2009 in a few words

Oh long overdue. I know

So since Juiceegals 'stock take' post, I thought I needed one too.

I don't do new year resolutions. I don't believe in them, more because I don't hold the means to make them happen, well this only applies to my own resolutions, I have lofty dreams. I have dreams and hopes and I can only pray that they come true. So anyways an account of this year.

I started this year with a big dream, to see the end of my degree. To some, it's not a big deal. To me it was as I had so many hurdles and hitches along the way, right up to weeks before. But now, I can only be thankful for getting to the end. It was worth the effort. I believe that, for me to have seen the end, God does have plans for me.

I started the year a happy person. Mid year saw the peak of this. You know like the movies, where halfway through is the climax. Yep! That's exactly how I was. All of a sudden, it all took a drastic turn downhill. The speed it all happened was overwhelming but they say when life throws you lemons, you make lemonade out of it. Rather, I chose to dwell on the sourness of these lemons. How I got out of it, I have no idea. But I'm glad I did.

Moving on, once again this year, I made new friends, mostly bloggers, a few random ones and got closer to already known ones. I must say that of all these, I can count a few that I'd still want to be acquainted with. Why? I've found that my view on people has made me become sort of a recluse. People are entirely different and unfortunately there are some differences that I can't deal with. I believe there are certain attitudes that I believe people should have. You know? those that go without saying. I find that many are fake and I can't deal with fake people. I can't deal with insensitive people. That's just me being naive, I'm sure there are worse but, I hope I don't have to deal with it all

This year, I planned on moving home. But as God will have it, plans change and as such, I've resorted to moving on with life here. When the time comes for me to head home, I surely will.

Every year, I pray to God for a better relationship with Him. I pray mostly for continuity in my faith. It's one thing to have faith, it's another to carry on with it. I've had so many downs and I must say the last few days have seen a sharp decline in my faith. I haven't said my prayers as I should and when I remember to, I don't. Tonight, as with many others, I will say special prayers, most especially for my faith, for me to build on it and be stronger than I am.

This time next year, I want to reflect on 2010 and still be thankful for progress made. I still have a long way to go and I still have one more hurdle to cross before I feel completeness in it's entirety. When that's done, life can truly begin for me and all other things will follow suit.

Some say what's the big deal with a new year? Isn't just another day? Surely it is, but it still marks 12 months since you last saw the 31st of December. So if anything, let's all be thankful

And That's my very undetailed recap of 2009. I wish you my blog family a very happy new year. Let's make 2010 another great year for ourselves

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

A little Clarity

Having heard so much about the Vera show, I followed the link on Fabulola's post about the whole Ray Ray fad (Now I don't look stupid on twitter anymore when they are ranting over it) and clicked on the latest show.

Anyways, not to digress and make it quick, I downloaded the latest show, 'Christmas gifts that should' or so its called and Vera co-hosted with Funmi. The topic was on Christmas gifts and somehow they veered into 'Sallah' and how Muslims celebrate.

First off, this is not a hate post. If you think it is, please kindly take the Northern line to Waterloo and jump off Waterloo Bridge.

I'd just like to clarify a few things, to people who are perhaps in the same school of thought as Funmi. Please bear in mind I have paused the show, so I cant even tell if these were her thoughts when she was growing up or if she still holds them now. So it stemmed from what she said, but has nothing to do with her.
But for some who'd rather not seek a clearer explanation or for those that just don't know, here is a little about Islam's festivals, just so you know and can at least be informed. At least, in primary school I was bombarded with C.R.K and can tell the Nativity story better than some Christians would, so why not?

Speaking of which, let me digress a little. My sister was listening to BBC Radio 4 the other day and she said that on one of the shows, the host said quite whimsically that he went to his daughter's Christmas school play: the nativity story and after he came out, he said to himself, "that was the story of Jesus, but there was no Jesus in it". I had to laugh at that.

Okay back to the point. The Festivals are called Eid and the suffix usually denotes which Eid it is. Eid ul Fitri is the one right after the month of Ramadan when Muslims have fasted for 30 days and Eid ul Kabir is the one where the Ram is Slaughtered.

As you may be aware, we go to the prayer ground in multitudes, those practicing and those who don't: that's the day you know your neighbour is muslim because he is dressed in his best clothes and headed for the National stadium (for those in Surulere, Lagos). We go there to perform a special Eid Prayer, thanking God for seeing another Sallah day. Let's just say its the same way Christians head for Church on Easter and Christmas days.

In Islam, there are many ways to secure God's mercies, most are detailed in the Quran and Hadith and some are just the daily doctrines and ethics that we all should know with 'common sense'. The fasting for example is significant in so many ways. For one, it helps to improve your relationship with God. You are meant to cleanse yourself physically (avoid eating junk) and mentally. Devoid yourself of all forms of sin for those 30days, in the hope that once the 30days are over, you will carry on in that manner. Further, it is for us, as Muslims, to put ourselves in the shoes of the needy, however we decide to define them. There are many whose lives are austere and do not have the opportunity to have 3 square meal, let alone access to drinking water. With this, we are meant to be thankful to Allah for all that we have and as we have 'walked in their shoes', we can be more accommodating to them and most of all, get closer to God. Before the 30days are over, we offer a mandatory share of our wealth (zakat) to the said group of people, however much we can afford (as it is according to your earning) in order that they may be happy on the Eid day as well and have enough to celebrate with just like you are.

Eid ul Kabir on the other hand, signifies the sacrifice that Ibrahim (Abraham) made to Allah in place of his son. Once again, it is for us to be thankful to Allah for the things He has done for us. What if, in this day and age, sons need to be sacrificed and for some reason we all (both Christians and Muslims) still followed it, would we all be happy? No?? (I'm just saying though, I bet, if that existed, it wont be condoned, so don't quote me on that) What I'm saying is that the slaughtering of the Ram is meant to put us in the state of mind that Ibrahim was in those days and help us to feel remorse and be Thankful for where we are today. So it is in no way 'A TABOOED OFFERING' neither is it a sacrificial lamb to appease some god.

More :

During the celebration of Eid al-Adha, Muslims commemorate and remember Abraham's trials, by themselves slaughtering an animal such as a sheep, camel, or goat. This action is very often misunderstood by those outside the faith.

Allah has given us power over animals and allowed us to eat meat, but only if we pronounce His name at the solemn act of taking life. Muslims slaughter animals in the same way throughout the year. By saying the name of Allah at the time of slaughter, we are reminded that life is sacred.

As with regards to Muslims praying some prayer before we kill the animal, that is what makes it befitting for us to eat. It means we bear in mind that Allah has created these animals and though they are provided for us to feed on, we are not supposed to suck the air out of them or kill them however they are done in some abattoirs. It makes it haram (forbidden) for us to eat.

The Halal Food Authority further explains this:

  • .... require animals to be alive and healthy at the time of slaughter, since carrion is forbidden and, jugular vein, carotid artery and windpipe have to be severed by a razor sharp knife by a single swipe, to incur as less a pain as possible.
  • All the flowing blood) must be drained out of the carcass, as blood is forbidden (Quran 6 V145
  • Forbidden is an animal that has been killed by strangling or by a violent blow, or by a headlong fall

I hope this gives enough clarity. If you have other questions please feel free to visit credible sources wherever you may please.

Its for my sake, so that I am not called what I'm not and for your sake, to not sound ignorant in public.

PS: Regardless, I think back home, Muslims and Christians celebrate together more than anywhere else I've been. Do the British know what Eid is? Let alone give us a holiday.
Oh Please dont make me laugh.

Trust me?

I'm sure loads of people have stressed this topic and opinions are saturated on this front. But I got thinking lately, on how trust is generated, maintained and possibly lost.

When people say 'oh that girl is so trustworthy', what do they mean? She can be trusted to deliver? Or she can be trusted with a secret? Does it mean you have faith in the person? Or you just believe that the person has your back wherever you or they may be? How is trust quantified?

In relationships, we talk about trust being the foundation of a good relationship and when it starts to waver, then we say that there seems to be a problem.

Trust is a human attribute, agreed?

So why then is a 'trustworthy' person given extra props if its meant to be an attribute that we all should have. It's just like those who argue that Fashola shouldnt be given extra credit for his work in Lagos state, because its his job anyway. Same goes for why should a person be given lofty praises when we are all supposed to be trustworthy. Would you compliment someone for breathing? I think not.

Its been dancing around in my head what other people's definitions of trust is? By that definition, what then does the said individual have to do before they lose that trust?

I ask because recently, I have been let down by many and I'm beginning to think if I have the meaning of trust misconstrued. I believe that when I trust people, they will not hurt me in anyway. When they do, they are honest and apologetic about it. Or at the very least accepting of the situation, even if no extra effort is made to rectify it, as the damage has been done already.

So whats your definition of trust?