Quote of the Day

emma2
via picrevise.com

“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!” -Emma Lazarus, as engraved on the Statue of Liberty

Quote of the Day

“The only real prison is fear, and the only real freedom is freedom from fear.” –Aung San Suu Kyi

Ramadan Verse & Quote (Day 15)

I was recently having some interesting conversations with friends of mine about the various things that have been bothering us. It got me thinking about forgiveness.

Verse:

“Whether you publicize a good deed or hide it or pardon a (personal) offense (done against you), know that God has the power to pardon (all sins).”

 -Quran (4:149)

From Surah ElNisa’ (The Ladies Chapter), we are reminded that God (swt) is truly the one whom forgives. How can we not be able to be forgiving? Why walk around with this heavy hurt, this negative energy, this sadness? We hold on, unable to forgive thus forgetting that God (swt) may have already forgiven.

Speaking for myself, I was picked on and bullied almost all through elementary school before it weened out in the 8th grade. It caused me to be sensitive, sad, angry and hold extreme grudges for long periods of time. It has taken me years to grow out of that person and be the happy person I’m today. I owe that positive change in my life in part to a lesson I learned years ago.

The lesson was that God (swt) does not accept one’s salat (prayers), seyam (fasts) or zakat (charity) if they hold a heavy heart towards anyone. Why? For God (swt) is the one whom “has the power to pardon”, the all forgiving for He is the generous one. If God (swt) has forgiven them, how can we not? If God (swt) has forgiven us, how can we not?

It took me a long while to reflect upon that message and being honest when I said to myself, “All is forgiven. I forgive me. I forgive them. All is forgiven.” Alhamdulillah (Praise God), today, I’m in a great place in my life by the grace of God (swt), my family’s love, my friend’s support and of course my own hard work and determination.

I urge you all to reflect this Ramadan and find it in your heart to be more forgiving to yourself and to others.

Quote:

Not sure there’s much for me to add here…

EGYPT IS FREE!! – !!مصر حرة

As of a couple hours ago, after 18 days of mostly peaceful protests and determination, Mubarak finally stepped down. He did not have the common courtesy to face the people and had his “torture-in-cheif” VP Omar Sulieman give the 30 second resignation speech. Egyptians around the world wept tears of joy, tears of accomplishment, tears of freedom. This is the first step towards a true glorious democratic nation.

I tweeted and facebooked this earlier and I’ll reiterate it again here: “I’ve always been proud to be Egyptian but since #Jan25, I’ve been blessed & honored to be Egyptian!!”

Congratulations Egypt & many blessed returns as you finally become the nation you were suppose to be more then 30 years ago!

I Pity the Pastor

On September 11 later this week, Americans will be morning the lives lost as well as the tragic and unnecessary wars that soon followed in response. Pastor Terry Jones of the Dove World Outreach in Gainsville, Florida and the author of Islam is of the Devil, has declared the day be “International Burn the Quran Day”. He’ll be holding the bonfire event at his church as well as asking others to do the same in their local areas across the world.

As a Muslim American, I’m not angry. Offended yes, but not angry.

Jones doesn’t realize that his same actions happened over 1,430 years ago. Rulers of then Arabia worshiped idols they built from stone. It was worship their way or suffer the consequences. Consequences included torture and public executions. They too burned any religious scriptures they found in the hopes of ridding the land of what they deemed as unholy. Prophet Mohamed struggled for freedom of religion, freedom to practice his faith and to teach his faith without persecution.

As God Almighty brought down the Quran, He promised that the Quran would be protected. Over a course of 23 years, the Quran was brought down to Prophet Mohamed so that he may learn it and teach it to his followers, the Muslims. Prophet Mohamed taught us Muslims not just to read the Quran, but to memorize it, teach it, follow it and make it part of our daily lives.

He taught us Muslims to recite it in our prayers 5 times a day. To recite it during our time of joy and our time of hardship. To recite it when we laid our head on our pillows and when we rose from them. To recite it before we leave our homes and when we reentered it. To recite it in the ears of our new born child and in the ears of our perished loved ones.

God Almighty’s promise has been proven to be an ongoing fulfillment. 1,430 years later the Quran has been reprinted, recorded on audio tapes and CDs, accessible via the internet, downloadable through mobile applications and above all, memorized, taught, followed and made part of a Muslim’s daily life. To this day, the Quran has not been altered, rewritten or divided into versions. There may be several sects of Islam such as Sunni, Shia or Ahmedi, but all follow the same Quran.

As a Muslim American, I’m not angry. If anything I pity the pastor, for ignorance is not bliss.

Jones is ignorant of the fact that the Quran he plans on burning mentions his God and Savior, Prophet Jesus, more then 28 times. The Virgin Mary has her own surah (chapter) and is mentioned over 30 times. Both being mentioned more then the number of times Prophet Mohamed is mentioned. Not including the multiple mentions of Prophet Abraham, Prophet Moses, Prophet Noah, Prophet Joseph… just to name a few. For a religion that is of the Devil it seems to really have a thing for holy people!

This same Quran he plans on burning teaches us Muslims to respect, learn, teach and be peaceful with one another. It even emphasizes the mutual respect and peacefulness to be with “the people of the book”, meaning Christians and Jews. With that, I refuse to be angry any Christian over the actions of Jones and his blind followers’ for I know their actions do not represent any Christians’ beliefs. Just like I refuse that the actions of extremists and their blind followers be seen as a representation of any Muslims’ beliefs.

I personally doubt Jones has even read one verse of the Quran. I’m sure if he had, this would not be the stand he would take. Nor would he have written his infamous book to begin with. I refuse to be angry over this man’s actions. He is obviously not only ignorant but close-minded and for that, not worthy of any anger.

He can burn the Quran but it will always be in existence within my being and the beings of 1.5 billion Muslims worldwide. I myself can only make the promise to continue to learn, memorize, teach, follow and make the Quran a part of my daily life. I can also promise to pray for the pastor, as I honestly pity him, especially now that he is lost amidst his anger and 15 minutes of fame… I mean shame.

Gaza Freedom March

On Thursday, December 31, 2009 is the Gaza Freedom March happening from 2-2pm at the Golden Gate Bridge.

Park and meet at the south end of the bridge parking lot and march together across the bridge. We will end the year by marching alongside the Palestinian people of Gaza in a non-violent demonstration that breaches the illegal blockade.

See you all there!