Friday, 29 March 2019

Entitled

Assalaamu Aleikum 
Jumaa Mubarak 

What primarily distinguishes the Sunni from the Shia is our marked lack of regard for personality. 

They can literally be rendered as “way / method” and the latter as “party”. 
The first being a reference to the way or method of the Messenger sent from God (saw), and the second referencing the people that supported Ali (ra). 

Of course the exception that we both agree upon is the Messenger of God (saw) whose life is both an open book, and a miracle in every respect just waiting to be read and contemplated upon. 

And then we do both hold people in regard, except the Sunni is not surprised by imperfection and error in another and compensates for it, and forgives because of it. And is thankful for the aid that one can provide to another. 

Whereas those other ways have a similarity to personality cults, which admit no error and gloss infallibility over people who simply have either charisma, or a birth right, or both. 

Indeed our very testimony of faith- there is no god but Allah, the true name of the Most High- admits that there is no power or authority except His, and those that He endorses. 

Therefore we are unique amongst the Abrahamic faiths in that we have no priesthood, no one that can claim an exclusive access to the Most Gracious. 
That Allah is ever near, to each and every one of us, ready to answer our call when we ask. And if we wrong, then forgiveness is but a sincere ask away. 

Then is it not sad, when we adopt and encourage a preponderance to titles. 
The natural culmination of which is the plethora of our celebrity Sheikhs. 

Indeed an Imam is not a title, but is a position. 

When a man steps forward he assumes the responsibilities incumbent on him in performing that role. 

Likewise “those that know” are not entitled in the Qur’an- they are simply those that have ability and are to use that ability towards the betterment of others. 

Their role is to provide answers and help people to appreciate and adopt those answers. 

For there are no Sheikhs in the Qur’an, but there are “people who know” whose duty it is to make their knowledge both relevant, accessible and understandable. 
And then also help those more able on the paths towards knowledge. 

The fixation with personality, and the adoption of various titles of no consequence is not the Sunni way, and is not part of the Sunnah. 

Knowledge is sought through nothing except study and contemplation, and we should all be on that path. 

There is nothing in a title, but everything in the act of helping others. 

When the Messenger (saw) was asked by a stranger to the Polity of Medina, “Who is your leader?” He responded without pause, “The one who best helps the people”. 

A lesson that was learned well by our next two heroes, who were most vested with continuing the Message of Islam, for they hated to adopt a title and then later settled on “Khalifah t’ RasulAllah”. 

So much so that the second of the two had as his “Khalifah t’ Khalifah t’ RasulAllah”. 

Both literally 
“The successor of the Messenger”

And secondly 
“The successor of the successor of the Messenger”. 

They both of them disdained from the now loved “amir ul mumineen”- leader of the believers which was only adopted as a title after the titling that they had started became cumbersome. 

For Uthman (ra) did also originally adopt the triple successor of the successor of the successor of the Messenger (saw). 
Until it’s cumbersomeness became all to apparent. 

Islam is an open book. 
And the Most Gracious is ever near. 
And the best that you can ask is for His guidance. 

If He were to guide you then none could lead you astray. 

But if He were to leave you to stray then none- not the most educated, nor the most celebrated, nor the most titled- could guide you and keep you safe. 
And thankfulness belongs to all, from the least to the most.  

Imagine brothers, if this message had been taught from the pulpits as it should be, then we would not have those gullible enough to believe that a man claiming to be a caliph - by the very fact of his claim- was so. 

What I have said here is my opinion. If it is wrong then that wrong belongs to me. 
Knowledge is sought through study and contemplation, not via lectures, nor speeches, nor this. 

Monday, 18 March 2019

the Denial of Disbelief is not Faith

Assalamu Alaikum 
Jumaa Mubarak Brothers 

The denial of disbelief is not faith. 

For the Messenger (saw) told us that faith and belief has 70 branches, the least of which is removing harm from the paths that people walk. 

Whilst it’s true that the soil of your heart needs first to be cultivated by the removal of false gods, from vanity to envy, it is not this alone that can cause the tree of belief to take root in you. 

Imagine that least of a believing man that removes harm from the paths- 

Contemplate him. 
Who is he?

He is a man, or woman, 
who is considerate
not of those that they can see
-but of those that they see even when they are not there
-those that might just be harmed, 
not by them nor their actions,
but by things that just happen to be. 

They are aware of what harm might happen through their inaction, through their inattentiveness, and through the dullness of their heart’s eye. 

Measure yourself against such a person. 

To be considerate and to care for the “maybe” people, even when it is just a “supposed eventuality”, that is the least of faith. 

How can we cultivate that full consideration, of invisible future outcomes, without first 
the kind word, 
the warm smile, 
the consideration of how those feel that we meet, and live amongst, on a daily basis. 

Uwais al- Qarni (as) was not blessed other than because his obligation prevented him from meeting the hero of all of us. 

Fulfil your obligations to Allah, and then to those that your are obliged towards. 
Give thanks to God, and those that helped and aided you. 

A saying of his and our hero, our Messenger, has it that a half of the Qur’an is the Chapter of Convulsions (Zilzalahah). The Hadith might be classified as weak in chain of narration, but it’s content is sound. 

Every man shall see the profit of his hands.  
And the good that you send forth might dissipate as atoms that you can’t see in this life, but no less effect do they have on those other lives that you touch. 
And in what comes next all of those atoms weight of good will be yours to see and take comfort in. 

Good enables and sustains good. 

That is why faith is a tree, 
Because it is living, 
breathing and growing. 

And it starts with being considerate, 
And kind to others. 

What I have said here is my opinion. If it is wrong then that wrong belongs to me. 
Knowledge is sought through study and contemplation, not via lectures, nor speeches, nor this. 

Thank you, to each and everyone of you, who make our lives, together, so special
 🙏🙏🙏

Friday, 1 March 2019

Turncoats

Assalamu’alaikum brothers
Jumaa Mubarak. 

Orientalist focus has shifted. 

They still seek to undermine the historical basis of our culture, casting false doubts over mutawatta... that which has come down to us from various independent sources. 

Indeed it is opportune that attention to detail in historical analysis originated within our own body of knowledge, well before anyone else. 

In this age they enlist our own academia, even the likes of Al-Azhar, against ourselves, when they support doctorates that declare that when we live in Ireland, per se, we are living the closest to an idealised Islamic lifestyle. 

It is no laughing matter when they grade each country, or society, according to an Islamic Index that shows that Muslim countries are the bottom of that pile. 

It is no laughing matter when the likes of Hamza Yusuf says that if you complain then you should emigrate to Muslim Lands where you freedom for religious expression, and devotion, will be limited. 

After the period of silence, when yearning after the revelation had replaced the initial fear of it, God revealed Ad-Duha (the Morning Brightness) as both a consolation and an affirmation of the Messenger (saw). 

This was before the public call to belief. 
And yet even at that outset, by means of affirming the Messenger’s actions before revelation, Islam was defined as a social religion concerned with social justice- feeding the poor, looking after the orphans and destitute. 

And then close on it, so much so that they are twinned, came al-Inshirah (the expansion or solace), a premonition of what was to come. 

“Verily with hardship there is ease. 
With hardship there is ease.”

The Messenger (saw) told us that on the day of no doubt, that he would make sajda (prostration - where we fall on our faces in humility before God) to Allah, to his hearts content. 

The implication being that he (saw) never made so within his earthly life. 
That there was always some other right pressing on him.  

That his way, and our religion, has much more to offer than the worship of the Most Gracious, as is His right and our inherent need. 

Indeed our faith is not to be content with it being practised in our homes, as the Orientalist and their agents wish.  

Nor is our faith to ignore the social injustices that pervade society. 

Nor is our faith to ignore the political hypocrisy that condemns our brothers and sisters a continent away. 

We live in the eye of the storm, and whilst it is calm here in the West, be of no doubt that the troubles that face the World’s worst off have roots here. 

When it is said to them do not make mischief in the land, they say “we are the peace makers”. That is the political hypocrisy that is clearly evident within this sea of calm, whilst all about are in turmoil. 

And it is our religion that holds that to be a looking glass for this body politic, and to hold up and show off the ugliness of their hypocrisy to their very faces, is a powerful calling. 

To do that with honour, ability and humanity, for all, is all that we should aspire to. 

That we might try our best to affect change, for the betterment of the World at large, for everyone from Africa to the Americas. 

And truth be told to the likes of our Scholars that wish for us to bury our heads in the sand, that democracy demands that we contribute. 

And what better way to contribute than to call out the hypocrisy of this false democracy, the hypocrisy that enslaves other countries to dictatorships, and then to be the standard bearers to a better- more inclusive- way. 

For holding out for truth and justice for others less fortunate than ourselves, who live on the other side of the world, should be part and parcel of this democracy. 

And we should be able to do so without fear of being labelled a fifth column, or a traitor. 

For far greater things bind us together, than separate us, because of where we live.

What I have said here is my opinion. If it is wrong then that wrong belongs to me. 
Knowledge is sought through study and contemplation, not via lectures, nor speeches, nor this. 

Shafi.