Sunday, May 01, 2011

Understanding The Nature of Human Beings

Dear All,

I came across this interesting article recently and wanted to share it with all of you. Perhaps it might help us all get a better understanding of what we are and who we are supposed to be. May we always be with Allah and may He forever guide us and keep us on His path. Ameen

Understanding The Nature of Human Beings
by Dr. Yahya al-Yahya

It is necessary to understand the fundamental nature of a human being, that he is: weak, hasty, ignorant and unjust. He is also unappreciative, anxious, obstructive, fearful, mean, stingy, and miserly. He loves to argue, arrogantly ignores and turns away from his Lord in wealth and health, and despairs when in poverty and sickness. He also rejoices and boasts when in wealth to other slaves of Allah. He is never fed up or bored of asking for wealth.

These characteristics are always present in one; however, they increase or decrease, surface or fade away according to the upbringing and the amendment of the spirit.

He is also afflicted with hardships, works industriously, and struggles diligently all his life.

Allah the Most Gracious and the Most Merciful says:

"Man is ever hasty." [Israa', 11]

"Mankind was created weak." [an-Nisaa', 28]

"Man was created of haste (i.e., impatience)." [al-Anbiyaa', 37]

"But man [undertook to] bear it. Indeed, he was unjust and ignorant." [al-Ahzab, 72]

"Indeed man, to his Lord, is ungrateful." [al-Aadiyat, 6]

"Indeed, mankind was created anxious. When evil touches him, impatient, and when good touches him, withholding [of it]." [al-Ma`arij, 19]

Anxiety is strength of impatience in states of affliction, and strength of attachment to this world and holding onto it in states of blessings, fearing it will diminish and slip away.

"Say: 'If you possessed the depositories of the mercy of my Lord, then you would withhold out of fear of spending.' And ever has man been stingy." [al-Israa', 100]

"Indeed, mankind is [generally] most unjust and ungrateful." [Ibrahim, 34]

"But man has ever been, most of anything, [prone to] dispute." [al-Kahf, 54]

"And when We bestow favor upon man [i.e. the disbeliever], he turns away and distances himself; and when even touches him, he is ever despairing." [al-Israa', 83]

"No! [But] indeed, man transgresses because he sees himself sufficient." [al-Alaq, 6-7]

"And if We give man a taste of mercy from Us and then We withdraw from Us and then We withdraw it from him, indeed, he is despairing and ungrateful." [Hud, 9-11]

"Man is not weary of supplication for good [things], but if evil touches him, he is hopeless and despairing." [Fussilat, 49]

That is, man does not get tired of supplicating for good, i.e. wealth and health.

"Indeed, We created man from a sperm-drop mixture." [al-Insan, 2]

"O mankind, indeed you are laboring toward your Lord with [great] exertion (i.e. striving throughout your life until you meet your Lord, hastening toward death)." [al-Inshiqaq, 6]

Since these characteristics are in one's fundamental nature, then those who overcame them and progressed ought to guide the ones that are constrained and imprisoned by them, for they are in need of mercy, advice and rectification.

"You will not believe until you love for your brother what you love for yourself."

"So by mercy from Allah [O Muhammad], you were lenient with them. And if you had been rude [in speech] and harsh in heart, they would have disbanded from about you. So pardon them and ask forgiveness for them and consult them in the matter. And when you have decided, then rely upon Allah." [Aal `Imran, 159]

My Thoughts and Feelings towards the assasination of Salmaan Taseer

*This note was originally posted by me on my Facebook profile on Thursday, January 6, 2011.

A couple of people have asked me how I felt about Salman Taseer's assassination and whether the act was justified or not. This is how i truly feel about the issue.

I am being truly honest when I say this... I do not mourn the death of Salmaan Taseer, in fact whereas I am not celebrating it, I am actually glad that he is no more. But I am indeed sad that the killer used my Prophet's name to justify his act. I don't mean to disrespect anyone, I am a practicing Muslim, I try to pray 5 times a day and have read the Quran with its translation and continue to read it whenever i get the chance. I try to be a Muslim and I am a believer, and knowing my religion, it is safe to say that the blasphemy law is an idiotic uncalled for law that has nothing to do with my religion whatsoever but is rather means for some evil religious scholars to dispose off people for their own personal gains. Allah and His Prophet (S.A.W) never gave us the right or permission to take it upon ourselves to punish anyone that maligns Allah, Islam or His Prophet (S.A.W). Allah has told us the punishment for the person who commits such an act, Surah Al-Ahzab, Verse 57: "Lo! those who malign Allah and His messenger, Allah hath cursed them in the world and the Hereafter, and hath prepared for them the doom of the disdained".

Allah says He Himself will punish them, doesn't tell Mumtaz Qadir to do so. Countless examples of people who insulted the Prophet (S.A.W) in his life, he never allowed any of his followers to kill them, the people of Taif, the woman who threw garbage at him and the man who insulted him over the splitting of a gold bar, he prayed for all of them, didn't order them to be killed. My Prophet (S.A.W) and the religion of Islam was sent down as mercy for mankind for all eternity, where's the mercy if i start killing people in his name.

On a separate note, Salmaan Taseer died a horrible death not because he spoke against the blasphemy law but because he was a corrupt, inhumane alcoholic, and a sad excuse for a Muslim. He died that way because of the sins that he committed all his life and we all know he wasn't a saint so don't try to make him one, and he is definitely not a martyr.

Also the guy who killed him, didn't kill him for the right reasons either, which is why he's in deep shit right now, so don't try to make him a hero.

It is about time we Muslims woke up, read the Quran in a language we understood and obeyed the commandments of our Allah (SWT) instead of some crazy clerics. I follow the religion of Allah, the one that Ibrahim (A.S) (Abraham), Musa (A.S) (Moses), Essa (A.S) (Jesus) and Mohammad (S.A.W) used to follow. I obey  Allah and His teachings and fear Him alone, He is The Alone I worship and The Alone I ask for help. May He guide us all, keep us from the evils of this world, help us stay on His path.

For my Muslim brothers and sisters, you need to understand, that Muhammad (S.A.W) would not have been able to preach the message of Islam had he been slaying people who used to malign him, and neither would you be able to do so. Some of the people who maligned him at first later on became the strongest pillars of Islam, a person who maligns Islam or the Prophet is one who doesn't know anything about him or the religion, and he would never know if you take such an aggressive stance against him/her. If you truly indeed love our Prophet (S.A.W) you will have to preach the message that he preached to mankind and to do so you will need to be very tolerant and patient just like our Beloved Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) was.

This is what I feel, if I am wrong may Allah guide me, if I am right may He help me guide others.


My Reversion to Islam

*This note was originally posted by me on my Facebook profile on Wednesday, November 3, 2010.

Dear All,

I came across this note and it belongs to a person on facebook. i don't know him directly and i got a chance to access this note through someone else on my list. I have removed the name of the person since i have not asked his permission to share this note. This note was a sign to me from my Allah, it reminded me of the biggest blessing that Allah has granted us, the blessing of Islam. I am grateful to Allah for His blessing and I pray He gives me the strength to forever strive to be a true Muslim. It is indeed He who guides us and without His guidance we would surely go astray. So forever blessed are we to have found the true path and there can be no one more unfortunate than he who has found this path but failed to walk on it. Allah make us not of the Zalimun and those who transgress, make us from amongst those who fear their Allah and seek repentance and beg forgiveness for their sins. Make us your thankful slaves and grant us patience and help us lead a life of piety and righteousness. Ameen

May Allah bless this man and forever keep him on His path. And may He show his parents the true path and keep all those who are dear to him safe from the evils of this world. Ameen

My Reversion to Islam

I'm writing this because I get asked so many times how i came to islam, and writing about it on facebook chat doesn't give it any justice because facebook chat is not that good. Ok, so I grew up in South Manchester in England, mainly around fallowfield and Chorlton, I didn't even know what a muslim was till i was around 9 years old. I went to a catholic school and so obviously there were no muslims there, one day after school when I was on the way home there were loads of females wearing headscarves so I said to my mum, 'Where are all these nuns coming from?' My mum laughs and tells me that they aren't nuns, but they are infact muslims and that we were driving past an islamic high school for girls. I thought nothing of muslims, I just didn't care really, I mean I was only 9.

I would go to church on sundays with my great grandmother but it was boring and I'd always fall asleep...I still knew nothing about muslims. But then 9/11 happened and all of a sudden muslims were everywhere, always on the news and people started hating them and talking about them. I didn't really have an opinion, I was annoyed that the twin towers were destroyed because I liked them but still, it didn't affect me because I was only 11 at the time. A year later I went to highschool, and the school I went to was full of muslims, I got on well with them, many of my good friends were muslim so I learnt bits and bobs about islam from them but i was a catholic and i liked my religion. We studied islam abit in religous studies in our first few years of high school but nothing ever grasped me, none of my friends ever talked to me about it or seemed to practice it much infront of me, only when ramadan came they would fast, which I could appreciate because christianity has its own little version of fasting. Also eid...the muslims would all be off for eid and the school would practically be empty.

Anyway, when I was in year 10 (age 14-15) my dad bought me a bible stories book, very big book and very easy to read (I still do sometimes). As I read it I fell more in love with christianity, I learnt all about the prophets and I would read bits of the book every night, sometimes I just couldn't put the book down, there were mistakes in it here and there but I would just ignore them and carry on reading. I also wanted to start going to church again (by myself now as my grandmother was ill) and so I went once and thought it was the most boring thing ever, but going to the church did teach me good  manners and respect so in that aspect I'm glad I went but holy moly it was boring. I decided not to go church but just pray at home...I would pray at home just before I went to bed every night, I didn't do wudu because you don't in christianity. I used to read the 'Hail Mary' which is a prayer to Mary (alayhis salaam)  but I stopped because I didn't want to pray to a human, I thought I should pray to God, so I started reading 'Our Father' which is quite a nice prayer that goes like this:

''Our Father, who art in Heaven, Hallowed be Thy name, Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven, Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass, against us, and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.''

It's not a bad prayer when I reflect on it now, abit wrong islamically but probably the best prayer for a christian to read. But then one day whilst I was still 14, my brother tells me he has become a muslim. Gosh was I shocked, a little annoyed, and extremely confused. My muslim friends at school were quite happy about it, my brother had just turned 18 and he told my mum who at first wasn't too happy but got used to it. He didn't tell our dad straight away because I think he may have been frightened. Not long after this my mum became pregnant so me and my brother had to share a bedroom. We started discussing religion alot and he would be praying infront of me and putting the turban on infront of me. When we would discuss our religions, he would show me big mistakes in christianity but I couldn't attack islam because I knew nothing...even if i had known all there was to know about could i poke holes in a perfect religion?? I would start researching islam, not because I wanted to become one but because I wanted to know what I was dealing with. Wow was I was so similar to christianity, yet so different aswell.

I still wasn't thinking of becoming a muslim, but I started seeing things abit differently, whenever I would read the bible stories now, I couldnt ignore the mistakes in them, and I hated how they made sense in islam. I started to see the brotherhood between muslims, and I noticed nearly all muslims were practicing, even the ones who didnt practice islam much would still  practice more than nearly all christians I knew, this also annoyed me. I had gone into college by now and my brother had gone to university, he had started growing a beard and always going  to the masjid, using the miswak, wearing the jubbas ect.

When I was 17 and just before i was about to go into my second year of college i went to Ibiza with a friend, which for those of you who dont know is all about 'partying and alcohol.' So, I'd be drinking alot and having a good time, getting drunk, chasing girls, eating bacon, having 'fun' as it's called.

Towards the end of the holiday I started thinking that I didn't like alcohol, one night me and my friend almost got into a fight whilst drunk over a girl in a bar, we spent about 60 euros in a few hours on alcohol that night, that girl ended up throwing up on my shoes which was abit annoying, we were so drunk that we decided to take a little short cut over a cliff, which was dangerous when we were clear headed, let alone so drunk. We managed to get back to the hotel  in one piece, and soon after we were throwing up and then passed out. We woke in the morning with a pain that only my revert friends may have experienced, to try and explain it to the muslims who have never experienced a hang over may be difficult but i'll try. Imagine feeling really dehydrated, your breath stinks badly and you have a damp t-shirt full of vomit and sweat, you have such a bad headache that any noise louder than a whisper brings excruciating pain, also you feel paralyzed, you don't want to can't move. And then you try and remember what happened the night before..but you can't, you finally manage to get out of bed, drink alot of water, have a shower, get dressed and get some food in your belly. You're feeling abit better...but then you start remembering the night before, and you wish you had amnesia again.

After this, I never looked at alcohol the same way, i realised what it can do to can turn the best of men into the worst buffoon. After the holiday and back in college, ramadan had started and the unity between the muslims was great, they may not know it, but i saw it, I heard it, i felt it. During ramadan I was bored and looking for a movie to watch at home, I found 'the message' in my bedroom and put that on. For those of you who don't know it's about the life of the prophet Muhammad (sulAllah alayhi wasalam) and it was beautiful, I know it was a film...but ive watched hundreds if not thousands of films and id never had a feeling like that in my heart after a film before. I decided to go into sujood like how I saw the muslims in the film doing it, and I prayed to God.

I said 'O Lord, I don't know if you're trying to guide me to islam or if its right that I should stay a christian, i'm confused and I can't make the decision, I need a sign, so please just give me a sign.'

A few weeks after this, I woke up one morning and I knew..I knew I had to become muslim..not I thought I did...but I knew, I was scared, and to be honest I was annoyed, I knew i'd have to sacrifice alot. I told a few close friends and my brother..the look on my brothers face was amazing, never have I seen happiness like it, and never again on this world will I see happiness like it.  I didnt become muslim straight away because I needed to make sure that it was the right thing to do, its a big thing to decide to do, its not 'switching religions' it's switching life styles.

A friends father very kindly offered to take me to the masjid he goes to so that I could learn about islam and I gladly accepted the offer, they gave me a nice 'welcome to islam' pack full of small books about islam and a few dvds. Eventually I decided it was time to convert, I told my mum...  it was a most frightening experience, I will try and paint you a picture to share with you what it is decide you need to tell your mum but every ounce of your body wants to hide it, but you have to!  So you plan it all out, it's all you think about, the time're sweating and shaking with nerves, you walk upto your mum, not knowing what her reaction is going to be...will she smile...will she cry...will she shout, you have no idea, you find the right words to say, and you say them...'mum, im going to become a muslim...just thought you should know'.  And its over, you feel so much lighter and relieved. Thankfully my mum was ok with it, having seen my brother become one, infact these days shes very helpful towards me regarding my religion, she reminds me of Abu Talib.

So, on January 8th 2009, at the age of 17, I became a muslim and I got straight into it, learnt surah fatiha, wudu and started praying as I should, quit the pork, alcohol and haraam food and it was good, I felt happy..the real happy. But a month later I told my dad, my brother had already told my dad and it hadn't gone down too well, as expected my dad didn't take it well when I told him either, and we fell out (don't worry we're fine now - he got over it) so for a while that was bad. Ok so i'd been a muslim for a few months now but unfortunately I started geting abit too arrogant and comfortable being a muslim...complacent is probably the best word to describe it. I hadn't become like my brother, I was muslim but I wasn't being as good as I could and I couldn't really care, I just thought being muslim was good enough, sure i'd still pray and not drink or eat haraam but I could do alot lot more.

I don't want to  delve in to what I did, those who know me know how I was and those who don't..don't. After I finished college and started my job I met a very good muslim man, a very close friend now, and just by observing him whilst at work, and talking to him it inspired me to become a better muslim. My brother alhamdulilah got married in September 2009 and he has a baby daughter on the way mashAllah, I was hit with a difficult trial in November/December 2009 and  alhamdulilah since then i've realised how important islam is and I always try my best to better myself, but the story never ends, we should all always be trying to better ourselves and never think we're doing enough. Don't take anything for granted.

Anyone who managed to finish this note, I would like to request one thing from you, pray for my family to be guided to islam, especially my mum, jazakumAllah khair people. :)