In the name of God, most Gracious, most Compassionate

In the name of God, most Gracious, most Compassionate
Al-Quran (30:30)

So direct your face toward the religion, inclining to truth. [Adhere to] the fitrah of Allah upon which He has created [all] people. No change should there be in the creation of Allah. That is the correct religion, but most of the people do not know.

فَأَقِمْ وَجْهَكَ لِلدِّينِ حَنِيفًا فِطْرَةَ اللَّهِ الَّتِي فَطَرَ النَّاسَ عَلَيْهَا لَا تَبْدِيلَ لِخَلْقِ اللَّهِ ذَلِكَ الدِّينُ الْقَيِّمُ وَلَكِنَّ أَكْثَرَ النَّاسِ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ
[Al-Imran 3:8] "[Who say], "Our Lord, let not our hearts deviate after You have guided us and grant us from Yourself mercy. Indeed, You are the Bestower."

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

"Open Minded:" Apologizing for being "Religious"

What causes Muslims to loose faith and or compromise their Deen? The More I think of this matter the more apparent it becomes that there is a relationship between faith and confidence. A weakness in Faith comes from a weak character.Confidence outside Islam is not true Confidence. Someone that acquires validation in order to feel confident indeed has a lack of confidence.

We know many individuals who have false confidence. Islam is about building TRUE CONFIDENCE. A Muslim woman is confident not because of her looks but confident of who she is as a believer and servant of Allah. This does not signify that one should not care about their appearance. We just have to prioritize Islam first.

I was contemplating this hadith when I began to think of this dichotomy between confidence and faith.

The strong believer is better and more beloved to Allaah than the weak believer, while there is good in both.'"

Taking this into account I feel that non-muslim and some (weak) muslims alike expect one to shy away from talking about Islam whether it be in an academic setting or anywhere else. If a subject arises where there is obviously an Islamic input needed or should be addressed  'Muslims' feel they have to resign from giving an input or Islamic opinion in order to make others "uncomfortable."

We act like there is nothing going on in the Media and everyone is "cool" with Muslims. They are not. The majority of people don't have positive views on Islam. Somehow we got a "memo" we have to comply with the stereotypes and negative reactions and the assumptions and "get over it." Talking about the stance of Islam on certain issues or just how Islam is important to me is illogical, close-minded, retarded and unappealing and soon after must feel apologetic.

 Its completely normal to talk about fornication, aliens, buddhist relics from a God that died (Buddha) and day of the Dead and they certainly do not feel shy about stuff like that or APOLOGETIC but I should. I should feel apologetic and awkward for being "religious." Since when is what Allah, the Creator of them and the universe unfair, illogical and unpractical. Are you serious? I remember when the whole revolts in Egypt were occurring this "muslim" guy was saying how he wanted Democracy not Shariah because Shariah was not "JUST."  "oh okay sorry that Allah is not Just enough for you" Are you KIDDING ME?!

Those who are "open minded" are non-religious and therefore because I am muslimah that places me in the fanatic, illogical, close minded category. In this society "religious" muslims are "scary" muslims who pose a "threat." so if one is a "liberal""not as religious" muslim you're good... My class mates are friends with many muslims but their friends are "cool" he is not "practicing."

"Sorry that I practice my religion"

This other guy in my class who is from a "muslim background" said how religion is the cause of all evils specifically Islam? really?! are you kidding me? Its people with close minds and hearts that cause evil in this world. How can they call Allah evil?!

All those terrorists were non-practicing non-religious Muslims. Just as these liberal Muslims are a threat to  their own-selves they are also a threat to society. A muslim does not desire to hurt others and especially kill others. I dont even understand how that could have interpreted. i have never misinterpreted something like that from the Qur'an or Hadiths of Rasulullah (sallahu alayhi wa salam). Anyways that is all for today. I just had to rant on a bit after class.

Monday, July 4, 2011

The "Easy" Life...

[2:45] "And seek help through patience and prayer, 
and indeed, it is difficult except for the humbly submissive [to Allah ]"

Islam is supposed to make life easy because it simplifies it. It might be difficult for one to understand how exactly it is so when it seems like the whole world is working against it and every aspect of a Muslim’s life from finding a job to finding a righteous spouse is difficult.

Indeed it maybe a trial as it was for those before us but it can also be an effect from our own doing. For example, if Muslim sisters keep on taking off hijab for fear of the stigma, they are doing a disservice to the other women who wear hijab. When they comply with the force against hijabs they perpetuate the thinking against hijab and thus make it difficult for the rest of us. The longer I wear hijab the more my family and non-Muslim friends becomes accustomed to it and I believe it builds better and real relations with people rather than relations based on superficiality. Hijab is not just the covering of the hair. It is modesty (haya) that transcends through character and a display of the manifestation of faith that one has within their heart. Muslim men are also to ascribe to this modestly (haya) but their dress is different not necessarily less restrictive, just different because they are different, they are men.

I did not come into Islam thinking that life would make my life easier. That’s the difference between Islam and other religions. We don’t sale our Deen (religion) on a false belief that life is going to be "easier." It’s going to be difficult but that is dependant on their iman (faith).

Once when I was traveling on the Amtrak from home I sat next to a woman and we converse throughout the journey. She did not know I was revert and I did not want to disclose that matter until later.. She inquired on what I was reading (The Soul byIbh Qayim Al-Jawziyah which sparked the conversation) and from then on a flood of inquiries about Islam came. When I disclosed that I was a revert she was curious to know how my life had changed. I told her my life became simple but not less difficult if anything it became more difficult not as a result from Islam but people, society. I tried to help her understand that my ultimate purpose of this life is far greater than what this world can offer me and nothing can equate to the peace that I have in my heart and that to me its worth everything I deal with as this life is temporary anyways. 

It was interesting because she added that perhaps because my life was “simpler” it was “easier.” I would not have to worry about unnecessary consequences that accompanies a life of "sin." This is TRUE and I never thought of it that way. May Allah guide her Ameen. I am glad I met her and was offered that introspect. "Everything happens for a reason and it was meant for us to meet," she said. What a delightful woman.

If a trial or calamity befalls a Muslim it should serve as a reminder of the realities of this world and this realization should bring peace to one as our ultimate goal in life is not from this life but the next. 

How can we place our hopes on something that is transient and can not be guaranteed forever?!  [18: 38-45] 

My life is not difficult and its not easy either but my ultimate goal adjusts my focus and blurs the difficulties that I confront from day to day. Often times I feel "fed up" and feel like it will never end and while there is some truth to the fact that it probably will never end until I expire from this world its okay...and I can easily shrug off "stupid stuff."

[23:11] "Indeed, I have rewarded them this Day for their patient endurance - that they are the attainers [of success]."

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Miserliness Rots!

Being niggardly or miserly is a sin just as extravagance is. Satan at times makes the wealthy not spend on the necessities of their own family members or spend on charity towards the less fortunate. Then the same people at times spend large amounts on where they are not supposed to. Our Rasulullah (sallahu Allayhi wa salam) tells us that the best wealth is spent in meeting the needs of one’s spouse, family members and dependents.
Narrated Hakim bin Hizam The Prophet said, "The upper hand is better than the lower hand (i.e. he who gives in charity is better than him who takes it). One should start giving first to his dependents. And the bestobject of charity is that which is given by a wealthy person (from the money which is left after his expenses). And whoever abstains from asking others for some financial help, Allah will give him and save him from asking others, Allah will make him self-sufficient." 
 Narrated Abu Huraira: A man asked the Prophet, "O Allah's Apostle! What kind of charity is the best?" He replied. "To give in charity when you are healthy and greedy hoping to be wealthy and afraid of becoming poor. Don't delay giving in charity till the time when you are on the death bed when you say, 'Give so much to so-and-so and so much to so-and so,' and at that time the property is not yours but it belongs to so-and-so (i.e. your inheritors)."
I can testify to this. Whenever one is miserly and adamant on not sharing always end up being burdened by their waste and the weight of their “stuff.”  

You know those people that like to give you leftovers or offer you leftovers when they are trying to get rid of it (or free themselves) from it when it already lost its appeal to you and they never thought to offer you then. Funny thing occurs right after, they INSIST you have it EVEN AFTER YOU DECLINE.

This is particularly an issue when it deals with food. People have this fear when it comes to food. They feel that if they share food they will not have enough food or if they have "enough" they will starve (its shaytan-his job is to threaten people with poverty and loss).

Ramadan is approaching and I am sure we will witness the “starving” individuals who stack plates of food under their children’s strollers meanwhile they have more food they brought from home to eat. It just amazes me! What happens when one accumulates so much food due to this thinking? it Rots!! and maybe along with it our blessings!

I've learned to make the most of my food and Alhamdulillah I have rarely have to throw out food due to rotting and I have the least amount of food from my room mates. I sometimes wonder how it is that my food lasts so long. I think its a blessing and a result that I always share my food. I honestly believe that the more we share our blessings with others the more abundant blessings become.

So we should know that our rizq (bounty) is from Allah and not from ourselves. We should also always seek refuge in Allah from distress and sorrow, from helplessness and laziness, from miserliness and cowardice, and from being heavily in debt!