Islamic Theory of Evolution and the Big Bang!

June 25, 2011

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

“Have not those who disbelieve known that the heavens and the earth were joined together as one united piece, and then We parted them? And We have made from water every living thing. Will they not then believe?”  – Qur’an 21:30

“then He turned to the heaven (sky) when it was still gas (smoke) and said to it, and to the earth, “come into existence, willingly or unwillingly” and they said “we come willingly.” – Qur’an 41:11

Alhamdulillah! I find it fascinating, no matter what the critics and detractors say, that only Islam through the Noble Qur’an rightly says that all life originated and evolved from the sea and is mostly water. And Islam alone of the three “Peoples of the Book” states that the universe originated from dust and hot gas or smoke, as described in the Big Bang theory of creation.

The science is of course much more complex and exacting, but no other religion even suggested it 1400 years ago.

Ya Haqq!


Justice in Islam

February 24, 2011

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

“His Throne is upon the waters, and in His other hand is the balance (Justice), and He raises and lowers (whomever He will).” – a hadith of the Prophet (pbuh)

One of the Names of God is Al-Adl, the Just, and in Islam, Justice demands a balance, a fairness that is clearly seen and felt. And the best example may be the ‘best of creation’ himself:

When the Prophet (peace be unto him) was drawing near death, he availed himself of one last chance to practice justice:

He came to the mosque wrapped in a blanket, and there were those who saw signs of death in his face. “If there is any among you,” he said, “whom I have caused to be flogged unjustly, here is my back. Strike in your turn. If I have damaged the reputation of any among you, may he do likewise to mine. To any I have injured, here is my purse… It is better to blush in this world than in the hereafter.” A man claimed a debt of three dinars and was paid.

In Islam and on the Sufi path as well, the highest level of Justice is to do Justice without demanding it, recognizing that our own demands may be the cause of the imbalance itself. Thus, a story is told of Dhu’l Nun al Misri, the great Egyptian Sufi saint. There was a drought in Egypt, and the people implored him to pray to God for rain. He did so, and during his prayer, God informed him that he himself was the source of the drought. So he left Egypt, and the rains came.

And for the dictators in the world,  a reminder:

Beware of oppressing someone with no defense against you except God. – Hazrat Ali

- Edited from The Virtues of the Prophet, (Chapter IX) by Charles Upton.

Ya Haqq!


“Everything is Love!”

February 21, 2010

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

I read of a Christian woman years ago who went on a forty day meditation retreat in a monastic cell. When she finally came out, all she could say is: “Everything is love!”

Surely those who open to faith and do beautiful wholesome works, for them the One Who is the Most Gracious will appoint Love.  -  Qur’an 19:96

A man once came to the Prophet (puh) and asked him about the hereafter. The Prophet asked him, “And what have you prepared for that time?” The man replied, “Nothing, except that I love Allah and I love you.” The Prophet (puh) answered him, “You are with the ones you love.”

I profess the religion of love,

Love is my religion and my faith.

My mother is love

My father is love

My prophet is love

My God is love

I am a child of love

I have come only to speak of love

- Jalaluddin Rumi

“…the guidance of Islam is the guidance of love. The innate, natural and ancient religion that is Islam is the religion of love. The Prophet (pbuh) came to guide us to love and to make clear the love that is at the core of all religion. Our purpose as human beings is to consciously manifest Allah’s love in our lives.”

- from Love in Islam, a Khutbah (Sermon) by Mahmoud Mostafa

Ya Haqq!


Purple Hijab Day Against Domestic Violence

February 6, 2010

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

International Purple Hijab Day, Saturday, February 13, 2010 is a day to reflect on the deaths which have resulted from domestic violence. A purple hijab is an apt reference for this phenomenon. The hijab—or head scarf, is a symbol of the modesty and piety associated with Muslim womanhood. Purple is a color associated with mourning. Hopefully, a purple hijab will bring to mind what is important for us to remember.

Remember Aasiya Zubair Hassan whose decapitated body was found by upstate New York police after they were told by her husband where to find it. Remember Sandeela Kanwal whose strangled body was found in her Jonesboro, Georgia, bed after someone in her household called the police early in the morning on July 6, 2008. These are just two of the 11 confirmed cases of murder in the US of Muslims by Muslim family members. Two of the 11 cases are of men, one murdered by his wife and the other a murder-suicide. Unfortunately there are other reports of murders in the US due to domestic abuse that can’t be substantiated at this time.

The Baitul Salaam Network, Inc., a national domestic violence awareness organization has put out a call for all in the Islamic community here in the US and abroad to reflect on the cases of death due to domestic violence in the Islamic community here in the US and around the world. “We have a very serious problem of domestic abuse, both nationally and internationally, that we as a community need to face head-on and work together to eradicate,” says Hadayai Majeed, co-founder and administrator of the organization.

So far the call has been answered by other organizations and individuals throughout the US. In Rhode Island the Healthy Families Initiative will host an all day workshop using materials developed by the Peaceful Families Project, a Muslim domestic violence think tank and advocacy organization headquartered in northern Virginia. In Atlanta, Georgia, Muslim Men Against Domestic Violence-Atlanta, an initiative of Baitul Salaam Network, Inc., facilitated by Professor Shyam Sriram of Georgia Perimeter College, has coordinated a prayer vigil. The host is the Atlanta Masjid of Al-Islam located in East Atlanta, on Saturday, February 13 beginning at 12 noon. In New York City HARIM, a Muslim women’s artist and writers collaborative, will host a literary event featuring South Asian poetry, at 37th Avenue and 74th in Street Jackson Heights. Other events are planned in the Midwest and Far West. On the same day, organizers have called for a moment of silence in the Islamic community, to begin at 12:12 pm, to remember all eleven reported murders of Muslims due to domestic violence and all others that have not been reported in the US and around the world.

Islam does not teach nor condone abuse of any living thing. It teaches Muslims not to harm others and Muslims are taught to believe there is a grave punishment for Muslims who do harm to others or abuse the land, sea or plant life. Prophet Muhammad (SAW), the example of how excellent a human being can be, was known to have never harmed anyone in his family. He only used violence when on the battlefield against a clearly identified enemy. He taught self-restraint and peace during his time here on earth. Muslim domestic violence advocates want to make it clear without any doubt that these heinous crimes that have been committed in some of the homes in the Islamic community are not supported by the Holy Quran or the valid Ahadith (life sayings and teachings of Prophet Muhammad) and are not the norm. These are learned behaviors that have nothing to do with religious teachings or practices.

AltMuslimah, an online Islamic newspaper, has launched a web site (located at UNIFEM Say-No UNiTE) devoted to domestic abuse activism. They also were instrumental in coordinating a multi-racial and multi-ethnic domestic violence advocacy forum, last February, called V2A, hosted by Masjid Dar Al Islam in Arlington,Virginia. The newspaper has compiled a calendar of events for the weekend of February 12-14, 2010, which includes Khutbahs (Friday sermons) focusing on the subject of domestic abuse that will be given at Muslim places of worship throughout the US.

Muslims are uniting against domestic abuse in the US and abroad and want to make it known that domestic abuse in any form will no longer be tolerated in the Islamic community and that survivors of abuse and their supporters are speaking up and out.

To get more information about events associated with International Purple Hijab Day contact Hadayai Majeed at haleem1@aol.com or call 770-255-8500.

Ya Haqq!

Note:  Posted as an act of  public service and awareness.


You Are Christ’s Hands

December 18, 2009

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

In the joyous and loving spirit of Christmas, and to celebrate the birth of Jesus, or as he is know in Islam, Isa ibn Mariyam (pbuh), a poem by one of His sainted devotees.

You Are Christ’s Hands

Christ has no body now on Earth but yours,

No hands but yours,

No feet but yours,

Yours are the eyes

Through which look out

Christ’s compassion to the world;

Yours are the feet with which he is to go about

Doing Good.

Yours are the hands with which he is to bless

Humanity now.

- Saint Teresa of Avila

Ya Haqq!


The Islamic Writers Alliance

May 1, 2008

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

Alhamdulillah! I have been named the Marketing Director of The Islamic Writers Alliance, whose website you can view by clicking HERE. And I urge all Muslims in the literary arts to join this worthy organization.

From the IWA website:
The Islamic Writers Alliance is a national professional organization with an international membership for Muslims involved in the literary arts — published and aspiring authors, novelists, poets, essayists, publishers, editors, illustrators, journalists, spoken word artists, and playwrights. We support one another in our goals as writers, whether it be honing our craft, seeking publication opportunities, or promoting our published works to both the Muslim and non-Muslim world. We are dedicated to writing about, presenting, and supporting positive Islamic fiction and non-fiction reading materials, in all genres, for all ages.
The IWA is an inclusive organization and welcomes Muslim men and women of all races, ethnicities, linguistic backgrounds, abilities, and creeds.

This is true. All members of the IWA – whether they write books, plays, poems, newspaper articles, blogs, or are graphic designers of the written word – have one thing in common. Each is dedicated to portraying Islam is the best possible light in both fiction and non-fiction, and to advancing the cause of quality Islamic Children’s Books, and Islamic Fiction and Non-Fiction for teens and adults.

Many of the Muslimah in the group write Islamic Children’s Books, which are sorely lacking in schools and libraries, especially in masjid libraries. They are also excellent to use for Muslim home-schoolers.

The dues for joining as a full member are only a nominal $25.00 per year. If you cannot afford it, or live in a country where it is difficult for you to pay in US dollars, there is a fund set aside to provide your membership fee. And you get your own webpage and bio, plus a sales link to your book on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc., or to your website or blog if you wish. And it’s a great way to network for writers :)

You also will receive the quarterly magazine Islamic Ink, to which all members are encouraged to contribute stories, poems, and articles.

Once again, click HERE to visit the Islamic Writers Alliance website, and check out the catalog of books by its members, including many excellent children’s books.

Join me in supporting this worthy and growing organization by becoming a member today.

Ya Haqq!


Master of the Jinn in URDU

March 27, 2008

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

Alhamdulillah! Master of the Jinn is now being translated into Urdu. Brother Nadeem in Pakistan, who is also a darvish of a Sufi Order, is the main translator. He sends out each translated section to his friends and fellow darvishes and asks for suggestions. The best ones are incorporated into the final translation :)

If you want to read what there is so far of the Urdu translation, email me at Irvingk1945 at gmail dot com, and I will send it to you in .pdf format.

Ya Haqq!


The Prophet (pbuh) and the Blind Man

March 10, 2008

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

“He frowned and turned away when a blind man came his way. How do you know if (his heart) might be purified or recall (God) and by recollection be rectified? For those who are called wealthy, you attend to them closely and don’t bother if they are purified! Yet from one who comes to you hopeful, fearful and clearly humble, you let your attention be shunted aside.” - (Qur’an 80:1-12)

This Quranic verse, directed toward the Prophet himself (pbuh), is the harshest reminder in the revelation itself of allowing oneself to be distracted by the affairs of the world, and thereby, even momentarily, losing the insight of its true teachings of love and compassion, kindness and guidance in the worship of Allah, the One who has no partners.

It is further related that Aisha, the wife of the Prophet (pbuh), said that if any chapter of the Qur’an could be wiped out, he had wished it would be this short chapter entitled, He Frowned, that addresses him as the one who frowned and chastises him for his treatment of the blind man.

The old and feeble blind man came seeking some knowledge about the new religion of Islam, but his arrival interrupted an important meeting of Arab tribal elders, powerful and rich men, who, if they had embraced the religion, would have greatly strengthened the community, which was under constant threat.

The Prophet (pbuh) had done what almost any other leader would do in looking out for his community through practical means; he ignored the blind man and continued to talk to the powerful tribal elders.

Alhamdulillah! He admonishes even His own Prophet (pbuh) for ignoring the true seeker, for not taking a moment to answer the old blind man. Most certainly this would have been a real lesson to the tribal elders about the new religion of Islam.

Allah knows the truth.

May Allah bless us and grant us all the insight of this lesson and guide us to what is truly important in life.

Ameen.

 

Ya Haqq!


Being Thought Full of God

January 5, 2008

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

Thoughts that do not include God are thought less, for all thought arises in response to His world in His universe and in this life He has given you. Saying Bismillah (in the name of God), before eating or performing a task great or small; saying Inshallah (God willing), that His will be done in the future and not your own; saying Alhamdulillah (All praise is God’s alone), that one recognizes that all power and strength and goodness come from Him; all these bring God into our consciousness, into our thoughts and actions. And if these thoughts and actions are done for God’s sake and not our own, it makes of them a true blessing.

This is also the essence of adab, of courtesy and character and true modesty, that it is done for God’s sake, and not out of cultural habit or shame.

Verily, to surrender to God in thought and deed is the beauty and truth of Islam, and the goal of the Sufi path.

Therefore remember Me, I will remember you, and be thankful to Me, and do not be ungrateful to Me. (2:152)

Those are they on whom are blessings and mercy from their Lord, and those are the followers of the right course. (2:157)

 

Ya Haqq!


The Yellow Dog

November 15, 2007

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

A yellow dog came to visit today. He was friendly and young and full of energy, perhaps a year old, a Labrador retriever, his nose to the ground sniffing for a familiar scent. He circled the house and my wife saw him through a window out of the corner of her eye; a lean, hungry yellow dog by the look of him, his ribs plainly visible.

Fortunately, the previous tenant had left a couple of cans of dog food, and as my wife enticed him with a piece of bread, I opened both for him, along with a big bowl of water. He ran up onto the porch without any prompting, being obviously used to people, and ate it all happily and drank most of the water. He seemed so happy to see us, and to be treated like a welcome guest. He sniffed us both and circled the house again, and then was off, following whatever scent he had picked up. I thought he was lost, or got separated from his owners, and was making his way back to them. He looked as if he had been on the road many days. I have read that lost dogs sometimes travel hundreds of miles to their old home.

We were happy to help him on his journey. My wife grew up on a farm and has an affinity with all creatures great and small. And ever since his appearance, my heart has had such a feeling of love and gratitude that I can hardly describe it.

I think it came from the yellow dog.

Even though we didn’t do anything extraordinary, this chance encounter, if chance it was, was a blessing for us. We had in a small way helped one of God’s creatures on his journey home, inshallah. There is an old Persian saying: “A guest is God’s friend.”

It may have come from this old Sufi tale:

There was a darvish who one day sought a guest from God. “O Lord of the World,” he said in his heart, “may a guest come from You tomorrow, so that I may treat him as befits one of Your friends.” The following day he made preparations for his guest. The darvish cleaned his small home and prepared a meal fit for a Friend of God.

As he was keeping a lookout in all directions while waiting outside for the guest to arrive, a thin and hungry mongrel dog wandered by and, smelling the food, begged for a morsel. The darvish chased him away, not out of meanness, but in his anxiety that nothing should spoil this occasion. And so he waited and waited, but despite all his expectations, no one came. He finally fell asleep in a heartbroken and agitated state.

“O self-absorbed one,” said God in a dream, “I sent along a dog as one of My own, so that you might make him your guest, but you heedlessly sent him away.”

Alhamdulillah! That the friend of the Friend was made welcome here, and our hearts were gladdened by his visit.

Ya Haqq!

NOTE: The Sufi tale is originally from Fariduddin Attar’s Mosibat-Nama (Book of Adversity), and can be found in Dogs from a Sufi Point of View by Dr. Javad Nurbakhsh. It is also told in a slightly different version, about Moses and the beggar, in the first chapter of Master of the Jinn, which you can read as an excerpt on the book’s website by clicking HERE.


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