Sunday, January 31, 2010

Gambling

I think I posted some time ago about my office and their weekly lottery tickets. They each put in 3$ a week to try to win the jackpot of like 25 million dollars or something. I was the only one not participating, which I was (and of course, still am) perfectly comfortable with. I really don't like gambling, ESPECIALLY this mindless buy-a-ticket get-a-chance type.


I entered an Olympic hockey pool this week. The way this one worked is simply that each person that enters has to predict which teams will receive the gold, silver and bronze and also predict 3 players that will get the most goals or assists. I thought that was fun... I maybe should have just made myself a list for fun and followed my teams and players to know where I'd placed, but I entered the competition. There's a tiny bit of "skill" envolved in knowing which players are doing well, but it's seriously just luck. It's gambling... I've paid 5$ and chosen some teams and players for a chance for a cash prize.

I really hate gambling and I so don't support it! But here I go supporting it by joining! Gah...

I still hope I win though... *blush* I just think I made really good choices on my teams and players. Go Canada!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Where would you move your life to?

Just for fun, I'm wondering where each of you would move your life to if you could. Your job, co-workers and family would stay the same, you'd just be moving the exact thing you do to another city (in the same, or another country). Where would you go?

At my meeting at work the other day, we were joking about moving the office to Cancun, Mexico and then someone else suggested Dubai, UAE (I thought that was interesting!).

In choosing, assume that you keep the same quality apartment/house, same friends and family members around you, and disregard any family members that live in any city. Choose based on the city itself and what it has to offer (ambiance, culture, religion, weather, etc.).

MY CHOICE..... Umm... I love where I live, and I'd probably choose something similar here in Canada but I'd love a place where I can hear the adhan and learn Arabic, and not deal with crappy weather *all the time*, but with the same freedoms (going out when I want and being respected and treated well) and luxuries (lots of parks where my daughter can play and easy access to organized activities). I don't think all these things can be found in a city.

SO... I split my choices.

- Vancouver, Canada
- Alexandria, Egypt
________________
I had to edit because I'm really not convinced with my own choices! Maybe I want to go to Honolulu! It's American (and therefore similar to Canada), but it's got its own culture too, which is interesting to me. And beauty!!

Monday, January 25, 2010

A plan for my future

I've been working at the same place for 2 years now, and it's fine, but I knew from the minute I applied it was not my career. Things in my life brought me to working full time before I had a chance to finish my studies, and I accept that. That's what it is to have responsabilities. It's not about me, it's about what needs to be done! But I still have goals and dreams beyond what my life is now. I'm talking career-wise right now only.

I've wanted to be a foster parent for a while, to help out a child. I don't think I'd want more than one because I don't want to take more than I can handle well. I want to be able to make this child feel as though he or she is part of the family, even if it's for a temporary time, and one sounds like plenty considering how difficult they can be because of what they had to go through.

Of course, this is not what I imagine as a career. It's a lot of work, but to me, it's not a job.

I managed to link this to a career I actually did consider back when I was looking at possible careers as a student. A SOCIAL WORKER! I think this is something I think I would do well, and something I'd be fulfilled doing. I care, but I am a pretty resilient person too, which I think is necessary because of how difficult the situation can be. I have mastered the "put it behind me until I need to deal with it again" technique.

I don't think I'd be able to start studying for another couple years... And it will take 3 years of studying to get the Bachelor's degree, but I feel great having a plan right now. I know which university, and I know what to do until application to make my chances good at being accepted in. I have to have some related experience, which I don't yet have, but if I become a foster parent within the next year, which I plan to, I think that would qualify as experience. And as soon as I feel better, I will call my local volunteer centre to put in a bit of time there each week. I don't have that much time off, but even a couple hours per weekend is a good start.

So even if I might go a totally different direction, it's nice to have something to work towards. :)

Thursday, January 21, 2010

The soul (train of thought continued)

My last post was short and readers of my blog know that's not me to ask a question without adding what I think (often in detail) or adding why I am asking and what made me think of this. I just haven't been feeling well at all lately so I'm often not even well enough to write a full blog post.

I was thinking about the soul... Whether or not it's created "in advance"... I was wondering if any fertilized egg (zygote) has a soul created for it, even if it will not even attach to the wall of the uterus and will not become a full human being. Or is a soul only created for a being Allah knows will live at least to the time the soul gets implanted (which from some opinions is 120 days).

If so, what kind of soul does a zygote that made it to only the early stages have? If the answer was yes, that it had a soul created for it, it would make me think that there is such a thing as reincarnation, whether it's all in this Earthly life or another life. I don't think there are answers, but it's still something I think about for a short time.

Any more thoughts on this?

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The soul

What is your understanding of souls?

The way I see it, they are everything that makes us "us" other than our physical body, which I see as our "vessel" in some ways. The container for our soul. A very beautiful, amazingly-made and oh-so useful container though, let me say. The soul, though, is what I see as the most essential part of who we are. We wouldn't be able to live this life without our bodies, of course, and so they work together in perfection for that period of time, but seeing the big picture, it's the soul that is important.

I wonder:

Are souls created in advance, or are they created when they are ready to be given out to the person?

Monday, January 18, 2010

Haiti

Let's continue to keep the people of Haiti in our prayers...

I just donated today because I didn't get around to it last week when this happened. I considered Islamic Relief and the Canadian Red Cross. In the end, because of the Canadian government matching any donation up to 50 million dollars made to the major Canadian charities, I chose to donate through the Canadian Red Cross. I figured my donation was worth more there.

I'm glad to have discovered Islamic Relief and will keep this one in mind next time I want to donate something.

I am pretty frustrated right now. My co-worker was playing a game on Facebook and made a comment along the lines of being sick of hearing about Haiti everywhere she turns (like in her game). Yes, it's on the news a lot and all over the web, but these people still need our help even if we've been hearing about it for a week! Why can't we take these reminders to feel for these people, pray for these people, donate even more and just realize how much we have and how we take it for granted? I hate to see people annoyed over seeing others suffer.

Friday, January 8, 2010

My very own custom religion

I've always held the position that I didn't approve of picking and choosing elements of a religion and following only what you like. I still don't, really, but in a way, I am doing just that. I am finding a way to fit everything into my Islam, even if, as I've been open about, I don't agree with lots of things in "traditional" Islam. I thought hard on what Islam really was and to me, the main element was always the Qur'an. I needed to believe in the Qur'an as the word of God, or I couldn't be Muslim. I found that belief, so I found it acceptable to become Muslim.


I was never convinced about salat though, however much I love the ritual and think it's a great way to do just what it's meant to do: glorify God and keep a contact with God. Being a bit more on the "Qur'an only" side of Islam (and NOT Code 19), I could not find the belief that salat as 5 daily contact prayers was obligatory. I reasoned that it might not be obligatory to do it the Muslim way, but that rituals were just there to regulate us in our worship and were useful. So although it was not obligatory, not doing it resulted in not doing something that in the end was obligatory. Don't know if that made sense. It does to me even now. But this point of view makes it harder to get up and do the prayers than believing it's "bad deeds" to not do them (rather than just good deeds for doing them with a possibility of bad deeds for some cumulative lack).

So that was mostly an example of something I am in a way adding to my customized Islam. It's still "OK" for me since it can fall in my definition of Islam, and I am always very careful to be honest with myself, but I am still changing Islam to what I need it to be for me to be Muslim. Since the beginning I was honest with myself about that, but the focus was elsewhere.

I just wanted to put the focus on it now, right here. For those who didn't notice.

I'm tired... Gotta go straight to bed. Thanks for anyone who read and tried to get what I was saying.

Labels and definitions

We use words to communicate and these words need to have a meaning associated to them, or else they'd just be babble. BUT, not every word is so very clear and easy to define. I made a post a while ago about what a Muslim is. Some would say it's anyone who wants to call himself a Muslim who is a Muslim (for example someone from a Muslim family who does not necessarily practice or believe, but holds onto that label because it's part of them somehow). Others think it's anyone who believes in the Qur'an and Muhammad. Others feel it's anyone who submits to what they believe to be the will of God. Others think it's a person who believes and follows a very specific interpretation of the Qur'an and Hadiths (and that a different interpretation makes a person no longer be Muslim).

It's infuriating when people don't understand that there are different views by different people. And it's frustrating when people argue, knowing that they are not even working with the same definitions! Of course you will never agree, you are talking about two different things! I think at that point, it's always best to stop right there. I try to understand the person's point of view, tell them that I understand, but that I disagree and that that's that!

BTW, this post is also for myself. It can be hard to just agree to disagree when you feel there's a chance the person will change their definition to your/my (superior*, lol) definition.

*Of course I think I'm right or else I wouldn't think it. I'm always open to other ideas though and I often have high respect for other opinions that are different than mine. But sometimes I just don't and that's where it gets frustrating.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Agnostic Muslim

This is what I consider myself, after thinking about it a bit. I don't think there is any way to know if there is or isn't a God, but I personally believe there is. And I believe in Islam. Any other Muslims or theists out there consider themselves agnostic?

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