Shaikh Abdal Hakim Murad, Muslim Chaplain Cambridge University (the Shaikh formerly known as Tim Winter) 
Wednesday, 9 May, 2012, 07:24 AM - Old age, Murad
Rating 1 out of 5 (Not platitudinous)

Up to one in eight people are carers, looking after sick or elderly family members, many of whom suffer from dementia. They are often isolated and exhausted. Many suffer from depression.

This huge amount of self sacrifice, tells us that perhaps we are not the selfish society that some would have us believe.

For those of us who are not carers, we can do more to help. The advice of a certain well known prophet, was to keep in touch with our parents' friends and so honour both them and their carers.

4 comments ( 746 views )   |  permalink   |   ( 3 / 202 )

Shaikh Abdal Hakim Murad, Muslim Chaplain Cambridge University 
Wednesday, 2 May, 2012, 06:56 AM - Murad
Rating 1 out of 5 (Not platitudinous)

As this is essentially a eulogy for a friend who was brutally murdered, once again a parody would be inappropriate.

6 comments ( 747 views )   |  permalink   |   ( 3 / 210 )

Shaikh Abdal Hakim Murad, Muslim Chaplain Cambridge University (the Shaikh formerly known as Tim Winter) 
Wednesday, 18 April, 2012, 07:29 AM - Interfaith, Murad
Rating 5 out of 5 (Extraordinarily platitudinous)

And now for an insight into the headlines from a faith perspective: I've been to Indonesia you know? I visited this really bizarre temple where all sorts of loopy religions were practised as well as the only sensible one.

Britain is only just coming to terms with multi-faith prayer rooms. Blackburn Rovers have commendably turned one of their toilet blocks into a multi-faith prayer room. There, at half time, if the Rovers aren't doing too well, devout Methodists and Druids can pop in for a quick prayer to the Invisible Magic Friend.

Other football clubs have not yet been so enlightened, but give it time. Meanwhile multi-faith prayer rooms are appearing everywhere. They are places where people of all faiths come together in peace and harmony to worship their own Invisible Magic Friend, or, in the case of particularly wrong religions, friends.

The issue of what decorations, books and other religious paraphernalia should decorate these multi-faith prayer rooms, which welcome people of all faiths - no, honestly, they do - is one that has to be decided by someone. The question is who should decide this? The answer of course is that the correct religion should!

I find this all tremendously encouraging. It just goes to show the fantastic growth of all faiths in this country. Above all it should not simply be taken as a sign that motorway service stations will stop at nothing to try and attract you in to buy some fried chicken and fries.

So if you're driving along the motorway and find you desperately need to stop for a quick trip to the loo, why not make the trip complete with a visit to the multi-faith prayer room. No matter what you're religion, you're sure of a warm welcome from all the devout members of the correct one.

20 comments ( 831 views )   |  permalink   |   ( 3 / 256 )

Shaikh Abdal Hakim Murad, Muslim Chaplain Cambridge University (the Shaikh formerly known as Tim Winter) 
Wednesday, 16 November, 2011, 08:47 AM - Economics, Money, Murad
Rating 4 out of 5 (Highly platitudinous)

Well, I don't really understand what's happening, but something is clearly happening. As someone who has no expertise whatsoever in economics, banking or financial trading, I think I'm the ideal person to come on to the BBC's flagship news programme and give you an uninterrupted three minutes, no questions asked lecture on the morality of these things I don't understand.

I don't understand government debt for example, but I do know that Greece has got far more of it than is good for it. This makes Greek government debt a bad thing. Italy also appears to have too much government debt. This makes Italian government debt a bad thing too.

We people of faith don't like to say we told you so, but if you'd all spent your time being hungry all the time, like a certain well known Prophet, and lived a more ascetic lifestyle, then we wouldn't be in this mess. We, and by "we" I do of course mean "you", have all gotten rather used to borrowing money to finance our increasingly lavish and decadent lifestyles, merrily frittering away money you don't have, until the bailiff comes knocking at your door. I take no pleasure at all in watching you suffer the consequences of your irresponsible and immoral lifestyle.

When the certain well known Prophet prayed to our version of the Invisible Magic Friend (a version with no visible bits whatsoever), he prayed to save us from debt. So it's not just Greek or Italian government debt that is a bad thing, all government debt is a bad thing, as is all personal debt. Everyone should pay back all their debts immediately, thus making the world a more stable, happier place.

Next time I'll be telling you all about something else that I don't understand.

7 comments ( 1089 views )   |  permalink   |   ( 3.1 / 292 )

Shaikh Abdal Hakim Murad, Muslim Chaplain Cambridge University (the Shaikh formerly known as Tim Winter) 
Tuesday, 8 November, 2011, 08:11 AM - Be nice, Murad
Rating 3 out of 5 (Fairly platitudinous)

Those clever scientists have discovered African migration to Britain over 40,000 years ago. What this shows is that, even in the dim and distant past, foreigners were coming over here and taking our jobs.

But before you get too angry with all these illegal workers, just keep in mind that all our families had to come here once. So in fact, even we British are foreigners. Xenophobia and hard right attitudes are on the rise across Europe, although thankfully they remain confined to the lunatic fringe here in the UK.

Mecca, where most of you cannot go, was founded by Abraham's son Ishmael. We know this because immigration records have been remarkably well kept in Arabia for the last 3,000 years or so. Abraham prayed to the Invisible Magic Friend that Ishmael would receive a warm welcome from the locals and he did. Most of the human race, would get rather a different welcome if they tried to visit Mecca today. You could of course pray to the Invisible Magic Friend to keep you safe, but bear in mind that the Invisible Magic Friend doesn't always grant everything that you pray for.

Let's hope that Europe continues to give the kind of welcome that ancient Meccans gave to those from a different background, and not the kind that modern Meccans are likely to give.

4 comments ( 986 views )   |  permalink   |   ( 3.1 / 269 )

Shaikh Abdal Hakim Murad, Muslim Chaplain Cambridge University (the Shaikh formerly known as Tim Winter) 
Tuesday, 2 August, 2011, 07:50 AM - Murad
Rating 5 out of 5 (Extraordinarily platitudinous)

Happy Ramadamadingdong everybody! Yes it's that favourite month that all Muslims so enjoy. A quarter of the world's population is Muslim you know, many whether they want to be or not. That's far more then there are of you, whoever "you" are.

Now, I don't want to sound smug, or self-satisfied, or in any way holier than thou, but we Muslims, who are a quarter of the world's population you know, fast during daylight hours during the holy month of Ramadan. We're generally holier than you anyway, but during the holy month we're even holier than normal. By fasting, we show our ability to exercise restraint, to demonstrate our self control. We don't indulge in gluttony and give in to base temptations as you undoubtedly do. My body is a temple for my invisible magic bit.

In our pious, ascetic way, we demonstrate our virtue, while you, whoever "you" are, continue to alternate between binging, dieting and other eating disorders. Far be it from me to lecture you, but don't you realise there are people starving in this world? Yes, some are starving due to the breakdown of secular government and warring between rival Muslim warlords, but we're a quarter of the world's population - there's plenty more where they came from.

As a certain well known prophet once said, "Moderation in all things, although if you happen to come across any unbelievers..." I'd just like to add the word "sober", as that's just one more way we, who are a quarter of the world's population you know, are better than you.

And now for just one last completely unfounded and irrelevant assertion: you are completely dependant on the Invisible Magic Friend.

8 comments ( 1224 views )   |  permalink   |   ( 3 / 453 )

Shaikh Abdal Hakim Murad, Muslim Chaplain Cambridge University (the Shaikh formerly known as Tim Winter)  
Wednesday, 27 July, 2011, 07:30 AM - Justice and mercy, Murad
Rating 3 out of 5 (Fairly platitudinous)

The atrocity in Norway, committed by Anders Breivik, continues to shock, not least because Breivik seems to show no remorse for killing over 90 people, many of them youngsters.

But let's not talk about him. Let's talk about someone on the other side of the world who killed anyone he thought looked Muslim. Mark Stroman was executed last Thursday, despite the pleas of one of his victims. After the shooting, Rais Bhuiyan went on his pilgrimage to Mecca, the city that's being racking in money from pilgrims since even before the time of a certain well known prophet. Transformed by this transformative pilgrimage, Rais was filled with warmth and love and goodness, put there by the Invisible Magic Friend.

That's what the Invisible Magic Friend does - he puts warmth and love and goodness in people. He put it in Adam, whom you'll recall was the first human. I'm not sure if he put it in Eve or not, so let's not mention her, but he definitely put it in Adam. I know this because it says so in one of the nice bits of our Big Book of Magic Stuff.

So let's all pray to the Invisible Magic Friend that Breivik shows repentance. If you close your eyes and pray really, really hard, it is bound to happen.

5 comments ( 694 views )   |  permalink   |   ( 3 / 424 )

Shaikh Abdal Hakim Murad, Muslim Chaplain Cambridge University (the Shaikh formerly known as Tim Winter)  
Wednesday, 20 July, 2011, 07:34 AM - Art, Murad
Rating 4 out of 5 (Highly platitudinous)

Two Poussin paintings have been vandalised at the National Gallery. Both are religious scenes: the Israelites idolatrously idolising the golden calf, and the shepherds idolatrously idolising the second best prophet in Islam. Perhaps this was some kind of religious nutter. There's a lot of them out there you know. I don't know where they get their wacko ideas from.

Great art certainly seems to command its share of idolatry, which is why in Islam we prefer not to have much of it. Some of it seems to command crazy prices. Perhaps we should have to do some kind of "ritual purification" before being allowed to see it. I don't mean the kind of really useful ritual purification like we do before entering a mosque, no, I mean the usual bag search, pat down and weapons scanner that we seem to get all the time nowadays. I can't think why we have to have all these security searches all over the place. Can you?

The Koran tells us that we shouldn't have security checks at art galleries, even in cultures where art galleries full of pictures with people in them are allowed. I hope the authorities at the National Gallery are paying attention to what I'm telling them.

21 comments ( 750 views )   |  permalink   |   ( 3 / 447 )

Shaikh Abdal Hakim Murad, Muslim Chaplain Cambridge University (the Shaikh formerly known as Tim Winter) 
Wednesday, 4 May, 2011, 07:38 AM - Murad
Rating 5 out of 5 (Extraordinarily platitudinous)

Already people are talking about him: Osama Bin Laden - the Dark Lord. There are quite a few problems about the manner of his demise which are starting to lead to conspiracy theories, even amongst those not normally inclined to believe in conspiracies.

After World War II, the Nazis got a trial before their execution. It was one of the ways that America proved it was civilised. One of the nice bits of the Koran says that justice is important. So I think the Dark Lord should also have got a trial before his execution. That way we can see that he was executed properly.

Next there's this burial at sea thing. Crack theologians from Al-Azhar University, probably some of the very best theologians in the world, pronounced that the burial was not done properly and that he cannot be considered to be properly buried. The correct procedures for the burial of the world's most wanted terrorist, as laid out in the Koran's chapter, "Procedures for the Burial of the World's Most Wanted Terrorist" should have been followed. The dead have rights, including having a religiously valid burial.

It's possible that all the world's oceans may now be regarded as a shrine, as bits of the Dark Lord get bitten off, digested and dispersed throughout the world. Groups of ardent, but not really proper, Muslims are already kneeling on the seafront along Southend beach in pilgrimage to the Dark Lord. The Prophet himself, having killed his enemies, saw to it that they were properly buried. That's how kind and merciful he was. When he returned to Mecca, he even allowed the hitherto non-believers, but who had now converted in time, to remain alive. How's that for mercy!

I'm sure that all people of faith, but obviously not atheists, would agree with me on this.

14 comments ( 1189 views )   |  permalink   |   ( 3.9 / 1136 )

Shaikh Abdal Hakim Murad, Muslim Chaplain at the University of Cambridge  
Wednesday, 27 April, 2011, 07:19 AM - Science, Murad
Rating 5 out of 5 (Extraordinarily platitudinous)

A leaked memo suggests that the Higgs boson might have been found - the so-called "god" particle. You do realise that we European taxpayers are paying billions for this, don't you?

My first contact with the Large Hadron Collider, was when a Muslim physicist approached me with a vital question.

"Oh wise one, is it permitted for me to work on the Large Hadron Collider. You see it is possible it might create a black hole that will destroy the entire observable universe.

[Ed - either he wasn't a very good physicist, or, rather more likely, the good Shaik misunderstood him]

After deep study of the Quantum Field Theory of Gravity, I was able to determine that the Koran did not mention working on a Large Hadron Collider that might create a black hole that will destroy the entire observable universe and therefore he was permitted to conduct his research.

"Oh thank you oh wise one," he replied. "It is thanks to such wisdom as yours that science prospers so well in Islamic lands today."

There is a widespread misunderstanding among the theologically naive. They seem to think that, just because science keeps discovering how things work, that this somehow makes the Invisible Magic Friend less necessary. Science is all well and good. I'm a big fan of science, really, but in the real world, theology is much more complex and sophisticated than that. I would explain more but i doubt if you would understand the subtlety involved.

The discovery of the Higgs does not explain why anything exists at all, does it? So as you can see, so long as there is one gap left, there is still plenty of room for the invisible Magic Friend to fill it. Nor does it explain why we are here. There must be a reason and no amount of physicists with their "calculations" and advanced arithmetic will ever answer that.

These are questions that are so much deeper and higher and mysteriouser than those poor old scientists can address. Ultimately, this is why theology is so much more important than science.

15 comments ( 1391 views )   |  permalink   |   ( 3.2 / 572 )

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