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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

{Quick Reflections 42} Corrupted Islam 1

Posted by Badeea at 8:05 PM 2 comments Links to this post
Introduction

Audience:
The audience targeted by this series includes people from all walks of life who are interested in their own well-being as well as that of humanity as a whole. Arrogant people, who take themselves, rather than ideas, too seriously are discouraged from reading further. Looking at the big picture, life in this universe is not about mortal individuals’ egos but about eternal concepts that outlive any single individual’s very short and temporary success. Readers are invited to think, contemplate and share with positive constructive criticism rather than act on well established and taken-for-granted-paradigms. You are encouraged to think outside the box and put on-hold all sacred and firm frames of thought, whatever they are. Give it a shot at another way of thinking and another angle of focus that steps back and tries to put events in their true perspective.

Islam:
Contrary to common belief by non-Muslims and many Muslims, Islam is not a blind set of rituals and do’s and don’ts. The rituals are a constant reminder of the facts of life and ethics that Islam is all about amongst the daily materialistic distractions. Islam is a comprehensive way of life that starts with one while one is still an embryo and accompanies you all the way through to the other life.

It is the way of life chosen by God for His human creatures that suite them most. It is fit for all cultures and all time. Through its correct application one achieves happiness, serenity and success in both the current temporary worldly life and the next permanent one. It focuses equally on the individual and the community. This is not an advertisement for true Islam but I firmly claim it is a fact clear to some people in this age, just like the fact that Earth is not the center of the Universe was clear to Galileo and opposed by all others in his age.

A manufacturer of a complicated electronic device provides you with a manual that guides you to operate the device and make the best out of it. You can still operate the device without the manual but your non-guided operation will be sub-optimal. Moreover in addition to the manual and way of operation called "Islam" provided by the manufacturer "God" for optimal operation of the most sophisticated creature, human beings, He also provides you with an insurance policy for the next and permanent life, or "function after expiration", or “replacement with an eternal substitute”.

Me:
I am a 31 year-old surgeon born in Egypt and raised in different parts of the world amongst tens of different cultures and ideologies. I am proud to have been raised by a wise enough Muslim father who when I was 7 years-old asked me to chose my own religion and belief after researching all other systems of belief. He also advised me to base my decision on logic and sense only and never let any religious or political authority, present or past, influence my decision. He did not believe that being born to a Muslim family makes you a Muslim, or born to a Christian family makes you a Christian and so forth as that defeats the purpose of being provided with a mind that thinks and a will that chooses. He believed that before one can claim s/he belonged to one system of belief or another and start lobbying for it or defending it blindly one has to research different systems first and then reach his/her own conclusion. Also he did not believe in different cults and sects of different religions. He was wise enough to advise me in my search for the truth to trace everything back to its origin and that any addition to the very first original system, whatever system it is, is but mere human corruption that only leads to tinting the picture and dividing people further. Accordingly I was raised to question all dogmas, stereotypes and traditions. After years of observing, reading and researching I came to his same conclusion.

Why:
I am writing this small series now after I reached that conclusion because I believe in neither temporary fixes nor burying my head in the sand. Islam is in deep trouble and so are Muslims, and actually so are non-Muslims, because Islam has been hijacked and continuously corrupted within around 3 decades after Prophet Muhammad’s (peace be upon him) death. Corruption is now so deep seated in the belief system, sparing only a few basic facts, that only very few will see what I mean. I do not claim to be a savior or a visionary but rather a humble soul struggling everyday to see the pure original light behind the ground glass that was placed in a false attempt to protect the light.

Monday, November 17, 2008

{Quick Reflections 41} Menz!

Posted by Badeea at 8:28 PM 0 comments Links to this post
In the following link you will find an example of how parents in this era in history are the cause of destruction of the Ummah through the way they raise their children.
All most of them care about is the professional career and financial welfare of their children (even after they have grown up and are no more children). No attention is paid at all to the development and raising of a well integrated and responsible personality that is independant and has an identity and principle-based-goal in life.
In order to raise true men and women who are capable of being of any true use to themselves, community and the whole Ummah a very important concept has to be adopted by the parents.
Once their "child" reaches puberty (9-13 years) he/she is responsible for all his/her acts in front of the Al-Mighty Allaah (SWT). They can not protect their children from Allaah's Judgment whatever they do because they cannot do that themselves in the first place. If they really care about them they have to prepare them since day one in their lives to be able to answer to Allaah (TWT) about all their thoughts and actions when the time comes and they reach puberty (9-13 years). One who is truly prepared to defend his/her cause when asked by Allaah (TWT) once he/she is 9-13 years old is one who can live and die in dignity, one who can live in endurance and die in patience. That is the only way to have a generation of true men and women who are truly responsible and have a principle-based-mission in life. That is the only way to replicate Abu-Bakr, Omar, Ali, Mus"ab, Abu-Zarr, Salmaan, Kutz, Khadeejah, Fatimah and whole generation of true "ahbab rasool Allaah (SAWS)".

Personally i have seen hundreds of the provided repulsive example in real life amongst colleagues in college. Plz do not repeat that mistake with YOUR children.
http://www.amrkhaled.net/multimedia/multimedia906.html

May Allaah use us and our children and not replace us.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Inheritance ‎

Posted by melmogy at 5:59 PM 0 comments Links to this post
The definition of the word “Inheritance“, according to Merriam Webster’s ‎Dictionary, under the main entry “quantitative inheritance, noun” is: ‎
Genetic inheritance of a character (as human skin color) controlled by polygenes ‎with each allelic pair of genes at a given locus having a specific quantitative effect ‎‎– ‎
and under the main entry “blending inheritance, noun” is:‎
The expression in offspring of phenotypic characters (as pink flower color from ‎red and white parental plants) intermediate between those of the parents.‎
Also means: the act of having or taking into control, or occupancy of property ‎without regard to ownership -- something owned or possessed; specifically : a ‎piece of real estate b: the exclusive right to possess, enjoy, and dispose of a thing. ‎
Once, there was a man in his fifties who had four children, two boys and two girls. ‎He was a self-made billionaire who had to struggle all his life to build a huge ‎empire only for strangers to inherit. His eldest son had a baby boy but died ‎shortly after in an accident. The man had to mourn his second son too because he ‎was not able to have children of his own, who would carry his NAME! The man’s ‎two daughters would have children but would carry their fathers’ names. ‎
Why do people put such great efforts in their lives striving to build empires that ‎would eventually vanish no matter how long their heirs even live? ‎What would their wealth, children, family and friends do for them after they die ‎and become replaced by other generations who would in the best of scenarios ‎follow their ancestors’ footsteps only to meet the same destiny!‎
Have such people ever paused to think about what “Inheritance” really means ‎and how to make it eternal?‎
Let us look at a different version of inheritance and try to understand what it ‎really means; an inheritance that never vanishes, an inheritance that our children ‎and we could reap even after we die.‎
‎“Who inherits what” is one important question; other questions are what do we ‎inherit? Who has the most to give? Does it ever decrease? Is it exclusive? Can one ‎control its amount or quantity? Etc...‎
If we would rephrase those questions into only one, we would ask, where are our ‎priorities? ‎
Everyone likes to have a small fortune because it makes life much easier, ensures ‎good education and a nice life for our children and makes us look good in our ‎community; it makes us feel superior too. Can we guarantee a good fortune in ‎life? What kinds of fortunes are there to endeavour? Can we obtain an assurance ‎and from whom?‎
Ultimately, God inherits heavens and earth and the believers inherit the fruits of ‎their deeds. (“... when unto Allah belongeth the inheritance of the heavens and ‎the earth?...”, Al-Hadid (The Iron): 10) ‎

Who are the losers of wealth? They are those who lost their true goal in life and ‎those who forgot why they were there in the first place. They are those who ‎concentrated only on themselves and lived only to realize a selfish dream of ‎building an empire that would remain eternal – in their own limited mind's eye – ‎forgetting the needy and neglecting their role and duty toward humanity, they ‎forgot why God created them in the first place! (“Blessed is He in Whose hand is ‎the kingdom, and He has power over all things; Who created death and life ‎that He may try you-- which of you is best in deeds; and He is the Mighty, the ‎Forgiving”, al-Mulk (The Sovereignty): 1-2)‎
How can a businessperson be shortsighted and successful at the same time? ‎Would he not be shortsighted if he did not include the future of his fortune? ‎
This is precisely what he would be doing, if he only thinks of himself, his family ‎and heirs. The truth is that: (“And unto Allah belongeth the Sovereignty of the ‎heavens and the earth; and on the day when the Hour riseth, on that day those ‎who follow falsehood will be lost; And thou will see each nation crouching, ‎each nation summoned to its record. (And it will be said unto them): This day ‎ye are requited what ye used to do.”, al-Jaatheyah (Crouching): 27-28)‎

What happens to such losers, like Moses’ Pharaoh for instance? The Pharaoh and ‎his followers were ruined and “other” people inherited their homes and land ‎‎(“How many were the gardens and the water springs that they left behind; ‎And the cornfields and the noble places; And pleasant things wherein they ‎took delight!; Even so (it was), and We made it an inheritance for other folk”, ‎ad-Dukhan (The Smoke)25-28)‎

On the other hand, what happens when one has the balanced mind of working in ‎the path of God as well as to ensure his future? (“We are your protecting friends ‎in the life of the world and in the Hereafter. There ye will have (all) that your ‎souls desire, and there ye will have (all) for which ye pray; A gift of welcome ‎from the Forgiving, the Merciful; And who is better in speech than him who ‎prayeth unto his Lord and doeth right, and saith: Lo! I am of those who ‎surrender (unto Him).”, Fussial 31-33)‎

Some of the concepts that ruin a good fortune are the desire for possessions, ‎frivolous greed, one’s id ‎, eternal existence, strengthening one’s ego ... etc. ‎If we could understand the bad concepts in the culture of businessmen that ‎deprive them and their families from enjoying life along with the fortunes they ‎build, we would do them and us a great favour by protecting them from going ‎astray when they forget the best part of their life, their true religion. We could ‎achieve that gradually by making of ourselves a role model for them. Consider ‎these verses, (“And when Allah alone is mentioned, the hearts of those who ‎believe not in the Hereafter are repelled, and when those (whom they ‎worship) beside Him are mentioned, behold! they are glad (45); ... Now when ‎hurt touches a man he cries unto Us, and afterward when We have granted ‎him a boon from Us, he saith: Only by force of knowledge I obtained it. Nay, ‎but it is a test. But most of them know not (49) Those before them said it, yet ‎‎(all) that they had earned availed them not (50); But the evils that they earned ‎smote them; and such of these as do wrong, the evils that they earn will smite ‎them; they cannot escape. (51); ... Say: My slaves who have been prodigal to ‎their own hurt! Despair not of the mercy of Allah, Who forgiveth all sins. Lo! ‎He is the Forgiving, the Merciful (53); Turn unto Him repentant, and surrender ‎unto Him, before there come unto you the doom, when ye cannot be helped ‎‎(54); And follow the better (guidance) of that which is revealed unto you from ‎your Lord, before the doom cometh on you suddenly when ye know not (55); ‎Lest any soul should say Alas, my grief that I was unmindful of Allah, and I was ‎indeed among the scoffers! (56); Or should say: if Allah had but guided me I ‎should have been among the dutiful! (57) Or should say, when it seeth the ‎doom: Oh, that I had but a second chance that I might be among the righteous! ‎‎(58), al-Zomar (The Groups): 45, 49-51, 53-58). ‎

The main problem is that great percentage turn into fortune worshippers; they ‎should rather elect a balanced mind of worshipping God and follow His rules in ‎building an “uncontaminated” fortune. (“Who so doeth right it is for his soul, ‎and who so doeth wrong it is against it. And thy Lord is not at all a tyrant to His
slaves.”, Fussilat (Explained in Detail): 46)‎
‎ ‎
The renowned Mr. Amr khaled, said about having God’s bounty at a later phase in ‎life: if a father was a righteous person then he should not worry about the future ‎of his offspring because God will guarantee it. He further added that behind such ‎lateness there is a mercy but a human being is so in a hurry. In explaining this, he ‎narrated the story of Moses (pbuh ‎): ‎
Prophet Moses (pbuh) once met a wise man and asked to learn some of his ‎wisdom. The wise man asked the prophet to follow him and observe without ‎asking questions or interrupting him. At one time, the wise man and the prophet ‎passed through a small village where their people refused to welcome them. The ‎wise man found a building that was about to collapse so he fixed it. Prophet ‎Moses (pbuh) found this puzzling! When the time came for the wise man to clarify ‎what did seem insensible, he explained that the building had a treasure buried ‎underneath that belonged to a fine man who died and left two orphans. God ‎Almighty did not want them to suffer; therefore, He ordered the wise man to ‎preserve the building so that when the boys become old enough they would find ‎the treasure, which would then well sustain them.‎
Thus, the important matter is to believe in God’s judgement and His destiny. He ‎who accepts God and depends on Him would never be let down. Why would we ‎worry when God promised us his bounty! (“... We give them sustenance and ‎yourselves (too)...”, al-Israa’ (The Night Journey): 31). There is no repelling of ‎the bounty if God is the Giver and there is no bestowal if He did not provide it. ‎Therefore, all what we have to do is to work toward our goals in a manner that ‎pleases Him, we should not worry and dedicate all our lives searching or stacking ‎treasures ruining our chance to enjoy life along with our duty of worshipping ‎God, thus losing both our life and the hereafter too. ‎
If we looked at businessmen we would see constant anxiety and worry about ‎losing their fortune. God said, (“... and My mercy encompasses all things; ...” al-‎A’raaf (The Heights): 156) and he wrote under His Throne “My mercy preceded ‎my wrath”. This should be our true goal, let’s confront ourselves for the true ‎contentment is God’s superior door, the shelter of worshippers and life’s ‎paradise; God’s destiny is above everything and “...and whomsoever Allah ‎makes err, there is no guide for him (36); and whomsoever Allah makes err, ‎there is no guide for him”, al-Zumar:36-37)‎
Therefore, God the Omnipotent is the One and Only Who will inherit heavens an ‎earth, not any of us. That said I would like to clarify that that does not mean in ‎any way that we should not work to build a fortune for our families and ‎ourselves. That means, however, that it should not become our first priority. In ‎addition, we should not be thinking of this money as “our own” fortune and no ‎one else has the right to it. “Believe in Allah and His Messenger, and spend out ‎of what He has made you to be successors of; for those of you who believe and ‎spend shall have a great reward” (al-Hadid: 7); it is God’s money because He is ‎the One Who created it. ‎
We need to be thinking how to use some of this fortune in projects that would ‎help others and use it in social interdependence and solidarity, which in the end ‎would please God and serve Him, not to mention the many rewards in life as well ‎as in the hereafter. This would be our first priority.‎
Hence, why do we not spend our money in God’s path when we are certain that ‎we will die and leave our fortunes anyway to God? ‎‎“Who is there that will offer to Allah a good gift so He will double it for him, ‎and he shall have an excellent reward (11); On that day you will see the ‎faithful men and the faithful women-- their light running before them and on ‎their right hand-- good news for you today: gardens beneath which rivers flow, ‎to abide therein, that is the grand achievement. (12)” and “Know that this ‎world's life is only sport and play and gaiety and boasting among yourselves, ‎and a vying in the multiplication of wealth and children, like the rain, whose ‎causing the vegetation to grow, pleases the husbandmen, then it withers away ‎so that you will see it become yellow, then it becomes dried up and broken ‎down; and in the hereafter is a severe chastisement and (also) forgiveness ‎from Allah and (His) pleasure; and this world's life is naught but means of ‎deception.”, (al-Hadid: 11-12, 20). ‎
Wouldn’t that be the greatest success of all?‎

Ressources:‎
The Holy Qur’an
Psychology- definitions.‎
From Mr. Amr khaled’s lectures

Footnotes:‎
‎1- Id = in Psychoanalytical theory, the part of the personality which contains our primitive impulses ‎such as sex, anger, and hunger. (http://allpsych.com/dictionary/i.html)‎
‎2- Pbuh = peace be upon him

Friday, June 20, 2008

Adage

Posted by Sara at 7:18 PM 0 comments Links to this post
A new promising and needed project has finally seen the light. Adage Ltd. is a not-for-profit translation and education company devoted to the production of the first online database of hadīth (the sayings and traditions of Prophet Muhammad) in different languages, starting with a complete English translation.
Such a project is highly important in our bitter days, when truth is distorted, and lies are taking the lead, where Islam is constantly being attacked and prejudiced. The core aim of this project is to clear the misunderstandings about Islam, and to spread the fruits of Islamic knowledge to the world. While is can prove highly effective for scholars and Muslims, it can also be very useful to anyone seeking to know more about Islam from an authentic source. Nobody can better represent what Islam is really about more than the Prophet of Islam himself!
This is a must-see website that is extending a hand with peace and a real desire for more understanding and tolerance. Please see for yourself:
http://www.adageonline.net/

Friday, May 9, 2008

Value

Posted by Sara at 6:47 PM 0 comments Links to this post
Value is a relative concept, like time, truth, right and wrong. There is no fixed value for things, first because value can change, and second because value can be quite variable for different people. In the same sense, what may seem trivial to you can be life-saving for others. What you consider worthless can be priceless for me, and vice-versa. Even for the same person, what may be unimportant now can turn out to be very crucial later on, with the change of circumstances, change of one's opinion, or lifestyle, or any other parameter of change. You can simply realise that you were giving enormous value to something that does not deserve all this attention, just as you can discover that you have thrown away such a precious thing or person that used to belong to you.

A good example of how variable value is can be seen in the marketing strategies of new products. When a new brand of cars or mobiles, or even a new type of food entree are first introduced into the market, their prices are usually very high, just because they are new. In time, these products' price decrease, without any change in the quality or conditions governing the selling process. What actually happens is that they are first presented with a fake higher value, and after they lose the glow of being new they fall back to their real value. With more time, other technologies get to be introduced, and in spite of no deterioration in the quality of the product, it gets cheaper with time. It does not matter if this system is more reliable, or this outfit is more comfortable, what is new and fashionable will definitely be more expensive.

What drew my attention to this concept is a part of Prophet Joseph's story. When ,out of envy, his brothers threw him into the well in stead of killing him, the merchants who found him in the well decided to sell him as a slave. Because those merchants did not know the real value of the kid they found, they sold him for a very low price. They did not know that this young boy will be remembered throughout history, or that he is a Prophet and the son of a Prophet. They did not know that he will be the minister of treasury in a couple of years and save the whole country from the dilemma of the famine. Had they known how important and valuable he is, they would not have seen him with the same indifferent eye.

Some travellers came by. They sent someone to draw water and he let down his bucket. 'Good news!' he exclaimed. 'Here is a boy!'. They hid him like a piece of merchandise - God was well aware of what they did - and they sold him for a small price, for a few pieces of silver: so little did they value him. Qur'an: (12 [Joseph]: 19, 20)

Sometimes we can see things that others do not. We can hold dear to our hearts dreams, concepts, or little dear things that are silly and useless in the eyes of others. These things can be very true to us, and totally ridiculous to others. I believe that I should try to see how others view and value life, but I cannot and should not let go of my valuable things. I learnt, the hard way, that there are three things in life that we should highly esteem but we sometimes do not; dreams, principles, and people. Losing any of these invaluable three is irrecoverable. Failing to protect one's dreams, letting go of one's principles in life, or losing a dear person are grave mistakes that we do when we should know better.

I learnt that I should not lose people if I can keep them, even if they are not so dear to me, because I have seen how this loss can be painful. I learnt not to let go of my dreams even if I am the only one who can see that they are attainable, because if I lose them I will not be myself. Even if I am not destined to reach them all, they keep me going, and on the way, I reach higher places that I would not have reached without those higher aspirations. I learnt not to ridicule the dreams of others, because I know how I value mine. I learnt not to promise if I cannot keep my word, not to let go of what I believe is right even if other see this as being difficult. There will be a day when they understand, and even if they do not, it is enough for me that I can sleep with a clear conscience. The value of my dreams, of my word, or of the people I love, are simply great and grave.

Value seems to be one of those things that people will always see from a different angle. There is no right or wrong here. Yet, under-estimation and over-estimation are two mistakes that we always fall for. We can try, but will not succeed everytime, to put things in their rightful positions, to think before buying or selling, to take a moment and see; is it worth it? How many times do we ask ourselves this question? Personally, I started to include it in my routine thinking.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

The Simple Things

Posted by Sara at 2:13 PM 0 comments Links to this post
When the world is burning with fire, when we are tested everyday as humans and as individuals, I find it soothing to pause for a second, and feel grateful for all the things we take for granted, the absence of which would break us apart, if only we know it.

For having good health and sound bodies, for the ability to see and walk, think and express ourselves.
For the sense of safeness, for the roof above our heads, for the blanket that keeps us warm, for the comfortable bed.
For being able to eat when hungry without worrying about the next meal.
For being able to live in a safe place, not worrying about our lives or the lives of our dear ones.
For being able to walk without fear, for being respected as women/men and humans.
For the quiet neighbourhood, the cosy home, the good job.
For being able to love, and appreciate the beauty of the world.
For the family and the friends.
For the knowledge and the education.
For the morals, beliefs, and principles, for the ability to sleep with a clear conscience.
For the gift of life, for the religion and the path.
For all the others things that are less obvious yet as precious.

We should be grateful.

Think a little, of any of these simple blessings. Think what would it mean to lose just one of them; losing one's home or eyesight or sense of direction, etc., how horrible that would be. Even if you do not have all these things, the fact that you are able to read this means that you are blessed with the majority of them. If one thing or the other is missing from you life, and its absence is having an effect on you, if you feel unsatisfied with your place in life, or would have wanted to live in a bigger house or have more money or whatever, let us be humbled, even every once in a while, by remembering that there are people who cannot close a door and sleep safely, and others who live under siege knowing that they could lose their lives any moment. If your children are giving you a hard time, see how others are not able to have kids of their own, and others who have lost their children while they are still alive. If you see injustice in your life, thank you Lord for not being the one who will have to live with the guilt. If your job is not satisfying all your aspirations, remember those who are begging to live. If your meal today is not the best, there are people who do die out of hunger. There are many faces for pain in the world, yet so many faces for blessings. We are surrounded by God's abundant forms of kindness, let us remember and cherish the simple things in life.

Monday, January 21, 2008

kaleidoscope

Posted by Watermark at 2:41 AM 2 comments Links to this post
Every once in a while, you get to see a snapshot of the true magnitude of life. It varies. You could be utterly happy all the time or profoundly sad. Yet, the snapshot only allows you to see a raw truth; the reality of life.

We are lonely creatures. We are surrounded by people to keep us company in our journey through life but everything is temporary. People surrounding us are temporary. We always return to the honest snapshot, that the origin of all things is loneliness. Adam was created lonely. Eve came along to combat his loneliness. It seems that our innate strife is to continue combatting that loneliness for as long as we live. Whatever way or form, we try and keep the shadow of loneliness away from our front doors, back doors and any nooks it might seep through.

Along with an extreme fear of loneliness comes deception. In more than one way, it is another honest snapshot of life. The subtlest of all forms is self-deception. We are all guilty of it at one point of our lives or another. Creating bubbles for ourselves to live the life we seek. We truly believe the life we lead to be real and wholesome or even if unhappy we strive to create a comfort level that makes us feel satisfied. Others who know us and even those who do not, believe it. We unconsciously exude an aura of self-deception. Only God can see through to the truth and once in a while He lets us see that honest and raw snapshot of our lives.

The origin is loneliness. We have no one but Him in reality. We may comfort ourselves through deceptive means but sooner or later all things fall apart. Only then will He make us see that we truly have no one but Him.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Forgiveness; the Price of Life

Posted by Sara at 2:54 PM 2 comments Links to this post
O you who have believed, why do you say what you do not do? Great is hatred in the sight of God that you say what you do not do. (61 [As-Saff ]:2-3)

I wrote before about 'Embracing Change', and I preached a lot and thought that I am wise and strong enough to give advice to others. I know now that it is utter arrogance and ignorance. I thought that when change comes knocking next time that I would be ready and prepared to implement all the things I have been saying, which though seemingly right and beautiful, are definitely very hard to actually do. Very soon afterwards, I was sent a test by God, which I’ve totally failed! It was like, here you go, you talk so well, prove it! And I could not prove it, I admit. I was humbled by knowing how easy it is to talk while you are not in the midst of the struggle.

So, this time, I will not be as foolish as before, and I will descend the podium. I will not say what I cannot do. Allow me this time to talk about the concept of forgiveness, without preaching.

Forgiveness; such an easy word to say, it passes on the heart with a soothing effect that is so pleasant. It is very tempting to advise others to forgive and forget; don't we all want God to forgive our sins? Then this is a very good reason to start forgiving others ourselves. Yes, true, I agree. I kept on reading about forgiveness in the Qur'ān, and although I was very convinced, yet I still could not bring my heart to do it. A particular verse, in An-Nūr chapter (the light), moved me deeply,:
"...and let them pardon and overlook. Would you not like that God should forgive you? And God is Forgiving and Merciful." (24 [An-Nūr]:22)
However, when you have been deeply hurt, you will not find this in any way possible to do, even if you desperately seek God's forgiveness. Sometimes anger stiffens the heart and gives you an illusionary feeling of strength that allows more fire to burn inside and bitterness to fester and totally take over your thinking. With more anger, disappointment, and lack of relief, we harbour more darkness and negativity. Sometimes we choose not to forget, to keep the pain alive, we choose not to forgive, as a silent way of avenging for our wounds.

It is so sad to watch how we sometimes make the wrong choices, carrying such heavy hearts loaded with bitterness and an inability to forgive. Despite being ordinary people who are inherently good, we allow dispute to break us apart and ruin even the good memories that used to be. We start to feel paralyzed, unable to make things better, because of the great pain, wronging, and abuse we've been exposed to. Sometimes, we might wish things were not as bad as they were, yet remain crippled with our wounds. I have seen when death approaches, how every angry memory just fades away. How foolish it is when life is that short to give up on people and surrender. But when you can do nothing, when words lose their meanings and promises lose their glow, when you are the one who has been wronged, what shall you do? You will have to go on and work on your heart. If you are a strong person, you will not surrender to the destructive thought of revenge. Yet, you stand in a fork, with two paths ahead. In both roads life will go on, as it always does. So, you can either walk on thorns that you keep watering, or save yourself.

For a while, I have chosen the first thorny path. I became so different from the one I used to be, like a butterfly that cannot fly anymore after her wings had been touched. I could no longer have the ability to embrace life with open arms or be the joyous person I used to be, I felt so incomplete. Even after getting over the sense of loss, something inside seemed to have been broken. It is no more the wronging that keeps nagging; it is this precious lost part of me that hurts the most. It is when I lost trust, when beauty became colourless, because I am no longer… myself. With a New Year unfolding, I wished I could start with a clear heart that has no memory. Yes life goes on, in whatever shape or form, but even when it does go on, we continue to keep our wounds bleeding by stepping barefooted on the poisoned wreckage of our own hearts. Then I discovered that for me to lead a normal life, I have to get rid of the bitterness that is darkening my heart. It keeps growing pushing away all the light in its way, making everything looking bleak and colourless. I realized that for me to go on, I have to forgive first. I have to shatter the bitterness that is ruining me. Such darkness is smothering me, and I cannot carry it anymore. I choose to save myself. I do not want my heart to dry out. I do not want to end up with a heart of stone. I do not want Satan to win over me in this battle. I do not want any more loss.

"Has the time not come for those who have believed that their hearts should become humbly submissive at the remembrance of God" (57 [Al-Hadīd]:16)

"Then why, when Our punishment came to them, did they not humble themselves? But their hearts became hardened, and Satan made attractive to them that which they were doing." (6 [Al-An'ām] :43)


Forgiveness is very hard to reach. It takes more strength than love does. It is easy to be angry; fire can eat up a whole forest in seconds, but it takes so long to put it out, and takes much longer to grow the forest back. We should learn how to reconcile with ourselves. If others do not appreciate you, learn to appreciate yourself first. If they have wronged you, do not wrong yourself by allowing bitterness to ruin your heart. Forgive others, for your own sake; for the light to befriend your heart again, for warmth to replace coldness, for beauty to overcome ugliness. God is Merciful, yet He is Just. Nothing goes down the drain, when things are left totally for Him to judge. I have learnt that anger is not strength. What takes more courage is to conquer your fear and beat your anger; to truly believe in God's comforting light, and that He will guide us throughout the journey.

"And be patient, [O Muammad], for the decision of your Lord, for indeed, you are in Our eyes. And exalt [God] with praise of your Lord when you arise." (52 [At-Tūr]:48)

"If you pardon and overlook and forgive - then indeed, God is Forgiving and Merciful."
(64 [At-Taghabun]:14)

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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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