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Saga of Human Life: From God and To God! [Quote – 700]

Posted: Jun 21, 2016 | 4 days, 3 hrs ago.

Humans have a predictable trajectory in life. Some a bit different than some others in some minor details no doubt. But the basic process — and the basic beginning and end — is all the same.

We are all born weak and vulnerable, just as the Qur’an says.

And then we grow to great strength and resourcefulness and accomplishments, many of us, again just as the Qur’an states.

And then the curve inflects, and we return to a new state of feebleness and dependence as life fades and as strength drains from our limbs and muscles and bones. 

We increasingly become a slave of time and tide, doing things only as we are able to do them, if do them at all. 

As always — we should not forget this, as always — suddenly the mind and body seem to have their own calculus by which they operate. And the Law of Diminishing Returns comes increasingly into play. 

That means it now takes more time and more effort and more resources to do what at one time seemed effortless and instantaneous.

The arrogance of personal self-sufficiency and omnipotence falls by the wayside as we turn to everything and everyone in sight for help and support and assistance.

The flame inside flickers for many for a while and then eventually dies.

Life returning to the life-giver!

There are minor variations to this theme in some of the details. But the fundamentals of the story have not changed over time. 

Nor are they ever likely to.

The Qur’an sums up the entire human saga — a saga for which there are no exceptions — in the following words:

Innaa Lillahi Wa Innaa Ilaihi Raaji’oon!

“God is the origin — of all. 
Just as God also is the end — of all.”

We — see how personalized this is — all come from God. And indeed we all shall return to him.

No truer words were ever spoken.

And no human being, in their right mind, can possibly miss being a live and active witness to this unfolding of the invariant saga of human life on earth, episode after episode after episode.

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Sir! You Ain’t No Imam! [Quote – 699]

Jun 18, 2016 | 6 days, 16 hrs ago.

This morning, my Inbox delivered this mail. Sender’s name said “Imam …” 

Could not read the actual name. Just that word “Imam.

When clicked open, the mail revealed the name of a Muslim of some prominence, associated with the work of a Muslim organization of considerable history and repute. 

The mail was sent to me in official capacity of that Muslim organization and that individual.

The sender’s name said: “Imam XXXXXXXXXXX

{The actual name of sender is omitted}

The following was my response to that mail that I sent out to the sender:

Assalamu Alaikum,

Sir,

The greatest kindness you can do to me — and quite possibly to a lot of Muslims — is to drop the prefix “Imam” from your name.

Just use your name: XXXXXXXXXXX.

{The actual mail I sent gave the name of the sender}

And let “Imam” adorn names like Imam Malik, Imam Bukhari, and such.

{Then I signed my name}

Muslims, should I give a Fatwa that this abuse and trivialization of the highly honored title of Imam may actually — I am not saying it does, I am saying it “may,” but that should be scary enough for most people — constitute a sin of some serious proportions and unknown consequences?

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Islam is about Respecting Authorship [Quote – 698]

Jun 15, 2016 | 1 week, 2 days ago.

My humble request to one and all is: If they are not my words, do not associate them with me and my work.

And always resist the temptation to change something I may have said or written and then put my name on it. No matter how foolish, or wrong, or stupid my words may sound to you.

The proper way — the Islamic way; the Western way; the civilized way — of doing things is to first cite accurately what I may have said or written and then to criticize or attack it or to agree with it.

This was the way of our Aslaaf.

What goes for me also goes for all others — Muslim or non-Muslim.

It is to teach these things that Islam came into the world. And this is how the civilized world operates today.

Anything else is intellectual dishonesty. And it is not Islam.

And it is a product of flawed character. 

And, make no mistake, a cause for the downfall of Islam and Muslims.

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Our Training Manual [Quote – 698]

Jun 15, 2016 | 1 week, 2 days ago.

We are people wedded to a certain goal. And that goal is taking the Qur’an to every home and heart that needs it — and which one does not.

And that requires our being thoroughly trained in several things:

1. Understanding full well what this job is.

2. Clarity on how to carry it out in practice.

3. Learning how to deal with issues and challenges that may arise along the way.

4. Keeping our motives and intentions as pure, as clean and as focused as possible.

5. Living a life overall that is in keeping with the enormity and complexity of the responsibility we have assumed for ourselves. 

And that means living a life of deep belief or Iman; persistent worshiping of God in heaven or Ibaadat; and unflagging service to humanity on earth — Akhlaq, ‘Aadaat and Mu’aamalaat.

The question is how do we train ourselves in all this. And where do we find the training manuals?

And the answer is:

A. The Qur’an.

B. The Hadith and the Sunnah.

C. Our writings and audio on www.IslamicSolutions.Com.

D. Whatever good stuff humanity has been able to produce — over the years, decades and centuries, and across all cultural boundaries.

When we turn our back on these, we do it at our own peril. And that means, in the game of life, we will continue to be square pegs trying to fit into round holes.

And we will continue to be more of a problem than a solution.

Like so many people — both Muslim and non-Muslim — seem to be doing.

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Islam Is about Staying Put [Quote – 697]

Jun 15, 2016 | 1 week, 2 days ago.

Islam is about constancy and consistency.

We keep reciting the same kalimah: La Ilaha Illallah, Muhammad Rasulullah!

We keep doing Wudu the same way.

And we perform our Salah the same way.

It makes sense that, within certain limits, our work also should be about constancy and consistency. 

With regard to the new ideas concerning World Day of Fast, I did not check anything. I do not know what is what. But I repeat what I have always said: Everything we do and say must be within the confines of www.IslamicSolutions.Com

To the extent this is technically feasible and achievable. 

And to the extent it is pragmatically considered the best. “Pragmatically” meaning from the point of view of results and outcomes.

It seems to me, there is neither any sense, nor any need, nor any utility, for stepping out of IslamicSolutions and for creating new identities.

On the other hand, the perils of splintering could be many.

So, you want to do something “new,” just add it to www.IslamicSolutions.Com — to the extent it is feasible to do so.

Just plain change the dates on the call for World Day of Fast.

And for all other “Days” that we have on our list.

And that means someone — all of us, some more than others — monitoring those things and keeping abreast of them. That is what our job is.

And keep doing that for the next 100 years — but do so in a timely fashion.

And without too much prompting from too many people.

And without placing on the leadership the burden for monitoring and executing even the most minute mechanical details of what gets posted on the website.

That energy and that time can and should be more productively focused in areas that really need the urgent attention of our leadership.

Otherwise, this is called distraction: taking our eyes off the ball. It is shifting our focus from the really important things to other less important and less urgent things. 

And distraction is one of Shaitan’s favorite tools and Shaitan is a master of it.

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What Islam Gave the World [Quote – 696]

Jun 15, 2016 | 1 week, 2 days ago.

Before Islam, 1400 years ago, the world was in bondage.

The people of the world were owned, controlled and dominated by kings, landlords, priests and all kinds of people of power and privilege.

Islam came, 1400 years ago, and liberated them.

Islam, 1400 years ago, broke the chains that bound humanity and set humanity free.

Can we all — can the world today — say a collective “Thank You, Islam!” to Islam?

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Now Is the Best Time to Be Muslim [Quote – 695]

Jun 15, 2016 | 1 week, 2 days ago.

If you want to be Muslim, any time is good time.

And without a doubt, Islam’s first three generations were the best of the best.

But looking around, it seems times were never better for anyone to be Muslim. 

Islam today is more fun than ever before. And Islam today is as challenging as it ever was.

And that is Islam!

Qulla Yawumin Huwa Fi Sha’an!

And Islam today is exactly what Islam was 14 centuries ago. Same focus; same teachings; same requirements; same commitment to God above and to God’s creation below.

Only the tools have changed. Today you ride a car instead of a camel. And you talk to people on the Internet more than you perhaps talk to them face to face.

But what is most miraculous about Islam is — if you ask me, everything about Islam is a miracle — the Qur’an.

What could be a greater miracle than the fact that what the world has in its hands today — I did not say “What Muslims have in their hands today” — is exactly the same Qur’an that came out of the blessed mouth of Prophet Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, and that he claimed was given to him by angel coming directly from God.

From God or not, you can fight all you want. Through an angel or not you can argue to your heart’s content. That is the kind of freedom that Islam gives you. That God himself gives you.

That Islam came into this world to bestow upon you.

Upon all the world, that is. Upon every single member of the human race, regardless of gender, class, status, “religion,” ethnicity or nationality.

But the fact that it is absolutely, positively the same Qur’an, you can neither doubt nor question in any serious way.

Now, if that is not a miracle, what is?

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Doing Islam Is Like Riding a Tiger [Quote – 694]

Jun 15, 2016 | 1 week, 2 days ago.

Doing Islam is a like riding a tiger. Either you do it well — and stay on top. Or chances are you will end up inside the belly of the beast.

No, I am not calling Islam a “beast.” All I am saying is, for those of us who would play games with Islam, Islam will overcome us and crush us to dust.

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Leadership in Islam [Quote – 693]

Jun 14, 2016 | 1 week, 3 days ago.

1. In Islam, power comes through elections. Elections that are free, transparent, informed.

2. We elect the person we think to be the best for the job. Not our relatives; not our friends; not our party people; not those whose color, race, nationality or gender we share; not those who pay us to vote for them; but people we sincerely and objectively, and before God, think are absolutely the most suited people for the job.

3. Once elected, obedience to that leadership is no less important than obedience to God.

4. But when the leadership asks us to do things that are clearly Haram — contrary to the clear directives of Islam itself — we say no to that leadership and we disobey.

5. Pretty much the same goes for prioritizing the Law of the Land — in the lands in which we may be living, regardless of whether those lands and countries and societies are Islamic or non-Islamic, and whether or not their populations are mostly Muslim or non-Muslim — over the wishes and directives and commands of the leadership. That means, should our leadership ever ask us to do things that violate the Law of the Land, that are clearly illegal, we do not obey the leadership. We decisively say “No!” to the leadership.

6. Thus, when a directive issued by leadership is neither Haram, nor illegal, obeying that directive from the leadership is Fard or Wajib or compulsory, or whatever it is that Muslims call these things.

Meaning, you simply got to do it. For, your very Islam hangs in the balance with your attitude to that directive coming from your leadership.

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Teaching the Media about Ramadan [Quote – 692]

Jun 13, 2016 | 1 week, 4 days ago.

The most blessed and wonderful month of Ramadan is upon us.

Good people fast and pray during this blessed month. 

And they stay away — more than ever — from bad things, whether it is bad speech or bad behavior.

The Month of the Qur’an is what the Qur’an seems to call this most beautiful of months.

Shahru Ramadaanilladhee Unzila Feehil Qur’an!

“Ramadan is the month in which the Qur’an was sent down.”

Tell the media that. Tell them: Just don’t call Ramadan “The Holy Month.”

Certainly not: “The Muslim Holy Month.”

If the media use these expressions, it is because that is who and that is what the media are: They are media.

And that means they have to do things a certain way. But you and I cannot allow ourselves to fall into that trap.

As a rule, media are motivated by money and profit and ratings and readership.

And they are driven by political considerations in some cases.

And, almost unavoidably, the media are prisoners of the culture and language of their birth, and of their location, which they cannot easily transcend.

Especially when Muslims are only too willing and too eager to fall into their embrace, rather than teach them what is right and true in Islamic culture.

You will be surprised how fast and well the media learn once Muslims are ready, willing and able to teach them what the media need to know about Islam — and Muslims.

Maybe, just maybe, this Ramadan is the month during which Muslims must set out to teach the media about Islam and Muslims — including Ramadan.

Plain and simple: Shahru Ramadan.

The Month of Ramadan!

Just the way God Almighty characterizes it in the Qur’an.

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Shouldn’t Someone Tell Them — and Show Them — How to Do It Right? [Quote – 691]

Jun 07, 2016 | 2 weeks, 4 days ago.

The people of  the world, generally speaking, have no idea what fasting is all about: the way Islam teaches us to do. 

Even though fasting has been part of everybody’s ancient cultural — call it Islamic — heritage and tradition, from God Almighty. 

Given to all in their own respective time periods, through their own divine messengers and leaders that came to them from God.

But the world simply forgot how to do it right. The world has no clue.

As a result, everybody fasts the way they want. 

For example: half-day fast; dawn-to-dusk fast; fast only from meat; fast but keep drinking water. 

And so on.

Isn’t it time for Muslims to inform and teach the rest of the world — the entire world that is — how fasting should be done according to the commands and teachings of God — the way it was practiced and shown to the world by God’s Messenger, Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam?

The way fasting is really supposed to be done?

Maybe this Ramadan is the time to do it, do you think?

Will Muslims of the world rise to this challenge and help their non-Muslim brothers and sisters everywhere to see how fasting should be done?

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This Ramadan, What Is Your Answer? [Quote 690]

Jun 07, 2016 | 2 weeks, 4 days ago.

If Ramadan, as the Qur’an says, is the month in which the Qur’an was sent down, and it is, a question each and every one of us must ask is this:

This Ramadan, 1437-2016, how many homes and hearts are we ready, willing, able and prepared to take the Qur’an to?

While the Qur’an is not something anyone should dare to play games with, the question is still relevant and meaningful:

What is our game plan for the Qur’an for this month of Ramadan?

And that means giving straight and honest answers to some of the following questions:

This blessed month of Ramadan:

  1. How much Qur’an will we read?
  2. How much Qur’an will we try to understand?
  3. How much Qur’an will we try to teach?
  4. How many people — men, women and children — will we invite to the Qur’an?

So, ladies and gentlemen of Islam, what is your answer?

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