On The Mona Lisa

Mona Lisa is an illusion because the eyes move because you move.

The eyes change because you change the direction of looking at them.

It is an optical illusion.

Illusion is what can be explained by science, like, say, a magic trick. Illusion is reality.

Quotes From Iqbal’s ‘ Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam’ (a must read)

…To have a succession of identical thoughts and feelings is to have no thoughts and feelings at all. Such is the lot of most Muslim countries today. They are mechanically repeating old values…
…space, time, and matter are interpretations which thought puts on the free creative energy of God.
If the aim of religion is the spiritualisation of the heart, then it must penetrate the soul of man, and it can best penetrate the inner man . . . We find that when Muhammad Ibn Tumart—the Mahdi of Muslim Spain—who was Berber by nationality, came to power and established the pontifical rule of the Muwahhidun, he ordered for the sake of the illiterate Berbers that the Quran should be translated and read in the Berber language and that the call to prayer should be given in Berber.
Such is the attitude of the modern Turk, inspired as he is by the realities of experience, and not by the scholastic reasoning of jurists who lived and thought under different conditions of life. To my mind these arguments, if rightly appreciated, indicate the birth of an International ideal, which forming the very essence of Islam, has been hitherto overshadowed or rather displaced by Arabian Imperialism of the earlier centuries in Islam.
The republican form of government is not only thoroughly consistent with the spirit of Islam, but has also become a necessity in view of the new forces that were set free in the world of Islam.
The more genuine schools of Sufism have, no doubt, done good work in shaping and directing the evolution of religious experience in Islam; but their latter-day representatives, owing to their ignorance of the modern mind, have become absolutely incapable of receiving any fresh inspiration from modern thought and experience. They are perpetuating methods which were created for generations possessing a cultural outlook differing, in important respects, from our own
Hard his lot and frail his being, like a rose leaf, yet no form of reality is so powerful, so inspiring, and so beautiful as the spirit of man.

5 Traits that make us Human

The 5 traits that make us human:

Thirst for power
Love for money
survival in groups
Belief
Intellect or a curiosity to understand, and revel, this God’s Masterpiece.

Thirst for Power: If there were no thirst for power, there would be no organization or an hierarchy.
In other words, there would be no system.

Love for money: If there is a difference between humans and animals, it is fundamentally a need for “excess”. Animals eat their hunt, but humans want more than that: Money. Ironically, this trait is needed amongst humans because greed leads to Economic growth–it helps in socio-economic development.

Survival in Groups:

Firstly, we have to define a ‘group’. A group is an idea, an ideology, which people adhere to. Whether it be religion, ethnicity, geographical area, etc, people align themselves with these hypothetical notions. This is because humans survive in groups. Our past is tribal: And, they also hunted in groups.

Belief:

Belief is the driving force of humanity. It provides us with a sense of purpose. A person can take a life for belief and give a life for belief. It is the first instinct of man, more powerful then the instincts of subsistence and curiosity.

Intellect:

This marvelous structure that God has created, entangled with all sorts of mysteries that we try to explicate, most likely, also has a purpose. We can cure diseases through science. We can understand the physical world using Physics and the metaphysical world using Philosophy. We can develop strict mathematical definitions and logic. But why all the mystery? Why all the advancement with science?

On Multiple Marriages in Islam

Whatever proceeds hereon is based upon logic. I am not a Mufti or an Islamic Scholar. But without knowing the full details of the Quran and Sunnah, I would like to regardless venture onto this topic.

The birth of Islam happened through Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Then other Sahabis started to convert to Islam. In other words, Islam was in its infancy.

Conventional wisdom was of multiple Gods (or Paganism). In this environment, Muslims were few and far between. In other words, there was friction between the two forces of Paganism and Monotheism.

This resulted in war. Men fight wars. So, the ratio of man to woman must have been biased towards women.

There are two conditions that are required to engage in multiple marriages: One is sexual potency (or ability), and the other is economic ability to support all wives. It is encouraged that every wife is treated equally. So, for this reason, that the ratio was probably off, multiple marriages were accepted. Islam is a secular religion. In other words Multiple marriages were beneficial for women: Both to get economic protection, and to get sexual gratification. How does this apply now?

World war 1 and 2 claimed millions of lives. Another war may happen between Muslims and their adversaries. The above– regarding multiple marriages– might apply any time in the present or the future.

Another reason Multiple marriages were probably allowed is procreation. That is, at that time, multiple marriages would increase the number of Muslims. In this way Islam would spread.

Any informed comments will be appreciated.

N.B Please bear in mind that we are dealing with very small numbers of Muslims engaged in wars: Say there are 300-odd Muslims engaged in a war, then the ratio between men and women becomes very lopsided even if 25 percent of the men die. Assuming there are 300 Muslims, 150 men– if 50 percent of men die, we are down to 75 men. Women become 2 times more than men. With caveats such as libido and economic ability, the sample of men who can engage in multiple marriages is even smaller.

We can also use reverse engineering here: If the ratios between men and women are equal, then (suppose) if one man marries three women, 2/3rds of the men cannot marry a woman (because there are no women to marry).

Additionally, reciting the Quran gives belief. In other words, mentally we are all here and there. However, reciting the Quran can automatically increase belief and diminish doubt.

Recitation of the Quran also happens during prayers. This is to give belief. Then when we bow down to God during Salat, it cuts our ego: We regard a deity that, to us, is much greater than us.

Pakistan Ranked 1 in Test Cricket

Despite the fact that Pakistan cannot play cricket at home, it is remarkable that we are the number one test team. However, with two aging stalwarts, I think the time has come for Pakistan to hit rock bottom again. When Younis and Misbah retire, we don’t have a dependable batsman who can make consistent hundreds. The newer players will take time to settle in, or adjust to, international cricket.

Amir is not what we expected of him. He cannot swing the ball, though he is accurate. Wahab Riaz is mediocre outside of a one-odd performance. Yasir Shah is a roller coaster. Umar Gul is unreliable as ever. And, Mohammad Irfan (a prodigious talent in my view) cannot sustain bowling a few overs.

In other words, the future is grim. Neither bowling nor batting looks strong on paper. I think Pakistan overachieved in England (with the team that they had).