STANCE of a MUSLIMAH

Our Lord! You truly know all that we may hide in our hearts as well as all that we bring into the open, for nothing whatsoever, be it on earth or in heaven, remains hidden from Allah. {Quran, 14:38}

2/28/2006

The Right


Someone's been making me think about an issue lately. Why should we eat with our right hands? Even if we are left handed? Growing up I never really knew. I just did it because my mom said it was the suitable thing to do. Then this weekend someone brought it to my attention by just asking "Why?" Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) always used his right hand, I knew this and I knew that there was at least some importance to it in the Quran. So my answer was "Sunnah", implying that if the Last Messenger did it then I want to be his copycat. But having looked into it the past few days with detail I came up with this.

Searching for verses from the Noble Quran on “Right Hand” in the index, I came up with “Righteousness” amongst other words. I asked God in my heart, not even whispers from my lips, that I would find knowledge of the significance of it. I then opened the Book and the first verse my eyes laid upon was:

And those on the Left Hand (i.e. those who will be given their Record in their left hands), Who will be those on the Left Hand? (As a disgrace for them, because they will enter Hell). [56:9]

Allah saw what my request was in me, and SubhanAllah/All Glory belongs to God, there it was!! There are no coincidences in life. The word “coincidence” is a word made up by our enemy, the Cursed Satan/ Iblees. Every aspect of every detail is planned, things do not happen just for the sake of nothing. Anyways, I continued to search and this is what I found in Noble Quran:

And the Book (one’s Record) will be placed (in the right hand for a believer in the Oneness of Allah, and in the left hand for a disbeliever in the Oneness of Allah), and you will see the Mujrimoon (criminals, polytheists, sinners, etc.), fearful of that which is (recorded) therein. They will say: "Woe to us! What sort of Book is this that leaves neither a small thing nor a big thing, but has recorded it with numbers!" And they will find all that they did, placed before them, and your Lord treats no one with injustice. {18:49}

And those on the Right Hand, who will be those on the Right Hand? {56:27}

For those on the Right Hand. A multitude of those (on the Right Hand) will be from the first generation (who embraced Islam). And a multitude of those (on the Right Hand) will be from the later times (generations). And those on the Left Hand Who will be those on the Left Hand? {56:38-41}

And if he (the dying person) be of those on the Right Hand, Then there is safety and peace (from the Punishment of Allah) for (you as you are from) those on the Right Hand. {56:90-91}

On the Day you shall see the believing men and the believing women their light running forward before them and by their Right Hands. Glad tidings for you this Day! Gardens under which rivers flow (Paradise), to dwell therein forever! Truly, this is the great success! {57:12}

Oh you who believe! Turn to Allah with sincere repentance! It may be that your Lord will remit from you your sins, and admit you into Gardens under which rivers flow (Paradise) the Day that Allah will not disgrace the Prophet (Muhammad, peace & blessings upon him) and those who believe with him, their Light will run forward before them and with (their Records Books of deeds) in their Right Hands they will say: "Our Lord! Keep perfect our Light for us and do not put it off till we cross over the Sirat (a slippery bridge over the Hell) safely and grant us forgiveness. Verily, You are Able to do all things." {66:8}

Then as for him who will be given his Record in his Right Hand will say: "Take, read my Record! {69:19}

Then, as for him who will be given his Record in his Right Hand, {84:7}

They are those on the Right Hand (the dwellers of Paradise), {90:18}
These are not all of them either, while there are also many revealing the companions of the left hand..but I didn’t want to go there now!

So then that question may arise from all of this. Why did God choose the right over left? Muslims are encouraged to ask questions, to seek knowledge. Not only encouraged, but are commanded to do so as well. The ruling is to seek knowledge that will benefit us in attaining a closer relationship with our Creator, and to admit that we are ignorant and there is no possible way for us to understand every aspect of every detail. We are not made to always to always “get it”. There is knowledge with Allah that is not with us. Reason or faith? Well in Islam, Muslims should have a balance of both. Some Muslims have faith and follow Islam blindly without really appreciating the wisdom behind the ways. While others follow Islam as long as every detail makes sense. Islam is a religion and way of moderation. So that balance of both is a must, of reason and faith in order to fully comprehend teachings that God has prescribed, and Prophet Muhammad (peace & blessings be upon him) has taught. This is what Jihad really is, an internal struggle to not only figure out the purpose of life but to implement it with faith that it is the only way of life God will accept, like it or not. If you do not like it, then ask yourself why? What is it in you that prevents you, me from just doing it? What makes us so confident, even arrogant like, or even the opposite, so careless that we have given up hope in Allah? Being a Muslim is much more than accepting Islam as yours. Being a Muslim is a duty upon every one, a responsibility to all of humanity. Free will is following your natural love for seeking Truth, Fitra. Free will is not doing whatever you desire. Let us not underestimate accountability. Let’s be those who accept our book of deeds in our right hand. Let’s not only practice the use of our right hand in accepting good things like food in this world, but also be of those who accept the best of all things with anticipation utilizing our right hand on Judgment Day.

May Allah accept our deeds and may we be among those who receives glad tidings in our right. Ameen.
Allah Knows Best.

2/25/2006

Felicity

Taqwa is having an obsession and feeling compelled in always having sincere devotion to God. One has taqwa when there's a combination of having so much hope for God's Mercy & Compassion while having the fear of God's Wrath & Displeasure. Someone who has taqwa in their hearts should never feel so confident that they are safe and that the good deeds they do are even accepted (good action doesn't always mean appropriate intention). A strong believer, a Mumin, can't feel like its a hopeless case and that he/she is doomed to God's Punishment. If this were to happen then it may cause him to give up his hope in God all together which means he/she denies the essence of a Muslim's belief in God being the Most Merciful.

"Surely those of taqwa shall be in the midst of Gardens and fountains." [15:45]

What kind of life are we living here? Well for one, we all have access to a computer, a home, and probably more than double of what we really need to survive, or even really need to live comfortably. Hmm, what does living comfortable even mean? Let's just face it. We are all materialistic. Our attachment to this world and the trinkets and gadgets are all these "thingys" that ultimate mean NOTHING. I mean come on, are we being IGNORANT here? What is it about these things that drives us towards them? Easy. Sense of beauty, feeling rich, dominating control, empowerment through free-will? Are we that loved and that blessed by God, that we are the priveledged? WAKE-UP! Totally NOT.

If we look at life as if its something we own, I mean you own your life and I own mine, then yeah, it would be ok to think of everything we have as rightfully ours I guess. This is not reality though. Reality is living consciously. It is not a God-given right to live large, it is a God-given TEST. Life is not about life, its actually about death and what happens after it. The problem is people who seem to be awake are actually sleeping because they don't see it this way, nor do they even
care.

All Glory belongs to our Creator. You are less than a speck, and I am sure that I am even less than that! So who are you, and who am I to bypass the thoughts of our FINAL
DESTINATION upon death? What makes us so sure that we are going to a good place? If we claim to be unsure of that then what makes us overlook that most important aspect, purpose, and reason for the life we have been given??

I want Jannah to be mine. I really really want to make it to Paradise. Wanting is not enough. How could the most pure and incredible place (for a lack of better words) be reached? We know the law of what works in this life. Work hard and youll get it. This law was set by God. Go to school, you get a degree. Stay a few extra hours you get a bigger paycheck. Exercise and your muscles get strong. This is all good in this life. But what are you, what am I, really doing for the real thing? The real payoff?? I want to be in a colorful and most serene place beyond what our limited minds can even encompass. Nonstop pleasure. Nonstop luxury. Nonstop confidence that God is pleased by me, and you.

But at least let's just day dream for a bit. Create this picture. Pretend you are in Jannah for a minute. You are so tall, 60 yards maybe. You are 33 years old, but those who died young vs. those who died old are known. You just made it into Jannah. During the life you lived on earth, you were patient and grateful for all difficulties so now you are entitled to a welcoming meal as an inhabitant of Paradise. Your first drink is the most beautiful drink called 'Salsabeel'. The ground of Jannah is of white sparkled sand, more pure and more bright than you could ever have witnessed. You are adorned with fabrics of the finest silk and a green, a color with more beauty than you have ever seen. Pearls & gold and raised thrones are all yours. YOURS. Fruits juicier than you could ever think of. No need to relieve yourself their, and no need to worry or complain of anything. Ill feelings of jealousy and negative words of gossip are absent. Rivers of milk whiter than fresh snow, and reserves of honey to indulge in with purity. Perfection in every freckle of a spot, for you are an honored guest of God. Allah, who has given you your final return, your eternal home, greater than just the most remarkable mansion. You are given at the very least 10 times of what you could have had on earth. No doubt, and that's just if you, & I make it to the first floor.

God(Allah) told humanity in Quran:

Allah hath promised to believers men and women gardens under which rivers flow to dwell therein and beautiful mansions in gardens of everlasting bliss. But the greatest bliss is the Good Pleasure of Allah: that is the supreme felicity. {9:72}

There no sense of fatigue shall touch them nor shall they (ever) be asked to leave. {15:48}

Gardens of Eternity which they will enter: beneath them flow (pleasant) rivers: they will have therein all that they wish: thus doth Allah reward the righteous. {15:31}

Who has, out of His bounty, settled us in a home that will last: no toil nor sense of wearness shall touch us therein. {25:35}

So we have to keep daydreaming. Dreams of a hypothetical reality, fuel our hopes, no matter how far we've gone all wrong, and no matter how far we've strayed. As long as you are alive in this current life, you can rectify, to make it to Felicity. A place much bigger than life. Let's go. May Allah guide you, guide me, and guide all of us to Jannah. (...and protect us from its opposite).



2/22/2006

Multi-Task & Learn


Avoiding music, not enough time to read important stuff, and always having background noise of 4 small kids around makes it quite challenging to pay attention to anything with great detail. My husband first bought me the "Lives of the Prophets". Good things to listen too while multi-tasking. Its a series that Imam Anwar Awlaki presents from Adam to Jesus (peace be upon them all). Now here's the thing. I totally recommend this for everyone. But especially to those with English as a strong language. Arabic will do too because all quotes he gets from authentic Hadith and Quran, and for whatever reason if they are questionable sources he tells you. I treasure these CD's because this Imam creates a very detailed picture in your mind of who our leaders were and paints descriptive situations of the Hereafter. Yesterday he was talking about the status of women, particularly our 4 role models of Maryam, Essya (wife of pharoah), Khadija (wife of Prophet Muhammad-pbuh), & his daughter, Fatima. May God be pleased with all of them. Well, I lost it. I couldn't stop crying,,crying out of guilt. These women endured so much, and Imam Awlaki encouraged Muslim women of today to be reminded of them while feeling blessed to be women who strive to serve God. Anyways, my point is, although these may be a bit on the expensive side, they are a good investment to have to listen to especially when you feel like you have been doing enough. The most exciting thing about this post is this: you can all listen to many of his inspiring lectures by clicking on the title of this post above (there are lots of other great speakers and resources there too).
Imam Al-Awlaki of Dar Al-Hijrah Islamic Center in Falls Church, Virginia is also the Muslim Chaplain at George Washington University. He holds a B.S. in Civil Engineering from Colorado State University, a M.A. in Education Leadership from San Diego State University and is currently working on a Doctorate degree in Human Resource Development at George Washington University.He is the author of a series of Audio lectures on the "Lives of the Prophets", covering the stories of the Prophets from Adam to Jesus (pbuh) of which over 20,000 copies have been published. The series is drawn from Imam Ibn Kathir's "Al-Bidayah wa An-Nihayah". He also has a series called The Hereafter"
For the record, I haven't actually heard his series on Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). But I can't wait to do so inshaAllah. May Allah reward Imam Awlaki and may Allah spread Truth everywhere in a way that people will understand, accept..

2/21/2006

Sincere?


Islam is all about intentions.
Kinky hair, blue eyes, wide shoulders, or freckled skin is not something we earn, nor something that we own. These are given to us on loan to take care of. These modalities that we are utilizing are a manifestation of the soul God has given to each human being. People are so ironic. Some seem to be so humble and generous, while others seems to be so arrogant and loud. Just like there are no two finger prints exactly the same, there are no two hearts with mirrored intentions. Deeds. Deeds are accomplished for Multiple reasons, maybe even multiple reasons at the same time. People accomplish things, travel earth, give of themselves, and show respect to each other. But what does it all matter? I mean, why be generous if you do it for yourself? Why are people reinventing the wheel here? There are so many people who believe the most important thing in life is to love one another and be kind. But what's the point of that if there is minimal or even no accountability if one isn't good? What justifies people in thinking they are doing enough of good causes? What justifies them in thinking that their good actions will be rewarded in the Hereafter? Can't they see that this life is just a short ride? I mean, what really gives them the confidence that a good action here will result in a good reward their?
If people say with God is the Final Return, and if they believe that the Hereafter is True, then why do they live for this life without thinking about what happens after death? If we know the reality of all this why do we choose to look the other way?
Why do you do what you do?
ALLAH KNOWS BEST!

2/18/2006

Words of Wisdom

Here's something I like to read from time to time. Over 1400 years ago this speech was given from the leader of all Muslims and the most positive role model for all. He was a man who lived directly by God's Final Book, QURAN..He was a man, nothing more, just a man of the most pure intentions. May God guide us all in being more like this Last Messenger of God.........
Prophet Muhammad's (peace & blessings be upon him) last sermon was delivered on the 9th day of Dhul-Hijjah (name of lunar month) 10 A.H in the Uranah Valley of Mount of Rahmeh (Mercy) in Arafat (near Makkah, and in Saudia Arabia):

"Oh People, lend me an attentive ear, for I do not know whether, after this year, I shall ever be amongst you again. Therefore listen to what I am saying to you carefully and take these words to those who could not be present here today.

Oh People, just as you regard this month, this day, this city as Sacred, so regard the life and property of every Muslim as a sacred trust. Return the goods entrusted to you to their rightful owners.

Hurt no one so that no one may hurt you. Remember that you will indeed meet your Lord, and that He will indeed reckon your deeds. Allah has forbidden you to take usury (Interest), therefore all interest obligation shall henceforth be waived...

Beware of Satan, for your safety of your religion. He has lost all hope that he will ever be able to lead you astray in big things, so beware of following him in small things.

Oh People, it is true that you have certain rights with regard to your women, but they also have right over you. If they abide by your right then to them belongs the right to be fed and clothed in kindness. Do treat your women well and be kind to them for they are your partners and committed helpers. And it is your right that they do not make friends with any one of whom you do not approve, as well as never to commit adultery.

Oh People, listen to me in earnest, worship Allah, say your five daily prayers (Salah), fast during the month of Ramadhan, and give your wealth in Zakat. Perform Hajj if you can afford to. You know that every Muslim is the brother of another Muslim. You are all equal. Nobody has superiority over other except by piety and good action. Remember, one day you will appear before Allah and answer for your deeds. So beware, do not astray from the path of righteousness after I am gone.

Oh People, no prophet or apostle will come after me and no newfaith will be born. Reason well, therefore, O People, and understandmy words which I convey to you. I leave behind me two things, the Qur'an and my example, the sunnah and if you follow these you will never go astray.All those who listen to me shall pass on my words to others andthose to others again; and may the last ones understand my wordsbetter than those who listen to me directly.

BE MY WITNESS O ALLAH THAT I HAVE CONVEYED YOUR MESSAGE TO YOUR PEOPLE"

2/16/2006

Satan's Meeting

And indeed, We created man from sounding clay of altered black smooth mud.
And the jinn, We created aforetime from the smokeless flame of fire.
And (remember) when your Lord said to the angels: "I am going to create a man (Adam) from sounding clay of altered black smooth mud.
So, when I have fashioned him completely and breathed into him (Adam) the soul which I created for him, then fall (you) down prostrating yourselves unto him."
So, the angels prostrated themselves, all of them together.
Except Iblîs (Satan), - he refused to be among the prostrators. (Allâh) said: "O Iblîs (Satan)! What is your reason for not being among the prostrators?"
[Iblîs (Satan)] said: "I am not the one to prostrate myself to a human being, whom You created from sounding clay of altered black smooth mud."
(Allâh) said: "Then, get out from here, for verily, you are Rajîm (an outcast or a cursed one).
And verily, the curse shall be upon you till the Day of Recompense (i.e. the Day of Resurrection)."
[Iblîs (Satan)] said: "O my Lord! Give me then respite until the Day they (the dead) will be resurrected."
Allâh said: "Then, verily, you are of those reprieved,
Until the Day of the time appointed."
[Iblîs (Satan)] said: "O my Lord! Because you misled me, I shall indeed adorn the path of error for them (mankind) on the earth, and I shall mislead them all.
Except Your chosen, (guided) slaves among them."
(Allâh) said: "This is the Way which will lead straight to Me. Certainly, you shall have no authority over My slaves, except those who follow you of the Ghâwîn (Mushrikûn and those who go astray, criminals, polytheists, and evil-doers, etc.). {Quran 15:26-42}
Asalaam Alaikum Warahmat Allah and Hello to All:
I have done search upon search to find out who wrote this (below) and came up with 'Anonymous'. I could not help but think that perhaps an Angel of God wrote this to warn us, remind us, and steer us away from the deception of Satan. May God protect all of us, our parents, offspring from the materials of this life. Ameen.
------------------
"Satan called a worldwide convention of demons. In his opening address he said:
""We can not keep Muslims from going to Mosque. We can not keep them from reading their Quran and knowing the truth. We can not even keep them from forming an intimate relationship with their God/Allah aiming their lives to follow the lifestyle of His Last Messenger, Muhammad. Once they gain that connection with Allah, our power over them is broken. So let them go to their Mosques. Let them have their covered dish dinners, but STEAL THEIR TIME, so they do not have time to develop a relationship with Allah and His Last Messenger Muhammad. This is what I want you to do:
Distract them from gaining hold of their Allah and maintaining that vital connection throughout their day! Keep them busy in the non-essentials of life and INVENT innumerable schemes to occupy their minds. TEMPT them to spend, spend, spend, and borrow, borrow, borrow. PERSUADE the wives to go to work for long hours and the husbands to work 6-7 days each week, 10-12 hours a day, so they can afford their empty lifestyles. PREVENT them from spending time with their children. As their families fragment, soon, their homes will offer no escape from the pressures of work! OVER-STIMULATE their minds so that they cannot hear that still, small voice. ENTICE them to play the radio or cassette player whenever they drive. Keep the TV, VCR, CDs and their PCs going constantly in their home and see to it that every store and restaurant in the world plays music constantly. This will jam their minds and break that union with Allah and His Last Messenger Muhammad.
Fill the coffee tables with magazines and newspapers. Pound their minds with the news 24 hours a day. Invade their driving moments with billboards. Flood their mailboxes with junk mail, mail order catalogs, sweepstakes, and every kind of newsletter and promotional offering free products, services and false hopes. Keep skinny, beautiful models on the magazines and TV so their husbands will believe that outward beauty is what's important, and they'll become dissatisfied with their wives. Keep the wives too tired to love their husbands at night."Give them headaches too!"If they don't give their husbands the love they need, they will begin to look elsewhere. This will fragment their families quickly! Give them story books to distract them from teaching their children the real meaning of Prayer. Keep them too busy to go out in nature and reflect on God/Allah's Creations. Send them to amusement parks, sporting events, plays, concerts, and movies instead. Keep them busy, busy, busy! And when they meet for spiritual fellowship, involve them in gossip and small talk so that they leave with troubled consciences. Crowd their lives with so many amusing causes they have no time to seek power from Allah. Soon they will be working in their own strength, sacrificing their health and family for the good of the cause. It will work! It will work! "
It IS quite a plan. The demons went eagerly to their assignments causing Muslims everywhere to get busier and more rushed, going here and there. Having little time for their Allah or their families. Having no time to tell others about the power of Allah and His Messenger Muhammad to change lives.""
The Cursed Satan/ Shaitan ar-Rajeem. His plan is in full-force and currently in effect. Today and tomorrow. NOW. Is Iblees working you?

2/15/2006

Teach Kids Death

How many of us talk with our kids about DEATH? DEATH is such a normal thing. Actually, death is the biggest reality of life but we totally downplay it. Then when Azraeel/Angel of Death is appointed to take one's soul, we all do something..we just pause. SubhanAllah/Glory belongs to God. None of us has a clue as to when we'll die or when our children will or our husbands. It can happen tonight, tomorrow, so soon. This is why we need to try to remind ourselves of it. We can do this by aiming at not preoccupying ourselves with the materials of this life. Every single fraction of an action should be directed at pleasing Allah. I know I struggle with this. $5.00 spent on stickers the other day for my kids..I'm not sure if that deed is accepted or not especially when I think of what 5 bucks can do for someone, or even for a family in other parts of the world. Its not easy to live a humble life here, I'm assuming anywhere anymore, truly a Jihad. But during that pause when one thinks of DEATH, I can't help but feel pretty insignificant infront of my Creator/Allah.
Last night after 'Sincere Devotion' fell asleep, 'Sign' and 'Mercy' were talking about a friend they have who is an orphan, and so much that Mercy began pretending "I don't have a mommy & daddy anymore so i'm going to live with you(Sign)". This happened during the day. I didn't comment of at the time because I want them to feel that DEATH is normal. So before bedtime, I was on the couch with my little team, when I began talking to them about Jannah, it was storytime. They were indulged by possibilities of trees made out of gold and swimming in rivers of milk. 'Sign', my oldest who's 6, she didnt want to see dinosaurs in Jannah, but my 4 1/2 yr old 'Mercy' wanted to see dragonflies. This is typical talk that we've done on several occassions before. They love it. So then I asked them what do they think happens to our bodies? 'Sign' was able to tell me that it gets buried. So I went further with that because my chatty preschooler 'Mercy' had nothing to say as she was awaiting the next vivid description. "...It's put in a a box underground, waits for Judgement Day, and then the gets lots of presents if the person was a good Muslim and Allah gives the Muslims lost of things...". I tried telling them about al -Ruh/The Soul. You know, that it is something we can't see but we all have a different one inside our bodies. MashaAllah, I think they got it, to the extent a little kids can.

I'm telling you all this because I swear by Allah, He is the BEST of Timers and Planners. After Salat-Jummuah/(Friday Sermon & Prayer) today, there was a Janazah (Funeral). SUBHAN'ALLAH. Everything I explained to the kids just last night happened before their eyes today. YES. I let them see the box. Allah, the Lord of this Universe, even made our car park beside the hearse as we were waiting for the final paperwork to be completed so the burial could start.

This was my golden opportunity. I was so humbled and tearful yet excited and encouraged. 'Mercy' asked what's the man's name that is in the box? (which we didnt know). While 'Sign' said: "I want to see the box go underground..". 'Strong Beleiver' was just hungry and wanted to go home to eat, (can you blame him, he's 2!). My husband turned up the Quran and told the kids to be quiet so the deceased Muslim can listen to the Quran (as you know they can hear us before we leave the funeral-hadith/Allah knows best). The girls ended up seeing the "box" being put under and people shoveling dirt on it.

I have so many things I need to improve on. Allah knows I am far from fault-free, especially when it comes to mothering..the list goes on & on. But one thing I know for sure, and I encourage ALL of you to do is talk to your children about DEATH!. Even a very young age, especially at a young age! Not only should they know about Jannah(Paradise) & Hellfire...they NEED to know about Angels, Cursed Shaitan. Try to teach it to them in ways you know they will understand. Never underestimate the ability of your children to understand Allah's Laws, even about DEATH.

Maybe if a bug dies, or a flower is no longer blooming can be a way to introduce DEATH. Allah grants us these opportunities to teach and explain to our blooming children that this donia is temporary and we are actually on are way to a permanent home. But what we do on this trip will determine where are home will be. The last thing young kids need is a scare of Hellfire. Let them be aware of it, definantly, but make a huge deal of Jannah, get them psyched about Jannah. Make them beleive that its the coolest place to be. 'Mercy' told us she wants a trampoline in Jannah, even bigger the biggestone she's seen. 'Sign' really wants to fly like birds.

I would also like to remind you of a some words of wisdom. Prophet Muhammad (peace & blessings be upon him) taught us that we should ask Allah for 4 things at the end of each prayer right before we say salaamat to the Angels: (after you say "innaka hamidun majeed"):

Ibn 'Abbas reported that the Messenger of Allah (may peace he upon him) used to teach them this supplication (in the same spirit) with which he used to teach them a surah of the Qur'an. He would thus instruct us: "Say, O Allah I we seek refuge with Thee from the torment of Hell, and I seek refuge with Thee from the torment of the grave, and I seek refuge with Thee from the trial of Masih al-Dajjal. and I seek refuge with Thee from the trial of life and death." {Sahih Hadith: Muslim}

By talking to our kids more about the realities of this Life and the truth of the Hereafter, we remind ourselves of the inevitable.

May Allah forgive me if I've said anything in error; and may Allah bless all children with the proper Islamic upbringing so they keep their Fitra (natural love for Islam & Allah).

2/13/2006

Hoopla of Love

"And among His Signs is this, that He created for you spouses from among yourselves, that you may find repose in them, and He has put between you affection and mercy. Verily, in that are indeed signs for a people who reflect" (Quran 30:21).
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They say Valentine's Day is a light and fun holiday, we should all lighten up. Hmm, well if this were true then one can not have the belief in their heart that God will Judge on Judgement Day. Every single action we complete is in record. All actions we commit will be presented either for us, or against us. Even Valentine's Day. First of all, I think most people know its origin, right? You know that story that revolved around pagans, and how it transferred into lives of saints, then ofcourse Hallmark is all over it cashing in, roses are expected by women, preschool kids are learning about the heart shape, teens in highschool get the privledge of sending secret admirer chocolates..and everyone seemed to forget something very important here. Its origin, and the fakeness of it all.
Deception! Deception, because everyone seems to have forgotten why Valentines is supposedly crucial to their beleifs as a whatever: Jew, Hindu, Buddhist, and even people claiming to be Muslim. Glory belongs to God.
Love in Islam is so sacred. Precious love for children. Honorable love for parents. Sacred love for spouse. Glowing love for family. Commited love for community. All because of the most powerful love of all, a serving love for God/ALLAH.
There's no concept in Islam of doing something just for the heck of it. Everything is accounted for, and intention is looked at first. SUre, we are all at fault of off intentions sometimes. But if someone wants to express or proclaim their love for something or someone why should it be emphasized only on one day? Why does it need to be in the form of flowers and chocolates? Don't get me wrong I love those things, I just don't see why only on one day this is so special as they say. I love my family, my children, parents and brother. I love my sister -in-law and people in general. So why do I have to limit my attention to them on Valentine's day? Instead of accepting the norm of society, why not question it?
Kids are so impressionable. They need to know why this and why that. Its sometimes hard, but if you foster in them the greatest love of all, a love for God and Prophet Muhammad (peace & blessings be upon him) by reminding them and talking to them about all the beautiful things in history, by pointing out God's gracious glorious ways seen by the view of a single most eloquent rose, then the concept of love for God thorugh every action my be instilled in their hearts.
Protect them from feeling they need to partake in senseless holidays like this one. Teach them about the what True love really is. Its trust in Allah, and the practice to do what is right. Instead of having them toy around with the the idea of hearts, candies, chocolates and the yummies. Remind them that everyday should be a day of love because Allah loves them and wants the best for them. Oh, and about all those sweets, maybe doing a search on them on the internet to find out how they are made or where exactly sugar comes from will give them a deeper appreciation of a love for goodies, a deeper appreciation for God. Put God first on every occassion. Especially on an occassion that proclaims love.
I hope my little girl doesn't throw a fit when I tell her she's not going to pre-school tomorrow morning, especially when her 1st grader sister who's in an Islamic school will , God-willing/InshaAllah. Maybe by teaching kids at a young age about everything and exposing them to truth about all things at a rate they can understand, will simplify the decisions and actions they take when they are teens or adults. God willing. May God protect all children, and guide us all on the Straight Path.
True Love is love for someone or something that is given to please Allah. The hoopla of Valentine's Day simply negates this.
Check out what our reply should be when someone says "I love you". Prophet Muhammad (peace & blessings upon him) taught us..you'll see it at the top of this post.

2/12/2006

Backwards

The most influential man, the best character, a leader with strength, but most humbled was he. Al-Amin, the Trustworthy.
Do you not see that many things in this life are just simply backwards? Abortion is a woman's right to kill a baby yet the death sentence is considered uncivilized. Modesty is a no longer understandable concept come Spring, yet homosexuality is publicly celebrated. Loving parents is unquestionable, but throwing them in a far away nursing home is understandable. Being religious is an honor in people's eyes, especially if one is deemed "recognized".
People are just so messed up, for the most part anyway. Priorities are not in check. I remember way back in high school, you know, the crazy place in the middle of chaos, well there was this questionnaire. I don't even remember for what class it was. Anyways, it asked us to rate what was most important to us. Back then, although I was not wearing hijab nor had 1/2 as much knowledge of Islam, I rated religion being #1. I am not sure why I did it, because looking back then, I hadn't really practiced Islam for my inner self as much as I did for just the sake of doing it. Make sense? My freshman year in college is when I really woke up. I lived on campus and knew that I would not fit in. Being protected from my parents, not allowing me to sleep over friends houses, and not being crazy about me hanging out at McDonald's friday nights after those high school football games..finally all made sense to me..in college. I finally began to appreciate my parents refusing to let me do this or that while growing up.
It was then my heart started to obsorb the true meaning of Islam. Submit. Submitting my backwards will to God. The more I learned about it for myself, rather than relying on the Sunday school teachings, or what my dear parents have taught me, the more I wanted to know. I began a journey back then that has not stopped, Praise God. I am not a convert, revert, or whatever you'd like to call it. I was brought up in a Muslim home and most of my ways are picked up from my parents. May God reward them. But having said that, I can not deny that there was still a turning point, this is when my Muslim persona really began to emerge. I Praise God for introducing me to Prophet Muhammad (peace & blessings be upon him)
There is no way, I can be a who I am today without the most important figure in my life. My parents have always taught me to stick up for myself. My husband provides much knowledge and support to my Islamic being.
More than the loves of my life, it is Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) who inspires me, encourages me, and nourishes me with his humble, generous, and noble character. He had dynamic responsibilities, yet he lived the most simple life. As an educator, he never made people feel small, unwanted, or insignificant. Growing up as an orphan instilled a love for needy children and was an extra support to the elderly. In his own home, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was one who's life was about simplicity and contentment. Despite his position as leader, the Prophet Muhammad never behaved as if he was greater or better than other people. He was a man of dignity and honor, but only to please his Creator. Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) is one which Muslims aim to emulate in every action. You want to know what true Islam is, then you need to know who this man was, and who is in the hearts of over a billion Muslims.
Corruption of this society, of this world will go on, backwards thinking will continue, and yet the true teaching of God through Prophet Muhammad (peace & blessings be upon him) will continue to guide Muslims, and anyone who seeks Truth.
It is He Who has sent down the Book (the Qur'ân) to you (Muhammad SAW) with truth, confirming what came before it. And he sent down the Taurât (Torah) and the Injeel (Gospel).
{3:3, Noble Quran}

Doctor Bee


I came across this nicely written piece about one of God's Creations. What's in that honey? It reminded me that every single thing worships Allah. As controversial this may seem, it makes me question pediatricians who say that babies should not consume honey before they turn a year old.
Allah (All High) said: "And your Rabb [Lord] inspired the bees, saying: "Take you habitations in the mountains and in the trees and in what they erect. Then, eat of all fruits, and follow the ways of your Rabb made easy [for you]." There comes forth from their bellies, a drink of varying colour wherein is healing for men. Verily, in this is indeed a sign for people who think." (Qur'an 16: 68-69)
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I am the doctor, I am the handicraft of medicine. You come to me to take your medicine from my pharmacy, the one that I prepare myself to heel you Insha-Allah (if Allah wills) from your diseases. The medicine I make never tastes bitter to annoy whoever takes it; on the contrary, it is sweet and delicious and everybody likes it. In fact it has many colors and many odours, it smells like roses in the garden, flowers and basil, or even jasmine. The colours of my medicine are pure and beautiful: pure white, red, or yellow.Its heeling power is guaranteed, and the patient does not need a medicine check from the physician; furthermore, whoever takes it would never have any side effects or any complications because it heels and strengthens, always useful and never useless.None of the whole creatures can ever make that medicine because this is my secret and nobody else can have it. In fact, no creature at all taught me this secret; moreover, I never went to school and never studied at any university. However, I am so good at manufacturing that heeling medicine.Do not wonder at this speech, and do not say: "How should we believe? These are just dreams." In fact, I am not dreaming or lying, but I am telling the truth and nothing but the truth.Do you want' to know who taught me that secret? He is the Great Creator Allah (All High) who created me and taught me the right path and guided me by His inspiration and simplified this manufacturing ability for me.Allah (All High) created a great factory in my minute body, in which there are very minute instruments that make this medicine. After that, He permitted me to go and suck materials from fruits and roses' nectar that would never harm the rose; then I mix that nectar in my body to let my instruments work with the Aid of the All-Powerful Allah (All High) to extract a perfect fare medicine, pure and very useful. Do you know now who I am?Yes, I guess you knew that I am the BEE and the medicine I make is honey. I am a very tiny overactive creature that never becomes tired or lazy or even sick. I usually do my work with firmness and never feel bored, but rather spend my whole life making honey.Allah (All High) inspired me to build my well-organized shelter, so I build it as a hexagonal shape, strongly fixed from its ends; then He let me fly easily using my tiny wings in order to fly in the valleys and the green fields sucking flowers' nectar and tasting all fruits before I return home. And when I return I empty all what I have collected and store it, then I go back again, and so on, feeling no fatigue or boredom.As a matter of fact, I do not ask you any recompense for my effort except to respect my limits and consider my existence. Therefore, I do not like anybody to attempt my life or fight me because, we bees, do not like aggression and we love to live safely.However, if anybody attempts to endanger our life, we are so brave and our weapons are our stinging needles. Our soldiers sacrifice their lives for the defense of their kingdom and they are fierce in their battles for a sting would certainly cost the bee its life. That is because its stinging needle is attached to its guts, and when it sticks it into somebody its bowels would go out of its body and it dies terribly as you see.Allah (All High) has honoured us in His Book and specialized us by naming one of the Surahs (chapters) of His Book by our name and has granted to us the honour of His inspiration. Not only that, but He (All High) predestined our lives and guided us to the way of our work. If you want to know something about our kingdom or the organization of our government, then our kingdom does not differ much from yours, and our government resembles yours to a high extent.We have a Queen who rules us and that we obey and guard. The work is divided among us: some make the wax, others work in honey and another team builds the shelters while the others bring water. We usually get very early in the morning, and our drone has been an example as people say: "he wakes as early as a drone."Some of our members keep flapping their wings to refresh the air of the cell, and some are the soldiers and yet some others are just males. We shall go back now, my dear friends, to my medicine.Honey has been mentioned in the Qur'an, and Allah (All High) described it as a cure for people, and it is a sterilized medicine where no microbe or insect can live. And if you want to be sure take some honey and put an insect in it and you will find out that it will be dead in a few seconds.Honey is a cure for so many diseases, and it is the medicine that was recommended by our Prophet Muhammad [peace be upon him (PBUH)] who said: "Do have the two cures: Honey and the Qur'an." (Ibn Majah)Moreover, the name of honey was mentioned in the Qur'an when Allah (All High) mentioned the rivers of Paradise: "The description of Paradise which the Muttaqun [the pious] have been promised [is that] in it are rivers of water, the taste and smell of which are not changed, rivers of milk of which the taste never changes, rivers of wine delicious to those who drink, and rivers of clarified honey [clear and pure]..." (Qur'an 47: 15)It was reported in a Hadith [tradition of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)] narrated by Bukhari and Muslim that a man came to the Prophet and said, "My brother has some abdominal trouble." The Prophet (PBUH) said to him: "Let him drink honey," - the man came for the second time and the Prophet said to him "Let him drink honey." - He came for the third time and the Prophet said, "Let him drink honey." - He returned again and said, "I have done that." The Prophet then said, "Allah (All High) has said the truth, but you brother's abdomen has told a lie. Let him drink honey." So he made him drink honey and he was at last cured.Some doctors said that the patient mentioned in the Hadith had the following situation: That man had some harmful wastes gathered in his abdomen. So when he drank honey for the first time, the wastes were disintegrated, and they got out of his body gradually, wastes were out of the patient's body and he was cured by the Power of Allah (All High).Have you been acquainted now with my whole life, dear friends? I guess you love me now and you are no more afraid of me, because as you see I do not harm except the one who harms me since my stinging costs me my life.So be my close friends and let me do my job that Allah (All High) has taught me and inspired me, and peace be with you.Doctor Bee[From: "Birds and Animals Mentioned in the Holy Qur'an" By: Nour M. Jaffala]
Monday : 01/03/2004

2/09/2006

Muslims & Jews Share


Millions of Muslims just might be fasting today. Maybe millions of Jews too. Today is Ashura. A day that commemorates the day that God saving the Children of Israel from Pharaoh. A day fasted by a common leader , prophet for both Muslims and Jews: Moses (peace and blessings be upon him). Here's what happened.
When Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) entered Madinah, he found that the Jews there fasted to a day called 'Ashura.' The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) asked them the reason of their fasting. The Jewish people replied: “This is a blessed day. On this day God saved the Children of Israel from their enemy (in Egypt) and so Prophet Moses fasted on this day giving thanks to God.� Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “We have more claim to Moses than you.� So Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) fasted on that day and commanded Muslims to fast on this day. (Al-Bukhari, hadith 1865) For Muslims to be distinguished from the Jewish community, it is preferred to fast as one of the following:
1. Fast for three days: on the 9th, 10th, and 11th of Muharram
2. Fast the 9th and 10th of Muharram, or
3. Fast only the 10th of Muharram.
{Oh, and this picture above is a satellite view of Sinai and the Red Sea, valid for history.}
Please remember this special day of sacrifice and make supplication to God to enlighten us with continued faith. Ameen.
God Knows Best.

2/08/2006

Hijab vs. Anarachy


Everytime I get into the car I love to listen to this song. It's by Dawud Wharnsby Ali. Hijab is much more than just covering up hair and putting up with the heat in the summer. It keeps me and Muslim women grounded to truth and builds confidence in my heart that people should see me for who I really am. People are always talking and saying things that "its what's on the inside that counts". Well, for me and other Muslim women wearing hijab, we are examples of professing that ideology they speak of. The concept of "larger than life", materials: well that is what I aim to shy away from. Simplicity is a Muslim's ongoing goal, only then will contentment in one's heart be reached, that is the true definition of being rich. Muslim women, we are from everywhere on the globe. Next time you see her, you know, instead of asking her where she is from, ask her what you really want to know, "Why do you cover?" Chances are you'll get the same answer: "Because God told me to...as a form of protection from ill people, and as a form of protection to remind myself of my purpose of this life."
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The Veil:
They say, “Oh poor girl you are so beautiful you know it’s a shame that you cover up your beauty so.�She just smiles and graciously responds reassuringly,“This beauty that I have is just a simple part of me; this body that I have, no stranger has a right to see. These long clothes and shawl I wear ensure my modesty. Faith is more essential than fashion, wouldn’t you agree?� This hijab, this mark of piety,is an act of faith, a symbol, for all the world to see.A simple cloth, to preserve her dignity. So lift the veil from your heart to see the heart of purity.
They tell her, “Girl don’t you know this is the west and you are free? You don’t need to be oppressed, ashamed of your femininity.� She just shakes her head and she speaks so assuredly, “See the billboards and the magazines those lines the check-out isles, with their phony painted faces and their air-brushed smiles? Well their sheer clothes, and low cut gowns, they are really not for me. You call it freedom, but I call it ANARCHY.�
This hijab, this mark of piety, is an act of faith, a symbol, for all the world to see. A simple cloth, to protect her dignity.So lift the veil from your heart to see the heart of purity.
Lift the veil from your heart to see the heart of purity.

2/07/2006

Islamaphobia


Islam. So many ways to define it. But only one way to define it correctly. So many ways of practice. But only one way to practice it truthfully. So many ways to view it. But only one way to view completely. One prescribed religion, one way of life, one Book in authenticity, One God. Not just for me, not just for Muslims. For all of humanity back then, for all of humanity today, and for the entire human race until Judgement Day. We live. We go through tests. We die. We ressurect. We are judged. We are rewarded or We serve time. One Message was delivered to you. One Message was delivered to me. Corruption deceives Truth. Has it corrupted what was placed in your heart, your God-given right? Our time will come. Yours is on its way. Judegement Day.
I love him and I want to be like him in every way. He is my leader and taught me to be kind to orphans, how to be clean, how to love my neighbor and that they have a right over me (even if they are not Muslim-and even if they do not think highly of me because I am). The Trustworthy taught me to be honest, and teaches me my role as a mother, a wife, a daughter, and a sister. The more I read about him, the more I am humbled by his character. Patience was a virtue of his. He was abused and tormented by people who had hearts sealed towards any amount of guideance. Kind, gentle, and playful with children was he. Know who he was. A man, a noble man who instilled the rights of women, saved female babies, stood up for the elderly and respected the ill.
God Watches & Listens to all affairs. God is the Most Fair. For those who disrespect any of God's Messengers (peace & blessings be upon them), just a reminder..those comments will catch up to you. If not now, then certainly later. Let's wake each other up. Islam is not to be feared of. Prophet Muhammad (PEACE be upon him) is not to be feared of. IGNORANCE, and there is tons of it, that is what people should be afraid of. Question hypocricy. Question lies. Question the SOURCE. Only then True Islam will shine and be seen for what it is, what it really means. SUBMISSION to God. One Message sent to all of humanity. From Noah to Moses, from Abraham to Jesus...to yes, Muhammad: peace & blessings be upon them all. Not a hard concept to understand. Not something to be afraid of. Quran is a Sacred Book, it has not been changed in over 1400 years. God protects it and has promised to do so until the end of this world. You will never find 2 different books sharing the same name : Quran. This is fundamental in Islam. The only change that happens is within the people.
Islamaphobia is caused by gullability. Not everything is true and not everything is a lie. Read with the intention to know. Read with your fears left aside. Read while keeping those images in your mind away. If you really want to know Islam, If you really want to know who Prophet Muhammad: Peace and blessings be upon him, and if you really want to understand then all you have to do is sincerely read. If you sincerely read, then avoid commentaries, avoid the hypocrites, avoid the corruption. Read the history, the facts, the true story of Prophet Muhammad: peace & blessings be upon him. Only then you may come to know. Avoid ignorance, stay away from stereotypes, ask questions, and seek knowledge.

2/04/2006

89 & Unsure

Walking into his room I noticed he was half asleep & half awake. He seemed surprised to see me. Well he had seen me once last week, but short term memory at 89 years is kind of shady, at least for him. I went in there with a plan to focus intervention on sitting/standing balance. Although I should have known he wouldn't have been washed & dressed by the nursing aids. It was not an occupational therapy goal set for him, to become more independent with self care, but I ended up helping him out with some of it to challenge his balance sitting at the edge of the bed. The nursing aid loved this, they are always hoping it is part of OT intervention, they have such a demanding job.
Anyways, as I was saying, I shocked him. He looked at me and then started a long conversation :
"Are you a nun?"
No, I wear this scarf because I am Muslim.
You're not a nun? (he's hard of hearing and does not have hearing aids for whatever reason)
No, I am Muslim.
Oh, you're a Moslem!
Yeah.
That's nice.
How about you get up out of bed?
OK..but are you a Modern Muslim? You seem like all of us, you don't cover your face or wear black??
Some women cover their faces, its all about modesty in every aspect of a Muslim's life. At the very least the clothes have to be loose and everything covered but the hands and face.
But you look so modern...a modern Moslem (more like Mozlum!!)
There are many of us living in this modern world, you look modern too!
(he laughed)
Ok, so let me explain something. I'm thinking this guy has lived most of his life already, and he seems really interested..so I started asking him questions like what his faith is, especially after he inquired if I believed in the Ten Commandments! Ok, so for me, it is important I work on the treatment plan, but who am I kidding, it was an open shot and I just had to go with this conversation.
He expressed that although he is Catholic he doesn't really have a religion, that he is confused and has no idea. SubhanAllah/Glory belongs to God. As unsure as he seemed, he appeared to believe everything I was saying by commenting: Yeah that makes sense! Or it could just be my gullability too!! This 89er mentioned the belief in One God. I was explaining how Islam defines Jesus (peace and blessings be upon him). It was a foreign idea to him that the trinity is not something Muslims hold true and that Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) is not God. SubhanAllah. Every time I would say something, he would look at me and say "But you're just like everyone else, you're a good person" Once he continued on with that and said, "But most of them (Muslims) are not like that, right?" Again, my gut was telling me he was falling for it, the Truth! I corrected him ofcourse and I loved his curiosity.
So then talk about our permanent home began. I explained that Muslims view life as an Exam, if a person worships One God and devotes all actions to please that One God by following the examples of the great men who were there to teach us: from Noah to Abraham, to Moses and Jesus and Muhammad (peace & blessings upon them) then we've got a good place waiting for us in the Hereafter.
Then he had random questions that I answered like Fridays is the Muslim's holy day rather than Saturday of the Jews and Sundays of the Christians. Another back to my head scarf/hijab, do I take it off at home and whether I was married or not. I had to answer that I am a mom. Alhamdulilah/Praises belong to God. Oh, and if Muslims repent to anyone? He was especially agreeable with this point, that there is a direct relationship with God by every individual person.
So after I finished helping him wash his back, and arms while he was sitting at the edge of the bed (and about his balance, it was fair, he just started to lean at the end) and after I put on his hospital gown around his shoulders, the nursing aid walked in and my 30 minute session with him was up.
I left his room walking down to another unit for another resident of the nursing home making duaa/supplication that he will die not except in a state of Iman and that he be a companion of mine of Jannah/Paradise. But first, I have to make it there! I hope, I pray.

2/03/2006

Clarifications

Hey Readers & Asalaam Alaikum Warahmat Allah to my fellow Muslims,
This writing below was sent to me from a dear friend, a sister I've loved since we were toddlers. I refer to it from time to time to inspire me to help others learn about what ISLAM really stands for. The religion, way of life for Muslims is not always implemented the way it should be so often, these days (almost always actually) confusion exists with the reality of Islam vs. misconceptions. To really know you need to read facts and history not to view inappropriate examples. This is a really good take...May God reward her and may all people who want truth , get it. Ameen/Amen
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Sent: Monday, July 18, 2005 5:39 AM
Subject: a word from me
From: Another Muslimah
The world is an ugly place today. It is a sad, sad world. Too much death, too much hatred, too many tears. Maybe it was always like this, and i was just too young, or too busy, or too unconcerned to notice. I feel like the evil is overtaking, and what little good, what little pure is left, is dying day by day.
I do not understand why the London bombings. I do not understand why 18 Iraqi children were murdered because they took candy from the US troops. I do not understand.....and i can not forgive. I can not forgive because it could have easily been my son stopping to take candy from those troops. It could have easily been my son who was orphaned because i got on one of those subway trains in London. It could have been, so i can not forgive.

Can the world be blamed for having such a horrible view of Muslims? Can we blame them for hating us when this is all they see of us? I do not think we can blame them...because, perhaps, if i was on the other side, i would hate us too. Perhaps.
But although we can not blame them we can do our part to set some things straight, to clear up some misconceptions. I believe there is a Judgement day, when we will each be brought before God, and be judged for our actions on this earth. And although i will not be held responsible for those bombings, I believe that i will be held responsible for my actions after the bombings: what did you do about the way the world was viewing Islam? Did you just keep quiet and let them all believe that your religion is about killing innocent people?Did you say anything?
And its for these reasons that i'm writing you today....i believe i will be held accountable for the views you take of Islam, because, although i am not a scholar, i know enough to set some mis-conceptions straight.
This is what i know: I know that to be a Muslim means to believe there is no god but God, and that Mohamed (peace be upon him) was His prophet. Muslims believe that, among others, Moses and Jesus were also prophets. To be a Muslim, you must pay charity yearly, and we are encouraged to teach our children from a young age to always give charity to those in need.
To be a good Muslim, you must obey your parents and be good to them. You must treat all people with respect. Prophet Mohamed never even spanked a child.
I know that during war, when there is actual man to man combat, when two tribes or two countries are actively fighting each other, Islam FORBIDS killing women, children and the elderly. ISLAM FORBIDS KILLING THE INNOCENT. THE ONLY PEOPLE YOU ARE ALLOWED TO FIGHT DURING A WAR, ARE THE ACTUAL SOLDIERS. Soldiers are even told to be careful not to harm the vegetation.
Clearly this is not all there is to Islam, but i think this is enough to make my point. Those bombing could not have come from people who understood Islam correctly. They just couldn't. And i will join the world in calling those bombings terror attacks.
I believe those were misguided people who tried to make a point, but went about it cruely and unjustly. What was their point? I can only guess...In iraq, they wanted to scare away the US. They do not appreciate the US presence in their country. I do understand this view. Can you image having foreign troops in your country? I know i would not appreciate it. And i do not know if it would be better for Iraq if the US were to suddenly withdraw. I know there would be less bombings, and less deaths of innocent people. But would the country be able to govern itself? Would the civil war that's happening there simply end if the Americans went home? I do not know. But my heart tells me Iraq would be a safer place.
I feel the need to mention Palestine now, despite that little voice inside telling me not to. Palestine is a place of much sorrow, and i do not envey those who live there. I wish that one day i will be able to visit Jerusalem, but i know that i will not. And i doubt that there will ever be peace in Palestine. But despite the horrible acts that happen there everyday, mostly unnoticed by our jaded western minds, i do not believe those are acts of terrorists. I do not believe that young men and women throwing stones at artillery wielding Israeli soldiers are terrorists. And even if those men and women are holding guns and ammunition, i still do not believe they are terrorists. I believe they are defending themselves, and their land, from an occupying force. The current President Bush said once that "Israel has a right to defend itself." Well, i say Palestine and Palestinians have a right to defend themselves, too. Of course now you want to know what i think of the suicide bomber in Palestine. Well, the truth is that i don't know. When a young woman blows herself up in the midst of a crowded Israeli gathering, killing many innocent people, is that okay? No, i don't think it is. An innocent is an innocent, no matter what race or religion. But i would not call her a terrorist. What's the difference between her and the bombers of London or Iraq? Well, I believe she, and the people she stands for, truly are at war with the people she intended to harm. I don't know. This confusion is why that voice is telling me right now, "see..i told you not to talk about Palestine." But i had to make an attempt, as feeble as it was, to prove that Palestinians are not acting to terrorize, but just to defend themselves and claim back their land. I don't think i did a very good job, but i tried.

I send you this today not to start a political debate about the Middle East. I simply wanted to do my part to clear up some confusion about Islam. I send this letter in case, in all the years i have known you, i have never discussed with you the basis of Islam. I send this letter to tell you that the word Islam itself means "Peace;" if you remember nothing more from this editorial of mine, just remember that. So that when it comes time, and God holds me responsible for the time i've spent on this earth, I can say that i tried to teach everyone i know about Islam....I tried to teach them about Peace.

2/02/2006

He Said It


A man of wisdom dedicating his life to teach humanity the purpose of life...to worship God alone. Life itself is worship, not jus the actual rituals of prayer. Prophet Muhammad (may peace and blessings be upon him) was the best in all areas a person can be. His teachings are simple and make sense, but many of us do not follow his footsteps. These sayings of his are a few points to the philosphy and reality of Islam. I got them from a calandar that was lying on the side table in my living room. It's called Al-Anwar Calandar: 2005 with the authentic sayings related by the most authentic source (Bukhari).. So check them out below.


"Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day should not hurt his neighbor..."

"Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day should talk what is good or keep quiet."

"It is not lawful for a Muslim to dessert his fellow Muslim for more than three days. When meeting, one turns his face against the other, while the best of the two is the one who starts greeting the other."

"A Muslim is the one who avoids harming Muslims with his tongue or his hands."

"Truthful leads to righteousness, and righteousness leads to Paradise."

"The signs of a hypocrite are three: whenever speaks he tells a lie, whenever promises he breaks his promise, and whenever entrusted he betrays."

"The strong is not the one who overcomes the people with his strength, but the one who controls himself while in anger."

"Make things easy for others; not difficult. Make people comfortable (with good tidings), and do not repulse them..."

2/01/2006

Barzakh

Until, when death comes to one of them, he says, "My Lord! Send me back. Perhaps I may do good in that which I have left behind!" No! It is but a word that he speaks, and behind them is a BARZAKH until the Day when they are raised up. ~Noble Quran 23:99-100
Muslims hold true that the Angel of
Death removes the soul of each human at an appoined term determined by God. In the grave once a body has been buried the soul returns for the Final Test of faith. Everyone, Muslim or not is going to go through this. We live our lives and do our thing, but if we are not ready to answer these 3 questions then we will be in trouble beyoned imaginable. Immediately after burial it begins. Two angels known as Munkar and Nakir conduct it. They are rigidly scary looking with a stern appearance and are colored black and blue. Munkar and Nakir shake the deceased person up in the grave until he/she's sitting. I think of it as like an interrogation, remember this is the last test of all tests. Three questions are then presented:
1. Who is your God?
2. What is your religion?
3. Who is that man that was sent to you?
It is a Final Exam with 3 simple questions. The status of anticipation before the test of a believer sits up without feelings of terror or fear and he/she answers confidently.
"Allah is my God, Islam is my religion, and Prophet Muhammad is Allah's Messenger."
Munkar and Nakir respond by saying they expected him/her to say this and shake the believer again. Again the believer repeats the answers confidently without fear. Allah grants firmness of words to His believers and this is why Allah tells us in the Quran:
"Allah makes the believers firm with firm words." 14:27
Once this is done, the test results are confirmed. Then Allah rewards this dead person in the grave by opening the door to Jannah to view, sort of like a 3-D movie with scents and clothing but not actually entering. This is the best way I can understand it. Allah knows best.
For the one who did not believe in God, avoided the practice of Islam, and/or refuted the Prophethood of Muhammad...well trouble awaits. Munkar and Nakir will ask those same questions but the response will be something completely different.
"I do not know who my God is; I do not know what my religion is, but I heard people saying this and that so I just said the same; I am not sure about the man that was sent to me". Munkar and Nakir tell him/her: "He is Muhammad". The disbeliever then says: "Oh, I did hear people saying that."
The test results are announced, certainly no where near an A. This person's grade of an F gives him/her clear view of Hellfire in vision until Judgement Day. How will I answer these questions? How will you? Let us never forget the purpose of this life, to worship God alone the way He deserves to be worshipped.
Death can happen any second of any time and place. It is the biggest reality of life, let us all be prepared for it by seeking knowledge and accepting faith to enter our hearts. The facts I have presented are from various sources, yet they are all authentic Sayings of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and from the Noble Quran. From time to time I read up on death and thought this may be of interest to some, any, or all of you! May God guide us to the Straight Path. Ameen/Amen.


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