Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Say Hello To Irshad Manji's Partners in Crime

Someone I know recently sent me this article:

"ONTARIO, Jan. 22 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- There is a growing and forceful campaign by CAIR and other Islamist organizations in Canada to silence the free speech of Zachariah Anani and undermine his legitimacy as a Canadian citizen, by calling for his arrest and deportation. Anani is a former terrorist-militant, a refugee from Lebanon and Muslim convert to Christianity. CAIR, an organization which claims to be the voice of moderation, should be embracing Anani's message against violence and the dangers of extremism instead of mounting a witch hunt against him.

It is no wonder that CAIR is attacking Anani, as it has been documented that many of the leaders of CAIR have openly supported the positions of Hamas, Hizballah and al-Queda -- all recognized terrorist organizations.

Recently, Anani spoke on the dangers of radical extremism at a church in Ontario. A backlash ensued, with CAIR and other Islamist groups pressuring political leaders to throw Anani and his family out of the country. Two members of Parliament, and one member of City Council joined the mayor of Windsor in denouncing Anani. None of these political officials, however, attended the lecture or even watched a video of it. The content of Anani's speech was almost exclusively from passages he read directly from the Koran.

Wally Chafchak, a member of the Windsor Police Services Board and the Windsor Islamic Association, is leading the charge to have Anani arrested. According to Arab American News of Michigan, CAIR Canada is also calling for Anani's arrest.
In the Criminal Code there is a section that deals with spreading hatred in the community, Chafchak said. This instance should fall under those laws. Justice can only be served if this person is charged.

But Walid Shoebat, a former terrorist from the West Bank, believes silencing Anani is a dangerous trend with far reaching implications for the future of Canadian and eventually US freedoms.

"Incarcerating or deporting a former terrorist who wants to warn the world about extremism will set a dangerous precedence for Canada," Shoebat says. "Instead of censoring free speech, CAIR should be encouraging Muslims to embrace Canadian culture, as other groups have, and not try to change it in a way that will censor the freedoms Canadians have fought and died for."

Shoebat believes that CAIR and other Islamist organizations should join Anani in encouraging Muslims to speak out against terrorism and the killing, raping, forced conversion, mutilation and other acts of violence perpetrated by Jihadist groups worldwide against non-Muslims.

On Tuesday, January 30th at 7:00 p.m., Walid Shoebat, Zachariah Anani and Kamal Saleem, all former terrorists, will speak at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.
M.Sliwa Public Relations, 973-272-2861 or msliwa@msliwa.com
SOURCE Walid Shoebat Foundation"

Related to this article:
CAIR-CAN: Pastor Regrets Fiery WordsDespite public outcry, controversial lecture series will continue
Source: Windsor Star


The pastor of a Windsor Baptist church that held an anti-Islamic lecture last week says he could have chosen his words more carefully when he prepared promotional pamphlets for the series he titled The Deadly Threat of Islam, which prompted hate crime allegations.

Pastor Donald McKay, who heads the 350-member Campbell Baptist Church on Wyandotte Street West, said Tuesday he did not anticipate the lecture, delivered by self-proclaimed former terrorist and Christian convert Zachariah Anani, would generate so much controversy and media scrutiny.
"(The pamphlets) absolutely could have been worded differently," he said. "We're not interested ... in causing unnecessary polarization. I did not think this would have the type of media backlash that it has."
More than 120 people, including members of Windsor's Muslim community, packed the church last Thursday to hear Lebanese-born Anani -- who is not a member of the congregation -- say that Islam is a religion of war being brought to Canadian soil. He also said that Islam teaches "ambushing, seizing and slaying" of non-believers, especially Christians and Jews. Many attendees challenged Anani's views in a heated debate.

Members of the Windsor Islamic Association have filed a formal complaint with the Canadian Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), which has sent letters to Ontario Attorney General Michael Bryant asking for a prompt investigation into Anani's lectures under Canada's hate crimes legislation.

This is yet another one of those things that make us Muslims groan in frustration and weep in despair.
On one hand, these are more people who are actively campaigning against Islam and Muslims (however much they're trying to disguise it by saying that they're just 'fighting against terrorism and fundamentalism'). These are more people who are being invited onto CNN to talk about the big bad Muslims and our quest for world domination (our goal being, of course, to turn the entire planet into a gigantic Islamic State). These are more people spreading lies about Islam, creating more hatred against Islam and Muslims, and deflecting attention from the true crimes of violence and terrorism being perpetuated worldwide against Muslims.

On the other hand, whenever we Muslims try to protest, we're told that we're "Jihadist/ Islamist/ Wahhabi spokesmen" and nobody listens to us - or if they do, it's only so that they can take our words and twist them so that they can re-broadcast it, only in a way that doesn't reflect our original words in the first place.

So... what do we do?

Violently reacting against these people does absolutely no good - as we've seen over and over, if anyone reacts violently by threatening the people in question, or attacks them, then we are just giving them more power because then they say, "You see? We're right! These Muslims know nothing except killing and forcing others to conform to their beliefs!"

I have concluded that the only things we can really do to counteract the evil that is being spread in regards to us to simply continue living our lives as good Muslims and good citizens. Simple acts, such as leaving a small inexpensive yet thoughtful gift at our neighbours' doorstep are the first steps for positive Da'wah - Umm Yusuf at Muslim Motherhood (http://muslimmotherhood.blogspot.com/) illustrated one such example.

Imagine, if every single Muslim left a small gift for their neighbour and let it be known that such things are a part of Islam, then how many non-Muslims would continue to believe the lies being spread amongst us? After all, wouldn't they at least think - "Hey! I have Muslim neighbours, and they're wonderful people who don't go around preaching violence or killing others - in fact, they taught me that being good neighbours is a part of Islam! If that's true, then how can what the media is saying about Muslims be right?"

Insha'Allah, through small but not insignficant actions like these, we can work towards countering the lies being propogated against us. As walking, talking Da'wah machines, we need to set an example for everyone, to show them how true Muslims behave - behaviour that does *not* include burning flags, attacking others, or bombing buildings.

May Allah cripple the evil efforts of the enemies of Islam and the Muslims; and may He grant the believers success in this world and in the Hereafter, ameen!

Your little sister in Islam,

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Little Mosque on the Prairie - A Field Mouse's Take On It

I know that several other blogs have talked about it already, but I've decided to pitch in my two cents' worth...

So: Little Mosque on the Prairie. As you guys know, I had a temper tantrum because my dad wouldn't let me watch it... but, thanks to YouTube, I got to watch the first *and* the second episode!

I thought that the first episode was okay. Not great, but not all that awful, either. There were some things I disagreed with, some of the jokes were lame, and I thought that the writers relied to much on the whole 'terrorist' thing for their humour - but it did make me grin a few times.
It had potential to be better, and I looked forward to the next episode.

So far, so good.

Now onto the second episode. This episode was supposed to deal with sexism in the Muslim community, and the main conflict was about setting up a barrier in the masjid between the men and the women. As can be expected, most of the women were totally against it (with the exception of Fatimah, the Somali (?) lady who works at the coffee shop), while Baber (the desi uncle dude) was insisting on having it. The Imam is called upon to mediate (although he doesn't seem to be a very great imam, if he was so easily distracted by the sight of one of the women bending over - lowering of the gaze, anyone?!).

I was totally shocked and dismayed by this episode. There were several things - the familiarity between the men and the women, the Imam who doesn't know how to lower his gaze, the way that the barrier-issue wasn't properly explained - but above all the sexual humour is what made it suck the most.
Having sexual humour in a 'Muslim comedy' is not cool. It is totally not right. Like, hello, isn't it sort of obvious that it's not something acceptable in a Muslim production?!

Did the writers bother to think about all the kids who were watching the show? A girl from the madrasah said that after this episode, her parents have forbidden her from watching the show, because of how bad it was.

What I don't get is how, when interviewed, Zarqa Nawaz said that she wanted the show to be something her kids could watch so that they could see Muslims on TV being portrayed positively and whatever - but would *she* allow her kids to watch that episode, with all the inappropriate jokes?

I'm pretty mad about it... who knows what damage it could cause! Some Muslims might watch it and think it's okay for Muslim men and women to flirt, to hang out with each other, and who knows what else! Furthermore, non-Muslims will probably get a wrong image of what Islam says about gender interaction. All they'd know is, they watched a Muslim TV show that showed the men and women acting like that, and the show was created by a Muslim, so wouldn't she know what was right?

*Sighs* So yup. A huge disappointment. I really, really wanted it to be something Islamically correct but cool (yes, I'm sure that combination is possible!), and then cynics like my dad would see that there *is* some good in the world left... meh.

Your very disappointed little sister in Islam,
P.S. Yeah, yeah, I know my dad was right in the first place... no need to tell me "I told you so!"

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Extreme Makeover: Blog Edition!

All right people, I have a favour to ask of you guys... I really, really want a template change, but I don't know how to do it! I'm totally and utterly hopeless with HTML and stuff... soooooo, I'm
depending on y'all to help me out here...

My blog looks drab. It needs a makeover. I can't do it. Can you? Pretty please with a cherry on top?
I want something spiffy, but I'm not picky. Anything more colourful and cheerful than the current blah-ness will be appreciated.

To volunteer, please leave a comment and I'll arrange it so that I can email you the password and you can work your magic!

Shukran (thank you) in advance! :)

Your little sister in Islam,

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Muslims and Politics in the West

For a while now, but especially in recent times, the call for Muslims to become more involved in their local politics here in the West has increased. People argue that it's time for us to stop being a silent minority, and become a vocal majority. They say we need to make our needs and feelings known. Enough whining and complaining! they cry. Take a stand! Make a change!

But, how are we supposed to do this? How are we to become more vocal? How are we to become more politically active?

Two answers given are: Vote, or get into politics yourself!That's where the problems show up, though. Now, I know that the whole thing about voting in a non-Muslim country is really controversial, and I for one am not going to be so bold as to declare it haraam, so keep in mind that the following is simply MY humble opinion and nothing more.

First, let us remember that we are in a non-Muslim country, governed by non-Muslims in accordance to laws that are not derived from the Shari'ah. These laws do not enjoin the good and forbid the evil as the Qur'an commands. Furthermore, if we look to the political parties, we'll notice something very important: that no matter what they say about multiculturalism, each and every one of them stand for and support un-Islamic views and values. As Muslims, we cannot in good faith or conscience support those who support homosexuality, nor can we support those whose foreign policy has to do with harming our Muslim brothers and sisters overseas. These are absolutely un-Islamic, and we can in no way support the breaking of Allah’s Divine Laws and the transgressing of His bounds.

Also, with the current political system, when you vote for a candidate, you vote for the whole party - and when you vote for the whole party, you're voting for their stance on ALL issues, not just a couple. So while you might be voting for them to support their stance on, say, homelessness and the national budget, you're also supporting other decisions that they'll be making once they get into power. Your voting ballot does not say, "I support such-and-such a stance towards such-and-such an issue; I do not support such-and-such a stance towards such-and-such an issue." It is a blind ticket of approval. Your vote counts - and when they come into power and start making certain decisions, then part of the responsibility for it rests upon you, who voted them into power.
Therein lies a weakness in the system.

Fine then, someone might say. If you're going to be so picky, why not run form a party of your own and run as a candidate?
It sounds good at first - I thought that way for a while too - but then we have to realize something. The West considers itself secular, standing for ‘separation between Church and State’.
In Islam, however, there is no such separation, because Allah has given us the Quran and the Sunnah of His Messenger Muhammad (SAW) to guide every single aspect of our lives, as individuals and as an Ummah – and this includes the laws that we abide by.
Therefore the only type of political party that we Muslims could form would be an Islamic one. And let's face it: something like that would NEVER work here - not in Canada, not in America, not in the U.K., not in Europe. (Although, what with the all the EurArabia hype going on, maybe in a decade or so we could actually form that kind of political party - if not on a federal level, then on a more local level... I dunno for sure, though).

So what can we do, if we don't vote and an Islamic political party simply won't work here?

Well, it might not be politics, per se, but there are things we can do. Social work. Start making changes within your local community - Muslim or otherwise. Support good causes that we as Muslims can feel comfortable supporting. Form a lobby group, maybe, and try to get the government listen to you that way (although the success of such a lobby group would depend on a variety of certain factors, money being one of them).

Politics is not all-important, as I have been learning. The people in politics care more about the power, the wealth, the influence, their own agendas, than doing the truly unselfish things that could help change the country around. A whole lot of big words, and very few examples of effective action.

Do we want change? Yes, we do. But getting involved in politics won't miraculously change everything for the better. If anything, it'll simply cause more problems.
Therefore, I have concluded: If we want action, if we want change, we have to start close to home. Let's start with our local communities first, because there's always a need for more volunteers to help out with numerous programs that benefit many people. The more we get done on a smaller scale, the closer we get to achieving change on a greater scale in the future,


What do you guys think? Should we Muslims continue to become involved in politics and use politics to try and create some positive change? Or should we stick to social work and activism to achieve our goals?

This is a question I’m turning over in my head quite a bit because the answer might help to decide my future – I’m interested in both politics and social work, yet I’d prefer to choose only one to really go ahead with, y’know?

So yeah… right now I’m actually leaning a bit towards social work and community activism ‘cuz it reminds me of what the Prophet (SAW) did with the Muslims: first he strengthened them in their faith and helped them solve the problems they were suffering from, and *then* real political work and change was instigated.

Your little sister in Islam,

Monday, January 15, 2007

The Carnival of Islam in the West

Over at Wa Salaam, behold the fifth Carnival of Islam in the West! And check out whose brain farts were deemed worthy! :P :D

Your little sister in Islam,

P.S. I would've written more, but an ear infection has a nasty way of making one's brain cells not very cooperative when it comes to intellectual endeavours... :(

Friday, January 12, 2007

On Spiritual Mentors, and Other Musings

Recently, I've begun thinking about spiritual mentors... actually, I stared thinking about it during the summer, when I was feeling dreadfully homesick and in desperate need of comfort (which I didn't get, unfortunately). It was when I felt that my Imaan was suffering that I felt especially in need of a spiritual mentor to whom I could turn to, on whose shoulder I could lean on and hear comforting words of wisdom from.

This feeling was compounded when, surfing the 'Net, I came across something about Sufis and their shaykhs. I'm not Sufi, of course, but something about it caught my attention. Reading the biography of Imam Sufyaan ibn 'Uyaynah (a great muhaddith of his time), I came across something similar, describing the need for a student of knowledge to have a good teacher.

Now, I am one of those who desires to become a student of knowledge, a Shaykha, bi ithnillaah. I try to learn whatever little I can about Islam, but simply reading books and listening to halaqas don't seem to really be enough for me. What I want, what I feel I need, is a spiritual mentor.

I've never really had a spiritual mentor, or a real religious teacher... I used to wish to be my father's student - it would've been perfect: he, the sheikh, and I, his devoted daughter and student... we could have been a great father-daughter team! - but Allah willed it otherwise, and it's never come to be... nor does it seem that it well ever be a reality. Ah, well...

The closest I've had to spiritual mentors are two women from my old Islamic centre, whom I've known for years - since I was about 9 or 10 years old. Technically, they're my mom's friends, but we all love each other dearly, so it's all good... :)

Anyway, these two women - may Allah reward them and grant them the best of this world and the Hereafter - are amazing! Both of them are converts - one of them, H., converted when she was 16, and is now studying Islam through an Islamic university by correspondence; and the other, A., converted a few years ago and has been with 'us' (our Islamic centre) ever since.
A. is by far one of my favouritest people EVER! She has a wonderful sense of humour - she can make anything and everything seem funny - and she tries to learn whatever she can about Islam while supporting her two kids (she's a single mom).
Both of them have always had the time to sit with me, talk to me, listen to me... we can talk about everything on the face of the earth, although we usually just talk about Islam and politics (my favourite subjects! Yay!). They have helped me SO much, especially with my personal struggle with identity and my goals in life.

In this new city of mine, I am utterly bereft of anyone who could possibly act as a mentor. Which totally sucks, because I really do need one. Right now, I'm trying to blunder through my life as best I can, pathetically trying to muster enough energy and motivation to finish my homework and do my chores. Spiritually, I feel very weak - may Allah forgive me and grant me strength! Reading books on Islam isn't enough... I feel that I need someone to really be there for me, to support me and help give me an Imaan boost when I need it...
Mind you, this blog and having you guys comment does help... but it's not the same, y'know?

Having a spiritual mentor is really important, I think - an older person whom you can look up to and learn from, as well as occasionally just hang out and have fun with. Someone other than a parent, because it can be easier to accept advice and criticism from friends than family.

The people of the past, the Sahaaba and the Taabi'een and others, they recognized the importance of having spiritual mentors and teachers. As youth, they sought out the people of knowledge and spent time in their company, learning all sorts of things from them, absorbing their wisdom... thus was the inheritance of the Prophets (peace be upon them all) passed down from one generation to the next!

There are many times that I wish that I could live 'back in the day' - the days of the Prophet (SAW), of the Sahaabah, the Taabi'een, and the Atba' at-Taabi'een - for various reasons. Some are obvious - those were the days when knowledge abounded, when the true scholars of Islam were at their peak, when the people weren't as lost as we are today.

One of the reasons that I wish I lived back then is that it would've been so much easier for me to dedicate my life to Islam, starting from a young age. I wouldn't have had to bother about things like high school, and my role as a young woman would have been much more clearly defined than it is right now. I would have the opportunity to attach myself to a shaykh or a shaykha, sitting at their feet, attending to them and learning from them... and I wouldn't have been distracted by such petty things as TV or the Internet and stuff.

In the Hadith that discusses the seven types of people who will recieve shade on the Day of Judgement, when there is no shade except that which Allah will grant to certain people, one of those mentioned is the youth who has dedicated him/herself to Allah since their childhood. I would dearly love to be one of these youth - but I wonder if I qualify!

Subhan'Allah, in today's world we are so easily distracted from the really important things, the things that will determine our fate in the Hereafter. We're so caught up with stuff like school, work, achieving material success... it consumes our lives, at the expense of our spiritual well-being!
Even me, just a teenager in high school... I often find it difficult to concentrate on the simple yet most important things, like salaah. I'm busy wondering and worrying about other things - did I finish my Math assignment? Did I begin researching a topic for one of my subjects? Did I clean the bathroom? Am I almost finished my library book? What's my brother doing in my room?

So much emphasis is placed on working hard to achieve material gains that we forget about just taking a break from it all and simply devoting ourselves to Allah and His Commands. It's so scary! Sometimes I wish that I could just run away and live in a small village out in the middle of nowhere, without TV or the Internet or other bothersome technologies. I'd like to live the simple life, not depending too much on material things, with more mental space to think about the important stuff, and more time to actually *do* the important stuff.


Yikes, I just realized how long this is! Sorry for rambling on like that... but it's something that's been buzzing around in my head for a while now, so I wanted to share it with you and see what you all have to say.

Your little sister in Islam,

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Wa qul: Rabbee zidnee 'ilma!
(And say: My Lord, increase me in knowledge!)
“The beginning of knowledge is listening, then absorbing, then memorizing, then acting, then spreading.”

“There is nothing more beneficial than knowledge from which benefit is taking, and nothing more harmful than knowledge from which benefit is not taken.”

- Imam Sufyaan ibn ‘Uyaynah, rahimuhAllah.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Intellectual Evolution of an Individual

Why is it that long hot showers can stimulate one's mind in ways that nothing else - not even ingesting large amounts of chocolate - can? I've always wondered... hmmmm...

Anyway! What was I going to say again? Oh yes... the intellectual evolution of an individual: It's something that I started thinking about this morning in the shower, while I was wondering what to write about for my next blog post.

Over the last couple years, I've found that I've changed quite a bit. I used to be extremely idealistic and ambitious, thinking that I'd be able to change the world all by myself (or at least, by myself and my handful of friends). I also thought I knew pretty much everything that I needed to know in order to change the world (ah, the arrogance and follies of youth!). I spoke in fiery, passionate tones about correcting the problems in society, uniting the Muslim Ummah, and taking over the world... (seriously!)

But then I started to change... as I began to read more about Islam and the world around me, as I began to start really listening and learning to the wonderful Muslim women whom I used to spend time with, as I began to actually discuss these things in earnest, I gained a great deal more insight into what's really needed for someone to change the world. Which at first scared the living daylights out of me (and still does, occasionally), but now I've stiffened my resolve and am determined to try and do whatever little I can, insha'Allah.

The first phase of my 'conversion' from idealism to realism was focusing solely on the Muslim community, evaluating its problems and trying to figure out what I could to help solve them(which wasn't much, unfortunately). I tried to read a lot about Fiqh, and I was majorly into learning about the system of the Islamic State during the time of the Prophet SAW and the Khulafaa' ar-Raashideen (there was one reeeeaaaallllyyyyy good book I read, called "On the Political System of the Islamic State". I forget the author's name, though).

Now I'm going through the second phase. While my primary focus continues to be on the Muslim community and its problems, I'm also trying to learn more about the rest of the world, especially the Middle East. I'm reading up on important periods of history (just finished learning about the Iranian Revolution) so that I know what the historical background of today's political conflicts is.
To balance the political history stuff, I'm working on reading up on 'Aqeedah and the details of basic things in Islam (currently concentrating on Salaah and the perfection of its performance, as well as things related to it such as wudhu, the athaan, etc.).

Today insha'Allah I intend to begin phase 2 1/2: Keep on reading up on the political and Islamic stuff, but also work harder at school (which I've neglected for the last few months due to my depression over moving and being lonely) and help my mom out more at home. I know I should already be doing that sort of thing, but you know how things can get...
Now, I don't know how successful I'll be at it (I have a very, very bad habit of procrastinating and being lazy), so I'll be needing your du'aas! :)

I've decided that I'll see how phase 2 1/2 goes before I try to go onto phase 3: ACTION!!!!!!!!!

All righty... I guess I'd better go and start implementing phase 2 1/2 now! :P

Your little sister in Islam,

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Brain Farts

The first was written in a fit of pique at my parents (don't ask why... it was about something silly and petty), the second late at night when random thoughts were roaming around in my head, and, having a notebook and pen with me, I scribbled it down just for fun.

Neither of them are particularly good - indeed, the first is almost embarassing - but I find it rather amusing, and I hope they'll make you smile, too. Enjoy!


16 year old ----- is sick and tired of her life: the strict rules and restrictions, the isolation her parents have forced upon her, their stifling of her grand ambitions, their narrow-mindedness and strict, traditional interpretation of Islam which made her childhood a misery, and the sudden move to a new city, which cruelly yanked her away from her few friends.
So she runs away.

Ten years later, her parents open the door to find their daughter on their doorstep - veiled head-to-toe in black and lugging a suitcase, husband, and baby behind her.
An hour later, they're still in shock: unveiled, their daughter looks like a cross between a glamorous movie star and a biker chick, the dark sallow and sullen looks of her childhood and adolescence transformed into Gothic beauty, passionate and intense.
She is dressed in leather, her hair streaked with every colour of the rainbow. Her nose and her belly button are pierced, little jeweled dragonflies cheerfully swaying as she moves gracefully, slipping an arm around her handsome Arab husband and shifting her baby son onto her hip; and her dark eyes flash defiantly at her parents, to whom she speaks in a voice that alternates between passionate and rebellious and cool and detached.

It also turns out that she's a qualified Shaykha - recent graduate of one of the greatest Islamic universities in the world - as well as a successful social worker and a promising new persona in the national political arena.
Oh yes, she adds casually, her handsome Arab husband is a Palestinian mujaahid whom she met at university, who had himself studied under numerous great shuyookh and was now a shaykh in his own right.

Identity and Labels: A Parody (Or Something)

Teenage Indo-Canadian Muslimah
Feminist Environmentalist Non-Conformist
Traditionalist Liberal Progressive Conservative
Modern Wahhabi Socialist Jihadi
Tomboy Girly-Girl Soft-Hearted Warrior

(I found this little thing I wrote recently... so I decided to throw this one in as well...)

We are a strange breed, we young Muslims of the West. A foot in two worlds - or even three, as the case may be - all familiar, rarely ever fully comfortable.

Even I, Sheikh's daughter that I am, was raised on a diet of both fairy tales and Qur'anic stories. I can remember warm sunny afternoons poring over my favourite book of original fairy tales, illustrated with dark, fantastic, fascinating pictures - Sinbad and the Roc; the Little Mermaid throwing herself over the side of the ship as her prince wedded another woman, one with a voice; the seven dwarves grieving over Snow White's coffin; the Beast, a twisted horrific beast indeed, tenderly nursed by a Beauty who was dressed not in the bright springtime yellow of Disney's animated movie, but in dark robes that swirled with magic.

And at night I fell asleep to my mother's voice as she told me of Jesus and Mary, Moses and the Israelites, Muhammad and his blessed suffering. The Prophets and their missions and their trials and tribulations... tales of wonder and of faith, and sweet dreams swiftly followed.