Saturday, December 12, 2009

Avoiding Repeating the Destructive Transgressions of the People of the Book

Abu Sa'id al-Khudri reported Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: You would tread the same path as was trodden by those before you inch by inch and step by step so much so that if they had entered into the hole of the lizard, you would follow them in this also. We said: Allah's Messenger, do you mean Jews and Christians (by your words) "those before you" ? He said: Who else (than those two religious groups) ? (Muslim)
Avoiding the Grave Mistakes of the Previous Nations
Allah swt sent Prophet Muhammad Peace be Upon Him at a time when many of the people of the previous scripture no longer followed the teachings and example of their Prophets. They belittled and ridiculed their great predecessors and their scholars. They preferred to follow their own vain desires and opinions and assumptions about God rather than what God actually revealed. They claimed to be pious adherent and superior believers yet mocked their scholars and the traditions and teachings of their prophets as outdated. They accepted some of their teachings and commands and rejected others claiming they knew better. They assumed about God without any real knowledge or practice.

Thus we see that most of the people of the previous books of today have taken their religion as nothing but weekend play and amusement. Nothing more than a small part of their culture. They know practically nothing of the teachings and practices of their Prophets and follow very little of what they do know.

Allah swt warned us of the mistakes they made so we know to avoid them. Allah swt condemned some of the people of the book who went so far as to kill their own prophets and scholars with impunity:
Then is it only a part of the Book that ye believe in, and do ye reject the rest? but what is the reward for those among you who behave like this but disgrace in this life?- and on the Day of Judgment they shall be consigned to the most grievous penalty. For Allah is not unmindful of what ye do.
And now tragically in these days of great fitna (tribulation) many Muslims are following the same footsteps of the People of the Book as the Prophet warned. Many Muslims who do not even understand the Shariah abandon and neglect it. They belittle the Muslim scholars and the Sunnah and the ways of the Prophet's Companions and the great scholars of Islam. Just as the People of the Book did before us, they accept some of the teachings of Islam and reject others. They mock those Muslims who hold on to the Sunnah and Shariah and still practice their faith. Allah swt has made it very clear however that either we accept the whole of Islam as practiced by the Prophet and taught by the majority of Muslim scholars or we are not true Muslims:
"There was not a single Prophet among those who were sent before me who did not have apostles and companions who followed his Sunna and obeyed his commands. But afterwards other generations came whose words belied their deeds, and whose deeds were not in accordance with what they commanded others to do. Whoever struggles against them with his hand is a believer. Whoever struggles against them with his tongue is a believer. And whoever struggles against them with his heart is a believer. But when none of these things are done, then not a single mustard's seed weight of faith is present."
The Prophet Muhammad Peace be Upon Him Warned us about these difficult times:
Narrated Irbad bin Sariyah(ra): One day Allah's Messenger sallalau alayhi was sallam delivered us a very eloquent Khutbah on account of which eyes shed tears and hearts became softened. a man said: "O Prophet of Allah, this is as if it were a parting sermon. So advise us. "He (sa'allahu alayhi wassallam) said: "I admonish you to fear Allah, to listen and obey even if a Negro slave is appointed your leader. Because whoever among you shall live after me, will soon see much discord. So hold fast to my Sunnah and the examples of the rightly Guided Caliphs who will come after me. Adhere to them and hold them fast. Beware of new things (in religion) because every heresy is a misguidance." (Abu Dawud and Tirmidhi)
And yet this is what we see in our times. So called "Muslims" that argue that we should object to the sunnah of the Prophet peace be upon him and his companions. That we need to abandon those aspects of shariah which we do not find convenient or "modern." That we should be like the modern Jews and Christians who gave up their laws; abandon religious prayers and devotion; support fornication, homosexuality, intermixed prayer services, etc. They actually advocate that we follow the ways of the People of the Book who have completely given up their laws, when the Prophet Muhammad peace be Upon him and Allah swt in the Quran warned us to avoid falling into their mistakes and orderd us to stick with the Sunnah and the examples of our pious predecessors. Allah clearly warns that a believer would never dispute with the rulings of his Lord:

33:36 It is not fitting for a Believer, man or woman, when a matter has been decided by Allah and His Messenger to have any option about their decision: if any one disobeys Allah and His Messenger, he is indeed on a clearly wrong Path.

Respecting the Scholars
But alas this is from the signs of the end of times, where the ignroant who reject the teachings of the scholars and the sunnah and shariah would become leaders. The Prophet, peace be upon him, warned us that he lived in a time where the learned were many and the ignorant few and disrespected. But a time would come when the ignorant were many and the scholars were few and disrespected:
Hazzam bin Hakeem narrated from his uncle from the Messenger of Allah (SAW) who said: “You are in a time of many jurisprudents (fuqaha), few speakers, many who give and few who ask; so action in this time is better than knowledge. There will soon come a time of few jurisprudents, many speakers, many who beg and few who give; so knowledge in this time is better than action.
Anas b. Malik reported Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: It is from the conditions of the Last Hour that knowledge would be taken away and ignorance would prevail (upon the world), the liquor would be drunk, and adultery would become rampant. (Muslim)
These signs of the hour are exactly what these so called Muslims call for. They abandon 1400 years of Islamic Scholarship and say Niqab, Hijab, Purdah, Hudud, is outdated and oppressive. That men and women should freely mix and be free to dress indecently. Thus they are simultaneously calling for Ignorance and Adultery.
Abu Wa'il reported: I was sitting with 'Abdullah and Abu Musa that they reported Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) having said: Prior to the Last Hour, there would be a time when knowledge would be taken away, and ignorance would take its place and there would be bloodshed on a large scale. (Muslim)
'Abdullah b. 'Amr b. al-'As reported Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: Verily, Allah does not take away knowledge by snatching it from the people but He takes away knowledge by taking away the scholars, so that when He leaves no learned person, people turn to the ignorant as their, leaders; then they are asked to deliver religious verdicts and they deliver them without knowledge, they go astray, and lead others astray. (Muslim)
And such is what we tragically see in our time. Those most ignorant and who have not studied properly and live off their vain assumptions are those who people often turn to. And thus they are astray and lead others astray.

One of the major problems of these people is they believe that the teachings of Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him do not apply in our times and that the West is a better example to follow. But how can one believe in the Prophet of God and yet believe his teachings were limited. Does not the Quran say:
33:21 "Ye have indeed in the Messenger of Allah a beautiful example for any one whose hope is in Allah and the Final Day, and who engages much in the Praise of Allah."
The Problems of us making the same mistakes as the people of the book arises because we do not respect, honor, and learn from the scholars who have passed Islam down generation to generation and learned it directly from the Prophet Peace be Upon Him. The Prophet Peace be Upon Him said:
"Whoever belittles the following three persons is not a Muslim but a hypocrite: first, an aged Muslim: second, a scholar (of religion); and third, a just ruler."

"I fear particularly for three shortcomings in my followers. First, due to increasing worldly benefits and achievements. they will envy one another; second, discussion
of the Holy Qur'an will become so common that even the ignorant will claim that they know the meanings of the Holy Qur'an, although many meanings are such that cannot be understood by anyone except the well versed scholars of that Book, who say: "We have a firm faith in it, and that it is from Allah", so how much more careful should be the common people; third, the religious scholars will be neglected and will not be patronized properly."

The Holy Prophet (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam) also said: "Luqmaan instructed his son in these words: "Keep the company of scholars, and listen attentively to the words of the wise, for therewith Allah revives the dead hearts, just as He revives the dead earth with heavy rains; and the wise alone understand the religion."

Allah has warned what is translated as:
"Messenger! keep the company of those who pray to Allah every morning and evening, and they desire only His pleasure; and do not turn your eyes from them to the attractions and adornment of the worldly life: and do not follow him whose heart We have turned away from our remembrance, and who follows his desires, and (therefore) he has broken the limits (of true religion)."
Islam is based not on following our own assumptions and desires, but on true knowldge:
12:108 Say thou: "This is my way: I do invite unto Allah,- on evidence clear as the seeing with one's eyes,- I and whoever follows me. Glory to Allah. and never will I join gods with Allah.""
He (swt) says: “And verily guess is no substitute for the truth.” [TMQ 53:28]
And He (swt) said: “They have no (certain) knowledge. They follow nothing but conjecture. For surely; they killed him not (‘Isa).” [TMQ 4:157]

"Do you have Ilm for that which you claim so that you provide us with? You follow nothing but conjecture (Zann)." [TMQ 6:148]

"17:36 And pursue not that of which thou hast no knowledge; for every act of hearing, or of seeing or of (feeling in) the heart will be enquired into (on the Day of Reckoning)."
50. "But if they hearken not to thee, know that they only follow their own lusts: and who is more astray than one who follow his own lusts, devoid of guidance from Allah. for Allah guides not people given to wrong-doing."
Identifying a Proper Scholar
The Quran and Hadith very clearly warn against following our vain assumptions and conjecture regarding Islam without studying from proper scholars who have studied under qualified teachers in an unbroken chain to the Prophet Muhammad Peace be Upon Him. How then do we know who is a qualified scholar to learn from? Mawlana Ashraf Ali Thanvi explains:
How do we recognize when someone is truly a physician? If he is accredited, completed his residency, people come to him for treatment, and many of them are nursed back to health. Likewise, the signs of a true spiritual shaikh are when he has spent a considerable amount of time with and benefited from a recognized shaikh, and the ulama and people of intelligence think highly of him, come to him in times of need, and feel an increase in love of Allah I and decrease in love of the dunya when sitting in his presence, and the situation of those who sit in his company is continually progressing. When one observes all these signs in a person, he should know that he is worthy of being made a shaikh. He should consider him a panacea for his spiritual ailments and believe that visiting and helping such a person is a great honor. Thus, a complete overview of the characteristics of a shaikh is: He is mutaqqi and pious. He is a follower of the Sunnah, knows a sufficient amount of the knowledge of Deen, remained in the company of a recognized shaikh, the scholars and intelligent people
are inclined towards him, his company is efficacious, and the murideen are improving in his company
Ordaining Good and Forbidding Evil
Allah swt warns us that the grave mistake that the previous nations fell in was their:
  1. Disrespect for the Sunnah of their Prophets and the teaching of their scholars
  2. Accepting only the parts of their faith they found convenient or that was in accordance with their vain desires
  3. Failing to enjoyn what is good and forbid what is evil
  4. Preference to please and attempt to get honor from the disbelievers and emulate their ways.
Allah swt says what is translated as:

78. Those among the Children of Israel who disbelieved were cursed by the tongue of Dawûd (David) and 'Iesa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary). That was because they disobeyed (Allâh and the Messengers) and were ever transgressing beyond bounds.

79. They used not to forbid one another from the Munkar (wrong, evil doing, sins, polytheism, disbelief, etc.) which they committed. Vile indeed was what they used to do.

80. You see many of them taking the disbelievers as their Auliyâ' (protectors and helpers). Evil indeed is that which their ownselves have sent forward before them, for that (reason) Allâh's Wrath fell upon them and in torment they will abide.

Those whom Allah condemns from amongst the Children of Israel were condemed for the same actions that many Muslims nowadays are engaged in and which the Prophet Peace be Upon Him warned us about. They used to assume their understanding was superior to that of their scholars and they used to prefer this temporary material world to the eternal hereafter. Thus they openly sinned and did not forbid each other from engaging in haram (prohibited actions). Similarly today if a Muslim speaks out against sins and evil, even other :Muslims" try to stop him, calling him an "extremist." They do not forbid what is evil because they believe in "freedom" even if it is freedom to act in contravention to the commands of Allah. If a practicing Muslim condemns sin they attack him in the name of liberalism, yet if people disrespect Allah and his messenger they stay quiet or even support them! Allah swt explains that this is because they wished to take the disbelievers as friends and protectors in stead of Allah and the Muslims, in order to seek honor, forgetting that honor and success is only found by obeying and submitting to the Creator of the heavens and earth.
33:48 And obey not (the behests) of the Unbelievers and the Hypocrites, and heed not their annoyances, but put thy Trust in Allah. For enough is Allah as a Disposer of affairs.
The Prophet peace be upon him warned however that Muslims must ordain what is good and forbid evil:
Narrated Abu Tha'labah al-Khushani: Abu Umayyah ash-Sha'balli said: I asked Abu Tha'labah al-Khushani: What is your opinion about the verse "Care for yourselves." He said: I swear by Allah, I asked the one who was well informed about it; I asked the Apostle of Allah (p.b.u.h.) about it. He said: 'No, enjoin one another to do what is good and forbid one another to do what is evil. But when you see niggardliness being obeyed, passion being followed, worldly interests being preferred, everyone being charmed with his [own] opinion, then care for yourself, and leave alone what people in general are doing. For ahead of you are days which will require endurance, in which showing endurance will be like grasping live coals. The one who acts rightly during that period will have the reward of fifty men who act as he does. Another version has: He said (The hearers asked:) Apostle of Allah, the reward of fifty of them? He replied: The reward of fifty of you. [i.e. the companions]
Hadhrat Jareer (radi Allaho anho) has narrated that Hadhrat Mohammad (sallallaho alaihe wasallam) was pleased to say: "When an individual of a community sins, and the community, in spite of its authority over him, does not prevent him from sinning, Allah's punishment descends on them even before death, i.e., He subjects them to various tribulations in this very world."
(3) Hadhrat Anas (radi Allaho anho] has narrated thatHadhrat Mohammad (sallallaho alaihe wasallam) was pleased to say, "The Kalimah La ilaha Illallaho al~ays~benefit these individuals who proclaim it, and keeps away from them woes and troubles, unless, indeed, its rights are ignored." The companions inquired: "What does the ignoring of its rights mean?" Replied the Prophet: "It means that when sins are being committed openly they do not prevent or stop them."
O people, Allah has ordained you to enjoin the good and forbid the evil, lest a time should come whenyou call and He may not respond, you ask for a favor and He may not grant it, and you call for help and He may refuse'.
We must Ordain good and forbid evil despite our own weekness:
Hadhrat Anas (radiallaho anho) relates: "We inquired of the Holy Prophet: O Prophet of Allah, is it right that we should not enjoin virtue unless we practise all the virtues ourselves, and should not forbid the wrongs unless we ourselves completely abstain from them all? 'Nay,' said the Prophet, 'do enjoin others to practise good deeds even though you do not practise all of them, and do forbid evil actions even though you do not abstain from them all'."
It is very clear from these Hadith that when we abandon ordaining good and forbidding evil we will loose the help and support of Allah in this world. People are afraid however from following Shariah and the Sunnah and ordaining good and forbidding evil because the westerners they try to appease may ridicule them. However, no prophet was sent to please everyone. Allah swt explains:
"And We sent down Prophets before you amongst people gone by, and no Prophet came to them but that they ridiculed him."
Islam did not come to please everyone. If people are not happy with what Islam teaches the solution is not to change the teachings of the Prophet peace be upon him to please ignorant. We judge by what Allah and his Messenger taught "Even if the disbelievers hate it" ..."Even if the transgressors hate it"... "Even if the Polytheists hate it." " If any do fail to judge by (the light of) what Allah hath revealed, they are (no better than) those who rebel." (All translations from the Quran)

A Muslim does not sell his faith to please others for those are acts of the hypocrtyes who try to get honor by pleaseing and befriending those who do not respect Islam: "138. To the Hypocrites give the glad tidings that there is for them (but) a grievous penalty;- 139. Yea, to those who take for friends unbelievers rather than believers: is it honour they seek among them? Nay,- all honour is with Allah."

Reward and Necessity of Adhering to and Reviving the Sunnah
Abu Huraira reported Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: He who called (people) to righteousness, there would be reward (assured) for him like the rewards of those who adhered to it, without their rewards being diminished in any respect. And he who called (people) to error, he shall have to carry (the burden) of its sin, like those who committed it, without their sins being diminished in any respect.

A great scholar, Imam Ghazali, said: "Any Muslim who dares to take steps to remove the present state of ruin and devastation, endeavours to revive the act of propagation and comes forward to shoulder that I heavy responsibility, will surely rank as the noblest and the most distinguished being among the whole of mankind."

It is reported that the Prophet Peace be Upon him said: "Whoever revives my sunnah at the time of the corruption of my ummah will have the reward of 100 martyrs."

"Islam began as something strange and it will return once again to something strange so good news [paradise] to the strangers. They are those who revive what people have neglected from my sunnah."
5:54 O ye who believe! if any from among you turn back from his Faith, soon will Allah produce a people whom He will love as they will love Him,- lowly with the believers, mighty against the rejecters, fighting in the way of Allah, and never afraid of the reproaches of such as find fault. That is the grace of Allah, which He will bestow on whom He pleaseth. And Allah encompasseth all, and He knoweth all things.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Stabbing Islam in the Back

At the time of Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him, the worst enemies of Islam were never the disbelievers. Rather they were the Munafiqeen, hypocrites, who were Muslim by name but worked night and day to attempt to harm the faith from within.

In our time, there is no doubt that the Munafiqeen are as active as ever. They are those who want to "defend Muslims" in no other way than by attacking Islam itself. The New York times recently published an op-ed of one individual with such characteristics. His argument was basically that not all Muslims are bad because not all Muslims actually practice Islam. He described himself and those like him by saying:
We do not pray five times a day, do not read the Koran and have not spent much time inside a mosque. We only turn to Islam when a child is born, someone gets married or someone dies.... To defeat the threat of radical Islam, I suggest that the answer lies among the people who are the least Muslim.
In other words he is saying the problem is not Muslims, but Islam. And the solution to this problem is by supporting those "Muslims" who do not practice Islam. In order to make people like Muslims, he is in effect stabbing Islam in the back. He is selling the name of Islam in order to appease those who hate Muslims by basically saying "Hey, don't hate me! i am just Muslim by name, don't hate Muslims because we don't actually all practice Islam!"

Such people claim to be so called "Secular Muslims," Yet a Muslim simply means a "submitter to God." How could one be secular and be one who submits to God? Sort of Ironic i would say...

It seems that these people may be the ones described in the Quran as "La ula ha ula, wa la ula ha ula" (Neither here, nor there) and "Khasaru al Dunya Wal Akhira" (Loosers of this world and the next).

In this world they face descrimination because of their "Muslim" Identity and in the next life they may have no good to look forward to because they denied and belittled the commands of Allah and His Messenger.

Muslims do not need to shamefully turn their back on their religion and culture in order to please non-Muslims! Rather we need to stick to our faith and recognize that honor and success is only found by following the ways of Allah and His Messenger (Peace be Upon Him).

Allah describes people who try to please the non-Muslims and protect their name by betraying Islam by saying:

138. To the Hypocrites give the glad tidings that there is for them (but) a grievous penalty;- 139. Yea, to those who take for friends unbelievers rather than believers: is it honour they seek among them? Nay,- all honour is with Allah.
May Allah protect us from making these costly mistakes

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Two Qualities that Allah Loves

There are two qualities that are very beloved to the Most Merciful which bring their possessor contentment, peace, and tranquility, in this life, and innumerable rewards and blessings in the hereafter. They are two qualities most people are lacking. These two qualities are necessary for a happy life and a blissful hereafter. These qualities are such that no believer can be without them. They are: Shukr (Gratefulness) and Sabr (Patience).

Shukr (Gratefulness) is to realize every single thing we have in life is a blessing and a gift from the Most Generous. It is to appreciate everything we have and realize that because of our faults and weakness we are entitled to nothing and whatever we do have is out of our Creator's generosity. When we have shukr we appreciate all we have and thus are content with whatever our Provider has allotted to us. It leads to humility and humbleness which are the opposite of arrogance and entitlement, which are amongst the worst spiritual diseases that made Satan accursed.

Shukr will lead us to peace of mind in this life because instead of finding faults in what we may have we are grateful for having anything at all. We realize everything is a gift and a blessing and thus find contentment. That is true wealth, for the wealthy person is not he who possesses much, but who is grateful and content with whatever he does have.

Shukr will also lead us to happier and healthier relationships. Instead of finding faults in our Friend's, spouses, and family members, we appreciate the fact that we have them, and we appreciate everything they have done for us. Instead of getting upset that our wife's food does not have enough salt, we appreciate that she spent hours making a meal for us. Instead of getting upset with someone for displeasing us, we remember and appreciate all the times they made us happy.

Most peoples problems when it comes to relationships or life come simply because they are not grateful to the blessings God has given them nor to the favors others have done for them. A person who is Shakur, Grateful, will have a much happier life and much healthier relationships.

Gratefulness is also the opposite of disbleife, or Kufr. In Arabic the term for a disbeliever is a kafir meaning both one who covers truth, and one who is ungrateful. In Islam, a disbeliever is one who is ungrateful to the countless blessings God has given him and thus denies his Creator.

Gratitude is one of the best ways to protect against punishment in the hereafter. God asks "What would God gain by your punishment if you give thanks and believe?" He has also promised to give increase to whoever is grateful for what he is given. "And if you give thanks, I will increase..."

When we are placed in situations where we find it difficult to be grateful, that is when we may resort to Sabr, or patience. A pious person once asked a good person how he deals with ease and difficulty. The good person responded that in times of blessing he is grateful and in times of difficult he is patient. The pious person responded that such is no special status, as even dogs are patient in difficult times and grateful in times of ease. The pious person explained that he was grateful in times of both ease and difficulty.

However, that may not be easy for everyone. For most of us, simply to have patience in times of difficulty is a great struggle which entails great reward. Thus we should try our best to be grateful for everything we have and everyone around us. But if we go through times of hardship or if others upset us then we should at least resort to patience and forgiveness. We should remember that Allah has promised that he is with those who are patient and that the patient enter Paradise without fear or reckoning for their deeds.

A Believer should have three types of patience:
  1. Patience to stay away from evil and temptations and giving in to anger and sin.
  2. Patience to persevere in doing good works
  3. Patience in times of hardship and difficulty
The person who is grateful for all he has and everything others have done for him and resorts to Patience in difficult times will most importantly be beloved to Allah and will also have a happy peaceful, content life.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Escaping From Heedlessness

"Very Near has mankind's reckoning drawn, while they are turning away in heedlessness." (Translation of 21:1)
One of the most dangerous maladies our hearts are afflicted with is heedlessness. To understand this, ponder over the following examples:

Four youth are driving fast down the highway blasting music, singing, and dancing in their SUV. They joke, laugh, and drink, forgetting to pay attention to the reality of their surroundings. Less than a mile down the road is a turn which is meant to avoid a deep valley. The youth in their heedlessness are driving towards their imminent demise and yet are enjoying themselves so much they fail to pay attention until its too late and their SUV crashes down the mountainside killing each and every one of them.

Another example is that of a person sitting cozily in his living room with his family watching television with his blinds closed as a fire rips through his neighborhood. The person ignores the fire and heat he can sense because he does not want to interrupt his favorite show. The person thus enjoys himself until the fire burns through the home and its too late.

In both examples the people had clear opportunities to avoid the danger yet they were so distracted with the instant pleasure surrounding them they ignored the ultimate reality about to befall them. Had they paid attention to the reality of their surroundings they would have changed their actions immediately, yet they did not pay attention until it was too late.

We can see how foolish these people are. Yet unfortunately, we are often more heedless. We know that each and every soul, including our very own will taste death. That this life is temporary and transient. That we will stand before our Creator and account for how we spent our life and our wealth. That the day of judgement will be 50,000 years long. That either heaven or hell will be our eternal home.

Yet although we know, we forget. And thus we get distracted with many things which are comparatively insignificant. Thus our hearts get hard. We get trapped in worries over this material world and our material well being while neglecting our ultimate reality. When we worry over things like money, power, lust, and so on it is like we are worrying over which radio station we listen too, while we are heading towards a deep cliff.

This is all because we are forgetting to reflect over the reality of Allah and the hereafter. Thus this world seems so important. We forget that Allah controls everything and that real success is only found in his Pleasure through attaining Paradise. Thus we get caught up in worries over our studies, job, wealth, family, etc.

However, if we always remember Allah swt and remember the reality of the hereafter...of the day of judgment...of heaven...of hell, and thus work towards connecting with Allah, we will have complete peace of mind. We will find peace by connecting with Allah, and we view all the good things he has given us as extra gifts to be grateful for and appreciate them and are content with whatever little or much we may have.

However, if we forget about Allah and the reality of the Hereafter, then we will worry about accumulating more and more and will never be content. Instead of seeing our material success as extra gifts to be grateful for, it becomes the sole object of our life and thus our hearts are filled with thousands of worries.

Simply put when we worry about the reality of this life, the hereafter, we focus on what matters most and Allah will give us success in all we do. But when we focus on this material life and forget about the eternal life we worry so much about things that do not even really matter and we loose Allah's help.

Allah Says:

“Oh son of man, devote yourself to my worship, and I will free your bosom from the worldly anxieties and will remove poverty, otherwise I will fill your heart with a thousand worries and will not remove your poverty."

So in short, all of our problems arise when we are heedless of truly reflecting over Allah, His Prophet, Death, and the Hereafter. When we focus on those, then our life becomes focused and in proper perspective and we are grateful for all we have and spend our energies over what matters most. When we forget Allah, His Prophet, Death, and the Hereafter, even if we our Salah and other Obligatory deeds, our heart will not find peace and this material world will overwhelm, impress, and distract us.

So how can we escape from this heedlessness? One of the most effective ways is by spending time with those who are alive and drowned in the remembrance and love of Allah. More to come on this topic soon...

The Important method to highlight today is by reconnecting ourself with the Book of Allah, the Holy Quran. Virtues of the Quran is a very important book on the virtues and importance of the Holy Quran available online. It is a must read for every muslim. You can read it here.

After reading this short book, three important tasks will soften our hearts and free us from heedlessness:
  1. Read the Quran every day in Arabic, even if we cant understand it, there is great rewards and blessing. Reading the Quran is one of the most important daily activities in the life of a Muslim. Our pious predecessora could not imagine a person would call them self Muslim without reading the Quran at least every day.
  2. Try listening to your favorite reciter in the car often and reciting along with him to feel the beauty of the Quranic recitation.
  3. Take time everyday to read a credible authoritative exegesis (interpretation) of the Quran and ponder over its meanings. A good exegesis, Mariful Quran can be purchased here or read for free online here. Try reading a section or some pages a day. You will be amazed at the effect this has.
By reading the Quran we can revive our hearts with the love of Allah, the realization of the reality of the hereafter, and escape from heedlessness while drawing closer to our creator, as the Hour draws closer to us. May Allah help us act upon this. Take time to read Virtues of the Holy Quran now and make a commitment to read the Quran every day and to study the Tafseer of the Quran

Listen to this beautiful recitation of the Holy Quran:

Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Tragedy of Modern Muslim Activists

It seems that nowadays everyone wants to speak about Islam...but no one wants to practice Islam.

As I search the latest articles, blogs, books, news reports, etc. relating to Islam, I realize that the majority of commentators on Islam in the media-who want to define what Islamic theology, law, and practice is - do not even practice the basics of the faith! Not to mention, they have never actually studied it!

I was appalled to see that a woman with no training or education in the Islamic sciences who publicly violates unanimously agreed upon aspects of Islamic law and who is not ashamed of her adulterous illicit relationship, debating what Islamic law says regarding gender relations on the Doha debates broadcast internationally. It is watching a person with no medical training and who in fact has cancer and is a proud smoker debate on Internal Medicine!

That is just once example. The media is now full of people who may have never done one prostration to God arguing about the very soul of Islam. And the tragedy is they are given an audience! It is amazing how we would never accept doctors teaching law, or lawyers teaching medicine, and so on, yet we have no problem with doctors, lawyers, activists, and just about everyone else (except for actual scholars) teaching about Islam- when they neither study nor practice it.

It is thus no shock that it is these same speakers who are advocating and promoting beliefs and practices (or lack thereof) which completely contradict over 1400 years of Islamic Scholarship!

The scholars are often not the ones that are respected and learned from...rather people seek knowledge from speakers who lack practice and knowledge.

Our situation is best described by the teachings of the Beloved Prophet Muhammad (Peace be Upon Him):

“Allah will not deprive you of knowledge after he has given it to you, but it will be taken away through the death of the learned men (Ulema’a) with their knowledge. There will remain ignorant people who, when consulted, will give verdicts according to their opinions whereby they will mislead others and themselves go astray.”

Islam is the most valuable thing we lets beware from where we acquire it!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Eating Halal

Why I Stopped Eating Supermarket Meat...

A very important article for every wester Muslim to Read...

Growing up I used to avoid Pork, thinking everything else was ok. Burger King, McD's, Chinese Fast Food was all good in my mind long as it didnt have pork. Boy was I in the wrong! This article changed everything for me...although at first I didnt want to give it up, I realized it that I had to and I have no regrets!

Summery as follows: Muslims can only eat meat that meets all three requirements:

1.Slaughterd by a Practicing Muslim, Jew, or Christian.
2. Name of God mentioned in Slaughtering.
3. Slaughtered in a particular method allowing all blood to drain before death.

Thus we cannot eat meat from public places because:
1. We do not know who killed it. May not be a person of any faith or another faith.
2. Highly unlikely they mentioned God's name at time of slaughter.
3. Definitely not slaughtered in proper manner. (usually machine or electric shock) Allah knows best.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

What Is Islam?

Islam is not a noun, but a verb, a process—it comes from two root words, “peace” and“submission.” In other words, Islam means the process of attaining internal and external peace with humanity, nature, society, and oneself by willingly following the teachings of the Perfect and Most Merciful Creator—who is All Knowing, All Capable, One, Independent, and completely unlike any of his beloved creation. These teachings were found in the Torah, Gospel, and finally the Quran which state:

Say: He is God, the One and Only God, the Eternal, Absolute He begetteth not, nor is He begotten. And there is none like unto Him. Translation of the Holy Quran 112

Islam calls mankind away from submitting to and worshiping idols, frivolous desires, egos, wealth, materialism, prophets, other human beings, and all else that is finite

One who adheres to Islam is called a “Muslim,” which literally means, “one who submits.” A Muslim is anyone who believes in the Oneness of God and all of God’s Prophets and in the authentic Torah given to Moses, and the authentic Gospel, given to Jesus, and the Quran given to Muhammad (Peace be Upon Them All)

This was the message of all of God’s Prophets, who all called mankind to peace and serenity and to the worship of their Creator and Sustainer. Muslims believe that God did not send different religions to humanity, but rather this simple way of life which called people to attain peace by coming to know their creator—in Arabic, the name for this way of life is Islam. In essence all Prophets called towards peaceful submission, i.e.: Islam. Islam teaches that since all Prophets of God, from Adam to Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad (Peace be Upon Them All), submitted their whole lives to God, they were all Muslim. The Prophet Muhammad (Peace be Upon Him) said "Both in this world and in the Hereafter, I am the nearest of all the people to Jesus, the son of Mary There was no Prophet between him and me. The prophets are paternal brothers; their mothers are different, but their religion is one.

Friday, October 30, 2009

The Need for Revival

It is a great tragedy when people lost in the dessert dying of thirst, stumble upon a well of fresh sweet water yet cannot recognize it because it is covered with dust.

Islam is that sweet water with the nourishment needed to save humanity. Yet unfortunately, this beautiful way of life has become a beautiful treasure which has been camouflaged and hidden under a thick layer of lies and distortion imposed by others attempting to turn people away from it.

Islam has thus become oppressed and those who are deprived of it have become lost and even more oppressed. Two great tragedies occur:

The first is that people, who are in much need of this nourishment do not seek it because of the misinformation they have about it. If people knew the most amazing Character and Mercy of Prophet Muhammad (Peace be Upon Him); The Great Love and Generosity of Allah (The proper name of God in Arabic); The liberation offered to women; The support offered for the weak and oppressed; The Miraculous nature and tranquility of the Holy Quran; and so on, they would flock seeking Islam.

As one great Muslim said, "If the kings of the world knew the treasures that lay hidden in our hearts, they would send their armies to take it from us by force."

The second tragedy, is that in defense of their own interests and due to their own misunderstandings, many who claim to be Muslim, abandon, reject, and even condemn the Divine Law of Shari'ah and the Sunnah (tradition) of our beloved Prophet Peace be Upon Him. They believe success lies only in abandoning the way of God and His Prophets. They mock those who revive it. They try to "defend Islam" by mocking and giving up the very principles this faith stands on. They reject the scholars and the 15 centuries of Islamic scholarship and want to interject their own opinions about Islam, which is based on assumptions and conjecture. Thus realizing the Prophecy of Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him who warned a people would come and comment on God's Holy Words without any knowledge and they would be far from his mercy.

Thus this is a small humble effort to bring people back to the authentic teachings and practice of this wonderful faith as taught by the Beloved Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him, and interpreted by the great majority of Muslim scholars for the past millennium. It is an effort to instill respect for the scholarship of Islam and love for the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him and the Shari'ah of the Master of the Heavens and Earth.

Through that, we also hope to provide a more accurate view of Islam for non-muslims, that they too may benefit from the guidance of this illuminating light.