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Xenos

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  1. HATE SPEECH, FREE SPEECH III: Another provocation By Shaykh Hamza Yusuf Hanson, Din Syamsuddin and Prince Hassan bin Talal The Dutch parliamentarian Geert Wilders has touched off a fierce debate with his plans to post a short film on the Internet that is said to be highly critical of the Koran and Islam. A date has not been set, and there is no certainty that the film will be posted. But the anticipation has already touched off a heated discussion, and raised fears that the film could set off violence of the sort that followed publication of cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad in Denmark. Following are four comments on the film and the furor around it. A recent Gallup poll of Muslims in 39 countries reported that 92 percent of Muslims believe that attacks on civilians can never be justified. When asked to explain their position, a significant segment of the group cited the Koran's insistence on safeguarding innocent life as a moral duty. In spite of this, Geert Wilders would have us think otherwise. Wilders's film is the latest in a series of provocations against Muslim communities in Holland, and against Islam in general. Its title, "Fitna," is taken from an Arabic word meaning chaos and civil strife. It seems that this is also Wilders's intended outcome in producing the work. He argues that most Dutch Muslims should leave Holland or tear up at least half the Koran if they wish to stay. He promises that his film will definitively show "the violent and fascist elements of the Muslim faith." There is no doubt that a small number of criminal extremists have committed violence in the name of Islam in recent years. But they do not represent the overwhelming majority of Muslims. The Gallup poll also shows that the tiny minority of people who believe that violence can sometimes be justified rarely use religion or the Koran to support their views. Their reasons are mostly geopolitical. In other words, Wilders's anti-Muslim ranting is not only racist, it is inaccurate. The cynical use of identity politics to pit people against each other for political gain is not a new tactic. The past few years have been marred by a rise in tensions between small groups of extremists all over the world promoting the perception of a supposed "Muslim-West" divide. It is no surprise that those on the fringes of either side of "the divide" use similar, incendiary rhetoric to provoke young people, with the ultimate aim of strengthening their own political platforms. In releasing a film that will undoubtedly insult deeply held religious beliefs, it seems that Wilders is hoping to cause a violent reaction to prove his own argument. As with the Danish cartoon crisis two years ago, this situation, while dangerous, also presents unique opportunities. Every time resources are deployed to spread disinformation, there is an attendant rise in the public's curiosity. Already there are many who are interested in learning more about Islam. It is likely that their number will grow after this. It is critical that we seize this opportunity to mobilize ourselves to present a more accurate picture of Islam. As mediators in an increasingly heated debate, our efforts to counter the likes of Wilders must be both outwardly directed - in teaching others about Muslims - as well as inwardly directed toward our youth. How do we ensure that our youth do not fall prey to such provocation? We must be sensitive to their needs, and listen to them carefully. We should use every opportunity to further the development of healthy Western and Muslim identities. We must provide them with alternatives both in terms of information and platforms for dialogue and participation. And the best way to start doing this is to exemplify moderation in our own words and actions. Our Prophet would have done no less. Shaykh Hamza Yusuf Hansona is a Muslim American scholar of Islam. Din Syamsuddin is the president of the Muhammadiya, the second largest Islamic organization of Indonesia. Prince Hassan bin Talal of Jordan is the president of the Arab Thought Forum. Source: (you are not allowed to post links yet)"you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_you are not allowed to post links yetiht(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/articles/2008/03/25/opinion/edfilm3.php"]you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_you are not allowed to post links yetiht(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/articles/2008/03/25/opinion/edfilm3.php[/url]
  2. Radicalism is the realization of marginalization Imam Zaid Shakir, an African American convert to Islam and one of America's most influential and popular Muslim scholars, commands a rock star following - legions of enthralled and inspired Muslims filling rooms to standing only capacity waiting to hear his words. It represents a fascinating and dynamic phenomenon illuminating the resurgent identity of an educated, spiritual, religious and political Muslim American identity emerging from the post 9-11 era. Shakir, a student of the civil rights era and an educated scholar of political science and traditional Islamic jurisprudence, casually interjects tidbits of political theory, economic reform, critical race theory, Arabic, traditional Islamic philosophy and religious didacticism within his rhetoric. altmuslim's Wajahat Ali spoke to the highly sought scholar, referred to by his students as a "new Malcolm X" for Muslim Americans, about the "Clash of Civilizations," the 2008 presidency, religious extremism, and an emerging Muslim American identity. Read the whole interview of Imam Zaid by Wajahat Ali from: (you are not allowed to post links yet)"you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_you are not allowed to post links yetaltmuslim(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/a/a/a/2668/"]you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_you are not allowed to post links yetaltmuslim(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/a/a/a/2668/[/url]
  3. Description Of The Prophet

    Description of Prophet Muhammad (sallal lahu alyhi wa sallam) By Shaykh Hamza Yusuf YouTube: (you are not allowed to post links yet)"you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_you are not allowed to post links yetyoutube(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/watch?v=Gx6dBIkwxbU"]Part 1[/url] | (you are not allowed to post links yet)"you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_you are not allowed to post links yetyoutube(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/watch?v=fWOpl0w-Rt8"]Part 2[/url] | (you are not allowed to post links yet)"you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_you are not allowed to post links yetyoutube(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/watch?v=NWY2qTFim1s"]Part 3[/url] | (you are not allowed to post links yet)"you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_you are not allowed to post links yetyoutube(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/watch?v=CILyLbKeEOs"]Part 4[/url] |
  4. Qualities of an Exemplary Leader By Imam Zaid Shakir "Owing to Mercy from God, you were gentle in dealing with them [your companions]. Were you harsh [and crude], hard of heart; they would have fled from you. Therefore, pardon their abuses, seek [God’s] forgiveness for them, and consult them in the affair. Once you have resolved on a course of action [be decisive] and trust in God. Surely, God loves those who trust in Him." Qur’an 3:159 This verse contains a wealth of instruction to guide those who are leaders, and as Muslims we should all be leaders. The Prophet mentioned, “All of you are shepherds, and each of you will be asked concerning his flock.†Let us examine some of the implications of the verse relevant to leadership. Read the whole article from: (you are not allowed to post links yet)"you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_you are not allowed to post links yetnewislamicdirections(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/nid/notes/qualities_of_an_exemplary_leader1/"]New Islamic Directions[/url]
  5. So? ... A Note from Michael Moore Monday, March 24th, 2008 Friends, It would have to happen on Easter Sunday, wouldn't it, that the 4,000th American soldier would die in Iraq. Play me that crazy preacher again, will you, about how maybe God, in all his infinite wisdom, may not exactly be blessing America these days. Is anyone surprised? 4,000 dead. Unofficial estimates are that there may be up to 100,000 wounded, injured, or mentally ruined by this war. And there could be up to a million Iraqi dead. We will pay the consequences of this for a long, long time. God will keep blessing America. And where is Darth Vader in all this? A reporter from ABC News this week told ###### Cheney, in regards to Iraq, "two-thirds of Americans say it's not worth fighting." Cheney cut her off with a one word answer: "So?" "So?" As in, "So what?" As in, "F*** you. I could care less." I would like every American to see Cheney flip the virtual bird at the them, the American people. Click here and pass it around. Then ask yourself why we haven't risen up and thrown him and his puppet out of the White House. The Democrats have had the power to literally pull the plug on this war for the past 15 months -- and they have refused to do so. What are we to do about that? Continue to sink into our despair? Or get creative? Real creative. I know there are many of you reading this who have the chutzpah and ingenuity to confront your local congressperson. Will you? For me? Cheney spent Wednesday, the 5th anniversary of the war, not mourning the dead he killed, but fishing off the Sultan of Oman's royal yacht. So? Ask your favorite Republican what they think of that. The Founding Fathers would never have uttered the presumptuous words, "God Bless America." That, to them, sounded like a command instead of a request, and one doesn't command God, even if they are America. In fact, they were worried God would punish America. During the Revolutionary War, George Washington feared that God would react unfavorably against his soldiers for the way they were behaving. John Adams wondered if God might punish America and cause it to lose the war, just to prove His point that America was not worthy. They and the others believed it would be arrogant on their part to assume that God would single out America for a blessing. What a long road we have traveled since then. I see that Frontline on PBS this week has a documentary called "Bush's War." That's what I've been calling it for a long time. It's not the "Iraq War." Iraq did nothing. Iraq didn't plan 9/11. It didn't have weapons of mass destruction. It DID have movie theaters and bars and women wearing what they wanted and a significant Christian population and one of the few Arab capitals with an open synagogue. But that's all gone now. Show a movie and you'll be shot in the head. Over a hundred women have been randomly executed for not wearing a scarf. I'm happy, as a blessed American, that I had a hand in all this. I just paid my taxes, so that means I helped to pay for this freedom we've brought to Baghdad. So? Will God bless me? God bless all of you in this Easter Week as we begin the 6th year of Bush's War. God help America. Please. Michael Moore MMFlint[at]aol(contact admin if its a beneficial link) MichaelMoore(contact admin if its a beneficial link)
  6. Should Muslims Use The “N†Word? By Imam Zaid Shakir I was recently involved in a forum entitled, “Should Muslims Use the ‘N’ word.†The event could have more appropriately been entitled, “Should Anyone Use the ‘N’ Word.†However, the reason for the gathering was the frequency young Muslims, of all ethnic and racial backgrounds, are employing the term. One of the individuals whose suggestion inspired the forum mentioned that he was shocked—upon returning to the university after an absence of several years—by how frequently he was hearing other Muslims on campus saying, “My nigga’,†“What’s up nigga’,†“Where you niggas going,†and similar expressions. During the forum I mentioned I was of the opinion that as Muslims we should refrain from the use of the word. During the course of that event I did not get a chance to present all of the reasons for my position. I will delineate them here, God-willing. Hopefully, these words will be of benefit. If not, perhaps they will stimulate some beneficial comments. Read the whole article from: (you are not allowed to post links yet)"you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_you are not allowed to post links yetnewislamicdirections(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/nid/print/should_muslims_use_the_n_word/"]New Islamic Directions Website[/url]
  7. The Seventeen Benefits of Tribulation By Shaykh Hamza Yusuf Listen to the whole AUDIO from: (you are not allowed to post links yet)"you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_you are not allowed to post links yethalaltube(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/hamza-yusuf/audio/the-seventeen-benefits-of-tribulation"]you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_you are not allowed to post links yethalaltube(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/hamza-yusuf/audio...-of-tribulation[/url] Excerpted from Shaykh Hamza Yusuf's Lecture 1. You realize the power of Lordship over you 2. You realize your abject servanthood and your complete state of resignation and brokenness before the Will & Power of Allah 3. Sincerity to Allah because you have no place of return in putting off or defending against the calamities except to Him 4. You return to Allah and are suddenly fervent in your desire of your Lord 5. It leads to a humbled state before Allah and more prayers through which you’re calling on Allah 6. You’re forbearing towards the one who has afflicted you (you gain the ability to show forbearance) 7. You get to forgive someone (“and Allah loves those who pardon othersâ€). It is the greatest forgiveness when you forgive people who have caused you great calamities 8. You are patient during the tribulation (“and Allah is with the patient onesâ€) 9. You can become happy about what’s happening because you’re thinking about all these benefits 10. You can be grateful for the tribulation because of the rewards gained from it 11. The purification that these calamities have from your wrongs and your sins (ex: a believer is rewarded for any pain he experiences, even the prick of a thorn) 12. The compassion that Allah enables you to show to others in tribulation and the ability to help them 13. They give you the Blessing of having the true knowledge of the extent of well-being and what it is 14. Allah has prepared Rewards for the calamities dependent on how you dealt with them 15. What is hidden inside the Blessings of the folds of these calamities (ex: Allah may love a thing you hate and may hate a thing you love) 16. They prevent you from arrogance, evil, pride, and tyranny 17. Contentment
  8. The Poets And The Prophet By Dawud Wharnsby ######you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_you are not allowed to post links yetwharnsby(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/media/archives/poets_and_the_prophet-thumb.jpg[/img] "The Poets And The Prophet" is a statement of hope in the midst of todays increasing social, religious and political tensions. Songs by Dawud Wharnsby and co-writer Bill Kocher address several issues of social concern: family discord, political/religious extremism, spiritual hypocrisy, social unity and conflict resolution. Featuring a diverse team of session musicians and special guests, "The Poets And The Prophet" unites prominent artists with varying musical passions, spiritual foundations and cultural backgrounds. Among the CDs diverse players are Canadian songwriter and 2007 Juno Award winner Stephen Fearing and world renowned sitar master Irshad Khan (India/Canada). Tracks include: "You Are The Only One", "Everyday", "The Prophet", "Love Strong", "Midnight", "Block', "The Poets", "Vacuous Waxing", "Prophet For Profit" and "Follow". - Purchase the CD from: (you are not allowed to post links yet)"you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_you are not allowed to post links yetbelovedmusika(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/dw/index.html"]Beloved Musika[/url] - Check out his music on: (you are not allowed to post links yet)"you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_you are not allowed to post links yetmyspace(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/wharnsby"]MySpace[/url]
  9. Upholding Faith, Serving Humanity By: Shaykh Hamza & Imam Zaid MP3: (you are not allowed to post links yet)"you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_you are not allowed to post links yetzikrcast(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/podcast/audio/UFSH_ISNA07.mp3"]you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_you are not allowed to post links yetzikrcast(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/podcast/audio/UFSH_ISNA07.mp3[/url]
  10. Purification of the Heart: Signs, Symptoms and Cures of the Spiritual Diseases of the Heart By Shaykh Hamza Yusuf Purification of the Heart, as its title states, is a course on the vessel of human spirituality, character, and morality -- the heart. The suffering and problems that we confront in our lives on a personal and even global level actually come down to the condition of the heart. Muslim scholars throughout history have written extensively on this topic, as prompted by the well-known statements of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and verses of the Quran. In essence, Purification of the Heart is a course on the "Greater Jihad" -- as it has been called by illustrious learned men and women of Islamic civilization -- our struggle to become better human beings, luminaries of faith and morality. This present text is based on the poem known as Matharat al-Qulub (literally, Purification of the Hearts), which offers a means by which purification can be achieved. It was written by a great scholar, Shaykh Muhammad Mawlud al-Ya'qubi al-Musawi al-Muratani. As his name indicates, he was from Mauritania in West Africa. He was a brilliant scholar who mastered all of the Islamic sciences, including the inward sciences of the soul. The spiritual diseases of the heart addressed in this volume include: miserliness, wantonness, hatred, iniquity, envy, ostentation, vanity, fraud, and more. Imam Mawlud directs his attention to each of these diseases, discusses their causes, and offers cures. His teachings imply that purification is a life-long process, not something that is applied once and then forgotten. Purity of heart never survives a passive relationship. Rather, it requires constant consideration. This book hopes to introduce to readers how that is done. The Prophet spoke about the heart in a manner that leads one to believe that its corruption means disaster for the soul and our happiness. "Purification" is not a state per se, as you will soon hear, but is a process and always so. It is called the "Greater Jihad" because the struggle never ends, so long as we live in this world. Our faith depends on winning this struggle, as does the kind of life we will meet in the Hereafter. "If we examine the trials and tribulations all over earth, we’ll find they are rooted in human hearts. Covetousness, the desire to aggress and exploit, the longing to pilfer natural resources, the inordinate love of wealth, and other maladies are manifestations of diseases found nowhere but in the heart. Every criminal, miser, abuser, scoffer, embezzler, and hateful person does what he or she does because of a diseased heart. So if you want to change our world, do not begin by rectifying the outward. Instead, change the condition of the inward. It is from the unseen world that the phenomenal world emerges, and it is from the unseen realm of our hearts that all actions spring. . . . We of the modern world are reluctant to ask ourselves—when we look at the terrible things happening—“Why do they occur?†And if we ask that with sincerity, the answer will come back in no uncertain terms: all of this is from our own selves. In so many ways, we have brought this upon ourselves. This is the only empowering position that we can take." — Excerpted from Hamza Yusuf’s Introduction ABOUT SHAYKH HAMZA YUSUF: Hamza Yusuf Hanson was born in Washington State and raised in Northern California. After exploring religions at an early age, he converted to Islam at 18 and set out on a journey that would take him to places of study in England, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Algeria, and finally West Africa where he spent a transformative period with Murabit al-Hajj, a master of the inner and outer sciences of Islam. After a sojourn of ten years abroad, Hamza Yusuf returned to the U.S. and took degrees in Nursing and Religious Studies. In 1998, he co-founded the Zaytuna Institute in order to teach the traditional sciences of Islam to people in the West. He is recognized today as one of the most influential voices for Islam in the West and has advised several world leaders including the President of the United States and the head of the Arab League. Yusuf resides in Northern California with his wife and children.
  11. Face To Faith

    Face to faith Fasting is not just about giving up food, but trying to be a better person for it, writes Hamza Yusuf Hunger can bring out the worst in us. In a wonderful scene in Shakespeare's As You Like It, a desperate and hungry Orlando comes upon Duke Senior and his exiled court in the forest, who are about to start dinner. Assuming the law of the jungle presides in Arden, Orlando brandishes his sword and demands food upon pain of death. Duke Senior rebukes him for his lack of civility, and wisely adds: "Your gentleness shall force, more than your force move us to gentleness." Orlando responds: "I almost die for food, and let me have it." Unfazed, the duke says: "Sit down and feed, and welcome to our table." Orlando is shamed by the duke's gallantry and explains that hunger had bred violence in him. Almost four centuries later another bard, Bob Marley, melodically reminded us: "Them belly full, but we hungry / A hungry mob is an angry mob." We all know the primal nature of hunger; we have experienced the irritability that comes from missing breakfast or skipping our cup of morning coffee or tea. We hyperbolically talk of "starving" when a mealtime draws near. Our food trysts are now frequent every day in what sociologists refer to as "repeated food contacts" and farmers simply call grazing. At the drop of a hat, we indulge in lattes and biscotti. Many people no longer eat three "square" meals but rather graze all day, with Starbucks troughs sprouting up everywhere to ensure none suffer the pangs of hunger or the pain of caffeine withdrawal. In the lands of plenty in the west, we tend to forget that the abundance and easy accessibility of food was not always so and is not as widespread even now. Few of us who have the luxury of reading the daily paper over a cup of coffee and a piece of toast slathered with rich butter and marmalade have ever gone hungry intentionally, unless we succumbed to some ridiculous crash diet. But there was a time in the west when Lent, which commemorates Christ's 40-day fast in the desert, meant fasting all day and eating one meal at night. As time passed that tradition devolved into a semi-fast and now means merely giving up something one really likes, such as chocolate. Even our portions of food and drink are much greater than what our grandparents had. In the midst of this cornucopia of consumption, millions of Muslims voluntarily abstain from food, drink and sex during daylight hours in the month of Ramadan. They watch their co-workers eat and drink throughout the day, and occasionally have to apologise for not joining in due to their religious observance. Fasting for a month makes them aware of hunger as a palpable physical sensation, not a remote occurrence they read about in the newspaper. When the UN tells us that almost a billion people suffer from hunger and malnutrition and 25,000 people a day die from hunger, a faster appreciates these statistics in ways that remain distant to others. But fasting is not just about giving up food and drink. It's about tending to "the better angels of our nature". The prophet Muhammad said, "If one is not willing to give up bad behaviour during his fast, God has no need for him to give up his food and drink." Muslims are encouraged during this time to be better people, to treat others with more deference. If enticed to argue, the faster is advised to respond: "I am fasting." There are many ways to be hungry. One can hunger for love, or fame or social justice, but hunger for food seems to curb all other cravings. In being aware of others' hunger, we contribute to a more empathic world. Perhaps, if, like Duke Senior, we responded to the cries of the myriad desperate Orlandos foraging in the forests of famine out there with hospitality and help, they might be coaxed into civility themselves. Certainly, hunger can bring out the worst in us. But it can also bring out the best. Source: (you are not allowed to post links yet)"you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_you are not allowed to post links yetguardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,,2190276,00.html"]you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_you are not allowed to post links yetguardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,,2190276,00.html[/url]
  12. Polish Children Vs Muslim Children

    Salam, Keep in touch with cultural root? What culture? If you can have Pakistani Muslim, then why can't you have Polish Muslims? And why do Polish Muslims have to learn Pakistani cultures, for example? And why do they need to learn Urdo? Arabic, yes, but why urdo? It is okay for parents who are old and who have migrated, but why for those kids who were born in Poland? Why do they have to learn Pakistani culture and why do they have to learn urdo? Islam is not a culture. Islam is a filter of culture. Just as you have Pakistani culture in line with Islam, so can you have Polish culture in line with Islam. Muslim have left Muslim countries to peaceful non-Muslim lands for a better life. They have not left to export sub-continental cultures to Poland. You can be a 100% Polish and 100% Muslim also.
  13. Blackwater - Shadow Army in Iraq Part 1 - (you are not allowed to post links yet)"you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_you are not allowed to post links yetyoutube(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/watch?v=DAibI5ahMGs"]you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_you are not allowed to post links yetyoutube(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/watch?v=DAibI5ahMGs[/url] Part 2 - (you are not allowed to post links yet)"you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_you are not allowed to post links yetyoutube(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/watch?v=aOrh3bvbXEI"]you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_you are not allowed to post links yetyoutube(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/watch?v=aOrh3bvbXEI[/url] Part 3 - (you are not allowed to post links yet)"you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_you are not allowed to post links yetyoutube(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/watch?v=6d5t6u4KKhY"]you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_you are not allowed to post links yetyoutube(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/watch?v=6d5t6u4KKhY[/url] Part 4 - (you are not allowed to post links yet)"you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_you are not allowed to post links yetyoutube(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/watch?v=YgM5Q3c6XWk"]you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_you are not allowed to post links yetyoutube(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/watch?v=YgM5Q3c6XWk[/url]
  14. An Eid Message

    An Eid Message from Shaykh Dr. Abdalqadir as-Sufi The time of the ‘Eid finds us all in the best condition. We have celebrated the ordained fast, and so are enriched by this obedience. We have recalled Badr. We have celebrated the Laylat al-Qadr, and so expressed our gratitude for the sending-down of the Qur’an. Now we have come to the ‘Eid which lifts the physical burden from us and leaves us suffused with the Ruhani benefits. Note how this is identical to the celebration of Hajj. With the Hajj accomplished the burdens are lifted with the Greater Relief, leaving the Mumin free to realise what he has achieved on the Difficult Journey. Read the whole article from: (you are not allowed to post links yet)"you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_you are not allowed to post links yetshaykhabdalqadir(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/content/articles/Art075_12102007.html"]you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_you are not allowed to post links yetshaykhabdalqadir(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/content/ar...5_12102007.html[/url]
  15. Men & Women

    Men & Women By Shaykh Hamza Yusuf Many people have long held the erroneous notion that men are better than women. In Men & Women, Shaykh Hamza Yusuf makes clear the positions and roles of men and women in society according to the Quran and Sunnah and sheds much-needed light on several often misunderstood Quranic verses and hadiths concerning the relationship between the two. His eye-opening discussion of issues such as the hijab, marital rights, and domestic violence, will prove invaluable for all listeners, particularly couples who want to improve understanding in their marriages and individuals who want to be reassured of Islam's honor of women. Listen to the lecture on YouTube: Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3 - Part 4 - Part 5 - Part 6 - Part 7 -
  16. (you are not allowed to post links yet)"you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_you are not allowed to post links yetyoutube(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/watch?v=6lSpxGxkLCA"]you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_you are not allowed to post links yetyoutube(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/watch?v=6lSpxGxkLCA[/url]
  17. It’s Time to Talk About Our Social Conscience Abeer Mishkhas So what — I want to know, I really want to know — is being done to stop people from abusing domestic staff? The reports of abuse, murder and harassment seem never to stop and very little, if anything, is being done to stop them. Our officials, despite numerous public statements that they are dealing with the situation, clearly are not. The recent case of the two Indonesian maids who were beaten to death by their employers for whatever reason they choose to provide is simply incredible. It is not enough to hold the women’s employers and question them; we need to see some action taken against them and to see them publicly shamed for what they did. People have not forgotten the Noor Miyati case, and the fact that this poor woman lost her fingers and suffered without seeing justice done is again unbelievable. So what are we waiting for? Up to now, no matter what the Human Rights society or any official body says, words mean nothing. It is no longer about individual cases and it reflects badly on every one of us. These horrible stories are reported around the world and as far as tarnishing our reputation, nothing could tarnish it more. The official reaction so far has been to try to calm things down and then to do nothing. In the case of an Indonesian maid who accused her employer’s son of raping her (Arab News Aug.1), the case was officially closed for “lack of evidence.†Now the maid’s lawyer is trying to reopen it and convince the authorities that a DNA test should be used in the search for justice. To say the least, that is reasonable - especially since the accused’s denial was initially taken as proof that the maid was lying! And now to the recent case of the shepherdess who has been working here for decades without a salary. Had it not been for her goats, she would not have survived. Her employer owes her some SR63,000 in unpaid salary. What was done? Nothing. Nothing at all. He appeared once, stated that he was bankrupt, gave her SR7,000 and disappeared. Did the police do anything about finding him? Do our imams take these matters as subjects for their Friday sermons? If we look into these matter closely, there are two elements to consider. The first is the offender and the second the problem of law enforcement. Pertaining to the offenders, there seems to be a wider problem that has deep roots in our society and customs. Some people get away with mistreating those who are dependent on them — whether the dependents are the women and children of their family or their employees. To hold such unchallenged and unquestioned power is all too often to abuse it to the maximum extent. We have only to look at the records of abuse to see the truth of that statement. We keep telling the world that we hold Islamic values dear to our hearts and that whatever we do is done according to religious teachings. If we stop, however, and ask ourselves “How many of us actually follow those teachings when one side is weaker than the other?†I am afraid we would find inhumane behavior all too common. The time has come when we need to talk about our social conscience. For those who follow Islam, they know that the one of its most important teachings is to be kind to others and treat them with mercy and compassion. Of course we are not an ideal society nor is one anywhere. There are those who break the law everywhere and there are laws to restrain and punish the lawbreakers. We have the laws but we seem unable or unwilling to enforce them and so we have a persistent problem. If the offender in the Miyati case — or in any of the others — were justly punished and that punishment were made public, maybe it would act as a deterrent to other potential offenders. But as things happen, we begin in anger, assure people that things are being dealt with and eventually, the anger dies down, the case is closed and everything goes back to square one. When human rights organizations criticize us, we get offended and immediately go on the defensive. What we should do is listen to what they are saying and accept that something may be wrong and that we need to solve the problem instead of denying its existence. We also need to be aware of an old saying — justice delayed is justice denied. (you are not allowed to post links yet)"you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_you are not allowed to post links yetarabview(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/articles.asp?article=896"]you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_you are not allowed to post links yetarabview(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/articles.asp?article=896[/url]
  18. (you are not allowed to post links yet)"you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_you are not allowed to post links yetnewislamicdirections(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/nid/notes/reflections_on_9_11_and_ramadan_1/"]Reflections on 9/11 and Ramadan [/url] By Imam Zaid Shakir This year, the birth of the invisible new moon, an event that will be followed in a day or two by the beginning of the month of Ramadan, upon the sighting of the waxing crescent in the evening sky, will occur on September 11th, the anniversary of the infamous attacks of September 11, 2001 (9/11). Although no one can accurately claim that Ramadan will begin on the night of September 11th, this coming Tuesday, the beginning of the month of fasting will never be so close to the anniversary of those fateful events during the lifetime of anyone reading this article. That being the case, the occasion provides us with a good opportunity to reflect on 9/11 and Ramadan. 9/11 has been used by both the government and a significant segment of the Christian Right in this country, along with their allies, to launch a war on Islam. For the government that war has been confined to what it terms “radical†Islam. As for the latter grouping, that war can generally be described as a war on Islam itself, its beliefs, its Prophet, peace upon him, and its people. The actual prosecution of that war includes a variety of tactics, from invasion and occupation, to a war of words that involves demonizing and vilifying what is presented as the inherently violent Muslim “other†[2]. By choosing to wage this war, the parties mentioned above have placed themselves in the service, wittingly or unwittingly, of what the late American President, Dwight D. Eisenhower, referred as the military-industrial complex. They have become either the military or propaganda wing of that complex, aiding the accomplishment of its strategic imperatives. By so doing, they have contributed to a war that lacks an identifiable enemy, has no moral parameters for its execution, and theoretically, no end. Such a war threatens to undo most of the advances in international law and organization that have led to a situation in human affairs where war is an anomaly in relations between states, whereas in the pre-modern world it was the norm. Similarly, it threatens to erode valuable advances towards the creation of a global human rights regime that provided the basis for the extension of fundamental rights, at least in theory, to all members of the human family. These setbacks in international law and organization did not have to occur. In the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, America enjoyed the sympathy and goodwill of the entire planet, including the most significant political actors in the Muslim world. Muslim leaders including the presidents, kings, and dictators of all the Muslim countries, ranging from the President of Iran to the late Yasir Arafat, expressed their sympathy and support for the United States. An international climate was created, which would have allowed the United States to use her power and influence to help usher in an unprecedented international collective security regime. This regime would have been founded on the premise that global terrorism is an international problem that can only be effectively combated through the combined and principled effort of the international community. The approach buttressing such a regime includes a combination of intelligence gathering, policy changes, and a series of highly focused disruptive activities targeting the financial, recruitment, training, and communications infrastructure of identified terrorist organizations. Such activities rely far more on effective police work than they do on the might of standing armies. This approach has been employed in Europe, and has been overwhelmingly successful, even if we include the setbacks represented by the Madrid bombings, and the events of 7/7 in Britain. Despite those setbacks, many plots have been foiled, a wealth of useful information about violent groups garnished, and most importantly, a pervasive climate of fear and siege among the general population has been avoided. On the other hand, the approach taken by the United States, one she encouraged among her allies in Latin America, in face of the threat posed by violent groups confronting many of those countries during the 1960s,1970s, and 1980s, includes brutal repression in a political climate characterized by suspension of the democratic process, usurped civil liberties, or both. This approach, successfully employed in places like El Salvador, Guatemala, Argentina, and most famously, perhaps, Chile under Pinochet, includes torture, kidnapping, curtailing the right of free association, electronic spying, along with other surveillance techniques. In saner times, such an approach would never be viewed as suitable for a democratic state. However, it is the basis of the strategy currently employed by the United States in her “war on terror.†If one adds to these abuses secret military tribunals, closed deportation hearings, the suspension of habeas corpus for a new class of detainees who can be held indefinitely without any charges or evidence levied against them, one has a clear formula for a police state. The irony of this situation is that all of the measures mentioned above, in the case of the United States, have proven of little efficacy in eradicating the terrorist threat, if anything, if has exacerbated it. Furthermore, describing these tactics and the larger strategy they comprise as a “war†is misleading and counterproductive. In the words of Philip B. Heymann, a leading international security specialist: Repeating and relying on the concept of “war†is also harmful to fighting terrorism. What we face is a very prolonged series of contests with opponents that do not have the powers of a state, or hope to defeat our armies, or destroy our powerful economy, or threaten to occupy our territory—the dangerous characteristics we have traditionally associated with war. More important, designing our plans as if this is a war leads us badly astray. The dangers we face involve several possible forms of attack by several forms of possible organizations, each of which may have any of a rich set of possible motivations and a rich set of possible organizational structures. This wide range of possibilities must be handled in a variety of different ways—with a subtlety that is obscured by the simpler assumptions hiding behind the term “war.†Many of the most important ways we do not require, and are not advanced by the use of, our awesome military capabilities. [3] The abuses outlined above, and using a fictitious “war†as a pretext for those abuses, is part of an effort to consolidate the position of America in the international arena as a militaristic global power. In addition to base motivations such as the mere lust for power, the militarism of this country has become the basis of massive commercial concerns, and those concerns are not just confined to the massive weapons manufacturing sector of the economy. To give just one small example: Whole sectors of the American economy have come to rely on military sales. On the eve of our second war on Iraq, for example, the Department of Defense ordered 273,000 bottles of Native Tan sunblock (SPF 15), almost triple its 1999 order and undoubtedly a boon to the supplier, Control Supply Company of Tulsa, Oklahoma, and its subcontractor, Sun Fun Products of Daytona Beach, Florida. [4] The growing militarism of America, and the attempts to consolidate and institutionalize the empire it facilitates in the international arena, in part through the abusive tactics mentioned above, has dire consequences for this country domestically and internationally. Domestically, as insinuated above, it threatens the civil liberties and freedoms that are the foundation of our democracy. Internationally, in addition to its destabilizing influence, it represents, among other things, a missed opportunity for this country to place its immense power in the service of justice, something many analysts see as being fundamental to a democratic state. Reinhold Niebuhr mentions in this regard: Modern democratic nations have sought to bring power into the service of justice in three ways. (a) They have tried to distribute economic and political power and prevent its undue concentration. (B) They have tried to bring it under social and moral review. © They have sought to establish inner religious and moral checks upon it. [5] Niebuhr discusses in a very pragmatic fashion the challenges to the accomplishment of these three objectives. He is particularly pessimistic about the feasibility of the achievement of the first in the international arena, although its attainment within a particular state is viewed as highly possible. He states in that regard: No world government could possibly possess, for generations to come, the moral and political authority to redistribute power between the nations in the degree in which highly cohesive national communities have accomplished this end in recent history. [6] Herein lies one of the greatest failures of the current administration, for in the aftermath of the attacks of 9/11 had our government pursued a policy that focused on redistributive justice, as opposed to blind vengeance, its moral and political authority, in the estimation of a sympathetic world, would have never been higher, and the beginning of a new, unifying political project would have been a real possibility. Rather than working for the creation of a true international community we chose to rationalize conflict. Rather than attempting to understand and work to accommodate the “other†we attempted to impose our strategic imperatives on him, or in the name of decency and democracy to eradicate his perceived barbarism. In pursuing this path, we are proceeding towards the negation of the moral foundations of our greatness. Niebuhr offers us prescient advice concerning the requisites of community. He says: Genuine community, whether between men or nations, is not established merely through the realization that we need each other, though we certainly do. That realization alone may still allow the strong to use the lives of the weak as instruments of their own self-realization. Genuine community is established only when the knowledge that we need one another is supplemented with the recognition that “the other,†that other form of life, or that other unique community is the limit beyond which our ambitions must not run and the boundary beyond which our life must not expand. [7] 9/11 provided this country with an opportunity to seek genuine community. By making the apparently tragic choice to pursue the path of war and blind vengeance, the administration has made the leap from irony to evil, for that choice accentuates the requisites of a militaristic policy to a point that pretensions to such virtuous goals as spreading democracy and stabilizing the Middle East ring hollow to informed observers. As long as the general public of this country supports such a policy, it can only be viewed as a partner in the evil that ensues. One of the ironies of our current situation is that the events of 9/11 are the greatest factor urging the general public to support the militarism of the government. Those events have been used to rob that public of the political imagination necessary to begin to think of sharing power and resources in a more equitable fashion or to desire to establish a genuine international community. Herein lays the challenge to the Muslims. Will we allow the events of 9/11 to destroy our political imagination? Will we allow them to rob us of the ability to resolve the ironies that define our situation, thereby pushing us to evil acts that defy our pretensions to higher virtues? It is here that we will speak of Ramadan. Ramadan is the promise of what Islam should be. Above all else, it is the unadulterated reverence and worship of God that seeks to glorify Him, and not our selves. In a beautiful passage in Lata’if al-Ma’arif, Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali mentions the following concerning the Night of Power (Layla al-Qadr) the very climax of Ramadan: The scholars differ concerning the wisdom of the angels descending during this night [The Night of Power]. Kings and notables do not like guests to enter their homes until they have adorned them with suitable furniture and carpets and decked out their servants with fine clothing and ceremonial weaponry. When the Night of Power arrives, the Lord orders the angels to descend to the earth, because the servants have adorned themselves with acts of worship: with fasting and prayer throughout the month of Ramadan. [They have likewise] adorned their Masjids with candles and lamps. The Lord then says to the angels: “You have levied a grave charge against Adam’s descendants when you said concerning them, ‘Will you place therein [on earth] one who will work corruption and wantonly shed blood, while we glorify your praise and extol your sanctity?’ Did I not say to you, ‘Surely, I know that which you know not.’ Go forth and behold them on this night so you can witness them standing in devotion, prostrating themselves, and bowing on their knees in prayer. Then you will know that I chose them over all other creation based on [my] knowledge.†[8] This passage mentions what the angels perceived would be the reality of the human condition, but it also informs us of what God knew of our potentialities. Yes, we shed blood. Sadly, we often do so in the name of God. However, we also pray to God, we seek His Guidance, we humbly confess our weakness before Him, we dedicate great acts to His service, and we seek light through Him. If we can lose ourselves, every individual “Iâ€, and each divergent “meâ€, in the worship of God, as Muslims do on the Night of Power, then perhaps we can discover that the “I†and the “me†are not so important, that this life is really about the “Heâ€, God; and the “usâ€, His children. If He can freely bestow His gifts upon us, what prevents us from sharing those gifts with each other? If He can forgive us for the countless transgressions we have engaged in relating to Him, what prevents us from forgiving each other? These are two other great lessons from Ramadan—forgiveness, and charity. It is related that the Prophet Muhammad, peace upon him, was excessively generous. However, he was even more generous during Ramadan. The reason for that enhanced generosity, we are told, is that the Angel Gabriel would visit the Prophet, peace upon him, during Ramadan and review the Qur’an with him [9].The Prophet’s, peace upon him, reflection on the verses of charity as he reviewed the Qur’an would move him to his enhanced benevolence during this month. As for forgiveness, the Prophet, peace upon him, mentioned that the beginning of Ramadan is mercy, its middle days are forgiveness, and its latter part is liberation from Hell. Many paths leading to God’s forgiveness are opened up for us during this blessed month. Fasting sincerely during the month is path to forgiveness. Standing in prayer during the nights of the month is a path to forgiveness. Spending the night of power in worship is a path to forgiveness. Remembering God is a path to forgiveness. Lightening the burden on an employee during this month is a path to forgiveness. Providing breakfast to a fasting person is a path to forgiveness. Merely, asking God for forgiveness is a path to forgiveness. All of these and many other avenues to good are open before us during Ramadan. The Qur’an also contains verses urging the faithful to fight, in the defense of the truth, the oppressed, and one’s person. It contains other verses of great strategic import. However, these are not the lessons the Prophet, chose to emphasize in Ramadan. He emphasized charity. He emphasized forgiveness. He emphasized worship. These are the lessons, we as a community will have to collectively emphasize if we are to contribute to making the spirit of Ramadan the basis for the creation of the type of moral and political authority Niebuhr sees as essential for a more equitable sharing of power and resources in the international community. Hence, Ramadan, if understood, could become our basis for a reformed world, for any real and lasting change is rooted in an idea, an idea that is subsequently actualized. That so many Muslims are able to actualize the ideas advanced by Ramadan in their individual lives and then make that actualization the basis for their personal reformation is a function of their moral imagination. Seeing those ideas as the basis for the reformation of our world is a function of our political imagination. Unlike so many others, we cannot allow 9/11 to destroy that imagination. If we can believe that a better world is possible, we can begin the work to make it a reality. If we believe otherwise, the terrorists, of all stripes, have indeed won. Notes [1] This article will not examine what actually happened on 9/11, although the glaring weaknesses and inconsistencies in the official narrative call for such an examination. For those seeking greater clarity concerning the events of that day see David Ray Griffin, Debunking 9/11 Debunking (Northampton, MA: Interlink Publishing, 2007). [2] For an excellent historical overview of the techniques and purposes of demonizing and dehumanizing the Muslim “other†see S.E.Djazairi, The Myth of the Muslim Barbarism and Its Aims (Manchester, UK: Bayt al-Hikma Press, 2007). [3] Philip B/ Heymann, Terrorism, Freedom, and Security: Winning Without War (Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 2003), 161. [4] Chalmers Johnson, The Sorrows of Empire: Militarism, Secrecy, and the End of the Republic (New York: Henry Holt and Company, 2004), 2. [5] Reinhold Niebuhr, The Irony of American History (New York: Charles Scribner and Sons, 1952), 135. [6] Ibid., 136. [7] Ibid., 139. [8] Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali, Lata’if al-Ma’arif (The Subtleties of Knowledge) (Damascus: Dar Ibn Kathir, 1996/1416), 350. It should be noted this is an addition that appeared in the earliest published version of the book but does not appear in the available manuscripts of the work. [9] As related by Bukhari #1906 and Muslim #2308.
  19. Civic Involvement: An Islamic Imperative Muslims have to build social and political networks in order to improve the condition of society, argue two leading American By Shaykh Hamza Yusuf and Imam Zaid Shakir Improving the world in which we live is an Islamic imperative, God says in the Qur'an, "You are the best of communities brought forth for mankind." (3:110) Abu Su'ud describes this verse in his commentary: This means the best people for others. This is an unambiguous expression which states that the good [mentioned here] lies in benefit provided to the people. This is also understood from the expression, "brought forth for mankind"-namely, brought forth to benefit them and advance their best interests. Our Prophet Muhammad, may the peace and blessings of God be upon him, said, "God will continue to assist the servant, as long as the servant is assisting his brother." We can thereby understand that divine aid and succor will accrue to this community as long as we are providing the same to fellow members of the human family. Historical basis for involvement In today's socio-political environment, concern and benefit can be understood as civic involvement. The word "civic" is derived from the word "city." Hence, civic involvement refers to the meaningful ways in which a private citizen is best involved in the life of his or her city. Despite its appearance in a largely agrarian context, if we consider the nature of the dominant means of economic production at the time of its emergence, Islam is best associated with the city. Our Prophet, may the peace and blessings of God be upon him, is identified with the city. God mentions in the Qur'an, "I swear by this city, and you are a free man of this city." (90:1-2) The Prophet's migration was from Mecca to Medina, from one city to another. Islamic learning and culture is associated with great cities-Damascus, Baghdad, Cairo, Isfahan, Samarqand, Bukhara, Tashkent, Qayrawan, Fez, Cordova, Seville, Granada, Istanbul, Sarajevo, Zabid, Timbuktu, Delhi, and many others. It was the involvement of Muslims in the lives of these cities, many of which were established before the arrival of Islam, which defined them in their historical contexts. As Muslims, our involvement in the life of our cities should similarly leave a lasting and positive mark on them. Surely we have much to offer in that regard. It is not without purpose that God has placed us in significant numbers in and around the great metropolises of America. Now is the time for our constructive involvement in the lives of these cities to commence. Such involvement is especially critical in these times of political transformation and the redefinition of both the role and scope of government here in America. As the two major political parties become increasingly responsive to special interest groups, particularly those associated with big business, large unions, and wealthy individuals, their role as facilitators of democratic and civic involvement is being eroded. This shift in responsiveness is leading to what is referred to as a dealignment of those parties. This dealignment causes private citizens to search for new institutions to serve as their primary means of political involvement, which consequently results in the proliferation of smaller, grassroots civic organizations. The collective weight of these organizations and their facilitation of direct citizen involvement in local politics is viewed by some as the reinventing of American democracy. Position of Muslims and contributions The potential contributions of Muslims and the benevolent influence of Islam in this process are tremendous for a number of reasons. In terms of addressing issues associated with poverty, the social welfare policy of both governmental and non-profit organizations has centered on what has been referred to as "a deficit model that focuses on the deficiencies of individuals and communities, rather than building upon the individual, associational, and institutional assets and networks that already exist." This deficit model systematically weakens citizens and communities, as the power of governmental and private agencies ascends. As government retreats from the obligations assumed by the welfare state, the aforementioned organizations are threatened. Hence, the existence of this ineffective model is also threatened. As a result, an opening exists for Muslims to provide an alternative model of civic involvement and activism. The unique position of Muslims is rooted in the dichotomous nature of our community wherein less affluent, largely minority converts and recent immigrants live in inner-cities, while more affluent and established immigrants reside in suburbs. This dichotomy creates a situation in which the Muslims of inner-cities have a tremendous potential of social capital, or the ability to draw on developed internal communal support systems and networks with other organizations, such as churches, schools, neighborhood associations, local politicians, and small interest groups. On the other hand, Muslims living in the suburbs have tremendous intellectual and financial capital. If we could constructively bring these two reservoirs of capital together, we could develop a demonstrable model that could initiate a revolution in American civic participation. That revolution lies in our potential to reverse one of the most damaging implications of suburban sprawl-the depletion of intellectual and material resources from the inner-city. Rudimentary efforts undertaken by Muslims to counter this trend have already begun. Organizations such as the Inner-City Muslim Action Network (IMAN) in Chicago combine the material and intellectual resources of suburban Muslims with the organizational expertise and networking potential of inner-city Muslims to create a dynamic synthesis that is having an ever greater impact on the life of both Muslim and non-Muslim communities. In Los Angeles, the Umma Community Clinic demonstrates how the vision and focused action of suburban university students can create a major center that provides one of the few venues where poor residents of the South Central Los Angeles community can receive free basic medical care and referrals for more advanced treatment. In the Washington, DC area, The Zakat Project initiated by the All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS) builds bridges of goodwill and helps to initiate avenues of communication and coordination between the wealthy Muslims of suburban northern Virginia and the poorer communities of inner-city Washington, DC. In Richardson, Texas, the Islamic Association of North Texas (IANT) provided the funding to renovate one of the oldest Masjids of inner-city Dallas. In Santa Clara, a suburb in the southern San Francisco Bay Area, the Rahima Foundation works in collaboration with Masjid Warithuddin of inner-city Oakland to help feed three hundred families a month. If we can expand and develop these efforts, a new and unprecedented model of civic involvement can emerge. This development is in no way limited to the social service sector. Mobilized social capital would inevitably engender deeper models of citizen involvement that involve greater forms of self-governance and enhanced collaboration with other economic, social, and political actors. However, for these developments to occur, we need a revitalized type of Muslim-one who is instilled with a bold and God-conscious vision. This is why the Agenda to Change Our Condition is so important. If implemented, it will engender Muslims with a healthier relationship with God, and a healthier relationship with God will lead to a healthier relationship with our neighbors. That enhanced relationship will in turn lead to a change in our collective condition, God willing. May blessings and peace be upon the Messenger of Allah, as long as those who remember him continue to do so ... Source: (you are not allowed to post links yet)"you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_you are not allowed to post links yetislamicamagazine(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/issue-20/civic-involvement-an-islamic-imperative.html"]Islamica Magazine[/url]
  20. (you are not allowed to post links yet)"you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_you are not allowed to post links yetshaykhabdalqadir(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/content/articles/Art073_09092007.html"]Letter to Leader among the German Muslims[/url] By Shaykh Dr. Abdalqadir as-Sufi I had intended to write you a letter conveying my prayers to the Creator of the Universe asking blessings on you and the huge Muslim community in the German State, this being the beginning of our Holy month of fasting. One can only regret that the effective preventive work of your special services chose the opening of Ramadan to be the time to make a publicity involving the arrest of these dreadful terrorists, and must hope it was done without reflection, and can only regret that it was not done a month earlier. While every terrorist phenomenon must be utterly removed from the European State, and of that there can be no doubt, my concern is not with either the efficacy or the sensitivity of the special services. My concern is two-fold: one, the abysmal ignorance of the political class and their pseudo-academic advisors, and two, my awareness that the causes of terrorism in Europe and elsewhere, as well as its motor-force, have simply not been understood either sociologically or psychologically. Let me say first of all, that the name ‘Islamic Terrorist’ is in itself a complete political fiction. The two terms in themselves represent a nonsense, since they are utterly lacking in compatibility. On the one hand you have a term defining the world’s greatest religion, with the largest number of adherents, whose unique material manifestation has been the highest civilisation, whether by the sublime architecture of Tamerlane and the Mughals in the East, or by the philosophers, doctors, and scholars who produced a proto-science and the highest legal method in history, in the West. Now the word ‘terrorist’ had never manifested in the Islamic society. It did, however, appear as a by-product of the Shi‘a religion, not in itself a sect of Islam but a post-Islamic sub-religion uniquely based on turning post-Islamic history into a metaphysic. I mean, of course, the notorious Isma‘ili phenomenon of terrorism, which can be clearly identified as re-surfacing in the 20th and 21st centuries. The primary instrument of that terror was the suicide-activist. The unfortunate victim, for such as these are victims, was required to enter a state of exaltation on the promise that his action would assure him a place in Paradise. Having committed his ghastly deed, he was then buried in a special martyrs’ cemetery. There, the young followers who were next in line for this immolation were taken to meditate on the faces which were drawn in ink and placed over their graves, to further their identification with them. They then trotted off to commit their hideous act of suicide-assassination. They were the terror of the Muslim population of the great Sultan Saladin (Salahuddin), and also of the christian kings. Now, it is possible to go to the Gaza Strip and observe exactly this Isma‘ili-type cemetery, and the glazed youngsters being prepared for death by their shameful and cowardly masters, in exactly the same way as the Isma‘ilis did in the Middle Ages. To make inescapable where the inspiration and doctrine has come from, it should also be pointed out that the leadership of Isma‘ili terrorism was a hidden leadership unknown to everybody. Their leader directed affairs from a hidden place in the high mountains of Lebanon. He was called the Old Man of the Mountains. Today the same phenomenon is directed from the mountains of Waziristan, which is a known area of fanatical Isma‘ilism, and there until recently the contemporary Old Man of the Mountains lay in hiding. I refer, clearly, to Osama bin Laden. Another aspect of this story is the mystery of his death or occultation. In Rawalpindi and in the Security Services of Paris they say he is dead. They also say the videos of him are morphed, a now simple digital process. This leaves us with an inescapable political shadow over the relationship between the colonialist NATO doctrines and the smoke-screen necessity of an indefinable, quasi-non-existent entity of world terror whose name two billion Muslims have learned from the media. At this point I should add that, knowing as I do all the Muslim leadership with the exception of China, I have yet to come across one Muslim ‘alim or leader who has ever met any of them! When the official analysis of the Twin Towers incident was issued in the USA, Muslims did not fail to notice that on the night prior to the disaster – I might add, that a lady I knew was killed on one of the planes – the criminal hijackers passed their evening neither in prayer nor fasting, but by entertaining prostitutes and drinking vodka-sours! The fact that the epicentre of this plague called terrorism is undeniably Palestine, and by extension the shamefully traduced State of Afghanistan, still does not permit us to identify it as Islamic. During all my lifetime, right up until the 70s, or perhaps 80s, something called a ‘serial killer’ simply did not exist. To be precise, if it did, it was such a social anomaly that people knew the name of the killer. Jack the Ripper! However, as the capitalist society evolved, so too did its crimes. The term ‘serial killer’ and the phenomenon first surfaced in the USA. It then took root as a new pathology of the self-hatred endemic to capitalism. If one were to say “christian serial killersâ€, there would be an outcry. Why? Because that simply is not the relevant term to designate the sociology of the serial killers. One does not have to dig deep to find its political causes. They are embedded in the very nature of atheist humanism, which from its beginnings has been ferociously misogynist. There would not be a women’s movement in the USA if there had not been a prior persecution and humiliation of them in the social nexus. The much-vaunted claims that women are equal to men are still denied by the highly significant role women are cruelly forced to adopt if they wish to enter the realm of politics. In politics the American Secretary of State, the German Chancellor and the French Justice Minister, simply have not been able to function in the all-male environment of politics without becoming transvestites, however stylish the cut of their manly suits. Last night, flicking through fifteen TV channels, at the moment I tuned in, a woman was screaming, another sobbing, another being raped, and so on, over nine out of the fifteen channels. It gets worse later at night. As far as the banking elite is concerned, I only know one woman in the highest echelons of banking. Perhaps appropriately, her first husband mysteriously disappeared and her second was murdered in his bathroom. Let us now look at the term ‘terrorist’ further. To us Europeans there remains a disturbing split between the intellectual content of our education, taking in as it did history, literature and the arts, and the weltanschauung offered to us on a daily basis by the media with their Esperanto-like limited vocabulary, and the politicians with their fractured grammar. The fractured grammar of European ministers in Germany, France and Britain is really quite shocking, but it is nowhere challenged by our academics, perhaps because they have all gone into the lucrative business of emerging as terrorist experts! Let us therefore remind ourselves of the emergence of terrorism – the term, its political application, and its philosophical frame. The word was first used in the language of the great Russian writers in the 19th century. Significantly, two words went together – terrorist, and nihilist. In the political practice of the time they were seen as synonyms. The terrorist-nihilist, as understood by Turgenev and Dostoevsky, was not seen as a radical desirous to bring about a change in the power nexus. He was seen as someone who, seeing no solution to the terrible contradictions of society, and to its irrational foundations, decided that there was no meaning left in the political discourse. The result of this ‘nihil’ was that the terrorist concluded that an ultimate act of utter meaninglessness which was an act of utter destruction – and the highest destruction is the destruction of one’s own self – thus in itself challenged the society to face up to the total ‘nihil’ of the contemporary situation. As if with ghastly determination, the democratic politicians then proceeded to confirm the individual act of self-destruction by plunging the world into the mass suicide of the 1914-18 World War. Virginia Woolf had declared: “On or about December 1910, human character changed!†The two great giants of the 19th century had warned that civilisation had broken down and that an end-destruction was not only near but longed-for – both Ibsen and Wagner declared the end. Ibsen’s Rosmer and his lover walked into the mill-race to drown. Brünnhilde flung herself into the fires of Valhalla. It took a German historian after World War II to perceive what no-one had dared to say, that 1914 to 1945 was one disastrous European civil war. Worse than that, it was a second Thirty Years War. Since 1945, whether we like it or not, want it or not, know it or not, the political class have found themselves with a disappearing hold on power. Political power is manifest by control of substantive wealth. It has always been thus. Today the political class rule uniquely by the tiny financial sum of the annual budget allotted to them by the voting tax-payers, while the stupendous wealth of commodities and currency manipulation remains in the hands of a tiny oligarchy, elected by no known constituency. It must be understood by the educated European elite that just as the terrorism of 19th century Russia, which is the true, unique and only modern precursor to present-day terrorism, occurred at the point where two polar extremes were connected by the electric current of violence – Tsarism and destitution were fatal lovers who shared in the blast – today’s terrorists are the inescapably bound, helpless suicidal lethal lovers of the high oligarchy of that massive wealth embedded in the banking system at its core, and the commodities system of oil and precious metals at its core. Brünnhilde’s meeting was with the flames of Valhalla and the Gods. Ibsen’s Rebecca West, in plunging into the mill-stream, was making rendezvous with the shame of her past. We are in a terrible situation, which the arrest of these paltry, miserable terrorists scarcely has raised up before our eyes. We must take a long look. Europe desperately needs renewal. That renewal will be Islamic, and that Islam will prove to have taken its inheritance from the wisdom of Goethe, the first great European Muslim, and the wise, nearly Sufic psychology of Schiller, as well as the inspiration and guidance that confirmed it in the writing of Nietzsche and the sublime Rilke. And so my prayer this Ramadan is that at this crossroads among the ruins of a great civilisation, we do not stifle genuine political discourse between the Muslim Europeans and the rest in a fascistic policy of the intimidation of the doctors who have come with the medicine.
  21. Challenges of Co-Existence By Shaykh Hamza Yusuf YouTube: (you are not allowed to post links yet)"you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_you are not allowed to post links yetyoutube(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/watch?v=eWQRpOGnxdY"]Part 1[/url] | (you are not allowed to post links yet)"you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_you are not allowed to post links yetyoutube(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/watch?v=ZlIcgEm_R5I"]Part 2[/url] | (you are not allowed to post links yet)"you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_you are not allowed to post links yetyoutube(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/watch?v=5qTrfsYH4DQ"]Part 3[/url] | (you are not allowed to post links yet)"you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_you are not allowed to post links yetyoutube(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/watch?v=SJ0GITgtNlg"]Part 4[/url] | (you are not allowed to post links yet)"you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_you are not allowed to post links yetyoutube(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/watch?v=C9iseXyi5mw"]Part 5[/url] | (you are not allowed to post links yet)"you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_you are not allowed to post links yetyoutube(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/watch?v=9oFUHKarRBA"]Part 6[/url] | (you are not allowed to post links yet)"you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_you are not allowed to post links yetyoutube(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/watch?v=mE1LPVqrQGg"]Part 7[/url] |
  22. Fast Food Nation

    Trailer: (you are not allowed to post links yet)"you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_you are not allowed to post links yetyoutube(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/watch?v=zc_z623Wsro"]you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_you are not allowed to post links yetyoutube(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/watch?v=zc_z623Wsro[/url] One of the must see movie. It is based on a book, by the same title. Must read book as well.
  23. New Cartoons Of Rasool-allah!

    Why does Pakistan care? Or why would any of the Muslim countries care – given the fact that every single Muslim country has their own problem? I am not talking about material problems. I am talking about Islamic problems. How can Pakistan care when they have all these human suffering and turmoil? How do they even have the time to protest? We should stop ourselves from demonstrating reactive behaviours – behaviours that only generates more cash flow for those who are using our very name to generate those cash. Media wise, at the end of the day – it is their bottom line. They are to make money. Take a shot at Muslims – or some forms of controversies – and your paper sales go up. Pauline Hanson, for example, is one trashed up loser. Media doesn’t really give a damn about her. People are not really interested in her. So, what does she do? Muslim bagging! Ban them from Australia! She makes it on the front page! She becomes the number one media priority! And even then, how many of us have actually tried to contact her? Ask her what is going on? Send her emails? Send her more emails saying that Islam is not what she portrays it to be? She is an unfortunate woman with ever-present desire to be shined with media light. She didn’t even mind telling the whole world about her private life with a former associate – just for the publicity. What would be of more importance? Complaining and shouting and creating chaos over derogatory images being drawn for our Beloved, sallal lahu alhi wa sallam? Or utilising those times trying to work – produce – come up with solutions – that provides real solutions for those respective people who are in need? Isn’t living his example, sallal lahu alyhi wa sallam, is more important? Do you think you will be rewarded more shouting and raging over things that you have no control over (who is, for example, Pakistan – to complain? It is not Pakistan that provides aids to those Swedish, when it comes to humanitarian crisis. It is the exact opposite)? Or would you rather spend the same amount of time, lets say, helping someone to live a sustainable life? I do not simply mean to feed them, but to assist them to achieve sustainability where they can earn their own living and buy their own food.
  24. The Poets And Islam

    The Poets and Islam By Abubakr Rieger A short talk given at Wolfsburg Islamic Centre on Sunday 2nd September 2007 to mark the occasion of the Masjid’s one-year anniversary. Ladies and Gentlemen, Of course, if I undertake to present the relationship between the German poets and Islam in the space of 20 minutes, I am bound to fail. But this implies at least that such a relationship exists – and that it is much too complex and too multi-faceted to sum up in just a few minutes. There is no doubt that the dialogue between poetry, thought and belief is once again taking on a deeper importance. It has always been a central issue, and still is. Right back in 1814, Goethe wrote in his West-Eastern Divan, “The actual, the only, the deepest theme of world and human history, beneath which all other themes are subsumed, remains the conflict between rejection and belief.†It may be no coincidence that the subject of religion is once again gaining in import. The religion we belong to appears once again to be one of the decisive questions, especially in the field of integration. The situation in Germany, in terms of simple figures, is as follows: – 16 million Muslims in Europe – 3.4 million of these Muslims live in Germany – of those, 84% wish to live permanently in Germany – More than 600,000 Muslims already possess a German passport – 77 conventional Masjids and more than 2000 prayer rooms exist in Germany – 123 large Masjids are currently at the planning stage in Germany. It would be naïve to believe that such an enormous integration process could take place without any difficulties whatsoever. But then again there are voices that deny absolutely the possibility of integrating Islam into our polity. For example, Wehler, a philosopher of history, published an article in the taz newspaper in 2002 entitled Das Türkenproblem – the Problem of the Turks – and sparked a debate which rages on bitterly to this day: “The example shows that it just doesn’t work. Germany does not have a problem with foreigners, it has a problem with Turks. This Muslim diaspora is in principle impossible to integrate. The Federal Republic of Germany has, since its formation, coped gallantly with an immigrant population of what is now ten per cent. But at a certain point there comes a limit to what one can expect of a complex society.†This typical position is one which I would dispute, and that on a very personal level. If you will permit me this example – I myself and my children, who all were born as Muslims, represent the error in the argument of Mr Wehler and anyone else who claims that Europe is incompatible with Islam. Cannot my son Yusuf, who was born in Weimar, a German Muslim, be integrated into this Europe? Only because he, just like every other Muslim, prays, fasts, or will one day pay Zakat and take the journey to Mecca, inshallah? If, like Ibn al-Arabi, we recognise the identity of a person by his language, then it is of course absolutely scandalous not to welcome the young Muslims who live here – who often speak better German than Arabic or Turkish – just as one would welcome my children as German Muslims. When we hear Huntington speaking about a “Clash of Civilisationsâ€, then, as far as Islam is concerned, we may be witnessing what will be an epoch-making misunderstanding – but hopefully not. The question which is in fact relevant to that is: “Is Islam actually a culture at all?†It is my conviction that we must refute this idea absolutely. Islam brings forth cultures; filters and influences cultures; but is itself not a culture. You can be an American, a German, an Afrikaner, an Asian or an Eskimo – belong to the most diverse of cultural environments – but still be a Muslim as well. To reverse the argument, so to speak, one of the important contributions European Muslims must now make is to filter out actively those incidences wherein Islamic life is culturally hijacked and transgressed against in Europe. This applies especially when culture is at times too quickly “sold†to us as Islam. To mention one example, the wearing of the Burka is, for a German Muslim woman who practices Islam correctly, fully untenable, both culturally and Islamically. A study of the centuries-long periods during which Islam flourished in Al-Andalus shows that dress code was not only dealt with flexibly, but changed frequently – especially among women. Even at the time of the Moors there were probably more important things in life. We meet here today in this beautiful Masjid, and one of the intentions is to indicate some of the spiritual inspiration that can emerge between thinkers and believers. By inviting each other in this way we are also doing the opposite of what terrorists and ideologues do, who must fear, avoid and fight against the Other in order to preserve their own identities. Unfortunately, Islam and terrorism are today mentioned in the same breath, a fact for which we have the nihilism of suicide bombers to thank. But while we appreciate fully the debate which has been ongoing since 11 September, we should call to mind the observation of the thinker Peter Sloterdijk: “We have in fact sanctified terrorism. One has only to think of the book Powers of Ten, in which we witness a journey through the cosmos – from the biggest to the smallest – in which the same image is retained, but enlarged each time by the power of ten. First you see heaps of galaxies, then the Milky Way, Earth, a country, a city, a garden, then a couple lying there on the lawn. Finally the camera zooms into the microscopic world, bringing forth to our vision the elementary particles. We experience the power of enlargement in three dimensions. Something very similar is now happening with Terror: pinprick-sized effects in real life are being magnified by our media to take on the format of interstellar phenomena.†Today let us take another perspective; let us think for once positively about the relationship between Islam and Europe, but not, of course, ignoring the problems of integrating millions of different Muslims. Let us simply hope together that the relationship between Germans and Muslims is viewed more and more not just as normal, but in the traditional manner of a forging of links. After all, if we think about Islam in Europe then we must immediately recall the great cities and places of European culture. One only has to think of Sarajevo, Cordoba and Weimar. Weimar especially, that city of German classics which is so close to the German heart, prefigured the encounter between Europe and Islam in the great figure of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Manfred Osten wrote an apt summary of this old-new dialogue with Islam in the Neue Zürcher Zeitung on 22.05.2002: “A dialogue of an excelling modernity? Goethe was clearly aware of the cultural schism between Islam and the West at an early stage, and the concomitant necessity for the Great Dialogue. It may be that his attempt at such a dialogue, the cycle of poems entitled West-Östlicher Divan or West-Eastern Divan which he wrote in 1814, must be viewed under Nietzsche’s verdict that Goethe was “an incident without further consequences in the history of the Germans.†Even today, many German scholars encounter his intercultural stroke of genius with reservation. And yet, by writing this book all those 200 years ago, Goethe did nothing less than prepare the ground for the dialogue with Islam. The strategy which he pursues is based on a thorough examination of what is apparently foreign, which for him leads to recognition, indeed in the conviction that the Qur’an is the most important religious document in the history of mankind alongside the Bible.†What really interested Goethe about Islam? This is a fascinating question, and still an open one. Goethe, the genius of his century, certainly found in Islam a confirmation of his longing for unity and his deep belief in Destiny. To mention but one example, in his famous conversations with Eckermann, Goethe admires the integral Islamic approach to education. “...What is remarkable are the teachings with which the Mohammedans begin their education. As the foundation of their religion, they establish in their youth the conviction that man cannot encounter anything but what an all-guiding Divinity has long ago decreed; this equips and reassures them for their entire lives, and leaves them needing little else.†Goethe therefore identifies belief in Destiny as the actual link between all believers. He continues.... “... there is basically some of this belief in each and every one of us, without us having been taught it. “The bullet that does not have my name on it will not hit me,†says the soldier in battle. And how should he keep up his courage and spirits under extreme danger without such confidence? ...[it is] a doctrine of a Providence which remains aware of the smallest detail, and without Whose will and permission nothing can occur.†With these beautiful words, Goethe confirms the connection between people who, according to him, are anyway better described as open-minded citizens of the world rather than narrow-minded nationalists. Goethe, the creator of the West-Eastern Divan, who famously “did not reject the suspicion that he himself was a Muslim,†reveals himself as knowledgeable even of the Islamic methodology of thought. He reminds us as Muslims that when it comes to our Revelation, we think not dialectically but in terms of the whole. Goethe argued: “The Mohammedans thereupon begin their teaching of philosophy with the doctrine that nothing exists about which you cannot say the opposite. They exercise the minds of their youth by having them find and articulate the contrary opinion of every proposition, which inescapably leads to great skill in thought and speech.†He then continues to reflect on this superiority of Islamic thinking: “Then, once the opposite has been claimed about every proposition, doubt arises as to which is actually true. But they do not tarry in doubt. Rather, it drives the intellect to examine more closely and to ascertain; and, if performed correctly, from thence derives that certainty which is the goal in which man finds complete reassurance. You can see that this teaching is lacking nothing, and that for all our systems we are no further on, and that absolutely nobody can get anywhere with them.†It is precisely this intellectual confidence, this relishing in intellectual engagement, a composure and self-assurance in the face of contradiction, that we Muslims now sometimes lack. Only in the active engagement with thought, argumentation and the contradictions of modernity can we as Muslims find and preserve our own intellectual position. That, at least, is the counsel of the poet of old. Of course, language and the capacity for language are essential for an encounter of this kind here in Germany, the land of poets and thinkers. And which Muslim parents would in fact not want their children to speak our language? Indeed, sometimes it is the language of the Other that helps us to comprehend what is of value to us. For example, our world-famous poet Rainer Maria Rilke had the following quite beautiful insight defining the nature of religion: “[...] Religion is something infinitely easy, simple. It is not a knowledge, not a content of feeling [...], it is not a duty and not abstinence, it is not a limitation. Rather, it is in the perfected expanse of the universe: a direction of the heart. [...] When the Arab turns to the east at certain times and prostrates himself, that is religion. It is hardly a “beliefâ€. It has no opposite. It is being moved naturally within an existence through which the wind of God blows three times daily, by being at the very least: supple [...] This openness of Rilke’s is today truly exemplary. And the enthusiasm is certainly mutual and not restricted to the German language. Rainer Maria Rilke wrote to Lou Andreas-Salome on 19.12.1912 from Ronda in Andalusia: “..I am reading the Qur’an here and am in awe, awe, awe – and once again my love of Arabic is awoken.†Is it anything other than this awe that we Muslims now want to convey in our Masjids? An awe of Destiny, an awe of language, an awe about creation. And perhaps also an amazement at the common human ground which all great poetry reveals to us again and again, regardless of confession. It is precisely this awe which is opposed by the experience of nihilism – whose basic experience, according to modern German philosophy, is boredom. Only if our Masjids are open, our prayers, thought and actions are alive, will we ensure that our young people do not become bored in our Masjids. Ibn al Arabi, another great European figure, considered boredom something quite inconceivable in Islam. His motto is truly Greek: “Everything flowsâ€. For this reason I would like to conclude with this philosophically important extract from Ibn al-Arabi’s Meccan Revelations: “Some people do not know that Allah reveals Himself anew in every moment, and that every one of these revelations is different from the last. If somebody is lacking this perception, he may dwell endlessly in a single revelation [of Allah], the witnessing of which seems prolonged to him. He is then overcome by boredom, yet boredom in this dwelling place is a lack of reverence for the Divine, since “they are dubious about the new creation†in every moment (Qur’an 50:15). They imagine that the situation is not changing, so a veil is drawn in front of them and this causes a lack of reverence, once Allah has withdrawn from them knowledge about themselves and about Himself. They therefore imagine that they are the same in every moment.†Thank you very much for listening. Source: (you are not allowed to post links yet)"you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_you are not allowed to post links yetabubakrrieger.de/page.cgi?key=11&nr=686"]you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_you are not allowed to post links yetabubakrrieger.de/page.cgi?key=11&nr=686[/url]
  25. Thinking Anew

    Thinking Anew A lecture by Shaykh Hamza Yusuf YouTube (Audio) : (you are not allowed to post links yet)"you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_you are not allowed to post links yetyoutube(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/watch?v=RTWmMznxSUI"]Part 1[/url] | (you are not allowed to post links yet)"you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_you are not allowed to post links yetyoutube(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/watch?v=Ize9dP3Lhk0"]Part 2[/url] | (you are not allowed to post links yet)"you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_you are not allowed to post links yetyoutube(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/watch?v=11sGVq56EA0"]Part 3[/url] | (you are not allowed to post links yet)"you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_you are not allowed to post links yetyoutube(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/watch?v=a9Ayy27WVDM"]Part 4[/url] | (you are not allowed to post links yet)"you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_you are not allowed to post links yetyoutube(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/watch?v=22zgjp7xfAo"]Part 5[/url] | (you are not allowed to post links yet)"you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_you are not allowed to post links yetyoutube(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/watch?v=wxxNEBk7Bf4"]Part 6[/url] | (you are not allowed to post links yet)"you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_you are not allowed to post links yetyoutube(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/watch?v=gfIDUD37oTs"]Part 7[/url]
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