Archive for the ‘Jihaad’ Category

The role of intention

Tuesday, April 15th, 2014

I read this somewhere that we will be judged by God because of our INTENT (نیتنا). Do you believe that INTENT نية is more important than performance? (as reported by Ali and Ja`far As-Saadiq, may God have been pleased with them).

If you’d agree with me then should I keep going? I still haven’t made a decision. If I choose not to, it won’t be because of my situation (calamity). I swear to my dear Lord that it’s not about misfortunes of my life. Maybe everyone hates me, even my family, all people except kids.

I just wanna see the truth, wanna see God, wanna see my Dear Lord because I believe that it would be enough for me, I’ll endure those flames just for that sight of Him. Then I’ll rest even in hell.

That will be the INTENT behind my action, so tell me as a man of God, not personal answer, as someone who knows the truth (Allah) and have a task to share that, is this forbidden too to make such a decision?

I’ve nothing to contribute, because of your perfect site, but pray. May our Dear Lord bless your soul.

Thank you for you kind words about the blog and for your prayer for me. May God accept it and give you same.

How do you know that you will see God? There is no evidence that this will happen except for the people of Paradise. The Prophet (PBUH) said, “When the people of Paradise enter Paradise, God will say to them, ‘Do you want more I can add for you?’. They will say, ‘Did You not admit us to Paradise and save us from the Fire?’. Then the veil will be uncovered. They would never be given anything more beloved to them than looking at their Lord.” Narrated by Suhayb ibn Sanaan and reported by Muslim who rated it authentic. In another narration of the same hadeeth, he subsequently recited, “For those who did good is the best reward and more.” (10:26)

Thus, you assumption that you may see God either way has no basis. If what you are talking about is committing suicide, God forbid, then you should know that it is the only terminal sin in Islam. All other can be remedied in time.

It is also unforgivable, regardless of the intention behind it. One day, in a battle, a man was quite the warrior. His fellows were praising his valor, but the Prophet (PBUH) surprised them by saying, “He is in the Hellfire!” Shortly thereafter, the man was so badly wounded and in so much pain that he killed himself. Now the Sahaba understood the Prophet’s prophesy about him. The Prophet (PBUH) also said that a man from the prior nations had a painful open wound, so he committed suicide. Then God said, “My servant preempted Me with himself; I have forbidden him Paradise.” (Narrated by Jandab ibn Abdillah and reported by Al-Bukhaari). If, God forbid, you should commit suicide, you would lose both this world and the Hereafter. I pray that you come to your senses and expel Satan who is whispering such delusions into your ears.

The reality of this world can certainly be hard. God made that clear to Adam, “So, We said, ‘O Adam, verily this (Satan) is an enemy to you and to your spouse, so do not let him evict you from the Garden lest you should suffer.'” (20:117)

But does that mean we should abandon living and renounce the world? If that were true, how come the Prophet (PBUH) and all his noble companions were fully engaged in the world, in spite of all its trials, tribulations and unpleasantness? The Prophet (PBUH) had uncles who cursed him and even plotted to kill him. And what did he do? He kept friendly relations with them to the end. As a matter of fact, he practiced forgiveness, largess and graciousness.

If renouncing the world was a teaching of Islam, don’t you think that God, or His messenger, would have told us so?

This world was meant to mix the good and the bad, the wholesome and the filthy, the right and the wrong, guidance and loss. How else would the free will that man took on be exercised or tested? Why do you think God keeps telling us in the holy Quran to endure, keep the faith and do good? It is precisely because human nature would lead man to despair, lose faith and detach from the world otherwise. Maybe even drink to forget. Satan is counting on it!

Life is a finite opportunity to gain God’s approval and earn His reward. This can only be done if we maintain the right faith, remain steadfast on the Straight Path, fulfill our obligations, accumulate good deeds, expiate sins and call upon God to accept what we do right and pardon what we do wrong.

Finally, the role of intention is to validate good deeds. A charity could be intended for show-off. It may still be beneficial but it ceases to be a good deed – the kind that gets recorded in one’s book of deeds. A sin remains a sin regardless of the intention that preceded it. Intention is what differentiates the sincere from the hypocrites. That is why God judges by it, and only He fully knows it.

Can faith go up and down?

Wednesday, November 6th, 2013

Brother, I pray this finds you in high eman (faith) and good health.

Here is one of my serious questions. I did not know where to start the research.
I pray. I believe in prayer. I try not to miss my salat (prayer).

I got sick. I could not pray. I do not mean physically. There arose the problem. I could not make myself pray. I put it off. I blamed the physical lethargy. I could not understand nor rationalize the blockage.
The inability to pray ran down to my soul. I could not find an answer.

To try and sum it up in words: Why do we have periods of such low eman (faith) that prayer becomes difficult? It is not the total abandonment of prayer but a temporary inability to pray. Does this even make sense? I understand that the body hurts but the soul hurts more when prayer is ignored. It was as if I felt I was abandoned.

Point the passages in the Quran for me to ponder on this one. I know others who have the same blockage. It is not that you do not want to pray..but something prevents you from praying.

You’re asking why is this happening to you. The answer is simple: Satan got to you. Don’t panic; it happens to everybody. Satan never tires of trying to get to people so that they may follow him instead of following God. In the holy Quran, God quotes Satan challenging Him and saying, “I will come to them before them, behind them, at their right sides and at their left sides, and You will not find most of them thankful!” (7:17)

What do you do about it? You show Satan who’s boss! You fight him on it. You drag yourself to pray if necessary and cry to God in your prayer to help you win that fight. It is not an easy fight, it’s a jihaad (struggle). And if you just start it, God promises He will be on your side, “And those who struggle in Us, We shall surely guide them to Our ways.” (29:69)

Prayer is the second most emphasized notion in the Quran, after the oneness of God. Why? Because once you understand who God is, you certainly want to find out how to communicate with Him.

Prayer is an audience with God that He invites you to five times everyday. It is a privilege given to every believer, similar to the privilege God gave to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) on his Mi`raaj (ascension journey to heaven). Unlike audiences with human dignitaries, you don’t make an appointment first, you don’t need intermediaries, you can stay as little or as long as you want, and you can ask for anything and be sure that an answer will be given right away and in the way that fits you best.

Prayer, therefore, is much more than a duty upon every believer toward His Maker, it is a fabulous opportunity; like a freebie you get five times a day and all you have to do is open the door to get it. No strings attached.

Prayer is a chance to thank God five times a day for the many more than five favors He has given you that day.

Belief does not go up and down, but faith does. Belief is binary :-), you either believe or you don’t. Faith, on the other hand, is the practice, cordially, mentally, verbally and manually, that proves the belief and affirms it. Since all of these can go up and down, that’s why faith can go up and down. God defined believers as follows, “Verily, believers are only those who, when God is mentioned and His verses are recited to them, it increases their faith, and upon their Lord they rely.” (8:2)

To make your faith go up, you increase the rate at which you affirm your belief. Cordially, you contemplate God’s love and grace often. Mentally, you reflect on God’s creation and bounties often. Verbally, you do Zhikr often, and manually, you perform the rituals, charity and good deeds often. The more you commit yourself to that, the easier it gets, because Satan will find you a tough nut to crack and will look for an easier prey, just like a car thief doesn’t bother with cars that have a powerful alarm.

The Prophet (PBUH) often said this supplication, “O turner of hearts, steady my heart on Your religion! O diverter of hearts, direct my heart to obeying You!”

And he always said this supplication after ending each prayer, “Allahumma a`inni `ala zhikrika wa shukrika wa husni `ibaadatika” (“O God, help me to remember You, thank You, and comply well with your ordinance.”)

Tests of faith are healing and guidance

Thursday, September 12th, 2013

I am on an adventure that I know has been sanctioned by Allah swt. My learning curve is off the charts.

I hold on to the precept after difficulties comes ease.

It would be good to address, yet again, how fortunate are the ones that Allah swt tests.

We often forget that our testing is a way to stay alive. We are kept young. We become resourceful. Often in our monotonous lives we become ungrateful of the favors of our Creator. We take things for granted. When the rug is pulled under our feet we become alive again.

We commence on a deeper esoteric journey. When it gets tough it seems the only door open is the door of the Mercy of Allah swt. The example of Yunus (Jonah) becomes alive. He was alone in the belly of the whale at the bottom of the sea. Not even a candle to give some light. Yet, the test was for him to call upon Allah swt.

We overlook the healing process after the ejection from the whale. Once the internal, the soul, is rescued then the body can recover.

Would love to hear your thoughts.

I am blessed too, as Allah has provided me with Believers that I can share my spiritual journey with

You bring up a very important point: that tests of life are nudges along the Straight Path. Picture a father teaching his son to ride a bike. We cannot be steady in life without God’s constant guidance and occasional nudges, because Satan would then have a field day with us. And the only way to avail ourselves of that infinite source of guidance and redirection is correct, true faith in God, recognition of His correction to us, acceptance of His tests of us and doing good deeds.

It is then that we got it. Only then do we understand why we’re here, what we’re supposed to do and not do.

This relates to the question I had regarding ridha. Trust me the term tranquil acceptance is not mine. I was listening to the Imam of Cambridge college. He is a revert. Brilliant mind. One who can think and be clear and precise. Here is a link: http://cambridgekhutbasetc.blogspot.com/.

It seems to be the case, and it is a difficult pill to swallow, that often the guidance of Allah comes at His Pace. When He guides us and wishes for us to purify our souls, for the fragile human ego it is a difficult period. Any metamorphosis requires a degree of what can be described as growing pains. Who wants to yield the warm bottle of milk and the comfort of mothers lap.

Yes, I understand that part of the tests are we give up our misconceptions and notions of what ought to be in a perfect world for ourselves. However, it is not our world. We are participants in His Creation. What I have come to understand is the Truth of the Quran. It is absolute. There is not one lie in it.

This is an earth-shattering experience. It is scary. When we read Allah is sufficient unto me…we have to believe in that 100%. He has told us so. And we are tested to understand the meaning of that. One of the blessings of the test is the ridha. But, in the midst of the chaos of the test we have to stop and count our blessings. This is where we need the strength of community. Almost a reinforcement of enjoining good and forbidding evil.

As life is a new experience each day, is that not a definition of striving, we are in constant change.

Maybe, I am blessed.

He is indeed successful who “gets” the Quran before they die, because back to its author they are going.

Why are they leaving Islam?

Friday, August 24th, 2012

An excellent article by Mathew Longacre,
http://www.suhaibwebb.com/society/dawah/why-are-they-leaving-islam/

I’d add that the spread of lies, half-truths, bad translations and scare tactics and confusing traditions or culture with religious tenets by Islamophobes, as well as the spread of misinterpretations, misconceptions and flawed fatwas (religious rulings) by fundamentalist Muslims as well as portraying terrorism, mass murder and suicide as Jihaad (!!), all leave the vulnerable and the gullible Muslims in confusion and doubt. It is the responsibility of parents, friends, preachers, scholars and media to rush to help those who have unanswered questions about Islam and answer them! We are all responsible for each other and will be questioned by God on the Day of Judgment if we have failed that responsibility. The Prophet (PBUH) made that quite clear when he said, “All of you are caretakers and all of you will be questioned about those you were to take care of!”, narrated by Abdullah ibn Umar and reported by Al-Bukhaari.

Finding “the center”

Friday, October 28th, 2011

I am having difficulty being centered. I am reading so much and it is messing with me. Your word is balance. I pray and read the Quran. I remeber Allah. I have everything except money and I know that is temporay. Why am I feeling a loss of balance. I am not unhappy. I count my blessings.
I do not know where I am on the Path. It is not a crisis..but a seeking..make any sense.

Yes. Getting to “the center” has been the goal of all thinkers and spiritual teachers throughout the centuries and they all said it was not easy.

But because God calls us to it, it is within our ability. The effort we exert to get there and stay there is a jihaad (strife); a strife of the soul and of the mind. One who lives life with deliberation is more likely to succeed in that strife than one who just lives. Your questioning your place on the Path means you’re on it.

Stay on it. What you read may cloud your thoughts. It may tempt you to take alternative routes. Don’t. The Prophet (PBUH) said that a parable for the believers on the Straight Path is like a man walking a narrow road with endless attractions on either side of the road calling him to check them out, but he turns them all down (I’m searching for the exact words of this hadeeth and its authentication).

How can you tell if what you’re reading is not something that you should follow? Examine it against the Quran. God and His Messenger have described the Quran as Al-Fasl (the Decisive) because it will tell you if a notion is true or false. Islam is simple, but many people think it has to be more complex! So they complicate it with their interpretations, assumptions and theories.

Extremes tend to appeal to emotion while the center tends to appeal to steadiness. No wonder centrist people are often called cool-headed. 🙂 Extremes divide while the center pulls together and reconciles. It leads to peace. That is what the word “Islam” means: peace through submitting to God’s will.

Always keep in mind what the Prophet (PBUH) has commissioned us to do, when he said, “This religion is easy! No one will play tug-of-war with it but it will defeat him. So, make things easy, do not make them hard. Tend to agree with people (“Saddidu”) and reconcile their views (“Qaaribu”). Spread the good news and do not repulse people.” Narrated in many versions by Abu-Hurayra and `Aa’isha (RA) and reported by Al-Bukhaari and Muslim and rated authentic.

Feel free to comment with whatever of your readings that you feel is throwing you off course.

Questions about two hadeeths

Saturday, May 14th, 2011

In Bukhari’s Hadeeth compilation, there is this hadeeth:

Allah’s Apostle said, “I have been ordered to fight the people till they say: ‘None has the right to be worshipped but Allah.’ And if they say so, pray like our prayers, face our Qibla and slaughter as we slaughter, then their blood and property will be sacred to us and we will not interfere with them except legally and their reckoning will be with Allah.”

How should the beginning of this hadith be interpreted? As fighting in a war?

And the second hadith is this:

“The best Jihad is the word of Justice in front of the oppressive Sultan.” (Abu-Dawud, Tirmidhi, ibn Majah)

In what volume/section of Dawud can I find this hadith? I’ve search everywhere but can’t find. Tell me the exact number of it please.

Unlike the Quran, the Hadeeth is mostly reported without context. That is, the narrator would say, “We were sitting with the Prophet, peace be upon him, when he said …” Sometimes, but rarely, some context is given. This often leads to misinterpretation, as taking any quote out of context usually does.

The hadeeth is talking about when to end a war with non-Muslims. Muslims must end fighting when the person they are fighting accepts Islam.

Islamophobes and extremists alike quote this hadeeth as evidence that Islam mandates forced conversions. It does not, as I just explained. How do we know that? Because Islam is not one hadeeth. It is the entirety of the Quran and the authentic Hadeeth taken together, not in isolated pieces. The Quran makes it abundantly clear that choice of religion is free and must never be coerced. For instance,

“Had God so willed, all in the earth would have believed altogether. Would you [, O Muhammad] then coerce them to be believers?” (10:99)

No authentic hadeeth can possibly contradict the Quran.

As for the second hadeeth you mentioned, it’s been narrated by Abu-Sa`eed Al-Khudri (RA) and reported by Abu-Daawood (4344) and rated authentic by Al-Albaani. Also reported by At-Tirmizhi (2174) who rated it “strange but sound”. It was also narrated by Taariq ibn Shihaab Al-Ahmusi and reported by An-Nawawi who rated it authentic. Also reported by Ibn Katheer who rated it “Thaabit” (established).

Define Jihad, Jihadi and Jihadist please

Tuesday, April 12th, 2011

I hear those words often in the news, and always associated with terrorism. I’ve seen enough media distortion of your religion to distrust what they say. Can you once and for all define Jihad, Jihadi and Jihadist and how they relate to terrorism?

Jihaad is an Arabic word that means “exerting an effort that meets with resistance.” Thus, any endeavor you embark on that is not a smooth sailing is a Jihaad. Have you tried to lose weight, quit smoking, or petition City Hall? Then you did Jihaad!

The struggle of Jihaad can therefore be against external forces, or against oneself. Resistance can be your own negative thoughts, whispers of Satan, mind talk, false memes that you hold on to, a tendency to procrastinate, fear of failure, fear of success, and countless excuses that stop us from achieving the goals we set for ourselves.

It can also become a war, if the resistance uses force. Muslims are required to defend themselves against militant enemies, but never start a war. God says in the holy Quran,

“And fight in the way of God those who fight you, but do not transgress. God does not like transgressors.” (2:190)

Armed Jihaad may be declared by a duly elected Muslim leader and only in response to an act of war by an enemy. Not anyone is authorized to do so, and certainly not the terrorists!

Terrorism has absolutely nothing to do with Jihaad. The word for terrorism in Islamic law is ترويع الآمنين (frightening the secure). It is punished in Sharia with the capital punishment! Tell that to Islamophobes.

Jihaadi is an adjective for the struggle act, e.g., pushing a bill through Congress is a Jihaadi act, LOL. A person is never called a Jihaadi; the adjective for the person is Mujaahid, plural Mujaahideen.

Finally, a Jihaadist is a person who believes in Jihaad. That is, if you believe that establishing truth and justice requires struggle, then you’re a Jihaadist.

I accepted Islam, sort of

Sunday, October 14th, 2007

I accepted Islam but I’m having a hard time. There is an unexplainable struggle within me. It’s like a war, you see. I tell myself on one hand that my faith is sufficient. I tell myself on the other hand that I need more, that more is expected of me, and that I must behave differently, speak, live and act differently.

You are a Muslim by faith but not yet by deed. You do need more. The pillars of Islam are five. Saying the Shahaada (testimony of faith)  is only the first one. Prayers, fasting, Zakah (alms giving) and pilgrimage are the other four and they are mandated by God. (Pilgrimage is only mandatory if you can afford it physically, logistically and financially).

The struggle you suffer from is caused by Satan trying to change your decision to submit to God. Satan will be happy if you do not practice Islam and he will be elated if you never utter the Shahaada. He is your only true enemy and always will be. Show him who’s boss!

The key to Islam is to understand what the word means. It means the willing, loving surrender to the one and only true God, Allah. Put your trust in God and seek His help in conquering the whispers of Satan. Start the rituals of ablution (Wudhoo’), prayer (Salaah) and supplication (Du`aa’) and you will insha-Allah (God willing) start to experience a transformation of your being as your soul, body and mind are finally in harmony!

Godspeed.

Is Islam violent?

Friday, July 27th, 2007

Is Islam violent? Does the Quran encourage violence? I have seen some of the Quran extracts which talks about Muslims not being allowed to befriend Christians and that the West are all infidels, etc. For example,
“O ye who believe, take not the Jews and the Christians for friends. They are friends one to another. He among you who taketh them for friends is (one) of them. Lo! Allah guideth not wrongdoing folk.” (5:51)

Two common fallacies. God tells Muslims in the Quran not to be allies in war with the people of the Book (Christians and Jews). Nothing to do with friendship. The word God uses in the Quran is “Awliyaa'”, plural of “Waliyy”, which means close ally and the context you quote is a context of war as you can see from the very next verse, 5:52. Thus, the quoted translation is misleading.

When there is no war, the instructions from God are, “God does not forbid you to be cordial and just with those who do not fight you in religion or expel you from your homes. God loves the just” (60:8) The next verse emphasizes the different circumstances of wartime, “What God forbids you is to be allies with those who fight you in religion, expel you from your homes or ally themselves with those who do. Those of you who ally themselves with them are the wrongdoers” (60:9)

Even when there is war, God’s instructions are to honor all treaties until the other side breaks them, “Except those polytheists with whom you have treaties and they did not break them nor ally with your enemies: Complete the term of the treaties. God loves those who fear Him.” (9:4) (more…)

How can a new Muslim counter Islamophobia?

Thursday, April 26th, 2007

It is getting really hard for me, with my family, and facing the forever present misconceptions about Islam. I think that if many people in society would just learn the principles of Islam, they would find that this religion makes so much sense, and may not be very different to what they already believe, but when I ask them about Islam, all that they come up with is negativity. They do not even want to know about it, or learn about it. Rather, they prefer to rely on the media for their education about Islam, saying that they are happy with the way they are.

I pray for these things to change, in every prayer! So that I can one day talk openly with my family about Islam without immediately being attacked with ill-informed ‘facts’ from them, e.g., ‘women get beat by their husbands’ and ‘the men are terrorists’ and ‘you will never get a husband if you don’t look pretty, (if you cover yourself fully)’, etc.

The Prophet, peace be upon him, said “There will be a time when holding on to your religion will be like gripping a burning stone.” Narrated by Anas ibn Maalik and Abdullah ibn Mas`ood and reported and rated authentic by Al-Albaani.

Be patient as “patience is half the faith”, as Ibn Mas`ood (RA) said.

Powerful forces are actively and constantly preventing people from learning the truth about Islam because they know its irresistible appeal! But rest assured in God’s words “They will spend the money, regret it and will be defeated.” (9:34)

The only cure for negativity is positivity. Your good example will balance out their negative impression. You were exposed to the same negative media yourself, weren’t you? So, how come you overcame it all and checked Islam out for yourself to find out the truth? Many others will do the same!

Christian women get beat by their husbands too. Thousands everyday. I don’t hear attacks on Christianity though. Wife beating is the practice of lowly men regardless of their religion or culture.

The Sixties and Seventies were full of terrorist activity by people from every country: Ireland, Italy, America and even Japan to name a few. I didn’t hear any attacks on Christianity, Catholicism or the Shinto religions though. Terrorism is the practice of evil men and women regardless of their religion or culture.

Does the woman who dresses down have a better chance of getting a husband? Let’s compare statistics of single women between Western and Muslim countries. And even if this worked, how can any woman keep her self respect or have any respect for her husband after knowing that she could only get him that way?

The effort to counter Islamophobia may seem insurmountable. That’s how every Jihaad (strife) is. But it’s our duty and every little bit we do to clear the good name of Islam gains us a huge reward from God.