Eid Mubarak!

December 30, 2006

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

Eid Mubarak!

The Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said:

“One who helps a fellow Muslim in removing his (or her) difficulty in this world, Allah will remove the former’s distress on the Day of Judgment. He who helps to remove the hardship of another, will have his difficulties removed by Allah in this world and in the Hereafter. One who covers the shortcomings of another Muslim, will have his faults covered up in this world and the next by Allah. Allah continues to help a servant so long as he goes on helping his own brother (or sister).”

Ya Haqq!

The First Muslims and the Christians

December 23, 2006

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

In the beginning of Islam, the Quraysh tribe of Mecca persecuted the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and his followers. The Prophet therefore allowed eighty of his followers, together with their small children, to emigrate to Abyssinia in 615 CE. The emigrants were well received in Abyssinia, and were allowed complete freedom of worship. The leaders of Quraysh, however, sent two emissaries to the Nagus, with rich presents for the Negus of Abyssinia and bribes for his generals. The two emissaries told the generals:

“Some foolish young men and women of our people have taken refuge in this kingdom. They have left their own religion, not for yours, but for one they have invented, one that is unknown to us and to yourselves. The nobles of their people have sent us to your king on their account, that he may send them home. So when we speak to him about them, counsel him to deliver them into our hands and have no words with them.”

The generals all agreed, and the two men of Quraysh took their presents to the Negus, asking that the emigrants should be given into their hands and explaining the reason as they had done to the generals, and finally adding: “The nobles of their people, who are their fathers, their uncles and their’ kinsmen, beg thee to restore them unto them.” The generals were present at the audience, and now with one voice they urged the Negus to comply with their request and give up the refugees, inasmuch as kinsmen are the best judges of the affairs of their kinsmen. But the Negus was displeased and said:

“Nay, by God, they shall not be betrayed – a people that have sought my protection and made my country their abode and chosen me above all others! Give them up I will not, until I have summoned them and questioned them concerning what these men say of them. If it be as they have said, then will I deliver them unto them, that they may restore them to their own people. But if not, then will I be their good protector so long as they seek my protection.”

Then he sent for the companions of the Prophet, and at the same time assembled his bishops, who brought with them their sacred books and spread them open round about the throne. The Abyssinians were Christians, many of them devout; they had been baptized, and they worshiped the One God.

A couple very pleasing to look upon of the Muslims were Ja’far (ra) and his wife Asma’ (ra). They were well protected by Abu Talib; but the refugees needed a spokesman and Ja’far was an eloquent speaker. He was also most winning in his person, and the Prophet said to him on one occasion: “Thou art like me in looks and character.” It was Ja’far he had chosen to preside over the community of exiles.

When they were all assembled, the Negus spoke to them and said:

“What is this religion wherein ye have become separate from your people, though ye have not entered my religion nor that of any other of the folk that surround us?”

Ja’far answered him saying:

“O King, we were people steeped in ignorance, worshiping idols, eating unsacrificed carrion, committing abominations, and the strong would devour the weak. Thus we were, until Allah sent us a Messenger from out of our midst, one whose lineage we knew, and his veracity and his worthiness of trust and his integrity. He called us unto God, that we should testify to His Oneness and worship Him and renounce what we and our fathers had worshiped in the way of stones and idols; and he commanded us to speak truly, to fulfil our promises, to respect the ties of kinship and the rights of our neighbors, and to refrain from crimes and from bloodshed. So we worship God alone, setting naught beside Him, counting as forbidden what He hath forbidden and as licit what He hath allowed. For these reasons have our people turned against us, and have persecuted us to make us forsake our religion and revert from the worship of God to the worship of idols. That is why we have come to thy country, having chosen thee above all others; and we have been happy in thy protection, and it is our hope, O King, that here with thee we shall not suffer wrong.”

The royal interpreters translated all that he had said. The Negus then asked if they had with them any Revelation that their Prophet had brought them from God and, when Ja’far answered that they had, he said: “Then recite it to me,” whereupon Ja’far recited a passage from the Surah of Mary, which had been revealed shortly before their departure:

And make mention of Mary in the Book, when she withdrew from her people unto a place towards the east, and secluded herself from them; and We sent unto her Our Spirit, and it appeared unto her in the likeness of a perfect man. She said: I take refuge from thee in the Infinitely Good, if any piety thou hast. He said: I am none other than a messenger from thy Lord that I may bestow on thee a son most pure. She said: How can there be for me a son, when no man hath touched me, nor am I unchaste? He said: Even so shall it be; thy Lord saith: It is easy for Me. That We may make him a sign for mankind and a mercy from Us; and it is a thing ordained. (Qur’an 19:16-21)

 The Negus wept, and his bishops wept also, when they heard him recite, and when it was translated they wept again, and the Negus said:

“This hath truly come from the same source as that which Jesus brought.”

Then he turned to the two envoys of Quraysh and said:

“Ye may go, for by God I will not deliver them unto you; they shall not be betrayed.”

But the next morning, the emissaries went to the Negus and said:

“O King, they utter an enormous lie about Jesus the son of Mary. Do but send to them, and ask them what they say of him.”

So he sent them word to come to him again and to tell him what they said of Jesus. They consulted together as to what they should reply when the question was put to them, though they all knew that they had no choice but to say what God had said.

So when they entered the royal presence, and it was said to them: “What say ye of Jesus, the son of Mary?” Ja’far answered:

“We say of him what our Prophet brought unto us, that he is the slave of God and His Messenger and His Spirit and His Word which He cast unto Mary the blessed virgin.”

The Negus took up a piece of wood and said:

“Jesus the son of Mary exceedeth not what thou hast said by the length of this stick.”

And so it is, even unto this Christmas Holiday. In your prayers, dear Brothers and Sisters, remember your Christian brethren also.

Ya Haqq!

Santa’s Little Secret

December 22, 2006

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

According to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, while both male and female reindeer grow antlers in the summer each year, male reindeer drop their antlers at the beginning of winter, usually late November to mid-December. Female reindeer retain their antlers till after they give birth in the spring. Therefore, every one of Santa’s reindeer, every single one of them from Rudolph to Blitzen, HAS TO BE A GIRL. Of course! ONLY women would be able to drag a fat man in a red velvet suit all around the world in one night and not get lost.

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night :)

Ya Haqq!


December 22, 2006

 Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

Well, I have been tagged by Sister Scorpion (Dec, 15th post), and urged by Sister Maliha to answer, so here are the six things that are not usually known about me. They are not particularly weird, and for that I apologize :)

1.  I was terribly shy with girls and women as a boy and young man, and only got over it when I was thirty-three years old, as I kissed a woman I was dancing with at a party. Something turned in me then; I could actually feel it turn, and I have never been shy after that, though still on the quiet side.

2.  I was a virgin when I got married (the shyness again).

3.  I was divorced when my children were young, and have always regretted it.

4.  Having been a writer and editor for many years, I’ve worked for many publications, including a brief stint at the infamous Hustler magazine in 1976 as Managing Editor. I was fired by Larry Flynt for not having the right stuff for that type of publication. I still don’t.

5.  Because of a misdiagnosed case of Cushing’s Syndrome (a benign tumor on the pituitary gland) I was hospitalized for seven weeks in 1986. During that hospital stay my heart literally stopped and was revived, and I had an out of body experience that illuminated without doubt the infinite goodness and mercy of God. It was a blessing in disguise.

6.  I am the son of Holocaust survivors, Polish Jews who, after the Russians liberated Poland, also escaped the Russians to West Germany. My mother was eight months pregnant with me at the time. Those that have read Master of the Jinn may remember the scene in the American Army Hospital where the first child born in the DP (Displaced Persons) camp after the horror of the war was celebrated. That part of the story was drawn from my life, or at least the way my parents tell it.

And that is all of the tale I will tell :)

Ya Haqq!


December 20, 2006

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

One day, Ali, the Commander of the Faithful, dressed in fine silks and brocades and wearing a beautiful turban, was riding through the street on a magnificent white horse. The street was lined with people who greeted him with salaams and cheered as he rode by, all except an old woman dressed in black, who turned her head as he rode past. Ali stopped his horse and asked the old woman why she did not give him the proper salutation of peace?

“Why should I greet the slave of my slave?” she asked.

“What do you mean by these words?” he demanded.

“I have mastered vanity, while you are still its slave.”

And Ali wept at the truth of her words, and from that day on wore only plain clothes.

Ya Haqq!

The Heart and the Tongue

December 18, 2006

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

The exercise of religious duties will not atone for the fault of an abusive tongue. A person cannot be a Muslim till his heart and tongue are so.

– A hadith of the Prophet (pbuh)

Ya Haqq!

“Yes, Yes, Yes!”

December 17, 2006

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

Love and imagination are magicians

Who create an image of the Beloved in your mind

With which you share your secret intimate moments.

This apparition is made of nothing at all,

But from its mouth comes the question,

“Am I not your Loved One?”

and from you the soft reply”Yes.Yes.Yes.”

~ Rumi ~

In honor of his Urs day, the anniversary of his death, also called the “Wedding NIght,” December 17th, 1273 C.E.  View photos of his shrine in Konya and a short biography here  (scroll down).

Inna lillahi wa-inna ilayi raji’un.
(We belong to God and to God are we returning)

Ya Haqq!

A Woman’s Story

December 14, 2006

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

One day, when a seamstress was sewing while sitting close to a river, her thimble fell into the river. When she cried out, the Lord appeared and asked, “My dear child, why are you crying?”The seamstress replied that her thimble had fallen into the water and that she needed it to help her husband in making a living for their family.

The Lord dipped His hand into the water and pulled up a golden thimble set with pearls.

“Is this your thimble?” the Lord asked
The seamstress replied, “No.”

The Lord again dipped into the river. He held out a silver
thimble ringed with sapphires.

“Is this your thimble?” the Lord asked.
Again, the seamstress replied, “No.”

The Lord reached down again and came up with a leather thimble.
“Is this your thimble?” the Lord asked.

The seamstress replied, “Yes.”

The Lord was pleased with the woman’s honesty and gave her all three thimbles to keep, and the seamstress went home happy.

Some years later, the seamstress was walking with her husband along the riverbank, and her husband fell into the river and disappeared under the water.

When she cried out, the Lord again appeared and asked her, “Why are you crying?”

“Oh Lord, my husband has fallen into the river!”

The Lord went down into the water and came up with George Clooney.

“Is this your husband?” the Lord asked.
“Yes,” cried the seamstress.

The Lord was furious. “You lied! That is an untruth!”

The seamstress replied, “Oh, forgive me, my Lord It is
a misunderstanding. You see, if I had said ‘no’ to George Clooney, you would have come up with Brad Pitt. Then if I said ‘no’ to him, you would have come up with my husband. Had I then said ‘yes,’ you would have given me all three. Lord, I’m not in the best of health and would not be able to take care of all three husbands, so THAT’S why I said ‘yes’ to George Clooney.

And so the Lord let her keep him.

The moral of this story is: Whenever a woman lies, it’s for a good and honorable reason, and in the best interest of others.

That’s our story, and we’re sticking to it.

All Us Women

Ya Haqq!

PS  My sister sent me this story. She has a wonderful and understanding husband :)  Please feel free to repost it, and change the men’s names to anyone you wish.

The Sufi and the Sultan

December 13, 2006

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

When the Sufi Master Shaqiq-e Balkhi was on the pilgrimage to Mecca, he had reached Baghdad when the Sultan, Harun al-Rashid, sent for him.

“Counsel me,” Harun commanded.

“Then attend,” Shaqiq proceeded. “Almighty God has set you in the place of Abu Bakr the Trusty, and requires trustiness from you as from him. He has set you in the place of Omar the Discriminator, and requires from you as from him discrimination between truth and falsehood. He has set you in the place of Othman of the Two Lights, and requires of you as from him modesty and nobility. He has set you in the place of Ali the Well-Approved, and requires from you as from him knowledge and justice.”

-From the Memorial of the Saints by Attar

Alhamdulillah!  Those who lead nations are slaves of God and servants to their people, and if they fear God’s judgement, they rule with trustworthiness, discrimination, modesty, nobility, knowledge and justice. If such leaders become tyrants and corrupt, better for them if they had never been born.

Ya Haqq!

A Day With the Prophet

December 11, 2006

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

“He who has spent a complete day without causing harm to anyone else, has spent his day with the Prophet (pbuh); were he to do harm to one person, Allah (swt) will not accept any of the prayers he has offered that day.”

– Attributed to Sufi Master Abu al-Hasan Kharaqani.

Ya Haqq!