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Friday, April 25, 2008

Sheikh Saad Al-Attas

The means of arrival to the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him)

First session of three

The Birth of the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) was a joyous event for the worlds

Maybe there’s a mawlid of other creatures

We need to understand him inwardly and outwardly

There’s a wisdom there for those who want it

He (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) is a gift to creation

Have we looked into his (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) character and said this is what we want to be like

Its doesn’t take a day but it’s the first step

If a person sees good in him (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him), he should try to follow

There’s only one door to Allah Subhanu wa ta’ala and thats through the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him)

Why did he say not to prefer himself (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) over Yunis (upon him peace), because Yunis (upon him peace) was in the belly of the whale the lowest place and he (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) was in the highest - the miraj

Be like him (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) inwardly and outwardly

Do you know the difference between being a lover (muhib) and the loved (Mahbub)

Imam Haddad (may Allah show him mercy) welcomed two people to his gathering. One was a student who wasn’t bright, the other was jurist, Imam Haddad (may Allah show him mercy) welcomed the student more than the Jurist. The Jurist was puzzled at first and when they left, he thought that if I go first that he’ll show him the same warmth but he found the Imam, the same

It was sincerity that was the difference here

The love kicks in when the Sunna and Nawfil are done, as in the hadith

External signs are secondary to the internal signs

If we implement the love of the Messenger (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him), we will see a great human being

Tawkkul, Taqwa, Sabar (Reliance, fear and patience)

Junaid Al-Bagdadi (may Allah show him mercy) said, “The internal and external are the same.”

Imam Nawawi (may Allah him mercy) said, “The greatest act a man can do is to fear Allah.”

The place where we start is the heart, its not an easy business – to become beloved by Allah Subhanu wa ta’ala

When they saw his (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) face they knew he wasn’t a lair

We have to look at his (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) physical features

The Sunna is paramount now – especially now – this is why they have drawn us, they did not see him

Embody one aspect, which will lead onto another

No one can embody them all but they can constantly strive

See the scholars and ask them, how much remembrance they make

This lecture is an act of remembrance according Ibn Ata’llah (may Allah show him mercy) in the key to success

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Book review of Muhammad - Prophet of our time by Karen Armstrong

Whenever I have read or heard Ms Armstrong talking about Islam I have found her opinion to be fair and balanced. Which is not something that you can say about many who write about Islam. When I saw this book I wondered what she had wrote in it.

She explains the sira quite well and brings to life stories more than they should be. Alarm bells started ringing when he reported a false story that the orientalists have cooked up and are passing onto each other.

One of the stories that has no origin in any history book is a false story of his proposed marriage to woman years before his first marriage. I have seen this story in more than one book and neither book quoted a source.

The most alarming about this book is the various attacks on the companions which include wife beating and striking themselves when he passed away. All these were not sourced, neither are there any records for these events in the books of history.

The fabricated story which is famously known as the "satanic verses" this is a fabricated story which was made up by heretics. More than ten scholars confirm this here she expands on this story in the most bizarre manner possible. This part can only be seen as a piece of creative writing because its simply not true.

Although she explains the marriage to Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) in a simple manner, "There was no impropriety in Muhammad's betrol to Aisha. Marriages conducted in absentia to seal alliance were often contracted at this time..." "This practice continued in Europe well into the early modern period. There was no question of consummating the marriage until Aisha reached puberty." Page 105.

Her attacks upon the companions are the most worrying thing about this book yet she does not attack the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) with the same vigour. She is explains his actions in a good manner with the major exception of the "satanic verses." She also emphasises on his excellent characteristics but the attacks on the companions really takes me away from this book.

At this point I begun to incline to the sira book by Barnaby Rogerson because overall that book has the normal orientalist arguements which many can see through but parts of this book are much worse.

I was expecting this book to be much better than it turned out to be. To say it was disappointment is a major understatement but inshallah some people may benefit from this review. I would really like to find a book of sira so I can recommend it to non-Muslims to read, search continues. If you want to read it then borrow the book don't buy it.

Short survival guide to books by orientalists - if you find a story that does not seem correct then follow these steps.

1. Do they source?
2. Is it a sound narration or a weak one or even a fabricated story
3. What is the source? Is it Primary or secondary?
4. Check the source
5. Ask a scholar about it

Friday, April 18, 2008

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Friday, April 11, 2008

Serj Tankian

is the lead singer of the group System of a down, he wrote this essay after 9/11.

Understanding Oil
By Serj Tankian

The brutal attacks/bombings this week in New York, and Washington D.C., along with threats of attacks there and elsewhere in the country have changed our times forever. While the mass media concentrates on the details of the destruction, and the blanketed words of politicians, I will attempt to understand and explain the events from the fence. BOMBING AND BEING BOMBED ARE THE SAME THINGS ON DIFFERENT SIDES OF THE FENCE.

Terror is not a spontaneous human action without credence. People just dont hijack planes and commit harikari (suicide) without any weight of thought to the action. No one in the media seems to ask WHY DID THESE PEOPLE DO THIS HORRIFIC ACT OF VIOLENCE AND DESTRUCTION?

To be able to understand the answer to this, we must first look at our U.S. Mideast Policy. During most of the 20th century, U.S. businesses have worked on attaining oil rights and concessions from countries in the Middle East and Eastern Europe. After WWI, secret back door deals by our State Dept. yielded oil rights from then defeated Turkey to fields in what is now Iraq and Saudi Arabia, in return for looking the other way at a crime against humanity, the Genocide of the Armenians by the Turks. Oil profits have been the motivating factors behind many attempts at counterinsurgency of democratic regimes by the CIA and the U.S in the Middle East (such as Iran in the 1950s, where the Shah replaced the Prime Minister who refused to give up oil rights to the U.S., and since the people couldnt deal with the Shah, an extremist government headed by the Ayatollah Khomeini ultimately prevailed). During the Iran-Iraq war, America supplied both sides with weapons and advice. These are not the actions of a rich superpower wanting peace. Lets not forget that Saddam Hussein, before being Americas vision of the Anti-Christ, was a close ally of the U.S., and the CIA. So what was the firm belief system of consecutive American administrations that caused all this to occur ? PEACE IN THE MIDDLE EAST WILL LEAD TO HIGHER OIL AND GASOLINE PRICES. Lets not also forget the power of the Arms industry, disguised as defense, that still sells billions of dollars of weapons to the area. Therefore it has not been in the short-term economic interest of the U.S. to foster Peace in the Middle East. Using the above reasoning, the U.S. has encouraged extremist governments, toppled democracies, as in the case of Iran to replace it with a monarchy, rigged elections, and many more unspeakable political crimes for U.S. businesses abroad. Lets not also forget the Red Scare. During the war between the then Soviet Union and Afghanistan, the U.S. armed and supported the Taliban, a fundamentalist Muslim organization, and allowed them to export opium and heroin out of their country to pay for those weapons. Therefore the Taliban rose to power and control with the help of the U.S.A. Today, the bombing of Iraq still continues, no longer covered by the media, the economic embargo still remains, killing millions of children, and recently, while the world and the U.N. General Assembly have cried out to bring in peacekeeping forces into Israel and Palestine, to end the escalated war and recent assassinations, the U.S. has vetoed the rest of the Security Council and has halted the possibility of peace, there, in the most volatile place in the world.

People in Serbia, Lebanon, Iraq, Sudan, and Afghanistan to name a few have seen bombs fall, not always at military targets and kill innocent civilians, as the scene in New York city yesterday. The wars waged by our government in our names has landed smack in the middle of our living room. The half hour of destruction closed down all world financial markets, struck the central headquarters of our military, and had our leaders running into bunkers, and our citizens into fear and frenzy. What scares me more than what has occurred is what our reactions to the occurrences may cause. President Bush belongs to a long generation of Republican Presidents who love war economies. The media has only concentrated on the bombings, if you will, and what type of retaliations are looming for the perpetrators. What everyone fails to realize is that the bombings are a reaction to existing injustices around the world, generally unseen to most Americans. To react to a reaction would be to further sponsor the reaction. In other words, my belief is that the terror will multiply if concrete steps are not taken to sponsor peace in the middle east, NOW. This does not mean that we should not find the guilty party(s), Bin Laden, or whoever they may be, and not try them. Put simply, as long as a major injustice remains, violence precipitates to the surface of life.

Native American folklore, the Bible, Nostradamus, and many other major religious beliefs point to this era with the visuals of yesterdays disasters, and conditions of ecological disasters we experience daily in our lives today. War, rumors of war, famine, long burning fires, etc., are at our doorstep. We can prevail over this possible vision with the power of the human spirit, understanding, compassion, and peace. ITS TIME TO PUT OUR NEEDS FOR SECURITY AND SURVIVAL, ACHIEVED ONLY THROUGH PEACE, ABOVE AND BEYOND PROFITS, ESPECIALLY IN THESE TIMES.


The U.S. should stop sidestepping the U.N. Security Council, and allow U.N. Peacekeeping troops and missions to the Middle East. Stop the violence first.

Stop the bombing and patrol of Iraq.

With todays gains in the use of alternative fuels, develop them to full usage with autos and other utilities, to make the country less dependant on an already depleting natural reserve, oil.

By initiating peace, we would have already shaken the foundations of support for Bin Laden, and/or all those that sponsor activities like those we saw yesterday, and break the stronghold of extremists on the world of Islam. On the other hand, if we carry out bombings on Afghanistan or elsewhere to appease public demand, and very likely kill innocent civilians along the way, we'd be creating many more martyrs going to their deaths in retaliation against the retaliation. As shown from yesterdays events, you cannot stop a person whos ready to die.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Sheikh Ibrahim Osi-Efa

Legacy of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) part two of two

We came here to hear people speak, not to teach

Islam has been reduced to entertainment, in these countries

The role of the great people is to indicate to the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him)

People are busy with the dunya, that is where Abu Huraira went

(Abu Huraira (may Allah ta'ala be pleased with him) passed the market in Medina, he stopped and said, “O' People of Madina, how incapable you are.” “What do you mean?” they asked. “The inhertance of Muhammad peace be upon him is being divided up. Why don't you go and take your portion of it?” He replied. “Where is it?” the people asked. “In the masjid,” replied Abu Huraira. The people rushed to the masjid. Abu Hurayra waited there until they returned and asked. "Whats with you?" The people said, "O'Abu Huraira, We went to the masjid and there was nothing that was being divided up." Abu Huraira asked them, “Did you not see anyone in the masjid?" They said, "Of course, we saw people praying Salat, reading the Qur’an and some people discussing permitted and prohibited.” “That is the inheritance of Muhammad peace be upon him!” replied Abu Huraira. Narrated by Tabrani.)

Not everyone who smells, obtains the fragrance

Literalists take words literally, the people of the market, sought money

These are not the people of Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him)

Did we find what we where looking for in Sheikh Abdul-Aziz’s speech?

Islamic knowledge is about embodiment, not about information

We see people not books

Knowledge is about people – people embodying something

The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) bequeaths people, who leave behind human beings

Knowledge is taken from people not books

They pass on hadith in hal (state) before maqall (speech or teaching)

The condition of the acceptance of Dua is to turn to Allah Subhanu wa ta’ala, its not movement with the hands

The path of the people who have blessed

Things are known by opposites

Jews = knowledge without action
Christians = action without knowledge

You cannot be someone who has knowledge until you act on it

Ask Allah Subhanu wa ta’ala for beneficial knowledge, that guides you to him

Knowledge is two kinds, knowledge in the heart and knowledge on the tongue

Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) said, “Knowledge is here, here.” and pointed to his heart

Ta’alum can also mean to put aside knowledge

We have knowledge and don’t use it

It’s a universal law, where do we put it? Below our feet

Knowledge taken must benefit
Imam Malik (may Allah show him mercy) said, “knowledge is not many narrations, rather it is a light that is placed in the heart.”

Knowledge can be our intercessor

Ibn Raslan said, “How can we get out of the current problems, without knowledge?”

Abu Huraira spent two years with the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) after the opening of Haybar

We put knowledge aside

How many of use have made intentions?

Imagine that you’re dead and you are resurrected then asked what did you learn for Allah Subhanu wa ta’ala? What would you be like?

Think about what your answer will be

Allah Subhanu wa ta’ala gazes at the heart

The first blessings to be asked about is knowledge

Not a single act of worship is valid without knowing what you are doing

Islam does not have an exclusive club

Seeking knowledge is obligatory

Which one of us is married and we don’t know the laws of marriage

If there was a problem with the Salat, who knows how to correct it?

I don’t believe that our current station is what Allah Subhanu wa ta’ala desires for us

We seek for Allah, to act on it

Men are people of uprightness

We cannot access knowledge without men – keys

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Book review of The Prophet Muhammad - Biography by Barnaby Rogerson

I was drawn to this book by a friend of mine who commented on the ease of language over Martin lingss' text. Although I did not agree with him, at the same time I wanted to see how well written this text was. So the following is a short review of this book.

The introduction makes it clear that that the author is someone has travelled in the Muslim world and experienced some Muslim Culture. One sometimes hopes in vain, that the people who write about Islam are Muslims this is not the case; many non-Muslim writers have written and will write books about Islam some of which will be useful and others will not. I am trying to decide which one this book is.

The author goes on various tangents from story to story and he does allow the reader to immerse himself into the sira. He cuts other stories short whether he is doing it purpose or not remains to be proved.

He makes several accusations which have no basis nor narration in the books of history because history is not taken from the mind rather its taken from authentic sources.

Compare this to the Lings text which is referenced almost everywhere; this has very little in the way of references, apart from that which he quotes in the text or directly.

There is a chapter at the end of the book on sources but this is not in referenced back to any pages. So can anything be taken seriously in this book without the appropriate refencing? Well, no you have to provide your sources if you are not then all you are doing is narrating a story and you could add whatever you liked to the text.

Overall there are some good quotes that someone could take but advice to Muslims is to read what Muslims have written about their blessed Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) rather than read what non-Muslims have wrote. That is not to say some authors have had some interesting stuff to say, they have, but what Muslims have written about him is much greater.

So I would recommend Martin lings text than this but this text is better than the slanderous text by robert spencer.

Friday, April 04, 2008

ABC Primetime - How Muslims Are Treated In USA

ABC Experiment

Sitting in lectures

These are things I need to implement in myself

The intention for the student should be that he/she is learning for the Sake of Allah to implement what he knows and therefore drawing himself closer to Allah. Try to make a dua for assistance with lesson, if you don't know a dua recite Sura Fatiha before you go in.

A student should arrive on time for the lecture and assist in setting up the teaching space with anything necessary such as barriers, tables, desks, book rests and or hand outs.

Then they should come with notepad and pen to make notes to be reviewed within a few days of the lecture. If you do not come with a notepad and pen, you will not be able to remember much of the lesson afterwards.

You should concentrate as much as you are able to, in the lesson. Show respect to the teacher by focusing on the lesson. if you speak it should only to help a colleague even then it should be briefly.

If you talk during a lesson its shows disrespect to the knowledge that you are trying to take. If you ask a question either make eye contact with the teacher and ask but it is better for you to say the scholars name and then ask.

Note sometimes time is allocated specifically for questions, so withhold until then. Try to avoid shouting out or making comments that maybe amusing to you but may annoy some students and even the teacher.

If you don't understand something and are shy in asking a question, it now becomes important for to ask the question. Otherwise you will not understand the topic and the rest of the session you will not be able to understand the lesson. In a lecture you must wait until the end and try to understand as much until then.

For the manners of asking questions then go to the other chapter on asking questions. It is better to sometimes ask question in private but other times if it relates to the text then ask in the lesson as someone else might not understand.

If you ask a question during the lecture then it must be clear, so others can hear as well as yourself and the scholar. If someone asks a question and you know the answer or that it seems like a silly question remain silent and listen. You may receive more knowledge than your understanding. Do not ever laugh out loud because you think that persons question is funny this shows disrespect to everyone.

Try not to move too much in the lesson and avoid fiddling with papers or materials.

If you have to leave the lecture then leave as discreetly as possible and apologise to the teacher, if you are able to.

Do not argue with the teacher, know he has more knowledge than you and you should respect this and not annoy them.

If the teacher is writing onto a board then copy down everything that he was written, even if you already know it. If something isn't clearly written then confirm by asking.

If you notice a mistake by the teacher you should mention it very discreetly and when no one is there but it may be a mistake in your understanding. So you could say, "I though it was like..." or, "Isn’t it..."

Generally you should cover the faults of your teachers especially the ones you see in private as they are you brothers/sisters as well.

After a lecture it is good manners to thank the teacher for giving the lesson. Then put anything that you moved back into place, leave the place as you left it or better.