Archive for August, 2008

Ibn Al-Jawzi: The Likeness of Ramadan and Prophet Yusuf

August 31, 2008

RAMADAN MUBARAK!

From iskandrani.wordpress.com, an excellent resource for english translations from classical and contemporary Islamic works.

“The month of Ramadan to the other months is like Yusuf to his brothers. So, just like Yusuf was the most beloved son to Ya’qub, Ramadan is the most beloved month to Allah. A nice point for the nation of Muhammad (pbuh) to ponder over is that if Yusuf had the mercy and compassion to say {“There is no reproach for you today…”} [Yusuf; 92], Ramadan is the month of mercy, blessing, goodness, salvation from the Fire, and Forgiveness from the King that exceeds that of all the other months and what can be gained from their days and nights. Another nice point to think about is that Yusuf’s brothers came to rely on him to fix their mistakes after all those they had made. So, he met them with kindness and helped them out, and he fed them while they were hungry and allowed them to return, and he told his servants: “Carry their belongings with you so that they don’t lose them.” So, one person filled the gaps of eleven others, and the month of Ramadan is likewise one month that fills the gaps of our actions over the other eleven months. Imagine the gaps and shortcoming and deficiency we have in obeying Allah! We hope that in Ramadan, we are able to make up for our shortcomings in the other months, to rectify our mistakes, and to cap it off with happiness and firmness on the Rope of the Forgiving King. Another point is that Ya’qub had eleven sons who were living with him and whose actions he would see at all times, and his eyesight did not return because of any of their clothing. Instead, it returned due to Yusuf’s shirt. His eyesight came back strong, and he himself became strong after he was weak, and seeing after he was blind. Likewise, if the sinner smells the scents of Ramadan, sits with those who remind him of Allah, recites the Qur’an, befriends on the condition of Islam and faith, and avoids backbiting and vain talk, he will (by Allah’s Will) become forgiven after he was a sinner, he will become close after he was far, he will be able to see with his heart after it was blind, his presence will be met with happiness after it was met with repulsion, he will be met with mercy after he was met with disdain, he will be provided for without limit or effort on his part, he will be guided for his entire life, he will have his soul dragged out with ease and smoothness when he dies, he will be blessed with Forgiveness when he meets Allah, and he will be granted the best levels in the Gardens of Paradise. So, by Allah, take advantage of this greatness during these few days and you will soon see abundant blessing, high levels of reward, and a very long period of rest and relaxation by the Will of Allah. By Allah, this is the true relaxation…” [‘Bustan al-Wa’idhin wa Riyad as-Sami’in’; p. 213-214][Yusuf; 92], Ramadan is

The Wicked Reality of Jahilliyah

August 30, 2008

The following article from the Pakistani paper Dawn, gives a chilling and dramatic reminder of the persistence of Jahili (pre-Islamic ignorance) attitudes that continue to prevail amongst many amongst of the Muslims. Of course, if anyone really does believe that it is permissible to bury Muslim women alive or to kill them for wanting to marry someone of their choice, that person regardless of what their name is or how many generations their descendants have been Muslims is not a Muslim at all and has nothing to do with Islam. Anyone who believes that reported tribal traditions, whether those are actually tribal traditions or not, can take precedence over the Shari’ah has nothing to do with Islam and is a quintessential example of Jahilliyah. Such people must be fought and opposed in every way possible by those who are indeed Muslims.

One should note the role of the heroes of the West in this horrific crime. It is alleged that a Pakistani People’s Party (the party of Bhutto) official was involved in the incident and this wicked clown who defends the action in the Senate is a member of a Baluchi tribal party. It was of course widely celebrated in the West as a sign of great progress when these tribal parties were elected in the NWFP instead of members of the Islamist coalition. We see the Islamist Maulana Ghafoor Haidari is cited in the article as speaking in the truth in the Senate about such actions having nothing to do with Islam. Of course, we need much more than just talk…whoever has any ability or power from the Pakistani government to any other organized groups with capability in those areas should deal with any people involved in such barbarities in such a way as to make clear to everyone that this is not accepted, excused or understood in any way.

May Allaah (swt) accept all of those sisters who were killed as martyrs and enter them into the highest level of al-jannah and may those guilty of participating in or covering up or defending this act in any way live in constant fear until the Day of Judgement when the Creator of the Heavens and Earth will take revenge upon them on behalf of those sisters and that is the Day when Justice will truly be done.  And I pray that we work in whatever way we can to be able to be in a condition where we can defend our sisters and until then we know that we, too, must live in fear that we will be punished for standing by and doing nothing while such actions and all the daily oppressions of Muslim women that go on all over the world, more than 99 percent of the time perpetrated by those with the nerve to call themselves Muslims as well.

Burying of women alive defended in Senate
By Ahmed Hassan
ISLAMABAD, Aug 29: Balochistan Senator Sardar Israrullah Zehri stunned the upper house on Friday when he defended the recent incident of burying alive three teenage girls and two women in his province, saying it was part of “our tribal custom.”

Senator Bibi Yasmin Shah of the PML-Q raised the issue citing a newspaper report that the girls, three of them aged between 16 and 18 years, had been buried alive a month ago for wishing to marry of their own will.

The barbaric incident took place in a remote village of Jafarabad district and a PPP minister and some other influential people were reported to have been involved. The report accused the provincial government of trying to hush up the issue.

Ms Shah said that the hapless girls and the women were first shot in the name of honour and then buried while they were alive. She also said that no criminal had been arrested so far.

Acting Chairman of Senate Jan Mohammad Jamali, who was presiding over the session, said: “Yasmin Shah should go to our society and see for herself what the situation is like there and then come back to raise such questions in the house.”

Maulana Ghafoor Haideri of the JUI-F said there was no tradition of burying women alive in Baloch society because it was against Islam’s teachings.

Jamal Leghari of PML-Q emphatically stated that there was no custom of burying people alive, adding that the Baloch people did not believe in it.

Senator Jan Jamali commented: “This is a provincial matter and it is being investigated at the provincial level and let us wait for the report of the investigation.” Leader of the Opposition Kamil Ali Agha accused the Balochistan government of ignoring the incident and said no jirga could order the burying of women alive and no law allowed anyone to commit such a crime and go unpunished. He urged the government to punish the people involved in it.

Leader of the House Mian Raza Rabbani said: “We condemn the heinous act and assure the house that a complete report on the incident would be submitted on Monday.”

Sayyid Qutb

August 28, 2008

Sayyid Qutb (rahimuAllaah) was hanged by the Egyptian government on August 29, 1966.

You can read Shaykh Anwar al-Awlaki’s thoughts on Sayyid Qutb’s work “In the Shade of the Qur’an” here.

I also encourage everyone to check out this post on Sayyid Qutb by sister Marryam Haleem.

Here is an excerpt from Qutb’s tafsir of Surat Al-Burooj from “In the Shade of the Qur’an,” translated by Adil Salahi.

“Reference to the event starts with a declaration of anger with the tyrants: “Slain be the people of the pit.” (Verse 4) It also gives an impression of the enormity of the crime which has invoked the displeasure and anger of God, the All-Clement, and which makes Him threaten the perpetrators. We then have a description of the pit: “The fire abounding in fuel.” (Verse 5) The literal meaning of ‘pit’ is a hole in the ground, but the surah defines it as ‘the fire’ instead of using the term ‘trench’ or ‘hole’ in order to give an impression that the whole pit was turned into a blazing furnace.

“The perpetrators aroused God’s wrath for the evil crime they committed: “When they sat around it, watching what they did to the believers.” (Verses 6-7) They sat over the fire, in the actual vicinity of the horror, watching the various stages of torture, and madly enjoying the burning of human flesh in order to perpetuate in their minds this ghastly scene.

“The believers had not committed any crime or evil deed against them: “They took vengeance on them for no reason other than that they believed in God, the Almighty, to whom all praise is due, to whom the dominion of the heavens and the earth belongs. But God is witness of all things.” (Verses 8-9) That was their only crime: they believed in God Almighty who deserves praise for every situation even though ignorant people do not do so. He is the Lord who deserves to be worshiped, the sole sovereign of the kingdoms of the heavens and the earth. As He witnesses all things He has witnessed what the tyrants did to the believers. This verse reassures the believers and delivers a powerful threat to the tyrants. God has been a witness and He suffices for a witness.

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The Fall and Rise of the Islamic State by Noah Feldman

August 27, 2008

Noah Feldman, a law professor at Harvard University begins this work by pointing out that when “government systems fall, they tend to stay dead.” Few people are worried about a comeback of monarchy or communism. Yet there are exceptions. Feldman mentions that the concept of “democracy” was resurrected after two thousand years of laying dormant and that the Islamic State, which existed in some form from the time of the Hijrah of the Prophet (saw) in 622 CE until the First World War, is, a hundred years later, everywhere gaining popularity amongst Muslims as the hope of the future.

Feldman is an excellent writer and is very skillful in distilling complicated historical and legal concepts in ways which are intelligible to the average educated reader while still remaining substantive. Feldman begins the book by trying to describe what the Islamic State was, that is, to take a brief look at Islamic constitutional theory as it developed over those 13 centuries. Feldman is writing primarily for a western audience and he realizes that most of his audience will come to the topic thinking of Shari’ah as almost the quintessential example of a legal system which is backward, barbaric and tyrannical. This modern western perception comes from the triumph of secularism in the west and from a domination in the western mind of a few corporal punishments in Islamic criminal law and some gender related issues as being the only thing the average westerner thinks of when he or she thinks of Islamic Law, or the Shari’ah. This is of course, not accidental but the result, in addition to general ignorance, of the purposeful distortion and propaganda against Islam and the Shari’ah that is not only a recent phenomenon but which has been part of the long rivalry between first Islam and Christendom, and later Islam and “the West.”

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Thought for the day from Bobby Sands

August 27, 2008

Translation of the meaning of Surah Al-Fatiha in the Irish Language

August 25, 2008

I was led by a beautiful comment by Abu Aisha to discover this translation of the meaning of Surah Al-Fatiha in Irish. It is included as part of this wikipedia article as Gaeilge about the Qur’an.

In ainm Dé atá lán trua agus trócaire!
Moladh go hard le Dia, Tiarna na nUile Dhomhan,
Dia atá lán trua agus trócaire,
Rialtóir Lá an Luain.
Tusa a adhraímid, Ortsa a iarraimid cabhair,
Cuir i mbealach ár leasa sinn,
A mbealach siúd ar bhronn Tú Do ghrásta orthu,
Seachas a mbealach siúd a bhfuil fearg ort leo agus a chuaigh ar strae.

Another article about a possible attempt to do a Scottish Gaelic translation of the meaning of the Qur’an indicates that the Irish translation is already done. Can anyone confirm this, or let me know how I can check out more of it. I can’t think of a better way for me to continue learning Irish than by getting access to this translation.