In True Islam Life IS Sacred!!

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, Most Merciful!  

“You shall not kill any person,
for God has made life sacred!”
(Sura al-Isra 17:33)

masood_islamic_crescentOn this blog I have written many times before as to how the Holy Qur’an forbids Muslims from killing another human being save in the course of justice (capital punishment ordered by a court).  Once again I feel the need to write about this subject again and reference some MAJOR teaching in the Qur’an which forbid murder and which condone fighting in self-defense ONLY.

Sura al-Isra is the 17th chapter in the Qur’an and in this case I am sighting verse 33 which makes it clearer than clear that murder is wrong and a SIN.  How much more plain can it be that murder is wrong and sinful?  Life is sacred! The reason life is sacred is because God (Allah) has created all life and everything that Allah has created is sacred to the True Muslim, True Christian, True Jew, True Buddhist, and others!

Sadly today we see those who have hijacked Islam and who commit atrocities in Allah’s Name killing innocent people be it by terror attacks or suicide bombers (suicide is also a sin strongly condemned by the Qur’an).  Taking ANY human life except in the course of justice (capital punishment by a court) if absolutely FORBIDDEN in the teachings of the Qur’an!  It is for this very reason that those who commit acts of terrorism are clearly NOT True Muslims but are EVIL PEOPLE who are attempting to justify their own hatred and actions by using God’s Name (which in itself is yet another sin, frankly).  Even in the course of justice capital punishment is discouraged by the Qur’an!  As True Muslims we should use capital punishment as a last resort.  Sadly, what we are seeing today being committed by evil people in the Name of Islam and Allah is just the OPPOSITE of what the Qur’an teaches and of what True Muslims believe!  ANYONE can commit ANY ACT in the name of God by whatever name they call Him.  BUT that does NOT make that person a True Muslim or a True anything else!!

Contrary to popular MIS-conception Islam does NOT teach violence, murder, or suicide!  In FACT, the Qur’an forbids aggression!  In the Quranic teachings fighting is ONLY permitted in SELF-DEFENSE.  God (Allah) does NOT love the aggressor and the Qur’an makes this too absolutely clear in several Suras.  Over and over again God repeats in the Qur’an that He does NOT love the aggressors and that we are NOT to be aggressors!  ONLY is a True Muslim is attacked by an aggressor are we allowed to fight back in self-defense.  Further, if the enemy offers peace we are commanded by Allah in the Qur’an to STOP fighting.

All aggressors have evil selfish goals and they will do anything to achieve those goals EVEN using the name of God to Carnation-China-Rosejustify their horrors and sins!  But, just because they use the name of Allah to commit their terror acts does NOT make them True Muslims.  In fact, it doesn’t make them Muslims at all period!  What it makes them is hypocrites and Allah detests the hypocrites more than any others.  The fact is people who are aggressors and who engage in terror acts are EVIL people who have lost The Way and The Path.  They are blindly following Iblis (Satan) and they don’t even know it.  Satan will do anything to turn people away from the True Path of God.  ANYTHING!  Think about how many people the terrorists have turned away from God by their own actions already and how many more they will turn away from God by their continued actions.  And you don’t think they aren’t going to be held accountable for their terror acts and turning away people from Allah on the Judgment Day?  Think again!

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Tough Times for Muslims

Islam symbolWith the Paris terrorist bombings and now with the mass shootings in San Barnardino, Calif atop other acts of terror carried out by extremists (I won’t call the Muslims because they are NOT!) it is rough being a Muslim in America, Europe, and even the rest of the world.  But we must not give into this hate or be a part of it because that is the absolute worst thing we could do.  In fact, giving into the hate is the worst thing anyone of any religion could do!  We must also not give into fear because that is exactly what the terrorists want us to do no matter what our chosen faith is or anything else.  That being said, today’s passage from the Holy Qur’an says,

“You have indeed in the Messenger of Allah a beautiful pattern of conduct for any one whose hope is in Allah and the Final Day, and who engages much in the Praise of God.”  (Sura 33:21)

The example we find and which we as Muslims are to emulate in our own lives of the Prophet (pbuh) is one of compassion, mercy, tolerance, forgiveness, endurance, hope, strength, and intelligence.  These are NOT the values being emulated by the extremists of today sadly.  In fact, these extremists are emulating the exact opposite of these things.  In our lives as True Muslims ALL who claim to be Muslims MUST follow and emulate the pattern of conduct that was displayed by the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and if we do not then we are in sin and this passage makes that clear from the Holy Qur’an.

“Islam” means “submission to God” but it also means peace, security, dignity, and honor.  Muslims are called to be ambassadors to wherever they happen to live.  Ambassadors of PEACE not war, not hatred, and most certainly not terrorism!  Our main responsibility in life is to live our faith daily moment to moment and to be true examples as servants of Allah in every aspect of our behavior, thoughts, and talk.  We are suppose to open channels of communications with those we live around and with and tell them about Islam and invite them to join our faith BUT without compulsion.  You cannot force anyone to become a Muslim!  You should not force anyone to become a Muslim!  The Qur’an clearly teaches that “there is to be no compulsion in religion.”  Our only obligation as Muslims is to tell people about Islam and allow them to decide if they wish to become a Muslim or not.  If they choose to do so then great!  If they choose not to do so then it becomes a matter between them and Allah and we are to leave them alone.  We are not to molest, torture, or kill them.  We are to leave them alone and let them go on their way.  Islam is the ONLY religion without forced compulsion for whoever desires to seek and find the ultimate Divine Truth.

As True Muslims we are obliged to tell people that our faith is one that esteems human life, human dignity, and human honor and respect.  Respect for fellow Muslims who are all brothers and sisters as the Prophet (pbuh) taught in his final sermon and also respect for ALL PEOPLE of ALL FAITHS.  Every person created no matter who or what they are or have been is ENTITLED to basic human respect and human rights!  Our faith grants the universal right for all to exist in peace, in safety, and in security!  Our faith does NOT teach us that we are to maim and kill.  Our faith does NOT condone acts of terror nor extremism!  Rather, our faith condones peaceful coexistence and tolerance not only for our fellow Muslims but also for ALL other people of all other faiths, cultures, and races.

Islam teaches that murder and suicide are both GREAT SINS.  In the eyes of Allah if you kill a person then it is as if you have killed the entire human race!  But, our faith also teaches that if you help to save a persons soul then it is as if you have saved the soul of the entirety of humanity!

Since Islam is a faith of security and peace it stands against all forms of aggression and oppression.  As true Muslims we are suppose to act with humbleness and we are not to oppress others be they fellow Muslims or not.  We are not to engage in acts of transgression (sin) or mischief.  We are not to engage in injustice or criminal acts such as thievery.  We are suppose to be living examples of a truly faithful people for all to see and hopefully people will be inspired by our own personal examples to submit themselves voluntarily to Allah.

As true Muslims we are forbidden from spreading or helping to spread corruption of any kind.  Allah wants us to be the best and most intelligent community of believers (Ummah).  He wants us to shine by our faith in Him for all the world to not only see but esteem.  He does not want us to wear our faith on our shirt sleeves but to LIVE it daily at all times and in everything we do.  He wants us to be thankful, merciful, forgiving, and compassionate towards others no matter what their religion, their skin color, their race, or anything else because He created ALL PEOPLE.

Muslims are suppose to forbid evil in any form.  We are suppose to correct wrongs using the means available to us and do so peacefully.  We must discharge our obligations with truthfulness, honesty, compassion, and wisdom (intelligence).  And we are to love Allah with our entire being and with all sincerity because in Him is our Hope and in Him the Faithful must put their trust because He is the sustainer and the only Hope.  Humans will always disappoint us one way or the other but Allah will not.

Muslims must realize that EVERYTHING we do is seen by Allah and that He holds us accountable for all that we do be it in public or private.  There is nothing we can hide from Allah.  There is nowhere we can go to hide from Allah. Look under a rock and He is there.  Gaze into the stars and He is there.  He is everywhere and sees and knows all things even those things we do in private or fail to do.  In worshiping Allah we form a relationship with Him, our God and our Maker.  This is why it is so important that once we establish that relationship with Him by submitting ourselves to Him that we maintain that relationship.  This works to improve our spiritual lives but it also works to improve our thinking and our social behavior.  God works on us from the inside out most often times and it is seen in our daily lives, or at least, it SHOULD be.

As Muslims we have obligations given to us by Allah.  One of those obligations is respecting and honoring our parents and doing what they way instead of fighting against them.  We must be nice and kind to our parents, to the people we live with, to our relatives, and to the people in the communities that live around us.  We must especially do so when it comes to widows, orphans, the disadvantaged, and the disabled.  And we must do so when it comes to those who live in our households.  These are all obligations of the True Muslim and if you are not doing these things then something is wrong with your faith and you need to make some corrections!  If you are filled with violence, hate, and aggression and you claim to be a Muslim then there is something wrong with you and your faith because those are the very things that Allah condemns and forbids of us!  And you need to make some corrections immediately before you find yourself burning in the fires of Hell instead of residing in Paradise!

As True Muslims we are suppose to be men and women and even children of HONOR and DIGNITY.  In everything we do and say we are to act with dignity and honor.  And we are to act with wisdom and intelligence as well.  We are ambassadors of Allah the Most Magnificent and Most High and we must always keep this in the front of our minds and act with dignity and honor not dishonor!

Allah wants us to be educated!  Not simply in the Qur’an and Hadiths but also in academics and all other areas.  He does not want His faithful to be stupid or to be idiots!  He wants us to work to improve the condition of humanity not only ourselves or those whom we care about but ALL of humanity!  We are not to mock each other nor be sarcastic with others.  And most especially we are not suppose to hate!!  Anyone! For ANY reason!!

A true Islamic society is NOT based on ruthlessness, oppression, or terror.  It is based on mutual love and respect! That is most important to keep in mind because some people including the extremists think just the opposite. Muslims are NOT to terrorize people be they fellow Muslims or non-Muslims!  We are to respect life especially human life.  We are to foster peace, peaceful coexistence, compassion, wisdom, intelligence, and humbleness.  WE are to avoid engaging in sinful things and shameful deeds.  We are to THINK before we speak and simply not rattle on!

When it comes to women in a truly Islamic society women are to be respected and honored.  They are NOT to be treated as slaves or sex slaves!  The Qur’an makes this clear over and over again.  We are to protect their rights and ensure their safety and security.  We are to protect them and act justly towards them.  And, YES, we are suppose to give them the honor of listening to them also!  We are to realize that women play a vital role in society and that they ARE important because they ARE!  Our family lives must be peaceful, respectful, and responsible.  Our family lives must be based on LOVE, understanding, dignity, and honor for EVERYONE in our family just not some!!

Fellow Muslims are obliged to treat other Muslims as brothers and sisters.  The Prophet (pbuh) made this perfectly clear in his final sermon before he passed!!  We must recognize our personal responsibility in all things and be accountable.  We are obliged by Allah to strengthen mutual love, mutual respect, and brotherhood/sisterhood in the community of believers.  We are NOT to be people who seek to create division and strife! Allah loves justice and those who act justly.  He loves those who act with fairness and equality.

Muslims must live the example set by the Prophet (pbuh).  We must live morally and ethically.  We must each the Qur’an and the Sunnah (practice) of the Prophet (pbuh) and we must seek to be perfect living examples of excellent moral behavior.  We are to show true courtesy to both Muslims and non-Muslims and we are to practice peace and tolerance in EVERYTHING that we do!  In doing all of these things Muslims will bring people to Allah and to Islam (submission to God).

We should NOT be ashamed of being Muslims!  We should NOT be afraid of being Muslims!  We should not water down our faith as Muslims!  We should feel proud to be Muslims and proud to serve Allah!  In all that we do we must NOT be ashamed or fearful that we are true representatives of the Faith of Allah.  The faith of PEACE, DIGNITY, HONOR, WISDOM, AND COMPASSION!!

These things are things that ALL MUSLIMS are obliged to do as taught in the Holy Qur’an and by the Prophet (pbuh).  If you are not doing these things then your are NOT a True Muslim and you need to make corrections in yourself, in your behavior, and in your thinking immediately!  If you don’t then you risk burning in Hell when you pass from this world and on the Day of Judgment.  Allah is very clear about what He demands of His servants.  Islam is not a complicated faith.  It is a simple faith!  Islam is not some mysterious faith riddled with uncertainty and confusion.  True Islam is a faith that is certain and very definite in what Allah expects from the True Believer in everything and every matter.

We live in very sad times.  Times in which many atrocities are being carried out in the name of religion including Islam.  Most people on this planet today have turned away from God in favor of materialism and their own egotism. All of the things of darkness and evil are esteemed while the things of light and good are detested.  As Muslims we are called to stand apart from this fallen and often evil world!  The same is so for Christians and Jews!  Did you know that?  Members of all three Faiths are called to stand apart from the evil in this world!  When we start to conform to this world we start to walk away from Allah!  This is why it is so important for the Believer not to give into the evil and horrible things we see in this world today!

Evil is running its course right now but it will not last forever because NOTHING in this world is forever!  Evil men are doing things in the name of our faith and other faiths and they will one day answer to Allah for all that they have done and of this we can be assured because Allah tells us so in his revelations and teachings to humanity.  I understand that MOST MUSLIMS are very angry by what the extremists are doing in the name of Islam today and justifiably so.  But, again, we must not give into that anger and hate!  We need to teach those who have gone astray! We need to help them make corrections.  WE must speak out and we must show people that True Muslims do not engage in nor condone the horrible things we see the extremists doing today!!  And we must be proud not ashamed in our Faith nor fearful!  Allah is our sole Sustainer and Protector!  He never charges us with more than we can handle or endure!  Right now He has charged True Believers with showing the world that the extremists DO NOT represent us!  In Allah alone, let the Truly Faithful put their Trust!!






Prayer from the Heart

In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate & the Merciful

I once read that prayer is talking to God while meditation is listening to Him.  I believe that to be true but, sadly, most of us engage in a lot of prayer (talking to Allah) while few of us engage in meditation (listening to Allah).  Any communication must work both ways.  One sided communication is not communication at all, really, so we need to learn not only to talk (pray) to God but to also listen (meditate) to God.  Yes, I do believe God talks to the faithful.

PrayerWhen we do pray we need to consider a thing or two.  We need to consider how we pray.  No I’m not talking about which direction we face when we pray or reciting a prayer from memory or out of a book.  I’m talking are real prayer! What is real prayer?  It is prayer that comes from the heart.

So many times when we pray we simply mouth words but those words have no real meaning because all we are doing is mouthing the words and those words are not coming from the heart.  It’s as if we are simply reciting a poem just mouthing the words with no real conviction or feeling.  That isn’t real prayer because God wants us to pray from the heart and not simply mouth the words.  He wants our words to have meaning and the only way our words can have meaning is when our prayer comes from the heart.

I think most will agree that the last thing we want to do is to simply pay the Creator lip service.  Lip service is just words.  Words that have no meaning.  Words that we simply mouth but that really mean nothing to us at all.  Guess what?  Such words have no meaning to Allah either!

When people complain to me that they believe Allah doesn’t hear their prayers the first thing I ask them is how they pray.  I’m not talking ritualistic behavior.  I’m asking them where do the words they pray come from.  Only out of their mouths or from their hearts?  Not surprisingly most of those who feel God doesn’t hear their prayers end up realizing that their prayers do not come from their hearts but that most of the time they only mouth the words.  And there’s the problem!

Allah does not want us to simply pay Him lip service.  He doesn’t want us to simply mouth words, empty words. Allah wants us to pray from our hearts because only those prayers that come from our hearts have any real meaning to Him or, frankly, to us.  If you pray and you feel God doesn’t hear your prayers perhaps you would do well to consider where your prayer words and feelings are coming from.  Your mouth or your heart?  I’m willing to bet that you don’t pray with conviction.  I’m willing to bet you simply pay God lip service.  And I’m willing to bet that when you start to pray from the heart you’ll come to realize that Allah DOES hear your prayers.

But, let’s make no mistake in this topic of prayer.  Some people seem to think that God is some sort of magician who simply exists to grant our every wish and desire.  Sorry but that’s NOT the way God works and God is not some sort of magician!  If you think God should answer your every prayer and grant your every desire then you’re in for a big disappointment.  Get the notion that God is a magician out of your head!  He’s not!  Much of what God does is He teaches us lessons.  Important lessons.  You might think that winning the lottery will solve your every woe and you might get mad at God when you pray to win the lottery and you don’t but God doesn’t see it the way you do.  For instance, God may think that should you win that lottery you will become greedy and selfish.  And to top it off you might even become egotistical beyond belief and turn away from Him.  That is not what God wants for you.  In the short term winning the lottery might solve SOME of your woes but in the long term it may make you into a kind of person that Allah doesn’t want you to be.  We tend to see things in the short term.  Allah, however, sees things in the long term.

When we pray (talk to God) we should always do so from our hearts and not simply pay lip service to Him.  Instead of always asking for something or wanting for something we should thank Him for what He has given us even for those little things that He has given us that we, unfortunately, tend to forget or take for granted.  And when we pray we should pray from our hearts with thankfulness to Him who is the Sustainer of All Things.  And finally, it is very important that when we pray (talk to Allah) we take a few moments to meditate (listen to Allah) because, as I said, communication MUST be a two way street or it’s not really communication at all.

Pray from your heart.  Don’t mouth words to God.  Listen to what God feels is best for you because He will let you know.  Our Allah is not dead nor is He distant.  Our Allah is very much living and close!  He hears all and knows all even the secrets within our hearts.  Nothing is hidden from Him!  He is closer to us than our own hearts if we but knew it and, indeed, we would know this to be so IF and WHEN we pray from the heart and leave all of our lip service behind.

May the blessings of Allah be upon you.  May He sustain you and guide you.  May He shower you and your loved ones with health, long life, and guidance.


Imam Muhammid Abbas

Masjid Rincon



What a Mess!!

It’s been awhile since I posted and the world hasn’t gotten any better, sadly.  Radicals are still going to and fro doing whatever they want mistakenly thinking that they are not engaging in sin, people are still being killed and people are still killing themselves in the name of “Allah” and sadly they don’t even realize how misguided they truly are.  And then we have ISIS that has somehow managed to quickly become a well armed and well financed army declaring a Caliphate and, sadly, it appears that outright murder….no…slaughter is the more precise term I think is the name of THEIR game.  Christians and other religious minorities in the regions they control are systematically slaughtered like cattle and meanwhile the world basically turns a blind eye.  Yes the US and others are launching attacks against them and Jordan’s King Abdullah has called for an Islamic military response to put ISIS out of commission forever, but still, the responses are minimal at best.  I can’t help but wonder just who is really funding ISIS and just how they got so far, so quickly.  What they are doing, the acts they are committing are NOT TRUE ISLAM!  Murder, suicide, and the killing of the People of the Book (Christians, Jews, Muslims) are all SINS!  The self proclaimed Caliph of ISIS seems not to know this nor does he seem to care.  And the young who blindly follow him seem not to know the TRUTH of the Holy Qur’an but only listen to him and his perverted interpretation of Islam.  In my opinion that is nothing short of absolutely disgusting!

Young people are LOST today!  And it just isn’t those joining ISIS or other radical Muslim groups.  They are found in every country, every culture, and every religion and non-religion.  Somewhere along the lines the world has committed a gross disservice to our youth.  Somewhere along the line we FAILED to teach our youth proper respect for human life, compassion, mercy, and forgiveness.  And somewhere along the line we FAILED to inspire our youth to commit CREATIVE acts and avoid destructive acts!  Our youth are our future.  Judging from the state and mind of many youth today our future, the world’s future, is looking pretty horrid!!  Have we now succeeded in raising a generation of psychopaths?  What kind of future can psychopaths give us?

The hate, the killing, the suicides, the disrespect, the ignorance MUST STOP!  We have an absolute obligation to retrain and re-educate our youth in how to be productive members of human society.  We have an absolute obligation to teach our young men and boys how to be men who are men of integrity, wisdom, intelligence, moderation, and providers for their families.  It’s PAST time for the thug image to go!  A thug should NOT be the ideal for ANYONE!  We must teach our young males to be truly MASCULINE MEN who are strong in body, mind, and spirit so that they might become men who create rather than destroy and kill.  WE as the ADULTS of human society have these absolute obligations and if we continue to shun those obligations then we can only ensure that the state of the world will grow much worse than it is even now.

And the West?  Looks to me like the West is falling apart at the seams!  Tensions between non-Muslims and Muslim immigrants are rising rapidly especially in places like Germany, France, and the UK.  In the US racial tensions are rising rapidly as while cops kill black Americans who have committed crimes.  Now people are shooting cops and even killing cops as two were killed last week in NYC.  Cops now seem to be the designated enemy of some people, sadly.  This is insane!  Black youth in America continue to be lost just like White youth, Asian youth, Hispanic youth, and all other youth.  Don’t get me wrong.  There are MANY youth who are trying to do the right thing and become positive members of human society but there are some who have gone the opposite way and those are the lost ones that we must reach out to and change.

Hate is a horrible thing!  Hate only breeds more hate!  Hate is one of the doorways to insanity and that doorway opens rather quickly when we chose to hate.  Not only do black youths need positive role models but so do all other youth.  Skin color is irrelevant!  Youth of all skin colors are looking for guidance especially male youth who are thirsting for male guidance and positive male role models after whom they can model their own lives.  This is NOT A RACIAL ISSUE nor is it a RELIGIOUS ISSUE!!  We have turned our backs on our youth and it is to our own peril as is presently being demonstrated and witnessed all across this planet today!  We need to stop the hate!  We need to stop the racism!  We as a species SERIOUSLY need to see BEYOND the color of someone’s skin and MOVE ON!!

Youth today have been handed a rotten apple and I’ll be the first to admit that.  WE have made them feel unworthy of just about anything, insignificant, and unwanted.  We have made them feel like they are unimportant and not of any value.  Yet, we are shocked when we see them committing horrific crimes are our news channels?  What did we expect they would do or did we even consider the ramifications?

I hear a lot of people say the world needs to change.  Ok fine!  Who does that change begin with? Answer….YOU….US!!  It doesn’t start with Joe Blow down the street or sitting in city hall.  It starts with every one of us!  We need to teach our youth VALUES AND MORALS that are consistent with the value for ALL LIFE!  We must begin to inspire our youth to be more than they are and to be better as human beings and citizens.  We must teach our youth how to be creators and leaders instead of allowing them to become destroyers and blind followers of some lunatic ideology!  OUR YOUTH ARE IMPORTANT AND WE MUST SEE THEM AS IMPORTANT!!

I think about the current state of the world and, frankly, it makes me sick, literally.  We as a species have come to a very BAD place.  A place we should NOT be!  A place where Allah (God) does NOT wish us to be!  Allah respects our choices and if we chose to become lost and go astray He will respect that choice too EVEN if it means we obliterate ourselves and become an extinct species.  Stop sitting around waiting for someone to come save you!  No one is going to save any of us from our own selves.  Life is about CHOICES and we make choices all of the time, known and unknown.  And we either reap the fruits of those choices OR we pay the consequences of our choices.  Right now the world is paying the consequences for some very BAD choices we’ve made in the past.  But it is NOT TOO LATE to change it and start making NEW and better choices!

I’ll be perfectly honest with you.  Sometimes I get sick of religions!  Why?  Because religions have more blood on their hands than all human wars combined in human history.  That is a sad statement of FACT!  We all proclaim peace, love, compassion, forgiveness but where are our ACTIONS?  We can proclaim anything we want but the proof comes in our ACTIONS!  Life is not only about choices but life is also about ACTION.  We need to seriously practice what we proclaim and preach no matter what our religion is.

We live in some very sad times.  The human race is in great turmoil right now.  We are sitting around waiting for someone to save us but the ONLY one who is going to save us is US!!  Don’t you think it’s about time we get up off our collective ASSES and JUST DO IT?!!  If we don’t then we can look forward to an increasingly violent and hate filled world.  A world of darkness and outright evil.  I don’t know about you but I do NOT want to live in such a world!


A Simple Man Prays and Ponders….Hakim

“God is most great!
I testify there is no God but Allah.
I testify that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.
Come and Pray!
Come and Flourish!
God is most Great!
There is no God but Allah.”


A man simply dressed kneels in humbleness and prayer as the call of the Muezzin rings through the crisp morning air calling the faithful to come and worship.  As he kneels in prayer the man is reminded that this world is but a sport and passtime in which he must prepare himself for Akhirah (the afterlife).

We shall call this simply dressed man who prostrates himself in humbleness and submission to Allah, Hakim.  As he prays he is reminded not only that this life is a test but he is reminded that his sojourn on this physical world is but temporary.  His eternity rests in Akhirah (Paradise) and even though he is in this physical realm he is not of this physical realm because he belongs to Allah.

Hakim begins to contemplate and reflect after prayers.  He reflects on the passage spoken of today by the Imam in the Masjid.  The Imam referenced the passage in the Qur’an that says:

“And when you Lord said to the angels,
I Am going to place in the Earth a Khalif (viceregent),
they said:
Will you place in it such as shall make mischief in it and shed blood,
while we celebrate your praise and extol your Holiness?
He said, I know what you do not know.”
(Sura Al-Baqara 2:.30)

Hakim is reminded that he is a Khalif, a viceregent, and that in all he does he must act, speak, and think with dignity and honor.  He knows that he is a living example to others who look up to him.  He knows that his own example of faith and intelligence is an example to others of what they must be when they submit themselves to Allah (Islam).  Hakim is a man of honor.  He is a man of intelligence and of compassion and mercy.  For, this is how Allah has created and molded him.

Hakim reflects on his humble creation.  How Allah created him from water and clay.  He is humbled by the thought and reminds himself of the coming Day of Resurrection (Yawm al Qiyamah).  He knows that on that day he will stand before Allah to answer for all of his deeds and Allah will them judge him as He will all other human beings.

Hakim knows he is not perfect but he strives to do and to be the kind of man Allah desires him to be.  He is a man who walks with his head bowed in humbleness.  He detests the arrogant among men who walk with their heads held high because he knows such egotism is sin.  He speaks softly and with compassion but let this not be taken as weakness for Allah has molded Hakim into a man like Al-Hadid (Iron).  He is strong in body, in mind, and in spiirt (faith).  He is self controlled and self disciplined in his thoughts, words, and deeds.  This he has learned over the years of his life and looking back when he was young he sees clearly how foolish he was.  As many young do he did things he now regrets and he hangs his head in shame but he has begged for Allah’s mercy and he has been forgiven by Him.  Yet, this too causes Hakim to bow his head in humbleness even more.

He begins to ponder the example he sets.  His faith in Allah is strong and he does not hesitate to tell others about Islam and Allah.  He strives to do good in his life and not to create mischief.  Daily he gives thanks to Allah for what he has been given by Him.  Hakim is thankful for his life blessings bestowed upon him by the Most Merciful, Most Giving One.  Even in bad times Hakim still gives thanks to Allah as He is pleased when a man gives him thankfulness in both good and bad times.  Hakim knows well his place as a viceregent (Khalif) of Allah.  He avoids evil and corruption and he treats others with fairness, compassion, mercy, and understanding.  Allah has taught him patience and endurance over the years of his life.  He has been put through many tests, through the fires, and purified as gold.  He places his trust in no man, no ideology but only in Allah as he remembers the words in the Qur’an:

“In Allah let the faithful put their trust.”

Hakim is a man of honor.  His word is his bond.  When he gives his word to do something it is as good as gold and others can rely on it.  He is not double minded nor is he a hypocrite.  His words match his actions, always.  He seeks no recognition.  He quests after no fame.  Allah desires him to be humble and thankful he knows.  He does not need recognition or fame to lift up his ego because he has overcome his ego and Hakim has become Self-Less not self-ish.

Who is this one called Hakim who walks in the footsteps of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)?  Who is this man who is wise?  Who is this Hakim…..this Brother?

He is you….and me….and all who are truly Faithful.  He is seen everywhere in every land and of every skin color.  He is one who is rightly guided, strong in faith, strong in wisdom and in compassion.  For he, this Hakim is a true Muslim who walks through the days of his life under the guidance of Allah.

Again, Hakim’s attention turns to the call of the Muezzin and he returns to pray letting the words sink into the depth of his soul…………

“God is Most Great!
I testify there is no God but Allah.
I testify that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.
Come and Pray!
Come and Flourish!
God is most Great!
There is no God but Allah.”

Amir al-Mu'minin

Life Struggles: Allah Refining the Gold

“Allah never charges a soul with more than it can bear.”
Sura al-Baqara 2:286

goldThe above verse from the Holy Qur’an is one that I’ve struggled with over the years.  Sometimes life seems so monumental that things can not be overcome and sometimes life is such a struggle that I have a hard time seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.  We’ve all felt that way wondering when and how we might overcome some problem or struggling to make ends meet.  Sometimes I feel like giving up or as if there is no hope.  Other times I wonder how Allah could charge me with something in my life that seems  like I cannot overcome it.  Sometimes I do feel like God has given me more than I can bear, frankly.

As we go about our lives on this physical world we tend to develop tunnel vision.  That is, we tend to not see the bigger picture of things but instead focus on our narrow vision.  This is especially true with life problems and life struggles.  Sometimes we see no way out, no way to overcome what confronts us or no way to resolve the struggle that we are involved in.  Life can get pretty gloomy and dark.  Life can get pretty depressing and hard.  For the unbeliever he tends to immerse himself in drugs, alcohol, sexual addictions, or other escapes in a futile effort to “deal with” what confronts him.  Such things only make the problem or struggle worse not better.  The difference between the unbeliever and the believer is that the believer relies on Allah not drugs, not sex, not alcohol, not anything else.  The believer prays.  The unbeliever does not.  Continue reading

The Muslim is Suppose to Live Islam not pay it lip service!

by Dr Anwar Abbas El-Hadiz,  Imam Masjid Rincon

art1This now past week Muslims around the world commemorated the birthday of the founder and prophet of Islam, Muhammad (pbuh).  Muslims from around the world began flocking to Meccas on holy pilgrimage as the Hajj began as well.  This week has been a time for Muslims to reflect and to strengthen their faith in God.  It’s also been a time for us to examine our own lives and evaluate honestly if we are taking on the life of the Prophet as our own personal pattern and example to be emulated in our lives.  For, in the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) Allah has given us a beautiful pattern of conduct and example to follow and emulate as taught in Sura 33 of the Holy Qur’an.

“You have indeed in the Messenger of Allah
a beautiful pattern of conduct
for anyone whose hope is God and the final day.”
Sura Al-Ahzab  33:21

Muslims should not only examine themselves on the Prophet’s birthday but every day.  We should evaluate our conduct and see if we truly are living the high standards and values of the Qur’an and if we are not then we must begin to live them.

One thing about the Prophet Muhammad that I want to focus on in this post today is the way he treated the Christians, Jews, and other minority religions.  For one thing he did not impose Muslim law (Sharia) on them but Christians and Jews were judged by the standards set in their respective faiths.  Judgments were handed down to them in accordance with the punishments outlined in their own faiths.  Sharia law did not apply to them and Muhammad (pbuh) certainly did not impose it on them and this is historical fact. Continue reading

Loving the Sinner? What are Muslims suppose to do?

It is easy to whip people into a frenzy especially using religion.  Religion appeals to our emotions and most of us have some very strong emotions when it comes to our religions.  The sad thing about religion is that it has killed more people than in all human wars combined.  Religion can be used for two things.  It can be used to whip people into a frenzy of hatred and even violence by which many atrocities are committed “in the name of God” even though, let me assure you, God has nothing to do with it at all.  In such situations we sadly tend to use our religions to justify our actions and words of hate and sometimes some people even try to use their religion as justification for murder.  But there is another side to this and that is that the second thing our religions can be used for is Love.

doveIn Islam there are 99 names for Allah (God) and one of those names that is often overlooked is
“Al-Wadud” meaning “The Loving.”  In the Bible this same name or characteristic of God is put as “God is Love.”  We forget sometimes that this is another aspect of God who has many aspects yet it is one of the most important aspects of Allah.  The Koran teaches that war is to be resorted to only as a last result and only when unavoidable.  It teaches that suicide and murder are sins.  It teaches that the slaughter of innocents is a sin.  And it teaches that in war the Muslim is to observe the limits and not go beyond those limits.  That is, we are to show mercy ALWAYS.

The world today is literally overflowing with hate and I really do not think it is the job of the faithful to help increase that hate.  Yet, sadly, there are some today who are helping to increase it when they ought to be working to increase love.  Working to proclaim that great aspect of Allah known as Al-Wadud, “the Loving.” Continue reading

Muhammad’s Letters to the Christians

“You have indeed in the Messenger of God a beautiful pattern of conduct
for anyone whose hope is God and the Final Day.”
Sura Al-Ahzab 33:21

Interfaith1As true Muslims we are suppose to be following the example set by the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).  So why aren’t we?  Sadly, many Muslims today like to simply pay lip service to this command but they don’t really do it.  Even more sadly most Muslims have at least one copy of the Holy Qur’an in their homes but the problem is it is never read so they don’t know what God’s Word teaches and what it does not.  The same can be said about Christians and their Bibles and the Jews and their Torah.  The Holy Books just lay around collecting dust as they are never opened and never read or studied.  This is ignorance!  As believers we certainly should study our holy writs and know what they say and what they do not say.  Depending on some religious leader (Imam, Priest, or Rabbi) to simply tell us what our holy book says is foolish.  We, ourselves, should know what they say and what they do not say!

That said, as Muslims we are suppose to be following in the footsteps of the Servant of Allah, the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).  We are suppose to use him as our ideal in our own lives and model our lives after him.  Unfortunately some Muslims don’t seem to know much about the example set by him although we should know.

When it comes to interfaith issues and dealing with non-Muslims, Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) set some very clear examples in how we are suppose to deal with them.  Those examples are contrary to what we see in the world today when it comes to Muslim treatment of non-Muslims.  Let us now look at a few of those examples and at two letters issued by the Prophet concerning Christians.

When Islam first began some of the first Muslims found safety and refuge in the Christian Kingdom of what is now Ethiopia.  They were fleeing from the Meccans who were pursuing them and wanting to kill them.  The Christian king gave them asylum and he refused to hand them over to the Meccans when they demanded he do so.  The Christian king gave the Muslims protection and asylum and thus began a long relationships between Muslims and Christians.  A relationship of mutual tolerance, mutual respect, and mutual protection.  Where is that today? Continue reading

Are You Following God…..or man???

Are we listening to God?  Or do we turn away from Him when He speaks and we play deaf and dumb?  Sadly, many people in the world today turn away and play deaf and dumb.  They are too locked into materialism and/or they simply do not want to think that they will ever be held to account for their actions come Judgment Day.  Sura 8 teaches us that in Allah’s view the most detested people are those who play deaf and dumb and who do not even try to understand His Truth and Wisdom.

“For the worst of beasts in the sight of Allah
are the deaf and dumb, those who understand not.”
Sura 8:22

wheatYou can read anything but do you understand it?  Or are you just reading the words?  Reading and understanding are two different things and just because you read something does not necessarily mean you understand it.

Here’s another sad fact of the modern world.  Many today don’t even try to understand something because they rely on someone else to tell them what it says and convey to them THEIR understanding.  Their understanding might be right or it might be wrong.  In fact, the person conveying to you their understanding might just be an outright liar with a hidden agenda and, thus, he is attempting to deceive or confuse you.  How can you understand something based on what others say?  Why don’t you attempt to understand whatever it is YOURSELF? Continue reading