Relax

I encourage you to share something that makes you feel as relaxed as these cats.

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Life is full of tests. Family responsibilities, neighborhood responsibilities, work commitments, debts, social media posts which test sabr, and the list goes on.

That’s why it’s important to relax. And as this post suggests, I’ve decided to share a photo that makes me feel relaxed.

Ihsan, in Islam, is the ability to see Allah SWT through His attributes (Asma ul Husna), e.g., His creations and the qualities that He’s blessed each with.

Rahma (mercy) is one of the greatest Blessings of Allah (and probably one of the most importatnt attribute of Allah SWT) that He could have bestowed on his creations.

This word is derived from the root letters ra, ha, meem, which means the the womb of the mother. When he hear Rahma, what ought to come to mind is the protection, compassion, mercy, and providence that we all experience in the womb.

So, when I feel Rahma towards my family, fellow humans, and animals it is indeed a Blessing that Allah SWT has bestowed me with. When I see these two cats sleeping next to each other, and experience the love and compassion in my heart it helps me relax. It is a sign of Allah SWT.

What would the world be without Ar Rahman and His Rahma?

I encourage you to share something that makes you feel as relaxed as these cats.

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Where is the ‘salam’ in Assalamu Alaykkum?

One of the biggest fears the Rasoolullah (SAW) had for his Ummah (a.k.a us) is that we would fight amongst ourselves based on differences of opinion. This is why he said that Islam has come to liberate the people from the ignorance of tribalism, nationalism, etc… Islam is about diversity, and tolerance.

assalamu alaykkum.” It’s something you hear from another Muslim (or from a savvy non-Muslim). But what does it mean actually? Are you parroting it just because it’s expected? Or do you actually mean it?

And what does it mean to actually mean it?

At the least, it means you don’t mean any harm to your brother/sister in Islam. At the most you are making dua that this person should be blessed with peace.

It a world filled with fear, mistrust, and hate, it is important to understand the hikmah (wisdom) behind this prayer to one another.

Why did the Rasoolullah (SAW) instruct his followers to use this instead of an Arabic equivalent of ‘Hello’ or ‘Greetings’?

When you actively train your heart to intend well to another person, you develop tolerance and unity, and, ultimately, brotherhood.

One of the biggest fears the Rasoolullah (SAW) had for his Ummah (a.k.a us) is that we would fight amongst ourselves based on differences of opinion. This is why he said that Islam has come to liberate the people from the ignorance of tribalism, nationalism, etc… Islam is about diversity, and tolerance.

But, wait.

Isn’t that exactly what we have fallen into, as an Ummah? Each group with one ideology is at each others’ throats. Islam doesn’t need enemies from the outside, Muslims themselves have become the enemy to each other. Even shaythan might feel envious of this state.

Please, for the sake of Allah (SWT), let go of any animosity you may have towards another point of view among Muslims. So long as they believe the Fard (compulsory) as Fard, and mustahab as mustahab, and nafl and nafl, then see them as someone who has said the same shahaadah (“la ilaha illallah muhammadur rasoolullah”) as you have, and belonging to your extended family. Don’t do shaythan’s work for him.

I speak from experience when I say, the day you intend salam on another person (Muslim or not) is the day you will begin to see salam in your own life.

We say salam to one another, but where’s the salam?

Don’t we want Allah SWT to judge us with Mercy? So, show mercy and compassion to one another in this life.

surely Allah does not change the condition of a people until they change their own condition; and when Allah intends evil to a people, there is no averting it, and besides Him they have no protector.” (13:11)

Are you better than the Best of Creators?

Do you feel that women can’t control their emotions? They talk too much? Seem irrational? Cry a lot? Take forever to say something? Can’t walk/run fast? Can’t do things men can? If so, do you also believe that you could have done a better job at their creation than Allah SWT?

Do you feel that women can’t control their emotions? They talk too much? Seem irrational? Cry a lot? Take forever to say something? Can’t walk/run fast? Can’t do things men can? If so, do you also believe that you could have done a better job at their creation than Allah SWT?

Do you feel that men don’t listen? Are stupid? One-track minded? Can’t control their ‘urges’? Quick to action? If so, do you believe that you could have done a better job at their creation than Allah SWT?

Do you feel cockroaches are hideous? Worms are nauseous? flies are a nuisance? rats are filthy? are some animals just plain ‘ugly’? Do you, then, feel that you could have done a better job than Allah SWT?

Do you feel that Chinese are ‘yellow’? and Indians are ‘brown’? If so, how would have created them better?

Do you feel you’re ‘fat’? or ‘skinny’? or your face looks ‘ugly’? If so, how would you have created yourself better than your Maker?

These feelings and thoughts are sometimes slipped in under the radar, but we must be very careful of such things. All of us, including the animals and the plants, have one fundamental commonality: we are all created by the same Maker. So, don’t fall into one of Shaythan’s traps.

The first racist was Shaythan. How? Shaythan felt superior to Adam AS because he was created with fire while, Adam AS was made from clay. There are many lessons from that incident, but I wanted to highlight just one in this article, insha Allah. To criticize anything based on naturally occurring characteristics is to question your Maker. Shaythan, was not only being proud and arrogant, he was questioning Allah SWT’s:

  1. Choice in His creation
  2. Wisdom in His creation

The next time Shaythan whispers such nonsense, ask yourself this, “Oh, so I could have done a better job than Allah SWT?”

“Then We made the sperm-drop into a clinging clot, and We made the clot into a lump [of flesh], and We made [from] the lump, bones, and We covered the bones with flesh; then We developed him into another creation. So blessed is Allah , the best of creators.”

 (AL-MU’MINUN:14)

Forgive like Abu Bakr (RA)

Even after all this, if I couldn’t bring myself to forgive, then I need to ask myself: Is my grudge greater than entering Jannah (Paradise)? Greater than Allah’s (SWT) Mercy?

Who here knows how to actually forgive someone? to actually forgive ‘wholeheartedly’ , i.e., with no ill feelings or grudges afterwards, and be like nothing ever happened.

This was a question I was struggling with until recently. I wanted to forgive. Just didn’t know how to.

In Arabic, there are 2 sets of root letters that denote forgiveness. One of them is ʿafā (عَفَا). And one of Allah’s (SWT) names is Al Afuw. ‘Afûw is said to be like the desert wind completely obliterating footprints in the sand. This is an image of the wind blowing across the desert vastness and completely erasing all the tracks in the sand. It is as if no one had ever walked there. Such a fundamental image in the root of the word shows us that with al-‘Afuw, you do not even notice the fault.

So, ideally, if we are to forgive it must be like there’s no trace of any fault, whatsoever, left in our hearts.

How on earth are we to do that??

Well, this is what I discovered, by the Will of Allah, and pray that it helps you realize what I did, and help you move forward in life by letting go of all the baggage we’ve accumulated.

  1. Learn about Hellfire and how horrible it is. We may joke about it by saying things like, ‘Go to Hell!’ or ‘See you in Hell,’ but it’s no laughing matter. I, for one, would not like to even spend one second in it, let alone go anywhere near it. If there’s any goodness left in my heart I’d not wish such a horrible fate on anyone. Not even my sworn enemy.
  2. I would want Allah SWT to spare me from such a fate by seeking His forgiveness. By forgiving someone, as per the metaphor of  ‘Afûw, I am eligible to earn His Forgiveness and Mercy. Allah knows best, but what if that one instance of mercy on my part is my ticket into Paradise (Jannah)? And what is better than Allah’s (SWT) mercy?
  3. Also, the only being who’ll never want any Son of Adam to escape Hellfire is Shaitan. By holding onto grudges I am putting myself extremely close to his character (sunnah) of seeking vengeance, and wishing ill on others.
  4. Even after all this, if I couldn’t bring myself to forgive, then I need to ask myself: Is my grudge greater than entering Jannah (Paradise)? Greater than Allah’s (SWT) Mercy?

Mercy is a fundamental aspect of Islam. When Allah SWT suggested that it was better for Abu Bakr (RA) to forgive Mistah for the Al Ifk incident which involved his own daughter, A’isha (RA), it highlights the importance of mercy and forgiveness in Islam. Nothing is greater than Allah’s (SWT) Mercy.

Forgive others, wholeheartedly, and earn Allah’s (SWT) forgiveness for yourself.

Believe it or not, but you might be following the Sharia

To protect the rights of non-muslims living in a Sharia state, it (Sharia) even has separate laws for non-muslims. Talk about built in diversity and tolerance.

Are you someone who firmly believes in the rights of women? human beings? Have ever given out money in charity? took care of an orphan? an elderly person? Have you spent time with your parents? or spent equally on your children? have you helped out your relatives in some way? do you keep in touch with them?

Do you believe that animals deserve to be treated humanely? That they need to be taken care of properly?

As a female, do you own money or property? have you been educated like your male counterparts? Do you think female circumcision is barbaric? Do you believe that all children, even daughters, need to be treated equally in a family?

Do you dislike to be cheated in a transaction? Do you feel that monopolies shouldn’t exist in markets? Do you want transparency to exist in systems? Do you feel that the rich should be taxed and the poor should be taken care of by the state?

Do you dislike being lied to?

If you can relate to any of these questions chances are that you’re following the Sharia of Islam.

Islam, as it happens, is more than a religion (i.e., a set of beliefs). It’s a way of life (i.e., laws for the individual and state) like Judaism.

To protect the rights of non-muslims living in a Sharia state, it (Sharia) even has separate laws for non-muslims. Talk about built in diversity and tolerance.

The key to understanding the Sharia is learning about objectives of Sharia and how jurists have the flexibility in applying the fixed principles of Islam.

One thing that everyone should be aware about Islamic law is that, in general, it is more focused on deterrent theory of justice than a retributive or reformative, or any other form of justice system. At time, many Western systems have also focused on deterrent justice (Wikipedia is your friend here).

Want to know more about the Sharia? read the first answer here.

Dear reader, it’s easy to go with the flow. However, it’s better to know why you’re going with the flow? and, much better to know why the flow is even going in a given direction.

GSP+ and Muslim Personal Laws?

the definition of ‘civilized’ has changed from religion to secularism and political correctness

As early as the 1500s Europe felt it had the great burden of spreading ‘civilization’ to the pagan barbaric cultures that was the rest of the world. Fast forward a few hundred years and our tiny island saw the spread of this ‘civilization’ on our very own shores. First came the benevolent Dutch, then the Portugese, and finally the Victorian British during the 1800s.

Back then, it was a fairly simple, upfront matter, this colonization business (though not so with the wily British). They came, they saw, they converted conquered spread ‘civilization’ to us backward Sri Lankans. And, of course, their efforts would have been in vain if not for our own local espousers of Western ideals. Once we ‘gained’ our independence from our former colonial masters, local history books would mention the pivotal role these ‘sole distributors’, of what a civilized society was, played in the perpetuation of colonial laws in this island during colonial rule. I’ve always wondered what motivated these fellow Lankans to change their values to such an extent as to be a completely new identity.

Then, there were the blessed missionaries, who either spread the message by way of sword/musket or wealth and status. Of course, these days, it’s mostly done by providing ‘financial’ opportunities in various forms.

I admit, it’s a better way to spread an ideology, rather than at gunpoint (refer European colonization, WWII, Cold War, Vietnam War, Korean War, etc…). This ‘economical’ method is just that. It’s economical: not a single soldier sets foot abroad, not a bullet is fired, and best of all, no lives are lost. It’s less expensive. Note that as of late, the definition of ‘civilized’ has changed from religion to secularism and political correctness, disguised as (and please don’t hate me for saying this) democracy/civil liberties.

These days, it’s backwards to believe in God and practice one’s religion. It’s blasphemous to not support homosexual behavior. ‘Islamic’, ‘Jihad’, ‘Sharia’, ‘Burqa’, and ‘Tawheed’ have negative associations. And, it’s downright suspicious to speak in Arabic.

So, now we have the same salesmen with the same product, but with a new package with a new sales (economical) pitch.

When I first heard about how one of the stipulations for Sri Lanka to receive GSP+ status was to amend the Muslim Personal Law, namely, the Muslim Marriage and Divorce Act of 1951, I was like, ‘GSP+ and what??’

Now, I haven’t personally read the Act so I really don’t know EVERYTHING that’s in it. So, I really can’t comment on it. However, it seems the issue is the minimum age for marriage. One could argue for or against it, and again, not the point of the article.

But what strikes as odd, indeed disturbing, is the amount of stir it’s creating in social circles. Really disturbing. If you’re Sri Lankan and haven’t come across such posts in social media, then consider yourself blessed. Again, not the point.

However, upon some reflection on the matter, I happened to draw some interesting insights.

Now, how the world operates, at least for us so called ‘developing countries’ is like this:

  • As a ‘developing nation’ (I fail to see how we still have this term, considering the amount of luxury vehicles that are driving on the roads, and how super luxury condominiums seem to grow faster than trees and in greater numbers, etc…) and thanks to successive corrupt governments, we have to depend on loans, trade concessions for exports/imports from ‘developed’ nations (again puzzling, considering amount of debt most Westerners are in, student loans, mortgages, credit cards, etc…)
  • Change local policies to curry international favor to receive monetary aid.

In light of this, it seems rather interesting, nay, extremely fishy, for the European Union to stipulate that SL makes changes to its Muslim Personal Law. And I’m sure some of you out there have voiced your opinions regarding this matter. Kudos to you.

Muslim personal law aside, these EU stipulations smell a whole lot like we’re in a new wave of colonization, and what’s worse, most aren’t even aware of it!

 

On a side note, have you ever wondered why the Muslims (and Islam) are being targeted, and not just here, but on a global scale?