The List Is Already Up There on the Wall [Quote - 400]

Those who will come to God, as well as those who will run from him. Those who will go to Heaven as well as those who will rot in Hell. That List is already up there on the Wall of God's Universe.

Everyone reads it, every second, except human beings, from whose eyes it is shielded for the time being.

The hopeful thing is that God Almighty who prepared that List and put it up there has not yet closed the Book on those of us who are still living.

That means we still have a chance. And we still have a choice to make.

We still can run to him, rather than from him.

And, just as he says in the Qur'an, he also retains in his most powerful and benevolent hands the right and ability to erase from that list what he wants and to add to it what he wants.

As he says in the Qur'an:

Wa Yamhullahu Maa Yashaa-u Wa Yuthbit, Wa 'Indahu Ummul Kitab!

And that is what makes him God.

And who would want it any other way?

(Dr. Pasha)

Published

Finding a Pathway to God: Just What Are You Waiting For? [Quote - 399]

Allahu Akbar! What a glorious Deen this is. Everything about it proclaims, in the loudest and clearest terms, that it is not a human concoction, but it is entirely, and in every detail, of Divine Making.

Don’t demean and distort this Divine Gift in your hands by calling it a “Religion,” as practically every non-Muslim does, and as most English-speaking Muslims do – no matter how much anyone tells them not to do so.

This Deen of Islam is an entire Way of Life – for lack of a better expression or word combination –and Operating System that God Almighty fashioned to run his entire Creation by.

It is what you may call the manifestation and realization of God Almighty’s Will in the Universe.

That is what Islam is.

God proclaimed, loud and clear, that so far as he was concerned, there was only one Valid Way, of being and of doing things right and properly for all his Creation, and that was Islam.

He said in the Most Glorious Qur’an:

Innaddeena 'Indallahil Islam!

God Almighty, then, sent that Divine Way of Life down to earth to help human beings to teach and help them to shape and run their own earthly life.

And he sent that Divine Way of Life at the hands of his chosen prophets and messengers, may God bless them all, whom he sent to different People at different times and places.

These blessed divine prophets and messengers then preached, taught, practiced and modeled that Divine Way of Life for their followers and all others.

In every age and place, these blessed prophets and messengers of God showed their people – and the world at that time – how to practice and implement that Divine Way of Life in their own lives and in their societies and communities.

God Almighty, thereafter, sent down that same timeless and ageless Deen, in its most perfect and completed form, to the entire world, for all times to come, at the hands of his most beloved Final Prophet and Last Messenger, Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam.

“Today have I perfected for you your Deen,” he said. “And today have I completed my gifts and blessings upon you.”

His immortal words in the Most Glorious Qur’an read as follows:

Al-Youma Akmaltu Lakum Deenakaum,
Wa Atmamtu 'Alaikum Ni’amatee.

And, he said:

“And well-pleased am I today to proclaim Islam to be your Deen and your chosen Pathway of Life.”

His words in the Most Glorious Qur’an are:

Wa Radiytu Lakumul Islama Deena!

And the following words and expressions are an indelible part of that Islam – and that Qur’an – that God Almighty gave to the world:

Al-Muslimeena Wal Mislimaat Wal Mu'mineena Mu'minaat.

For anyone with an open mind and a true heart, these words alone should make them a Muslim. They should drag them, Willy-Nilly, to the doorstop of the Qur’an and into the embrace of Islam.

Let me, therefore, pose this very serious and straight question to those non-Muslims – and others – hunting for Heaven and for Truth in their hundred different ways:

“Are you even serious?

Or is this some kind of a game you seem to be playing?”

“Is this an Ego-Trip of some kind or is it a genuine, take-no-prisoners type of, search-to-the-finish for God and for God’s Truth and Guidance in your life and in the world?”

“Fourteen hundred years – fourteen long centuries – before the rest of the world woke up to any of it, here is a man, without any education or training of any kind, proclaiming in the loudest and clearest voice a most magnificent truth about not only “Those Men who submit to God,” but also about “Those Women who submit to God.”

“And that leaves you cold? And causes no stir in your breast or storm in your brain? I find it hard to believe?”

“And you say You Are Serious?”

“And then the same uneducated man, still sitting in the middle of that same most forbidding desert, far away from any of the known seats of civilization such as Rome, Persia, China or India, goes on to proclaim the same glorious truth, once again, about not only 'Believing Men’ but also about 'Believing Women?’”

“All in the same breath?”

“And that does nothing for you? And that means nothing to you?

I am sorry, but I just cannot believe it.”

Because, no matter how you look at it, for anyone who may be genuinely and seriously and sincerely looking for a Pathway to God Almighty, the following words alone should be enough to tell them where to go, and what to look for, and what pathway to follow:

"Al-Muslimeena Wal Muslimaat, Wal Mu'mineena Wal Mu'minaat."

Let me remind you:

These words are at least 1400 years old on the face of this earth. They are now – and forever shall remain – exactly as they came out of the blessed mouth of Prophet Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, 14 centuries ago. 

Before that, these words were and are part of God Almighty's divine and most blessed speech in the timeless and eternal Qur'an.

So, maybe, it is time, and it is an added impetus, for all those looking for a Pathway to God and to Truth to do some serious soul searching and ask:

“How can I allow this to happen? How can I allow this most amazing miracle, and this greatest wonder of all wonders, to pass by me without taking a closer look at it?”

Says the Most Glorious Qur’an:

“God Almighty guides those who turn to him seriously and earnestly.”

Wa Yahdee Ilaihi Man Yuneeb!

And while you are at it, also please check out that entire Aayat: the rest of that most miraculous passage of the Qur’an. For, that is what an Aayat means: a Most Miraculous Thing.

And if even that does nothing for you, and if you cannot see how that Aayat is a living miracle in your own hands, then, may God have mercy on you.

And on all of us.

Amen!

(Dr. Pasha)

Published

Doing Damage to the Qur'an from Within [Quote - 398]

Those without Taharah -- being technically clean -- are not allowed to enter the Qur'an. Pure and simple.

That is God's law.

Laa Yamassuhoo Illal Mutahharoon.

No one shall touch the Qur'an except the ones who have been thoroughly cleansed.

Implication: No one shall be allowed to get inside the sanctuary of the Qur'an except those who meet the condition of complete cleanliness.

Tat-heer is the word. It means being subjected to thorough purification.

In today's world -- and by most standards -- Muslims are the ones who meet that requirement. They undertake formal ablution, what Muslims may call "Ritual Ablution" -- (Washing Up and also Bathing as required) before they approach the Qur'an.

So, Muslims are the ones with the clearance and the wherewithal to get inside the Qur'an.

It is anyone's guess what they will do to or with the Qur'an once they are inside.

And here is something all of us must remember. And make no mistake about it: What anyone attempts to do to and with the Qur'an is exactly what the Qur'an will do to and with that person -- multiplied by infinity.

My hands are shaking at the enormity of this thought as I try to write it down.

(Dr. Pasha: Inspired by a comment by Dr. Firdaus)

Published

Why Can't Muslims, Plain and Simple, Just Teach the World the Qur'an? [Quote - 397]

Just now, I finished looking at the report of a "Seminar" some Muslims did somewhere. It was a "Seminar" on the Qur'an -- with 250 people attending.

My thoughts were: Why can't Muslims leave their fancy seminars and such on the Qur'an alone for say the next 100 years?

And just concentrate, instead, on teaching everyone everywhere to read and understand the Qur'an.

How wonderful it will be if Muslims did just that one simple thing for the rest of their life!

And how beneficial it will be for them and for the rest of the world. 

(Dr. Firdaus)

Published

Give Them a Halal Alternative, If You Can! [Quote - 396]

People like singing and dancing and making music. Whether or not it is part of the human DNA I do not know.

But I am sure there are people in this world – those who specialize in research into the human genome – who may have some relevant insights in the matter.

What is also clear is that some people, in some parts of the world at least, are more deeply into these things than some others. People of some parts of South America, Africa and the Caribbean, for example, come to mind.

Drive through Europe and you cannot miss all the dances, music, feasts and festivities. And all the colorful costumes, and all the pageantry, that greet you at every turn.

Nor is China or India immune.

Throw in alcohol and sex into the mix and things very quickly get out of hand, as they do when the annual Carnival hits Brazil in South America or Trinidad in the West Indies.

So, those who say they are working for Allah cannot go through life saying “No! No! No!” all the time and to everything. They may need to start thinking in terms of alternatives.

They need to practice saying “Yes!” a few times.

They need to ask: What can we provide to people that will somehow touch their inner craving – if there indeed is such a craving deep down in people’s hearts and minds – for some rhythm and movement and joy – and, quite possibly, some exuberant abandon from time to time?

Post Second- and Third-Generation Muslims addressed those issues in all sorts of creative ways. They made music. They wrote devotional songs that sent people into ecstatic raptures and sent some, like Jelaluddin Rumi, literally dancing and prancing into the streets.

They drew and painted. And they created Calligraphy that dazzles beholders to this day.

Who do you think is making all those spectacular “Persian Carpets” all over the world to this day, with their explosive color combinations and breathtaking patterns?

Muslims of yore generated priceless and matchless colors and designs. All you need to do is to look at what is left of their marvelous color sense and creativity inside what the Christians will call the Sanctum Sanctorum of the Grand Mosque in Cordoba.

By the way, why doesn’t anyone call the Millennial Mosque in Cordoba the Grand Mosque? Muslims have no shortage of this and that “Grand” stuff – such as, for example, a Grand Mufti, just for starters.

But the point is this: Those who claim they are working for Allah, how are they going to approach this issue? The issue of people wanting a bit more excitement out of life than they are generally doled out by Card-Carrying Muslim preachers?

They should of course be careful not to do what the Christian Church has been doing fairly consistently: Trying to humor and accommodate people’s increasingly wilding and wandering tastes by diluting their own core beliefs, behavior and teachings.

Whether or not those teachings could withstand the test of changing times is a very different matter altogether. But their rush to mould the church and its teachings to fit the kaleidoscope of people’s rapidly changing demands – and at times aberrations and deviations – actually helped neither the people nor the Church.

So, Muslim preachers of God’s word – those who say they are working for Allah – must beware of these road hazards and they must learn to negotiate them very, very carefully.

I know how people like the Jama’at Islami, especially in a place like India, have forever dismissed the role of emotions in human life. To this day, if you listen carefully, you may be able to catch their leaders and would-be leaders muttering, with a knowing smile, things like: “Come, come, let us not be emotional now!”

And things to that effect.

But it is neither science nor Islam, to dismiss the world of human emotions in that summary and cavalier manner. We are not rabid behaviorists to whom “emotions and feelings” may be dirty words.

Ask any Advertising Executive – or just keep your eyes and ears open – and you would know what important role feelings and emotions play in human life. And in human decision making in general.

While I am still a believer in some kind of a modified Rational Man Theory, to me it is sheer madness to turn our back on the world of human emotions. It is, if you ask me, idiocy, not Islam.

It cannot be Islam, for, Islam fits human nature – every aspect of it – like a glove fits a hand.

And, from that point of view, emotions have no role in human life? What planet do you live on? And what human beings are you talking about?

Besides, Allah did not dismiss human cravings for beauty and joy in life as pathways to perdition. Instead, he reprimanded those who would want to impose that kind of dry and dead life on anyone.

Zeenatallah, the Glorious Qur’an calls it: Allah’s beauty.

So, my common call to all concerned is this: Without compromising your principles and practices, and without turning Haram into Halal, go find ways of providing people opportunities and avenues for fun, relaxation, entertainment – and just a tad bit of excitement.

And for experiencing and expressing joy and beauty.

I told Muslims of the Caribbean to claim Calypso – a highly creative and pungent form of local music, song and poetry – as their own and use it for Halal purposes.

I even discovered a very talented man once – on the road to Maracas Bay – and got him to demonstrate how that could be done.

No one took me up on that.

So, Muslims! Have some good, clean Halal fun and let your fellow-Muslims have some good, clean, Halal fun too.

For, that is what Islam is all about. It is about having good, clean Halal fun, right here in this world, and then thereafter, in the next world.

To me, it is all part of Fiddunya Hasanatan wa Fil-Aakhirati Hasanatan.

Fun in this world and fun in the next world.

Go check out the expression in the Most Glorious Qur’an: Wa Saqwaahum Rabbuhum Sharaaban Twahoora!

So, Twahoor is the critical element, people, not fun or “Sharab.”

So, go find some Twahoor, people, and dance to its tune.

END

(Dr. Pasha)

Published

Making Du’a - Asking Allah for help and for what one wants and needs [Quote - 395]

Muslims, whenever they are making Du’a – asking Allah for help and for what they want and need – must, as much as possible, include in the list of the beneficiaries of their Du’a the following categories:

  1. All Muslim men and women.
  2. All Believing men and women.
  3. Their own communities and societies.
  4. Their leadership at all levels.

They must also ask constantly Allah to give them the best communities, the best societies and the best leadership in every way and at every level.

(Dr. Pasha)

Published

One Thing that Should Make Everybody a Muslim:
Du'a - Asking Allah for Help and for What You Want and Need [Quote - 394]

Here is a simple fact: No one does it like the Muslims.

Don't believe me? Go, check it out.

I mean making Du'a the way the Muslims do. That is, asking God for help and for what one wants and needs.

How can the rest of the world compete with the Muslims on this front when the Muslims have a whole set of powerful choices and incentives going for them?

All given to them by God Almighty himself.

What options others do or do not have is up to them to tell us. But what the Muslims have open to them is clear as daylight.

And it is powerful stuff. Enough to put anyone over the edge to become Muslim.

I am providing below some of the options and incentives the Muslims have available to them.

If I were not a Muslim already, this alone will be a powerful enough argument for me to take a careful look at Islam as a life-choice for me.

Muslims, of course, are perhaps the worst people on earth in sharing some of these things with the rest of the world, even though they have been enjoined – ordered – by God to go tell everyone everywhere about Islam and about God.

  1. The divinely ordained and mandated five-times-a-day “Prayers” are just that – more than anything else: they are prayers and supplications.

    I don’t know who else has anything like that.

  2. Other than that, God commands all human beings in the Qur’an to make Du’a to him. Ud’oonee, he says, meaning “Call Me!”

    I don’t know who else has anything like that either.

  3. And then God says in the Qur’an that when people put through a call to him, he answers back; he responds; and he gives them of what they want.

    If others have things quite like that, at that level, I am not familiar with them.

  4. And then God says in the Qur’an that he is so close to everyone that he can hear and respond to the call and prayer of anyone who calls him, when and as they call him and pray to him.

    I don’t know who else has those kinds of assurances given to them.

  5. And then the Qur’an, using actual words of its own, teaches us what to ask God and how to do it – using what specific words.

  6. And I don’t think – to the best of my very limited knowledge of course – there is any other collection of Du’as (prayers) in the world like what the Qur’an offers, either in terms of quality or quantity.

    That is why I say this alone should push me to become a Muslim if I were not already one.

  7. And then there is the Hadith – the Du’as and supplications and prayers of the Prophet Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam.

    There is really nothing quite like them anywhere else in the world, either in quality or quantity.

  8. And then there are all the unlimited options that are open to individuals to pour out their hearts to their creator, without anyone else getting in the way, between them and him.

    How do you beat that?

That is why I say, if I knew nothing about Islam other than its amazing architecture of Du’as, prayers and supplications that is, that alone would drive me “post-haste” to check out Islam and embrace Islam.

Regardless of what else may be stopping or holding me back.

(Dr. Pasha)

Published

Qualifications for Doing Tafsir of Qur’an [Quote - 393]

Muslim or not, everyone is required to read and understand the Qur’an. But who should or should not explain the Qur’an to other people – do a Tafsir of the Qur’an, as it were – that is not open to everyone.

The only people who should embark on that most arduous and potentially treacherous journey are those who possess at least the following qualifications:

  1. Unimpeachable sincerity of purpose – Iman and Ikhlas.
  2. Deep and strong fear of Allah – Taqwa.
  3. Strong command of Arabic language.
  4. Strong grasp of Hadith literature.
  5. Sound knowledge of Tafsir literature.

The first two qualifications – Iman/Ikhlas and Taqwa – are open to anyone.

The last three – Arabic Language; Tafsir Literature; and Hadith Literature – are almost an exclusive prerogative of those who have been blessed with that kind of training, background and expertise.

All others simply must quote their sources as they do their talking and explaining – such as this or that book of Tafsir or Hadith or their own teachers and Shaikhs – whenever they undertake to offer Tafsir of any part of the Qur’an.

My own view is that no one should be told not to think their own thoughts; or to ask their own questions; or to express their own views, with regard anything in the Qur’an – an Aayat or something – even though the Salaf (our early leaders in the field such as Sahabah and later experts and great scholars of yore) had serious reservations on that score.

So, all would-be Tafsir-Doers in any part of the world, not the least in an enterprising place like the Caribbean, should think long and hard about what they do, and tread only gingerly and very, very thoughtfully on the path of doing Tafsir of the Qur’an.

(Dr. Pasha)

Published

Perils in the Path of Working for Allah [Quote - 392]

Even though we all live – hopefully – in free and democratic societies, and operate by democratic norms, Working for Allah means constantly dedicating and rededicating ourselves, with single-mindedness, to our Program, our Jama'at and our Leadership.

Failure or hesitation to do that is indicative of breakdown of mental discipline and spiritual commitment on the part of individuals.

And it is suggestive of lack of personal growth and progress in one’s journey to Allah.

They are all instances of problems, and possibly ongoing struggles, inside people, many of which could be summed up under the rubric of Nafs – selfishness and self-centeredness.

Such individuals generally have a tendency to be focused on themselves rather than on the Jama'at, the Program and the Leadership with which they are supposed to be working.

At that level, it is generally a problem of what is called Ikhlas and Iman.

Left unaddressed, these issues will come to the fore sooner or later, as the Jama’at continues to plod along in the pursuit of its goals.

And these individuals, unless they correct their attitudes in time, may turn out to be a problem to the Jama’at and the work down the road.

(Dr. Pasha)

Published

The Right and Wrong Kind of Parties [Quote - 391]

When people invite people to a party with booze and boogey, people say yes with great alacrity: those you know and those you don't.

Or even for a simple community Cook-Out.

That is because there are all kinds of internal and external facilitators working to make that happen.

But when people invite people to come to a Qur'an Session, where God Almighty's word could be read and studied and understood, then many people tend to drag their feet. All of a sudden, all kinds of difficulties and excuses pop up along the way.

That is because there is a whole host of internal inhibitors and external pressures working to make things difficult for everyone involved, when the party pertains to God and his work.

The Devil and his multitudes, both human and Jinn, would rather you sleep the afternoon off than go and study the Qur'an with those who can help you to read and understand it better.

There is nothing the Devil and his minions want more than to stop you from ever getting close to God's Word on earth: the Noble Qur'an. 

However, the key to success in these situations is patience and perseverance. What the Qur'an calls Sabr.

As Allah says in the Qur'an: Success comes with patience.

Wa Tawaasau Bilhaqqi Wa Tawaasau Bis-Sabr, is how the Qur'an puts it.

(Dr. Pasha)

Published