Inhumanity

•20, August, 2010 • 1 Comment

Shocked. Disturbed. Upset. But most of all saddened. Saddened at the state of people in the world today. The state of us, the Ummah of the Beloved (saw). Just watched some  news* and couldn’t believe what I was seeing and hearing. Two young boys, one aged sixteen, tied up and dragged around the streets in a Pakistani village being beaten up. They had their eyes beaten in and were then hanged and beaten to death all the while other people including the police (that were called for help) gathered and watched, and not a single person intervened! Not one single God- fearing person. Why did this happen? Over a cricket feud?

I just don’t understand how people, Muslims can just stand and watch something as inhumane as this? Is there no humanity left in people? Some people may feel that something like this is nothing to be suprised at, these kind of things happen all the time, they happened soon after the Prophet (saw) passed. So?? Does this mean that we shouldn’t consider these atrocities as a “big deal”? We shouldn’t be affected by them,in a sense, just desensitize ourselves? ?

I could not believe what I was seeing. Insan, who Allah blessed with the gift of reason, to know right from wrong acting worse than animals? If this is not Jaahilliyah then what is? As tears rolled down I prayed the Allah have Mercy on us; Allah have Mercy on us for we have are truly in need of His Mercy and guidance. Subhanallah, just today  I read the ayah,

Truly! Allâh wrongs not mankind in aught; but mankind wrong themselves” (10:44).

If anything, one thing I will make sure I do is inculcate a sense of justice in my children. So that they  stand up to injustices and wrongs whether it be big or small, local or global between friend and foe. For what is worse then witnessing an injustice before your very eyes and doing nothing? We have been commanded to act:

“Whoever of you sees something wrong, let him change it with his hand. If unable to, then let him change it with his tongue. If unable, then with his heart. And that is the weakest degree of faith”. (Hadith)

On the Day Of Judgment when we will be asked why we let an injustice take place and we did not intervene when we could have, what will we say?

Oh Allah, guide us, have mercy on us and let us not be of the oppressors!

Ameen

* Footage of the event on the news-some may find it disturbing.

Ortokoy, Istanbul

•6, September, 2009 • 1 Comment

The Value of Religion

•29, July, 2009 • 3 Comments

$65 for a tasbih?! $100 for a tasbih??! Are you serious? Yes, some people pay as much as this for tasbihs. I never saw the sense in this; how did people justify spending so much money on one thing, when you don’t even have to use one to make your dhikr, you can use your fingers instead! Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not going Salafi on you, I believe it is acceptable to use rosemary beads but I would never spend so much on it, especially when that money could be used in other beneficial ways.

It didn’t feel right to me so I asked a teacher about how we can justify spending like this and what constitutes “excessiveness” in our religion. She agreed that yes, sometimes spending large amounts of money on religious items can be unnecessary and can fall into excess, especially if the intention is not right, but then she also said there can be a benefit in it too.

tasbih

Relating what she heard Shaykh Nuh once say, she said that these days religion has become cheap. Religious items such as the prayer breads, prayer mats and the Quran are so widely available that their price is not much and since they do not cost much, the value and care and significance we give to these items is not much either. Compare this back to when paper itself was an expensive and limited resource, imagine how valuable a copy of the Quran would have been to the ones who were able to afford one! If you had to spend months working and saving to get your shoes or your games wouldn’t you make the most of those items once you had them while taking good care of them? So by spending so much on a  prayer bead you would be more inclined to use it more often and thereby reap the rewards of dhikr.

So the more you spend on something, the more you cherish it and want to keep it in a good condition. My teacher said that Shaykh Nuh even advised on spending perhaps a little more on these religious things then one would normally, so that one reveres them and the religion and gives them the degree of importance and commitment they deserve.

I had never of thought of it like that before. I have to admit though, I do have one of  those $65 prayer beads…but it was a gift and it was a used and much blessed tasbih Inshallah. But would I now spend such amounts on religious items? Probably still not, but then I also hope that are our intentions behind purchasing (or not purchasing) these items are sincere and right Inshallah.

It Rained!

•1, February, 2009 • 6 Comments

At the beginning of this week King Abdullah II, on advice from Scholars, made an announcement urging the people of Jordan to fast for three days and pray for rain. This country needs rain, alot of it.  It’s been a dry winter; in the four months I’ve been here I can remember it “raining” only two or three times and that too was nothing substantial. About 75% of the country can be described as having a desert climate with less than 200mm of rain annually (www.kinghussein.gov.jo/geo_env1.html).

Water is so precious here so when it rains it truly is a blessing. Last night it rained.

Allah sends down water from the sky and by it brings the dead earth back to life. There is certainly a Sign in that for people who hear”. (Surat Nahl, 65)

 I don’t think I’ve ever been so happy to see it rain, Alhamdulillah.

“Supplicate to Me, I will answer you” (Surat Ghaafir, 60)

Allah is indeed the Most Merciful the Most Kind and the answerer of prayers.

Aramex- Delivering hope to Gaza

•23, January, 2009 • 3 Comments

About three weeks ago the shipping company Aramex launched a campaign to help the people of Gaza.     Delivering Hope to Gaza

They’ve been recieving boxes and boxes of donations of food, medicine and blankets from the UAE that they have been sending to Gaza. Everything has to be sorted and then packaged with individual food items being checked for expiry dates (no less then six months) and where the item was produced (Israel not allowing items produced from the following countries: Libya, Lebanon, Iran, Syria, Sudan and Iraq).

So whenever we are able to, I and a few friends go to their warehouse to help. Subhanallah, there are so many boxes of food that have to be sorted. First the donations have to be loaded off the trucks. Then they have to be opened and sorted in to boxes of canned food (of which there are sub categories including, beans, hummus, tuna, canned fruit etc), flour, lentils, sugar, oil, milk, rice, medicine while also checking the expiray dates and country of production. Then once the sorting is done, a group of people make the cardboard boxes which are then packed by sub groups of people which are then taken away and loaded into trucks going to Gaza. And this is happening everyday. Continue reading ‘Aramex- Delivering hope to Gaza’

Orthodox Judaism and Israel

•6, January, 2009 • Leave a Comment

The following is a speech given by Rabbi Y D Weiss from Neturei Karta which is a group of Orthodox Jews who oppose the state of Israel.

“May our words be pleasing to the Creator and cause His Great Name to be sanctified.

Assalaam Aleikhum:

The world stands aghast as the atrocities being committed by the Zionist regime in Gaza, becomes known in ever greater and shocking detail.

Mere words are insufficient to express the pain that all mankind feels at the plight of the Gaza and Palestinian people.

For over one hundred years, they have been subject to a carefully conceived plan, to drive them from their homes and their land.

Throughout their history, the Zionists have resorted to intimidation, war, ethnic cleansing and state—sponsored terrorism to achieve their goals.

This is, has been and continues to be, the criminal agenda of the Zionist movement. But among this movement’s greatest crimes, is that it has claimed to carry out these nefarious actions in the name of holiness, in the name of the Almighty, in the name of Judaism and the Jewish people !!

This is a wicked and monstrous lie !!

It is a desecration of our religion !!

Judaism forbids and rejects Zionism and the existence of the State of “Israel”. We have been expressly commanded by the Almighty that we are forbidden to have our own sovereignty in this heavenly decreed exile, we are also forbidden to rebel against any nation. Torah believing Jews, under the leadership of the most esteemed rabbis of the 20th century have always opposed and fought against Zionism and ultimately the State of “Israel”. Continue reading ‘Orthodox Judaism and Israel’

I am Me

•19, December, 2008 • 2 Comments

A few days ago I was introduced to someone who knew my husband through work/studies. I was introduced as “so and so’s wife”. Hmm, that felt weird. I’ve never been introduced as someone’s wife and I never introduce myself as someone’s wife, but rather as Usma, myself. If I’m going to get to know somebody it’s going to as me and who I am, and what I’m like. Being introduced as the wife of somebody that people know of from beforehand makes me feel that they might perhaps assume that I’m very much like my husband in terms of interests and work ( and I kind of felt that by the questions I was asked by the person I was being introduced to).  Maybe I’m thinking too much into it, my husband thinks so :P.

The thing is this, for many years women were only studied (in terms of sociological research) in relation to others; they were either seen as a wife, a mother, a daughter, a sister and their identity was constructed mainly, if not only, around these relationships. Are women not an entity in themselves with their own distinct identities and their own self? In some traditional cultures women are solely seen in relation to their family and the work they do such as housework or being a mother. For example, in the Arab culture mothers are referred to as Umm so and so, the mother of so and so. All the mothers here are referred to as Umm and most of them aren’t Arab but come from the West. Why? I understand the honour and greatness of being a mother  but I don’t know if  I would want to be called Umm. Maybe it’s also related to the fact that the Arabs generally don’t ask about a man’s wife using her first name but rather use the word for family, again out of respect. I’m not saying that this is negative or backward or anything, but rather that women cannot and should not be limited to these aspects of their life. And this is why I felt weird being introduced as someone’s wife rather than me who they could get to know as Usma. I am a person outside of being married too. I don’t like to be lumped into the category of “married women” and be referred to as the “married one” who has to go home a little earlier or that it’s because I’m married that I can’t make it to a gathering or whatever (which  has been said to me by some single girls).

Yes, being married adds to who you are and plays an important part in your identity but you shouldn’t be defined just by it and neither should it limit who you are and what you can do.

 
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