Alia Ansari Trust Fund

October 31, 2006

Salaam And Greetings of Peace:

A trust fund has been established to help support Alia Ansari’s husband, Ahmad, and her six children. Deposits can be made into Account No. 55041477 at any Fremont Bank location.

OR you may mail your checks to:
Fremont Bank
39150 Fremont Blvd.
Fremont, CA 94538
Phone: (510) 505-5226
Fax: (510) 795-5758

Please write the Trust Account Number on the check.

Thanks to Shabana’s Koonj blog for the information. Please be so kind as to let others know about it on your blogs and in your communities.

Ya Haqq!


In Memory of Alia Ansari

October 28, 2006

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

By now, many of you may have heard of the senseless killing of our sister Alia Ansari as she walked with her toddler to pick up her other children from school. This happened in America, in Fremont, California. Here is the story from Imam Zaid Shakir on Zaytuna

The statement of Alia’s husband reminded me of the love and compassion shown by the Amish community after a troubled man killed five children:

“Her husband, contrary to the caricature of the vindictive, hateful, enraged Muslim, mentioned how the family did not wish her martyrdom be treated as a hate crime, because he did not want her death to be a source of agitation in the area’s large Muslim community…His gentle voice was most emphatic when he mentioned that he did not want his wife’s death to be politicized. Rather, he wanted her spirit of love and reconciliation to prevail after her passing as it had during her life”

And here also is the heartening response of one group in the area:

WEAR A HIJAB DAY: MONDAY, NOVEMBER 13, 2006
Foundation for Self-Reliance (Fremont, California)

Concerned women of Fremont, CA have formed a response to the murder of Alia Ansari, and other crimes of violence against Muslims and Muslim women. What we know is this was an act of violence. What we do not know is who did this and why (though a “person of interest” was arrested). But if it was an act of hate, then we want to stand behind all women who wear hijabs, or dress differently, and show them that Fremont is a place that is tolerant toward all people and proud of its diversity.

Visit their website by clicking here.  And spread the word, if Allah moves you to do so.

Men may also wear a turban to join in the day. I have no turban, but I will wear a Taj, the triangular, pointed hat worn as a sign of service on the Sufi path.

May Allah bless the soul of our dear sister Alia Ansari, and grant her a place in the front ranks of those Friends of Allah who lived a quiet and exemplary life of love and devotion.  Amin.

Ya Haqq!


Good News

October 27, 2006

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

If any of you who read or chance upon this blog are from Indonesia or Turkey, I thought I would share the good news that translations of Master of the Jinn have been completed into Turkish (by Insan Yayinlari) and Bahasa, the national language of Indonesia (by Prenada Media). They should be published before the end of this year, or the beginning of next year, inshallah.

Also, the Sufi Journal, published by the Nimatullahi Sufi Order, will publish an excerpt of Master of the Jinn in their upcoming Winter Issue, coming out at the end of December, 2006, inshallah. 

SUFI is a quarterly journal for those seeking to understand the key messages of Sufism. The journal presents articles that examine closely the spiritual, social, and ethical principles by which Sufis teach harmony and humanitarian values. SUFI also addresses the subtleties of psychological and heart-related issues by presenting mystical poetry and prose that help the student of spirituality seek out, confirm, and perceive unity in all creation.

You can subscribe to the magazine by clicking here.

Ya Haqq!


Silence

October 25, 2006

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

Silence is the sea, and speech is like the river.
The sea is seeking you: don’t seek the river.
- Mathnawi of Rumi

We must bring the memory into silence, that the Spirit alone may be heard, saying with the prophet: ‘Speak, Lord, your servant is listening.’ - St. John of the Cross

“Silence, for breath is a Godsend.” - Nimatullahi Sufi saying

Ya Haqq!


You

October 23, 2006

Wherever I traveled. You were manifested;
Wherever I looked. You were revealed.

In ka’ba, idol-temple, synagogue, and church, I saw
All were searching for You, and to all You were a Friend.

I sought only You in every person I met, every place I went;
You were in every sign, both the outer and the inner.

In the marketplace of love, it was revealed,
You were both the seller and the buyer.

In every heart whispering of love for an idol,
That idol was but a pretext: You were both heart and Beloved.

From pre-etemity to post-etemity throughout the universe,
You were all that was hidden or revealed, bountiful or scarce.

If You have bestowed light and stolen my heart and faith,
This is because You are heart, faith, and the Illuminator of all light.

- Dr. Javad Nurbakhsh

From the Sufi Journal, No. 40 / Winter 1998/99

Ya Haqq!


The Prophet’s Letters to Christians

October 20, 2006

Salaam and Greetings of Peace: 

Letter to the Monks of St. Catherine Monastery

In 628 C.E. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) granted a Charter of Privileges to the monks of St. Catherine Monastery in Mt.Sinai. It consisted of several clauses covering all aspects of human rights including such
topics as the protection of Christians, freedom of worship and movement, freedom to appoint their own judges and to own and maintain their property, exemption from military service, and the right to protection in war. An English translation of that document is presented here:

“This is a message from Muhammad ibn Abdullah, as a covenant to those who adopt Christianity, near and far, we are with them.

“Verily I, the servants, the helpers, and my followers defend them, because Christians are my citizens; and by Allah! I hold out against anything that displeases them. No compulsion is to be on them. Neither are their judges to be removed from their jobs nor their monks from their monasteries. No one is to destroy a house of their religion, to damage it, or to carry anything from it to the Muslims’ houses. Should anyone take any of these, he would spoil God’s covenant and disobey His Prophet. Verily, they are my allies and have my secure charter against all that they hate. No one is to force them to travel or to oblige them to fight. The Muslims are to fight for them. If a female Christian is married to a Muslim, it is not to take place without her approval. She is not to be prevented from visiting her church to pray. Their churches are to be respected. They are neither to be prevented from repairing them nor the sacredness of their covenants. No one of the nation (Muslims) is to disobey the covenant till the Last Day (end of the world).”

____________

A Letter from the Prophet Muhammad To The Assyrian Christians

“God has told me in a vision what to do,  and I confirm His command by giving my solemn promise to keep this agreement.

“To the followers of the Islam I say: Carry out my command, protect and help the Nazarene nation in this country of ours in their own land. Leave their places of worship in peace; help and assist their chief and their priests when in need of help, be it in the mountains, in the desert, on the sea, or at home. Leave all their possessions alone, be it houses or other property, do not destroy anything of their belongings, the followers of Islam shall not harm or molest any of this nation, because the Nazarenes are my subjects, pay tribute to me and will help the Muslims. No tribute, but what is agreed upon, shall be collected from them, their church buildings shall be left as they are, they shall not be altered, their priests shall be permitted to teach and worship in their own way-the Nazarenes have full liberty of worship in their churches and homes. None of their churches shall be torn down, or altered into a mosque, except by the consent and free will of the Nazarenes. If any one disobeys this command, the anger of God and His Prophet shall be upon him.

“The tribute paid the Nazarenes shall be used to promote the teachings of Islam and shall be deposited at the treasury of Beth Almal. A common man shall pay one denar (piece of money), but the merchants and people who own mines of gold and silver and are rich shall pay twelve denars. Strangers and people who have no houses or other settled property shall not have taxes levied upon them. If a man inherits property he shall pay a settled sum to the Baitulmal treasury. The Christians are not obliged to make war on the enemies of Islam, but if an enemy attacks the Christians, the Muslims shall not deny their help, but give them horses and weapons, if they need them, and protect them from evils from outside and keep the peace with them. The Christians are not obliged to turn Muslims, until God’s will makes them believers.

“The Muslims shall not force Christian women to accept Islam, but if they themselves wish to embrace it, the Muslims shall be kind to them.

“If a Christian woman is married to a Muslim and does not want to embrace Islam, she has liberty to worship at her own church according to her own religious belief, and her husband must not treat her unkindly on account of her religion. If any one disobeys this command, he disobeys God and his prophet and will be guilty of a great offense.

“If the Nazarenes wish to build a church, their Muslim neighbors shall help them. This shall be done, because the Christians have obeyed us and have come to us and pleaded for peace and mercy.

“If there be among the Christians a great and learned man the Muslims shall honor him and not be envious of his greatness.

“If any one is unjust and unkind to the Christians he will be guilty of disobeying the Prophet of God.

“The Christians should not shelter an enemy of Islam or give him horse, weapon or any other help. If a Muslim is in need the Christian shall for three days and nights be his host and shelter him from his enemies. The Christians shall, furthermore, protect the Mohammedan women and children and not deliver them up to the enemy or expose them to view. If the Nazarenes fail to fulfil these conditions, they have forfeited their right to protection, and the agreement is null and void.

“This document shall be entrusted to the Christian chief and head of their church for safe keeping.”

The peace of God be over them all! This agreement is written by Moavijah Ben Sofian, according to the dictates of Muhammad, the Messenger of God, in the 4th year of the Hegira in the city of Medina.

___________

Al Qur`an says: “And abuse not those whom they call upon besides Allah, lest exceeding the limits, they abuse Allah through ignorance. Thus to every people have We made their deeds fair-seeming; then to their Lord is their return so he will inform them of what they did” (6:109)

Al Qur’an says: “Those who restrain their anger and pardon men. And Allah loves the doer of good (to others)” (3: 133)

Ya Haqq!


Amish Country

October 19, 2006

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

This post has been long in coming. It has dwelled in my heart, even as my heart went out to the Amish community of Pennsylvania over the terrible deaths of the five young girls, killed by a very sad and deeply troubled man. And when I heard of the Amish reaction to the killings, I wept.

A grandfather told a group of young people that we should forgive the troubled man. “We should not think evil of him,” he said. Then a younger man on a news program was asked if he forgave the man, he said: “Yes, we have to show him forgiveness, the way we want Jesus to forgive us.”

I wanted to embrace them all and cry with them. Then, when a fund was set up for the families of the murdered girls, the Amish community also set up a fund for family of the killer.  The families of all the victims.

Many Amish also came to the man’s funeral and prayed for him. Never have I witnessed such love and compassion amid anguish and pain. As an unworthy darvish, I ask myself if I would have acted with such forgiveness, and tears well in my eyes because I know the answer.

May God bless and take into his keeping the souls of the five girls. And may He show compassion and mercy on the very troubled man who killed them.

 Amin.

“Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not love, I am become as a sounding brass and tinkling cymbal.  And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and have all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not love, I am nothing.”

- 1 Corinthians 13:1

Ya Haqq!


In a Far Country is My Heart

October 15, 2006

In a far country is my heart
And though it calls, I cannot go
Swift as the Nightwing flies,
Which the white man calls the crow,
To the Indian Nations

Where in the lodges of the reservation
Tales are told of long ago,
In the warrior tongue still spoken,
Though many words I do not know
That my grandfather remembers

Before the endless lands were taken
And the treaties all were broken
And the Elder tribes forsaken

Westward Ho! With blood and slaughter
Came the white man like the water
Like the wave that took Atlantis
Took the sons and the daughters

Cortez came with smallpox in 1522
Washington slew the Iroquois
And Custer scalped the Sioux

Now the Red Gulags that are the reservations
Form an Archipelago
Indian islands in the American sea
From Canada to Mexico

And the shaman’s dreams
Have been all of woe
Since the surrender of Geronimo

- Irving Karchmar, © 1991

Ya Haqq!


“I am the Qur’an”

October 14, 2006

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

Muhammed (pbuh) said:

“When a man dies and his relatives are busy with the funeral, there stands an extremely handsome man by his head. When the dead body is shrouded, that man gets between the shroud and the chest of the deceased. When after the burial the people return home, two angels, Munkar and Nakeer come into the grave and try to separate this handsome man, so that they may be able to interrogate the dead man in privacy about his faith.

“But the handsome man says, ‘He is my companion, he is my friend. I will not leave him alone in any case. If you are appointed for interrogation, do your job. I cannot leave him until I get him admitted into Paradise’.

 

“Thereafter he turns to his dead companion and says, ‘I am the Qur’an, which you used to read, sometimes in a loud voice and sometimes in a low voice. Do not worry. After the interrogation of Munkar and Nakeer, you will have no grief…’”

 

Muhammed (pbuh) said:

 

“On the Day of Judgement, before Allah, no other intercessor will have a greater status than the Qur’an, neither a Prophet nor an angel.”

 

May Allah bestow this favor on us all.

 

Ameen!

 

The lovely hadith ( narrated by Abi Huraira and compiled by Bukhari) was sent to me by our dear Sister Suroor.

 

Ya Haqq!


Letter to the Pope

October 11, 2006

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

A friend in Cairo sent me a copy of this letter, and as I had not seen it mentioned in any news reports, thought it worthwhile to share in the spirit in which it was written, of respect and love.

A Message from His Beatitude Ignatius IV

Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch and all the East

To His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI

17th September, 2006-09-18

To Your Most Venerable Holiness Pope Benedict XVI

Salutations and best wishes for your health:

It is with deep disquiet that we have followed your statements and the angry reactions that have accompanied them in the course of the last days. In this regard, we would like to clarify for Your Holiness certain essential points in which Eastern Christians believe that form part of their daily lives.

More than others, they have knowledge, experience and understanding of Islam, for they have coexisted with Muslims in cooperation and harmony from the beginning of the Islamic message until the present day.

We have been able to establish good relations, in an ambience of mutual respect for religious beliefs and practices, recognizing the freedom of each to live according to the teachings of his religion and the principles of his law. We are convinced that the relationship between Christianity and Islam was essentially born in this part of the world, this land of religious revelation. 

As you know, Pope John Paul II highly praised this coexistence, which he was also able to observe during his historical visit to Syria. This visit has become part of the history of the Vatican and part of a development that the late Pope desired to achieve.

We need not go into a discussion of the relationship of Christianity and Islam; a relationship that has consecrated coexistence and mutual respect, that we
cannot dispense with in these circumstances.  Nor need we recall here that the longest Surah of the holy Qur’an speaks with deep respect of Christianity.

We would however like to point out any discourse of religion which treats it as an objective subject of academic research does not accord fully with the truth that religion is doctrine and a faith practiced by believers. These have every right to practice their rites as they wish. There is no room here to consider religion as more an intellectual question than a matter of faith,
for discussing it in this way impinges on both understanding and faith.

We would hope that you may take part in discussing essential religious  questions free of the understanding and quotations of past ages, and to

come to them with a contemporary rather than a medieval perspective. We would affirm that religion is not a subject for intellectual and  philosophical luxury, but for living and coexisting in love, so as to accord with our faith and forms of worship.
This has marked the East, which we have inhabited since the times of revelation until today.
We ask for your prayers and we extend to you our best
wishes.

Ignatius IV, Patriarch of Antioch and all the East

Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch and all the East

Ya Haqq!


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