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Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Found an awesome t-shirt site!

Bismillah ar-Rahmaan ar-Raheem,

I thought it would be cool to have Ummah Films t-shirts. Although it would be a great marketing tool, we currently have like ZERO in our budget. Anyhow, I wanted to get prices so when we do have some funds, we know how much it would cost.

The site that I went to was called customink.com. Unlike many sites, they allow you to use their online software to upload your logo so you can get a feel of what your shirt will look like. They also have a visual site chart which is awesome!

Although the site is very cool..its also pretty pricy too. I suggest once you know what you want, you order the t-shirts from Ebay and then go to your local screen printing place and negotiate for a deal.
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Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Adding Video to your Blog

Bismillah ar-Rahmaan ar-Raheem,

If you are interested in learning how to add video to your Blogger, I found a website that give you video instructions on how to do it: http://www.freevlog.org/

Also, make sure to check out these links too:
Encoding Video for the Web

Encoding a Movie
Preparing an image sequence
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Thursday, March 23, 2006

Free Streaming Videos on Film Production, Postproduction, & Delivery!

Bismillah ar-Rahmaan ar-Raheem,

You can see highlighted sessions, free of charge, on lighting and webcasting, as well as sessions on production management and independent project marketing, from the previous DVExpo.
(registration is required but there is no charge)

~ John Jackman Lighting for DV, HD, and HDV
~ Tim Napoleon What You Need to Know about Live Webcasting
~ Peter Hackes Video Production Tips for Webcasting
~ Adam Wilt Maximizing Success with DV Cameras, Part 2
~ Megan Cunningham Marketing and Selling Your Independent Project
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Sunday, March 19, 2006

"Home Movie Style" vs "Professional Style"

Bismillah ar-Rahmaan ar-Raheem,

Last night I met up with Hani and we were watching the director's cut of El Mariachi during dinner. We started talking about the differences between "Home Movie Style" which is how most of us at home film our home videos vs. "Professional Style" which is using different camera angles, recording the sound effects seperately, and adding extra touches (i.e. music) to enhance the film.

We decided to put ourselves in Robert Rodriquez's shoes and do a quick shot in the parking structure downstairs. We made it challenging by pretending we only had 60 seconds of film to record on. We didn't have any idea what we wanted to film and kinda decided it while we were walking to the parking garage.

So I thought it would be cool to show you the difference between "Home Movie Style" vs "Professional Video Style", so here it is.

The scene is a man walking through the garage door and then entering his car.

CLIP #1 is the "Home Video Style". The cameraman stands in one stationary position and records the scene with just a simple pan. Basically, its all filmed in one shot and the video & audio were recorded at the same time.

CLIP #2 is the "Professional Style". There are a total of 11 different shots (instead of the 1 compared to Clip #1). We recorded the whole thing in silent and then we recorded all the audio separated (folli). Basically, we made all the sound noises and then added it to the silent film so the audio came our clearer and more realistic (you can barely hear the sound from Clip #1). Then we added background music to give it a suspenseful feel to it (the spicy on the cake baby!).

Both clips were compressed because of bandwidth issues. If you want to see a higher quality of the clip, click here.

Some of you may think that the music is the only difference between the two but its not. Here is the same Clip #1 with the music of Clip #2. Yeah, the music makes it more interesting but visually it still dull and the sounds (gate closing, footsteps, keys going into ignition, etc..) are harder to hear and sound very distant.

Now you don't have to film the full scene for every shot but rather just a few seconds of each and then you can put them all together during editing. We were going to put the lens cap when we were recordign the folli but decided not to. Its actually better that we didn't because with the lens cap off, we were able to see what sounds we were making. For example, when the guy was moving his feet, then you know that you were recording the footsteps. Otherwise, you would be looking at a black screen with a bunch of sounds. That would be a headache to cut in the editing room and take up way too much time.

Finally, make sure you record more camera angles than you need. We pretty recorded each camera only once and that was it. Instead of wasting time repeating shots, we used our time filming just a few seconds of a bunch of different camera angles. Then during editing, we decided on the best angles and we used the top 10 angles for clip #2. That's something to keep in mind next time you are storyboarding you film.
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Saturday, March 18, 2006

Muslim Film Festival

Bismillah ar-Rahmaan ar-Raheem,

The Muslim Film Festival is coming up but I doubt we will have our first short completd by then.

If you are a Muslim filmmaker, it would be a good idea to join the Muslim Filmmakers list on yahoo, mFVT which is run by the people who are organizing the Muslim Film Festival.
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Thursday, March 16, 2006

RSS Feed on Ummah Films

Bismillah ar-Rahmaan ar-Raheem,

When checking the web stats, I'm noticed that we are getting a lot of hits from the same location. Assumming that these are the same people coming back to see if there is anything new posted on Ummah Films, I decided to add an Ummah Films RSS Feed.

In the right side of this page, there are three buttons: "Subscribe to Ummah Films", "Add to Google", & "Add to Yahoo". By clicking on any one of those buttons, you can set it up so that you are notified whenever there is a new post on the Ummah Films blog.

Since I use gmail (google email), and I have google as my homepage, I clicked on the "Add to Google" button on the Ummah Films homepage and the RSS Feed was automatically added to my google homepage (how cool is that?). Now now, whenever there is a post on Ummah Films, I can see it on my homepage without having to type check the blog (see below)

Google allows you to easily personalize your homepage to show everything from emails in your gmail inbox, to the weather, to even the RSS feeds you have subscribed to. Just goto www.google.com and click on the personalize button.

If you want to add a free RSS Feed to your site, goto to www.feedburner.com
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Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Special effects with After Effects

Bismillah ar-Rahmaan ar-Raheem,

Editing software alone will only take you so far. Anyone serious about adding special effects to their film needs a program like After Effects, Shake (Mac), etc. Hollywood keeps raising the bar and what is considered "state of the art" today may be referred to as "chessy" tomorrow. The good news is that the gap between what the industry can do and what we can do at home has become much smaller. With the average price of PCs and Macs dropping, its now even more affordable to buy a computer which will let you add those cool special effects to your movies.

Do you remember the morphing effect in "Terminator 2" or the one in Michael Jackson's "Black & White" video? You can do it After Effects! (how cool will it be to introduce your characters in your film by using this technique)

Click on the picture above to see a cool morphing effect done with the After Effects software. Here is the tutorial.

After Effects is a very powerful special effects program, some say the most powerful program for film effects... period. What Photoshop has done for still pictures, After Effects has done for video. Check out this demo for effects (the last one with weather effect is awesome). To give you a taste of what After Effects can do, make sure to check this tutorial out too.

The What is Broken film was made with a $8000 budget. The web docs demonstrates just some of the stuff they did with After Effects but the treasure of the website is the Forum section. They answer questions on everything from the planning stage to the post production phase. A must read for those who planning to make thier first independent film.
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Monday, March 13, 2006

How to get the "film" look using filters

Bismillah ar-Rahmaan ar-Raheem,

I'm sure you have seen the greenish look in the Matrix films or the bleach bypass look in Saving Private Ryan. Often times, it will take hours of tweaking with color correction but you can save a lot of time if you use some 3rd party filter.

If you have Final Cut Pro, there is another filter from Nattress called Film Effects 2.5.1 and it only costs $100. Check out this video demo here (not bad huh?).

You'll need Quicktime to see it. If you don't have quicktime, get out of the stone ages and download it.
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Muslim Awakening Update

Bismillah ar-Rahmaan ar-Raheem,

The new Ummah Films team met on Sunday for the first time to discuss the upcoming movie, "Muslim Awakening". The first day of shooting is scheduled for March 26th InshAllah. Since Sunday is the best day for everyone, it will take about 4 Sundays to shoot our first short InshAllah.
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Friday, March 10, 2006

Cool film techniques

Bismillah ar-Rahmaan ar-Raheem,

The next time you're in the middle of a really great film at a theater, look around at your fellow audience members. They are not aware of you, or the exit signs, or even of the fact they are in a theater. They are so into the story, they are completely focused on the movie and have lost all awareness of anything but the story. They are truly on a desert island, out in space, or in Middle Earth.

Now look up at the screen. Obviously, with your budget and timeframe, you can't duplicate the sets and the Hollywood special effects are a bit beyond your reach.

But what CAN you achieve?

Can you shoot your subjects with the same framing? Can you shoot a slower, non-interlaced frame rate? Can you use the same camera moves, angles, coverage and creative composition? Can you shoot with nice lighting, shallow depth of field, reduce video artifacts and have good color balance and saturation?


And if you do only those things, your projects will be much closer to Hollywood standards, and your viewers will "smell the popcorn"- meaning when they view your project the same chemicals will be triggered in their brain as the movie theater, meaning they will focus on your project and it will be a winner.

Next time you watch a favorite feature film, watch as the hero enters his or her flat. The rays of sunlight streaming in through the windows form striking diagonals in the frame, infusing the scene with drama and (literal) atmosphere.

In a scene for our upcoming movie, Shareef walks into the house of the sister he met on the internet and finds it full of smoke (her farther started smoking because of him). As I wrote the script, I was imagining that the room would be filled with smoke. So how would you pull this one off? Burn a souflée? Invite a bunch of chain-smokers to stink of your location? (uh no). Better! Simply run a fog machine on the set before shooting to "put some particle in the air". Picking up a $50 fog machine at a party store will add a nice dramatic touch to your interior shots (but mainly if you have darker walls, direct sunlight coming in through the windows or a pro light kit with a hard light).

The farther away an object is, the more fog is between it and the camera lens, meaning that distant objects are more indistinct, leading to sort of a shallower depth of field-type effect.

The whole depth thing is something that I came across recently.

In many camera moves, panning, tilting, dutching and even zooming, the camera itself stays in the same place- atop your tripod.

This changes what you see in the frame. But it does not change the relationship between any objects in the frame. For example, if someone's head is hidden behind a foreground plant, no amount of tilting or panning will reveal that person.

The very important concept of ADDING DEPTH- adding the third dimension- to your shots is at the very heart of making your project real and captivating your viewers.

Television screens, computer screens and theater screens are FLAT. Your viewers don't have the benefit of stereoscopic vision to give them depth cues (like in reality)- to determine which objects are closer and further from them.

Building depth into your footage is essential for creating and maintaining the cinematic illusion, for drawing your viewers into your project and having them be entranced by your film.

Along with some other ways to add depth into your shots is to actually move your camera through space.

Only by moving the camera does the relationship between foreground and background objects change- which is a key to establishing depth to your shots. With foreground objects moving against the background, the viewer perceives your project in three dimensions instead of the flat surface it's being viewed on.

Using moving camera shots with care and tastefully, interspersed in a series of "locked-down" tripod shots will give your production a bigtime look and feel.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

* * * reasons to move the camera * * *

- To reveal something that was not in the frame before

- To follow a moving subject- from the side, front, back or top

- A move towards the subject builds and focuses intensity and interest in the subject

- A move away from the subject relaxes interest, "distances" viewer from subject

- A POV (point-of-view) shot with a moving subject necessitates a moving camera- like running down an alleyway

- To establish (and later re-establish) a location- after a series of MCU (medium closeup) or CU (closeup) shots, a WS (wide shot) with a moving camera can re-orient the viewer to the location of the scene and re-establish and reinforce the mood of the location

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

* * * Moving camera shot vocabulary * * *

- move to the left - track left or crab left

- move to the right - track right or crab right

- move forward - dolly in or track in

- move backward - dolly out or track out

- move up - pedestal up or crane up

- move down - pedestal down or crane down

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Here are some options for moving your camera through space:


Take your camcorder off the tripod and you have a handheld shot. Move the camera carefully and move smoothly, like a jungle cat or ballerina, and you can get interesting, dynamic moving camera shots. Unfortunately, you can also end up with Blair Witch.

You can perform many camera moves, from dollies to trucks to crane shots handheld, but it is very difficult to duplicate the precision and steadiness that comes with using a mechanical device to move the camera. Interesting moving shots can be sometimes obtained by carrying a camcorder waist-high by the top handle.

A wide angle setting (zoomed out) is best when moving with a handheld camera, as longer focal lengths will magnify small hand movements too much. Image stabilization features will help with tiny hand tremors, but not with larger unsteady hand movements.

Of course, with a scene that is meant to have traumatic or violent motion, from chasing a bad guy- to experiencing an explosion, car accident or earthquake, handheld is the only way to go.

A special use of a handheld camera, in the hands of an expert, is to add life to a static shot with subtle but controlled random motion- resulting in a more lively energy, reality and immediacy than a locked down (tripod) shot.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Camera stabilizers:

If you see a moving camera shot on TV or a film that looks impossibly fluid and smooth, like the camera is floating or gliding through the air, chances are the camera operator has a camera stabilizing device. These units dampen all the camera jiggles and bumps that occur when shooting while walking or running.

There are some inexpensive stabilizers that do an amazing job of smoothing out moving camera shots- you can run alongside a car or person walking, up and down stairs, through an alley or over rocky terrain and the resulting shot looks like the camera is flying smoothly through space.

You can also simulate dolly, track and crane moves with most camera stabilizers with much better results than handholding the camera.

Check out the poor man’s steadycam. http://cgi.ebay.com/Poor-Mans-Steadycam-Steadicam-inverting-bracket_W0QQitemZ7574786845QQcategoryZ23780QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

You can find a bunch of different types on Ebay.

Dollys are very common in Hollywood but most of us can’t afford them. But you can get the same effect using a wheelchair. Just rent or borrow a wheelchair, sit down, hold the camcorder steady, and have a brother push you slowly and smoothly along a predetermined line or arc. On smooth surfaces, this should work just as well as a dolly, and can produce dolly and truck moves that look like a million bucks!
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Wednesday, March 08, 2006

What you'll need to make a film: Part 2 - Lighting

Bismillah ar-Rahmaan ar-Raheem,

Lighting can make or break your film. Most people spend most of their time worrying about video and audio equipment without worrying about lighting. If the film is shot in poor lighting, there really isn’t much you can do in the editing room so you want to make sure you give lighting the attention it deserves.

There is a great DVD about lighting for about $75 and I strongly recommend it. It called “DV Enlightenment” and it is made by dvcreators.net (no I don’t work from them). I actually bought the DVD a while ago and it has wealth of knowledge about lighting. There DVD is great but I think their lighting kits are overpriced.

As in regards of where to buy lighting equipment, once again I would recommend Ebay. If you’re on a inde budget, you can find a decent set for about $600. Make sure you buy a reflector (for 3 point lighting) and you can get nice from the Ebay user amvona.com for around $40.

There is no point of repeating all the stuff on the DVD so please check it out InshAllah.

What you'll need to make a film: Part 1 - Camera
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Tuesday, March 07, 2006

What inspired Ummah Films?

Bismillah ar-Rahmaan ar-Raheem,

A few months ago, I was invited to Bridges TV as guest on their new show, “The Beat”. Anyways, the CEO saw the game I invented, Mecca to Medina, at the ISNA conference in Chicago, so he asked me to come to NY and tell his audience about it. I was really excited because it was a great way to get the word out to my target audience, Muslims. I left LAX in the morning, got there by noon, filmed the show, hanged out at Bridges TV staff, and flew back the same day! (insane!!!) Yeah, it was a crazy 24hrs but Alhamdulillah I made it!

While I was there I was saw the staff work on a few different things. I got a chance to ask some questions and learn about industry, the software, and what was involved in making a show. As I soon realized that the technical part of making shows wasn’t that difficult, the gears in my head started turning. “ What about a Muslim Film Company?” Hmm….

I mean there isn’t much out there on the net other than DS-Films and Ash Films and if there is, it’s not easy to find on the net. Ash Films put out one film, The 11th Hour, and its shown over and over again on Bridges. That’s another sign that there isn’t much to choose from. The Ummah is thirsity and there is a huge vacuum and InshAllah I hope Ummah Films produces films that are both halal and entertaining, InshAllah.

My brother was the logical/mechanic one and could pretty much fix anything. On the opposite side of the coin, I was the creative one and was very fortunate enough to work on numerous creative projects (i.e. started a non-profit basketball organization, wrote two poetry books, got stuff published, invented a game, built numerous websites, taught flash animation classes, wrote scripts, designed candy bars and t-shirts, etc..). I think creative people are creative people and they need a creative outlet so jumping into film isn’t that much of a big deal. It’s just involves a lot of (technical) learning at first but once you have that down, the rest is about how good of a storyteller you are. There are plenty of multi-million dollar budget movies have no weight, end up on DVD in just months after they’re released, and are easily forgotten. The rare films that people remember are the ones that connect with audience and have those amazing stories that impact their thoughts. Those are the type of films we aim in making InshAllah. At the same time, I want Ummah Films to make films that have meaning and not just pop out movies for the sake of making movies.

I’m not much of the “just talk about it” type (I think we have more than enough of those type of people already) but rather I more of the “lets do it” kind of person and I have track record to show for it. So when I got back to Los Angeles, I started telling people about the Ummah Films and soon people started hearing about the new idea through the grapevine and they joined the us. And that’s how we ended up with the team we have now. We have a creative and talented group of people so now all we need now is something that is not common with Muslim organizations, being organized. If Ummah Films can somehow organize the talents that it has access to, I think we can produce some pretty cool films InshAllah.
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Monday, March 06, 2006

Future Projects

Bismillah ar-Rahmaan ar-Raheem,

I like to watch MMA fighting. ESPN occasionally airs a few hours a kickboxing. In one particular bout, a fighter named Samir Mohammed stepped into the ring, beat up his opponent and won the fight. The commentators mentioned he was 109-0. That's right, zero losses. Apparently he is from France and has been fighting for over 8 years. My idea? A documentary of course.
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What you'll need to make a film: Part 1 - Camera

Bismillah ar-Rahmaan ar-Raheem,

When I first wanted to start Ummah Films, all I knew is that I wanted to make films for the Ummah.  I had no idea what type of equipment I needed to  buy or how to make films.  Anyways, if I had some advise, it would have helped me save a lot of time and research.  I’m going to break down what I have learned in a series of posts on this blog.  This is the same advise I would give myself if I could go back in time so save yourself a lot of time and research and check out this series.  Today, we are going to cover the camera.
The most compelling reason not to buy a camera, if you're just getting started or you want to write/produce/direct is that there are a lot of people out there with cameras, professionals even, who would be happy to work on your project if it is any good. If it's not any good, why do you want to shoot it? They are working on boring commercial/corporate/industrial projects that holds little creative interest to them. Bring them your project and you might be able to get them, and their camera, on board.
That's not to say that buying a camera isn't smart. If you have an inclination towards camera operation and you are part of a filmmaking group light on techs, it would be a great way to log a lot of experience. However, don't let the camera be another obstacle to keep you from making movies
Making a film takes a lot of effort.  Assuming you have a crew, or at least a bunch of people that are as motivated as you are to make a film, start off with writing a script.  The script is tougher than you think.  You want it to be written in the standard format that the industry uses (Final Draft is a great software for this).  Check this link out for some sample scripts.  By finishing your script, it will give you an idea of how motivated you are in making a film.  You’ll quickly learn if it was just a temporary motivated idea or if its something you are motivated enough to do.
When you are ready to buy a camera, I suggest you look into the Panasonic DVX100, Canon XL1 or XL2.  They don’t make the XL1 anymore but you can still find it on Ebay or used video stores for about $2,000.00 or less.  The Canon XL2 cost about $5,000.00 but you can buy it off Ebay for about $4,000.  You can compare the Panasonic DVX100 & Canon XL2 here.  The Canon GL2 is also a less expensive solution and is something between the handheld miniDV camcorders and the XL2.  It’s a good solution for a low-budget movie.  Once again, don’t let your camera be your obstacle.
I did my research and choose the Canon XL2.  Check out this video on what the XL2 can do.  

Finally, I thought you may be interested in seeing the list of:
films that were filmed using the XL1 and list of films that were filmed using the XL2.
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Thursday, March 02, 2006

Muslim Wristbands linked to Ummah Films (finally!)

Bismillah ar-Rahmaan ar-Raheem,

Getting funding for a new Muslim film company isn't easy so we sell glow in the dark "MUSLIM" wristbands for $2 each to buy our eqiupment. So you're saying $2?! What are you going to buy with that?

Well, we sold about 2000 wristbands so far so yeah, it ads up :)

I finally linked up www.muslimwristbands.com with Ummah Films so if you want to support us, please buy a wristband. Scratch that, buy a bunch of them!
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Wednesday, March 01, 2006

The eye behind the stall is watching (so wash your hands!)

Bismillah ar-Rahmaan ar-Raheem,

So I continued writing for "Going up North: Muslim Road Trip" and I'm at about 30 pages into it so far. I write totally out of order so I plan to correct it all at the end.

In the script below, whenever it says "voiceover starts", it means that the brother is narrating the story and the viewer and the viwerer is seeing the actual event occurring (like a dramatization). Anyways, this is pretty much the stuff I wrote during break/lunch/free time today. By the way, since it’s the first draft, I just type…..it not finalized or anything...its just fast typing (whatever comes into my head type of thing) so please ignore the obvious mistakes (grammar, spelling, etc..)

Ok I got a good question for you
guys. Where is the weirdest place
you ever had to pray?

Hmm...I don't know.

I once prayed in an elevator


(voiceover starts) Yeah, we were at
the movies and I was about to miss

So you prayed in an elevator?

That's classic. How did you avoid
people from entering it

(voiceover continues)I didn't. I
figured who uses the elevator in a
two story movie theater. It only 2
floors and they have both escalators and stairs.
Anyways, it was all good until I was
in the final rakat and the elevator
started moving

Hahaha. What happened?

By the time, the doors opened, I
was on my last rakat, just finsihed
making my 2nd sajood and I was in
the Tahiyat part so I was still
sitting on the floor.

What did the people say that were
entering the elevator?

Nothing, I think they probably
thought I feel down or something.

That would be funny if another
brother was in the same situation
and joined you.

Hahaha (smiling).

The only place that I pray and no
one looks at me strange is the gym.

What so special about the gym?

Half the people in there have no
idea what they're doing anyways.
Its like people make up exercises
just to blend but they only bring
attention to themselves. I guess
after a while people get immune to
people doing strange things there
So I guess when I'm praying,
they're probably thinking that I'm
stretching or doing an unique

Hey Hamza, where are you funny

My stories are just plain news.
Its like I'm the back of the paper
"this-happened-today" section and
you guys are the funnies

C'mon...so you have no funny

He does! Hazma works in the
corporate world. He has lots of
funny stories. Tell him about the
bathroom handshake story Hamza.


You shake people's hand in the

Haha..no. Actually, its the
opposite. (voiceover starts) You
know how many people have like no
concept of cleanliness. When I'm
in the bathroom, I sometimes make a
mental note of doesn't wash their
hands so I could avoid shaking
hands with them later.

Hahaha...Are you serious? What do
you do? watch them when from the
bathroom stall?

(voiceover continues) Yep! When I
go to the bathroom, I take my sweet
time. Public bathrooms are so
funny. The same Mr. Corporate John
Smith who is oh so professional in
meetings is making funny bodily
noises in the bathroom and I'm just
cracking up like a little kid in
there. It's so funny.

That's nasty.

(voiceover continues) Personally, I
wait until everyones out of the
bathroom before I handle my
business...so I guess that's why
I'm in there for such a long time.
But staying in there has allowed me
see the stuff that happens behind
the scenes. I watch people pee in
the next cubicle next to me and
they just walk out.


I don't know what they are called.

They're called stalls. Cubicle.
Your too funny.

Whatever. (voiceover continues)
Anyways, I play the investigator
role when I'm sitting there, I pay
close attention to who washes their
hands and who doesn't. Some people
just turn on the water for like a
second...just enough so they can
wet their hands. I don't know who
they think they're fooling. They
think no one is watching...but I'm

You're crazy bro! (laughing)

(voiceover continues) A few
actually use soap. But then of
course there are the najisees


Yeah that's what I call them cuz
the leave the najis on themselves.
They just pee and walk out. But if
you are washing your hands, they
feel obliged to wash their hands
too. Makes you wonder, what
happens when you're not there. And
let me tell you, there are many
najisees. Many.

Dude, I would be freaked out if I
was washing my hands and I saw an
eyeball from the crack of the stall
looking at me.

My co-workers look at me when I'm
in the bathroom making withu.

That's because you get the entire
place wet when you make withu

Heheehe..I get a lot of looks in
the bathroom.

I sense another story coming
around. I told you he had em'!

(voiceover starts) Sometimes when
people are peeing, they start
conversations with me. You guys
know about that Hadith that the
Prophet (saw) didn't respond to the
person who was talking to him when
he was releiving himself.

Yeah...but they don't know that.

(voiceover continues) Yeah I know
but I still can't talk to them.
Anyways, for some reason people
have this urgency to talk to me
when their peeing and I'm washing
my hands.

So what do you do?

(voiceover continues) I don't say
anything. Just nod my head but when
they ask me questions and I just
stand there, its hard to sell the
idea that you can't hear them
especially since you are like 3
feet away from them. I often have
to make withu so that's what I do.
I do extra rinses of the mouth so I
can stall until their peeing is

What do your co-workers say when
they see you making withu?

(voiceover continues) At first its
ok but as I go through the process,
I start to get more and more
attention. When I'm just washing
my hands, everything is cool. It
looks normal. I don't really get
any attention there. But once I
start washing my face...I think
people start thinking I'm having an
emotional day. Then when I'm start
washing my arms to my elbows, they
figure I probably was doing like
labor intensive work or something.
Once I start wetting my hair and
ears, then they start really
looking at me. Maybe they think I
don't have a shower at home. But
the funniest part is when I take
off my socks and shoes. Now then
their eyes widen and their eyebrows
go up. Washing my feet in the same
sink that they are waiting to wash
their hands is just too funny.
hahaha...their expressions are

Hahaha..ok..back to the bathroom
handshake thing. You said you make
a mental note of who not to shake
hands with. Right? So what do you
do when these people walk up to in
the office and try to shake your

(voiceover) I have a few
strategies. Usually, I try to have
something in my "shaking hand" and
if I give myself enough distance I
use the old "hey, what's up nod" or
"hello! + smile wave". But if
there are too close, then there is
always the "how's-it-going-pat-on
the-shoulder greeting" followed by
a thumbs up. Sometimes, I may do a
combo and throw in a "what's
happening" head nod just to mix
things up.

What if they are about to extend
their hand for the shake?

(voiceover) Ahh...this involves
careful timing. Right before they
extend their hand, I cough and
cover my mouth using my shaking
hand. That's when they usually
back off.

And if all else fails?

(voiceover continues) If all else
fails, you go in for "the hug" but
you only use it as the last resort.

That's probably the last time they
will try to shake hands with you.


And I thought this guy didn't have
any stories.

I know we often say marriage is 1/2
our deen but there is also a Hadith
about cleanliness being 1/2 our
deen, which emphasizes the
important of staying clean.

That's so true. You're right.

Alhamdulillah. Its a blessing that
Allah (swt) chose us to be Muslims.
Just look at the four of us. I
know you guys were all born Muslims
but for someone who never knew what
Islam was, finding it was like
finding a diamond. It changed my
whole life.

And you know what else. All four
of us are from different parts of
the world, we have different views
about almost every subject but at
the end of the day, we are all
brothers. I mean, we speak
different languages, come from
different backgrounds and cultures,
but we are still tight with one


Yeah. Alhamdulillah. I love you

Don't tell me you are going to

Ah..no. But seriously, if the
entire Ummah would learn to live
with one another, our situation
would be different.

I think its more than that. There
is no unity and without unity, we
are divided. People fight and
divide on stupid stuff. Even the
Sahabas didn't agree on everything.
They had different opinions.
Today, we fight over some really
stupid stuff.


I mean some people are really hard
to talk to. When two brothers have
a different view on something,
discussions end up to arguments.
People are too busy talking instead
of listening to what the other
person is trying to say.

Do you know what's worse?


When the person daleel is something
that he heard from someone else,
who may or may not have knowledge,
and that person is arguing it as if
its 100%..its thier daleel. Then
if you don't agree with their first
daleel, then second daleel is
usually "emotions" or "yelling".
And if both sides decide to
continue, sometimes the third
daleel is fighting.

Its nonsense

Its a joke. People who aren't
qualified think they are qualified.

That's why were in the situation we
are today bro.
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