Archive for June, 2008

Preview of my Article for the ROF Newsletter
June 24, 2008

       For weeks, I didn’t have any desire to write. I battled within myself to write Safia, the Boss-Lady, an email explaining my lack of passion to write for this coming edition of the Qmajd newsletter. I wanted to write her a carefully worded email that would sugar code my excuses in a way that she probably, more likely than not, wouldn’t be able to notice. But before I could start such an email, an idea came to me (alhamdulilah, because I couldn’t deal with Safia’sresponse). An idea that suggested I take a previously written article from my blog, keep the foundation of the post, but add to its overall meaning and BANG! I would have myself a newsletter submission. So for days, I flipped through the many articles that I had the privilege of writing and I focused my attention one particular article. I took the foundation of that article, inserted some jokes between the lines, changed the wording, wrote the article with carefully selected words and KAA BOOM! I’m done. I have myself a newsletter submission and even more, no need to write the Boss-Lady an email. By the way, if any of you know Safia, dont inform her that I was minutes away from writing her an email that would suggest,  ‘I, mentally broke my writing arm and I could no longer fulfill my duty in submitting a piece for the ROF newsletter’. Don’t tell her that because that is no longer the case. And if it does happen to slip from your tongue while you’re careless, know that I will FIND YOU! And you don’t want be to find you. Maybe you do. I dont know, do you?

     So here is a preview of what I intend to submit for the ROF newsletter (inshAllah): 

It will be called, “Meet me in Jannah”

    

     I returned my attention to counting the bricks when all of a sudden, I heard some noise coming from the distance. I looked to my right and I saw a beautiful woman working in the field. I rushed to my guide and I asked, “Is that Haneefah? Better yet, I’ll go over there and introduce myself, after all, I am her husband”. I started to walk with confidence in her direction and when I had approached the beautiful young woman, I said, “Assalam alaikum”, she responded, “wa alaikum assalam”. I continued, “why are you working so hard, O’wife of mine?” Surprisingly, she was startled by my words and I started second guessing my approach to the beautiful woman. I started to wonder, is this not the correct manner to approach your wife in paradise? Did I speak with careless words? I looked back at my guide, who was designated to assist me but he was no where to be found.  I remained silent and awaited the response from Haneefah. Moments later, she said,“I am not Haneefah”, and continued, “ I am Layla, your maid-girl”. I thought to myself, a maid? No waaaay! She is too beautiful to be a maid. If only my homeboys from the life of the world could see such a maid girl, how many of them would be content with her as company for eternity? Every single one of them and I was certain of such an answer. “You are my servant?”, I asked. “No way! That can not be. Listen, I’m thinking, I want to promote you from a maid-girl to a wifey so let me go and talk to my guide and see what we can do. Sit tight. I can’t make any promises but I will be back insh’Allah”, I concluded. She focused her merciful eyes on my every move and stated before my departure, “do as you wish, Allah has created me to serve you and I gain my pleasure through your service”. Amazed by such a response, I sprinted, not walked, but sprinted back to my guide and informed him of my newest intentions. “Hey, so…hmmm, I’m thinking, after I met that woman over there, you know, Layla, by the way, she is too FINE; I’m thinking that I want to, you know, marry her, so lets make it happen. Write this down, I, Mohamed, want my first wish in Jannah to be; Layla’s transformance from a maid-girl to my eternal wifey. Did you write that down? Good. So what can we do to make this happen?”, I asked. “Help a brotha out”, I continued. My guide smiled at my request and before he could respond, I….(to be continued in the ROF newsletter inshAllah)

A Broken Ummah
June 20, 2008

     They say, ‘unity brings strength, a nation that unites is a nation that prospers’ but the question is, have we, as an Nation, reached that level where we can claim unity with strength? Originally, I wanted to name this post, “what does it take to be a Muslim?” and I wasn’t going to throw around statements such as, “proclaim the shahadah and BANG! You’re a Muslim”, although that is true. Rather I wanted to bring to light the misconceptions of actions that are perceived to add to the overall progress of our Ummah.

     Let me begin with an example; lets say, a young sister (or even a brother), who prays five times a day, fasts (not only during ramadan but throughout the different months), reads Quran daily and eventually gets the lifetime opportunity to  perform Hajj (and YES, its the performance of a lifetime); do all of those acts of worship improve the situation of our Ummah or do they facilitate the road to paradise for one person? It’s a question that can be debated however, in all honesty, from observing the example, I would have to incline towards the later of the two suggestions. Why? Simple.

     Let’s take a moment and examine salah. The establishment of prayer by an individual adds, improves and protects the situation of that particular person’s status with Allah. In the Book of Allah, the King of kings stated reasons for establishing the prayer. He, the Majestic and Most-High said, “and perform the Salah; Verily, the Salah prevents from Al-Fahsha’ and Al-Munkar” (Al-Ankaboot verse 45). The prayer protects from Al-Fahsha and Al-Munkar meaning, the salah would prevent an individual from immoral behavior and evil actions. But dont misunderstand this ayaat to mean that a person who prays can not possibly commit crimes because that is not true. In fact, Ibn Katheer mentions a story about a man who came to the Messenger of Allah (saw) and with this ayaat in mind, he said to the Messenger of Allah (saw), “so and so prays at night but when morning comes, he steals”. At that, the Prophet (saw) said, إِنَّهُ سَيَنْهَاهُ مَا تَقُول  (what are you saying [ie, salah] will stop him from doing that). In other words, yes, the prayer protects the individual from evil but the change must come from within. We must understand that there isn’t and will never be a short cut to Jannah (actually, maybe there is one shortcut but I’m not telling NO ONE). Getting back to my original point; salah brings improvement to the situation of one individual and helps protect him, and becomes a means of guidance from Allah, the Lord of all the Worlds. If you choose not to pray then you loose out in this world and when the matter has been settled and the smoke has cleared, you’ll find your seat waiting for you in the fire of Hell along with the sinners. The same sinners who were asked by the people of paradise in the Quran, “what brought you into hell? And they shall say; we were not of those who prayed” (74:42-43).

     So if you happen to be among the fortunate group of people who guard their prayers then be grateful to Allah and dont ever, I mean EVER EVER EVER think that your prayer somehow brings improvement to the overall situation of our brothers and sisters across the globe. It doesn’t. Prayer is of benefit to you and it is the right of Allah over you. It does not give you the right to walk with pride, raise your head and confidently declare, “I’m a good Muslim because I pray”, for prayer is the least you could do as a believer.

     As for the issue of fasting, it purifies your soul. It protects you from evil and guards your faith. The more you fast, the more at ease you become with your soul. Fasting is a great blessing from Alllah and all but a small group of us have ignored the superority of the one who fasts over the one who doesnt. Have you ever asked yourself, which month is the best of months? Or which of the days is the best of days? (The answers to those questions are, the month of Ramadan and the day of Arafat). Now let me ask you, what do these two (Ramadan and the day of Arafat) have in common? For one, fasting. Although in Ramadan fasting is mandatory on those of us who can observe it, while on the day of Arafat, to observe fasting on such a day carries great benefit but is not mandatory. Nevertheless, the Day of Arafat and the month of Ramadan bring benefit and great rewards to those who patiently fast on such great occasions. On a side note; nowadays, when the local Imam informs us of the benefits for fasting on such a day as Arafat, many ask, “Ya’Shiek, is it sunnah to fast on this day or is it fard?”. Shamfully, during the time of the companions, such question never existed. 

       Now back to the matter at hand, so if you fast, alhamdulilah, the reward of fasting is so great, you’ll find it on your scale of deeds on the Day when the stars will be falling and the sky will be ripping to pieces but as for today, be patient but dont be ignorant. Do not allow yourself to think your fasting is contributing positive outcome to the situation of the Muslims who continue to suffer because IT AINT! Fasting has been prescribed upon you and brings benefit only for you. As for improving the problems facing the Ummah, it does very little. 

     Truthfully, I could continue to break down the rest of the example I presented earlier and draw a picture that will illustrate the minimum level of actions and deeds a believer can commit too in order to have a chance to enter Jannah, more often then not, brings benefit to himself while it brings little benefit to the situation of the Muslims around the world.

    So here are a few questions that I need you to answer before we can proceed further. Do you (sincerely) want to make a difference? Do you want to revive the Ummah and be of those who led during the Ummah’s toughest moments? If so, here is one of many suggestions that could lead to the road of our Ummah’s overall improvement. Are you listening? Get involved. Do something for the Ummah. Don’t be of those who say, “yeah, you know…I pray five times a day at the masjid. I know I’m so mashAllah, what can I say? It took me a couple of years to train myself to be this way and did I forget to mention, I read about 10 pages of Quran daily? Now who said, I’m not doing much for the Ummah?”. Its almost laughable because such a person who makes such actions known is seeking the pleasure of the people. If not that, than someone needs to slap homeboy across the head a remind him that he is doing VERY little for the ummah, although he may doing much for himself. Nevertheless, its true, everything that was mentioned by such an individual is impressive and ultimately, will improve his chances of being admitted into paradise but nothing I’ve heard from such an individual suggests to me that he cares about the Muslims. Don’t get me wrong, if the Messenger of Allah (saw) stated and made it permissible for every man (or woman) to work for himself without caring about the brotherhood of the Muslims, then Big Ups to such a person who has striven to his own best interest. However, the Messenger of Allah (saw) and Allah Himself, have made it clear that this Ummah is the best of Ummahs because we have the best of examples to follow. Therefore, it is from eeman and the way of the Prophet, to love for your brother what you love for yourself and if you don’t, then you my friend, haven’t tasted the sweetness of eemaan. The point is, we are not only responsible for our well being and our families well being but also, we are responsible for the well being of the Ummah. Every single man and woman who is apart of the Ummah. Did we forget that Islam connected our hearts when we were divided into tribes and nations? Maybe we have but let me just remind you, our relationship as brothers and sisters in Islam, will continue far past our lifetime and well into the next. So don’t be of those who cared about no one but their own self-fish souls.

     Keep in mind; if you go to the masjid and complete your daily prayers in congregation then take it one step further and take someone along with you. If you did that, you’ll be doing something positive for the Ummah. If you read the Quran every single day and you’re content with your relationship with Quran, take it one step further and go and teach your younger siblings the Book of Allah. If you did that, you would be doing something positive for the Ummah. If you fast and you find no one around you wants who desires to fast, then take the money that you would of spent throughout the day and find a poor man on the streets and ask him if he would like for you to purchase him a meal. If he says yes, go with him and along the way, introduce yourself as a Muslim and inform him that God has ordered you to spend from that which you love on others (inshAllah he will be impressed by your good manners and your generosity and hopefully, he will accept Islam). If you did that, then you would be doing something positive for the Ummah. The point is, be creative. Don’t become content with your level of commitment to Islam. Remember, Allah stands in no need of us while we will forever stand in great need of Him.                                                                                            

Need an Eemaan Boost
June 18, 2008

 

Obama for President?
June 13, 2008

          If, and I say this with due respect, you’re one of the millions of Obama supporters across the nation, reality will greet you in the form of a wake up call this November. It will hit you harder than the tornadoes that have been ripping cross the different states in recently weeks or the flooding that has destroyed parts of the Midwest. In all honesty, there is no hecking way Obama is going to win the fight for the White House. I know, or should I say, I assume your emotions are damping your abilities to come to terms with reality, but that within itself, can not be used as an excuse to deny the truth. The truth being, yes, the Americans have come along way in selecting an African American to represent a major political party in the federal elections but just as you wouldn’t expect a toddler who took his first step a moment ago, to turn around and join the National relay team, why then would you expect a civilization that has been relatively conservative throughout history, to all of a sudden, select a black man to represent them around the world? You’re being foolish? Maybe? Or perhaps someone slipped a pill known as the “Yes, we can” into your morning coffee while you focused your attention on the CNN broadcast of the latest political news for the day? I think the later suits your situation more then the former but whatever the case be, please, and I say this with semi-sincerity, don’t let your ‘hope’ to see a better American under the leadership of Obama blind you from reality.

          If you don’t believe me when I proclaim that Obama will loose the federal elections this November than you probably wouldn’t believe me if I told you, its not the president of the blue and red states that runs the affairs of the American people but rather, the big oil companies and the Pharmaceutical drug lords, in addition to the lobbyist, they, my friends, are the true rulers of the laws of the so-called free states.

          You still don’t believe me..? Well, what can I say, although I’m a supporter of Mr. Obama, I couldn’t allow my messed up emotions to deny my abilities in coming to terms with the John McCain victory in November.

Did You know!
June 10, 2008

Did you know….

1) Many years ago in Scotland , a new game was invented. It was ruled
‘Gentlemen Only…Ladies Forbidden’…and thus the word GOLF entered into the English language.

2) The first couple to be shown in bed together on prime time TV were Fred and Wilma Flintstone.

3) (Generally speaking) Men can read smaller print more than women can and women can hear better.

4) Coca-Cola was originally green

5) It is impossible to lick your elbow ( I said, IMPOSSIBLE).

6) The State with the highest percentage of people who walk to work: Alaska

7) The cost of raising a medium-size dog to the age of eleven: $ 16,400

8 ) The average number of people airborne over the U.S. in any given hour: 61,000

9) The first novel ever written on a typewriter: Tom Sawyer

10) At least 75% of people who read point 5 will try to lick their elbows!

11) In Shakespeare’s time, mattresses were secured on bed frames by ropes. When you pulled on the ropes the mattress tightened, making the bed firmer to sleep on. Hence the phrase……… ‘goodnight, sleep tight.’

12) Question: Which day are there more collect calls than any other day of the year? Answer: Father’s Day

13) Question: What is the only food that doesn’t spoil? Answer: Honey

14) 111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321

15) If a statue in the park of a person on a horse has both front legs in the air, the person died in battle. If the horse has one front leg in the air the person died as a result of wounds received in battle. If the horse has all four legs on the ground, the person died of natural causes.

16) Question: What do bulletproof vests, fire escapes, windshield wipers, and laser
printers and White-Out, all have in common?
Answer: All were invented by women.

17) It was the accepted practice in Babylon 4,000 years ago that for a month after the wedding, the bride’s father would supply his son-in-law with all the mead he could drink. Mead is a honey beer and because their calendar was lunar based, this period was called the honey month, which we know today as the honeymoon.

Believe it or not, you can actually read the following paragraph….

I cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid Aoccdrnig to rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn’t mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey
lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Amzanig huh?

You know you’re living in the year 2008 when…

1. You accidentally enter your PIN on the microwave.

2. You haven’t played solitaire with real cards in years.

3. You have a list of 15 phone numbers to reach your family of three.

4. You text the person who is sitting a few seats down from you while you’re both in class.

5. Your reason for not staying in touch with friends and family is that they don’t have e-mail addresses.

6. You pull up in your own driveway and use your cell phone to see if anyone is home to help you carry in the groceries.

7. Every commercial on television has a web site at the bottom of the screen

8. Leaving the house without your cell phone, which you didn’t even have the first 20 or so years of your life, is now a cause for panic and you turn around to go and get it.

10. You get up in the morning and go on line before you do anything else.

11. You start tilting your head sideways to smile.

12. You’re reading this and nodding and laughing.

13. Even worse, you know exactly who of your friends should read this post because it relates to them in so many ways.

14. You are too busy to notice there was no #9 on the list.

15. You actually scrolled back up to check that there wasn’t a #9 on the list.

18 Seconds
June 4, 2008

64-64 with 18 seconds left in the game. My team calls a timeout and quickly they huddle together in order to draw out the perfect game winning play. I stand amongst them quiet with my gaze starring off into the empty court. I sought to find my first love; her name, Spalding. We met about 14 years ago and it was love at first sight. A connection that could build bridges between committed enemies and the foundation for my love of Spalding was built upon trust and passion. I needed her. I wanted her. I patrolled the empty court with my gaze seeking to find her whereabouts. I found her in the hands of a foreign man and I became outraged. I grew angry, for when I love someone, I seek to protect them and keep them close to myself.

 

In the silence of the moment, despite the loud cheers of fans and the rough voice of team-mate who drowned the voices of others, I looked towards my love and spoke to her in our language. I asked, “my love, are you betraying our contract even as I stand in your presence?”. Quickly she sought refuge from my acquisitions and reaffirmed for me her commitment to our treaty. She said, “come for me” and I responded, “in a few seconds, I will be with you”. I redirected my focus on my team-mates and I asked for my Spalding. I told them, “it is I who will bring you victory. O my team-mates, don’t you worry”. We ended the huddle and retook our positions on the court. I kept my gaze on Spalding and she asked, “will you not allow me to find security in the comfort of your hands?” I reassured her in due time my love, we will be together. My team-mate in bounded Spalding and she found her place of desire; my hands. I wrapped my palms and fingers around her and held her close to my chest. I wanted her to hear the acceleration of my heart beat at that exact moment when she found her castle known as my chest. I asked, “baby can I have this dance..?” and she said, “O my love, take me where you intend”. I put her gently on the ground, directed her through my legs going left and back through my right, as I kept my communication with her throughout the process. I shook the defender, glanced at the clock and I knew time was up against us.

 

Ten seconds remaining and I needed to stop dancing so I stated, “baby, I’m going to take you to the rack. Drive you home like it’s the ninth inning of the World Series.” She said, “be gentle, don’t you be rough on me. Just pull-up and release me with confidence”.

 

          Seven seconds left, I set my mind on a move that will clinch the game. I said, “Spalding, baby…I don’t wanna let you go but I promise I’ll be smooth with my stroke and my release point will be just right”. She said, “do what you got to do and inshAllah you will find me to be among the patient”. So I focused my attention on the basket, with my mind on the game and my heart on my Spalding, I faked left, went right and with just three seconds left on the clock, I stepped back and I released my Spalding and watched her as she found the decree of Allah.