Monday, January 29, 2007


Here are two blogs to keep an eye on, well may be in a few years... might as well get them starting early!
Reemo's World , and Abdullah's (aboodi) Galaxy... They would love to get a few comments, so stop by, if you can, and say "salam". Ignore that Aboodi is copying everything (almost everything) from his sister, and that "co-incidentally" they both have "dens"... Aboodi's only 6, and Reemo is not much older! Btw, they are Jana's siblings.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Abu Lulu's Shrine: Knowing Your Adversaries...

First, let us remember the story (source here), to rekindle our grief upon the murder of one of Islam's greatest-- Umar (RD), who even the Shaytan feared:

"When the year 644 A.D. dawned, that being the tenth year of his rule, Umar had the premonition that before the year ended, he would die.
Ayesha who was present on the occasion of the pilgrimage has left on record that as the party treaded the path between Mina and Mecca, some unseen person addressing Umar said:
"Upon such an Iman as thou be peace and blessings, With your deeds you have prepared for the journey to Heaven, In this journey no one can outstrip you. You brought glory to Islam, After you there will be distress, But so is the will of God. From God you came, and now to God return."
Ahu Musa Ashaari states that at that time he had a dream. In the dream he saw the Holy Prophet and Abu Bakr standing on a mountain. Umar stood at the base. Abu Bakr and the Holy Prophet asked him to come up and he climbed the mountain. The dream was interpreted to imply that the death of Umar was imminent.
On the last Friday in October 644, while presiding at the Friday Prayers Umar said that in a dream he had seen a bird peck at him and this implied that he was going to die. He said, "May be this is the last Friday prayer for me to preside, and thus ye faithful, farewell."
After the battle of Nihawand, many Persians, men, women, and children were taken as captives by the Muslims. The captives were sold as slaves. One of these slaves was Firoz alias Abu Lulu. He was purchased by Mughirah Shu'bah the Governor of Basra. This Firoz was a craftsman, a carpenter, an iron smith and a painter. Umar did not allow non-Muslim adult captives to reside in Madina. Mughirah sought special permission for the residence of Firoz in Madina on the ground that as he was a skilled craftsman, he would be of service to the people. Umar gave the permission as a special case.
One day, Firoz waited on Umar and complained that the tax which his master Mughirah was exacting from him was too high. He wanted the Caliph to reduce the levy. Umar enquired what work did he do. He said that he worked as a carpenter, painter, and an ironsmith. He added that he could make windmills as well. Umar next enquired as to the amount of the tax that he was required to pay to his master. He said that he had to pay two dirhams a day. Umar said that keeping in view the lucrative nature of the jobs done by him, the levy of two dirhams a day was prima facie not excessive. Umar said that he would, however, write to Mughirah, and examine the question further in the light of what Mughirah said. That did not satisfy Firoz, and he went away sulking. There were Persian children slaves in Madina. Seeing them, Firoz would say, "You have been enslaved at such a tender age. This Umar sees eaten my heart. I will take his heart out". He made for himself a dagger with a very sharp edge and smeared it with poison.
On the 1st of November 644 A.D. at the time of the morning prayer, Firoz went with his dagger to the Prophet's mosque and hid himself in a corner in one of the recesses of the mosque. When the faithful stood for prayer after straightening the lines, and Umar took up his position as the Imam to lead the prayer, Firoz emerged from his place of hiding and rushed at Umar. Firoz struck Umar six consecutive blows with his dagger, and Umar fell on the floor profusely bleeding.
Other persons rushed at Firoz, but he had the fury and frenzy of a desperate man about him. He struck right and left, and thirteen Muslims were wounded, some of them fatally [seven Sahabah died], before Firoz could be overpowered. At last realizing that he could not escape, Firoz stabbed himself to death with his own dagger. From the mosque Umar was carried home. When he regained consciousness he asked who was his murderer. He was told that his murderer was the Persian slave Firoz. Thereupon Umar said, "Praise be to God that I have not been murdered by a Muslim".
The physician administered him date cordial and milk. These could not be digested and gushed out of his wounds. That indicated that the wounds were fatal and that he could not survive for long.
The people around him praised him for his virtues and sterling qualities. He asked them not to praise him. He said: "All praise is to Allah. If all the treasures of this world were to be at my disposal, I would offer them as a ransom to be saved from the trial at the Day of Judgment." He then recited the Arabic verse:
"I have been unjust to my soul, Except that I am a Muslim, Say my prayers and fast."
Umar asked his son Abdullah to wait on Ayesha and beg her permission for his burial by the side of the Holy Prophet and Abu Bakr. Ayesha wept as she came to know that Umar was about to die. She said, "I had reserved this place for my own burial, but I give Umar precedence over myself. Let him be buried there". When Umar was told that Ayesha had given the permission, he felt happy and said, "God bless Ayesha. She has fulfilled my greatest wish. Now I can die in peace."
Then he asked his son to estimate the debt that he had to pay. He was told that the debt amounted to eighty six thousand dirhams. This included the salary that he had drawn from the Baitul Mal during the period of his caliphate. He instructed that the debt should be paid by the sale of his property. Thereafter Umar gave detailed instructions to his son regarding his funeral. He said:
"Be moderate in the expenses of my shroud, for verily if there is anything of good with God in my favor, He will give me in exchange what is better than it, and if I have been otherwise, He will strip me of all that I have. And be moderate in the grave that you dig for me, for verily if there be anything of good with God in my favor, He will widen it for me, and if I have been otherwise, He will make it narrow for me to squeeze my body. And let no woman go with my funeral. Praise me not for that which is not in me, for the Lord knows best what I am. Therefore when you carry me to the grave, hasten in your going for if there is anything of good with God in my favor you will speed me to that which is good, and if I have been otherwise, you will cast from your necks an evil that you bear."
Thereafter Umar turned his face to the Qibla and breathed his last. There was serene smile on his face as he lay dead."

That was the story of the Great Caliph Umar (RD). And the following is the story of the cowards who have elevated Abu Lulu', the Zorastrian murderer of Umar, to the level of saint, with a large shrine to celebrate this great crime. The following pictures were taken from two sources, one of them from Wikipedia (online encyclopedia). This is NOT a hoax. You can read more about it on Wikipedia here, and you can also see this shrine being defended on a shia forum here.

One guy at this shiachat forum comments (audhubillah mina shaytan-ul-ins), "It is your scholars abu hanifa and bukhari who are persian magis fire worshippers . Abu Lulu'a as.gif was a great persian muslim who has been praised by AhlulBayt pbuh.gif for sending that tyrant to hell and his miserable destiny. Anyway what's your proof that he is magian from your sources ?"

Why is this reminder important at this time? Because of what is happening in Iraq, because of what is happening in Lebanon. We cannot close our eyes to reality. Ali (who is influenced by pro-regressives) on his forum asked his readers to support the call of a Shia Imam's editorial in a US newspaper. Read it for yourself here, and see how slick and wicked these people are. The guy (I am talking about the Imam) talks about "external" involvement by Saudis, Egyptians, Jordanians, but casually forgets Iran and the Mahdi-army terrorists. So, before we let the lore of Ahmadinejad among the Sunnis get out of hand, and tales of the great victories of the Shiite Hezbollah, let us remember Shiites really believe, and what they really think of the Sahaba, and what their banners and slogans really are. Let us not forget who betrayed Muslims in the recent wars... in both Afghanistan and Iraq. Notwithstanding that their allies from the West soon realized too on their accord, that their allies were not the best of allies, after all; betray one, and you will betray others. May Allah help us all, and guide us all to the truth.

(Added 2/13/07) I will add that the majority of Sunni scholars consider Shias to be within the fold of Islam. Furthermore, what happened in Afghanistan & Iraq does not mean ALL Shias have the same 'problem'. Wherever we can cooperate, we should do so. Wherever we can help each other to solve the bigger issues, and help to stop the destruction of life and property anywhere, we should encourage that. The killing in Iraq is haraam, of both Shias and Sunnis. The killing of any innocent person is haraam, let alone a Muslim. The terrorists exist on both sides, but for the most part, the objective view seems to say that Shias (having the upper hand) are the bigger instigators in Iraq, so the Shias who reject this violence need to redouble their efforts to help stop the bloodshed.

I call upon the Shias to tell the Sunnis on this blog that they the shrine of Abu-Lulu is not a 'mainstream' view among them. I HOPE to hear those voices.

Picture Stories on this Blog are being Collected HERE.

"Sheikhs Speak Too Much": Closing Gems @ Texas Dawah 2006

Here's a "private" taping of the last session at Texas Dawah 2006 "Islam: A Light for All Ages"

The Wahhabi Myth: Debunking the Bogeyman

© Musings of a Muslim Mind

"Wahhabism"—a term used by different people for different reasons. My purpose was to collect some of these uses to serve the end-goal of debunking the term itself. After all, if it means enough different things for different people, it really comes down to not meaning anything real in an absolute sense. Also, as you will see, the use of this term is almost exclusively negative or with implied negative connotations. Hence, you will hardly hear anyone proudly referring to himself as a Wahhabi or a Masjid named Masjid al-Wahhabi. It simply doesn’t occur. What this implies is that there is usually some emotional or prejudicial baggage with the term’s usage or some other sinister agenda.

This Article has been moved to (Please Click Here)

Friday, January 26, 2007

We're Going Skiing!

Maybe I should correct that... we are going to try to ski again tomorrow! Last time I went skiing in Colorado, it took me a few days to get over the aches and pains. I am not fat, but I ain't fit either. So, I expect to be quite sore for a few days, hopefully inshallah, without any injuries. I am more excited about the kids... Since we just moved up NE some months ago, they are going to the slopes for the first time!

The nearest ski resort is Blue Mountains, about 2 hours from home. Any ski-tips anyone? Anyone want to share good, bad or ugly experiences?

Here are some pics of Blue Mountain... you can see a live webcam here

Another Angle to Mosques Undercover & CNN's "Exposé"

As some may have seen or heard it, CNN produced another shoddy attempt at a "balanced" view of Muslims. Other blogs talking about it here and here (you can see the videos here too). The only balancing real Muslim I saw on it was Suhaib Hasan and the Niqabi sister (who wasn't given the opportunity to say much at all as opposed to the babbling "I am just like all the rest of the whitees" pro-regressive "Muslim" comedian). Most of the other "moderates" seemed pro-regressive to me as well.

These journalists or soooo out of clue. Now every Muslim kid or vain adult who wants to get famous quick knows the trick. Become extremist-upid (hey that's a neat new word!) and you will be on CNN/BBC quick-- you'll be FAMOUS big-time! You don't have to kill anyone or commit any "real" crime or be a serial killer... just say stupid things like "Listen to me, I am a Muslim with a big beard, so I must know. I know a few verses of the Quran so I am REAL... so I tell you, and you have to believe me because I said so, Islam is NOT a religion of peace. We love to kill, and we are Draculas part-time, our favorite beverage is non-Muslim blood, esp. white women and little babies". That's about all that needs to be said for a guaranteed appearance on prime time TV. And you never know, this extremistupid guy may attract a few extremistupid "chics" who will be willing to be 2nd to 4th wife. I mean all the ugly rock-stars have screaming women, so an ugly extremistupid can also get quite a following! Please, Christine AmanPOOR, give me a BIG break!

Sorry, got carried away there... back to the real point of this post, which is why these "investigative" journalists don't show the other groups engaging in pretty much the same thing. Well, I kinda know why, but to avoid being a conspiracy theorist, I'll skip that discussion. Here is a little discussion that occurred on Sr. Ruth's blog, that gives another angle to the story. Christian Evangelists (whose ranks include President Bush) say about the same kind of things as were said in those undercover secret recordings, YET they face hardly any of the ruckus:

The following exchange is between Al-Ozarka (an average FOX-worshiping, Bush-loving, Muslim-basher with a wierd name):

Ruth, do you feel comfortable with these Muslim brothers [referring to the videos of the Mosques-Undercover]?
Posted by: Al-Ozarka at January 18, 2007 12:54 PM

Re: Ozarka... Dare I say "Here we go again"? I bet if I stayed 6 months undercover in a hard-core evangelical church, I'd catch a lot more of gay-bashing, discussions about end-time (including the killing/conversion of unbelievers) and the need to spank your children 'religiously' to keep them straight. And if I take some comments out of context, then it will be even more sensationalist!
Personally, I am sick of this topic. I think we need to start another topic instead: "Persecution of Muslims Around the Globe"... well, that doesn't fit this blog's purpose, but really we need to stop being defensive all the time, esp. considering that there are MORE Muslims dying at the hands of the non-Muslims than the other way around. Its nearly useless talking to these brainwashed individuals. Especially when there are so many open-minded individuals out there to listen and have a reasonable conversation with.
Posted by: Amad at January 18, 2007 09:24 PM

What utter nonsense!
"I bet if I stayed 6 months undercover in a hard-core evangelical church, I'd catch a lot more of gay-bashing, discussions about end-time (including the killing/conversion of unbelievers) and the need to spank your children 'religiously' to keep them straight. And if I take some comments out of context, then it will be even more sensationalist!
Name ONE besides the wackos from Kansas!
Name one that good Christians do not denounce VEHEMENTLY!
Posted by: Al-Ozarka at January 22, 2007 11:25 AM

Al-Ozarka, are you serious? Nice little trap you built for yourself. I don't think I'll have enough space to lay all of them out, but here are a few to get you going (It's interesting that you put the Christians from Kansas in the Wacko category, while all wacko Muslim represent the entire 1.2 billion Muslims for you... I call this double-standards):

On Homosexuality:

Falwell called the gay-oriented Metropolitan Community Churches "brute beasts" and "a vile and Satanic system" that will "one day be utterly annihilated and there will be a celebration in heaven."

Another classic here: "I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People For the American Way, all of them who have tried to secularize America. I point the finger in their face and say 'you helped this happen." (to which Robertson concurred).

Pat Robertson stated that "the acceptance of homosexuality could result in hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes, terrorist bombings and "possibly a meteor."

On Jews:
Falwell has asserted that when The Antichrist ("The Beast") comes, he "must be, of necessity, a Jewish male"

On Muslims:

Falwell stated on 60 minutes "I think Muhammad was a terrorist. I read enough by both Muslims and non-Muslims, [to decide] that he was a violent man, a man of war."

On End-time/Armageddon:

Gorenberg is the author of the "End of Days," a book about those Christian evangelicals who choose to read the Bible literally. "They don't love real Jewish people. They love us as characters in their story, in their play, and that's not who we are, and we never auditioned for that part, and the play is not one that ends up good for us."
"The Jews die or convert. As a Jew, I can't feel very comfortable with the affections of somebody who looks forward to that scenario,"

On Spanking for Discipline:

Jim Dobson became well-known with the publication of Dare to Discipline, a book that became a cultural phenomenon among conservative Christian families. Dare to Discipline asserts the value of spanking children who defy their parents. Google "Christian spanking of children" and you will find plenty of supporting materials, including the methodology!

The Evangelical Christian movement, which is one of the largest in America, and has the President on its rolls, believes all this and much more... so Al-Ozarka, are you ready to condemn?

As for the persecution of Muslims, I have laid this challenge out before and continue to do so, count the # of Muslim civilians dying at the hands of non-Muslims, and vice-versa. The reality will hit as soon as you look at the numbers!


Needless to say, NO response yet from Al-Ozarka... I guess he's gone to the Ozarks to get some water.... too much heat you know :)

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Talking about babies...

Its tough to go to work sometimes when this little one wants to stay in your lap... Dear readers, meet Jana.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

60 Ways to Keep Your Wife's Love: Guaranteed!

I always believed that there were no guarantees in life... but hey, I could be convinced. Here are 60 ways Muslim husbands can keep their 'oppressed' wives loving them by Sheikh Ahmad Shehab (first time I heard of him but he seems pretty good). CLICK HERE. And those brothers who are not married, maybe this is a good start to start memorizing some tips.

The Sheikh did mention that it was not necessary to know every one of the 60, but you should aim to be a Champion... so, are YOU a champion Muslim guy? Or are you going to be wimpy and only learn 30 of them?

Want to earn some money?? Here's a challenge: the first one to list all 60 from the lecture (post under comments) gets $5! Paypal'd to you!

More challenges: List another valid 5 (beyond the 60 mentioned by the Sheikh), and you'll earn another $5. We'll stop at 100 so I can stop my wallet from bleeding, if we get there!


Monday, January 22, 2007

The Demise of Obama

For those who are completely ignorant of what goes on in American politics, you are probably thinking it was a typo, that I really meant Osama, not Obama. Well, I certainly don't mind that slant either, but here we are talking about the once-front-runner-for-President: Barack Hussein Obama. Yes, another surprise for some of you, his middle-name is Hussein. So, let's see here... his last name rhymes with Osama, and his middle is the same as Saddamenstein's last, hmm...

As if the that wasn't enough, another story surfaced over the last few days that Obama had gone to a "Madrassa", much like Misbah Rana's mystery enrollment in one. Of course, most Muslims know that "Madrassa" means school, and that there is nothing inherently evil, malicious, or terroristic about it, but nevertheless the word pushes a big hot-button created by the media to malign Muslim seminaries. In any case, the fact that Obama allegedly attended a madrassa when he was only 6 or 8 years old for only 2-4 years, the fact that he is now a self-proclaimed Christian, the fact that he has no Muslim views-- all the facts don't really matter! Currently, it stands at a triple-whammy--- two names that ain't right and then some time at a "madrassa"-- TOO MUCH for Americans to swallow. I could muse along, "so what if the guy is STILL Muslim, so what?" and obviously that question would be foolish in so many ways, starting with a complete naivety of current affairs. After all about half of Americans don't like Muslims too much anyway (courtesy the media, which is fighting Israel's proxy war)... even the slightest indication of any Muslim blood in a candidate is enough to keep him a long distance away from America's top post. In fact, people are talking about Obama as being a Manchurian candidate for Muslims! For God's sake, give me a BIG break! I mean some people give too much credit to Muslim planning. Muslims can hardly plan well for a few months, let alone have a plan that began 35 years ago with Obama; brainwashing and preparing him for his important assignment as the secret Muslim President of USA? Thanks, but no thanks.

Some readers may take offense to the my simplistic view of American people. I agree, there is no doubt sophisticated Americans exist, that many Americans are above this childish attacks... but there are enough, much more than enough, who will let this get in the way of sensibility. Mark my words!

Back to the Elections of 2008, there are (or were) four viable candidates: McCain, Guiliani (Republicans) and Hillary, Obama (Democrats). As far as I am concerned, Obama was a long shot, and is now not even that (unless he turns the Muslim to Christian conversion into a positive for the Evangelists-- who doesn't like a Muslim apostate these days??). I have to admit that Obama may actually have been the best cchoice for Muslims (on second thought, how many times have we said that and got bitten!). He is intelligent, fresh, and seems to have been above the political fray. He is also not on record for having a love-fest with Israel. Well, that's that...

As far as the rest of the pool, they are all about the same for Muslims. Democrats may be less inclined to use pre-emptive wars as a means of propping up their poll numbers, but America really can't afford another war for several years, so either party may not affect the war thing. The remaining Democrat, Hillary, doesn't have much of a real chance. Too many people hate her too much. Too many people have made up their minds about her, and since the difference is going to be a few percentile points, that sort of extreme love and hate is likely going to be her outdoing. That leaves the Republicans... the marriage of both Guliani and McCain to Israeli interests is well-known. McCain has written articles about America's deep bonds with the terrorist state of Israel, while Guiliani refused $10 million from the Saudi Prince Talal, because Talal mentioned the need for looking into the reasons for the 9/11 attacks (i.e. how Israel's terrorism is creating monsters). One of these two will be America's next president, that's my 2-cents worth prediction.

So, in my humble estimation, 2008 Presidential Elections is not going to be a watershed moment for Muslims. My advice to Muslims then: don't hold your breath!

Its Over (Inshallah) for Misbah Rana: She Stays Put!

Alhamdulillah, sanity has prevailed. The 12-yr Scotland-born girl will stay put with her father-- in 3rd world Pakistan. Here are some links on the story: here, here and here. It became more and more obvious that Misbah wasn't under any pressure or under any brainwashing to say to the rest of the world, I am a Muslim, and I want to stay with my Muslim father, in a Muslim country. The official line was that Misbah's parents reached a custody agreement. That may be so, but mind you, it wasn't out of any kindness or regard for Misbah's wishes that her mother let the matter go. But, rather as evidence and testimonies poured in from family members, Misbah's mom's case went from worse to worst. Had it been the reverse, as I have said before, there was NO case... it was only the prejudice and racism of the British media (as this link describes) and her mom's supporters that was providing the steam. There was even a recent story of Misbah's admission to a "madrassa" (which only means school of course but scares the living lights out of the bigots because all they see is Osama when madrassa is mentioned) to stoke the fires of racism further. But it was not to be, Misbah's mother is apparently a part-time druggie and mentally unstable , according to her children by the way.

Interestingly, another pro-regressive (well I don't even know if she calls herself a Muslim) in the league of Irshad Manji (in terms of her mental retardation) by the name of Zenab Eve Ahmed chimed in on "comments are free" here. Well, her comments were not only free, but quite worthless. She writes that oh, no, this isn't about a father wanting her daughter to grow up as a Muslim, this is all about protecting Misbah's virginity or in her words "Sajad Ahmed Rana, fighting over the intact state of his daughter's hymen". Really? Well, even if for one moment if we assume your premise is correct, Zenab Evel, what is exactly WRONG with that? If you want to live a promiscuous life, and want your own daughters to have their hymen "taken care of" at the age of 12, then go ahead. But, how dare you tell Muslims what they should or should not do! Even religious Christians are trying to teach their children to stay 'pure' until their marriage, and Islam, the highest protector of Muslim women's honor, should give up on one of the sanctities of marriage? Give me a BIG break! Another blog, by the way, completely rips apart the arguments from Zenab Evel (i.e. Evil).

In any case, Misbah is happy to be staying in Pakistan. And we couldn't be happier for her. May Allah preserve her, and keep her upon her religion, firm and steadfast.

Previous posts on this subject:

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Yasir Qadhi Response to Channel 4 Mosques Undercover Documentary

Contact Channel 4 and send in your protest:

E-mail Address:
Discuss it on their forums by clicking here
Call: Viewer Enquiries: 0845 076 0191
Write to: Channel 4 Enquiries
PO Box 1058

Talking Points:
See the last few lines of my previous entry, which starts with Channel 4, "here's my message for you". You can get several other points from this forum.

Yasir Qadhi delivers a right and a left to the documentary that has rocked the Muslim community in UK. The documentary that is sinister and evil in its intent to defame Muslims and divide them along lines of the so-called Wahhabi and non-Wahhabi!

I have uploaded video now on in addition to Youtube.

Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips’ Response (hats-tip to Austrolabe):

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Response to Channel 4's Sinister Plot to Defame Muslims

Further to my commentary on Channel 4's documentary, these are responses by two well-known Muslims, one Yasir Qadhi (not featured in the documentary), and Abu Usama (featured). I thought hard whether I should even provide the links, or promote this destructive, evil, and sinister videos. But I would be fooling myself if I think that I will prevent this Internet fire from spreading.

I was quite disappointed that Abdul Hakim Murad aka TJ Winters participated in this slanderous program against Muslims. You know personally I don't care "which" Muslims they were working against... it really doesn't matter. If we have a problem with other Muslims, we should talk about it between ourselves. "Keep it in the family"! I hope AHM will take some time out in the near future to clarify that his intent was not as portrayed. Because we would never see Hamza Yusuf or Zaid Shakir do such things? I doubt that they would ever be part of an incrimination against other Muslims, regardless of the differences and the disagreements.

The documentaries are on Youtube, some may have been removed, others in the process. Here is a link to another blog that has the videos.

1) By Yasir Qadhi
2) By Abu Usamah

Why Do Babies Smell Soooo Good?

I love to smell my baby. I love to smell her baby-breath, her "bad" breath, her after-bath J&J shampoo smell, even her morning wake-up "awful" breath. The only smell I don't like of course is her "change my diaper now" smell. With my other two "grown" kids ... 6 and 9... the smell-factor is no longer the same. I mean their bad breath in the morning, for example, is not something I enjoy anymore.

So, what is it about little babies that make them smell SOOOO good? Why is it that I find myself taking deep whiffs with my little girl's face next to mine? SubhanAllah, Allah plants the love of these children right from the bat. In their BIG cheeks, in their cuddling, in their smiles, in their laughter, in their little fingers holding your thumb, in their super-fast crawling motions, and their stumbling all over the place. Those moments are so special, that when these little babies, who added so much to your work, and took away from your sleep, when they grow up... you miss it, you want it all over again! Of course fathers can't really compete with the mothers. Ever wonder why the mother wakes up to the crying sounds of the baby only to plant a big kiss on her, not that she didn't just wake her up for the tenth time in the night. And God forbid, if I wake up my wife one time in the night, I probably will be hearing about it for many days! (wife: if you read this, I am just kidding!). Well, lets not go into the mother-child lovey dovey stuff... let's stick to this fatherly instincts. Yes, REAL fathers also love their children... REAL fathers especially love their little girls... and REAL fathers usually love to smell their children. Did you know that the Prophet (S) used to smell and kiss Hussein (RD), his grand-child?

Forget about the Eternity for Men perfume, can't I bottle up that baby-smell and take it with me to work??? Any inventors out there???

Well, there is something special indeed about odors. Here is a nice article from Islamonline. Allah has indeed made our noses and our sense of smell quite a forensic tool! Interestingly, mothers find their own kid's poop less revolting than other kid's, no kidding, see for yourself here. And babies too can locate their food-source with their smell, read here.

Am I alone in this????

The False History of Muslim Intolerance

This is an interesting analysis, that is worth reading:

The following was the author's conclusion to give you a little taste of the content:
Conclusion: A Dangerous False History
Like Johne, many of our friends on the American right who are upset with the recent actions of some Muslims would like to believe that Islamic peoples have been historically intolerant, crude, or ignorant. Unfortunately for them, history does not bear out their arguments. Indeed, a close assessment of just a few instances of Islamic history shows that tolerance, learning, and forgiveness are the historical hallmarks of Islamic civilization. Such are the facts of history; and to pretend otherwise, given the precarious situation in which the world finds itself today, is the historical equivalent of yelling "Fire!" in a crowded theater. The misrepresentation of history does not often such With the world at war, it is important to understand that the religion many Americans view as an enemy possesses the historical virtues of peace.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Witness the Beautiful Recitation of Quran

This is a beautiful recitation of Allah's Speech. What I particularly like about this video is the streaming translation. So, for my non-Muslim readers: please witness the beauty of Quran, while you see its English meaning. Could there be anything as beautiful as this, except if it was from Allah?

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

The Prostitute and the Atheist: Lessons in our Grief

Two stories that I stumbled upon recently were particularly distressing. Both involved sisters, practicing sisters, who wore the hijab and by all accounts, were "good" Muslims. Yet both of them stumbled, may Allah guide them back to the truth. And stumbled mightily. One sister took to prostitution, in fact, she showed up to "work" on the first day with her hijab on! I grieve for her, I grieve for her naivety, her innocence, I grieve for her life in the brothels, where the body's hijab is stripped away for the pleasure of men acting like animals. The other sister, though she kept her worldly integrity, lost much more in the akhirah. She belied her own fitrah, and she took to the religion which denies God Himself. We should all grieve, we should all feel for these women who were misled by the denizens of sins and evils. But, while we grieve, we should learn, we should take away lessons to apply to ourselves, to our communities, and to our societies. So, after recounting the two stories, I'll put forward one out of the many lessons that I take away from this, and I'll count on the readers of this blog to put forward their thoughts and lessons as well. I am especially interested in lessons form a common thread in both stories:


The Atheist
Narrated by Yahya Ibrahim in his lecture "Death is Near"
[distributed by Muslim Audio; highly-recommended buy]

I wish to begin by narrating to you a saddening story, that should fill your heart with sorrow and fear. It is the story of a Muslim story that I received an email from about 3 months ago. This Muslim sister writes: I have an older sister… alhamdulilah, we were raised as Muslims, and my sister was a very bright student, and she received a scholarship to the most prestigious engineering school in America. And since we didn’t live in the city in which the college was, my parents were forced, I repeat my parents were forced, to allow her to go and live on the residence of the university alone… She (the older sister) used to wear hijab, and she became involved in the Muslim community in this prestigious engineering school, the most prestigious in all of America, and she began to write articles about what is Islam, why I wear hijab, etc. in the Muslim newspaper as well as the newspaper of the college, but some of her classmates were atheists, and one of them was a male, who she became infatuated with…she liked the way he looked, the way he talked, the way he carried himself, the marks he got, how he dealt with his professors…she was impressed! So he began to debate her, TALK (with emphasis) to her… about Islam, and he weakened her resolve quickly.

She took off the hijab, didn’t inform the parents, and all the people she lived with, who by the way were non-Muslims, were overjoyed, “Now you can come out with us” So she used to attend their social gatherings. Three months ago, I told you the sister emailed me, she said that my sister has just sent us a hand-written letter, saying, and this story began 2 yrs ago, saying “I cannot live like this anymore, I cannot live a lie, I must inform you that I no longer believe in your God, in fact I believe in no god.” Inna lilah wa inna alahi rajioon. Say it, Inna lilah wa inna alahi rajioon. This is the greatest calamity. O Allah, the Prophet used to teach us, do not make our calamity in our religion. What causes more sorrow that the parents of this Muslim girl ask, “can you please ask the shayookh, could you please translate our questions and ask, is it permitted for us to marry her off with a Muslim man and not tell him of this deviance.. just make a contract, so maybe she would become infatuated with her new husband and forget all this stuff she is doing”. Look at how naive they are [in their grief]. “Do not die except you are in the state of Islam.”

The Prostitute
Sex workers enjoy pastoral retreat by Daniella Miletic November 25, 2006

"JULIE" entered an arranged marriage when she was 15. She says pressure from her strict Muslim family meant there were few options if she chose not to marry.

But when she later became pregnant and decided she would not have a baby in that loveless marriage, her husband was outraged.

"My husband told the sheikhs," she says. "And there was all this guilt trip, 'You are a Muslim lady, you shouldn't do that, you have killed a human being, how dare you … you are going to go to hell in this world and then to hell in another life.' "

Julie had the abortion and divorced her husband, later moving in with a friend who seemed inexplicably wealthy. "I saw guys dropping her off but they never came inside," she says. "I asked her where do you meet these people? Where do you go when you disappear for hours? Where do you get this money from?"

Her friend reluctantly told her she worked in the sex industry. "I thought if she can do it, then so can I," says Julie.

On her first night at the brothel she wore her hijab. "The owner said to me, 'Look, I know you are different and you have got a different belief, but in many ways we are a lot alike.'

"She gave me a room and told me I didn't have to do a job straight away, just to get comfortable. But it was so hard for me because, except for my husband, the most I had said to another man was 'Hi, how are you?'

"It took me six months to learn how to say 'Hi I am (Julie), how are you? I do sex, massage, oral with condoms."

Julie says shifts were soothed with methamphetamine, or ice, and she gradually became more comfortable.

Two years into the work she became pregnant again and decided to quit the industry — and the drugs.

She says it is tough. "You miss the money, so much … sometimes you think I will just go back to pay this bill off …"



The necessity and importance of good company. All of us have friends, need friends, and enjoy friends. But, it is indeed the friends that led one of our sisters into prostitution, and the other into atheism.

So, by all means, have friends, lots of them if you wish. But, for Allah's sake, choose them wisely. Choose a friend that will remind you when the prayer time is, not one that will tell you to postpone it until the football game is up. Choose a friend who will remind you to lower your gaze, not one who will rush your attention to that 'blond chic'. Remember, friends will also serve to console you when you need consolation. How they console you will affect you at this time of emotional weakness. Are they going to take you to a night-club to 'relax, and take your mind off things', or will they remind you about lessons from the Quran, Sunnah, the Sahaba, scholars or even regular people who took their grief and turned it into something positive. Remember what the Prophet (S) said, "The similitude of good company and that of bad company is that of the owner of musk and of the one (iron-smith) blowing bellows, and the owner of musk would either offer you free of charge or you would buy it from him or you would. smell its pleasant odor, and so far as one who blows the bellows is concerned, he would either burn your clothes or you shall have to smell its repugnant smell. [Sahih Muslim Book 32, #6361].

Further readings: Here and here

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Jill Carroll Dishes it out to the Nay-sayers!

This little article in the Chronicle really is an impressive one. I enjoyed reading it, I enjoyed how Jill has really given it on the chin of the right-wing nuts, straight-up. I love the punch-line, "Where are all the moderate Muslims? All around us." Read for yourself:
Where are all moderate Muslims?
An answer to what has become a ubiquitous question

I have given hundreds of talks and lectures throughout the Houston area in the past few years on issues of world religion and religion in public life. The question that always comes in the Q&A no matter what the topic, no matter if the audience is liberal or conservative, is "Where are all the moderate Muslims?"

The ubiquity of this question is deeply problematic. Not because the desire for so-called "moderate Muslims" is bad. (It isn't.) Not because the people who ask it are bad or bigoted. (They usually aren't.) The question is problematic because of what it assumes: that Islam is naturally predisposed to extremist interpretation; that most of the up to 10 million Muslims in the United States are not moderate, but radical; that those who claim to be moderate aren't because they don't stand up and denounce the extremists. None of these assumptions is supported by evidence. In fact, evidence exists to the contrary.

Muslim condemnations of terror abound, as even the most rudimentary Google search indicates. Plug in "Muslims condemn 9/11" and take an hour or so to just get started. Or read the Fiqh Council of North America's fatwa against terrorism declared in July 2005 and endorsed by 120 organizations and groups in the United States and Canada. Or go to the Council on American-Islamic Relations Web site to view the 30-second TV public service announcements they created and ran in English, Arabic and Urdu. "Why haven't we seen these things before?" you ask. You might direct that question to your local news outlets. And, given our access to the Internet, maybe we all could take more responsibility for being accurately informed citizens.

We have not had so much as a backpack bomb in this country since 9/11, and it's not because our security measures are so foolproof. Our largely terror-free experience comes because we have a free, prosperous society governed by a stable rule of law that offers tremendous opportunities for life and happiness, including religious expression. Muslims, like so many other religious, ethnic and racial groups in America, are integrated into all areas of life in all parts of the country, all sorts of neighborhoods, in all sorts of professions. They go to work, pay their taxes, raise their kids and participate in faith communities like most other citizens and residents of this country. They peacefully co-exist with others in this demographically pluralistic nation, just like almost everyone else does. They are our neighbors, co-workers, clients, friends and in-laws.

Yet, we act like they've come straight from the burning streets of Baghdad or the caves of Tora Bora with plans to blow us up. We see imams praying in the airport and have them taken off the plane. We see women wearing a hijab get on a bus or subway, and we feel ourselves tense up. Or, as happened recently when I attended a large interfaith dinner here in Houston and the well-known president of a respected Muslim organization got up to bless the food in Arabic, someone at a nearby table said, "We'd better hope he's not calling for jihad!" And in recent days we have seen the ugly episode in Katy with the pig races to protest the construction of a mosque in the area. While concerns about flooding, traffic congestion and building permits are legitimate, the Web site set up to protest the mosque is a virtual tutorial in Islamophobia.

Such things border on the hysterical. According to a recent USA Today article, more than a third of Americans think U.S. Muslims sympathize with al-Qaida and should have to carry special ID cards. This is just a hop, skip and jump from what we did to our Japanese residents and citizens after Pearl Harbor — we rounded them up indiscriminately and sent them to internment camps, a shameful and often hidden episode in our modern history.

We have to stop this. We in Houston and in America are bigger and stronger than to give in to such outlandish demon-izing and scapegoating. We must resist this irrational fear mongering with regard to our Muslim residents and citizens, as we must with all groups who for whatever reason become targets of hatred and bigotry. We cannot allow ourselves to be pawns in the manipulative hands of the most sensation-alist media outlets in our cul-ture. We must stand up for each other in the spirit of decency, tolerance and mutual respect. The very fabric and cohesion of our society is at stake.

Where are all the moderate Muslims? All around us.

Carroll is associate director of the Boniuk Center for Religious Tolerance at Rice University.

Weird Mosque on the Prairie

Most of you have probably heard or seen this show. I reckon out of the 2 million viewers, many have to have been Muslims, yearning for some "positive" Muslim portrayal, but ended up seeing self-deprecating "comedy". I am actually a pretty positive, optimistic person on most things, usually not that cynical. However, I find myself feeling rather humiliated and embarrassed watching this little movie, which I would refer to as a weird mosque on the prairie, and not the Little mosque. Here are some facts:
1) Only one character is Muslim, who represents the pro-regressive (borrowing the term from Dr. Maxtor) Imam, x-lawyer, ready to take the weird mosque on the prairie to the "modern world".
2) They cannot even get the Quranic recitation right.
3) Muslims will lie and cheat in order to get their way. As opposed to the honorable reverend, who will overlook the hype to be fair and just.
4) Elders, esp. the 'traditionalists' are to be ignored, mocked and removed from positions of authority.

And so much more... I didn't plan to spend too much time on this since Lotaenterprises has already got a good thing going on this with plenty of interesting comments. I am too busy on the Wahhabi-busting post... didn't realize how long that would take!

The only additional point I will make is that this one area where most Muslims can agree upon: anyone who follows, claims or wants to follow the Sunnah and who opposes Pro-regressives, whether he be the "sufi-traditionalist" or the ICNA-type traditionalist or the "salafi-traditionalists". We can agree that the program is abysmal, and almost sinister in what it is trying to portray. I am especially weary of the affect this will have on the Muslim youth, who already (regardless of methodology) have little respect for elders, and who are being pulled in all directions by the winds of "question-everything".

For the sake of having all comments in one place, post 'em here at the Lotaenterprises's Center of Excellence! Link here.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Wahhabis -- an Assignment

I am personally sick of the term "wahhabis" because everyone and his brother uses this term for practically everyone they don't like. It's pretty much become a cuss word. A long time ago I gave a khutbah for MSA-UH on campus about this phenoneman (I guess they couldn't find anyone for that day!); I intend to revisit that little sermon as well. You see the problem is that no one really follows Sh. Abdul-Wahhab, like for instance Qadiyanis follow Mirza Ghulam or like Mormons follow Joseph Smith, etc. So, you will be hard-pressed to find a Muslim that follows Sh. Abdul Wahhab in everything like someone would if they were to be rightfully called Wahhabis.

With that introduction, a little assignment: find references for everyone who calls anyone Wahhabis... for instance, I know Pipes calls CAIR and pretty much every Muslim in America Wahhabi, Braelwis call Deobandis wahhabis, etc... You get the point. Let's collect all a list of those called Wahhabis and those calling them such. Of course, with references. My purpose is to debunk this term's usage, so lend me a bit of your time...

Monday, January 08, 2007

Media Inquisition of Muslims Continues...

Here is an article sent to me by a good friend, which appeared yesterday in one of the more Muslim-friendly newspapers in UK-- the Guardian. It seems to me that the media's attempt to continue thrusting a less than thrilling image of Islam is becoming almost desperate. Every time there seems to be the slightest lull, someone has to break it-- either one of our jihadi friends or the media with another "insider story" (NOTE: "jihadi friends" was meant to be sarcastic-- I don't have any jihadi friends; this disclaimer in itself is testimony to what positions we find ourselves in!).

So, it seems that the media cannot have enough of Islam/Muslim-related stories. Every outlet wants to break its own 'sleeper-cell' story! And I bet ya that the story sells each and every time. Of course, the good Muslim stories are never reported or buried somewhere deep, where no one can find it. Good stories, of course, don't sell. I mean a Muslim soup kitchen serving the hungry and desolate on Houston streets may be reported by one paper, but how much more attention does that deserve! On the other hand, the same soup-serving people, a bunch of barely-adults practicing to shoot arrows or guns for fun, in a camp owned by an Islamic society, is considered extremely news worthy, deserving of massive distribution since of course, stupid, they were members of a "sleeper-cell" and their "fun" activities was nothing but part of a "training camp". Remember Brandon Mayfield, the poor white-convert lawyer, who the media desperately wanted to be another John Walker Lindh? Remember how this guy had never left American shores, yet somehow his fingerprints were magically found on evidence in Spain? Well, remember how the story made front-page on all the papers? Now, fast-forward a bit, and his exoneration hardly made a dent in any of the headlines. So, what do you think the average American remembers? Another convert to Islam, with a fancy degree, out to get America!

Back to the Guardian story about the upcoming Channel 4 documentary (on UK TV). In 12 months of investigation (that is an awful long time), they found only one or two instances of what one might call outrageous and "break the law" type speech. Yet the whole commentary was labeled "Preachers' message of hatred". Some other examples of 'egregious' behavior (as defined by this journalist) were things stated by a preacher, directly from Islamic law, such as disciplining the children if they do not pray! Whoa... so, we can't even quote a hadith now? We can't even discipline our children now? To make them practice what is the most basic rights of Allah, i.e. to pray. I mean would we not hit our children if they did not study, or started to smoke, or do drugs? Most parents would answer in the affirmative. So, for Muslims, it is worse not to pray than to do any of these social wrongs. Please parents, don't get me wrong! Everything in Islam is in proportion, so hitting has its constraints: no hitting on face or head, not hitting so hard to leave bruises, etc. What is funny is that even the non-Muslim Western society is divided on the benefits/cons of child-spanking, and many religious Americans, esp. from the south, will tell you straight-up that a little spanking goes a long way. For Muslims, spanking of children is not encouraged, some say it is actually forbidden. But, the only place for its permissibility is for prayers, since prayers forms the minimum basis for a person's Islam.

What gets under my skin is that these dang investigative journalists (I assume there was more than one)... did they not see any good in 12 months? I mean they must have! Yet, to just ignore all the goodness for the sake of a few bad apples, for the sake TV ratings, at the expense of Muslim sentiments and Muslim image, is just plain incitement. What do they want?? A few lynchings? Will that satisfy their hunger for Islamophobic stories?

Channel 4, here's my message for you: The anti-Muslim sentiments are already resounding in the West, a large chunk of people already think Muslims are inherently violent or evil, Islamophobia is already rampant; so let me tell you straight-up that you have succeeded, that the media has ALREADY succeeded in destroying our image. Your "icing on the cake" with this documentary will now only serve to enrage those who already hate. That rage will lead to violence against Muslims: bodily or to property. And guess where the blame will squarely lie: at YOUR hands. As for the few Muslim extremists, they will continue preaching what they need to; they will just move around. Your story will neither bother them nor hurt them. In fact, it may embolden them. What you should have done INSTEAD, was to spend 12 months locating positive stories in the mosques. So, that you could help heal the wounds, not add insult to injury. So, that you could perhaps turn the heart of one of those bigots planning violence against Muslims, and perhaps even save a life. SHAME ON YOU, and shame on your channel, and shame on all those who support you with advertisement revenue. Prepare your hands for Muslim blood, I guarantee you that your story will lead to it, may Allah protect all our Muslim brothers and sisters. And Allah knows best.
Here's the story:
Revealed: Muslim Preachers' messages of hate

Muslim worshippers are being urged by radical clerics to ignore British law
By Jamie Doward
The Observer

An undercover investigation has revealed disturbing evidence of Islamic extremism at a number of Britain's leading mosques and Muslim institutions, including an organisation praised by the Prime Minister.
Secret video footage reveals Muslim preachers exhorting followers to prepare for jihad, to hi t girls for not wearing the hijab, and to create a 'state within a state'. Many of the preachers are linked to the Wahhabi strain of Islam practised in Saudi Arabia, which funds a number of Britain's leading Islamic institutions.
A forthcoming Channel 4 Dispatches programme paints an alarming picture of how preachers in some of Britain's most moderate mosques are urging followers to reject British laws in favour of those of Islam. Leaders of the mosques have expressed concern at the preachers' activities, saying they were unaware such views were being disseminated.
At the Sparkbrook mosque, run by UK Islamic Mission (UKIM), an organisation that maintains 45 mosques in Britain and which Tony Blair has said 'is extremely valued by the government for its multi-faith and multicultural activities', a preacher is captured on film p raising the Taliban. In response to the news that a British Muslim solider was killed fighting the Taliban, the speaker declares: 'The hero of Islam is the one who separated his head from his shoulders.'
Another speaker says Muslims cannot accept the rule of non-Muslims. 'You cannot accept the rule of the kaffir [non-Muslim],' a preacher, Dr Ijaz Mian, tells a meeting held within the mosque. 'We have to rule ourselves and we have to rule the others.'
The 12-month investigation also recorded a deputy headmaster of an Islamic high school in Birmingham telling a conference at the Sparkbrook mosque that he disagrees with using the word democracy. 'They should call it ... kuffrocracy, that's their plan. It's the hidden cancerous aim of these people.' The Darul Uloom school said it no longer employed the teacher and that one of the reasons he resigned 'was the incompatibility of many of his opinions with the policies of the school'.
When contacted by The Observer, UKIM said: 'We are a nationwide organisation and hold different programmes in our mosques. We are very concerned about this. We have instructed all our branches not to allow any more speakers with radical or fundamentalist views. This has occurred as a result of a n internal problem. We hired out Sparkbrook community hall, and some of the organisations that hired it allowed some speakers with views that are not our own. As a result, no more external groups will be allowed to hire the community hall at Sparkbrook.'
Elsewhere the documentary records the huge popularity of DVDs and internet broadcasts produced by extremist preachers. At the Islamic bookstore at Regent's Park Mosque in central London, DVDs of a preacher called Sheikh Yasin are sold. In one DVD, Yasin, who is promoted on the mosque's website, accuses missionaries from the World Health Organisation and Christian groups of putting the 'Aids virus' in the medicine of African people, 'which is a conspiracy'.
Another DVD on sale features Sheikh Feiz, a Saudi-trained preacher. Feiz says: 'Kaffir is the worst word that can ever be written, a sign of infidelity, disbelief, filth, a sign of dirt.'
In a statement the company that runs the bookstore said: 'We sell and supply a wide range of material and we do not necessarily agree with it. It is totally unfair to blame [us] for any of the views expressed in these lectures.'
Elsewhere, another preacher at a mosque in the East Midlands is caught on film, praying: 'God help us in our fight against the kaffir, in every field, in every department of life. We beg you to help us fight against the enemies of our religion.'
Inside the Green Lane mosque in Birmingham, a preacher is recorded saying: 'Allah has created the woman deficient.' A satellite broadcast from the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia, Sheikh Abdul Aziz al-Sheikh, beamed into the Green Lane mosque suggests that Muslim children should be hit if they don't pray: 'When he is seven, tell him to go and pray, and start hitting them when they are 10.' Another preacher is heard saying that if a girl 'doesn't wear hijab, we hit her'.
Another preacher says: 'The time is fast approaching where the tables are going to turn and the Muslims are going to be in the position of being uppermost in strength and, when that happens, people won't get killed - unjustly.'
In a statement to Channel 4, Lord Ahmed, the convener of the government's Preventing Extremism taskforce, said he was worried about the programme's consequences: 'While I appreciate that exaggerated opinions make good TV, they do not make for good community relations.'
A spokesman for Green Lane mosque said Islam does not denigrate women and that the instruction to hit a child was merely a smack. He accused C4 of intensifying the 'witch-hunt' against Muslims.
'Undercover Mosques', Dispatches, goes out at 8pm on Monday, 15 January

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Would the Prophet (S) be Part of this Event?

SubhanAllah, I wonder, what people are thinking when they do these things in the name of Islam? On the heels of my posts on RIS vs TDC, and Sami Yusuf vs Yvonne Ridley, here is one that combines both.

Look at this video... I am sorry, it is music, but you have to see it... hear it closely... hear the lyrics, hear the sisters with hijab singing, screaming, jumping... one sister offers herself to be "leaned on".

Click here to see "Aisha" by Outlandish (Viewer-discretion Advised. By the way, what an appropriate name 'Outlandish', subhanAllah--- perhaps it should have been called Islamically outlandish)

Please someone explain to me the difference between this concert and a generic U-2 concert? Oh, I know, U-2 are kuffar singers, right... anymore? OK, ok, I know there are more differences, but the PROBLEM is why are there so many SIMILARITIES? Show this video to a non-Muslim and ask him or her if they see a difference, and they will probably tell you that it looks and plays like any other concert.

I know RIS is doing good stuff, but I challenge the good brothers who organize it to just answer ONE question: Would Prophet (S) be part of this event? Would he (S) approve of it? Or would he be embarrassed of what is going on in the name of Islam? To be honest, I don't even think this is a sufi/sunnah question... I doubt even any of the sufi-leaners would accept this. I doubt that Hamza Yusuf would approve of it. At least, I hope he wouldn't.

Shame on us, that we twist this deen to suit our desires! Shame on us for changing the names of things to make them halal... So, that mom and dad won't allow their daughters at the Eminem concert, but they are happy to send them to the RIS concert. Let me tell you, mom and dad-- you have just been duped!

May Allah guide all the activists to truth, to not compromise the religion for the sake of numbers.

Friday, January 05, 2007

A Quick Layman's Primer on Attributes of Allah

The post on RIS vs TDC, for some reason, spurred many tangents. One of them is on the Attributes of Allah. I think it deserves a quick, short primer. Now, I know there is tons of information out there on the web, and all sorts of proof from the texts, logic, etc. available as well. But, I'd like to give a very simple explanation. And the very fact that I can make it so simple, to me, represents the truth. Why? Because convincing someone about Islamic Aqeedah is simple, because it is the Fitrah of human beings (innate nature), and it makes sense, so its easy. Thus, the Aqeedah has to be simple to make its explanation simple. The religion of Islam is meant for everyone, from the not-very-smart to the very intellectual. The message is not like the Trinity or other complex rocket-science-type stuff. It is clear and concise.

When I took this same message to my Sunday school students, none of them had a hard time getting it, and so if they didn't, neither should you. So, ignore what you have heard in the propaganda, and lend me your ears for a few:

First of all, let's get on the same page: Allah knows what He wants to say or how He wants to say BETTER than what you can say or how you can say it. Right? If you have a problem with this sentence, then you might as well skip this post, because your very acceptance of your Creator's Knowledge is in doubt. OK, with that behind us, let's go to the basics:

  1. Accept Allah's Attributes AS-IS. We all know what AS-IS means, right? It means, what He says about Himself, subhana wa ta'ala, ACCEPT IT like He said it. Don't get into ta'teel, tahreef, takyeef, tamtheel (or tashbih), tafweed, or any other t-beginning Arabic word.
  2. Of course you need to know what those Arabic words are, otherwise you may fall into them.
    1. Ta'teel: Denying the Attributes completely. Simple enough.
    2. Ta'weel: Figuratively interpreting the Attributes. For instance, saying that Allah's Hand mentioned in the Quran refers to His Power.
    3. Tahreef: Distorting the meaning. For instance, Allah talks about when HE spoke to Moses, some people distort it to say that Moses talked to Allah instead.
    4. Takyeef: Describing Allah's Attributes by saying "how" they are. For instance, Allah says He has a Hand, but if someone were to describe how that hand looks, he has committed takyeef.
    5. Tamtheel/Tashbih/Tajseem: Comparing Allah to His creation or for tajseem, it is more specifically is likening Allah to a body.
    6. Tafweed: This is one of the more 'in-vogue' ones these days. Basically, saying that we don't know what Allah means when He talks about SOME of His Attributes. So Istiwa is like Alif-laam-meem; means nothing to us.
  3. Remember a guiding principle at all times, an ayah from the Quran, "Laytha kimithli shayan" (There is NOTHING like Him... Quran 42:11)
  4. Let's put it all together. Don't worry, you don't have to memorize or remember a single of these t-words, as long as you get your basic fundamentals right. Simply remember this: when Allah says anything about Himself, go back to the "AS-IS" principle. So, when Allah says that He has an Attribute in the Quran or authentic Sunnah (we only affirm what is authentic from the 2 texts), you accept it AS-IS. I'll give you an example to clarify: when Allah mentions His Hand in the Quran, we say that indeed Allah has a Hand. We all know what Hand means, but we have ABSOLUTELY no idea HOW His Hand is. Remember the ayah in bullet-3, there is nothing like Him. For instance, if I told you that someone or something has a beautiful hand, even amongst the creation, would you have any clue what it looks like? I mean it could be a chair's hand, it could be a human hand, an insect's hand (do insects have hands??), whatever, you get the point! Just because Allah has a Hand, does not mean that we know ANYTHING about it. Only He knows about it. All we do is to affirm what He has affirmed for Himself, and we STOP right there. Because you should know that our imagination cannot transcend the physical world, so we cannot imagine what Allah's Hand could look like, and trying to imagine it would take you in the realm of disbelief. So, hold your horses. Stop at the knowledge Allah has given you, and move on.
  5. Seems pretty simple? It is. Absolutely it is. But people make it complicated. Some say that if we say Allah has a Hand, for instance, then we are comparing it to creation because the creation has hands (that we are doing tashbih/tajseem). SubhanAllah! Did we say Allah has a Hand, or did Allah HIMSELF say that He has a Hand? Allah said it! So, some will deny the hand outright, while others will use the nifty technique of tafweed, and say we really don't know what yad (arabic for hand) means in the Quran. Herein lies the logical hole you throw yourself in when you go down this route: Consider the logical conclusion of this kind of methodology... ultimately it will lead you to denying all of Allah's Attributes. Because why is it that some will accept that Allah is as-Samee (the Hearer) and al-Baseer (the Seer) with complete meaning, yet, deny this for other Attributes?? I mean human beings and animals hear and we see, Allah Hears and Sees, yet these people (Ash'arees and others) will for some reason accept this interlink between the Creator and creation, yet they will deny it for other attributes. Sorry guys, if one is tajseem, the other is tajseem too. Because if you deny one, you gotta deny all of them. Since, each of them will lead to the same logical conclusion. Eventually, here is the danger I was referring to: IF you keep denying those attributes that you think makes Allah like his creation (in a narrow mind), you will eventually deny that Allah is Al-Hayyu (the Living) . Because one can argue that we live, and Allah lives, so does that mean Allah doesn't live, naudhubillah, because saying that He lives will be tajseem (based on the same principles that saying Allah's hands cannot be hands because humans have hands)? SO, like good Ahl-Sunnah boys, if we go back to the AS-IS basics, we would say we live AND Allah Lives, but Allah's Living is of a Perfect form, that no other living compares to, and that can be imagined by no created mind in the universe.
  6. Another point of common-sense that sometimes escapes people is that we consider the obvious meaning. What this means is that if it is obvious or if there is some other consistent and obvious evidence, then one may have to do a figurative explanation. For example, let's even take the English language... you may hear someone say "Get your head outta here", what it really means is that you should leave, not that you should cut your head and remove it. So, it is the apparent, understood meaning. Hence, an explanation of seeking Allah's Face may be seeking Allah's pleasure because of the obvious meaning. Most times you don't have to worry about it, because Allah's Attributes are usually clearly mentioned.
  7. The same problem occurs in the unsettled hearts, as they try to remove this 'tajseem' in issues of Allah's istiwa (rising) upon the Throne, or Allah's descent to the lowest heaven during the last third of the night, etc. Rather, this unsettling is in fact a deviation from Shaytan, who tries to whisper in sincere hearts that they are comparing Allah to His creations, while they are only affirming what He Himself says for Himself. So, here's the truth folks: when Allah says that He descends, then He does descend, because He says so. HOW he descends, no one knows. But, we know descends means coming down, a direction is defined and obvious, because Allah did not, even though He could, say that He ascends, which would mean upwards. People then jump at this point and say that we are affirming a direction or space for Allah. We are neither. Rather, we are saying what Allah says about Himself, that He has affirmed the direction of his move in the last third of the night, not us. We don't affirm for Allah what He has not affirmed for Himself.
  8. As one can see, the more one tries to delve into the hows, and the whys, and the comparisons, etc., one will start getting into doubts and confusion about Allah's Attributes. So, stick to the simple formula I mentioned: whatever Allah says, take it as-is. Never think about its "how" or its "why" or that it is "like someone". Nothing Allah is or does is like anyone else. So, rest your brain against those wacko thoughts.
In closing, Imam Malik's famous statement when a man came in and said: “O Abâ ‘Abd Allah, al-Rahmàn made istiwà on the throne. How did he make istiwà?” Màlik bowed his head [in thought] and sweat appeared on him. He said: “Al-Rahmàn did make istiwà on the Throne as He said about himself, but we do not ask how, for how does not apply to him. Moreover, you are an innovator. Put him out!” And the man was put out.

Hope this all is clear. Here are more references for further study:

Ibn Qayyim: O People of Paradise: Meet Your Lord

Ibn al-Qayyim al-Jawziyyah, one of the greatest scholars Islam has produced, a student of Sheikh-al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah, wrote this incredible poem, which is reproduced in this stunning presentation. Props to my new half-sufi friend Mujahideen Ryder for finding it on the net, and putting it on his blog.

And if you ask about the Day of Increase (in reward) and the visit of the all-Mighty, all-Wise, and the sight of His Face - free from any resemblance or likeness to anything - as you see the Sun in the middle of the day and the full Moon on a cloudless night, then listen on the day that the caller will call: ‘O People of Paradise! Your Lord - Blessed and Exalted - requests you to visit Him, so come to visit Him!’ So they will say: ‘We hear and obey!’

Until, when they finally reach the wide valley where they will all meet - and none of them will turn down the request of the caller - the Lord - Blessed and Exalted - will order His Chair to be brought there. Then, pulpits of light will emerge, as well as pulpits of pearls, gemstone, gold, and silver. The lowest of them in rank will sit on sheets of musk, and will not see what those who are on the chairs above them are given. When they are comfortable where they are sitting and are secure in their places, and the caller calls: ‘O People of Paradise! You have an appointment with Allaah in which He wishes to reward you!’ So they will say: ‘And what is that reward? Has He not already made our faces bright, made our scales heavy, entered us into Paradise, and pushed us away from the Fire?’

And when they are like that, all of a sudden a light shines that encompasses all of Paradise. So, they raise their heads, and, behold: the Compeller - Exalted is He, and Holy are His Names - has come to them from above them and majestified them and said: ‘O People of Paradise! Peace be upon you!’ So, this greeting will not be responded to with anything better than: ‘O Allaah! You are Peace, and from You is Peace! Blessed are You, O possessor of Majesty and Honor!’ So the Lord - Blessed and Exalted - will laugh to them and say: ‘O People of Paradise! Where are those who used to obey Me without having ever seen Me? This is the Day of Increase!’

So, they will all give the same response: ‘We are pleased, so be pleased with us!’ So, He will say: ‘O People of Paradise! If I were not pleased with you, I would not have made you inhabitants of My Paradise! So, ask of Me!’ So, they will all give the same response: ‘Show us your Face so that we may look at it!’ So, the Lord - Mighty and Majestic - will remove his covering and will majestify them and will cover them with His Light, which, if Allaah - the Exalted - had not Willed not to burn them, would have burned them.

And there will not remain a single person in this gathering except that his Lord - the Exalted - will speak to him and say: ‘Do you remember the day that you did this and that?’ and He will remind him of some of his bad deeds in the Worldy life, so he will say: ‘O Lord! Will you not forgive me?’ So, He will say: ‘Of course! You have not reached this position of yours (in Paradise) except by my forgiveness.’

So, how sweet is this speech to the ears, and how cooled are the righteous eyes by the glance at His Noble Face in the Afterlife…

{Some faces that Day will be shining and radiant, l ooking at their Lord…} (al-Qiyaamah:22-3)

قال ابن القيم رحمه الله تعالى: ينادي المنادي يا أهل الجنة! إن ربكم تبارك وتعالى يستزيركم فحيا على زيارته، فيقولون: سمعاً وطاعة، وينهضون إلى الزيارة مبادرين، فإذا بالنجائب قد أعدت لهم، ويستوون على ظهورها مسرعين، حتى إذا انتهوا إلى الوادي الأفيح الذي جعل لهم موعداً، وجمعوا هناك لم يغادر الداعي منهم أحداً، أمر الرب تبارك وتعالى بكرسيه فنصب هناك، ثم نصبت لهم منابر من نور، ومنابر من لؤلؤ، ومنابر من زبرجد، ومنابر من ذهب، ومنابر من فضة، وجلس أدناهم -وحاشاهم أن يكون فيهم دنيٌ- على كثبان المسك ما يرون أن أصحاب الكراسي فوقهم في العطايا، حتى إذا استقرت بهم مجالسهم، واطمأنت بهم أماكنهم، نادى المنادي يا أهل الجنة! إن لكم عند الله موعداً يريد أن ينجزكموه، فيقولون: ما هو؟ ألم يبيض وجوهنا، ويثقل موازيننا، ويدخلنا الجنة، ويزحزحنا عن النار؟

فبينما هم كذلك إذا سطع لهم نورٌ أشرقت له الجنة، فرفعوا رءوسهم فإذا الجبار جل جلاله وتقدست أسماؤه قد أشرف عليهم من فوقهم، وقال: يا أهل الجنة! سلام عليكم فلا ترد هذه التحية بأحسن من قولهم: اللهم أنت السلام، ومنك السلام، تباركت يا ذا الجلال والإكرام. فيتجلى لهم الرب تبارك وتعالى يضحك إليهم ويقول: يا أهل الجنة! فيكون أول ما يسمعون منه تعالى، أين عبادي الذين أطاعوني بالغيب ولم يروني فهذا يوم المزيد، فيجتمعون على كلمة واحدة: أن قد رضينا فارض عنا، فيقول: يا أهل الجنة! إني لو لم أرض عنكم لم أسكنكم جنتي، هذا يوم المزيد فاسألوني، فيجتمعون على كلمة واحدة: أرنا وجهك ننظر إليه؟

فيكشف لهم الرب جل جلاله الحجب، ويتجلى لهم، فيغشاهم من نوره ما لولا أن الله تعالى قضى ألا يحترقوا لاحترقوا، ولا يبقى في ذلك المجلس أحد إلا حاضره ربه تعالى محاضرة، حتى إنه يقول: يا فلان! أتذكر يوم فعلت كذا وكذا؟ يذكره ببعض غدراته في الدنيا، ويقول: يا رب ألم تغفر لي؟ فيقول: بلى بمغفرتي بلغت منزلتك هذه. اللهم اغفر لنا ذنوبنا وإسرافنا في أمرنا. اللهم ارزقنا توبة نصوحاً تطهر بها قلوبنا، وتمحص بها ذنوبنا يا أرحم الراحمينّ! يا أكرم الأكرمين! اللهم اغفر لنا!

قال ابن القيم رحمه الله تعالى: فيا لذة الأسماع لتلك المحاضرة، ويا قرة عيون الأبرار بالنظر إلى وجهه الكريم في الدار الآخرة، وربنا جل وعلا يقول: وُجُوهٌ يَوْمَئِذٍ نَاضِرَةٌ * إِلَى رَبِّهَا نَاظِرَةٌ [القيامة:22-23] هنيئاً لأهل الجنة ما هم فيه من النعيم المقيم نسأل الله من فضله الجنة، يا أكرم الأكرمين! ويا أجود الأجودين! اللهم اجعلنا من أهل الجنة برحمتك يا أرحم الراحمين!
من شريط :

( الجحيم والنعيم ) للشيخ : ( عبد الله حماد الرسي )

Aboodi's Eid Mania

Here's a video of my son clowning around outside Synott Masjid for Eid in Houston... the two victims are his cousins. Thanks to my b-i-l for making the recording, while I had gone into the packed mosque for Yasir Q's Eid Khutbah. Next time you need a clown for your party, please call me, Aboodi's rates are still low!

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Appreciation of Health

The Prophet (S) urged us to take advantage of 5 before 5: your youth before you grow old; your health before you fall sick; your money before you become poor; your leisure before you become busy; and your life before you die.

A few days ago, I contracted flu. No big deal, everyone gets it. But this little bacteria/virus or combination completely wrecks you, and you realize how vulnerable you really are. I mean you can't even see this enemy, isn't it? Yet, it creates havoc inside you, making your whole body surrender to its will, which of course is subservient to the will of the Creator. So, I resisted antibiotic for a few day but then gave in, when I was too cold and too hot, both in the same night under the same ambient temperatures.

Its one thing to be sick at home, yet quite another to be sick away from home, in your beloved hometown, which you were to leave the next day! So, I had to travel yesterday, and leave Houston. Perhaps, it will be another year before I go back inshallah. Sickness, combined with sadness, contributed to a wonderfully dull and unpleasant trip back to the coldness (pun intended) of Delaware. Well, at least the weather isn't that cold here. Which is actually not a good thing when you work in the oil industry. Quick industry primer: Warm weather in winter = low demand for heating oil = low profit. So, even a nice winter isn't helping the mood here in the Shaikh household.

Am I done whining? Not really. Our youngest, Jana, 10 mths old, fell really sick as well, with temperatures hovering in the 103-104F range. Talk about misery coming altogether. She is better today alhamdulillah.

In any and all cases, Alhamdulillah ala' kuley haal (Praise and thanks to Allah in all conditions). If He gives health, He sure can take it away. And for a little while when you are sick, you can appreciate what you really had going for you when you weren't (sick). So, dear brothers and sisters, take advantage of your health before you get sick. Get up and contribute, don't wait for the whining to start! Contribute to yourself (read and listen to Islamic knowledge, it is also fine to read non-Islamic stuff if the purpose is to help contribute Islamically :)); Contribute to the Society; and finally Contribute to my Blog!! Hey, at least I can put a plug in for myself??

Texas Dawah Lectures...

Br. Omar of Lotaenterprises continues to add more detailed notes from some of the best lectures at Texas Dawah.... Don't be a stranger to his blog!

A sister was kind enough to transcribe another of Yasir's lecture "Relationship between Reasons
and Revelation... jazakillahkhair:
Thank you, I enjoy reading your blogs and links to others about TDC06 lecture notes, particularly lotaenterprise and ibnhayderabadee (spelling?). I wanted to share this notes (not edited) that I have poorly recorded with screaming babies and transcripted myself by sending to yours anonymously. I hope many will benefit from it and share it with others. To Sheikh Yasir, jazzakumullahu khairan and may Allah ta'ala showers you with His protection. Ameen

anonymous - wish fathers to babysit too.

The relationship between reason and revelation – Transcript lecture by Sheikh Yasir Qadhi TDC2006

There are 4 issues mentioned on the subject of roles of reasons of revelation in Islam:

1 Why concept of reasoning?
2 What is the role the Qur’an has given that says about man’s intellect?
3 What is the purpose if intellect and why did Allah blessed man with knowledge?
4 The dangers of going into extreme on all sides?

Firstly, why are we talking about this concept of reasoning?

We are living in a new age and time, entering well within the scientific era of technological advancement in every sphere of science. There is ever increasing emphasis in intellect in every single academic in rational thoughts and less and less emphasis on religion. The average vestige of our time is spent on trust of intellect and science more than trust in any religion. The average westerners look down on spirituality and religion and even if they believe in it, it will only be on odd time like once a while, once a week or once struck with trials and it doesn’t affect them. As they firmly believe what science, what reasons and intellect ell them to believe. Therefore we are living in time where traditional values are being challenged, being re-examined. People are taking a fresh look, not just at Islam but everything. Like wise an improper understanding of the role of intellect will leads to deviation in both ways. If we say that we are blind following in a religion then a Hindu can come and say: “Just like you a blind believer in Islam, I too a blind believer in my religion. What rights have you to look down the fact that I worship a cow?” And a Christian can come and say the same thing and a Jew and an atheist too can come say the same thing and all can say “I am a believer because I have a blind faith.”
There is a line of boundary that we can come to and this is the reason of the role of intellect, and this is the purpose of this topic.

Second, now let us look at the role of aqil in the Qur’an. Aqil means intellect and reason and from the concordance of the Qur’an to present all the words with aqil used and looked at every single instance of the occurrence of the word aqil with all of it’s derivatives aqil, aqala, takqiluun and all of these derivatives. Also of words that similar to them, such as faqkarah, fakiha, alima yaklamuun, and afala tafakkaruun (why don’t you think?) and I have looked at all these verses in the Qur’an that numbers in the hundred. I have then divided these verses and put them into categories that Allah has challenged us to think. They are divided into 4 such categories that I have based upon my opinion, the purpose of aqil that Allah has mentioned in the Qur’an and illustrate in the Sunnah. Now we all know especially living in this country where many are talking about the emphasis of the intellect. We all know that Allah tells us in the Qur’an: Why don’t you think? Why don’t you ponder? (Affala yaqkiluun), We have revealed the book for people who think. So we all know that Allah challenges us to think like in

Surah al Baqarah : 219
“This is why the verse is made clear so that you can think.”

Surah al Zumar : 42
“In these creations are signs for those who think.”

Surah al Baqarah : 242
“So that you can understand and ponder

Surah al Baqarah : 164
“I have created the sun and the moon, the alternate of night and day; I sent the shift in the river; the wind with rain as miracles for those who think.”

So Allah is challenging us to think, to ponder, all of us read this but very few have looked at the context of these verses.

Who is Allah vesting in?
Who is Allah talking to?
Who is Allah asking to ponder?

I have come out about 4 categories of reasons; and people that Allah Addresses to think on specific circumstances:

1 Allah address those who do not believe that Allah is the creator in the first place i.e. atheist and agnostics or those who do not believe in One deity. Basically, Allah is addressing those who do not believe in one God, either they rejecting the God or affirming many Gods, idols worship, Hindus, pagans, animists etc. Allah challenges them to use their minds, contemplate to the conclusion that there is only one God. This is the majority of verses about; challenges us to think to those who do not affirm to the Oneness of Allah.
Of these verses: Ar- Room : 8 “Do they not ponder over the creation around them, and the heavens and the earth? Don’t they think about this? (the subjects of science, physic, biology and chemistry), don’t they see for themselves : In these are signs for those who think and contemplate.”

Likewise the prophet Ibraheem alayhis sallam when he destroyed all the idols except the largest one and placed the axe on the largest idol. When the people came and accused him and want to punish him, he gave them a speech and of what he said to them: How do you think of those idols that you worship? Woe to you and what you worship beside Allah, can’t you think, don’t you have brains, can’t you understand that these idols are destroyed and not worth of worship? So Allah is telling them to think that a cow is not worthy of worship; that an idol is not worthy of worship; that a man who was sacrificed on a cross is not worthy of worship. Use your brain to come to a conclusions that Allah and only Allah is worthy of worship. Dozens of verses of this category.

2 The second category that Allah addresses and ask us to think and ponder are those who believe in a God, believe in Allah may be but they reject the prophets and the last prophet Muhammad peace and blessings be upon him. So the first category to affirm in One God, the second category to accept the prophet hood.

In this category, Allah challenges mankind to think, to ponder, to reflect, to contemplate, to be logical and come to the conclusion that this man was prophet of God. Dozens of verses explain this:

Al Araf : 184 “Don’t they think, don’t they ponder, there is no madness in this companion of theirs i.e. Muhammad peace and blessings be upon him, don’t they think that he is a normal sane human being.” Why he is doing what he is doing? Why he is telling you to believe in Allah? And go through so much pressure, so much hatred, what is he benefiting in this? Don’t you think and ponder?”

As Saba : 46 “Say, (announce to mankind) all I ask of you is to do one thing that you stand up for the sake of Allah and then think and ponder that this man is a normal human being, chosen as prophet of god, use your brain, read his biography, read his seerah that he is a mortal human being that Allah has raise to be a prophet of Allah.

Yunus : 16 “Say, (announce to them) if Allah had so willed, I would not have recited the Qur’an to you nor that I had any knowledge of what it is, indeed I live a life time amongst you before this, don’t you think, don’t you see.” The verse is referring to: for 40 years the prophet peace and blessings be upon him, did not do anything abnormal, living a life time amongst his people and didn’t do anything to recite the Qur’an and all of the sudden, one day he sprung up reciting the most poignant, melodious, miraculous verses, powerful message that the Arabs have ever heard. The Prophet peace and blessings be upon him asked them to think, where does this come from? I did not write anything, I was not an author, nor a learned. I lived a life time amongst you before this, don’t you think? So once again the challenge is to think and come to the conclusion that this man is the prophet of Allah.

3 The third category is addressed to the believers. There are very few of these verses for the believers but because they already believe in Allah and believe in the Prophet peace and blessings be upon him.

Al Imran : 191 Allah asks them to ponder: “The believers are those who think, who remember Allah always and they think about the creation of the heavens and the earth and they say: Oh Allah, you create all of this not in vain, not for no reason so save us from the fire”

So they use their mind and intellect to marvel at the beauty of creation around them. They marvel at natural sciences around them and increase them in imaan (faith). What does it do at the end of the day? It increases their faith, bring them closer to Allah, their spirituality goes up, they feel the connection with Allah and they feel that all of these have a purpose and they say: Oh Allah grants us Jannah (paradise) and save us from the fire.

So the purpose of intellect in this category is to see his creation around us and use them to ponder and reflect to come closer to Allah, increase in imaan. Look at the stars the sun when it rises and sets, the moon cycle. Look at the beauty of life itself. Animals, plants, that of creation of Allah: An Nahl, “This is creation of Allah, so show me where are the creator other than Allah?” Ponder over the creation and through it to increase our imaan.

4 Finally the last category is for mankind to ponder over the Qur’an and Sunnah and implement it. Ponder over the Qur’an and the Sunnah in order to implement it, to understand it and not to contradict or challenge it.

Surah Yusuf : 2 “We have revealed this Qur’an in Arabic so you can think and understand.” So Allah reveals the Qur’an in a language that every one understands, so that they can ponder, deduce rulings and commandment and worship Allah properly. Allah says: understand the Qur’an and ponder.
The instruction is to understand the Qur’an and NOT challenge it. The aqil is used to understand the Qur’an what Allah is saying and not to reject it simply because we don’t understand it. (This is said to be the opinion of Sheikh Yasir Qadhi himself and no scholars have so far come out with this opinion before, perhaps, he said: you can come out with other opinion as well on why we have been asked to think.)

What is the meaning of aqil in the Arabic language?

Aqala: To withhold and restrain, nothing to do with intelligent, that is why a camel rein is called ‘Iqal; in the hadith of Abu Bakr RA for those who did not give zakat, he said: “I will hold the ‘Iqal” i.e. to hold back the camel.

What has this to do with intelligent? This is the beauty of Arabic language. The more you study the more you’ll love the eloquence.”

A person’s aqil is called aqil because it supposed to restraint him from foolish or ridiculous act in this world that will harm him in his life and the hereafter and that is why those who go to the fire of hell are described in the Qur’an as being without aqal i.e. stupid, the qur’an described them as unintelligent and foolish because they did not have aqal. They may be able to solve quadratic equations and calculate how to send space rocket to the moon but their aqal could not even tell them the purpose of life so they are ignorant people.

In Surah al Mulk : 10, Allah says: “The people of Jahannam said: if we had aqil, we would not have been from the people of the fire.” And that is why every single person who disobeys Allah is a foolish person, stupid person literally. Allah calls the sinner foolish.

In Surah an Nisa : 92, Allah says: “Allah will accept the repentance of those who commit a sin foolishly and then they repent from Allah.”

Ibn Abbas said: “Every single person who disobeys Allah is a foolish.”

Meaning he didn’t use the brain and intellect that Allah gave him. He was foolish and stupid. That is why Allah said that He will forgive those who sin in the state of foolishness because you cannot sin in the state of intelligence. You cannot be intelligent and disobey Allah. By default when you disobey Allah you don’t really have intelligent. Have we learned the beauty of the meaning of the word aqil, every person who disobeys Allah is a jahil or an ignorant fool.

Notice here before we move on, the aqil has never been used in the Qur’an telling the believers to understand the rationalize Allah’s will, not once. Allah never asked: “Think why you have to fast, why pray?” On the contrary, Allah praises the believers first in the verse of the Qur’an by saying they believe in the unseen, they have blind faith (al Baqarah : 2). Allah did not praise the believers because they rationalized, He praises the believers for their blind faith.

What are the dangers in given aqil supremacy over the Qur’an and Sunnah? What happens when our logic leaves us to conclusion to be in opposition to the Qur’an and Sunnah? What should we do?

Logic here is meant by everything about common sense, science, ethic and entire gamut of mathematical equation on looking at into the world like modern science tells us that we are descendants of apes. Our Prophet peace and blessings be upon him told us that we are descendants of Adam and Eve. What do you do when there is a conflict between modern thoughts, ethic and philosophy, science and opposite Qur’an and Sunnah?

What and how should we resolve this?

First, we must understand that there can never be real contradiction between the Qur’an and intellect, reasons or common sense. In other words it is not possible for modern science to proof something that the Qur’an has another opinion and we have to believe this as believers and rationalize it based on common sense, in both, why so and how? Where does the Qur’an comes from? It is the Kalam of Allah i.e. the speech of Allah. What is modern science? It is the creation of Allah. If we claim there is a contradiction between the creation of Allah and speech of Allah then we are saying (nauuthoobillah) there is a problem with God himself. Look at the consequence in this. To claim that modern science proves x and Qur’an proves y and that x and y cannot meet, either this or that, what we are saying is that there is a problem with Allah himself. So as Muslim we believe, it is not possible for the Qur’an to contradict real reason, rational thought, common sense, natural science? No, that is not possible. To claim this contradiction means there is problem with the origin i.e. Allah himself and this is not acceptable.

Second, we have to realize that aqil does not have a precise limit (it is not infallible), thus reasons and logic does not have precise parameters. What might be logic to one person may be foolish to another vise-verse. In fact how many times in our lives we made decisions and thought it was the best and within a few days, weeks and months we changed our minds and proved ourselves wrong too many times. Therefore who decide what and truly logical or not? There are no precise limits. An example of this is the past Islamic group in history who claim to follow the aqil like the philosophers and the Mu’tazilah and other people of Kalam. All said our aqil is what we are going to base our religion on and yet every group reaches a conclusion other than the other group. Just look at the philosophers are segments of mankind who presume the aqil is all that you need to attain solution to everything and every single problem in life. The aqil will tell you why you are here, where are you going, what is the purpose of life. This is the basis premise of philosophers and yet we notice since the beginning of time until our time, no two philosophers have ever answered all these questions in exactly the same line. One philosopher said God does not exist, one said God is dead (auuthoobillah). One group said these are His attributes and that are not His attributes. A fourth group affirmed predestination, the 5th denied the Qadr and each of this group claim to follow aqil so this shows us that the inter-contradiction between those who claimed to be following the reason of logic is not sufficient proof that it is not a full proof criteria between reason and logic. You don’t know what is right and wrong.

Third, to claim that if there is a contradiction between reason and logic of the verses from the Qur’an, that we should give precedent to science i.e. like the theory of evolution. To say that this contradict the Qur’an and to say that Adam as some type of ape or Neanderthal type of species homo sapient or something. Say that we know that the theory of evolution is true and we cannot understand the Qur’an literally. What you are saying is that “I will not believe the scripture of Allah. I will give precedent to my intellect and reason based on science over Allah’s command and this goes against the very essence of servitude. As it was in the first verse of the Qur’an: “This is a book for those who believe in the unseen”

Fourth, the fourth point talks about when there is a contradiction between reason and intellect. Supposed that there was a contradiction between reason of intellect and the Qur’an, theoretically then ask a question. Should we follow the intellect or the Qur’an? Common sense will tell us to use our intellect to follow the Qur’an. Common sense, reason and intellect tell us to follow the Qur’an and reject reasoning. And this is not a contradictory at all. Reason and intellect leads us to a conclusion that there is one God and that the Prophet is one of the prophets of Allah, and the Qur’an is the book of Allah and this is achieved through reasons and intellect. After we have come to this conclusion, then blind faith will succinct.

So when someone asks, are you a blind believer? Yes I am a blind believer based upon rationality. Yes, reason leads you to a conclusion that the Qur’an is the book of Allah. Once you have come to that conclusion, your mind ceases to function, to challenge that text. It’s only function now is to understand the text and work on how to implement it. When you do not believe, the Qur’an challenges you to believe and once you believe in the creator and His messenger the purposes of the mind changes from not to not believe in Allah and His messenger but “to understand” the text that Allah revealed. So supposed, now you find some contradiction between the Qur’an and modern science, between the Qur’an and reasons, reason and common sense tell you to reject your common sense and follow guidance instead. An example was given by Ibn Taymiyah in a similitude, supposed you go to a town, walk into it’s people and you are from some where else wanting to find out about a fatwa (ruling) and you don’t know anyone. You then asked somebody, brother A to point you to a scholar who pointed you to a Sheikh. The Sheikh gave his fatwa and brother A came back and say, “The Sheikh was wrong and I am right and that you must listen to me because I am the one who told you about the Sheikh so I am more knowledgeable that him.” The brother A has contradicted himself by showing you to the Sheikh first. His testimony is now not valid.

Thus the last point gives emphasis on:

The evil implication by saying that the Qur’an and Sunnah contradict common sense, reasons and aqil, and that we should follow aqil instead. You are saying the Qur’an and Sunnah are not divine, they are not real thing. You are saying the prophet did not complete this religion and leaving us with confused religion: A religion that goes against the logic of science. Allah gave us mind and intellect and then gave us book that contradicts our aqil that goes against the mind. You are basically saying anyone can come and change the Qur’an and Sunnah as they see fit and as they wish. History tell us our study of intellectual history of group of philosopher Ibn Sinna, Ibn Rush that they believe in all in common sense and said they can be no Day of Judgment. My aqil tells me God cannot resurrect the dead (Ibn Sinna said this), thus he rejected verses of the Qur’an that talk about resurrection and said it’s just metaphor. Ibn Arabi said these are fables of desert people, there’s no such thing as real Jannah because his aqil tells him to do so. The point is who decide which is aqil and which is isn’t?

What are the roles of aqil?

Aqil is a sense, it is an organ and many people do not realize this. It is faculty that Allah has bless us with and has a function and has its limit, like eyes, ears, nose and taste buds are all faculties and they are infallible. We see a mirage in a desert and we think it is water and it is not. Our vision tells us something that can be false. So our faculties can be at fault and are not infallible. Like we cannot see in the dark and it does not mean objects are not there or we cannot see beyond this room. Similarly our aqil has its limit. The problem is there is no criterion for us to decide what those limits are, what the physical tangible are and when it comes to aqil, how do we set the limits? Where does it stop short at being acceptable or not right of foolish?

The answer is there is no criterion for judgment i.e. it is not physical. This is the main problem why of philosophers fell into and scientists rationalize has gone to extreme. They don’t have limit to aqil because he cant’ see it unlike seeing, tasting and smelling and we know the limit but not in aqil. So aqil is not infallible, like we tend to forget and made mistakes and thought we were right when we did it.

It is an organ that Allah blesses us different from the animals in order for us to worship Allah in a prescribed way.

It is an organ used to corroborate, work together, aid, help, solidify and strengthen and not meant to contradict what is in the Qur’an and Sunnah but rather helps to understand it.

Allah is the one who has given us intellect and He is the one who reveals the scriptures and the sign of Islam is that the intellect should correspond to scripture. Not that the intellect is greater than the scripture, no, but that the intellect and scripture match one another.

The intellect will never be able to understand all that is in the scripture but at the same time there will be never be a contradiction between the intellect and scripture.

Conclusions by Ahlil Sunnah of the past:

Abu Mudhaffar As Sam’aanee RaheemuAllah said:

The deciding factors that separate us Sunni Muslim from all the other Muslims, seculars and numerous others is the issue of the intellect. For they have built their religion from what they presumed as based on intellect:

Modern man, western society has built it ethics, morality, philosopher of life, secularism, democracy, humanism, freedom on what they considered to be best. They have made all others to be subservient to all these what they considered to best.

Whereas true Muslims the Ahlil Sunnah, they based their obedience to Allah and His Messenger and the intellect follows that.

Abu Mudhaffar said over one thousand years ago: “For have the basis of religion in the intellect alone, men would not have any need of inspiration from the books or the prophets and they would have no need for commandments of prohibitions from Allah and every human being would have only be left to his intellect alone. For the very fact that Allah sent books and prophets shows us that our intellect cannot ultimately guide us straight, thus aqil has a role to differentiate between real and false prophets, this is divine and that is not. Once the aqil has chose that and get to that conclusion its role ceases to be questioned but to accept”

Abu Mudhaffar concludes that: “as for these people if they were to say “la illaha illallah”, my aqil is the rasool of Allah, they will not be far from the truth”

The purpose of aqil is for us Muslims to understand the message of Islam, to come closer to Allah, to increase our imaan. The aqil was never meant to take the place of the command of Qur’an and the Sunnah.

May Allah give us the intelligent and imaan put together to be real Muslims.

(transcript taken from the recorded lecture at TDC2006)