Archive for March, 2007

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Mawlid Activities

March 31, 2007

RasulullahThis is a general request to all lovers of Rasulullah (may Allah bless him and grant him and his family peace).

If you know of any good Mawlid activities, please post them in the comments. They can be solitary or group activities. I’m looking for ways to remember the Prophet on his birthday by doing meaningful activities.

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Paper Jewels

March 31, 2007

There are two new stories available online which are based on the Golden Scrolls by Tavis J. Hampton. Paper Jewels is a collection of short stories told by the wise Storyteller. You can read the first two stories by following the links below. Both stories should feel very familiar to some of you.

The Story of Babak, the Lost Dervish

The Gazelle and the Wild Hyenas

I encourage comments and suggestions.

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Complete Faith

March 30, 2007

It has been narrated form Nafi` from Ibn `Umar that he said that the Messenger of Allah (blessings of Allah be upon him and his family) said, “A servant’s faith in Allah will never become complete until he possesses five traits: complete reliance (al-Tawakkul) upon Allah, complete dependence (al-Tafwid) upon Allah (what He has decreed), complete submission (al-Taslim) to all of the commandments of Allah, complete contentment (al-Ridha) upon what Allah has decreed and complete patience (al-Sabr) due to the calamities that Allah brings forth since verily that person who loves for the sake of Allah and hates for the sake of Allah and gives (to others) for the (sake of) Allah and holds back (giving to others) for the (sake of) Allah is one whose faith is complete.”

Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 74, pg 177

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Qur'an Alone

March 30, 2007

Qur’an on a standOver the past 11 years that I’ve spent as a Muslim, I’ve occasionally run into someone from the Submitters, a group that describes itself as following “only the Qur’an.” They eschew hadith books as extraneous and contrary to the teachings of the Qur’an. The Sunnah, they say, is what the Prophet did and was told to do in the Qur’an and nothing more.

As a result, their creed, juriprudence, and even their declaration (shahadah) differs from the majority of Muslims. (For most Muslims, there is a shahadatayn, to bear witness that there is only one God and also that Muhammad is the Messenger of God. The Submitters only witness the former).

The language of their writing seems to indicate that those who do not follow this path are not only wrong but are idolaters who barely, if at all, belong in the fold of Islam. As to whether their followers themselves have such strong views, I do not know.

Rashad Khalifa, the founder, won critical acclaim around the Muslim world for his number 19 theory. There was a time when I could not go anywhere without some Muslim talking about about the “miracle” of the number 19. Eventually, however, it came to light how the discovery of that miracle led Khalifa into self aggrandizement. He was elevated to the status of the “Messenger of the Covenant”; the compilers of the Qur’an had “mistakenly” added two verses to the end of a sura that did not fit his perfect number 19 theory. He deleted them.

It reminds me of the slogan of the khawarij: “No authority except for God.” Yes, that’s true, but God has made the people on earth His vicegerents (khulufa), as the Qur’an itself declares. Similarly, the community of Submitters has only replaced one set of hadith books for another. Instead of following the companions of the Prophet and/or the Imams of Ahlul-bayt, they have their own imam, one who declared himself some type of semi-rasul (messenger) — not quite a prophet, apparently.

Many sunni and shi’i Muslims that I’ve encountered are very bitter and resentful towards the Submitters. They lash out at them and, in some cases, even call them apostates. At the very least, they spend hours locking horns with them in logical debates. I, however, have a different approach. I offer this challenge to anyone, not just to the Submitters:

Read the Qur’an. Read the Qur’an and nothing else. That is what I did when I first accepted Islam. Don’t read any hadith books, any books by Rashad Khalifa, or by anyone else. Just read the Qur’an. If, after reading through the Qur’an without any preconceived beliefs, you come to the same conclusions as Khalifa, then all praise is due to Allah, but I can guarantee you that you will not. Allah knows best, and He is the best guardian of all our affairs.

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If You Were Iran

March 27, 2007

iran map

I hate to beat a dead horse, but I think there’s some people who still don’t grasp the predicament in which the U.S. and its allies have placed Iran. So, I decided to produce a visual aide. I hope this doesn’t get me thrown into a cell in Guantanamo.

The blue dots represent strategic U.S. deployments. The arrows represent a possible direction of attack. And, well, X marks the spot: Iran.

Notice:

1. the U.S. has at least 90 prepositioned tactical nuclear weapons sitting inside of Turkey, ready to strike at Iran.

2. They also have aircraft carriers stationed in the Persian Gulf. They just added another one.

3. They have troops inside of Afghanistan, bordering Iran.

4. They have a massive build-up of troops, as well as a fortress (supposedly an embassy) the size of 80 football fields inside of Iraq, also bordering Iran.

That doesn’t even include the base in Saudi Arabia or the Israeli factor. So, the question is, “If you were Iran, what would you do?”

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In other news

March 22, 2007

 Today’s top headline:

“Gore Urges Congress to Save Planet”

It’s pretty sad when Congress has to be “urged” to save their own planet…kinda makes you wonder if they have a secret escape plan, while the rest of bake in our global oven.

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You have to try this

March 21, 2007

bowl of hummus

Dip your breadsticks in hummus. It’s delicious!