Friday, July 29, 2005
Why the West has lost goodwill of Muslims
These are treacherous times. Peace seems to have become ever more elusive and we are all traumatized, as if an impending danger is lurking over our heads. The victims, who are falling to acts of either individual or state-sponsored terrorism, have mainly been innocent civilians.
This vicious cycle of tit-for-tat madness must stop. Every innocent life lost is too precious, too great.
To honour the souls ofthe more than 50 people who died in a planned and pathologically-motivated attack in London, people the world over did stop in solemn silence and paid their respects by adopting the slogan: "Today we are all British."
It was a poignant way to express solidarity with the bereaving families and nation. Paradoxically, when more than 200,000 people were killed in attacks on Iraq and Afghanistan, no one said: "Today we are all Iraqis or Afghanis."
What hypocrisy. What gall.
The horror of 9/11 and now the aftermath of the London bombings reveal, more than anything else, the discord between the true nature of Islam, as religion, culture and civilization, and the way it is projected in the current palpable cloud of Islamophobia. Islam is relentlessly portrayed as an obscurantist, unethical enterprise. Muslims now actually wear the garb of the very demons that the media have been projecting as a collective profile for an entire community and a whole faith.
Is it fair to compare the worst of Islam to the best of everyone else?
Muslims, by far, are the greatest victims of such brutalities, as their faith is continually and recklessly branded and cruelly tied to violence. Much time is spared to proffer, within an aura of intense demagoguery and downright ignorance, flawed definitions and interpretations about a whole religion and civilization.
The ultimate result of such an exercise in misinformation is not to enlighten but to inflame the audience's indignant passion. Lost in the midst of this hallucinogenic haze is the fact that religion, any religion, like any other lofty aspect of human life, can be abused.
Is there a hierarchy in pain, torture and death? Can the word "innocent" be used selectively and the word "terrorist" be assigned mainly for Muslims?
Instead of getting carried away with passions stirred by the media, we in the West need to summon the moral courage to examine, and reflect on, the root causes of this horrendous reality and take swift action to address the concerns of the Muslim world. This does not mean giving in to the demands of Osama bin Laden and his ilk, but rather a master-stroke of statesmanship for winning an enduring world peace.
Such a move requires courageous leadership. But who among world leaders can rise to the occasion and seize this opportunity to help stem the tide of individual and state-sponsored terrorism once and for all?
Fighting violence with more violence has proven disastrous in prosecuting the "war on terror."
How long do we have to suffer the rising death toll in Iraq, Afghanistan and the revenge attacks elsewhere? The occupation of the Muslim lands must end. It is illegal and morally reprehensible.
For their part, what can Muslims do to get beyond the current impasse? They must stop waiting for the messiah to come and deliver them on a silver platter.
Their faith provides an ethical and moral perspective within which Muslims must exert their energies to find answers to all human ills. The way forward to a fresh, contemporary appreciation of Islam requires a multi-dimensional understanding of Islam that demands from them to "enjoin what is good and forbid what is evil."
Author Karen Armstrong makes a telling comment on this present state of affairs: "At the beginning of the 20th century," she says, "nearly every single Muslim intellectual was in love with the West, admired its modern society, and campaigned for democracy and constitutional government in their own countries.
"Instead of seeing the West as their enemy, they recognized it as compatible with their own traditions. We should ask ourselves why we have lost this goodwill."
Javed Akbar is director of outreach at Pickering Islamic Centre.
Wednesday, July 27, 2005
Prophet Mohammad (Allah bless him and give him peace) said:
"The example of a good companion and a bad companion is like that of the seller of musk, and the one who blows the blacksmith’s bellows. So as for the seller of musk then either he will grant you some, or you buy some from him, or at least you enjoy a pleasant smell from him. As for the one who blows the blacksmith’s bellows then either he will burn your clothes or you will get an offensive smell from him."
(ignore the slight typos...it's a nice piece)
Truly great friends are really hard to come by, so when you find one with whom Allah joins your heart and soul, do not let them go...regardless of what happens in your life or how busy you are...as Ustadha Umm Sahl reminded us...
Masha'Allah, the lucky folks on the rihla have left Madina and headed towards Makkah. Visit the blog to hear about Masjid al-Baya, Taif, the preparation of next year's kiswah, the heat, and Makkah.
Click here for the Rihla Blog!
O how my heart longs to go back...these blog entries bring back memories like they took place just yesterday... Please Allah, please....let me go back...
Marriage as a Help or Hindrance to the Religious Life
Marriage plays such a large part in human affairs that it must be necessarily be taken into account in treating of the religious life and be regarded in both its aspects of advantage and disadvantage.
Seeing that God, as the Koran says, "only created men and genii for the purpose of worshipping," the first and obvious advantage of marriage is that the worshippers of God may increase in number. Theologians have therefore laid it down as a maxim that it is better to be engaged in matrimonial duties than in superegatory devotions.
Another advantage of marriage is that, as the Prophet said, the prayers of children profit their parents when the latter are dead, and children who die before their parents intercede for them on the Day of Judgement. "When a child," said the Prophet, "is told to enter heaven, it weeps and says, 'I will not enter in without my father and mother.' " Again, one day the Prophet seized hold of a man's sleeves and drew him violently towards himself, saying. " Even thus shall children draw their parents into heaven." He added, "Children crowd together at the gate of heaven and cry out for their fathers and mothers, till those of the latter who are outside are told to enter in and join their children."
It is related of a certain celibate saint that he once dreamt that the Judgement Day had come. The sun had approached close to the earth and people were perishing of thirst: a crowd of boys were moving about giving them water out of gold and silver vessels. But when the saint asked for water he was repulsed, and one of the boys said to him, "Not one of us here is your son." As soon as the saint awoke he made preparations to marry.
The Alchemy of Happiness
Monday, July 25, 2005
Imam al-Ghazali on Time
From the Salikah archives...my first [technically second] post:
“You should not neglect your time or use it haphazardly; on the contrary you should bring yourself to account, structure your litanies and other practices during each day and night, and assign to each period a fixed and specific function. This is how to bring out the spiritual blessing (baraka) in each period.
But if you leave yourself adrift, aimlessly wandering as cattle do, not knowing how to occupy yourself at every moment, your time will be lost. It is nothing other than your life, and your life is the capital that you make use of to reach perpetual felicity in the proximity of God the Exalted.
Each of your breaths is a priceless jewel, since each of them is irreplaceable and, once gone, can never be retrieved. Do not be like that deceived fools who are joyous because each day their wealth increases while their life shortens.
What good is an increase in wealth when life grows ever shorter? Therefore be joyous only for an increase in knowledge or in good works, for they are your two companions who will accompany you in your grave when your family, wealth, children and friends stay behind.”Imam Al Ghazali (May Allah have mercy on him) wrote this in his book: ‘The Beginning of Guidance’
Sunday, July 24, 2005
The Lance Armstrong Foundation (host of the LiveSTRONG yellow band campaign)
A good man that's done great work. May Allah bless him with all khayr.
At age 25, Lance Armstrong was one of the world's best cyclists. He proved it by winning the World Championships, the Tour Du Pont and multiple Tour de France stages. Lance Armstrong seemed invincible and his future was bright.
Then they told him he had cancer.
Next to the challenge he now faced, bike racing seemed insignificant. The diagnosis was testicular cancer, the most common cancer in men aged 15-35. If detected early, its cure rate is a promising 90 percent. Like most young, healthy men, Lance ignored the warning signs, and he never imagined the seriousness of his condition. Going untreated, the cancer had spread to Lance's abdomen, lungs and brain. His chances dimmed.
Then a combination of physical conditioning, a strong support system and competitive spirit took over. He declared himself not a cancer victim but a cancer survivor. He took an active role in educating himself about his disease and the treatment. Armed with knowledge and confidence in medicine, he underwent aggressive treatment and beat the disease.
During his treatment, before his recovery, before he even knew his own fate, he created the Lance Armstrong Foundation. This marked the beginning of Lance's life as an advocate for people living with cancer and a world representative for the cancer community.
Lance Armstrong's victories in the 1999-2004 Tours de France are awe-inspiring, but the battle against cancer has just begun-not just for him, but for all cancer survivors and people just like him who think cancer could not affect them. He plans to lead this fight, and he hopes that you join him. This is a life he owes to cancer. This is his choice to live strong.
Haroon Siddiqui says public knows answer to what their politicians can't see
The London bombings have triggered new fears, heightened security measures and sparked another round of finger-pointing.
But, unlike in post-9/11 America, all sides of the debate are beginning to be heard in Britain.
All civilized people have condemned the terrorism, unequivocally, including British and Canadian Muslims.
Yet there is a tendency in some quarters to never lose an opportunity to lay a collective guilt trip on all Muslims. The new McCarthyism usually takes the form of a demand: "What do you have to say about ...?"
Such folks need to be reminded of the May 22, 1944 notation in the diary of Anne Frank: "What one Christian does is his own responsibility, what one Jew does, reflects on all Jews.
"Hounding law-abiding Muslims contravenes our basic democratic principles, besides being wholly counterproductive.
The next debate is over trying to understand the causes of terrorism.
One side says Muslims are angry because of what's going on in Iraq, Palestine, Chechnya, etc.
Yes, but ... says the other side. How come Africans and Tibetans are not terrorists? Such critics fall into three camps.
One blames Islam. "It's a violent religion; its adherents always wage jihad." Oriana Fallaci makes millions saying so. A congressman makes headlines wanting to bomb Mecca. Other hatemongers are more careful.
The second camp draws a distinction between Islam and what it calls Islamism, defined as Osama bin Laden's dream of destroying the West and founding a caliphate. The terrorists are said to be his foot soldiers.
But clearly not all are inspired by Bin Laden's religion, only his politics of grievance.
The third camp categorizes the terrorists as a neo-fascist, nihilistic and death-loving cult with an Islamic sheen. "They hate our freedoms." "They want to destroy our way of life."
"An evil ideology," Tony Blair calls it, associating it with "radical Islam." He'll hold a conference, just as he had on Palestine when feeling similarly helpless.
The "cult of death" line prompts a debate over which side kills more — the terrorists or state-initiated economic sanctions, wars and endless occupations?
Piping up in the middle are the old unreconstructed multiculturalists, still bemoaning that the West would be better off if we were all a homogeneous lot.
We are going in circles.
Which way forward?
One side says we show the same interest in solving the problems of the Muslim world as we did, say, in East Timor.
The other side says, Muslims heal thyself. Crack down on madrassas. Fight Wahhabism. Stop fiery sermons. If you don't do it, we will do it for you.
Muddling along in the middle are politicians and bureaucrats.
British competence in identifying the bombers does not cover up the fact that a recent security report concluded that there was no imminent threat; that one of the bombers was probed last year but not held; that the mastermind of the bombing, a known operative, was allowed to slip in and out of the country.
Blair's pledge to deport Islamic extremists avoids the issue of where he will send those born in Britain.
Similarly, the macho talk of our own Gen. Rick Hillier about going to Afghanistan to fight "detestable murderers and scumbags" does not clarify if he plans to go to war on Britain or Pakistan or Egypt, where the bombers were born or had visited or had connections with.
He is not the only quacking Canuck. Anne McLellan — "we are also a target, you know" — would also be wiser to prepare harder but talk less.
But there is hope.
Britons see the connection between Iraq and their troubles. It's not just Ken Livingstone, the leftist mayor of London, or rebel MP George Galloway, or some British Muslim leaders. So does a confidential security report. So does a public report by the Royal Institute of International Affairs. So does two-thirds of the public.
They are asserting themselves the same way that Canadians did before the Iraq invasion, notwithstanding the pro-war stance of the Tories, the establishment and most media.
Why are Western governments and the media so afraid to examine whether or not the terrorist Muslim mayhem that we are suffering is the extremist response to what America and its allies are doing in Muslim lands, or are complicit in?
Our own publics are pointing the way.
Saturday, July 23, 2005
Shot man not connected to bombing
A man shot dead by police hunting the bombers behind Thursday's London attacks was unconnected to the incidents, police have confirmed.
Subhan'Allah...what is the world coming to.
Some argue such things are bound to happen in the so-called 'war on terrorism'. So who decides which life lost was "bound to happen" or "collatoral damage" or "oops, what a tragedy, we accidentally pinned down and shot your son point blank in the head five times"...and which is not.
Friday, July 22, 2005
Abd al-Ghani al-Nablusi by Ustadha Umm Sahl
I wish she'd write more often, may Allah preserve her.
Also, A Reader on Islamic Spirituality (Sufism)
Contains many good pieces depending on your interest.
The works of Nasr, Chittick, Murata, and Schimmel are among the better books I've read, even though I may not agree with them entirely on all issues (but how often do we agree with anyone on all issues?).
"The other night, Um Malek and I were talking, and then later I was reading e-mails and blogs, and it seemed the topic of spirituality vs. fiqh or Shari’ah was coming up over and over again. Why do we often think of them in terms of opposites?"
Turning to God in troubled times….
al-Du`a al-Nasiri - Text and Translation
Du`a’ al-Nasiri is a power and moving supplication by one of the righteous scholars of North Africa, to lift hardship and distress. In times like this, with Muslims in distress in the East and West, we should turn to Allah. After all, He tells us, "Call on Me, and I shall answer you." [Qur’an, 40.60]
A recital may be found (with Spanish translation!) at: Dua Nasiri
O You to whose mercy one flees!
You in whom the one in need and distress seeks refuge!
And peace and blessings be upon the Beloved Messenger of Allah, his pure family, noble companions, and all followers.
Please forward this far and wide because the use of the these products in South Asian households is extremely high.
[Ahmad al Zarruq]
Taken from Some Wisdom
Some Wisdom is a new blog set up to "share various quotes of wisdom that encourage the reader to think, reflect and also act...quotes of wisdom from islamic literature, from great ulama, scholars, experts and also provide beautiful wisdom from writers, speakers, people of influence and world literature."
Looks like it'll be a nice blog...
As another reader on her blog put it, "I understand why the world is so quick to forget us, I don’t know why we are so quick to forget one another"...
It was good to see Muslims speaking out to condemn the London bombings. Sh. Ahmad Kutty and Cair Can had a press conference. Excellent.
Finally a post for the unheard voices of the almost 25,000 killed....
Thursday, July 21, 2005
The article quoted the following poem by another Punjabi poet, Baba Farid:
Farida duni wajaayi wajdi, tu'n wi wajje'n naal,
So-i jeev nah wajda jis Allah karda saar.
Strum the world, Farid, and it
Returns to you a tune. You
Are in the tune of your strum.
Seek refuge with
Allah if you wish to come
Out of the tune you strum.
They want to use a laser beam to put a barcode on fruits and veggies because the sticker's just aren't convenient enough. Technology. Years later we'll hear of the detrimental effects 'previously unknown'..." Why can't anything remain the simple old-fashioned way? How hard is it to look up a price, anyways? Sheesh.
Wednesday, July 20, 2005
I came across a few quotes in my email system that I thought I'd share...
I seldom think of my limitations, and they never make me sad. Perhaps there is just a touch of yearning at times; but it is vague, like a breeze among flowers.
- Helen Keller
*If you know the story of Helen Keller...the point is...HAVE SHUKR!
If your heart has peace, nothing can distrurb you.
- Dalai Lama
*Peace, Yaqin, Tawhid, Tawakkul...
You have no control over what the other guy does. You only have control over what you do.
- A.J. Kitt
*And so we're responsible for what WE do...
A site dedicated to the life and works of one of the greatest Muslims Islam has produced. Hujjat al-Islam, the proof of Islam, Imam al-Ghazali (May Allah have Mercy on him).
One of the greatest figures that profoundly influenced my life...
Monday, July 18, 2005
Reading it has brought back memories of Madinah as if they took place just yesterday. I had always heard of the blessed nature of the City of the Beloved of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace), but the sweetness every ounce of one's being feels in Madinah is beyond words... All who have been there know how the heart longs to be there near the Blessed Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace), and how undeserving of the honour one feels when one is there...Subhan'Allah, Subhan'Allah...Subhan'Allah....
Those who have not been...Go. Do whatever it takes. Just Go.
May Allah give me and all those whose hearts long to be in the blessed lands, another opportunity to do so...Ameen.
Jazakum Allahu Khayr to the brothers and sisters updating the blog from Madinah.
Sunday, July 17, 2005
Umm Zaid details the staff side of issues with Islamic Schools: "Islamic Schools — Staff Viewpoint".
You cannot cure something until you understand what it is. If Muslims are to (truly) succeed in the West, Islamic Schools must be a focus -- we must make changes, we must grow. Umm Zaid presents some of the main issues and possible solutions...
[UZ: It's a *good* post...not "too negative" or "too angry". I hope you don't remove it this time!]
Saturday, July 16, 2005
Thursday, July 14, 2005
Having appreciated her work for years, I had the chance to meet Karen Armstrong at a conference last year where she was the keynote speaker.
Guardian Unlimited: The label of Catholic terror was never used about the IRA - Karen Armstrong
"Precise intelligence is essential in any conflict. It is important to know who our enemies are, but equally crucial to know who they are not. It is even more vital to avoid turning potential friends into foes. By making the disciplined effort to name our enemies correctly, we will learn more about them, and come one step nearer, perhaps, to solving the seemingly intractable and increasingly perilous problems of our divided world."
What happened in London was wrong. Every sane person knows that. Haroon Siddiqui, as always, sheds some light on the situation and puts things into perspective. A man I truly respect and admire, may Allah preserve him and bring him all khayr. Ameen.
Bush's war on terror is a colossal failure
Haroon Siddiqui says terrorists are targeting us because of our policies in Muslim lands, not because we are free.
Also See his piece from today: We need to talk less, listen more, to Muslims
Then there's the daily terror of
Tuesday, July 12, 2005
Check this blog to get a first hand view of how its going
THE RIHLA PROGRAM
The Rihla Program is a near month long annual course that takes place in the
summer season. The Rihla is designed for students to experience traditional
Islamic training in an environment which connects to them to the vast beauty and
wonder of nature. Participants are trained in the core sciences of aqidah, fiqh,
and ihsan. Other topics include seerah, hadith, and tajwid. Along with the
traditional subjects, students are also taught the key contemporary issues of
the time and trained in the areas of community activism. With the scenic
surroundings, vast subject material, and the blessed company of the shuyukh
(teachers), students are provided the optimum educational environment to
facilitate their learning experience.
Friday, July 08, 2005
(I had the Arabic posted, suddenly went weird...)
Intention of Knowledge
I intend learning and teaching, recalling and reminding, benefit and gaining benefit, usefulness and utilization, and exhortation towards holding firm to the Book of Allah and the sunnah of His Messenger (Alayhi Salatu was Salam).
If you read nothing else on the issue of the London bombings, I suggest you take 3 minutes to read this short piece by Imam Zaid Shakir. Written first, and foremost, as a human being. He has eloquently said what I and others have felt for a long time.
New Article by
The Roads to Peace
The roads to peace are paths of war,
The gentle dove will leave her scar.
The moral men to say the least,
Will kill us all to get their peace.
The roads that lead to victories gained,
Are filled with people full of pain.
We’d kill so many to save so few.
The recent terrorist tragedy in
In the Name of Allah, Most Merciful & Compassionate
Assalamu'alaykum wa Rahmatullah wa Barakatuhu,
May Peace, and God's Mercy, and Blessings be Upon You
The horrific events that took place on July 7th, 2005 in London, England are deeply disturbing and raise many concerns about our global reality.
The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give peace) was sent as a Mercy to the Worlds. And Allah says, "The servants of the All-Merciful are those walk upon the earth gently".
I pray for all those impacted by the bombings. I also pray that all my brothers and sisters in London and across the world not be held accountable for the actions of a few misguided souls. May Allah give guidance to those who do such horrid things.
Muslims on the Events of July 7th, 2005:
The Islamic Stance on the London Bombings
Mere Islam: The London Bombings - A Time for reflection
SAFspace: Feelings Far Beyond London
SunniSister: Sidi Mas'ud Speaks for Me As Well
Seeker's Digest: Scholars Try to Curb "Sea of Fatwas" - Islam Online
Seeker's Digest: Muslim Scholars, Countries Condemn London Bombings - Islam Online
So I knew there was a reason Owais Qadri's as good as he is, masha'Allah. Something about him made him seem like he was a relative -- I feel he looks like a cousin of mine, my mother thinks he looks like a Murshid she knows.
Today my suspicions were confirmed. He's Punjabi :) No wonder he rocks!
Allah Da Naam Liye - Owais Qadri (Punjabi Naat)
Where would we be with out the Punjab, anyways?
Thursday, July 07, 2005
Wednesday, July 06, 2005
Pics of the little Rabbanis...
...courtesy of Sh. Faraz's Seeker's Digest.
May Allah bless the entire Rabbani clan and make this little one a blessing to the world. Ameen.
Monday, July 04, 2005
If as lovers of Allah you wish to rise
From all who scorn your love turn away
and travel to Allah's lovers wherever you may.
But if your love is totally sincere
you'll see Allah's lovers by staying here.
And if your heart's vision is pure and fair
You'll see Her lights shining everywhere
So begins a qasida from the Diwan of Shaykh Muhammad ibn al-Habib
- The Journey to Qalbiyya, By Daniel Abdal Hayy Moore @ http://www.deenport.com/
Mustafa, the Pole and the Emperor and the Sea of Purity, has told us truly, That what the ignorant will see in the end the wise see from the first step
If matters are hidden and secret at the beginning, the wise
man sees at first, while that obstinate one (sees) at last.
The beginning thereof is concealed, and both the wise man
and the ignorant will see the end in (the moments of its) manifestation
(But) if you, O contumacious one, do not see the hidden event
(before it comes to pass)- when did the torrent sweep away your prudence?
What is prudence? To think ill. In this world, he (the prudent one)
at every moment will (expect to) see a sudden calamity.
-Rumi, Masnavi 3:2196-2201 (Trans. R.A. Nicholson)
Saturday, July 02, 2005
From YRHost.co.uk ....one of the most happening naats to date...if you know Urdu, listen to the sweet words carefully, it doesn't just sound good...it is...
Al Nabi Sallu Allahay - Owais Qadri
...and Owais Qadri songs to the heart's delight!
Barak Allahu fi kum to Sidi Faraz Rabbani for sharing.