Random Characters In My PDFs?

Over the years, a number of people have asked me regarding the PDFs found here on my blog and the seemingly random characters they contain within. Since not many people venture to the My Work … page (links located in the menu bar at the top of the page and also at the top of the sidebar on the right), I thought I’d post up this notice and sticky it so that it’s the first post people see when they visit my blog.

So, if you’re seeing some seemingly random characters throughout the PDF articles I post here, it’s because you’re missing the font needed for it to display correctly. The usual culprit is the Arabesque II font, which is a font set that contains symbols for Arabic phrases such as subhanah wa ta’ala‘azz wa jallsallallah ‘alaih wa sallamradiyallah ‘anhu/ha/hum/huma, rahimahullah, and many others. Another possible culprit, but one which I haven’t heard being a problem, is the Times Ext Roman font. This is an extension to the Times New Roman font, which is pretty standard for all computers and devices. It contains diacritically marked characters (dots, squiggles and other accents over or above the characters) that aren’t included in the regular Times font set.

If you’re missing either of these fonts, head over to the aforementioned page (My Work …). You’ll find a link to a zip file containing the Arabesque TrueType (.ttf) font file and a link to an exe file that will install the Times Ext Roman font onto your computer.

Install both these font sets and the PDFs should display as they’re intended to.


So the 25th Annual Has Come & Gone

The 25th annual QSS Conference has come and gone, and I’m glad I made the time to attend my first conference in quite some time. Overall it was a good weekend for me; and Allah’s is the praise.

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The Meaning of Man

A few weeks ago, my dear friend Hashi sent out a link to an episode of TVO’s The Agenda with Steve Paikin. This episode’s discussion was focused on “the Meaning of Man” (YouTube video after the break). The blurb on TVO’s website read, “From head of the household to the butt of jokes, men have gone from the top of the world to underachieving drop outs. Is it finally time to feel sorry for the man?” As usual, with the short mailing list of close friends that he sent it to, we didn’t take Hashi’s request for thoughts and discussion seriously and poked fun at various things mentioned during the program. But for whatever reason, I remembered this video this morning and thought I’d post it up to my blog. Now, my intent is not to start some pity party for men, but with gender roles changing somewhat–or at least getting blurred–in Western society (in some Eastern societies the traditional roles as we know it are completely reversed), I thought this discussion would be good to post, as there were some points mentioned in the discussion that I found pretty interesting.

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The Religious Pilgrimage in the Liberal Context

The following is an essay that was written by a friend of mine for his English class at uni. He originally wrote it July of last year (2009) after making the pilgrimage to Mecca. He gave it to me to read this past Ramadan, but I wasn’t able to sit down and take a look at it until a week or so ago. I thought it was pretty eloquent and wanted to post it here for others to read. I hope you guys enjoy reading it as much as I did. May Allah reward and bless the brother for letting me post it to my blog. Unfortunately for you guys, he wants to remain anonymous, so he shall remain unnamed (my friend’s had a change of heart and said it’s ok for me to give him credit for authoring the paper. He also pointed out a part where I had repeated the same passage twice, so I’ve corrected that and also included his name as the author of the essay–if you guys downloaded the file and saved it to your harddisk, please redownload the updated version, may Allah reward and bless you).

From the essay’s opening:

Beneath a myriad of papers written around the idea that ‘truth is relative,’ a dusty Declaration of Independence, and John Locke’s now too lengthy Second Treatise, students of liberal education will find in their libraries a little black book penned by Thomas Shepherd. Upon reading Shepherd’s words entitled, “To my dear son,” perhaps on the topic of understanding hardship as a test from the most merciful, today’s liberally educated will raise a hasty fist, recite some Hardy and go on to praise a novel such as The Alchemist; here, a shepherd more palatable learns how to interpret “the signs of the world” through pseudo-religious spirituality that is now the hallmark of modern societies. Skimming through the ruffled pages encased in black leather, passing Shepherd’s entreaties to his son to “wonder at and love this God forever,” the student may look to the heavens without Hardy’s eloquence or experience and say,

[O!] if but some vengeful god would call to me
From up the sky, and laugh: “Thou suffering thing,
Know that thy sorrow is my esctasy,
That thy love’s loss is my hate’s profiting!”

Read on … The Religious Pilgrimage In the Liberal Context.

Inattentiveness & the Motor City

Some of you guys (especially those subscribed to my blog) may have noticed a post put up a few days ago titled, Montrealers! Head “Towards the Truth”, which disappeared almost as quickly as it appeared.

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New Look for May 2010

As should be pretty obvious, I’ve changed the theme for my blog. I’ve been wanting to do so for a few years now, but since I’m not paying to use WordPress or any of its custom services, my theme options are pretty limited and I haven’t found that one theme that I’m completely satisfied with, including both the old one I’ve used for years as well as this new one, which WordPress introduced to its users quite some time ago.

As gay as it is, I’ve also decided to try out this poll feature that WordPress added a while back as well. Those of you who visit regularly (or those of you who don’t) can vote on which of the two themes you like best. The poll’s after the break, so vote, vote, vote. Or don’t … it doesn’t really matter; I’m just bored. Poll’s open for about a week, then it should close automatically or something like that.

Oh yeah, regular visitors to my blog will also  notice a couple of new widgets off to the right. I’ve added a subscription thingy for those who want to receive updates via email. There’s also a top rated widget that will show the top rated posts and comments found on my blog. I’m not sure how this last one will work, but we’ll see.

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There is Sufficiency For You In Those Who Come

The following is a re-translation of a phone conversation that took place back in October 2002 in which Shaikh ‘Abdil-Muhsin al-‘Abbâd was asked about the statements made by Shaikh Rabî’ against QSS, QSS president Abdulmonem Burkhes, and against attending QSS’s activities and functions. It was originally translated and posted back in 2002 when Shaikh Rabî’ first warned against QSS and brother Abdulmonem, but is just as relevant today as it was back then. What’s mentioned in the conversation should also give a tiny glimpse at why the words of Shaikh Rabî’ in this particular matter, which some of our brothers continue to propagate, should not be given any importance or merit.

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