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Women!

Just a few days ago ISIS (aka the Islamic State in the Levant) executed numerous women (young and not so young) because they refused to have sex with ISIS fighters.  This isn’t the first time this terror group has done this.  It seems the “caliph” of ISIS thinks women are required to sexually serve his fighters without question.  Does he realize what he’s doing is turning them into whores?

What many Muslim men don’t realize is that they have an obligation to their women.  They are obligated to care for their women and children.  Women should be respected not disrespected.  Turning women into whores is not respecting them.  It’s disrespecting them!

The Qur’an teaches that murder is WRONG, a sin.  The slaughter of all those women a few days ago was wrong!  How can any true Muslim follow someone who slaughters women for their refusal to become whores?  How can such action be justified before the face of Allah?  Such actions are NOT true Islam!  And those who sanction such actions are NOT true Muslims!  Follow them and you too will go the same place they are headed to on Judgment Day. HELL! If you really are a True Muslim you need to consider what I say and think about what you are doing before that day comes.

Women, like men, are God’s sacred creation.  We should respect them and be kind to them.  We should listen to them whether we agree with them or not.  We at least owe them the courtesy of listening to them.  They are not animals!  They are HUMAN BEINGS just like men are.  Abuse them and you commit SIN.  Kill them and you commit an even bigger sin!  Do these things and you might think you are a true Muslim but I have news for you.  Allah ALREADY knows you are NOT.

 

 

 

 

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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

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

A Disease Called Hate!

“O you who believe!  Stand out firmly for Allah as bearers of justice,
and let not hatred of others incite you to act wrongly or depart from justice.
Be just, that is next to piety and fear Allah,
for Allah is aware of all that you do.”
Sura  Ma’ida  5:8

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Far too often we let hatred get the best of us and we end up doing things that we later regret and wish he had not done.  Hatred is a horrible thing and it can quickly spin out of control if we are not careful.  People who have allowed their hatred to get the best of them have done some horrible things in the world and people have even killed each other because of their hate for one another and they still do today.

From the above teaching in the Holy Qu’ran we see clearly that God does not want Muslims to let hatred incite them to commit acts of wrong (sin) nor allow hate to detour us from being just to others.  Over and over again in the Qur’an, Allah admonishes Muslims to be just and merciful, to be people who are bearers of justice and mercy.  In short, Allah want us to be self disciplined and NOT controlled by our emotions.  Emotional people tend to react without thinking and end up doing things they later regret and wish they had not done.  Allah knows this and to avoid this He wants the Faithful to be self disciplined in body, thought, and in spirit.

The Gospels call upon the faithful to be “humble” and, sadly, some people do not even really know the meaning of that word.  They equate the word with being weak but that is not what being humble is.  Being humble, in fact, is strength, being strong!  Humble means to be self disciplined and not allow yourself to be ruled by your emotions.  Being humble is NOT being a wimp but it is being strong and self disciplined in body, mind, and spirit.

Allah does not want us to hate!  He wants the faithful to act with mercy, compassion, and INTELLIGENCE.  He wants us to act with SELF CONTROL and not be ruled by our emotions which often get us into trouble that we later regret.  He doesn’t want us adding to the hatred in the world but wants each of us to be beacons of compassion!  How many of us can say we are that?  If we cannot say that we are beacons of compassion then it’s time for us to start being so for this is the Will of Allah! Continue reading

Who Is Your Pattern and Ideal?

“God commands you to repay pledges to the people due them; and to judge with justice when you judge between people. Excellent is what God instructs you; for God is all-knowing, all-seeing.”
 [Sura an-Nisa’ 4: 58]

“You have indeed in the Messenger (Muhammad) 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 Allah.”
(Sura Al-Ahzab  33:21)

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As Muslims were are admonished by Sharia (the Law of God) to repay our debts to those whom we owe be they monetary debts or debts of favor.  Further, as Muslims we are also admonished by Allah to judge others justly with fairness and with compassion not with injustice and anger.  Among true Muslims there is a long, long tradition of justice and fairness mixed with mercy and compassion.  Sadly, in today’s world we seem to see little of those things not just among Muslims but among Christians, Jews, and all others as well.  For, it seems we live in a lost world today that is guided by egotism, greed, selfishness, injustice, and a gross lack of mercy and forgiveness.  These are NOT the things God wants us to be engaging in, however!  The Prophet Issa (Jesus) (pbuh) taught that even though we are IN the world, we are not OF the world.  Thus, we must NOT conform ourselves to the world but to God’s Will and Law if we are true believers.  In the Holy Qur’an Allah admonishes us to repay our debts and owe no one anything and He admonishes us in our dealings with others to be just, compassionate, and forgiving and this is exactly what we will do IF we are True Believers in God and the Last Day.

The Prophet Muhammd (pbuh) was such a man.  He was a man who was guided by justice, fairness, forgiveness, and mercy along with compassion.  Yes, he was also a soldier but more than that he was a true Warrior for in battle he could be ruthless but off the battlefield he proved to be a man of compassion, justice, and intelligence.  This is the mark of the true Warrior!  Those who slaughter and who have no compassion or justice are nothing but killers.  They are not true Warriors nor are they guided by the code of Warriors.

The Gospels encourage Christians to pattern and emulate their lives after Issa (Jesus) (pbuh) and Muslims are encouraged to pattern and emulate their lives after the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).  Both of these men were prophets of Allah and both of them were warriors.  Jesus was more a spiritual warrior while Muhammad was more a warrior on the field of battle but the fact remains that both were true warriors and both lived by the code of warriors which is compassion, mercy, forgiveness, and intelligence.  Both were men of justice who sought to treat others justly and in both we all have examples by which we can, and should, pattern and emulate in our own lives.

An ideal is something we hold high and dear.  It is something that we aspire to become like.  In the case of Muslims and Christians our ideal should be the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and the Prophet Issa (pbuh).  We should use them as a pattern and example for our own personal lives as men and as women with our goal being to become like them in their compassion, in their forgiveness, in their justice, and in their intellect.  Both men were wise men.  Both men were intelligent men.  We too must be wise and intelligent becasue God does NOT want us to be ignorant of anything.  And in our dealing with other people we must always strive to be just and fair and avoid being ruthless and unjust.  The wise and intelligent man forgives.  The ignorant and foolish man does not!

Prophet Issa (Jesus) (pbuh) taught, “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.”  In our ponderings concerning justice we need to really consider this teaching.  Can you cast the first stone?  Can I?  Most certainly not!  None of us are without sin and error on this world and it is only in the next world that we might achieve perfection.  This is a lost and often ruthless and cruel world marked by injustice and unfairness BUT we don’t have to be like others in this world who are unbelievers.  God has given us a different Way, His Way.  His Way is NOT the way of the world but, most often, is exactly opposite from the ways of this lost and dark world of men and jinn.  Each of us must choose which way we will follow and pattern our lives after.  We have the choice of emulating the two Prophets OR we have the choice of simply following the world into the abyss of darkness.  The choice is ours as Allah always gives us choices and forces us to do nothing.  What choice have you made?  What choice will you make?  As for me and my house we have chosen the Way of Allah and forsaken the ways of the world, the fallen and evil ways of both man and jinn.

Interfaith1

We Are All Caliphs of Allah–Part 2 !!

Caliph2

In November of 2012 I published a post entitled, “Kalifs! That’s what we are suppose to be!”.  You can find that post at:

https://azurshah.wordpress.com/2012/11/02/khalifs-thats-what-we-are-suppose-to-be/

This morning during my daily prayers and study I was reading the second Sura entitled al-Baqara and once again paid particular attention to verse 30 which I included in my earlier post.  Here’s what it says:

“Behold!  The Lord said to the angels, “I will create a Viceregent (Caliph) on Earth.”  They (the angels) said, “Will you place on the Earth one who will make mischief and shed blood?  While we do celebrate your praises and glorify your Holy Name?”  Allah said, “I know what you do not know.”
(Sura al-Baqara 2:30)

Another translation of this same passage says:

“And when your Lord said to the angels, “I am going to place in the Earth a Khalif,”  the angels said, “What!  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 2:30)

As I mentioned in the previous post the Bible says the same thing.  2 Corinthians 5:20 says that true Christians are suppose to be “Ambassadors for Christ.”  Like a Caliph an Ambassador is a representative or a viceregent for a great and powerful Sultan (King) and in this case that great King is none other than Allah Himself.

A Caliph was a head of state ruling over a Caliphate but the title also referred to the ruler of the Islamic Ummah (community of the faithful).  That community of believers was under Shariah Law which is the Islamic Holy Law.  The wife of a Caliph held the title of Calipha.

A Caliph was also a Lieutenant or, in Islam, the successor of the Prophet Mohammad (pbuh).  The term also refers to a deputy or representative  in this case of God.  In the Holy Qur’an it is used to establish Adam’s role as the representative of God on Earth.  It is also used to point out clearly that man’s role in the earth and his real and true nature is as a Khalif or Viceroy of Allah.

A Caliph is historically and traditionally the Islamic leader of the Ummah (community of the faithful).  Therefore, a Caliph was the Grand Imam (prayer leader, clergyman).  As such he was also known as the Amir al Mu’minin or Miramolin in Spanish.  This title was typically translated as Leader or Commander of the Faithful.  It also literally means “Prince of Believers.”

We need to think about the role Allah has handed to mankind and womankind in the earth because this role of Caliph or Ambassador is VERY important.  It is something we must take seriously and be ever so aware of in our daily lives.  Consider that when Allah created man and woman that he told the angels he was creating a Viceregent on the earth.  The Gospels say the SAME thing when they speak of Christians being coheirs with Christ.  Thus, the truly faithful among the People of the Book MUST be evermindful of this role given them by Allah Himself and it is a role to be taken very seriously.  Yes, the angels questioned God over this role and creation of humankind as the angels said man would create mischief and shed blood on the earth and, indeed, many have.  But, Allah simply responded by saying that He knew what the angels did not know when it comes to humans.  So what did Allah know?  I think that it is this.  That in the end the truly faithful WILL TRIUMPH over evil and fully assume our place as Caliphs/Ambassadors!

Al-Ghazali was an Islamic commentator and scholar.  He was an Islamic Persian Philosopher as well.  He offered some pointers for leaders in his book entitled “Nashihat al-Muluk” (Advice for Kings).  Here’s some of that advice he gave.

He adviced that a rule (Caliph, Prince) should understand both the importance and dangers of authority entrusted to him.  He pointed out that in authority there is great blessing because he who exercises it wisely and righteously can obtain unsurpassed happiness.  But, the prince who fails to understand this incurs torment in the afterlife surpassed only by torment for unbelief.  In other words, Allah has given humans great authority and power as Caliphs and He expects us to understand that authority and use it wisely and rightly so that we will have great blessings upon us.  But those who fail to understand and use authority properly due to their unbelief in God do so at their own peril and risk eternal damnation in the  Hell fires.  With authority comes great responsibilty and in this cae that responsibility is great as it is bestowed upon us by Allah Himself.

Al-Ghazali also advices that the Caliph should always desire to meet with devout religious scholars and seek their advise and guidance in his decision making.  God makes some men wiser than others.  He makes some men more knowledgeable than others.  Thus, we should seek out these wise and learned men who know much about the ways of Allah and seek their advice and guidance in our lives in order that we might draw closer to God.  Al-Ghazali also advices that the ruler (Caliph) should understand that he must not covet things or people especially the wives of other men.  Further, that he must be content with personally reframing from injustice and discipline those who serve under him by never tolerating unjust conduct from them or from himself.  Al-Ghazali also points out that in the afterlife on our Judgement Day we WILL be held to account and questioned by Allah about our unjust deeds and those people who served under us.  In other words we as Caliphs are responsible for our families, friends, and coworkers.  We are responsible for enlightening and educating them by teaching them the ways of Allah and making them wise.  If we fail then we shall answer for it.  Similarly, the Gospels teach that a pastor is responsible for his flock of the faithful and he too will answer for his unjust deeds and failure to educate his flock in the ways of God through Jesus Christ.  I don’t know about you but I want to act justly and taking Al-Ghazali’s advice into account it makes me want to be even more just because I do not want to answer to Allah for my unjust deeds even though I am not a saint as none of us are.

Al-Ghazali also advices that the prince should NOT be dominated by self pride.  That means we should not allow our egos to rule over us!  Egotism and arrogance are SINS shown first by none other than Satan (Iblis) himself before God and God detests human arrogance and egotism.  Pride gives rise to anger, as al-Ghazali points out, and anger causes feelings for revenge against others.  He says, “Anger is the evil genius and blight of the intellect.”  He advices that if anger dominates the ruler then the ruler must begin to make a habit of generosity and move in the direction of forgiveness and forbearance UNLESS the man desires to be like a wild beast.  Yes, anger can make you crazy.  Crazy with rage!  In the end some men become so angry and crazed that they are like wild beasts with rabies.  They will answer for this before Allah on Judgement Day even though they do not think so.

Al-Ghazali advices also that in EVERY situation the prince (Caliph) he should figure that he is the subject and the other person is the holder of authority.  In other words, we are to be self disciplined and act with HUMBLENESS not arrogance and pride.  Further, we should NOT sanction for others ANYTHING that we would not sanction for ourselves!  For, if we do sanction for others what we do not for our own selves then we are acting unjustly and unrighteously and we betray the authority Allah has entrusted to every true believer.  Further, when people come to us for help or guidance we should not ignore them or disregard them but, instead, as True Muslims we should enlighten them, help them, and aid believers in settling their arguements and disagreements.

Al-Ghazali says that the Caliph (Believer) should not make a habit of indulging in their passions.  That we must be content with what we have in life because by being content it is the only way we can act justly and rightly.  If we are not content with what we have then just conduct will NOT be possible.  We must not want as many people today want for everything but, instead, we must give thanks to Allah for what we have and be content with what He has given us.  We must be grateful not ungrateful.  Further, the prince should make the utmost effort to behave gently and avoid being harsh.

Al-Ghazali also advices that the prince should endeavor to keep all of his subjects pleased with him.  In other words, we must work to keep our families, friends, and coworkers happy with us and avoid confrontation.  We should not be deluded by praise others give us and we must also realize that not all people will always be happy with us.  We must learn from our faults and mistakes and we must take the constructive criticism of others into account and correct our behavior in life as well.

Finally, al-Ghazali advices that the prince should NOT give satisfaction to ANY person who seeks to undercut Shaira (God’s Law) and he assure us that no real harm can come to us from such a person (infidel) as Allah already is standing against them.  We must be wise and not taken in or conned by those who are unbelievers.  As the Gospels teach, we must use our gift of DISCERNMENT especially when it comes to dealing with the unbelievers.  God does not want us to be fools or idiots.  He wants us to be wise and knowledgeable.  Although al-Ghazali’s advice is written for rulers it also is applicable to us as CALIPHS as Allah has made EVERY believer a Viceregent and this is a divinely given duty and responsibility that we CANNOT and MUST NOT ignore or take lightly.

Sa’laam

For Part 1 see the following link:

https://azurshah.wordpress.com/2012/11/02/khalifs-thats-what-we-are-suppose-to-be/

 

Real Leaders Lead By Personal Example

God wants the believer to be strong.  Strong in body, in mind, and in spirit.  But God especially wants the believer to be strong in faith too.  To be strong in body means exercising the body and eating healthy foods to stay fit.  It also means disciplining the Islam symbolbody to keep it strong and away from things that may harm one’s health.  To be strong in mind means to discipline the mind, to practice good values, and to educate the mind in all things.  It means acting with dignity and respect.  It means controlling your behaviors, emotions, and thoughts as well as your words.  Words are powerful and the believer must speak wisely and not be quick to speak like fools do.  To be strong in spirit means to educate yourself in God’s Wisdom and to have a strong faith in God.  It means disciplining yourself in the ways of Allah and doing as Allah truly wants you to do.  It means living by His laws and controlling our selfish desires and wants.  It means acting wisely and being humble.  Like the ancient Chinese proverb says: Continue reading