but it wasn't, there were little stages on the way up each stage had the recognisable portals to the very strange worlds on the other side. You could see the liquid amorphous intensely coloured shapes rotating within & beyond. At one level it really was like looking in at an amazing, yet to be conceived amusement park.

At this point my brothers and I were suspended from exploring this place and we ended up all of a sudden, in a large conference room, like in the UN, but a lot more modern with various types of bizarre creatures at each desk: little humanoids in plastic liquid vials, fat bespectacled, furry entities & other non-humans with wide faces & lots of hair all shouting in their desk microphones “ me! Me! Me!”

Coordinating all of this in the middle of the room and controlling the voting process were these clean cut, handsome professionally suited men & women, with radio/mic headsets attached to their heads( worker Angels?), there was a moment of intense buzzing & then they voted:

“it's ADAM!” seeemd to chorus from the center of the room, he was unanimously chosen to be the 'one', and they all turned strangely to peer my way…they were all talking about me!

My virtues were extolled and displayed to all the other living things in the room, how I could concentrate focus & expand space-time & higher realities…..I was to be the Custodian for the Earth!

wha.......? then before it had time to sink in or what it really meant

It all FADED OUT

and I was awakened by my cat Sushi leaping onto my chest

Crystal clear, emphatically real: it was marked out immediately as something abnormal

and

Praise Be To God(The Enlightener) Who Maketh It All So



Monday, January 31, 2005



Najrany Scripts
Originally uploaded by enthogenesis.

from the Ukhdood museum, Najran, Saudi Arabia....I found this fascinating, thanks to my friend Tim Gaze who sparked an interest in all things calligraphic (click through for a higher res version in detail)

see

http://www.lulu.com/content/88921

salams!






Najrany Scripts
Originally uploaded by enthogenesis.

from the Ukhdood museum, Najran, Saudi Arabia....I found this fascinating, thanks to my friend Tim Gaze who sparked an interest in all things calligraphic (click through for a higher res version in detail)

see

http://www.lulu.com/content/88921

salams!




Saturday, January 15, 2005


'A meeting with the remarkable Tim Winter otherwise known Sh Abdal Hakim Murad'


Salams To All!

mmm raining carts & dogs would you believe, with oodles of fog in Saudi Arabia!

can't make to Yemen as hoped for Eid-Al Adha, due to the destiny of the Beloved, I was unable to get the required paperwork to organize an exit-visa, in any case 6 days for Yemen is not doing it justice. She awaits another time. Godwilling!

So off to Yami(tribe) territory ie Najran I go, rock art a plenty there, a world heritage site I believe, then on to strange & isolated places in my car I hope, perhaps Sulilail to try & meet some Rasheed qabilah (tribe) ( the famous tribe who knew the sands of the Rub AlKhayliyat like no other people in Arabia)

Anyway here it is, as promised, forgive the seperate links as for some reason I've lost the ability to hyperlink words from within blogger (& helas! the formatting has been also lost!)

A meeting with the remarkable Tim Winter otherwise known as

************** Sh Abdal-Hakim Murad******************


It was the 2nd time now, by the Grace of God, I’d been granted some precious time with this most erudite of English Brothers and I use a big B for a reason, last minute too, for there are few to have the ear of this secular Island nation via the BBC and as a Anglo Muslim (the other no doubt being the redoubtable Sh Hamza Yusuf ).

I’d been in Cambridge just a few days earlier visiting the happy house of my gifted friend Dr Matthew Cooper and family & had shot off an email to the esteemed Sheikh while there, to see if he had time:

------------------------------------------------------
Date: Sat, 20 Nov 2004 22:42:48 +0000
Subject: Fwd: cascading monisms

Dear Sheikh Tim,

May The Peace, Grace & Blessings of God Be Upon Thee!

this is Mahdi(Matthew), the Australian brother who came to see you last year....

Hope you're healthy & fighting fit………..back from Saudi for my holiday, again I'm heading to Cambridge to seefriends and would be delighted if I could invite you for a coffee orlunch while I'm there ( fadl fadl!....you did say keep in touch!) as I'd also like to discuss the possibility of arranging a visit for you, to
Australia sometime, to inspire & inform the far flung brothers & sisters (and non Muslims!) over there...inshallah....

I was surprised to see that you were interviewed
on ABC Radio, earlier in the year, there is a journalist interested in
Islam for Radio National, he obviously knows of you

It would be great to crack that open a little more

I'm leaving for NYork then on to Aus on Wednesday, hope to
catch you before then Godwilling
Big Salams

Mahdi
---------------------------------------------------

Although it was the weekend, I trusted in God (Exalted Be He!) and while I’d heard nothing, the next day after my return to London, I received a prompt reply the Monday morning he’d arrived to his office:

----------------------------------
Date: Mon, 22 Nov 2004 09:07:39 +0000

Dear Mahdi.

And upon you too. I'm sorry to have missed you on Saturday. I try to fast
from emails over the weekend. But perhaps you could come by en route to
Australia? What a gift it is to be young.

With salams and best wishes,

Abdal Hakim
--------------------------------

Although I was to catch a flight to New York the next day, it was my last chance. I quickly mailed back, we agreed a time and I jumped a slow train running and breathless, from KingsX’s platform 11, to that most ancient English institution of combined, unfathomable lore, Cambridge University.

The air was crisp, breath clouds trailing all those walking under the open the grey skies & over an hour later, I arrived early to the new, elegant building housing the faculty of Divinity, where a soft natural light flows throughout, and it was right.

I did my best to hide my nervousness for one never wants to appear a fool before such an intimidating intellect, calming myself, I worked my way to his humble office. On his wooded door, a little sign if I remember rightly reads “T.Winter”, no doctor prefix, a curious exception from all the other heavily lettered names on the preceding signs on the portals to the various esteemed divine scholars, lining the corridor.

I remember asking him on my previous visit how many languages he spoke, he was very humble & almost embarrassed in response but I believe it’s Arabic, Persian, Turkish, French, Spanish & Portuguese and of course his very own inimitable, hyper-articulate Queen’s English.

I heard a soft murmuring within, and I knocked, a voice burbled yes? I opened it & there he was, looking grave, and thin, blue eyes blazing. I offered my salams, he salaamed me in turn & indeed he was busy with a student and asked me to give him a couple of minutes, I mumbled something in agreement and closed the door. There’s a little chair outside his office and I know Sh Naeem Abdul Wali, (Gary Edwards) uses it & I know loves anecdotes about meetings with Sh Abdal Hakim but it was past time for Asr, the chair could wait for some other lucky soul. So downstairs, in one of the raw conference rooms, I performed my sacred duty with thanks for this opportunity and returned.

He welcomed me this time, alone, and patiently, sat me down, I fumbled to open my back pack but managed to pull out a gift, I’d brought from Bedu Land, a wizra or sarong-like kilt the Qhatani tribes wear here, on the hilly Tihama of the lower Asir,(in the back of the picture above) it was accepted gravely and I was struck at his absorption in immediate thought, whatever his mind was processing I was thankful for whatever attention he was using of it.

He was graciously restrained and awaiting my questions, for this is indeed, a traditional and sacred duty for all the Ulu’ama, to receive he or she who is seeking knowledge of the All Transcendent One(Exalted Be He!), to whom, they themselves have devoted their lives, in the study of.

[The following is an earnest attempt to capture that meeting & share with those who may benefit so please forgive disjointed passages as I am working from bad notes. I was forgetful enough not to realize the importance of bringing a recording device!]

So we began with me asking him about the lack of the Dr prefix and if he had actually finished his PhD?

The Sheikh said, surprisingly, that it was not a requirement at Cambridge for teaching staff to have doctorates! (and) he would be attempting to finish it late January…remnants from an ancient past when such titles & pieces of paper didn’t mean much if the academic community knew you knew. It made sense.

I then asked about his Memorization of the Holy Qur’an, he said he’s memorized only a couple of Juz (2/30ths) and that he makes it a priority to try & learn a new Surah every time he visits a new Mosque, an excellent discipline & something I decided I would also try to implement.

To my inquiry about his own ingestion of Arabic & whether he needed still to translate back to English, to get to the heart of the meaning....he said, & quite frankly, no, he dreams in Arabic!

How I've a long road to tread in this regard! Happily, it's a blessed one. Indeed, in climbing or cycling the tall mountain, how sweet it is when you get to the top!

Surah 90, Al Balad

11. Fala iqtahama alAAaqabata

YUSUFALI: But he hath made no haste on the path that is steep.

12. Wama adraka ma alAAaqabatu?

YUSUFALI: And what will explain to thee the path that is steep?-

~

I had been amazed, in his work, about the great density of his annotative notes in his articles, for example “The Four Madhabs” {an astonishing read!}

& I asked, how he does it?

He was characteristically humble and mentioned he simply uses reference cards and notes as he goes along, & he finds that often, these notes develop into future articles or projects....

...and many they are (for a selection of his more accessible articles, essays & reflections)

On my previous visit I’d thanked him for writing it (ie “The Four Madhabs“) mentioning that I’d learned more about them in an hour or two of reading this short tour de force than I had in my previous couple of years being a Muslim! He’d replied with a brush of his hand that everything within it was freely available & published elsewhere, and as I’ve begun to notice, dismissive of his own efforts.

Being a (previously) frustrated filmmaker, I was eager to learn of the status of the dramatized documentary about Imam Ghazali’s life (Al Ghazali - the Alchemist of Happiness Great Britain, 78’, by Ovidio Salazar. Documentary, in English.) that he had been working on a year ago with the afore mentioned director he said, it was finished and was screening currently!

I talked a little further of my situation in Saudi being in the Asir & the backward mentality of the people, since it’s on record that he’d spent 3 years in Jeddah running a translating house. He listened to what I had to say & commented that it seems very barren and strongly advised me to leave straight away! (advice that I 'll be able to afford to consider in 3 months from now!)

I then, asked if he made many friends while he was in the KSA & he remarked with a smile that Saudis generally don’t really have friends, it’s their extended family whom they see most often, I erupted in laughter in recognition of this fact. Although true, there are, of course, exceptions abounding in this, richer than first glance, multi-tiered Kingdom.

He suggested why didn’t I study at the ANU or The Zaytuna Institute, Syria or I even think in Cordoba?

Excellent options but of course I’ve my long and sometimes frustrating goal of shooting “The 64 Squares” that I have been trying to make for many years and must accomplish for me to move on to such intensive study, as much as I would love to.

We moved on-to the utter confusion of our times, and he told me not to worry, I’m not alone in being confused & that the Prophet (SAW) had said, during the coming times of fitna to ’break your sword & cut your bowstring’ , ie ‘do nothing’, is entirely Halal!

It suprised me, I've not heard this advice from any scholar, not that I can understand much arabic in full blown linguistic streams yet.

Although remember coming across this somewhere and it does clear a certain anguish in the heart, in particular the kind that oozes form these dark days when so called, self-styled ‘mujahideen’ Islamic radicals, kidnap Europeans & Americans, threaten and then actually slowly hack their heads off with large knives and post it on the Internet for all to see. May God (All Exalted) Have Mercy upon their souls.

~

Now one of my intentions in seeing him was to try & arrange a speaking tour of Australia but when I mentioned this, he told me he had just been! Darn!

He had taken part in a multi-faith dialogue in Sydney & Melbourne but hadn’t visited Adelaide but when I mentioned it as the home of the oldest brick Mosque in Australia, he paused for a moment & his hands flew in the air & he was up & behind me in a snap and precisely retrieved a book amidst the thousands lining his small office, entitled 'The Muslims in Australia: A Brief History’ by Bilal Clelland (see on the right column, 3rd down) with the dear old mosque, on the cover staring back at me!


He’s done this few times before I’ve noticed, when he’s not absolutely sure he’ll pull the exact reference out of mass of books in a matter of seconds and present it to you, it’s humbling.

As he did for my query about a study done about more Muslims attending mosques today in Britain than Anglicans attending church(!) Even though he’s alluded to this fact in his “British Muslim Identity” (not yet on the web), he expressed some uncertainty on the exact figures & almost leapt out of his chair over my head & pulled out the exact newspaper clipping where this was mentioned and just sat back & stared at me, still, almost as if you could have found it yourself only if you'd been focussed enough......

Mmm, what else: oh yes I remember re-expressing my frustration with the Arabic language and subsequent difficulty memorizing & reciting the Qur’an like a parrot (ie not understanding it) and the consequent wandering of my concentration in prayer. He somewhat, forcefully interjected and assured me, with a deep conviction, that the inability to understand what is recited absolutely does not preclude the means of blessings, benefit and approaching nearer to God, thereby!

I knew this but nevertheless this reminder helped dispel some of my dismay about this issue when re-iterated by him, particularly when he quoted: (I know not who from)

the bride is veiled and love which is impatient, does not get to see her charms...”

" .....The Qur’an,......." he said, using a Christian metaphor,

” is like the Eucharist, it is taken into the body. The Divine word is great and heavy. It is effective as a sign of salvation, merely, to learn it!

Indeed, the physiological metaphor of digestion, is beautiful and as I had not pondered this before, it stuck deep & engendered silence, (& let the digestion be accomplished!)

I talked to him, then of my frustration among my non-Muslim friends when we ventured to matters of religion and the utter uselessness of arguing and of attack that I find myself under, often all of a sudden, as I had found a few days earlier while invited to lunch by my Italian hostess and then was surreptitiously accused through her comment, at the table, as to how could women be treated so disgustingly badly in Muslim countries? With that tsking & tilt of the head....I know it well

Many western Muslim converts who keep up relations with their non-Muslims friends would be no doubt be very familiar with this line of contention.

With my own prior predilection for arguing he (amongst those who know me, I used to disguise it under the rubric of a ‘ greek dialectic’), told me, it's best simply to remove yourself for such people! ha

Like the wise chinese sage & his followers when confronted by an overturned cart & horse in a lane way, asked him, "master what shall we do?"

he said, " take the other way"

it stares at you in the face, wisdom & indeed it's hard to recognize in times of stress

Upon reflection, it is easier said than done when you are brought & trapped with a friend’s transport & would make a scene by leaving so abruptly without them, it would be perceived as a sign of immaturity. A wise reminder in a wider context, nonetheless.

However, I asked him how he coped with the inevitable disputes that would no doubt easily arise in his faculty amongst so many of the extremely learned...?

Actually, he said, he cultivates, somewhat, the air of the detached Cambridge don and doesn’t get into such disputes.

There was a light, (dare I say, wry?) smile, accompanying, as I remember.

Things get a little hazy here but I have a comment I noted, where he mentioned “Arabs are not the chosen people” and it was in relation to a observation he had made that ‘Arabs’ are not mentioned once in the Qur’an!

I was uncertain about this but he was re-iterating the universality of the message of God to me and I felt, personally, perhaps commenting on the unconscious superiority complexes that many Arabs have about their Islam not only in the west but also in their respective countries. Certainly I have met them, a plenty, as a new Muslim, spending time in the mosques of Adelaide and abroad.

I mentioned my travel itinerary and he quite helpfully offered me some contacts in Australia, including the Turkish Sheikh & Nashqbandi, Sh Asad Goshad, who I learned, on arrival in Melbourne, had tragically passed away in car accident in Queensland several years earlier.(May God Almighty Forgive him & Grant him Jennah firdous)

I also asked him about some Shuyukh (Sheikhs) whose judgements took into account living in a western societies and whom he thought were worth listening to, for someone like me, and he mentioned: (in no order except as mentioned)

-Shaykh Abdallah bin Bayyah (Mauratania)

-Dr Umar Abdullah (at the Chicago, Nawawi Foundation)

-Sh Zaid Shakir

-Sh Nu Ha Mim Keller (Jordan)

and

-Sh Abu Bahr(?) Besha'ib (London) (still no link to be found 2007)

& gave me his phone number!

After this he reached forth to a bookshelf and extracted some booklets for me, “Islam & The Race Question” by Paul Hardy PhD, “The Concept of Bid`a in the Islamic Shari`a” by Nuh Ha Mim Keller

and his own “British Muslim Identity” published by the Muslim Academic Trust, to which the Sheikh is secretary of, in Cambridge.

He also offered me Imam Abdallah Ibn Alawi Al-Haddad’s “Gifts for the Seeker” which I had already ordered (!) on the Internet but not yet received. (along with the $150 CD of E.W. Lane's Arabic-English Lexicon)

(warning http://www.fonsvitae.com/! (3 years to replace for lost packages is unacceptable!!*(seeking legal avenues to recuperate the money spent as of May, 2007)

I was touched by his generosity, as I had been last time, when he gave me his bright red bound, beautiful translation of Imam Ghazali’s “On Disciplining the Soul & Breaking The Two Desires” books XXII & XXIII of the Revival of The Religious Sciences” (Ilha `ulum al-din)

We finished with the Sheikh affirming the importance of zikr (in particular La Ilaha Illa Lah) against khawatir (whisperings) a particular issue for me, and the significance of salams upon the Prophet and plentiful Istighfars, as a daily habit. Good simple advice that just had extra import when coming from him.

His sincerity in wanting to help in anyway he could was obvious, direct & unaffected and alas, it was time for me to go.

Thank God (the Supreme!) most of my nervousness had passed, and the sun had set, so we prayed Maghrib together in his tiny office, short suras, an extra blessing for me & I took a final photo which you can see here.

He walked me out of the building with a smile, and I mentioned it must feel somewhat satisfying to be working & teaching in this place and you know what? I remember him laughing but I can’t for the life of me, remember his response! Guess, I was kept from any flash of ego from the man.

..with final wishes of salam he was gone

About 5 minutes later, after walking back through King’s College, I curiously & severely sprained my ankle, which has taken until now to heal, since I’ve been pounding the streets in several continents…I wish I knew the reason….had I trespassed? I know not but nonetheless, I felt subjectively at least, blessed to have had this great opportunity.

It was a rush back to London & 2 hours later I hobbled to Shakespeare's Globe to hear the inimitable Sh Hamza, speaking about the sonnets... Islam in Britain! wow! by God it was great to be alive………

& Praise Be To He who Maketh It So!

fi hifz Allah!

wa salams....