Are the Qur’an and Music the Same?


In the Name of Allah, the extremely Merciful at this very moment, and the extremely Merciful at all times.

In the Name of Allah, the extremely Merciful at this very moment, and the extremely Merciful at all times

If you ride the NY subway long enough, you’re going to see some “interesting” people.  One night as I rode the 1 train from 191st  in Manhattan towards my daily destination in the Bronx, my eyes couldn’t help but fall on a young “typical adolescent”- swagged out with the sideways fitted, baggy pants, oversized jacket, Converse sneakers, and “Beats by Dre” headphone- as he took the seat across from me.

He wasn’t Darth Vader, the guy singing to the next destination, or some other crazy guy trolling the subways, but he sparked a reflection in me that I write about today.

The music from his headphones was blasting loud enough that I could faintly make out the lyrics.  As he bobbed his head back and forth and was repeating the lines along with the words, with the occasional hand gestures to and fro, I couldn’t help but be reminded of the young kids they show on CNN in the madrasah’s across the world- rocking back and forth repeating the lines of Qur’an they memorize.

And as strange as it sounds, the question that popped in my head was: Are the Qur’an and music the same?

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What Medicine has Taught me About Death


In the Name of Allah, the extremely Merciful at this very moment, and the extremely Merciful at all times.

With the Name of Allah, the extremely Merciful at this very moment, and the extremely Merciful at all times

First week on the wards, walking around with no idea where anything is or how to conduct a proper interview, my chief resident sent me down to see my first ever consult in the ER.  As I picked up the chart and walked into the room, I came upon a medically stable yet ill appearing malnourished and unkempt homeless man.  He looked up at me, confused and lethargic.

“Hi Mr. A., my name is Hateem.  I’m the student on the team that’s going to be taking care of you.”

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