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Friday, 5 May 2017

REMEMBER ME, I'LL REMEMBER YOU! Allah's Promise.



Allah's Promise:
"Remember Me, I’ll
Remember You!"

(M. Javed Naseem)


“But keep in remembrance the name of
your Lord and devote yourself to Him
whole-heartedly.”
(al-Quran 73:8)

Every living thing on this planet Earth and in the heavens, and in between (in the entire universe), glorifies Allah’s name as He is the Supreme Creator, Cherisher and Sustainer of the universe. He is the Mighty, the Wise.

“Whatever is in the heavens and on earth,
let it declare the Praises and Glory of Allah,
for He is the Exalted in Might, the Wise.”
(al-Quran 59:1)

As a Creator, Allah has rights over us and as Creation, we have also some rights. It’s Allah right that we worship only Him, praise Him, obey Him and be faithfully grateful to Him for all the bounties we enjoy in this world. From His side, Allah gave us the right to seek provision and sustenance from Him and He gracefully and mercifully provides that. Therefore, we should do our part and in return Allah will do His.

As per one Hadith, the Prophet (s.a.w.) declared:
Narrated Muadh bin Jabal: “The Prophet said, O Muadh! Do you know what Allah's right upon His slaves is?"
I said, "Allah and His Apostle know best."
The Prophet said, "To worship Him (Allah) alone and to join none in worship with Him (Allah).
Do you know what their (believers’) right upon Him is?"
I replied, "Allah and His Apostle know best."
The Prophet said, "Not to punish them (if they worship Him alone)." – (Bukhari, Book 93, No. 470).

In the Holy Quran, Allah, the Most Merciful, has promised us:

“Then you remember Me;
I will remember you! Be grateful
to Me, and reject not Me!”
(al-Quran 2:152)

The equation is very plain and simple: Tit for tat. If we remember God every day, He will remember us every day. But if we ignore Him, then we have no right to complain that we are being ignored and our lives are turning miserable. He is the One Who saves us from all misery, troubles, misfortunes and eventually the Hellfire. We cannot count His favors.

“And call in remembrance the favor of Allah
unto you, and His covenant, which He ratified
with you, when you said: "We hear and we
obey". And fear Allah, for Allah knows
well the secrets of your hearts.”
(al-Quran 5:7)

Therefore, it is only fair and befitting that we remember the Creator the way it pleases Him. We have to discharge our obligations. We need to do our part before expecting God to do His.

“Except those who believe, work righteousness,
engage much in the remembrance of Allah, and
defend themselves only after they are unjustly
attacked. And soon will the unjust assailants know
what vicissitudes their affairs will take!”
(al-Quran 26:227)

It’s easy for God to do His part. The problem lies with us – humans. We have many excuses because we are not honestly and sincerely doing our duty to Allah. God gave us this life and we must keep Him in our lives. Without Him, we cannot function. So remembrance of Allah is essential for our survival on this earth. If you don’t know how to do that, here’s Allah’s command:

“And do you (O reader!) Bring your Lord to
remembrance in your (very) soul, with humility
and in reverence, without loudness in words,
in the mornings and evenings; and be not you
of those who are neglectful!”
(al-Quran 7:205)

“And hold fast, all together, by the rope which
Allah (stretches out for you), and be not divided
among yourselves; and remember with gratitude
Allah's favor on you; for you were enemies and
He joined your hearts in love, so that by His
Grace, you became brethren; and you were on the
brink of the pit of Fire, and He saved you from it.
Thus does Allah make His Signs clear to you,
that you may be guided.”
(al-Quran 3:103)

That’s the way to remember the Lord. But note that there’s a warning also at the end of the first verse above. Allah commands us not to be ‘neglectful’. By the way, being neglectful is the first step towards obedience to the Devil and disobedience to Allah. When we start neglecting Allah, we end up totally ignoring Him. And that results in disobedience.

“So woe to the worshippers who are
neglectful of their prayers; those who
(want but) to be seen (of men), but
refuse even small kindnesses.”
(al-Quran 107:4-7)

The only creation that strays and falters, is the Humans and the Jinn. The reason is that Allah, the Almighty, has made this glorification and remembrance for us voluntary. We are the two creatures that have been  given a choice, liberty and freedom of action. And that’s why we’ll face the accountability process on the Day of Judgment. We will be questioned about our choices. Allah has given us the choice to facilitate things for us but we abuse this facility by ignoring the commands of the Almighty altogether. We do that under Satan’s influence.

“O you who believe! When you meet a force,
be firm, and call Allah in remembrance much
(and often); that you may prosper!”
(al-Quran 8:45)

“Those who fear Allah, when a thought of evil
from Satan assaults them, bring Allah to
remembrance, when lo! They see (aright)!”
(al-Quran 7:21)

Right there Allah gave us the solution to our problem. When facing evil or Satan, remember Allah and you will be protected from harms of evil and assaults of the Devil. Remembrance of Allah works like a shield against all evils, seen or unseen. When you recite His name, the Devil runs away for shelter.

“Say: Who is the Lord and Sustainer of the
heavens and the earth?" Say: "(It is) Allah!
Say: Do you then take (for worship) protectors
other than Him, such as have no power either
for good or for harm to themselves? Say: Are
the blind equal with those who see? Or the
depths of darkness equal with light? Or do
they assign to Allah partners who have
created (anything) as He has created, so that
the creation seemed to them similar? Say:
Allah is the Creator of all things. He is
the One, the Supreme and Irresistible."
(al-Quran 13:16)

It is ironic that all holy books (the Torah, the Gospel, the Quran) are full of verses that remind us about the commandments of God, again and again, but man keeps ignoring them. We pay only lip-service to Him and God knows that. That’s why He reminds us in very clear words as to who is running the show and how are we supposed to appreciate that.

"Verily, I am Allah. There is no god but I.
So serve you Me (only), and establish regular
prayer for celebrating My praise.”
(al-Quran 20:14)

Narrated Abu Huraira: “The Prophet (s.a.w.) said, Religion is very easy and whoever overburdens himself in his religion will not be able to continue in that way. So you should not go to the extremes, but try to be near to perfection and receive the good tidings that you will be rewarded; and gain strength by worshipping in the mornings, the nights." (See Fath-ul-Bari, Page 102, Vol 1).  – (Bukhari, Book 2, No. 38).

It’s really embarrassing that God has to tell us again and again that He is our Lord and we should celebrate His praise. Man is full of hypocrisy. When you ask him about his Creator, he would mention God (or Allah) right away. But when it comes to pay the due, he starts beating about the bush, looking for one excuse or the other. Then there are those shameless who don’t have any excuse. They try to rationalize and justify their sinful disobedience. They know very well that it was disobedience to Allah that got Satan (the Devil) expelled from Paradise. He was cursed and then destined for Hellfire. Allah warns the believers in the Holy Quran in different chapters with similar texts:

“Verily, this brotherhood of yours is a single
brotherhood, and I am your Lord and Cherisher.
Therefore, serve Me (and no other).”
(al-Quran 21:92 & 23:52)

God, the Almighty, is our Creator and we, as creation, should obey Him and pay thanks to Him for all the favors and blessings He bestows upon us. Remember your Lord and He will remember you! Be grateful to Him and don’t deny Him or reject Him, otherwise you’ll become the fuel of Hellfire!

"Not on earth nor in heaven will you be able
(fleeing) to frustrate (His Plan), nor have you,
besides Allah, any protector or helper.”
(al-Quran 29:22)

“Not so do those who show patience and
constancy, and work righteousness; for them
is forgiveness (of sins) and a great reward.”
(al-Quran 11:11)

There is a modern group of Unbelievers (or atheists) who deny the Divine Truth but are clever enough to copy the basic principles of equality and social justice of Islam and present them (even to the Muslims) as a “secular’ agenda! They are playing games to their own benefit. They cannot fool people who have the knowledge, they are fooling themselves. Allah is watching them as they are on trial too.

“He Who has created Death and Life, that
He may try which of you is best in deeds; and
He is the Exalted in Might, Oft-Forgiving”
(al-Quran 67:2)

“For Allah loves those who turn to Him
constantly and He loves those who keep
themselves pure and clean.”
(al-Quran 2:222)

Remembering God does not mean that we should occupy ourselves with singing His praises and hymns day and night. No, that’s not normal. He has sent us in this world and we are supposed to take care of our worldly affairs too. We should give due time and attention to our worldly business and family affairs, then take out some time to glorify the name of Allah (by praying, calling His good names, supplicating Him and doing some charity work for him). There are plenty of such opportunities for us every day, every night. If we sing praises of Allah, both by mouth and deeds, He would be pleased with us and would bless us more. He tells us very clearly what our problem is and how our hearts have turned hard:

“Has not the time arrived for the believers that
their hearts in all humility should engage in the
remembrance of Allah and of the Truth which has
been revealed (to them), and that they should not
become like those to whom was given Revelation
aforetime, but long ages passed over them and
their hearts grew hard? For many among them
are rebellious transgressors.”
(al-Quran 57:16)

“Those who are near to your Lord, disdain
not to do Him worship. They celebrate His
praises, and prostrate before Him.”
(al-Quran 7:206)

The best way to remember Allah is through prayer and meditation. Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) said that when a man prays, he whispers with God. Vow! What a beautiful description!
Prayer requires purity of body and mind. It requires honesty, sincerity, conviction, devotion and concentration. Prophet Jesus Christ says:

“… Yet no less does the man who goes to make
prayer and prepares not himself. He turns his back
to God and his face to Satan, and speaks well of him.
For in his heart is the love of iniquity, whereof he
has not repented. If one, having injured you, should
with his lips say to you, “Forgive me”, and with his
hands should strike you a blow, how would you
forgive him? Even so shall God have mercy on
those who with their lips say: “Lord! Have
mercy on us,” and with their heart love
iniquity and think on fresh sins.”
Jesus Christ
(From the Gospel of Barnabas)

All believers are sinners too but Allah likes those sinners who repent and return to Allah and beg for His forgiveness. Most of us have shaky Faith as we are not steadfast in our belief and good deeds. But there are those who succeed through perseverance and patience. Allah helps them in guarding their prayers and remembrance of Him. They fear God about something else. They are afraid that their good deeds might not be sufficient to get them off the hook and protect them from the Hellfire.

“By men whom neither traffic nor merchandise
can divert from the remembrance of Allah, nor
from regular prayer, nor from the practice of
regular charity. Their (only) fear is for the Day
when hearts and eyes will be transformed
(in a world wholly new).”
(al-Quran 24:37)

(From my new book, "Remember Me, I'll Remember You!", available at Amazon.com)
 
***********

Sunday, 30 April 2017

CIVIL WARS EXPOSE Western Hypocrisy And Double Standards.



Civil Wars Expose
Western Hypocrisy And
Double Standards

Trump Is No Better Than
Bush or Obama!

(M. Javed Naseem)


Donald Trump announced during his Presidential campaign that he believed in 2-State (Palestine and Israel) solution to the Palestinian problem. But now he has changed his stance. He announced during campaign that he would stop all wars and there would be no more invasions of other countries. But now he has changed his mind and he is bombing Syria and Yemen. He said many other things to entice American voters and win the elections. Once he was in the White House, things were running on the same pattern as they were during Bush and Obama tenures. As a matter of fact, things are more chaotic than before although he is claiming success during his first 100 days in office.

People were hoping to see a lot of problems solved but in reality, they are facing more problems than in the past.  But it’s only the beginning. It can get better, or even worse! Let us hope for the better!

One thing looks certain! It’s not going to get better for the people of Syria, Palestine, Iraq, Yemen or Afghanistan. There would be more and more ‘false flag’ operations and America and Europe would continue their joint (financial and military) efforts for the establishment of Greater Israel, at all costs, even WW-III.

Muslim countries would get no relief. Their bombing, pounding and ass-kicking will continue (might even get worse!) till the Zionist objectives are achieved.

This week, people saw a protest rally in London against Israeli ambassador Mark Ragev as he was invited to address the students at London University. Why would a British university invite the ambassador of a country that is violating all U.N. resolutions; is busy in constructing illegal settlements on Palestinian land; violating human rights; and killing innocent civilians in Palestine and Syria? Events like this expose the American, British and European double standards and hypocrisy.

 








Demonstrators turned out in force at the School of African and Asian Studies in central London to protest the presence of the Israeli Ambassador to the UK. Ambassador Mark Ragev was invited to speak at the prestigious university against the wishes of many students and pro-Palestinian organizations.
Here’s a short video of this event:


Trump’s Son-In-Law
Financed Israeli Extremists And Settlements

Jared Kushner, the son-in-law and confidant of U.S. President-elect Donald Trump, is a director and board member at the Kushner Foundation which has given money to illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank as well as extremist Jewish groups connected to violent attacks against Palestinians, Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported Monday.
The findings are based on tax records from Kushner’s parents for the years 2010-2014, which show that the Charles and Seryl Kushner Foundation gave almost US$60,000 to settlement projects and organizations in Israel, which Washington deems publicly as illegal, yet finds covert ways of funding.
Trump has said that Kushner, who is a married to Ivanka Trump and is an Orthodox Jew, would be “very good” as his Middle East envoy to broker a deal between the Palestinians and Israelis.
The Kushner Foundation gave US$20,000 to the group American Friends in Beit El Yeshive, an organization that supports projects in the ultra-conservative settlement of Beit El.
Beit El was built on private Palestinian land without Israeli government approval, according to Haaretz and human rights groups.
More shocking is that the president of that group is David Friedman, who advised Trump on foreign policy in Israel and Palestine and is his real estate lawyer who told AFP in October that in his view settlements are not illegal and that he believed Trump agrees with him.
To top it all off, the Kushner foundation has given money to one of the most extreme groups within the settler community. The foundation gave funds to the radical “Od Yosef Chai” group in the settlement of Yitzhar.
“This particular yeshiva has served as a base for launching violent attacks against nearby Palestinians villages and Israeli security forces, as well; as a result, it no longer receives funding from the Israeli government,” Haaretz reported Monday.
This settlement is also seen as the leader of the settler movement’s so-called “price tag” policy, which calls for attacks against Palestinians in retaliation for actions of the Israeli government against West Bank settlements.

The Washington Post, which confirmed the Haaretz report on Kushner’s foundation, said this year’s Republican platform’s position on Israel was changed to what Trump called the most pro-Israeli stance “of all time.” It does not explicitly call for a two-state solution and rejects the “false notion” that Israel is occupying the West Bank, the U.S. newspaper said.

Although the U.S. is the number one sponsor of Israel financially, militarily and politically, Trump’s staunch right-wing position will most likely translate into even more suffering and repression for the Palestinian people.

Israel plans construction of
15,000 new settlements in E. Jerusalem
Published time: 28 Apr, 2017

Israeli authorities are planning to build some 15,000 new settlements in East Jerusalem, Reuters and local media reported, citing the Housing Ministry. Palestinian authorities condemned the decision, calling it the “deliberate sabotage” of peace talks.

The Housing Ministry and the Jerusalem Municipality are working on the plan, with proposals for 25,000 homes in Jerusalem, 15,000 of which would be in East Jerusalem, Housing Minister Yoav Galant told Israeli Radio, Reuters reports. The authorities plan to implement the project within two years, he added.

"We will build 10,000 units in Jerusalem and some 15,000 within the [extended] municipal boundaries of Jerusalem. It will happen," he said.

(A general view shows the Israeli settlement of Ramot © Ronen Zvulun / Reuters)
According to Saeb Erekat, the Palestinians' chief negotiator, Israel's decision is the “deliberate sabotage” of efforts to resume talks between Israel and Palestine.
“All settlements in occupied Palestine are illegal under international law,” he said in a statement, as cited by Reuters. “Palestine will continue to resort to international bodies to hold Israel, the occupation power, accountable for its grave violations of international law throughout occupied Palestine.”

Israeli authorities could announce news of the construction on Jerusalem Day, which this year falls on May 24, Channel 2 reported. The Israeli national holiday marks the reunification of Jerusalem and the establishment of Israeli control over the Old City after the 1967 Six-Day War.

Reports about fresh plan for settlement enlargement in East Jerusalem come ahead of the official visit of US President Donald Trump, scheduled for May 22. Speaking to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in February, Trump took many by surprise when he called for “holding back on settlements for a little bit.”
The construction of settlements in the West Bank is considered illegal under international law. The international community has long voiced concerns over the controversial practice while condemning the deteriorating security situation between Israelis and Palestinians.
Some 400,000 Israeli citizens are currently residing in the West Bank along with 2.8 million Palestinians, according to Reuter’s data.
Another 200,000 Israelis live in East Jerusalem.

(Palestinian Bedouin village of Khan al-Ahmar, in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. © Abbas Momani / AFP)

EU slams ‘occupying power’ Israel
over plans to demolish Bedouin village in West Bank
Published time: 4 Apr, 2017 17:34
The European Union has delivered a public diplomatic rebuke to Israel, which plans to demolish 42 homes in a Bedouin village in the West Bank that are expected to make way for Jewish settlements, accusing it of breaking the Geneva Convention.
EU Ambassador to Israel Lars Faaborg-Andersen chose to voice the protest during a traditionally courteous introductory meeting between ambassadors of the 28 EU states and incoming Israeli Foreign Ministry director-general Yuval Rotem. As officials exchanged pleasantries in an upmarket Tel Aviv hotel, Faaborg-Anderson brought the room to a standstill to read a lengthy scathing message, approved by the EU’s security and diplomacy commission, with Rotem stood in the audience.
The Danish diplomat said that the demolition, ordered last month, of Khan Al-Akhmar, located east of Jerusalem in the West Bank's Area C, would result in the compulsory resettlement of about 140 residents, and the destruction of an Italian-funded school, which is providing education for over 150 children from the surrounding.

Those Who Live In Glass Houses …

UK risks being ‘wiped off the map
with nuclear counterstrike’ – Russian senator
Published time: 25 Apr, 2017

The UK, which recently said it could launch a preemptive nuclear strike “in the most extreme circumstances,” runs the risk of being “wiped off the face of the Earth,” the deputy head of a Russian upper house committee said.
(Image: Alexander Vilf / Sputnik)
“The statement made by UK’s Defense Minister Michael Fallon calls for a harsh response and I’m not afraid of going too far. At best this statement may be seen as an element of a psychological war, which looks especially revolting in this context,” Frants Klintsevich wrote on Facebook.
“There is a quite natural question then: what country could be primitively targeted by the UK?” the deputy head of the Federation Council’s Committee for Defense and Security said.
In case the UK strikes a nuclear power, then “the UK, which doesn’t have vast territory, will be literally wiped off from the face of the earth with a counter-strike,” Klintsevich said.
In the event of targeting a non-nuclear country, this will remind of the US nuclear attack on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, he added.
Klintsevich’s comment comes after Fallon on Monday said that the UK is prepared to carry out a preemptive nuclear strike against any enemies, even if Britain is not under attack.

What a shameless, irresponsible and typical British bullying rhetoric from Michael Fallon!

***********

Sunday, 23 April 2017

ISLAM IS: RIGHTEOUSNESS + JUSTICE.



Islam Is:
Righteousness + Justice

If you are not conscious of Allah and
don’t treat people with mercy, you will
not be treated with mercy either!

Uphold justice even if it goes against
You or your family! That’s Islam!

(M. Javed Naseem)


On the Day of Judgment,
Allah will not talk to an unjust
ruler. He’ll be sent to Hell.

Those people are blessed who get righteous leaders and rulers. Such rulers existed in every era. In the early age of Islam, the rulers were exemplary. They were the best role-models for anybody who wanted to serve his people and establish the rule of law.

The Western world considers the famous Indian leader, Mahatma Gandhi, as the most influential personality of the twentieth century. In some quarters he is treated like a saint. Indians, in general, and Hindus in particular, claim Gandhi as the greatest ‘son of India’. He always preached righteousness through modesty and non-violence. In 1937, while addressing the Indian Congress government’s cabinet of ministers, Gandhi advised all cabinet members to lead simple life. He said:

“I cannot give you the examples of Ram Chandra and Krishna, because they were not the historical personalities. I have no other choice to give you the examples of Abu Bakr and Umar (bin al-Khattab) – the first two Caliphs of Islam – as symbols of modesty and simple life. They were the rulers of a great empire but all their lives they lived like beggars.”
(Quote from ‘Hareejan’, dated 27th July, 1937).

Amazing, isn’t it? The funny thing is that non-Muslims appreciate the teachings of Islam, whereas we Muslims don’t even care about it. As Muslims, we are terrible role models for others. It is time to get up and play the role we are supposed to play for the sake of our future generations. We should act with care and responsibility.

Now, the question is: Why would Gandhi refer to the Caliphs of Islam (Umar and Abu Bakr)? What did he see in their characters that convinced him that they were the best role-models as rulers and governors? It was their righteousness and modest living; their fear of God and their sense of responsibility in promoting justice; their obligations towards community to guarantee the rights of the poor.

Let’s see how Abu Bakr fared in his life and during his short tenure as the 1st Caliph of Islam.
He was the first free and independent (not a slave) mature man who accepted Islam the very moment Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) invited him to the Truth. (But he was not the first PERSON who accepted Islam, the first person being Khadija, Prophet’s wife).
He was given the title “Siddique” by the Prophet (s.a.w.) himself. Siddique means ‘the true friend’, the one who ‘embraces the Truth’. His obedience to Allah and loyalty to the Prophet (s.a.w.) were exemplary. The stories of his righteousness and piety are numerous. According to a Hadith (sayings of the Prophet, s.a.w.) quoted by Tirmidhi (and Ahmad), the Prophet (s.a.w.) said about Abu Bakr:

"If the Iman (faith) of Abu Bakr was put
on one side of the scale and the faith of the
entire nation of Muslims on the other, the faith
of Abu Bakr would outweigh the others."

Abu Bakr was a businessman, one of the richest in Makkah. But after accepting Islam, he devoted all his money, efforts, labor and resources to the service of mankind just to please Allah. He used to buy slaves from the pagans and set them free. He would help the needy, the widows, the poor and the victims of injustice. He would sacrifice all his wealth for the cause of Allah.

Once, people of the area suffered from drought and then famine struck. People started suffering, so they came to Abu Bakr, who was the Caliph of the Muslims at that time. They said: O’ Caliph of the Messenger of Allah, the sky no longer brings down rain and the land no longer brings up crops or plants, and people fear a disaster. What are you going to do?
Abu Bakr replied, “Go now and be patient. I hope that Allah will bring His subsistence by the evening.”
When they went down the road, they saw one thousand camels laden with corn, oil and flour, standing near the house of Othman (r.a.a.), who was taking care of the supplies. When the merchants of the area heard of the food convoy, they came to see Othman (r.a.a.) for buying goods.
“What are you looking for?” He asked them.
“You know what we want,” they answered.
Othman (r.a.a.) asked them: ‘How much profit will you give me?’
“Two Dirham of profit.”
“I was offered more than that”, said Othman (r.a.a.).
“Well, four Dirham.”
“I was offered more.”
“Then five Dirham.”
“I was offered more than that”, declared Othman (r.a.a.).
“We are the only merchants in town, so who offered you more than we did?”
Othman (r.a.a.) replied, “Allah offered me ten Dirham for every single Dirham; do you offer more than that?”
“No”, the merchants answered.
“Then you bear witness that I give away all these camels along with the goods in charity in the cause of Allah for the sake of the poor and the needy.”

Now, that’s righteousness and piety! That’s charity; and that’s caring and sharing. In fact, that’s Islam.

 
In 630 AD, Prophet Muhammad (s..a.w.), decided to lead an expedition to Tabuk on the Syrian border. In order to finance the expedition Muhammad (s.a.w.) invited contributions and donations from his followers. Othman (r.a.a.) provided ten thousand camels. Umar (r.a.a.) made a liberal contribution. When Muhammad (s.a.w.) asked him how much he had left for himself and his family, he said that he had given one half of his wealth for the cause of Allah and had left one half for himself and his dependents. Then came Abu Bakr (r.a.a.) loaded with his contribution and Muhammad (s.a.w.) asked him the same question as to how much he had left for himself and his family. Abu Bakr (r.a.a.) said, "I have brought all that I had. I have left Allah and His Prophet for myself and my family".
This episode has formed the theme of one of the poems of the poet philosopher of the East, Dr. Muhammad Iqbal (a.k.a. Allama Iqbal). The last verse of this poem reads:

“For the moth the lamp, and
for the nightingale the flower;
For Siddique, Allah, and
His Prophet suffice.”

After the death of the Prophet (s.a.w.), when Abu Bakr was elected as Caliph of the Muslims, he addressed the community and said:

“O People! I have been chosen by you as your leader, although I am no better than any of you. If I do any wrong, set me right. Listen! Truth is honesty and untruth is dishonesty. The weak among you are the powerful in my eyes, as long as I do not give them their dues. The powerful among you are weak in my eyes, as long as I do not take away from them what is due to others".
“Listen carefully! If people give up striving for the cause of Almighty Allah, He will send down disgrace upon them. If people become evil-doers, Almighty Allah will send down calamities upon them."
“Obey me as long as I obey Allah and His Messenger (Muhammad, s.a.w.). If I disobey Allah and His Messenger, you are free to disobey me.”

After Abu Bakr (r.a.a.) had assumed the Caliphate, he distributed all that was in the ‘House of Charity’ (‘Bait-al-Maal’ – the funds in the State account reserved for the poor) among the needy and the poor. He had a House of Charity at al Saneh area with no guards to watch over. One day someone asked him, ‘O Caliph of the Messenger! Would you appoint someone at the House of Charity as guard?”
Abu Bakr answered, “There’s nothing to worry about. We have given away everything that was in it. There’s nothing left.”

When Abu Bakr died, he had no valuable possessions. He had no Dirham or Dinar at home. Everything that was beyond his daily needs, he would donate it in charity.


And now, let’s see how Umar ruled!
Caliph Umar bin al-Khattab had the largest Muslim territory under his rule and people’s welfare and social justice was his main concern. He used to wander in disguise at night in the streets of Medina to see for himself if people were living in peace; and nobody slept hungry. One night, as he was doing his patrol, somebody saw him and asked him who he was. When the man came face to face with Caliph Umar, he recognized him and said:
“O Ameer-el-Moumineen, is that you?”
Caliph Umar said: “Yes, it is me, Umar bin al-Khattab.”
The man said: “But O Umar, you are the Caliph, the king, the leader of all Muslims. You can depute somebody to patrol the streets. Why are you doing it yourself? You run the affairs of the Caliphate during the day, you should be sleeping at night.”
Caliph Umar replied: “Yes, I am the Caliph and the leader of all Muslims. And for the same reason, I am patrolling the streets because if, during my tenure as Caliph, even a dog sleeps without food, I will be held responsible for that. How would I answer Allah for that on the Day of Judgment?”
Vow! Those were the leaders! Gandhi didn’t mention the rule of Abu Bakr and Umar for no reasons.

During the times of Caliph Umar bin Khattab, a great servant of Allah, Saeed bin Aamer, was appointed as governor of Hams. After some time, some people of Hams complained and asked for his removal. Caliph Umar was a bit surprised. He was an excellent judge of people and could not believe what he heard. He prayed to Allah to bless him with wisdom, and then went to Hams to see the concerned parties. He held the court at Saeed’s place and suggested that Governor Saeed bin Aamer listen to the complaints of the people. He then asked the people about their complaints. The people said that they had three complaints. The first complaint was that the governor used to leave home late and never started the business of the court early in the morning.
Caliph Umar asked Saeed bin Aamer to explain.
Governor Saeed replied that his wife was the only person at home who would take care of the household. They had no servants. He helped her to make the dough and bake the bread. Then they would eat together. After that, he would do the ablution (wudhu) and leave home for work.
Caliph Umar then asked the people what their second complaint was. The people said that the governor did not entertain their complaints at night. He would tell them to come in the morning.
Caliph Umar turned to Governor Saeed and asked for his explanation. Saeed bin Aamer said that he did not like to answer that question but as a token of respect for the Caliph, he would explain. He said that he had divided the day and night into two parts. The day was reserved for the service of the creation (people); and the night was reserved for the Creator (Allah). He said that he prayed to Allah all night, therefore, he could not attend any worldly business.
Caliph Umar bin al-Khattab asked people what was their third complaint. The people said that the governor used to take one day off every month. On that day, he would not take care of people’s business.

Caliph Umar bin al-Khattab asked Saeed bin Aamer how would he answer to that? Governor Saeed explained that he had no servants or maids. He washed his own clothes once every month and then waited for them to dry. When the clothes were dry by the evening, he would put them on to go out. He could not come out of his house earlier.
Caliph Umar thanked Allah for his selection of Saeed bin Aamer as governor; then he advised people to appreciate such a governor. Later on, Caliph Umar sent a gift of one thousand Dinars for Saeed bin Aamer to facilitate his household needs. His wife suggested that she could hire a maid for the household. Governor Saeed told his wife that there were still poor people around who needed the money more than her. What if they came to ask for help? The wife understood and agreed with his suggestion to donate the money in charity (Sadaqah). Then both of them put that money in small pouches and distributed it among the needy.
That’s how a ruler should take care of his subjects!

Those were the Muslim rulers of yesterday. Today, the problem with us, Muslims, is that we don’t fear Allah. We don’t think that we are going to die sooner or later. We don’t think about the Day of Judgment and answering questions in front of Allah. We have become hypocrites (Munafiq) as we say one thing and we do something else. We lie to others every day and we don’t consider it a sin or something immoral. It is accepted as normal behavior in the society.
We read the Holy Quran and still we don’t get the message! We read about other nations and generations that were destroyed because of their sins and evil-doing. We don’t learn any lesson from the Quran, nor from the history of the nations. We know that it happened to other nations but we think that it is not going to happen to us. Allah says:

“How many a township have We destroyed
while it was sinful, so that it lies (to this day)
in ruins, and (how many) a deserted well and
lofty tower! Have they not traveled in the land,
so that they may have hearts wherewith to feel,
and ears wherewith to hear? For indeed it is not
the eyes that grow blind, but it is the hearts, which
are within the bosoms, that grow blind.”
(al-Quran 22:45-46)

So, we are getting blind and cannot see things coming. Maybe, we don’t want to see it as the mere thought of it is very disturbing for us. We just want comfortable lives, but we don’t want to do anything for that. We want others to do it for us. We ask the governments to do things for us,but we forget that the governments also consist of people like us. Those who are in power, they care for their own interests. Nobody cares about the man in the street.
Ironically the man in the street is also thinking how to make easy money; how to get closer to the rich and powerful to benefit from it! It is a vicious cycle and nobody wants to break it.

The funny thing in most of the Muslim countries is that everybody who works for the government would like to play the ‘boss’ but nobody takes any responsibility – power, but no responsibility? Yes, that is what they believe in.
Caliph Umar bin al-Khattab used to say: “If a camel in Baghdad (Iraq) tumbles during my tenure, I will be responsible for it because I did not pave the way or facilitate the passage for Muslims.”
That’s righteousness; that’s piety; and that’s responsibility towards people! As a matter of fact, that is Islam! It is a rare commodity today.

(Excerpts from the Chapter “Islam Is = Righteousness + Justice” of my new book ‘Remember Me, I’ll Remember You!’, to be released by Amazon, in May 2017, Insha-Allah.)

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Sunday, 16 April 2017

WHAT IS IMAN (FAITH)? What Is Islam?








What Is Faith (Iman)?
What Is Islam?

Answers From The Prophet (s.a.w.)

(M. Javed Naseem)


“How can you reject the faith in Allah? – Seeing
that you were without life, and He gave  you
life; then will He cause you to die, and will again
bring you to life; and again to Him will you return.”
(al-Quran 2:28)

If you believe that there is a Supreme Creator who originated all creation, a Supreme Commander controlling and running the show of this universe, you are a believer. This is the initial part of Islam – the faith God prescribed for mankind. The True God of Moses, Jesus and Muhammad (peace be upon all of them) is One God worthy of worship. He is the Cherisher, the Sustainer, the Beneficent and the Merciful. This Faith had different names during the times of Moses and Jesus, and even before. But during the period of Muhammad (s.a.w.) it was named Islam by the Almighty.

“Truly, the religion with Allah is Islam … ”
(al-Quran 3:19)

Islam is the Deen (Faith/religion) prescribed by Allah for the entire mankind. All Prophets and Messengers delivered the same message as they were all Muslims spreading the same Word of God. Humans changed, altered or edited this message, over time, according to their own needs, interests, convenience and notions.

Allah mentions it in the Holy Quran that His true servants are ONE nation (Ummat-an-Wahidah) only. The ‘Deen’ (way of life or religion) is for Allah and there is only one ‘Deen’ (religion) – Islam. Islam was the Deen (religion) of Abraham and all the Prophets or messengers of Allah that followed Abraham. Every other religion (with its fancy names) was created by man under the influence of Shaitan (Devil), as a revolt against God’s decree and to suit human comfort and liking. Allah will not accept any other religion from mankind except Islam and He made it very clear in the Quran:

 “If anyone desires a religion other than Islam
(submission to Allah), never will it be accepted
of him; and in the Hereafter he will be in the ranks
of those who have lost (all spiritual good).”
(al-Quran 3:85)

The above verses are self-explanatory and don’t need any elaboration or interpretation. They are simple and plain to understand, and leave no room for any confusion. Allah has prescribed a Deen (‘way of life’) for us and He will not accept any other way from us. It is Islam or else!

Islam is the lifestyle that has been prescribed by Allah through the Quran; and it is the lifestyle Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) adopted to show all Muslims that it was practicable in every era if we only want to live a simple and peaceful life.
Only the stubborn, the ignorant and the misguided people look for the alternatives.

“Do they seek for other than the Religion of Allah?
while all creatures in the heavens and on earth have,
willingly or unwilling, bowed to His Will (accepted
Islam), and to Him shall they all be brought back.”
(al-Quran 3:83)

Allah has made it very clear that it was Islam, it is Islam and it will be Islam till the end of the world. No other system would be accepted even if it was promoted by the super-power of the time, like Nimrod or Pharaoh. They had to face the challenge of Islam posed by Abraham and Moses, respectively. The mighty empires crumbled and the Truth prevailed.
Now, the same message can be delivered to the evil empire of today. Allah commanded:

 “Say: We believe in Allah, and in what has been
revealed to us and what was revealed to Abraham,
Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, and the Tribes, and in (the
Books) given to Moses, Jesus, and the prophets,
from their Lord. We make no distinction between
one and another among them, and to Allah
do we bow our will (in Islam)."
(al-Quran 3:84)

All Prophets and their descendants, as well as followers, submitted to Allah. Islam is defined as “complete surrender (or submission) to the Will of Allah”. This might need a little explanation. And who is in a better position to explain Islam than the Prophet (s.a.w.) himself?

Allah, the Almighty, sent angel Jibril (Gabriel) to teach Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) the elements of true Faith (Iman) and the elements of ‘Deen’ (Islam). Here’s what Allah tells us in the Holy Quran:

“The Messenger believes in what has been
revealed to him from his Lord, as do the men of faith.
Each one (of them) believes in Allah, His angels, His
books, and His messengers. ‘We make no distinction
(they say) between one and another of His messengers’.
And they say: ‘We hear, and we obey’; (we seek)
your forgiveness, our Lord, and to you
is the end of all journeys."
(al-Quran 2:285)

According to a Hadith, narrated Abu Hurairah:
“One day while the Prophet (s.a.w.) was sitting out with people, a man came to him and asked: “What is Faith (Iman)?”
Allah's Messenger (s.a.w.) replied: "Faith is to believe in Allah; His angels; His Messengers; (the) meeting with Him (on Judgment Day); and to believe in the Resurrection."
Then he (the man) further asked: "What is Islam?"
Allah's Messenger (s.a.w.), replied: "To worship Allah alone and none else; to perform Salat (prayers); to pay Zakat; and to observe Saum (fasting) during the month of Ramadan".
Then he (the man) further asked: "What is Ihsan (perfection)?"
Allah's Messenger (s.a.w.) replied, "To worship Allah as if you see Him, and if you cannot achieve this state of devotion then you must consider that He is looking at you."
Then he (the man) further asked: "When will the Hour be established?”
Allah's Messenger (s.a.w.) replied: "The answerer has no better knowledge than the questioner. But I will inform you about its portents:
1. When a slave (lady) gives birth to her master.
2. When the shepherds of black camels start boasting and competing with others in the construction of higher buildings.
And the Hour is one of five things which nobody knows except Allah. The Prophet (s.a.w.) then recited (from the Quran):

"Verily, Allah, with Him (alone) is
the knowledge of the Hour”.
(al-Quran 31:34).

Then that man left and the Prophet (s.a.w.) asked his Companions to call him back, but they could not see anything (him). Then the Prophet (s.a.w.) said:
"That was Jibril (Gabriel) who came
to teach the people their religion.”

Abu Abdullah said: He (the Prophet, s.a.w.) considered all that as a part of Faith (Iman).
(Bukhari, Book 2, Chapter 37, No.50):

That’s how our Prophet (s.a.w.) defined Faith (Iman) and Islam. Not only that, he lived by what he said, he also proved to the believers that Islam was a practical Deen.

And by the way, if you did not understand the term “a slave lady giving birth to her master”, here’s the explanation: A ‘slave lady’ is the mother and the ‘master’ is her son. It refers to those families where a son controls his mother and uses her as a maid/servant. He tells her what to cook for him; what to prepare for him; he puts pressure on her or forces her to do what he wants; when the father refuses to give him money, he makes the mother to pay him for his cigarettes, wine, night-out, cinema, clubs, etc. The mother does everything to please her son (obeys him) and covers his faults when he steals, does Haraam, chases girls to commit Zina, etc., etc. In many cases mother even fears him because he gets violent and starts screaming and shouting at her. See that around you? I see it all the time, especially the sons who neither go to work nor go to studies.

The world looks very beautiful, attractive and tempting to the eye, but in reality it’s a place of test and trial for us. This temporary enchantment is full of traps, so we need to walk very carefully not losing sight of our final goal – the Paradise.

 “… Indeed, there is a lesson therein for those who
have eyes. Fair in the eyes of men is the love of
things they covet: Women and sons; heaped-up
hoards of gold and silver; horses branded (for
excellence); and (wealth of) cattle and well-tilled
land. Such are the possessions of this world's life; but in
nearness to Allah is the best of the goals (to return to).
(al-Quran 3:13-14)

 “O you who believe! Fear Allah as He should be
feared, and die not except in a state of Islam.”
(al-Quran 3:102)

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Friday, 7 April 2017

ALLAH IS YOUR ONLY TRUE FRIEND: He Never Lets You Down!



Allah Is Your
Only True Friend

He’ll Never Let You Down

(M. Javed Naseem)



“Know you not that to Allah belongs the dominion
of the heavens and the earth? And besides Him
you have neither patron nor helper!”
(al-Quran 2:107)
Here’s the prescription or the formula from God to make friends with Him, and get closer to Him! If you want good and profitable relationship with Allah, you should follow the footsteps of Abraham whom Allah declared as a friend.

“Who can be better in religion than one who
submits his whole self to Allah, does good, and
follows the way of Abraham the true in Faith?
For Allah did take Abraham for a friend.”
(al-Quran 4:125)

We all know the saying: ‘A friend in need is a friend indeed’. And it is true too. A friend is tested in hard times and only the true and sincere pass the test. Prophet Solomon said:

“Of a thousand whom you know, one be
your friend.” – Prophet Solomon.

Only people with similar qualities, similar character, similar belief and similar ethics become close and fast friends. Others are there just to pass time and take advantage whenever possible.  You faith is something that binds you together more than anything else. Prophet Jesus calls it the ‘love of God’ which should be the foundation of friendship.

Love of God:
“Let your friend be such that, even as he wills to correct you, so he may receive correction; and even as he wills that you should leave all things for love of God, even so again it may content him that you forsake him for the service of God.”
“Therefore when you choose you one for friend (for truly he is supremely poor who has no friend at all), see that you consider first, not his fine lineage, not his fine family, not his fine house, not his fine clothing, not his fine person, nor yet his fine words, for you shall be easily deceived. But look how he fears God; how he despises earthly things; how he loves good works; and above all how he hates his own flesh, and so shall you easily find the true friend.” – Jesus Christ.


Those who believe in One God and walk on the path of righteousness, they are considered the friends of Allah. But those who don't believe in One God and are indulged in the evil, they are considered the friends of the Devil (Satan). They always go in the opposite directions and oppose each other. Allah says in the Quran:

“Those who believe fight in the cause of Allah,
and those who reject Faith fight in the cause of
Evil. So fight against the friends of Satan!
Feeble indeed is the cunning of Satan.”
(al-Quran 4:76)

“Nay, Allah is your protector, and
He is the best of helpers.”
(al-Quran 3:15)

A friend is a rare commodity – a pearl. He is really hard to find but is easily lost. It is the question of trust. Once the trust between two people is gone, the friendship is gone too. Trust is actually the basis of every relationship. Prophet Jesus says that a real friend, as a matter of fact, is the ‘physician of soul’.

Physician of Soul:
“The friend is a singular thing that is not easily found, but is easily lost. For the friend will not suffer contradiction against him whom he supremely loves. Beware, be you cautious, and choose not for friend one who loves not him whom you love. Know you what friend means? Friend means nothing but physician of the soul.
And so, just as one rarely finds a good physician who knows the sicknesses and understands to apply the medicines thereto, so also are friends rare who know the faults and understand how to guide to good.” – Jesus Christ.

A true friend is your true advisor. He gives you the best advice, sincere opinion, honest observation and suggests effective solution to your problems. A true friend points out your faults and tries to fix them. His honest criticism means your welfare. But those, who are not sincere and honest, they are the acquaintances who are there just to have good time, temporarily enjoy your company and in times of need find excuses. They become your partners in crimes and evil. Prophet Jesus calls them the ‘slayers of soul’.

Slayers of Soul:
“But herein is an evil, that there are many who have friends that feign not to see the faults of their friends; others excuse them; others defend them under earthly pretext; and, what is worse, there are friends who invite and aid their friend to err, whose end shall be like to their villainy. Beware that you receive not such men for friends, for that in truth they are enemies and slayers of the soul.” – Jesus Christ.

As discussed earlier, your Faith is the strongest binding force in your relationship, whether this relationship is with Allah or with humans. In other words, a relationship between two believers would be a lot more stronger and lasting than a relationship between a believer and a non-believer. Why? Because your Belief sets the direction of the way! Here’s what Allah says:

“Let not the Believers take for friends or helpers
Unbelievers rather than Believers. If any do that,
in nothing will there be help from Allah, except by
way of precaution, that you may Guard yourselves
from them. But Allah cautions you (to remember)
Him, for the final goal is to Allah.”
(al-Quran 3:28) 

The ignorant Mullah and less educated Muslim would misinterpret the above verse of the Quran and would promote racism, discrimination and sectarianism. Here’s what this really means:
You can have amicable relations with non-Muslims and non-believers; have business and trade relations with them; have pleasant and peaceful cultural harmony and co-existence with them; and can have even peace pacts or no-war agreements with them. Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) did all that during his lifetime.

And here’s what you CANNOT do:
You cannot make non-believers guardians and protectors of believers’ life and property. As a believer, you cannot give a non-believer charge of your security or religious affairs. For example, you know pretty well what is happening in Iraq, Palestine, Syria, Libya and Sudan, Afghanistan, etc. Muslims invited or allowed American and European non-Muslims (through conspiracies or whatever) to take charge of their affairs. As a result, the countries are destroyed and millions of Muslims killed. The bloodshed does not stop.

“Follow (O men!) the revelation given unto you
from your Lord, and follow not, as friends or
protectors, other than Him. Little it is
you remember of admonition.”
(al-Quran 7:3)

“But Allah has full knowledge of your enemies.
Allah is enough for a protector, and
Allah is enough for a helper.”
(al-Quran 4:45)
 
In the above quoted verses of the Quran, there's a clear warning for such arrangements. But puppet Muslim leaders of those countries disobeyed Allah and caused misery to Muslims.
Don’t get me wrong! You can still have friendly relations with them, both on personal and national levels. It is not prohibited. Only the extent and the area of it is limited. Islam promotes peace not war. Taking arms, in Islam, is allowed only in self-defense; to protect the lives and property of Muslims; and to stop Fitnah (evil, aggression) from spreading. People criticizing Islam deliberately ignore this part.

“Your (real) friends are (no less than) Allah,
His Messenger, and the (fellowship of) believers,
those who establish regular prayers and regular
charity, and they bow down humbly (in worship).”
(al-Quran 5:55) 


In truth, if you are following the path of righteousness, you have very few friends. Most people cannot get along with you because at one point or another, their interests clash with yours and they part ways. Therefore, you have only God, His messengers and the true believers to depend on. If you make friends with your Creator, the Almighty, you will never regret because He never lets you down.

“Behold! Verily, on the friends of Allah
there is no fear, nor shall they grieve.” 
(al-Quran 10:62)

“For them will be a home of peace in the presence
of their Lord: He will be their friend,
because they practiced (righteousness).”
(al-Quran 6:127)


 As a bad and evil friend can push you towards the Hellfire, a good friend can help and assist you to avoid Hellfire. He can be an instrument for you to seek Paradise. In the words of Prophet Jesus, he could be your ‘key to Paradise’.

Key To Paradise:
“But love him as a gift that God has given you, for so shall God adorn (him) with greater favor. Truly I say to you, that he who has found a true friend has found one of the delights of paradise; no, such is the key of paradise.” – Jesus Christ.
(Jesus quotes: Courtesy Gospel of Barnabas)

"Not on earth nor in heaven will you be able
(fleeing) to frustrate (His Plan), nor have you,
besides Allah, any protector or helper.”
(al-Quran 29:22)

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