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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

 

 

 

 

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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

Unbelievers Have Already Failed the Test

“Enter the gates of Hell to abide therein,
evil then is the adobe of the proud.”
Sura 40:76

light3Don’t you ever get tired of it?  I’m talking about all of the lies, deception, and con games that some people play.  They screw each other and life for them is all about what they can get for themselves while they really don’t give a damn about anyone but themselves.  Everything is funny to them and a joke no matter how cruel, sick, or demented it is.  They love to mock others especially the faithful and they think we are weak pushovers that they can screw over on everything.  They walk about with their heads held high and their arrogance is sometimes astounding.  They act like they are the greatest thing that ever hit the planet when in fact they are the WORST!  Oh yes, and they all claim to believe in God but you’d never know it by their actions because their actions do not match their words.  Lying is no big deal to them and neither is screwing others over for what they can get.  These are the unbelievers.  These are the people going to Hell.  Oh they don’t think so and, in fact, many of them don’t even believe in Hell or Judgment Day but that really doesn’t matter as their unbelief does NOT change the FACT!  Just because you don’t believe in something doesn’t make it unreal.  You can believe that the sky is not blue yet the sky is blue despite what you believe.

There is an old bit of wise wisdom that says, “Never underestimate the enemy.”  Many a mighty army has been vanquished because they underestimated their enemy.  In this case, the enemy is the unbelievers and they must not be underestimated.  Despite how detestable they really are we must keep in mind that they are not ignorant even though they are fools.  They are what some call “street smart” and they play a good game.  They are expert con-men and con-women and their words are ALWAYS deceptive.  These are people of dishonor and their word means nothing as they’ll tell you anything they think you want to hear.  It used to be that a man’s word was his bond and that is still the case with honorable men and women.  But when it comes to the unbelievers their word is not their bond at all because they are dishonorable men and women on their way to Hell.

In every dealing that you have with these people you are the one who ends up getting screwed over!  They are pros at screwing others over.  In fact, it seems to be their favorite pastime!  Everything is a joke and everything is relative to them and nothing is really serious including their own futures in eternity.  The are incapable of seeing beyond this physical existence and, secretly, many of them are scared as hell when they try thinking about it because something deep inside of them tells them that they are on the wrong path and on their way to Hell.  But they ignore that little voice within and use their own arrogance and self-pride to silence it as they continue doing the wrong they do adding wrong atop wrong, sin atop sin.  Continue reading

Should We Entrust our Loved Ones to Money?

People turn to many things today for security, motivation, and safe keeping of their loved ones.  Some turn to money hoping that when they pass on that the money they have accumulated will ensure the safe keeping of their loved ones.  Is this the right thing for a Muslim to do?  Is it right for the truly faithful to entrust their dependents to money?

moneyTreeThere’s nothing wrong with building up a nest egg so that when we pass on our dependents will have money available to them for their future needs but as true Muslims we should not put our trust in that money because the truly faithful entrusts his/her dependents to Allah and commits them to His safe keeping.  Those who are unfaithful turn to money and put their trust in it and their dependents have nothing to depend on but that money.  But the truly righteous man and woman entrust the safe keeping of their dependents to Allah first and foremost so that their dependents have faith in Allah first and foremost.  This is why it is so important that parents teach their children in matters of faith in the home no matter how much money the household has or does not have.  Parents have an obligation to teach their children Faith in God so that when those parents pass on those children will depend first on God not money.

Money is fleeting as are property, businesses, and investments but Allah is not fleeting.  Allah is always there even when all of the money and property are gone.  Repeatedly, the Qur’an teaches, “In Allah let the faithful put their trust.”  And that is where our trust should be first.  In God be we Muslims, Christians, or Jews. Continue reading

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/

 

In a State of Rebellion

I hear a lot of talk about rebellion and civil war as economic times get more difficult and governments seem to be growingly oppressive.  That’s all fine and well but what about our state of rebellion against God that we’ve so long now been engaged in?  What about our war against Him that we seem to downplay and ignore?  What about that rebellion?  Nobody wants to talk about that rebellion or war because we are all guilty of participating in it to varied extents.

beauty1Let’s begin by defining “sin.”  What does that word mean?  Sin means “error” or “mistake.”  It comes from the sport of archery meaning “missing the mark.”  Sin is violating God’s Will and it can be defined as anything that violates you relationship with God or as anything that gets inbetween you and God.  Sin means all of these things but let’s make it simple and say “sin” is “error.”

The Gospel tells us, “Everyone has sinned and have fallen short of the glory of God’s standards” in Romans 3:23 (NCV).  Oh yes there are plenty of holier-than-thou types running around in every religion that THINK they do not sin but the FACT is we all sin ever day no matter how holy we may be or THINK we might be.  ALL…EVERYONE has SINNED and we all have fallen short of the glory of God’s Continue reading

Some Thoughts…

“Among the people there are some who say, “We believe in God and the Last Day,” but they do not really believe. The desire to deceive God and those who truly believe, but they deceive only themselves and they do not perceive.”  (Sura Al-Baqara 2:8-9)

Hypocrites!  They fool no one but their own selves!  Too bad they can’t see it because the rest of us do and so does God!!

“Do not mix up the truth with falsehoods, nor hide the truth while you know it.” (Sura Al-Baqara 2:42)

This verse is a real reflection of much of our world and religions today.  Sadly we’ve mixed up truth with lies and falsehoods and made our faiths confusing.  But God’s Truth is not confusing.  In fact it is very simple because He wants us to understand His truths, teachings, and laws.  Beware of those who mix truth with lies!  They are the enemies of God and the enemies of the believers!  Do not listen to them and certainly do not follow them because by mixing truth with lies they are attempting to deceive you and really they are leading you not into the Light of God but into the darkness of the abyss!

“Do you not know that God’s is the Kingdom of the Heavens and the Earth, and that besides God you have no guardian or helper?”
(Sura Al-Baqara 2:107)

People often disappoint us especially when we depend on them.  Somehow they always seem to come up short or not deliver at all.  What we as believers must realize is that our only real helper and protector is God not man.  All that we see in the universe belongs to God and He has NOT left us alone.  All we have to do is ask and God is there with us.

“To God belong the East and the West; Wherever you turn, there is the presence of God.  For God is all pervading and all knowing.”
(Sura Al-Baqara 2:115)

This verse is actually amazing and I often have used it to confront unbelievers by kindly letting them know that there is NOWHERE they can go to escape God.  This verse makes it clear that GOD IS EVERYWHERE!  It also makes it clear to the believer that we are NOT alone, that God is ALWAYS with us, above and below us, and all around us in this world.  God is Spirit and Spirit is everywhere.  It is simply up to us to perceive Him!

“The truth is from you Lord, therefore you should not be among the doubters.” (Sura Al-Baqara 2:147)

Doubt is the enemy of faith!  When we doubt it opens up the door for disbelief to enter in and disbelief is always an unwelcomed guest!  Doubt weakens faith; it does not strengthen it.  Rather than doubt, what the believer must do is strengthen his or her faith by avoiding all doubt in God and His Word.

“But if you slip after clear arguments have come to you, then know that God is Mighty and Wise.”  (Sura Al-Baqara 2:209)

God is merciful and God is forgiving!  He understands that sometimes we fall short and backslide.  I’ve never thought He condemns us for that because He knows that as human beings we are not perfect.  God truly is mighty and wise and He understands.  So we must realize this truth and not be too hard on ourselves or on others who slip.

“The life of this world is alluring to those who reject faith, and they mock those who believe.  But  those who guard against evil (the Righteous) shall be above them on the Day of Resurrection.  God bestows His abundance without measure on whom He will.”  
(Sura Al-Baqara 2:212)

When I look at the unbelievers I see how they so love this world with all of its materialism and greed and I cannnot help but notice how they constantly mock the faithful and put them down in order to build themselves up.  We can get angry at these people OR we can simply see things as they are.  That is he stand higher than the unbelievers because we know God and He knows us and we know that we are going to His Paradise when we leave this world.  The unbelievers may have many material possessions and lots of money but believers have far greater things because we have spiritual blessings that are everlasting.  All of the money and possessions that the believers have are only temporary and they, in the end, will lose them all.  Consider the kings of ancient Egypt.  They were entombed with all of their possessions and slaves yet they could take none of it with them when they died.  It’s all still there rotting in their tombs.

“God makes clear to you His revelations that you may understand.”
(Sura Al-Baqara 2:242)

God is not the author of confusion.  He desires that the faithful understand His revelations and teachings so He makes them simple not complicated.  Satan, on the other hand, is the author of confusion and where there is confusion there most often you will find Satan and his lost minions!  There are those who try to complicate God’s teachings and make them confusing and personally I find it best to avoid such people.  God makes His teachings clear and those who try to confuse them are really not serving God at all in my opinion.