Saturday, February 28, 2015

With eyes to see

Born and raised in the West, I never realised much of the beauty of nature surrounding me. I was always too busy with the fast-paced world called life and I never really stopped a moment to truly appreciate the beautiful sun reflecting off the pure white snow or the different sounds made and colours of the birds outside my window. Before I became Muslim, I would often use my sight for things that added little to no value to my spiritual and emotional self. I never appreciated the true beauty around me until I reverted to Islam. Subhana'Allah, when Allah Guides us, He not only opens our eyes but also our hearts! For verily, even though I could see, I never looked beyond anything except for it's physical value.

"Have they not traveled through the land, and have they hearts wherewith to understand and ears wherewith to hear? Verily, it is not the eyes that grow blind, but it is the hearts which are in the breasts that grow blind." (22:46)


I once traveled through the earth as a creature who could see everything yet my heart was full of darkness! When the gift of Islam touched me, I felt true to Allah's Mighty Words and as I read the Qur'an more and more, I could not believe the truth and Powerful Words of our Lord! The Signs of Allah were everywhere for us to see and to reflect: 

"Do you not see that Allah sends down rain from the sky, and We produce thereby fruits of varying colors? And in the mountains are tracts, white and red of varying shades and [some] extremely black" (35:27)

"And among people and moving creatures and grazing livestock are various colors similarly. Only those fear Allah , from among His servants, who have knowledge. Indeed, Allah is Exalted in Might and Forgiving." (35:28)

It is He who sends down water for you from the sky, from which comes a drink for you, and the shrubs that you feed to your animals. (16:10)

Everything just became more clear to me and I looked at the world in a different light. The things I used to take for granted, were now things I marveled at with awe and excitement. It is as if I could see for the very first time! All the colours and the sounds of nature surrounding me were all beautiful creations of Allah the Almighty. How Perfect is our Creator! Who brings the night into day and the day into night! He, Who Provides us with everything we need. How grateful we should be for all the Blessings and His Bounties! We may not realize just how blessed we are because we often take our health and wealth for granted and we walk about the earth with eyes lowered to our phones or our laptops. When we just take a simple moment to lift our heads from our electronic devices, we will truly realize just how blessed we are. To be able to see the birds flock together, to be able to turn your head to the sky with eyes wide and bright, reflecting on the clouds that Allah has Held up without any pillars! Glory be to Him the one who made us something out of nothing! What a beautiful gift it is to be able to see and to breathe and to hear all the beautiful things that surround us. If you never took the time out to explore the Signs of Allah all around you, then now is the time. Do not let the darkness of the heart take over or the darkness of the grave overcome you. Look with your heart and you will truly see with your eyes all the true Blessings of Allah subhanahu wa ta a'la.

 (source : http://aateam.org/blog/seeing-with-our-hearts/ written by me for this blog)

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Those who preoccupy themselves with refuting!

With regards to the student of knowledge being known as someone whose preoccupation is gaining knowledge and not the permissible differences that occur between the Muslims, Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al ‘Uthaymeen (rahimahullaah) was asked:
Noble Shaykh, how would you advise the youth who are practising (their Religion) and amongst whom there has spread differing and bad feeling and hatred; and some of them make accusations against others of them – up to the point that they have forgotten their standing in front of Allah, the Mighty and Majestic (on the Day of Judgment)?
He replied:
I advise them with that which has preceded from my speech – that this (behaviour) is not from the affair of the Muslims.
Rather Allah, the Most High, said to His Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam):
Indeed those who divide their religion and became sects, then you have no concern with them at all. Their affair is only with Allah who will inform them of what they used to do.
[Soorah al An’aam (6):159]
We do not deny that there will be differences occurring in the ummah; differing has been amongst the Islamic nation since the era of the Messenger ‘(alayhissalaatu wa salaam).
However, we do reject that this differing – that in which ijtihaad is allowed – should give rise to enmity and hatred, to the extent that your (own) brother from your mother and your father should become an enemy to you on the basis of this!
And I have already explained in the first part of (my) speech that this is the cause of time being wasted and barakah (blessing) being removed from one’s lifetime and knowledge and action.
And that it is befitting for a person that he busy himself with that which is of concern to him and which will benefit him.
And in the hadeeth that the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa ‘alaa aalihi wa salaam) (said):
From the excellence of a person’s Islam is that he leaves off that which does not concern him.
From:
Wasaayaa wa Tawjeehaat li Tullaab il Ilm p.91

Monday, February 23, 2015

To those who refute,

Assalamualaikum dear sisters,

I appreciate all those who try to "warn" others of fulan and fulan. Please do not involve me in these things as I do not want to be part of the slandering and backbiting! These individuals as far as I know, and ALLAH KNOWS, are upon the correct Aqeedah. As I mentioned in my latest post you innovator! I do NOT want to partake in this war of "he said, she said, he is not a salafi , she is not a salafi" ...at the end of the day Allah Knows best. And if their Aqeedah is sound then I will continue to listen to them DESPITE their differences of opinions in certain matters. Please dear sisters, reflect upon this post and my previous post. You will be held accountable for your slandering and backbiting and spreading false rumours and lies. Remember, no human being is free from mistakes, and you do not know whether they repented or not, so please keep busy with increasing your knowledge and beautifying your character and manners and do not busy yourself with things that are out of your knowledge. BarakAllahu Feekum.


Questioner: Ahsanallaahu ilaikum, do you have any blessed advice which you can direct to your sons and brothers from the students of knowledge throughout the Islamic ummah?
Al-Fawzaan: Yes, I advise you to fear Allaah, and to continue pursuing knowledge, doing so eagerly, and to act according to what Allaah has taught you, and to call to Allaah عز وجل, and to teach the people what you’ve learnt—and to leave squabbling, that which has taken place amongst the students of knowledge, hating [one another], cursing, setting people against each other, until they split the ummah and split the students of knowledge, [saying]: ‘Beware of so and so! Don’t sit with so and so! Don’t read to so and so!’—this is not allowed.
If so and so has a mistake, advise him one on one, as for you spreading it amongst the people and warning against him whilst he is a scholar or a student of knowledge or a righteous person who has made a mistake [then no], such a mistake does not necessitate that it be spread, “Lo! Those who love that slander be spread concerning those who believe, theirs will be a painful punishment in this world and the Hereafter. Allaah knoweth and ye know not. [Nur 24:19]
What is obligatory is to sincerely advise one another, what is obligatory is to love one another, especially the students of knowledge, especially the scholars, to respect the scholars, and not to recommend against some of them, and warn against them. This is the cause of many evils, the cause of fighting and hatred, the cause of fitnah—steer clear of these things.
May Allaah reward you all with good.
Be as Allaah wanted you to be: “And indeed this, your religion, is one religion, and I am your Lord, so fear Me. [Mu’minun 23:52] “And be not like the ones who became divided and differed after the clear proofs had come to them. For such there is an awful doom. [Aali-Imran 3:105]
Aspire to bring about harmony. Seek to sincerely advise one another. Desire to co-operate in righteousness and piety.
Be on your guard against those things which split the Muslims—especially in this day and age. The Muslims are in need of unity, in need of eliminating discord amongst themselves, in need of cooperating in righteousness and piety. Don’t become a source of support for the enemy in breaking up the Muslims and disuniting them.
If disunity occurs between the scholars and the students of knowledge, who’s left for theUmmah?
The evil/damage [of such a predicament] isn’t on the masses, it comes back on the students of knowledge, those who reconcile between people, those who teach the people.
Leave these things, this wrangling, these altercations, these blameworthy characteristics.
“And do not spy or backbite each other. Would one of you like to eat the flesh of his brother when dead? [Hujuraat 49:12] “And obey not every worthless habitual oath-monger. Hinderer of good, transgressing, sinful. [Al-Qalam 68:10-12]
Don’t obey these people, such that you will end up being an aid to the Devil in splitting the Ummah and weakening it.
Sincerely advise the one you find a flaw in—if [indeed] it is established [that he really did make it in the first place!]
Don’t believe rumours.
“O you who have believed! If there comes to you a disobedient one with information, verify it, lest you harm a people out of ignorance and afterwards become regretful over what you have done. [Hujuraat 49:6]
“O you who have believed! When you go forth in the cause of Allaah, investigate and do not say to one who gives you [a greeting of] peace, ‘You are not a believer.’” [Nisaa 4:94]
Allaah جل وعلا encouraged the Muslims to unite, and for them to be united in their word, and to cooperate and sincerely advise one another.
We’re not saying leave the mistake, no. Correct the mistake, we say correct the mistake, don’t leave the mistake, but correct it with legislated means.
May Allaah give all the success to do that which He loves and is pleased with.
وصلى الله على نبينا محمد وعلى آله وأصحابه أجمعين 
(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5VIraFVURaA)

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Fear Inc. - The Islamaphobia Network.

A new follow up report on the Islamophobic network in America is available, which has been provided here for information purposes to gain an insight into the main players and donors of this well-funded group.
Note: we don't necessarily agree with every single opinion contained in the report or endorse any of the parties or groups mentioned therein.
Excerpt from the Introduction:
In 2011, the Center for American Progress published “Fear, Inc.: The Roots of the Islamophobia Network in America”1 in order to identify and expose the organizations, scholars, pundits, and activists comprising a tightly linked network that spread misinformation and hateful propaganda about American Muslims and Islam. The report found that seven charitable foundations spent $42.6 million between 2001 and 2009 to support the spread of anti-Muslim rhetoric.2 The efforts of a small cadre of funders and misinformation experts were amplified by an echo chamber of the religious right, conservative media, grassroots organizations, and politicians who sought to introduce a fringe perspective on American Muslims into the public discourse.

Appendix: Key organizations, donors, and media outlets of the Islamophobia network

Organizations
Society of Americans for National Existence
Key individuals: David Yerushalmi
The Middle East Forum
Key individuals: Daniel Pipes
Stop Islamization of America
Key individuals: Robert Spencer, Pamela Geller, and David Horowitz
Investigative Project on Terrorism
Key individuals: Steven Emerson
Jihad Watch
Key individuals: Robert Spencer and David Horowitz
David Horowitz Freedom Center
Key individuals: David Horowitz and Robert Spencer
Center for Security Policy
Key individuals: Frank Gaffney and David Yerushalmi
Act! for America
Key individuals: Brigitte Gabriel
The Clarion Project
Key individuals: Rabbi Raphael Shore
Top eight funders
- Donors Capital Fund
- Richard Mellon Scaife Foundations
- Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation
- Newton D. & Rochelle F. Becker Foundations and Charitable Trust
- Russell Berrie Foundation
- William Rosenwald Family Fund, Middle Road Foundation, and Abstraction Fund
- Fairbrook Foundation
- Alan and Hope Winters Family Foundation
The religious right
The Eagle Forum
Key individuals: Phyllis Schlafly, Brigitte Gabriel and Frank Gaffney
The American Family Association
Key individuals: Bryan Fischer
The Tennessee Freedom Coalition
Key individuals: Lou Ann Zelenik
American Center for Law & Justice
Key individuals: Pat Robertson
Christians United for Israel
Key individuals: John Hagee
Right wing radio
- The Rush Limbaugh Show
- The Sean Hannity Show
- The Savage Nation
- The Glenn Beck Program
- The Mark Levin Show
- Focal Point

Friday, February 20, 2015

Islam encourages terrorism?

Misconception #2
Islam encourages terrorism
A terrorist is one who favours or uses terror-inspiring methods of governing or of coercing government or community. (The Concise oxford Dictionary)
Islam encourages terrorism. How does that sound to you? Sound like the truth? I think not! How about, absurd? Questionable? Now, that’s more like it. Which religion, way of life, and system of government that has had billions of followers throughout it’s history, would encourage such ruthlessness?
I appeal to your rationality. Think logically. If Islam encouraged terrorism the 1.6 billion muslims today would be very bad terrorists, unable to ‘do the job.’ If islam really did encourage terrorism, do you believe that you would be alive today? Do you think Islamic societies would really thrive upon the innocent blood of millions killed? Do you think Islam, really would be able to contain and maintain such a large number of geographically dispersed people through terrorism? The answer is no.
Moreover looking at recent statistics; the majority of terrorist acts, recently and before collected statistics prove that Terrorism is not encouraged in Islam. Rather as Allah says in the Qu’ran, “Whoever kills a soul, unless it be for murder or spreading corruption in the land, it is as if, he has slain mankind entirely.” (Surah Mai’dah 05:32) Islam takes the killing of innocent human beings seriously. No one no one has the right to take the life of another, unless such a person was a criminal or murderer. Life is not something to be played with.
stats
Source: http://www.counterfire.org/news/17599-graphic-islamist-terror-accounts-for-only-0-7-of-attacks-in-europe
Even suicidal attempts are condemned in Islam. Suicide bombings are not from Islamic teachings. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “whoever kills himself with something will be punished with it on the Day of Resurrection.” (Bukhari and Muslim) Suicide bombings are among the major sins in Islam and are as such impermissible.
Islam, is not about establishing a great empire, colonising, acquiring lands, and riches, or even destroying people and culture. Islam is here to simply establish the worship of One God alone, without associating partners with him. Allah says, “And He created you into nations and tribes that you may know one another. Verily the most honoured in the sight of Allah, is the most righteous.” The purpose of nations and tribes, as we understand from this verse, is not for one to overcome the other. Rather it is to create unity and increase righteousness between us; terrorism has no place in Islam.
Moreover, Allah says, “And We have not sent you (Muhammad) except as a mercy for the Alameen (mankind, jinns, and all that exists),” (Al-Anbiyaa 21:107) Muhammad (peace be upon him) was sent to teach us good manners, and instruct us in the worship of Allah. His aim was not to establish a large empire by instilling fear in the hearts of people, or committing acts of terror against them. If he really wanted an empire he would have accepted the offer of kingship and wealth from the tribe of Quraysh, if he would stop teaching Islam. But did Muhammad give up his message or accept Kingship? No. Rather, his famous saying was, “if they put the sun in my right hand and the moon in my left, I would not give up this message.” Meaning even if they gave me control over the solar system and the greatest of the celestial bodies, I would not give up preaching Islam. Muhammad (Peace be upon him) had no interest in building up an empire like the colonialists, Romans or Persians. His only objective was to preach the Oneness of God.
Islam teaches us to be patient, and peaceable. It teaches us to repulse evil with that which is better.  Allah says, “and let not the enmity and hatred of others make you avoid justice. Be just: that is nearer to piety.” (Al-Ma’idah 05:08) Justice is of high value in Islam, it is not be neglected even in the most dire situations. To use the mistakes of a few and generalise it to the religion is incorrect. The actions of 9/11, 7/7 and others was an injustice and wrongdoing upon the people. Renowned and obscure scholars across the muslim world, have time and again denounced such actions. Terrorism is a form of transgression, hence it has no connection to Islam.
Allah says, “Allah does not forbid you to deal justly and kindly with those who fought not against you on account of religion, and did not drive you out of your homes. Verily Allah loves those who deal with equity.” (Al-Mumtahanah 60:08) Muslims are to deal justly with neighbours, acquaintances, co-workers, colleagues, and anyone they meet; be they muslim or not.
Islam protects the rights of non-muslims, especially if they live under muslim rule. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “whoever kills a mu’aahid, will not smell the fragrance of paradise, although it fragrance can be detected from a distance of forty years.” (Bukhari)  What is meant by the word mu’aahid, is a non-muslim, living in muslim lands, or a non-muslim who has a deal or treaty with the muslims. Thus, Islam protects their lives, and ensures they are granted safety. How can we claim that Islam promotes terrorism?
Nonetheless, it is only natural that if you are attacked that you defend yourself. Those in Iraq, Palestine, Syria, have every right to fight back. But as the saying goes, ‘one man’s freedom fighter is another man’s terrorist.’ It seems that those who stand up to defend their lives as long as they are muslims, they are labelled as terrorists. Islam is not a way of life that accepts humiliation. The concept of Jihad which has been exploited by the media, is in place to defend and protect muslims, and convey the word of Allah. Jihad was not prescribed to target innocent civilians, or encourage violence or inspire fear amongst masses. Jihad is not a Holy War, or a form of terrorism. The word Jihad translates as ‘struggle’ or ‘strive’ and it can be applied to any situation in which a muslim struggles and strives to practice their religion.
In addition, when muslims are commanded to fight, they have codes of conduct to uphold. Firstly, they are to fight those that fight them. In the Qu’ran Allah says, “And fight in the way of Allah those who fight you, but transgress not the limits.” (Al-Baqarah 2:190) This is clear evidence that muslims are not on a rampage, destroying everyone and everything in their path.
Secondly, we have no right to target women, children or the old. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Fight, but do not steal (from the captured goods), commit treachery, mutilate the dead, or kill a child, or those who reside in houses of worship.” (Muslim)
Lastly, we are to stop, when the opponent stops. Allah says, “And fight them until persecution is no more, and religion is for Allah. But if they desist, then let there be no hostility except against wrong-doers.” (Al-Baqarah 2:193)
Now, I ask you, how can jihad be termed as terrorism? Look at the above mentioned rules governing combat in Islam. It does not infringe upon anyone’s rights. It ensure justice and fairness, amongst combatants. How can Islam be a religion of terrorism or encourage terrorism? Islam is a religion whose followers are increasing daily. Do you honestly feel that 1.6 billion plus people are following a religion inclined to violence? I’ll leave you to be the judge.
I ask Allah to guide us all to the truth.
(note: I do write for this blog, but this is not written by me. source: http://aateam.org/blog/islam-encourages-terrorism/ )