Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Top 10 How To Know You Are An Adult

TOP 10 ADULTING skills every person looking to marry should have

I am now at the age where people ask me to find someone for their younger brother or sister, or in some cases children. Must be my grey hair. In trying to arrange such things, I discovered a few facts.

Young people, particularly from our community, are incredibly immature, naive and clueless, and yet thinking about marriage. Now I am a big proponent of people marrying young, but you also have to have some level of adult-giri.

1. You should not be running to your parents for every single thing. Be prepared to be an adult and have some responsibility. This goes especially for brown girls and guys. Most of them have lived cocooned lives under the strict "protection" / prison of their parents, and have no clue how to live on their own. This mentality takes a lot of adjusting.

2. You should be able to make three decent meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner. No, I am not saying you have to be a chef of a five star restaurant, but at the very least you should know how to make tea, an omelette, rice, some meat item. This is actually basic survival. If you were dropped off in a strange city on your own in a fully stocked house, can you live? And no, frying frozen nuggets do not count.

Women sometimes get insulted when asked, "can you cook". The correct answer to it should be, "Yes, and also, can you?"

Many guys who live on their own in university can cook to a passable degree. But if a guy is living at home with his parents, you MUST ask him this.

3. Be clean and tidy. Not only is this part of the faith if you are Muslim, but you need to not be a slob. Especially boys - your mother is not going to do your laundry forever. Take the clothes and put in the washing machine. Tidy up after you eat. Clean your bathroom (you need to know how). Learn how to iron. I still can't iron properly, but if needed, I can press a shirt and pair of trousers.

I am not certain how you ask someone how clean and tidy they are, but a good clue is their car. If you get into their car and it's dirty as hell, ALL THE TIME, it's a good bet they are a slob. As a tactic, just ask them how often they wash their car.

4. Budget. If you are not paying off your credit card every month, or you go on expensive vacations ALL the time with no savings, you need to back off. No one on Instagram that is commenting on your nice bags is going to come lend you 3000$ when you suddenly need it. In two years after your graduate your student loan should be paid off. Live interest free. If that means a cheaper, second hand car, that's what it is.

Have you ever gone grocery shopping? Start doing it regularly. You need to know how expensive is a head of a lettuce, a pair of lemons, tomato on the vine, bunch of apples, a pound of meat etc. Dollar store can be your friend, but not for electrical stuff.

Guys sometimes get insulted if asked how much they make. Don't. The correct answer should be a range, along with how much as a percentage of your earnings you try to save every month. Also if the girl is working, she should be ready for the question as well. What's sauce for the goose, etc.

5. Plan your wedding. This goes especially for kids that leave everything to their parents. DON'T. If you feel like you are not adult enough, don't get married. If you are going to get married, plan your wedding. That includes how much should be the expense, how many people you want to invite, the venue, the date etc. Each and every detail. This shows you are willing to take responsibility.

This goes especially for girls. Most of them are only focused on the dresses or the dance rehearsals, leaving the burden of the planning to the parents.


This is your first big test of adulthood. Remember point 1.

6. Learn how to host people and how to have fun and make friends. This is much more for ladies as our society puts this responsibility on you. You should be prepared to receive guests in the house at any time. Yes, in Canada people SHOULD call, but sometimes they don't. Also, look at point 3.

7. Have a 5 year plan. This is a must. If your prospective person does not have a future outline of a plan, where they want to be career wise, family wise, or education wise, RUN. A person who is coasting through life, or is aimless and has no focus, is unlikely to be a good partner in life. They make good friends, not life partners.

8. Watch the news. You MUST know what is happening in and around the world. I am not saying be updated on the latest activities of each and every incident, but have a general idea. You MUST be able to string an intelligible paragraph on current events.

ANYONE watching only Indian serials, especially when you are in your 20s, is someone you want to RUN from. There is NOTHING good that comes out of Indian media except an Aamir Khan movie every now and then.

Bonus: If someone says their favourite all time show is "Friends" - it's a good sign.

9. DRIVE. Learn how to drive. Seriously. What's the matter with you? Especially if you are a guy. Just. Learn. How. To. Drive.

10. Hobbies. You MUST HAVE HOBBIES. I really don't know what to say if you say your favourite past time is sleeping or watching TV. Those don't count. Play some sports. Read some books. Travel. Hike. Cook. Develop some interests.

Those are my top adulting skills that I think any young man and woman must have. What do you think?

Thursday, September 06, 2018

Homosexuality, Minority and Human Rights, and Islam

India's Supreme Court today has recognized gay sex, and has deemed that it is no longer a "criminal offense". Despite opposition from India's Hindutva movement and religious conservatives, especially in the vast rural heartland, this decision is from the nation's highest court and is the final say on the matter.

As someone who has lived in Canada for the last two decades, and where gay marriage was legalized more than ten years ago, it's interesting to see the evolving nature of how various countries (and communities) deal with homosexuality, from desire to practice. Just this week, in Malaysia two lesbians were caned for engaging in sex in a car in a public space. Meanwhile, there is a huge concentrated push in North American Muslim circles to accept not only feminism, but LGBTQ as legitimate causes to get behind.

While politically this is in large part due to the pro-left stance of many Muslim organizations (especially in the USA), with the right actively demonizing Muslims, but it is also due to general trend in greater acceptance of LGBTQ behaviour and causes. In light of all of this, let's see how it plays out in various angles.


From a religious point of view it is very clear what is Islam's (and any major religion's) stance on homosexuality. You can "re-interpret" it any way you like, the story of Prophet Lut (known in the Bible as Lot, peace be upon him) is pretty clear. His people were engaged in the sin of homosexuality, and Allah punished the whole community who were engaged in this "evil and unnatural act", sparing only Prophet Lut and his followers. The parable, and the conclusion, is pretty clear.

Or, is it?

Remember, that Islam has a core stance of basic dignity and rights of all peoples, and differentiates it from promoting homosexuality and the actions associated with it. Allah has given humanity a choice, as mentioned many times in the Quran, and man exercises the choice in either following the laws of the Quran or going against them.

So being gay is not a sin in itself. It is a desire of the body, and a temptation of the nafs. What is a sin is when you act on that desire. This is clear from numerous source in religion, and in particular the story of the wife of the soldier during Caliph Umar's time who wanted to commit adultery but didn't. Many other stories and incidents make it clear that desire itself is not a sin. For someone who is gay, we Muslims do not need to debate on nature vs nurture. It is enough to know that you may have these tendencies - it doesn't matter how it developed. What matters is whether you act on it.

And what if you act on it? Again, from numerous source in how Islamic law is applied, especially during the early Caliphate, we know that only public manifestations of the act were punished. What you do in your private space is left between you and Allah, and many times Allah has said He will forgive those sins that the sinner does not publicize. This is the crux of what happened in Malaysia.

So from an Islamic point of view, it is clear: homosexuality (just like incest) is an unnatural desire and should never be acted upon. If someone has those tendencies, they need counselling, love, understanding and guidance. And if they fall into sin, repentance and forgiveness.

Minority and Human Rights in Political Sense

That is theory. Now let's go to the practice. 

We are living in Canada. An officially secular state where no religion (in theory) has supremacy (even though Christianity has a privilege) and where same sex marriage is legal and same sex relations are normal. We are expected to support LGBTQ rights around the world and advocate for same sex marriage everywhere. In that scenario, what should our stance be?

To me, people complicate the situation far more than it needs to be.

Weed is becoming legal in Canada soon. It doesn't change the fact I personally will not do it, or that it is haram in Islam, or that I won't encourage my kids to try it, or that I will accept an imam in my community saying it is OK. We have a personal practice of our religion, aided by our community, and then we have a code of conduct in Canada as a whole. it is the same with same sex relations and homosexuality. 

We will never advocate violence against those with different beliefs. If tomorrow someone wants to argue that incest should be legalized (it's still a crime), we wouldn't advocate violence against that individual. If that person is our colleague or student, it doesn't change the working nature of that relationship. We still have rights on each other as community members. Just because we do not accept one aspect of that person's sexuality, it doesn't mean we do not love or accept that person for who he or she is.

The Question

Lakum deenukum waliya deen. To you your religion, and to me mine. Live and let live.

I am officially neutral on same sex marriage. I have no strong feelings either way on this. In Canada it's a done deal, a finished debate. But it's not a finished agenda, is it?

Now it has become that if you do not condone, or promote this way of life, you are a bigot. You are someone who promotes hatred. If you do not attend Pride Week you are a hatemonger. Why? Why can't you accept my beliefs on this topic, just as you ask me to accept your way of life?

That is now the next question.