Saturday, 13 January 2018

Monthly Favourites // January 2018

It's January 2018 already! Another year has passed, subhanAllah. 

I can't help but feel that this semester I have finally, without realising it, took upon more work than I can handle. But the fact that I am calm -on the outside at least- about it makes me feel like, hey, maybe I can handle it after all! But this coming two weeks will be very busy for me, and if I can successfully get through them, then maybe I can do anything and everything that life throws at me! (a very exaggerated exaggeration)

I don't have much to share, except a series and a book.

TV Series //
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I recently watched The Fall, a British/Irish psychological thriller. If you've been following me for sometime now, you'd know that I love watching psychological thrillers and just when I thought this would be a regular thriller, it proved me wrong. I came to know that British series are significantly different from American series. American series would have many seasons and more or less 20 episodes per seasons. The Fall only had 3 seasons (with a brilliant ending!) and 5-6 episodes per season. Therefore binge-watching 3 seasons of The Fall was similar to binge-watching a season of an American series. The movie is brilliantly written! I loved it from the start to finish, I loved how it touches on feminism (both male and female issues), it had a strong female lead that help track down the killer and the killer was.. not the regular young creepy male loner, which made it interesting. If you're looking for something to watch, would totally recommend. 

Book //
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This book is pretty famous, people on the internet talk about it, and I wanted to read something in 2018, so I randomly picked this book. The number of pages is intimidating, and when I read the first few pages, which immediately introduced 4 male characters, I couldn't differentiate them, which made me think that I wasn't gonna finish the book after all.. BUT I WAS WRONG.

The author quickly distinguished the four characters by race and background, and the book ended up turning into one of the most painfully beautiful books that I have ever read. It so heart-wrenching, it made me cry many many times and I had to put down the book from time to time because my heart couldn't handle it. It is beautifully written, and reading what initially seemed scary turned out to be easy.

I personally hate reviews before attempting to watch or read something and started reading this book without knowing what it was about because when you indulge in it without having any expectations and you're more.. surprised? when you read it but if you're one of those people who like reviews, here's a goodread's review that I feel describes the book perfectly:
I can't, with a clear conscience, give this book anything less than 5 stars. It's a book that kept me reading long into the night, made me turn each page with vigor and curiosity, gave me chills and shivers over the joys and sorrows of each character, and ultimately left me feeling a bit older and tortured and yet at peace with the deeply complicated nature of humanity.

What Hanya Yanagihara does with A Little Life is nothing nearly as pretentious as that paragraph above. Somehow in 720 pages, she manages to adequately--better yet, excellently--show and make the reader experiences the lives of these young men. The novel follows four boys who meet at college: Malcolm, JB, Willem, and the central and mysterious figure, Jude. It's truly Jude's tale, but Yanagihara ends up telling each and every one of the boys' stories with ease and genuineness that makes them real.

Her prose is clean and honest and revealing of the many emotions that humans experience. It's never explicitly beautiful, not flowery or overwrought with adjectives or descriptors. But it has its own beauty that comes from its ability to convey these feelings, making you feel every pain or happiness that Malcolm and JB and Willem and Jude feel. It's some of the best prose I've read in a while (or ever read), and I wanted it to keep going on forever.

There's so much more I could say about this book. About how it hurt me to read at times--because yes, there is very graphic material that makes the reading cringeworthy in parts--about how I fell in love with so many wonderful people in this story, about how I learned empathy and sorrow and frustration and anger for and with each of them, and how if I were to write a book I would want it to have the essence of this one.

The truth is, though, I can't recommend this book to people, not without knowing them very well. Because it's a difficult journey that I can't suggest everyone take. Don't take this book lightly. But if you do choose to read it, if you choose to flip to that first page, be prepared for something inexplicable and jarring, but resilient and beautiful and ultimately worthwhile. (Source)

Well, that's it for this month! Anyone still making resolutions? Hope this year you'll achieve all your hearts desires! 

Tuesday, 2 January 2018

Handle With Care.

I love studying Uloom al Hadith (Science of Hadith). I was once talking to my Uber driver and he said, "why would you love the Hadith more than the Quran, you should prioritise the Quran above anything else", which is undeniably true, but I also think he misunderstood where I was coming from. 

The Quran is constant. Muslims don’t differ too much with regards to the Quran, mostly the interpretation of it. But the sunnah, hahaha. We quote Prophet Muhammad SAW on a day basis, we come across sayings attributed to him on a daily basis be it in Facebook, WhatsApp messages, instagram, tumblr reblogs and also the people around us. It’s everywhere and it is sad that despite the fact of how widespread it is, many of the hadiths we come across are false, or even weak. The spread of falsehood comes with how widely and commonly spread it is, despite the severe warning of the Prophet SAW to not attribute a saying to him which he did not say. [eople do it all the time. It’s sad, and scary. 

All I can say is, be careful. We live in a time that is far far far from the Prophet. We are the generation 1,400 years after. Things, sayings and news get twisted in a matter of seconds even during our time, let alone sayings from 1,400 years ago! Check your sources. Alhamdulillah the scholars have done the hard job for us. They’ve travelled far for chain of narrationds. They’ve authenticated ahadith. They’ve categorised ahadith. They’ve compiled it, they’ve done research on every narrator. Whatever you can think of, you name it. They’ve done it. 

If someone were to sell you a Van Gogh, or a Monet, or even a Kahlo for a cheaper price than what it’s worth, you’ll get it authenticated. These are beautiful paintings, but they're merely paintings. Allah’s deen is worth so much more. All we have to do is latch onto what the scholars have done for us. Be careful.