tyranny

And O my people, give full measure and weight in justice and do not deprive the people of their due and do not commit abuse on the earth, spreading corruption.

11:85

Take care of the responsibilities in your life.  Do not neglect the rights of others.  If you have authority over anyone, follow the example of our beloved (saws) and see that they get what is owed to them

No one is beyond Allah (swt)’s wrath.  Especially not those with power.

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it’s the end of the world as we know it…

Seeing as how the world is going to end for some tomorrow, I thought it would be a good time to review the muslim view of the end of the world and the day of judgment.  Always good to remind ourselves of the inevitable, even if we have no idea when it will be.

Day of Judgment:

One thing that I think is good to remember is that we’re not guaranteed another day, another hour, or even another minute here in this life.  Our time has been set and it will end one day.  It could end when the world ends.  However, it’s far more likely that it will end with death.  So it really doesn’t matter when the world ends.  We should live each day as if it were our last, and strive to please our Lord to the best of our abilities.

useful – useless

A person is like a flourmill, which is only useful if it churns wheat in flour.  Likewise, a person is useful and worthy in this world only with dhikr.  Just like stagnant, standing water becomes a breeding ground for filth, an empty and carefree mind becomes a hive for useless and scorned thoughts.

The shaytan’s first efforts are to make a person neglectful and forgetful of the remembrance of Allah.  In war, the first thing victors do is to disarm their prisoners of war.  Likewise, the first thing that shaytan does once he overcomes someone is to make him forgetful of Allah .  Allah says in the Holy Qur’an:

اسْتَحْوَذَ عَلَيْهِمُ الشَّيْطَانُ فَأَنْسَاهُمْ ذِكْرَ اللَّهِ

The shaytan got the better of them:  So he made them forget the remembrance of Allah (58:19)

A hadith tells us that the shaytan says, “I ruined mankind through sin, and mankind ruined me through la ilaha il Allah.”

Sow the seeds of good deeds every moment of your life so that one day you will find a garden.  Each second of time is like a piece of gold.  Just as grains of sand together form a sand dune, seconds of time form a man’s life.  You must have learned in your science class that celestial objects are always in motion, and so this is a sign from nature that we too should always be involved in work and not remain stagnant.  Those who merely fill their stomachs are animals, those who do no work are without life, and those who have the habit of hard work are true men.

Only if we work hard in this life will we have peace and comfort in the Hereafter.  People should work hard and be ill at ease so that they can be in comfort later.  Protect yourself from distracting thoughts, and propel yourself forward in dhikr and suluk [spiritual development] with determination.  A man must do one task very well, and not multiple tasks haphazardly.  Our masha’ikh [elders] have referred to this as the main route of progress in tasawwuf.

Sh. Zulfiqar Ahmad concerning working hard from Wisdom for the Seeker

beware the oppressed

Mua’ad ibn Jaba (ra) relates that the Messenger of Allah  said

“Beware of the supplication of the unjustly treated, because there is no shelter or veil between it and Allah 

[Bukhari and Muslim]

 

The Prophet Muhammad  said:

“Help your brother whether he is an oppressor or the oppressed.” A man then said: “I will help him if he is oppressed, but if he is an oppressor, how shall I help him?” The Prophet replied: “By preventing him from oppressing.”

[Bukhari]

walking the walk…

…is harder than talking the talk.

I’ve recently become reacquainted with my inner tree hugger.  While I wouldn’t say that I’ve been blase about environmental issues this last decade, I didn’t burn with the same fire and passion I had in high school.

With my (re) commitment to living health leading to further investigation of the disastrous (and unislamic) system of factory farming and the emergence of fellow muslim tree huggers, I’ve decided it’s time to start walking the walk.  And I do mean literally walking.

In the past, I’ve dreamed about doing something grand and glorious, crusading to solve world problems on a large scale.

But, I’ve realized that I may not be cut out to do that, but I can make sure that my actions are worthy of being viewed by Allah (swt) on the Day of Judgment.

If I can get somewhere by bus and/or walking, why should I waste resources driving myself?

Eat, drink and clothe yourselves. But by doing so, do not be wasteful and arrogant.

[Nasai]

Alhamdulilah, we’re blessed to live in a metro area that has decent public transportation, so I have the option of taking mass transit and/or walking to most places I need to go.  The new Casa Squeaky is smack dab in the middle of Saint Paul and Minneapolis, which puts me within a 25 minute bus ride of work, a 5 minute bus ride + 10 minute walk to my cat shelter, a 10 minute bus ride to the grocery store and a 10 minute bus ride + 10 minute walk to the gym.

With my new workout schedule calling for me to go to the gym 5 times a day, it means I’m on the bus, a lot, and I’m walking, a lot.  20 minutes round trip walking to the gym might not seem like much, but in the dead of Minne-snow-da winter, it’s pure torture.

My nafs keeps telling me, take the car, take the car, it’s only a few miles, what would it matter?  And my frozen face begs, please, for the love of God, take the car!

But this is my jihad.  I’m blessed to have transportation options when so many do not, and I need to struggle with myself to make the best choice for this planet and for my body.  Onward and upward I slog, through rain and snow and sleet and hail or wind chills well below 0 (all of which we’ll probably be getting in the next week or so).

at least they’re blatant about it…

No surprise here, reports from AbuS’ hometown re: the Egyptian election:

It seemed too good to be true when Amira Antar walked into the polling station to vote for Egypt’s Islamist opposition, unimpeded by security forces or hired thugs. She quickly found out it was.After she made her choice, the polling station supervisor unfolded Antar’s ballot, ticked the candidate of President Hosni Mubarak’s ruling party and put her now spoiled paper in the box.

“I was standing at the door and I saw what he did and honestly my heart broke. I don’t know what to do or who to complain to. I don’t think I’m going to vote again,” said the 22-year-old, voting for the first time in a parliamentary poll.

The opposition says the vote is marred by mass violations including ballot stuffing and bullying. The government says it has ensured a free and fair election.

Saad al-Hosainy, an Islamist candidate in Mahalla, said only three votes had been cast at one polling station he visited.

“They closed the polling station down and people were standing outside. No one went in or out, but the second I stepped back inside with our lawyers, the polling boxes had been filled to the top in less than 30 minutes,” he said.

 

Ma’qil (ra) said, I heard the Prophet (saws) saying, “Any man whom Allah has given the authority of ruling some people and he does not look after them in an honest manner, will never feel even the smell of Paradise.”  [Bukhari]

jazakAllah khair

Although you have probably already heard, the translator of my favorite book, Muhtar Holland, passed away this last weekend.

inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji’oon

Being one who is a hopeless failure in the way of learning language, most of the great books of the deen are out of my reach.  Alhamdulilah for men like Br. Muhtar, who have been bringing us non arabic speakers gems like “Inner Dimensions of Islamic Worship.”  This book changed my life, and completely re-oriented by view of the pillars of the religion.  If you haven’t read it yet, buy it and read it asap!

As I told AbuS of Br. Muhtar’s passing and lamented the fact that he did not finish his current project – a translation of the tafsir written by Sheikh Abdal Qadir al-Jailani.  AbuS replied – SubhanAllah!  To be able to pass away while translating the Qur’an!  If only we could all be so lucky.

SubhanAllah indeed.

JazakAllah khair Br. Muhtar, for all your hard work.  May Allah (swt) reward you greatly.