Monday, December 11, 2006

Few Things To Remember At RIS

A lot of people are going for RIS - one of the biggest Islamic gathering of young Muslims in the world. To them, I would like to offer a few... suggestions.

1. When you do wudu, please do not leave the washroom as if a tsunami has just passed through it. Allah said to wash your feet, not wash your feet and everything within a 10m radius. Put foot in sink, wash, take out. If you splash water around, mop it with a paper tissue. It's your water. Remember, cleanliness, 50% of imaan, and all that?

2. It's an Islamic event. It will be Islamic activities. It is not a place to "check out halal meat". Nor are you there to practice your act of tying the hijab knot in that oh-so-seductive pose.

Having said that, it's a shame the RIS organizers do not have any 'marriage meet up' or 'introductory' sessions. What a waste of young people under one roof. Ten years later, these women will be de-hijabified and married to white guys because they could not find a guy and were not willing to be 35-year-old spinsters, or the guys will have gone back and married an illiterate girl from back home and now stuck in an unhappy marriage (for both him and her) because he spent his youth clubbing, trying to meet girls and now relishes the prospect of fitnah. Meanwhile these Islamic speakers will still be talking about how great the Spanish Muslim civilization was, or how the computer was originally invented by a Muslim, or how we must hold fast to the rope of the ummah, or some other crap.

3. If a speaker says something you dislike, it is not an invitation to demonstrate how good the vocal chords Allah has blessed you with are. 'Boooooooo' is not the takbir. If you disagree with something, keep it to yourself while he is speaking.

Last time Dr Tareq Suwaidan once said that while the Prophet made many laws, some were political and applied only to his time and can be changed. Immediately a white convert who was dressed as if he just stepped out from Taliban's Top Idol started to shout and hiss. And quite loudly too.

When another speaker said last time clapping was haram, I felt like taking my chair and throwing it at him like a Frisbee. Whack! But I didn't. I blogged about it instead (although, whenever he finished speaking I clapped as loudly as I could).

4. Yelling "Takbir" as loudly as you can whenever a speaker says something good is not a successful pickup strategy. It doesn't work. Especially if you are a white convert. As Maniac Muslim once said, with your accent, it sounds awfully close to "Take Beer", which is not what you want.

5. Some women will be without hijab. Such women do exist. Deal with it. The hair of a woman is a beautiful thing. Meanwhile, some men will pray with their jeans covering their ankles. It is not a sign of arrogance. It is a sign of buying cheap jeans at Walmart.

6. To all single girls going to RIS with your mothers, please keep your mother in control. A leash would be preferable, but failing that, I suggest buying one of those ten year old perfumes from the bazaar they sell as 'fresh atar from Medinah'. Spray a bit on your mother. It acts as a force field like deterrent for guys. Alternatively, if you are a guy, you could walk around with a "I-am-not-a-doctor" sign.

Yes, with nothing to do over those days, I will be going to RIS. If any of you are there, holler at me. Or facebook message me, I will be posting pictures there.


Abu Sinan said...


That was too funny! The thing about the convert, especially white converts is interesting.

Being a white convert myself, I know that many of my peers often try a bit too hard. That is partially their fault, and partially the fault of a community that will give them a lot of "takibirs" when they convert, then forget about them completely afterwards. They are just trying to be accepted, in the wrong way sure, but there it is.

To the Muslim girl marrying white guy thing, I wish the families of these women would use their heads. It is sad when a white(or not white) convert asks to marry their daughter they say no. They make them wait until the point where the girl says "F-it"" and marries a non Muslim guy period.

Why not let your daughter marry the convert? Whole different subject there, but better a white convert than a white Christian eh? Besides, arent we all Muslim? Race should not play the role it does.

As to "takbir" and the accent, I laughed at that. There are a lot of converts that want to throw Arabic words into all conversations, whether they know how to say them or what they mean or not.

Or you get the converts who learn to speak Arabic from books and a few classes at an Islamic center where they learn Fus7a, not realising that is not how Arabs speak in real life.

I had one convert try to hold a conversation with me. I got about 25% of what he said in Arabic. I asked him where he learned, he said books, CDs and a few classes at a mosque.

I had to explain to him that the Arabic he spoke is not the type people speak on the street and that people will have a hard time understanding him, not to mention it will be very clear that he learned, not from people, but from books and classes.

Since then I have beebn trying to get him more into the dialects of Arabic, the way people really speak.

Anyway, funny post and I look forward to a post RIS de-brief!

Farah said...

OK this should officially be on the RIS pamphlet. Especially the part about tsunami in the washroom after wudu.

Also one more point.

7. DO wear new socks everyday for the 3 days the conference is on. Yes, it does stink at prayer and time and yes, it IS you.


M&M said...

haha that is funny

so true though. I have been volunteering with RIS for the past two years and there is always something classic that happens. For instance last year, actually even the year before, quite a few single guys were going up to random girls and handing out their business (brief bio about who I am so you can give me a call) cards.

And the mothers on leash, would be a good idea. Some of them just go up to random girls and go like, "Mashallah, you're so pretty, what is your phone number". It happened to someone I was volunteering with but she was already engaged and the lady would not give her a chance to explain that she was. So she's like whatever, she'll talk to my mom who will tell her I am already engaged.

And about the comment above
"Why not let your daughter marry the convert? Whole different subject there, but better a white convert than a white Christian eh? Besides, arent we all Muslim? Race should not play the role it does." I agree with you.

isheeta said...

hahhahahahahhahahaha!!!!!! ohmanohman, that was too funny! You should be the pre/post RIS media, something like the Oscars red carpet, Mezba!

This whole post makes me feel its going to be another ISNA meat market... and Ive heard horror stories about those. However, I have hope since people apparently do keep attending every year for the lessons learnt! I am really looking fwd to attending RIS since its the 1st time Ive even heard of this thing and the past videos look promising, and I really need to expand my knowledge than just googling about Islam and since I wont be here for Eid, I need to be there. My mother wont be there so I'll be free to whack someone if they go all "mashallah, so pretty, whats your number baby?" on me!

so yes, expect a holler from me!

Baraka said...

Alternatively, if you are a guy, you could walk around with a "I-am-not-a-doctor" sign.

Still smirking ;)

'liya said...

I can't wait, halal rice krispy squares, yum! LOL

I also find it incredibly annoying when people say that clapping is haram. I'm quite sure rice krispy squares were not invented by a muslim so then why are we taking something from the "unbeleivers" and making it halal? You can apply the same thinking to both. It's not like we're clapping for naked dancing women - everything has a different context :)

Maleeha said...

"Meanwhile, some men will pray with their jeans covering their ankles. It is not a sign of arrogance. It is a sign of buying cheap jeans at Walmart." still laughing at that one. aint no shame in buying from walmart brothers, do what you gotta do.

the part about the bathrooms is so dead on. i remember one year in isna, right before prayer there was a huge scene in the bathrooms. water everywhere and aunties tripping over each other to get to the sink. two non-muslim girls had the unfortunate experience of walking in, and one said to the other "are these people taking f'ing showers in here?" and one aunty just lost it - "how dare you use that language here, we are pious people about to pray to God..." and on and on. I was just like "way to show your piety aunty" and walked out. i should have talked to those girls, but i was too frazzled by all the hangama.

totally agree with you about the marriage sessions things. they should have some.

looking forward to your review after its done!

Aisha said...

ahem... still waiting for the "why desi men marry back" post.

Abu Sinan said...

I get a kick out of the idea that one should shun things not created my Muslims. In that case much of modern inventions should be shunned.

I wonder if these guys plan to give up their air conditioners, their TVs, I wonder if they will get on boats to travel instead of airplanes? Throw away your computer whilst you are at it...

mezba said...

Abu Sinan: Yes, white converts (or rather converts by themselves) are interesting - no one here cares about them after they convert. They make a good PR front when needed (especially Caucasian blond). Our mosque in Toronto runs some programs to mentor them after their conversion, but on the whole I am not too happy with how they are treated. Islam in North America still is deeply cultural. Hopefully Toronto is one of those places where that will slowly change as more high class and educated and wise Muslims, homegrown, start to lead the mosques.

Farah: Thanks. I must mention here that I DO change my socks lol

One question though, is the tsunami after wudu thing a problem in the women's washrooms as well?

M&M: lol at the business card giving brothers. How truly desperate times are! Are you still volunteering this year for RIS? I would love to see an insider's view of RIS on your blog - all interesting anecdotes and all.

Isheeta: thanx. Ya it could be a meat market, though not as much as ISNA as far as I heard. The real "action" happens in the lobbies of hotels where people are staying, or so I have heard.

Do holler at me. I will get the list of speakers on the first day so I myself know what would be good times to attend and whose speeches can be given a miss (especially those speakers that speak only Arabic).

Baraka: :) It happens, honest!

liya: not to mention halal patty! Ya man, how did that Jamaican dish become halal if only Arabic things are halal!

That Clapping Sheikh is not there this time thank God. And they can be so perverted, thinking we must not clap because people who see naked chicks in bars clap. Hello! Since when did he become an expert in naked chicks in bars?

Maleeha: So I guess even women have a tsunami in the washroom after wudu. I was surprised when I heard that covering ankles is a sign of arrogance. And covering your head with a turban is piety? Context and culture, people. How strange that people who claim to be more pious are usually the ones people can't get along.

They should have had some marriage sessions. I could totally see the tagline "come to RIS for eternal bliss...."

Aisha: Emailed ya.

Abu Sinan: Do you know we once had a driver in the middle east who didn't go to the mosque because they used microphones in the mosque which he considered unIslamic because the prophet never used them? Not to mention, some pir told him so.

Suroor said...

Mezba, you gave us very useful while being entertaining. Have you ever thought about delivering khutbah? I'm serious. Because if Imams spoke like this I wouldn't want to miss a single jumma prayer in the mosque AND I would go without my husband's permission!

Saqi Namah said...

So all of those stories about ISNA are true. I guess it does make sense since ISNA = I am Single N Available.

mezba said...

Suroor: You are too kind. I did do khutbah once, it was Jummah, and our local MSA and the regular khatib was MIA and no one present wanted to do it! Just read from a book at that time though.

Saqi: lol

And RIS would be "Rishtas I Seek"

mezba said...

Abu Sinan: When I said "Ten years later, these women will be de-hijabified and married to white guys" I meant white non-muslim guys. Just to clarify.

Anonymous said...

That's pretty funny. Not really a blog reader, my wife showed me your blog, its good. I personally know quite a few of the RIS organizers....I will surely be sending them this blog, maybe they can get some

mezba said...


That would be great. Maybe they can start with a notice on the washrooms that says 'Thank you for not washing the sink'

NAB said...

girls with their mothers. hmm.