W.I.S.S. – Muslim Relationships, Gentlemen of Quality

During this holy month, I’ve been following the daily Huffington Post writings of Imam Khalid Latif. Everyday he posts “Ramadan Reflections” where he discusses topics many Muslims and nonMuslims can relate too. His reflection for Day 16, Muslim Relationships and Day 17, Developing Muslim Gentlemen of Quality seemed to be too perfect to not share with my W.I.S.S. readers. He discusses relationships in Islam and what he deemed to be one of the many problems many Muslim Americans are facing in finding compatible partners.

For Day 16, thought this excerpt from his piece was rather interesting…

Religiously speaking, there isn’t a prescribed method for finding a spouse in our tradition. We find a variety of ways in our tradition that people utilized when getting married as well as different types of couples. Younger men marrying older women, intercultural marriages, arranged marriages and love marriages, marriages in which the woman proposed to the man, and many more. What this shows us is not that these ways are the only ways to do it, but there are many ways and no set, defined way to go about it. Permissibility does not equate to normativity — meaning just because it’s allowed to be done in a certain way, doesn’t mean that’s the only way of doing it. In general, this is something that needs to be understood because too many of us give advice based off of our own subjective experiences and understandings, and don’t really think about the reality that the other person is coming from.

Coming from a bi-cultural background, the method of finding a spouse has always been a topic of conflict. Everyone feels their way is the “halal” or permissible way of finding a suitor. If two meet online, they are judged; when two are arranged, it’s considered backwards; when two date (within Islamic manners if that makes any sense), they are seen as too Americanized. No one is satisfied if it’s not  a method they deem “halal”.

Please read both entries as well as his daily entries and post your thoughts in the comments section below. Would love to hear what you all think!

Ramadan Reflection Day 16,Muslim Relationships
Ramadan Reflection Day 17, Developing Muslim Gentlemen of Quality

Ramadan Daily Verse & Quote

We are on day 6 of fasting already! Remember that the first 10 days are of mercy, the second 10 days are of forgiveness and the last 10 days are of freedom from punishment.

I hope you enjoyed my first Ramadan daily post. Here’s today’s Quranic verse and quote. Enjoy!

Verse: 

“It was in the month of Ramadan that the Quran was revealed: a guidance for mankind and a self-evident proof of that guidance and a standard to distinguish right from wrong.”

Learn more about this verse from Friday Nasiha.

Quote:

“God (swt) does not look at your bodies, or at your forms, but looks at your hearts and your works” -Prophet Mohamed (pbuh)

Ramadan Daily Verse & Quote

Ramadan Kareem!! Happy Fasting!!

This Ramadan, I’m going to attempt to post a verse from the Quran and an interesting quote on a daily basis. I hope with this, it’ll bring some sort of insight on my Islamic faith as well as on this holiest of months to my fellow readers and followers.  Enjoy!

Verse:

“So remember Me, I will remember you. And be grateful to Me and do not deny Me.” -Quran 2:152 Learn more about this verse from Friday Nasiha.

Quote:

“I have eaten from the same plate, drunk from the same glass while praying to the same God with fellow Muslims who’s eyes were the bluest of blue, who’s hair was the blondest of blond and who’s skin was as the whitest of white. And in the words and in the actions and in the deeds of the ‘white’ Muslims, I felt the same sincerity that I felt among the ‘black’ African Muslims of Nigeria, Sudan and Ghana” -Malcom X

The Tragedy

Every Friday, I receive the Friday Nasiha newsletter. This newsletter is a great compliation of verses from the Quran and lessons to help keep us educated and strong in our Muslim faith.

In this week’s article, a highlight on the story of Imam Hussien’s martyrdom that happened during the Islamic Hijjri month of Muharram is very well written and detailed by Mr. Abdullah Yusuf Ali. Muharram (as the new Islamic Hijjri Year) started last week. Throughout the month, Muslim observe Ashura and remember Imam Hussien’s struggles. Below is the excerpt that was included in this week’s Friday Nasiha (and the entire article can be found here).

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The Tragedy

Islam has a history of beautiful domestic affections, of sufferings and of spiritual endeavour, second to none in the world. That side of Muslim history, although to me the most precious, is, I am sorry to say, often neglected. It is most important that we should call attention to it, reiterated attention, the attention of our own people as well as the attention of those who are interested in historical and religious truth. If there is anything precious in Islamic history it is not the wars, or the politics, or the brilliant expansion, or the glorious conquests, or even the intellectual spoils which our ancestors gathered. In these matters, our history, like all history, has its lights and shades. What we need especially to emphasise is the spirit of organisation, of brotherhood, of undaunted courage in moral and spiritual life.

There is of course the physical suffering in martyrdom, and all sorrow and suffering claim our sympathy, — the dearest, purest, most outflowing sympathy that we can give. But there is a greater suffering than physical suffering. That is when a valiant soul seems to stand against the world; when the noblest motives are reviled and mocked; when truth seems to suffer an eclipse. It may even seem that the martyr has but to say a word of compliance, do a little deed of non-resistance; and much sorrow and suffering would be saved; and the insidious whisper comes: “Truth after all can never die.” That is perfectly true. Abstract truth can never die. It is independent of man’s cognition. But the whole battle is for man’s keeping hold of truth and righteousness. And that can only be done by the highest examples of man’s conduct – spiritual striving and suffering enduring firmness of faith and purpose, patience and courage where ordinary mortals would give in or be cowed down, the sacrifice of ordinary motives to supreme truth in scorn of consequence. The martyr bears witness, and the witness redeems what would otherwise be called failure. It so happened with Husain. For all were touched by the story of his martyrdom, and it gave the deathblow to the politics of Damascus and all it stood for. And Muharram has still the power to unite the different schools of thought in Islam, and make a powerful appeal to non-Muslims also.

That, to my mind, is the supreme significance of martyrdom. All human history shows that the human spirit strives in many directions, deriving strength and sustenance from many sources. Our bodies, our physical powers, have developed or evolved from earlier forms, after many struggles and defeats. Our intellect has had its martyrs, and our great explorers have often gone forth with the martyrs’ spirit. All honour to them. But the highest honour must still lie with the great explorers of spiritual territory, those who faced fearful odds and refused to surrender to evil. Rather than allow a stigma to attach to sacred things, they paid with their own lives the penalty of resistance. The first kind of resistance offered by the Imam was when he went from city to city, hunted about from place to place, but making no compromise with evil. Then was offered the choice of an effectual but dangerous attempt at clearing the house of God, or living at ease for himself by tacit abandonment of his striving friends. He chose the path of danger with duty and honour, and never swerved from it giving up his life freely and bravely. His story purifies our emotions. We can best honour his memory by allowing it to teach us courage and constancy.

Compiled From:
Imam Husain And His Martyrdom” – Abdullah Yusuf Ali

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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.