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God Brings Peace and Security not Fear!

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[Sura 24:55]  GOD promises those among you who believe and lead a righteous life, that He will make them sovereigns on earth, as He did for those before them, and will establish for them the religion He has chosen for them, and will substitute peace and security for them in place of fear. All this because they worship Me alone; they never set up any idols beside Me. Those who disbelieve after this are the truly wicked.

It is time for the God-fearing, silent majority of Muslims to speak up against the injustice done to true Islam, Submission to God’s will—the religion of strict monotheism: The religion of Abraham, Moses, Jesus, Muhammad and all messengers and believers.

(Source:  Submitters Perspective Newsletter, Masjid Tucson, April 2011, Vol 27, No. 4, Tucson, AZ, USA)

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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!!

Salaam

 

 

 

 

Choices: The Present World or the Hereafter?

Al-Insra (The Children of Israel) is an important Sura for believers.  It is the 17th chapter (sura) in the Qur’an.  I’m not going to go through the entire Sura but through verses 13-25 because they are important and have much to say to us today.  Beginning with verse 13 here is what it says:

[17.13] And We have made every man’s actions to cling to his neck, and We will bring forth to him on the resurrection day a book which he will find wide open:
[17.14] Read your book; your own self is sufficient as a reckoner against you this day.
[17.15] Whoever goes aright, for his own soul does he go aright; and whoever goes astray, to its detriment only does he go astray: nor can the bearer of a burden bear the burden of another, nor do We chastise until We raise an apostle.

Verses 13-15 make it clear to the believer that nothing we do is ever hidden from Allah.  No matter how small or how large our sin is it is not hidden and is, in fact, seen by Allah.  All of our actions cling to our necks like an open book before the eyes of Allah be our actions good or bad.  On the Judgment Day all that we have done will be exposed for all to see as that book will be wide open.  We need to think about this and stop fooling ourselves by thinking that Allah can’t see what we are doing in our lives.  He most certainly can and He does see everything we do.  Verse 14 clearly points out that our very own selves will witness against us on that Last Day!  That’s pretty unnerving.  Our own selves will testify against us before Allah on Judgment Day.  And what better witness than our own selves from which nothing is hidden either.  We might like to pretend that we don’t remember something but, in fact, we do.  Everything we do will one day either testify for us or against us so we ought to be more careful about what we do and what we don’t do.  Imagine the sting some people are going to feel that Last Day when their own selves testify against them?  It’s not going to be pretty!

[17.16] And when We wish to destroy a people, We send Our commandment to the people of it who lead easy lives, but they transgress therein; thus the word proves true against it, so We destroy it with utter destruction.
[17.17] And how many of the generations did We destroy after Nuh! and your Lord is sufficient as Knowing and Seeing with regard to His servants’ faults.

We like to think that God destroyed human society in the days of Noah (Nuh) before the flood but according to the Qur’an, Allah has destroyed human society several times in various places.  Look at all of the lost empires once great and which no longer exist.  Those people thought they were creating something that would last forever but their empire didn’t and, in fact, their empires are now dead.  The Qur’an has something very interesting to say about this in the above verses.  It says that before Allah destroys a society He sends for His commandments to the rich and powerful people in the society most likely in hopes that they will repent.  But, normally they don’t and, thus, prove again that they are transgressors (sinners) and, again, their own word testifies against them just like it does with all of us rich or poor, powerful or powerless.  So since the rich and powerful won’t repent Allah destroys them and the society and He’s done this many times in the past.  In fact, I think He’s doing it right now today!

There’s something badly wrong with global society today.  Humanity has become a people that esteem power and wealth at any price.  We worship money and materialism and on the whole humanity has now turned its back against God.  We are in the times of the Great Apostacy which some call the times of the Great Turning Away from God.  We’ve thrown God out of just about everything in our society.  We’ve taken Him out of our schools, government, personal affairs, and everything else.  We’ve handed God a second class position in the world when, in fact, we should have given Him the First Class position in the world and in our personal lives.  But, on the whole, human society has not done that. Continue reading

Showing Compassion and Kindness is the Duty of Every Believer

Sometimes something as simple as a smile or a kind word of appreciation can make a world of difference in a persons day.  Think of times when you were having not so cherry blossomsgood of a day and someone came along, maybe even a stranger, and just gave you a little smile or spoke some kind word to you.  And think of how that simple act changed your entire day from not so good to good.  Suddenly you had something to smile and feel good about.  Suddenly you felt like someone cared or at least acknowledged your presence and that made all of the difference in the world.  Kindness and compassion can be just simple little acts.  Simple little gestures or words.  And they don’t have to be much to change things around either.

I often think about how we treat one another.  We seem to spend a lot of time undercutting each other, gossiping, or going behind someone’s back.  We seem to spend a lot of time being envious or jealous, sadly.  And we seem to spend a lot of time being inwardly angry or frustrated.  Walking down the streets of some of the world’s biggest cities I’m often amazed at the lack of humanity shown by most people.  You walk the street in what resembles a cattle herd, never making eye contact with anyone, never speaking to anyone and the problem is we are not in a Continue reading

The Message of Pope Francis I

The Roman Catholic Church has not officially installed Pope Francis I as the new leader of millions of Christian Catholics around the world.  Francis is a simple man and a down-to-earth man and it appears that not only is he modest but that he has much common sense.  Among those guests in attendance at his installation ceremony held at the Vatican in Rome were Sheik Amir Abdullah of Bahrain, the Patriarch of the Eastern Orthodox Church whom haven’t attended such an event in 1000 years, and the Chief Rabbi of Italy.  Unlike many other such installations it appears that this Pope has an eye for interfaith dialogue and mutual respect of other faiths and I think that is a good thing.

In his homily after celebrating Mass, Pope Francis called on people and world leaders to care for nature, for the poor, and for the disadvantaged.  He told the gathered crowd that a little compassion can open up a horizon of hope.  He called on people around the world to start taking care of one another and asked the faithful to pray for him.  The Pope said that there is a need to protect the environment, to serve one another with love, and to not allow “omens of destruction” such as hatred, envy, and pride to “defile our lives.” Continue reading