Monday, January 16, 2006

Hajji Muhammed Takeda

Hajji Muhammed Takeda is considered to be the greatest visual artist Mars had ever produced; some would say the solar system. He is the grandson of Dr. Toshiyuki Takeda, the famous Martian rebel and one of the few Japanese Martian workers who joined the Mars revolt.

Hajji Takeda was a struggling mechanical engineering student at the Valles Marineris University, when his uncle realizing his nephew was floating without direction, paid for him to take Hajj. Upon returning from Hajj he was a changed man. He changed his major to architecture and began drawing and painting. He also joined Martian Jihad. Six years later he graduated with honors, two years after that he put on his first art show to rave reviews. That first show set him off on a long and successful art career.

Most famous for his Martian landscape paintings and drawings, Hajji Takeda would spend weeks in the Martian wilderness fasting, making dhiker and painting. He set up a travelers fund for Martians to be able to make Hajj, leaving a sizable piece of his estate to his Hajj fund when he passed away.

While Hajji Muhammed Takeda is most famous for his paintings he was also an accomplished architect , and although he never hit the heights of fame in architecture as his Martian contemporary Khalid Bin Ali. The Waterfall Apartment building he designed in Valles Marineris city is still a sight to behold.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Martian Jihad

The Martian Jihad movement is actually quite the opposite of what its militant sounding name would imply. They are a group of Martian Muslims dedicated to Islam and the hadith, "Some troops came back from an expedition and went to see the Messenger of Allah sallallahu `alayhi wa-Sallam. He said: "You have come for the best, from the smaller jihad (al-jihad al-asghar) to the greater jihad (al-jihad al-akbar)." Someone said, "What is the greater jihad?" He said: "The servant's struggle against his desires". They also frequently site that The Prophet said in the Farewell Pilgrimage: "... The mujahid is he who makes jihad against himself (jahada nafsah) for the sake of obeying Allah." They often go out to the martain wilderness alone or in small groups to make dihker and read Quran

The movement started right after Mars gained its independence. There are many places all over Mars that are regular wilderness havens for the members of the Martian Jihad. These places are typically small caves but not always. They are regularly marked with Islamic Flags and banners.

The movement members do get in trouble as they regularly hike out to Viking monument park and plant banners, which are often removed by park rangers.