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Sunday, April 29, 2007

Embracing Change

Posted by Sara at 7:45 AM 1 comments Links to this post
Battling with the wind is as futile as refusing change. Holding tight to our safe zones and clinging to our loved ones and precious things simply won’t stop the wheel from turning on and on. Change, the only stable fact on earth, might not be our enemy after all.

I had my own battles with the winds of change, in which, of course, I was defeated. I simply hated change. At one stage, I liked my life the way it was and I did not want it changed. At that time I was foolish enough to believe in the possibility of forever. Gradually, and after receiving many blows and knockouts, I started to believe that you do have to accept change and to expect it, in order to reduce the intensity of your fall when change knocks on your door next time. Change is bound to happen, whether you like it or not, so you better see it coming and not be blinded by a temporary triumph that life is giving you, because soon and before you know it will be taken away. However, this was also a limited vision that stems out of fear of loss, and not out of faith or resolve.

When one of my most important pillars of strength and sources of joy was taken away from me, I fought fiercely to get it back but in vain; it was time to move on. When I realized that it had really gone, I felt that I had lost everything and that I was standing in the middle of nowhere with my hands empty and my heart void. My heart was being ripped apart and I totally refused, without noticing, to accept the reality that this road ended here. At that stage, I froze completely, living in the memories of the happy past, refusing to go on, and rejecting any other source of joy. Nothing could fulfill me anymore, and I was ruining my life with my own hands. I was torturing myself with denial, feeling that I left my happiness behind and that I would never be happy again except if I were back where I used to be. Eventually I miserably started to try, not to forget how happy I was then, but to accept God’s command without understanding it. I still believed that my happiness lay there, but I was trying to tame my soul and to train myself to believe in the words we say superficially of trusting in Allaah’s judgement. My solace was that if I truly believed that the Lord would guide me to the right thing and grant me patience, if I could endure the pain and go on, if I turned out to be a good person, He would bring me back what I had lost.

I have learnt that it is not right to ask God to do you a specific thing since you know not where goodness lies like He does. I kept on supplicating to Him to either bring it back to me if that were better for me, or take it out of my heart so that I could rest and carry on. Yet, I was almost certain that my supplication's answer would lie in the first part; having it back, because naturally I still believed that my happiness was there. However, to my ultimate surprise, my supplication was indeed answered, but not the way I had expected. It was out of my heart, and I was able to have my peace of mind again.

Nothing in the world except Allaah is worth dying for or hanging to forever. When it is not meant to be, it is really not meant to be, no matter how we want to twist it, or how we block our ears or close our eyes to the truth. God indeed knows best, and loves us much more than we may think or even deserve sometimes. I felt so little, so very little when I realised how things had evolved, and how foolish I was to think that life had turned its back on me the day my life had changed. Our happiness is not hidden in one place or one person or one direction; it is divided in many paths and among many people, thoughts and commitments. Refusing the other parts of this share of happiness is the mistake we often fall into when we think, narrowly, in one direction trying to force our happiness from where we want it.

Even our attachment to such important aspects of our lives is bound to change. When everything else around is changing, we must not expect our hearts to keep looking where nothing is to be found anymore. However, when our own feelings change, we seldom question change. We do this only when we are affected by the change and not initiating it. Therefore, combing the two sides of change; of circumstances and of heart, and not allowing one to surpass or overshadow the other, may save us a lot of pain and breakdowns.

Recently, I cultivated the habit of walking everyday, to calm my soul, to walk peacefully and enjoy the air and the sun and the trees. It might seem so trivial, but it gives me great pleasure and serenity. It is a small part of the hidden bits of happiness scattered here and there along the road, and I am not intending to miss any of mine.

I have learnt that everything is precious, not just our preferred things. Everything will go, and especially our dearest things. Clinging to anything won't bring it back if it is not ours to have. Still, enjoying it when it is here and enjoying it when it is gone is how we can keep our sanity. Appreciating the bits and pieces of joy that the Lord sends our way, the small gestures and hidden signs that tell you that you are not alone and definitely not forgotten, is the remedy of loss.

I now know that it is not just about accepting change as this invincible enemy. It is not about staying alert that nothing is here to stay, for this will definitely ruin one’s appreciation of the beauty of the moment. It is about embracing change; not as the wicked thief that steals one’s happiness and ruins one’s life, but as the wise visitor who comes every once in a while to renew our lives, open new doors and close the obsolete ones. A blow is likely to happen and something very dear is always hard to lose, but God will never leave our wounds open, His healing light is always there to guide us throughout the journey. Going on and exploring the new ways the Lord is opening and leaving our area of confidence and security is very hard, but it is meant to take place so that we continue leading our way and becoming who we are; the sum of all the choices and experiences, the sum of everything that is gone and all that is to come.


"All that (exists) upon it (i.e., the earth) is vanishing. And there (still) remains (forever) The Face of your Lord,The Owner of Majesty and Munificence." 1.
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1. Qur'aan: Ar-Rahmaan 55: verses 26 - 27.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

{Quick Reflections 37} The Why 4, The Call 2!

Posted by Badeea at 4:34 AM 1 comments Links to this post
Instead of starting with a question and working our way until we reach a logical answer by the end of the article as usual, this time we will start with the conclusion or the answer to the question and then work our way to consolidate that conclusion.

The topic again is why we do good deeds, that was discussed thrice before, stressing all along on the concept that making the call and living with this should be a basic principle in life whether doing good went noticed or appreciated or not. This is again crucial to the concept of co-existence with the other, regardless of their belief, and how doing good should be intrinsic to our behavior without necessarily meaning to call others for Islaam (the always logic scriptures that confirm that concept will be detailed six articles from now under the title, "First Things First" if God wills).

To start with, we will explore one of the reasons why Allaah (SWT)1 chose Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)2 to be the final Messenger. We will discuss the characteristic that was intrinsic in his personality for 40 years before he (PBUH) ever received the revelation.

For forty years he was nicknamed by his community as “The Truthful, the Trust-Worthy”. His most noble manners were embedded in his personality in spite of the fact that he lived amongst a very corrupt and ill-mannered community in Arabia and world–wide in general. He did not know of a god at that time and he never believed in idols. Accordingly, his behavior throughout those 40 years was not meant to satisfy a god. Moreover, he did not adopt this behavior aspiring for leadership or recognition amongst his community during that period. Why then did he behave in such a way that made everyone respect him?! The answer cannot be that he had it planned, since his early childhood, that he would need such a reputation for the credibility of a message he would start delivering 40 years later; one he never knew about then! Why then did he behave like that?

Doing good and loving others expecting nothing in return is the noblest attribute rooted inside every one and he (PBUH) had an abundance of that characteristic unequaled in any other human being. God says about him, “And indeed, you are of a great moral character” (Qur’aan, 68:4).

When he (PBUH) was never after any personal reward and was there for others expecting nothing in return, he was blessed by being chosen to be the Messenger to all mankind; the ultimate reward a human being can ever be blessed with.

Moreover, this most noble characteristic cannot go without being taught and spread to others and hence is a fundamental message of Islaam with its epitome and Messenger being Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

That is why God says about him, “And in no way have We sent you except as a mercy to the worlds (mankind, jinn and all that exists)” (Qur’aan, 21:107). It is doing good to all, including even non-living things, expecting nothing in return and teaching that to others that is a true mercy to all. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) himself addresses the issue of why he was sent to mankind in the following hadeeth3, “I was indeed sent to perfect noble manners”4.

Doing what is best and giving and forgiving without expecting anything in return, not even out of setting an example for others or with the intention of telling people about Islaam, is demonstrated in several events in the life of Muhammad (PBUH) even after he became a Messenger.

There is the story of the Bedouin that turned to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) for help. He was a stranger who new nothing about the ongoing struggle between the non-believers, headed by Abu-Jahl, and Muslims headed by Muhammad (PBUH) in Makkah at the time. Abu-Jahl had borrowed a sum of money from that Bedouin and refused to return it to him. The Bedouin kept asking around in Makkah for someone to help him get his money back from the mighty Abu-Jahl but no one could help him. He came across a group of people who thought they could get a good laugh out of the situation. They pointed to Muhammad (PBUH), knowing the enmity between him and Abu-Jahl and told him that he is the one that could help him out most! When he went to Muhammad (PBUH), told him of his problem and that those people back there had nominated him as the one who can help him out most, he (PBUH) looked back at them and understood their scheming. He never told the Bedouin that he is the last one who could help him based on the hostile relationship between him and Abu-Jahl. He never told him about Islaam and that he would help him only if he would believe in him. He never made any attempt to clarify the situation for the unsuspecting Bedouin. He simply told him that he will go with him to Abu-Jahl and help him get his money back. They went together to Abu-Jahl’s house and Muhammad (PBUH) asked Abu-Jahl to return the money back to the Bedouin which he very surprisingly did on the spot. (More details of the story will be discussed 13 articles from now under the title, “Miracles, why and when?” if God wills.)

Again, there was the Prophet’s Jew neighbor who used to pester the Prophet everyday by throwing his garbage in front of his house. One day when he stopped doing that the Prophet (PBUH) rushed to visit him thinking he was ill, which turned out to be true.

There was also the old blind lady that the Prophet (PBUH) met and offered to carry her stuff for her. On their way to her house, and as a way to pay him back, she actually advised him not to listen to that "Muhammad" who had started recently claiming to be a Prophet and asking people to follow him. She went on calling him names, not knowing that it is the same kind man that is offering her help. Nevertheless, he did not attempt to clear his name and when she asked him for his name at the end of their journey, he (PBUH) simply said "Muhammad"!

He (PBUH) used to do good for the sake of doing good regardless of how it will be translated. To him, it was simply a way of life.

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1 Subhaanahu wa T`aalaa [Glorified and Exalted Be He].
2 Peace Be Upon Him
3 A saying or action done by Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) as reported by his companions.
4 Authentic hadeeth reported by al-Zurqaniy in Mukhtasar al-Maqaasid page/number 184.

Sunday, April 8, 2007

{Quick Reflections 36} Choose, Exchange!

Posted by Badeea at 12:37 AM 3 comments Links to this post
With some contemplation and logic reasoning, we will see very clearly how everything in this vast universe moves and acts according to laws that ensure complete harmony between the billions of its elements. Absence of these very intelligent laws will result in chaos and collapse of each and every element in existence. Moreover, their absence would have never permitted the universe to come into existence in the first place.
These Divine laws not only govern materialistic elements but also inter-human relations and Divine-human relations.

Almost every second of our lives, each and every one of us makes a choice. Every second, we choose what to think of, what to say, what to look at, what to listen to, what to do, and how to direct our feelings. This life for humans, being intelligent creatures, is all about choices in every minute single detail in our lives. The set of billions of choices we make throughout our lives in every single second of it all adds up to determine our life stories and hence our eventual ends.

We will discuss one of the Divine laws that determine the consequences of our choices from the very smallest detail all the way until the concluding result, in our lifetime of choices.

At one time in history, God bestowed upon His chosen people, sons of Israel, food and drink from heaven so that they would eat it on earth. Instead of being thankful and grateful to their Lord they asked Prophet Moses to ask God to provide them with earthly food in exchange for the heavenly one. "And (remember) as you said, “O Mûsa, (Moses) we will never (endure) patiently one (sort) of food; so invoke your Lord for us that He may bring out for us of what the earth grows of its green herbs and its cucumbers, and its garlic, and its lentils, and its onions.” He said, “Would you wish to exchange that which is most charitable for that which is meaner? Get you down to (any) township; (Some say that it is Egypt) then surely you will have (there) what you asked for.” And they were stricken with humiliation and indigence" (Qur'aan, 2:61).

The Divine law here shows very clearly the consequent effects of our choices on our lives on Earth even before we die and have to face the final and eternal consequences in the next life. The choice of something mean in exchange for something charitable leads to humiliation and indigence. Now this exchange ranges from exchange of very minute and simple things to very grave and complex things. Moreover, the Divine law is about the intentions and ideas behind such exchanges rather than the exchanged objects themselves.

Let us expand further upon this cause-effect relationship through providing examples from our everyday life. First let us start by giving general examples, and then move on to more specific ones.

The majority of our wrong choices that lead to humiliation stem from our tendency to do what is easy in stead of what is right; from details like choosing to sleep and miss fajr prayer, delaying prayer because of being indulged in some sort of earthly matters, or lying to avoid troubles all the way up to the big picture of treading in the way of God versus following one’s arrogance and desires and ignoring God’s presence in the first place. Choosing the easy way out instead of fighting one's way through, sticking to one's safe zone despite its unrewarding potential and obsolete opportunities in stead of exploring new lands of abundance and trials are examples of our major life choices.

Another kind of wrong yet easy choices is the result of following one's desires (alhawa) and personality defects despite one's subconscious knowledge of their wrongfulness like following one's arrogance, refusing to confess being wrong, scarcity in spending on charity and choosing one's own luxury in stead, laziness in helping others, to the extent of indulgence in sin.

The outcome of these choices usually leads to an ugly feeling of empty-heartedness, shame, and cowardness. Following the ways of God leads to dignity and resolve, though the path to it is not paved. The way out, though not as easy as words are, is to contemplate before choosing to exchange; whether it is the right exchange, whether this is what God wants us to do.

Now all this is general talk and sounds like preaching, which most of us do not like. Accordingly, let us take this a step further and move to our everyday life and dig out examples of our choices and their consequences.

Some people face great difficulties in earning their living, like most people residing in poor underdeveloped countries. In the process of earning their living they might submit to higher authorities and exchange honesty, straightforwardness and perfection of their work for lying, humiliation and bribery. They exchange their submission to God for submission to human beings. The end result is continuous humiliation and eternal submission to other humans. They lose their God-given freedom and enslave themselves to other humans. They spend the rest of their lives asking for help from other helpless people who can do them no good. Even if they manage to attain higher living standards through unethical ways and become somehow independent of other humans they end up losing more important things like their own children who would stray and evidently grow up to be losers and even more dishonest.

On the other hand, others living under the same conditions who stick to honesty and perfection of their work enduring all the hardships in the process manage to preserve their dignity and do not depend on other humans for sustenance. No one can claim that this is easy. However, their sense of tranquility, dignity and true freedom cannot be calculated in terms of financial wealth no matter how great it is. Some of them manage to break through by the help of more powerful and rich others who actually go to them to offer help. When they submit to God only, people get attracted to their glow and wish to keep this glow shining. Even if this does not happen in every case, we would find that their kids grow up to be respectable and successful people in their communities, standing tall despite the wind of poverty and corruption.

Actually one of the main criteria that I personally use to assess the honesty and truthfulness of people above 40 (even if they “seem” to be good religious people) is by assessing how well their children are doing. If they are well mannered and truly successful then their parents are most probably trustworthy and vice versa. This criterion has never failed me in my assessments. Some might argue that it is not the children’s fault if their parents were not good people. If their parents were bad people why do they have to grow up to be bad people? A reply to that is that you do not choose your children. You might do your best in raising them up according to the most perfect standards yet they end up being failures and nuisances to the community. On the other hand, you might not give much attention to raising them up, like the first group of exchangers does, yet they might grow up to be good people even if after a while. The key here is that God matches different personalities together in a way that results that usually good people end up to be descendants of good people. He chooses for you either children who are innately good people or innately bad people. You find out about that choice 20-30 years after their birth.

If we move to another category of people mostly those living in the West or in the East but are very well to do, we will see another common example.

Some choose following their desires, mainly ignoring the presence of God and submission to Him, running after their materialistic gains in the form of more money, fame and satisfaction of their sexual desires through different unethical routes. The whole community ends up living in a continuous sense of insecurity, increased crime rate, broken families, high rate of depression and suicide and a continuous sense of spiritual emptiness.

On the other hand, others who do not make the above exchange continue to live in serenity, prosperity and contentment with a continuous sense of security.

Look carefully into your own life and that of the surrounding people and see for yourself how every choice and exchange we make affects our lives either towards more humiliation and indigence (amidst the presence or absence of life hardships) or more dignity and serenity (usually amidst hardships).

Look, think, choose and exchange -- having the Divine law that determines the consequences of your choices and exchanges in front of your eyes all the time.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

There

Posted by Peace at 10:54 PM 0 comments Links to this post
Lying in bed, being pushed around to my destination, I raised my eyes and looked above. Light fixtures on the ceiling were rushing backwards. Voices, mere carefree voices, were all around me. But I was not alone. No one but You feels my excruciating pain. No one but You knows what I am going through. No one but You can ease my torment. Grant me patience my Lord to endure in silence. Forgive my tears for I can hardly bear the hurting.

I am surrounded by strangers now. I am at the mercy of the empty looks of the doctors that take my ordeal as business-as-usual. I am humiliated by cold hands that undress and examine me. I cannot say no to the dry tone that asked me to take off my head scarf for my brain to be scanned and my wounds cared for. "I can walk and talk," I said to myself. "I still am in control," I thought. But that was shattered the first time I treaded the floor with my unsteady steps and shaky soul. That false assumption that I can conquer the world with my confident strong strides was devastated the moment I slipped on a mere ice patch and banged my head against the ground. Oh, how fragile we are! I lost consciousness and could not even remember when or how I got up again. There was no one around to help me get up again. I was all alone, or was I? Sifting through the flashes I barely remember, there was a helping hand that mercifully helped my frail body up and took me home, saving me from freezing to death out in the cruel cold. I was not alone.

And now in my hospital room, I did not want to be alone. I longed to hear the warm voices of my loved ones. I needed their smiles to shine over the overwhelming darkness of my small room. I longed for their reassuring pat to tell me that it is going to be alright again. My helplessness was crippling me. I was desperate to feel them around to warm my heart again. I had my eyes hanging on the cell phone waiting for them to call again. They didn't have to say much, it was enough to have them there.

It was the first time I realize how lonesome one gets when stricken by illness and pain. Nothing but Allaah's mercy and feeling Him all around can alleviate that isolation from life as we know it. This is why Allaah urged us to pay visits and be there for ones fallen ill. This is why He is all there with us to reassure us that we are not alone. This is why the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said, "Verily, Allaah will say on the Day of Judgment, 'O son of Adam! I fell ill, but you did not visit Me.' He (the man) will ask, 'O my Lord! How could I visit you and You are the Lord of the worlds [1]?' Allaah will say, 'Did you not know that my bondsman so-and-so was ill, but you did not visit him. Did you not know that had you visited him, you would have found Me there (i.e. with mercy and reward)?'" [2]

Thank God for His mercy. We are never alone when we have Him all there by our side.
[1] Mankind, jinn (invisible beings of fire) and all creation.
[2] Authentic hadeeth reported by Muslim in Saheeh Muslim page/number 6721, and narrated by Aboo-Hurayrah (RA).

Sunday, April 1, 2007

On this day, a special person was born...

Posted by Watermark at 5:41 AM 0 comments Links to this post
In tangible terms it is Saturday 31 March, 2007... 12 Rabee'a al-Awwal, 1428...

More than 1428 years ago a special person was born on this day - a person so special that if he had not been born, the world would have been a very different place than it is today. I am talking about a man. I am referring to a role model. Men, women and children the world over, across epochs and borders seek to attain his perfection in values and morals. They look up to him even though he is no longer with us. They try to emulate him in his every gesture. They - we - try to live up to his expectations of us as human beings above all. His expectation of us as trying to live our lives to its fullest with one goal in mind - everything we say, do, or seek to achieve is for none other than our Lord - our Creator.

His name - Muhammad - the gentlest, kindest soul who exuded sincerity, strength and love for the human condition. In the last sermon he ever gave before he died he spoke these words; words that almost translated themselves into a moral will in writing.

"O People, lend me an attentive ear, for I know not whether after this year, I shall ever be amongst you again. Therefore listen to what I am saying to you very carefully and take these words to those who could not be present here today.

"O People, just as you regard this month, this day, this city as Sacred, so regard the life and property of every Muslim as a sacred trust. Return the goods entrusted to you to their rightful owners. Hurt no one so that no one may hurt you. Remember that you will indeed meet your Lord, and that He will indeed reckon your deeds. ALLAH has forbidden you to take usury (interest), therefore all interest obligation shall henceforth be waived. Your capital, however, is yours to keep. You will neither inflict nor suffer any inequity. Allah has Judged that there shall be no interest and that all the interest due to Abbas ibn 'Abd'al Muttalib (Prophet's uncle) shall henceforth be waived.

"Beware of Satan, for the safety of your religion. He has lost all hope that he will ever be able to lead you astray in big things, so beware of following him in small things.

"O People, it is true that you have certain rights with regard to your women, but they also have rights over you. Remember that you have taken them as your wives only under Allah's trust and with His permission. If they abide by your right then to them belongs the right to be fed and clothed in kindness. Do treat your women well and be kind to them for they are your partners and committed helpers. And it is your right that they do not make friends with any one of whom you do not approve, as well as never to be unchaste.

"O People, listen to me in earnest, worship Allah, say your five daily prayers, fast during the month of Ramadan, and give your wealth in zakat. Perform hajj if you can afford to.

"All mankind is from Adam and Eve, an Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also a white has no superiority over black nor a black has any superiority over white except by piety and good action. Learn that every Muslim is a brother to every Muslim and that the Muslims constitute one brotherhood. Nothing shall be legitimate to a Muslim which belongs to a fellow Muslim unless it was given freely and willingly. Do not, therefore, do injustice to yourselves.

"Remember, one day you will appear before Allah and answer your deeds. So beware, do not stray from the path of righteousness after I am gone.

"O People, no prophet or apostle will come after me and no new faith will be born. Reason well, therefore, O People,and understand words which I convey to you. I leave behind me two things, the Qur'an and my example, the sunnah and if you follow these you will never go astray.

"All those who listen to me shall pass on my words to others and those to others again; and may the last ones under-stand my words better than those who listen to me directly. Be my witness, O Allah, that I have conveyed your message to Your people".

The Prophet's (SAWS) Farewell Sermon

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2009 THEME: Islam in the West and Our Children (Discussion & Resources regularly updated)

There is increasing concern that second and third generation Muslims in the West are mostly no longer Muslims so they actually end up adding to the Christian or Atheist population of the West, albeit racially from a non-Western origin. Accordingly, the ratios mentioned in the video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6-3X5hIFXYU) would be correct in regards to race or ethnicity but not necessarily to religion.

It is a grave danger facing our children and grand children from a real life stand point as statistically only 1/5 of the second generation stay really Muslims when they grow up and are independent and almost non from the third generation are Muslims. And that is why the Western authorities are still permitting the immigration of Muslims inspite of the figures provided in the above video. They know that on the long term the descendants of Muslims in the West leave Islam because their parents raised them up with an Eastern mentality in a Western society instead of an Islamic mentality that encompasses all cultures.

You can see more about that by Jeffrey Lang; an ex-atheist American Mathematics University Professor who reverted to Islam in 1982. He has also written 3 books that I highly recommend; "Struggling to Surrender", "Even Angels Ask" and "Losing my Religion; A Call for Help".
Now I will leave you to enjoy 2 short excerpts from one of his lectures followed by links to his most important full presentation regarding our children.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EmqN75NI0xg
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XT1KGyxBXC0

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xMANKaX8khw
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YgivQJKtQME
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ga2rIUWcPPs
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HYb2v3Yx1LY
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YhMN_TZavW0
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bHeM0H0EMAw
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WD-YefJH9x0
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D2eVOKjOqHE
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qBQp7aZjxjc
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y4_xxQVGU44

Here is a solution that is yet to be implemented.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=geRM4AlFBOU&NR=1

Raising children here is not an easy task ofcourse but if we do it the right way they will be true Muslims in shaa Allaah who are "Informed Muslims" rather than "Muslims by inheritance" like their counterparts in the East. Hopefully they will then be a much better generation than ours.

Quickly, I do believe that the best 4 authors (for example, there are many others but these are my favorite) who could guide us through this difficult process are Yahiya Emerick, Jeffrey Lang, Jamal Badawi and Dalia Mogahed.

Here are some links for future reference and for an ongoing learning process that I have started collecting slowly.
Please spread the below information to all your Muslim contacts in the West.

Jeffrey Lang:
http://meccacentric.com/jeffrey_lang.html I highly recommend the lecture titled "The Purpose of Life". It has true meanings that I have not come across in any Arabic literature.

Yahiya Emerick:
Articles:
http://www.islamicedfoundation.com/articles/articles.htm
http://www.islamfortoday.com/yahiyaemerick.htm I highly recommend reading and spreading the last article in this link by the name of "The Confusion of the Scholars"
Books:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/search/ref=sr_adv_b/?search-alias=stripbooks&unfiltered=1&field-keywords=&field-author=Yahiya+Emerick&field-title=&field-isbn=&field-publisher=&node=&url=&field-feature_browse-bin=&field-binding_browse-bin=&field-subject=&field-language=&field-dateop=&field-datemod=&field-dateyear=&sort=relevancerank&Adv-Srch-Books-Submit.x=29&Adv-Srch-Books-Submit.y=8 There are only 14 books, about half for adults and the other half for kids. The extra are just repetitions.

Jamal Badawi:
Many products including books, articles and lectures mostly for adults. You can find them by searching his name online. My favorite is;
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yMfWURGcvBI
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1HXGRYaUy6g
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iyMD_tE6U68
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AixgiXpAFTY
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_WUgbgLgMXM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n3VLRoQ3qUw
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y5UvvkCDrm4

Dalia Mogahed: (Obama's adviser)
Has one book so far but has a great potential. "Who Speaks for Islam".
You can watch her debate with Irshad Manji (an openly Lesbian Canadian Muslim who is distorting the picture of Islam in the name of "Progressive Islam")http://fora.tv/2008/07/01/Irshad_Manji_and_Dalia_Mogahed_-_Who_Speaks_for_Islam

Finally here is a website for a store that sells lots of Islamic products including Islamic cartoon DVDs in English and Arabic for kids.
http://www.astrolabe.com/category/17/Cartoons_and_KidVid.html?sid=ceb7c5cf8de15b8f1cb92ad29e183a44
 

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