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Thursday, August 13, 2009

No more Ummah Films videos until further notice

Bismillah ar-Rahmaan ar-Raheem,

Ummah Films videos are on *pause* :(

When I made the Reminder videos, I kept saving money and buying better equipment so I could give the viewers a higher quality video. Although I made the videos for free, I didn't want to take the cheap route and wanted to do things with the same professional quality as if I was getting paid. The fruits of the hereafter are worth far more than whatever anyone can pay me in this dunya.

Anyways, the only drawback with buying high end equipment is that if something fails, its cost more than a few pennies to fix it. Long story short, my wireless mic isn't working anymore and until further notice, the Ummah Films videos are on hold. My goal was to record and edit Season 3 by the end of Ramadan but sometimes things don't work out the way you plan. Either way, we should always say Alhamdulillah.

On the bright side, my game Kalimaat has been doing really well. About 945 games have sold so far (Alhamdulillah) which is great considering the game launched a few weeks ago . Although Kalimaat from the outside looks like just a word game, it does have indirect benefits.

In a nutshell, the game is played like this: You have 60 seconds to give clues to your teammate so they can guess as many of the 10 Kalimaat words on the card. Each time they guess a word, they put a token down on the table. Once the 60 seconds is up, you'll have 30 seconds to remember what those words were. The words you remember, you get a point for...the words you can't recall, the other team will try to steal it by remembering them.

Of the 10 words, there are usually 1 or 2 words that are Islamic or Muslim-related.

So here are some of the benefits:

1. Communication: How many times have you seen a very knowledgeable person put people to sleep during Jummah. Just because one has knowledge doesn't mean that they know how to communicate that knowledge. As you know, there are some eloquent speakers that just speak nonsense but because they know how to communicate, they are able to get their message across while there are some very knowledgeable people that unfortunately do the opposite and don't get the attention they deserve. The game, Kalimaat, forces the clue-giver to speak at a level which the guesser can understand. When the Prophet (saw) spoke to people, he did it in a way so that person listening would understand. The way he spoke to a common person may have been different than the way he spoke to a Bedouin even though he was explaining the same Islam. Although the Prophet (saw) last Khutbah was short, it was effective because it was simple, informative, and to the point. These days, you can listen to a guy speak to the 30 minutes and its hard finding the actual point. Anyways, the game Kalimaat teaches you to communicate words to your partner so they will understand and because you're timed, you have to do it simple and to the point. Plus the pressure of being timed makes the game fun and entertaining (lots of laughs). You quickly learn that communication isn't as easy as you imagined and you have to adjust your words to get the other person to understand you.

2. Memorization. Even before Islam, people use to memorize hundreds of lines of poetry due to the lack of resources. Today, we can't goto the grocery store without a list and we still end up looking at the list a few times. This is because we don't use the memory part of our brain like we use to. If you notice the people who are Hafiz do really good in school because once you use the memory muscle on a consistent basis, you'll find it easier to memorize other things. Kalimaat encourages you to use your memory more and that can be very beneficial InshAllah.

3. Indirect Learning: Last but not least, players can learn indirectly. A little while ago, I was playing Kalimaat in Cleveland with some random brothers and the word "qiyas" came up and i was trying to explain it to my partner, but I ran out of time. Then one of the players from the other team later asked me what the word meant, and lead to a discussion. As you know, there is a Hadith that talks about the person who hangs out with the perfume seller vs the blacksmith. Even if you're just hanging out with the perfume seller, you're going to start smelling nice and if you just hanging out with the blacksmith, you're going to get you're clothes dirty. The idea behind Kalimaat is to provide a halal game that is fun, entertaining, and indirectly educational. Any by making things indirectly educational, people can naturally learn Islamic terms that they wouldn't normally learn.

The younger generation is constantly told this is "haram" and that is "haram" and we have to give them halal alternatives InshAllah instead of just saying every other thing is haram. I hope to make those alternative products like Kalimaat and I hope people will benefit from them as well InshAllah.

I posted some new reviews on Kalimaat from recent customers: http://www.babaaligames.com/reviews.html
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At August 13, 2009 5:06 PM, Blogger aneebaba said...

As salaamu alaikum Br. ALi - sorry to hear about the mic; we'll miss you and the videos. That's a reallly great explanation of hte benefits - I think you have now convinced me to buy the game! Guess you are picking up some communication skills! :-)

At August 14, 2009 2:23 AM, Anonymous Ibtisam said...

Assalamu alaikum!
hope u can start working on the video soon insha'Allah!

May Allah reward you for all the efforts(ameen)

At August 14, 2009 9:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hope i could help ):

At August 14, 2009 1:47 PM, Anonymous iMuslimz Network said...

Aslamoalaikum Brother,
I (iMuslimz Network Admin) love your videos alot if you wish you can find a good microphone on ebay and inshallah i will ask the buyer to deliver it to your place. I dont have thousands of dollars but hey I would like you to keep going... if you can find a good microphone and is in my spending limit i would be happy to send it to you for free :)

Other than that good luck and early RAMADAN MUBARAK brother

At August 15, 2009 2:26 AM, Blogger CurlyFatAngry said...

Don't know how I really ended up on this blog, but I sure do like the videos and all the effort you're putting in.

Out of curiosity, how much money would be needed to get things going again?

At August 15, 2009 5:41 PM, Anonymous halalbuzz said...

If you want to support Baba Ali, spread the news about Kalimaat.

Until Ramadan (about Aug 22), he offered a discount code "halalbuzz" when you buy it from http://halalbuzz.com (scroll down to see the buy place)

At August 15, 2009 10:31 PM, Blogger Baba Ali said...

I bought the replacement piece for the microphone so I'm just waiting for it to arrive (I hope its here in a week InshAllah)

At August 16, 2009 3:37 PM, Blogger CurlyFatAngry said...

Ok, is there another way than buying the game to support this? Donations and such?

At August 18, 2009 4:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Task 1.2 (english assignment)
What I would really want to find out about 'no more ummah films videos until further notice' is, is there more to it then a faulty microphone?. What I mean to ask, are you facing external pressure to stop speaking freely on what is on your mind and to stop uploading videos?. I can understand you being in USA and all. Although you are under a cloud of freedom of speech, it is possible for that cloud to move elsewhere. Or could it be the result of threats against your health, wealth or family. I ask God Almighty for that not to be the case and that it is nothing more than a faulty microphone. May Allah reward you with the greatest reward for your efforts.

At August 18, 2009 10:22 AM, Blogger Baba Ali said...

I always wanted to do things with high quality since Day 1. But since Ummah Films has never been funded by any organization or anything like that, I have had to save my own money to upgrade equipment as time went on. Although the videos are free to watch, I didn't want to compromise on quality of the videos because at the end of the day, if we are going to do something, we should do it with the best quality InshAllah.

Alhamdulillah I have been able to upgrade the videos to HD now and also bought a better lighting system too. I got a Mac and bought Final Cut Pro software and even the wireless mic is one of the best out there. Actually, the mic itself would cost you about $500 if you wanted to buy it new.

At the end of the day, I'm a Muslim on the Internet and if I like it or not, there is a spotlight on me. I have the choice to represent the Muslims in the cheap low quality route or the high quality route.

When I make my videos, I don't expect my audience to agree with me. Often times, you'll see many people disagree with my opinion or view but that's completely ok. I don't even expect people to agree with my choice of topic either lol. I can live with that. But what I would rather avoid doing things in poor quality just for the sake of doing it. I much rather wait and save enough money to do it right.

At the end of the day, the videos are free and if did it for the people, I would have wasted a lot of sleepless nights. My goal is to keep my keep my intentions pure and do it for the right reason...to please my Creator.

At August 18, 2009 9:38 PM, Blogger Baba Ali said...

The replacement mic has arrived so we're back on schedule Alhamdulillah...i hope to release a new video by next Friday InshAllah

At August 22, 2009 9:41 AM, Anonymous LetsGoIslam said...

Baba Ali you truly are amazing!

You really have become a great example for the Muslims to look upto. Inshallah Allah (swt) will reward you for your efforts =)

Ramadan Mubarak!

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