Sunday, February 28, 2010

Quote of the Week

“Within us all there lies the potential to realize our dream. However, within only a few of us there lies the courage to realize our potential”
~ Imam Zaid Shakir

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Skinny Genes

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

"Character, I am sure, lies in the genes." - Taylor Caldwell

Assalaam alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhuSo I heard an interesting bit of news the other day. Apparently, Pakistan has come out with a pill that makes you grow taller. Now, immediately I had two reasons to doubt any validity to this claim: (1) It’s Pakistan; (2) It’s Pakistan.

Once the sheer absurdity of this claim subsided, I started thinking about what would happen if it WERE true. What if there was a pill that could help people grow taller? If such a thing did come to fruition, surely it would only be a matter of time before other things were made available as well. Eye color, hair color, weight, athleticism, in addition to height, would all be subject to what we would want them to be. The scary thing….we’re well on our way to this becoming a reality. It’s not as far-fetched as it might sound. With the mapping of the human genome, it’s definitely a lot closer than we realize.

Imagine going to the doctor and telling him what you want your baby to look like. Or imagine going to the doctor and telling him how you want to “improve” yourself. Would you do it?...

I mean sure it sounds amazing, but have you ever considered the consequences. Those who wouldn’t be able to afford such “favor”, would clearly fall behind in society. Priority would be given to those who would basically be able to buy their athleticism, and intelligence, and looks, and physical and mental prowess. And again, this isn’t something out of the Twilight Zone or out of an M. Night Shyamalan movie…the threat of an emerging genetic underclass is real..and very distinct…(Human Genome Project ring a bell to anyone?)

But my question is….where does that leave us…the Ummah of The Prophet (pbuh)? Do we cave into this modern trend of fabricating our existant realities…or do we stay “organic”?

"God does not judge you according to your bodies and appearances, but He looks into your hearts and observes your deeds."
- The Prophet Muhammad (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him)

I can already see half of us stumbling over each other…“I want green eyes!”, “Give me blonde hair!”, “Give me bigger biceps!!”, “ I wanna be 6’8, 280 lbs, but still be able to run a 4.2 40 yard dash”…

We would lose ourselves, and our identity. All of a sudden, race-based and ethnic-based discrimination would take on a whole new meaning. How would someone know that their friend isn’t a statute or that their wife isn’t a walking, talking, breathing manikin?

But again like I said, we are already well on our way…plastic surgery (for leisure), nose jobs, breast implants, different colored eye contacts for no freakin reason….I mean seriously, sometimes I feel like the whole world is turning into one big giant “Niptuck” set.

I heard a little while ago that the “Nose Job Capital” of the world was none other than….you ready for this?....TEHRAN…yes, THAT Tehran. Apparently, some women have become so immersed in the idea that they’re noses are naturally “too big” that they run towards surgically “fixing” them….imagine the impact that such state of mind has on one’s self-confidence. How can somebody function if they’re constantly worried about their God-given features? Surely, they’d be caught up in an endless cycle of chasing something they can never have.

Remember, if you chase after the illusions of the duniya (this world), you’re setting yourself up for failure by chasing something you can never have, because it’s not even there in the first place…But even more importantly, it’s taking you away from The Most Glorious.

Hopefully these dangers are obvious…I mean I can’t be the only sane person left in the world…or am I?

If you have seen or heard any goodness in this note, that goodness comes from The Loving One, The Wise, and you should be thankful to Him for that. If you see any weakness or shortcomings in this note, than that weakness is from me. I ask The Most High and the people to forgive me for that. Ameen.

Assalaam alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa baraktuhu