Islam Is Democracy [Quote - 300]

“I sometimes think: What would it take for Muslims to see the obvious?

What would it take for Muslims to realize that Islam is Democracy and Dictatorship is Haram?

And it makes no difference whether it is a military or civilian dictatorship, or whether it is a hereditary monarchy or kingship of some kind.

They are all Haram in equal measure. And they are all equally antithetical to Islam.

For, they are all various faces of pharaoh and Pharaoh and Islam do not mix.

They are all, in their own way, basically anti-People and therefore essentially and irrevocably anti-Islam and anti-God.

The only government that is allowed by Islam is the one that is instituted – put in place – by the People with their full, free and informed consent.

And that is totally accountable to the People.

That is Islam.” (Dr. Pasha)

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The Islamic Miracle of Defying Death [Quote - 299]

"Islam places in the hands of all of us a most personal and intimate miracle: How to defy death every time it strikes.

Here is how.

“Everything shall perish,” the Qur’an declares, “except him!”

Reference is to God.

Islam defines human mortality in a way that is truly death defying.

“Everyone must taste death,” says the Qur’an.

“Death shall lay its hands on you even if you were inside fortified towers,” the Qur’an says elsewhere.

This is nothing new or special to Islam, this teaching about the inevitability of death to all. It is common human observation.

It is the reality of life on earth.

But the way Islam frames the whole human life, and then contextualizes its end on earth, is most simple, elegant, heartwarming and, yes, death defying.

This is the lesson the Qur’an drills into every heart and mind: “We all belong to God.”

For those who truly believe in this message, there is nothing more comforting or life-affirming.

We are all God’s People; we are all divine possessions; that is what that message says.

Innaa lillah, are the words of the Qur’an defining the basic relationship of human beings to God: “We belong to God; we are his.”

And most certainly, he shall not forsake or abandon us – that is the loud and clear implication.

So, what happens when life on earth ends?

From the point of view of the Qur’an, nothing could be more self-evident: “We all return to him.”

We all go back home.

In the words of the Qur’an, Wa innaa ilaihi raaji’oon: “And to him shall we all be returning.”

What an elegant and economical equation – the very soul of parsimony and simplicity, as scientists would call it, even though some scientists may have all kinds of fits when we mention God.

But that is what the Qur’an teaches: “We all belong to God and it is to him that we shall all be returning.”

Hear the inimitable Qur’an put it all together in its own divine, immortal words: Innaa lillahi wa innaa ilaihi raaji’oon!

You reach this point and you are face to face with a miracle – a two part miracle.

Part one is the realization that you belong to God; and that it is he that is your true owner and master.

Part two is the understanding that one day – any day – God can and shall call you back to him.

If you believe and internalize the two parts of this divine-human equation, you are almost immune from Fear and Grief – at least as immune as it is possible for a human being in this world to be.

To me, this is nothing short of a miracle, a death-defying miracle.

What is more: Anyone, anywhere, can see this miracle with their own bare eyes, and hear it with their own mortal ears, every time a Muslim’s death is announced within the hearing of another Muslim.

Immediately, upon hearing of another Muslim’s death, a Muslim will cry out, Innaa lillahi wa innaa ilaihi raaji’oon: We all belong to God and we shall all be returning to him.

That means every time someone dies, Islam teaches Muslims the miracle of being able to pull a message of life from that news of death.

This is an ongoing miracle that anyone can see with their own eyes wherever there are Muslims.

And that alone should be enough to show them – to show anyone anywhere in the world – that Islam is not a man-made system.

And that Islam could only have come from God.

And this has gone on for over 1400 years: the miracle of Muslims reacting with this most life-affirming message of Innaa lillahi wa innaa ilaihi raaji’oon – to themselves and to everyone else – every time they hear the news of someone’s death.

Nothing has changed from the time since the Qur’an and the Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, placed the power of that miracle in the hands of the people who would choose to believe in them.

This death-defying miracle alone should be enough to wake up the world to smell the perfume of Islam and come forward to embrace it." (Dr. Pasha)

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Asking God for Help - Part II [Quote - 298]

"We are all weak, mortal – helpless. And we all need help.

Without help, from all kinds of sources, human life on earth is inconceivable.

We are often the sum total of the help given to us, or not given to us, by our parents, teachers, friends, relatives, governments and others.

But above all, we are an embodiment of the help God Almighty gave us, every step of the way into this journey we call life.

We are a reflection of his love, mercy, compassion and helpfulness.

And of his benevolence and charity and giving.

Every pore in our body is. Every possession in our hands is.

And without his continued help, giving and sustenance, we will not survive in this world for one microsecond.

That is why it makes sense for us to turn to him for help in all our affairs, big or small.

And ask him for help.

For, without his help and decree nothing ever gets done in this world.

And without his disposing of things, nothing moves, nothing happens.

Whatever it is that you need, the Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, indicated, ask him, not others.

Even if it is only your shoelace that you need help with, turn to God for help, a Hadith seems to suggest.

That means nothing is too big or too small for you to ask or for him to give.

And he loves to give more than you love to ask.

Just consider this:

No one else has a name: The Greatest Giver and Bestower of All – Al-Wahhaab.

No one else calls himself: The One Who Loves to Do Favors More than Anyone Else – Al-Mannaan.

No one else carries a title that says: The Most Generous and Giving of All – Al-Jawaad.

Nor does anyone pride himself on being the Most Bounteous and Noble of All in Giving – Al-Kareem.

And no one else ever set himself as the Most Tolerant, Patient, Gentle and Forbearing in the face of importunities from those in need or distress – Al-Haleem.

So, the Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, doesn’t want you to take your mind off these attributes of your creator even for one moment.

And he wants you to rush to him every time you need anything, no matter how small, and no matter how big.

And the fact is, no one else owns anything.

And no one else loves to give the way God, your maker and master, does.

So, it is to him you must turn and it is him you must ask for help.

In all things, small or big." (Dr. Pasha)

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Asking God for Help [Quote - 297]

“Muslims are constantly in the habit of asking God to help them with this, that and the other.

And that is as it should be.

For, without God’s help and guidance and without his command and will nothing happens, nothing ever gets done.

So, Muslims would say: “May God make me a good person,” which is absolutely great!

Because if God does not want to make us good people, there is no way any of us will ever get to be good.

But there is another side to this story, a very important one. And it is the need for everybody to take personal responsibility for their own actions.

But often, Muslims are not very good at that. In fact, there is a singular dearth of that quality in contemporary Muslim culture and psyche.

Muslims, therefore, need to teach themselves that skill: Doing the best they can, with regard to everything, and then trusting God to take care of that thing for them.

A man once came to Prophet Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, and asked:

“Should I tie my camel or should I leave him in God’s trust?”

The Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, gave him the most amazing and the most perfect answer anyone could ever give. He said: Tie your camel first and then leave him in God’s trust.

That answer not only covers that particular situation from every angle, it also typifies the teachings as well as the spirit and approach of Islam to life and its responsibilities in this world: Work the hardest you can to do the best you can with regard to anything and everything and then ask God for help.

Let God then do what he would.

In other words, tie your camel first and then entrust him to God’s care.

Don’t run around pleading to God: “God Almighty, you are so kind, you are so merciful, won’t you please make me tie my camel for me, please?”

Or saying, “God Almighty, O kind and loving One, please tie my camel for me.”

Even though God is perfectly capable of tying and securing the camels of those he wants – and he does.

In other words, Islam isn’t praying all the time saying: “God, please start my car for me.”

Islam is acquiring the best car you can and maintaining it the best way you can.

And it is then filling the car with oil and gasoline as needed.

And then when the time comes to start that car, Islam is getting inside that car; inserting the key in the ignition; saying Bismillah; and then turning that key clockwise.

That is what it means to trust God with your car; with your camel; or with anything else in life.

And that is what Islam is all about.

And it strikes me as one of those basic lessons that many Muslims need to learn urgently.

May God, the Most Loving One, help and forgive the Muslims, his favorite people on earth.” (Dr. Pasha)

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"Come Back!" Says God [Quote - 296]

"God calls out to us: Every day and every moment of our life on earth.

Come back to me, he says.

How many of us hear that call?

And how many of us heed it?

And how many of us turn to face him?

And start moving up to him?

When will we, if not now? 

Irji’ee ilaa rabbiki, says the Qur’an.

Translation? I don’t know." (Dr. Pasha)

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Value of Accuracy and Correct Knowledge in Islam [Quote - 295]

"Catching and correcting one single typo in one Aayat of Allah’s book may be more blessings than the whole world could count.

And it may be enough to earn a place of choice in Allah’s Jannat for anyone.

Allah, of course, showers his blessings on whom he wants, when he wants and in the form and measure he wants." (Dr. Pasha)

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A Sick Body vs. a Sick Soul [Quote - 294]

"When our body is sick, it is only our life in this world that may be at risk. For, death will surely put an end to all bodily pain and suffering.

And then there is the hope of eternal bliss for the soul.

But when our soul is sick, it is perdition in both this world and the next world that we risk.

For, a sick soul will make our worldly life miserable for us, while at the same time raking up enough negative credit to ruin our next life as well.

A sick soul will guarantee us hell in life and hell after death.

And often not just for us." (Dr. Pasha)

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Rushing to the Aid of Our Souls [Quote - 293]

"When our body hurts, we rush to its help. We call the doctor and apply the medicine.

No amount of money is too great to be budgeted for our “Healthcare.”

To our pure “BodyCare” that is.

Many of us have made ourselves prisoners of grueling medication routines in the hope of someday making our bodies feel a little better.

Our souls cry out in pain every day, but we rarely pay attention.

Our souls hurt and hyperventilate, and we march on in total oblivion and indifference.

And then when a diseased soul teams up with other diseased souls and turns to injustice, cruelty, exploitation and wars of aggression, we run helter-skelter and demand to know how so much could go wrong with so many human beings all at once.

What happened was that in our mad march to perdition on earth, we never stopped to listen to the anguished cries of our souls in torment.

Nor did we provide them any First Aid when the first signs of their pain showed up and First Aid could have helped.

We all pretended not to notice and not to know.

But when the soft moans of our souls turned to blood-curdling screams, it was too late to do anything about it, except to watch in horror as our souls wilted and withered, or went up in flames right before our eyes, often taking a slice of the world with them.

And then we claim we never tasted the horrors of Hell in this world." (Dr. Pasha)

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Feeding the Soul [Quote - 292]

"We never fail to feed our body when the body is hungry.

We have even devised a routine of feeding it three times a day whether our body is hungry or not.

But when our soul is hungry, we neither hear its cries, nor do we rush to feed it.

And then we wonder what is wrong with us. Some of the best and brightest among us then run around asking: What went wrong?

What has gone wrong with our world, they ask.

We want to know: Why is there so much corruption in the world?

And we want to know: Why is there so much injustice and so much cruelty, greed and selfishness among us?

A more worthwhile question may be: When did we last feed our soul and how?" (Dr. Pasha)

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More than Our Body [Quote - 291]

"We are all more than our body. We also -- all of us -- possess a soul.

The body is where the soul resides, to the extent a statement like that is intelligible to anyone.

We nourish our body with food and drink. And we titillate it with all kinds of delectables, from sweets to fruits and all things delicious and pleasurable.

Food for the soul is turning to God. For, it was God who breathed in Adam's body his spirit when he fashioned him with his two hands.

So, the soul has a perpetual hankering for God -- for its maker and master. And it will not find real peace or satisfaction with anyone or anything else.

And the way to delight and nourish the soul is remembrance of God, whether it is through chanting of words -- Dhikrullah -- or through contemplation and meditation: Tafakkur and Tadabbur.

A hungry and tormented soul then finds peace and joy. And then it returns to God well pleased with itself and with all else. In a state of perfect contentment.

It is then welcome by God in the abode of everlasting delight and ecstasy, in the most exalted and honored company of God's Elect.

Yaa ayyatuhannafsul mutmainnah, irji'ee ilaa rabbiki raadiyatam mardiyyah. Fadkhulee fi 'ibaadee, wadkhulee jannatee!" (Dr. Pasha) 

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