Monday, October 01, 2007

I'm baaack

Salaaaaaaam and hi for all people , believe it or not , i'm still alive , thank god , i've gone through a difficult period of illness , I was really suffering , hope everybody is fine .

Monday, July 24, 2006

The shaw

It's a real shame on the international community to stay without doing anything while Israel is enriching its palmares with another chapter of crimes against humanity, more than 300 innocent civilians have died and the american position on that is " self-defence!!!! "as long as America is hijacked by those neocons we would never see peace on earth , they're really cons ( in French con means idiot) , it seems that Europe has changed it's values for some economic interests with the US, but what really makes me nervous is the level of weakness arab countries have reached, all we could hear from the Arab League is condemnation, poor arabs .

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Women's rights

I’ve seen many programmes last days on TV channels celebrating the international women's day , and i’ve heard some voices criticizing Islam and Muslims and accusing them of opressing woman and treating her inhumanly , here i want to clarify some facts , Islam and Muslims are two different things, you cannot blame the law if the people in charge of this law are not fully commited to imply it or if they imply it in the wrong way, for instance in some Muslim countries you find people who deny the woman right of learning and they justify it by religious commitment while learning in Islam is more than right , it’s a duty !!! bad practices in Muslim world were inherited as a tribal traditions and with time passing and the spreading of ignorance as a result of the absence of competent scholars of Islamic law these traditions became a part of the religion, Islam raised the rank of woman and consider her as a partner of man, give her rights and duties according to her abilities ,she has the right to work as long as she respects the Islamic rules , she could be even a businsswoman like the first wife of prophet Muhammad(peace be upon him)was, Islam never consider woman as a source of evil like some other religions did , the dignity of woman is protected , for instance if a man accuses a woman of immorality and then he turns out to be a liar not only he incurrs a severe punishment but also he would be considered as untrustworthy for the rest of his life , as for the situation the woman is living in the West we should recognize that there are some advantages like learning , working but saying that the woman in the West has no problems would be exagerated ,there is an unlimited number of reports showing the difficulties a western working woman is facing going from verbal harassment to rape, a growing rate of suicide , at least one third of mothers are single, criticizing some tribes in the desert for maltreatment of woman could make you appear as a hero of defending human rights but it would never help you to see your own mistakes.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Prohibited ambitions

The issue of the Iranian nuclear power is getting more and more importance specially after transferring the case to the UN security council, and it seems that the Bush administration has succeeded partially in convincing at least the Europeans of the seriousness of Iranian ambitions to produce nuclear weapons and there is no good sign for the moment of a possible solution, the Iranians have always claimed there right of getting nuclear power for civil use (mainly for generating electricity) and accused Washington of using double standards in dealing with the sensitive issue of nuclear power reffering to India and Israel , the Americans from their side insist on the fact that Iran was always a threat for peace process in the Middle East and the statements of president Ahmadinejad that Israel must be wiped out from the map are there to proove the bad intentions of Tehran . the last reports of the IAEA are not helping Iran at all, the agency headed by Muhammad Albaradei regret the lack of cooperation from the Iranian government , i guess nobody would be happy with this report more than president Bush given the difficulties he met to convince the European about the necessity of transferring the Iranian dossier to the security council and the UN could find itself in front a deep crisis , the Iranians don’t seem to care alot about the American threats , they’re fully aware that George Bush has enough troubles in Iraq and the last think he needs is another war with a strong neighbour of Iraq, as for economic sanctions it would damage international oil market more than it would do to Iranian economy, so a diplomatic solution would be preferable. John Bolton , the American ambassador to the UN in an interview and as an answer to a BBC journalist who asked him why blaming Iran for its nuclear ambitions and not other countries like India for instance , Bolton answered that Iran has signed the treaty of non-proliferation of nuclear weapons while India didn’t (!!!) , so according to Mr Bolton adhering to a peace treaty could be a trap!!! Not encouraging at all.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

violent provocation and a simple reaction

i didn't write since a long time , but with this affair of the blasphemous cartoons towards our prophet (peace be upon him) i think i should say something , the danish newspaper claimed that it had no intention to hurt muslims feelings , it has just exerciced freedom of press !!!, the amazing thing for me is the amazement itself of the these people when they saw the reaction of muslims around the globe , maybe because they have no respect for other people beliefs from the beginning or maybe they themselves have no belief in god ( i mean sincere belief, otherwise they wouldn't insult jesus himself ( peace be upon him)), i'm against violence and against attacking embassies and harming innocent people and the majority of muslims are peaceful , but it's really difficult for any muslim or for any believer to keep silence when his faith is insulted at this level, and let me ask a question : those who have made this cartoons weren't aware of its consequences ? of course they were , but they want to confirm the theory of a viloent clash between a so-called civilized west and a hostile muslim world, but thank to god they're a minority in the west as well as the extremists are very small minority in the muslim world, i'm sure alot of western people and specially intelectuals are against this blasphemy and with those wise people that the muslim world should built bridges and exchange ideas and opinions , what happened has revealed how huge the gap between a west that exagertated alot it's definition of freedom of press and a muslim world that believes alot in a western conspiracy , freedom of the press have limits called diffamation, insult , racism ...and before asking why the muslims are so violent ask what did you do to muslims as a proof of your sincere will of peaceful coexistence ?

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Something about Aziz

I want to tell you a bit about my friend Aziz , he is a young man , nearly 27 years old , well educated , but he is sick , unfortunately he has cancer , doctors are not very optimistic about his case , but he’s resisting the desease courageously and refusing to give up , when i visit him i see always the smile in his face ,it’s not a warm smile all the time but he’s doing a huge effort to not appear in a weak situation ,he even reminds us that it’s his destiny and he won’t escape God’s will anyway ,he asks about the news in politics ,soccer and about daily life ,i really admire him and sincerly not sure i could behave like him if i was in his situation , but i think God help good people when they are in difficulties by giving them patience , and undoubtedly Aziz is one of those good people , sometimes we need to see sick people specially when they are young to remind ourselves that we are not eternal on this earth and that our lives don’t belong to us , yes i’m sure about this one , it’s a divine message , God wants to show us that the purpose of life is not to be rich or powerful but rather to help people by spreading justice and peace on earth in addition to worshipping Him , but unfortunately only a small number of people understand this kind of message ,i’m wondering who gave people the guarantee that they will live another day ? in fact no one and nothing can give us this guarantee , so why do the bad side has the upper hand upon the good one in our actions? Aziz case is a great lesson for me and my friends and also it’s a lesson for those who think their life is finished because they have a dangerous desease, at the contrary they should adapted themselves with the new situation and continue to exist till the end, they should even have projects for the rest of their life!!, what would they do if God give them the chance to live 10 or 5 or even one year ,would they waste it in complaining about their bad luck or blaming life for not being fair with them !! in this case they would be committing suicide , we must have the believe that every moment in life is a gift in itself and because of that we should spend it in creating happiness for ourselves and for other people, i mean the true happiness of being useful to others , not the false one of running after money and power , the real happiness is to be a candle for the others. In the case of Aziz , the candle has proven it could resist till the end with dignity in the front of the wind of cancer.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Love even those who revile you

I found this interesting interview with Shaykh Hamza Yusuf ( a prominent american muslim scholar) by Nazim Baksh.
Q: The convenient response to those who revile your religion is to return the favor. The more virtuous position however is to forgive. Forgiveness as you know, while less in virtue when compared to love, nevertheless, can result in love. Love, by definition, does not require forgiveness. What many Muslims today seem to forget is that ours is a religion of love and our Prophet, peace be upon him, was the Habib, the Beloved. How did love, the defining virtue of our community, come to be replaced by an urge to redress wrongs, to punish instead of to forgive?

A: It is the result of Muslims seeing themselves as victims. Victimization is a defeatist mentality. It’s the mentality of the powerless. The word victim is from the Latin “victima” which carries with it the idea of the one who suffers injury, loss, or death due to a voluntary undertaking. In other words, victims of one’s own actions.

Muslims never really had a mentality of victimization. From a metaphysical perspective, which is always the first and primary perspective of a Muslim, there can be no victims. We believe that all suffering has a redemptive value.

Q: If the tendency among Muslims is to view themselves as victims which appears to me as a fall from grace, what virtue must we then cultivate to dispense with this mental and physical state that we now find ourselves in?

A: The virtue of patience is missing. Patience is the first virtue after tawba or repentance. Early Muslim scholars considered patience as the first maqam or station in the realm of virtues that a person entered into.

Patience in Islam means patience in the midst of adversity. A person should be patient in what has harmed or afflicted him. Patience means that you don’t lose your comportment or your composure. If you look at the life of the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, you will never ever find him losing his composure. Patience was a hallmark of his character. He was ‘the unperturbed one’ which is one of the meanings of halim: wa kaana ahlaman-naas. He was the most unperturbed of humanity. Nothing phased him either inwardly or outwardly because he was with Allah in all his states.

Q: Patience is a beautiful virtue ... the cry of Prophet Yaqub .... “fa sabran jamil.” Patience, it appears, is not an isolated virtue but rather it is connected to a network of virtues. Should Muslims focus on this virtue at the expense of the other virtues?

A: The traditional virtues of a human being were four and Qadi Ibn Al-Arabi considered them to be the foundational virtues or the ummahatul fadaa’il of all of humanity. They are: prudence, courage, temperance, and justice.

Prudence, or rather practical wisdom, and courage, are defining qualities of the Prophet. He, peace be upon him, said that God loves courage even in the killing of a harmful snake.

Temperance is the ability to control oneself. Incontinence, the hallmark of intemperance, is said to occur when a person is unable to control himself. In modern medicine it is used for someone who can’t control his urine or feces. But not so long ago the word incontinence meant a person who was unable to control his temper, appetite or sexual desire. Temperance is the moral virtue that moderates one’s appetite in accordance with prudence. In early Muslim scholarship on Islamic ethics, justice was considered impossible without the virtues of prudence, courage and temperance.

Generosity as a virtue is derived from courage because a generous person is required to be courageous in the face of poverty. Similarly, humility is a derivative from temperance because the humble person will often restrain the urge to brag and be a show-off because he or she sees their talents and achievements as a gift from Allah and not from themselves. Patience as a virtue is attached to the virtue of courage because the patient person has the courage to endure difficulties. So “hilim” (from which you get “halim”), often translated as for-bearance or meekness if you wish, is frowned upon in our society. Yet it is the virtue we require to stem the powerful emotion of anger. Unrestrained anger often leads to rage and rage can lead to violence in its various shades.

Our predecessors were known for having an incredible degree of patience while an increasing number of us are marked with an extreme degree of anger, resentment, hate, rancor and rage. These are negative emotions which present themselves as roadblocks to living a virtuous life.

A patient human being will endure tribulations, trials, difficulties, hardships, if confronted with them. The patient person will not be depressed or distraught and whatever confronts him will certainly not lead to a loss of comportment.

Allah says in the Qur’an: “Isbiru.” “Have patience and enjoin each other to patience.”

The beauty of patience is that “innallaha ma’assabirin” Allah is with the patient ones. If God is on your side you will always be victorious. Allah says in the Qur’an “Ista”inu bi-sabiri was-salat.”” Isti”aana is a reflexive of the Arabic verb “aana” which is “to help oneself.” Allah is telling us to help ourselves with patience and prayer.

This is amazing because the Prophet, peace be upon him, said “if you take help, take help from God alone.” And so in the Qur’an, Allah says: “ista inu hi-sabiri was-salaat”. This means taking help from patience and prayer because that is the means by which Allah has given you to take help from Him alone.

How is it then that a person sees himself as a victim when all calamities, difficulties and trials, are ultimately tests from Allah. This does nor mean the world is free of aggression and that victims have suddenly vanished. What I”m talking about is a person”s psychology in dealing with hardships.

The sacred law has two perspectives when looking at acts of aggression that are committed by one party against another. When it is viewed by those in authority the imperative is to seek justice. However, from the perspective of the wronged, it is not to seek justice bur instead to forgive.

Forgiveness, “afwa”, pardon, is nor a quality of authority. A court is not set up to forgive. It’s the plaintiff that’s required to forgive if there is going to be any forgiveness at all. Forgiveness will not come from the Qadi or the judge. The court is set up to give justice but Islam cautions us not to go there in the first place because “by the standard which you judge so too shall you be judged.” That’s the point. If you want justice, if you want God, the Supreme Judge of all affairs, to be just to others on your behalf, then you should know that your Lord will use the same standard with you.

Nobody on the “Day of Arafat” will pray: “Oh God, be just with me.” Instead you will hear them crying: “O Allah, forgive me, have mercy on me, have compassion on me, overlook my wrongs.” Yet, these same people are not willing to forgive, have compassion and mercy on other creatures of God.

Q: Imam Al-Ghazali argued that for these virtues to be effective they had to be in harmony. Otherwise, they said, virtues would quickly degenerate into vices. Do you think that these virtues exist today among Muslims but that they are out of balance? For example, the Arabs in the time of the Prophet had courage, but without justice it was bravado. Prudence without justice is merely shrewdness. Do you think that Muslims are clamoring for justice but have subsumed the virtues of temperance and prudence?

A: Yes. Muslims want courage and justice but they don”t want temperance and prudence. The four virtues relate to the four humors in the body. Physical sickness is related to spiritual sickness and when these four are out of balance, spiritual and moral sickness occurs. So when courage is the sole virtue, you no longer have prudence. You are acting courageously but imprudently and it’s no longer courage but impetuousness. It appears as courage but it is not. A person who is morally incapable of controlling his appetite has incontinence and thus he cannot be prudent nor courageous because part of courage is to constrain oneself when it is appropriate. Imam A1-Ghazali says that courage is a mean between impetuousness and cowardice.

The interesting point to note about the four virtues is that you either take them all or you don”t take them at all. It’s a packaged deal. There is a strong argument among moral ethicists that justice is the result of the first three being in perfect balance.

Q: You have painted a very interesting landscape in terms of Muslim behavior in the contemporary period but we are seeing evidence of resentment among some Muslims today which is very strange indeed. I am wondering how this might be related to a sense of victimization?

A: Of course it is. Look for example at the word injury. It comes from injuria, a Latin word that means unjust. So if I perceive my condition as unjust it is contrary to the message of the Qur’an. Whatever circumstances we find ourselves in we hold ourselves as responsible. It gets tricky to navigate especially when it comes to the oppressor and the oppressed.

The Prophet, peace be upon him, along with the early Muslim community, spent 13 years purifying themselves in Makkah. These were years of oppression and thus serious self-purification accompanied by an ethic of non-violence, forbearance, meekness, and humility. They were then given permission to migrate and to defend themselves. At this point they were not a people out to get vengeance and they were certainly not filled with resentment because they saw everything as coming from God. I’m not talking about being pleased with injustice because that’s prohibited. At the same time we accept the world our Lord has put us into and we see everything as being here purposefully, not without purpose, whether we understand it or not.

The modern Christian fundamentalists always talk about Islam as a religion devoid of love. It’s a very common motif in these religious fundamentalist books that attack Islam. They say “our religion is the religion of love and Islam is the religion of hate, animosity, and resentment.” Unfortunately, many Muslims have adopted it as their religion, but that doesn”t mean resentment has anything to do with Islam.

Love (mahaba) is the highest religious virtue in Islam. Imam Ghazali said that it is the highest maqam or spiritual station. It is so because trust, zhud (doing without), fear, and hope are stations of this world and so long as you are in this world these stations are relevant, but once you die they can no longer serve you. Love is eternal because love is the reason you were created. You were created to adore God. That’s why in Latin the word adore which is used for worship in English is also a word for love, adoration. You were created to worship God, in other words, to love Him because you can’t truly adore something or worship something that you don’t love. If you are worshipping out of fear, like Imam A1-Ghazali says, it’s not the highest level of worship, but its lowest.

Q: A vast number of young Muslims today who have the energy to run Down the road of hate do so thinking that it is a display of their Iman. What do you say to help them understand that hating wrongs has to be balanced with the virtues of mercy, justice, forgiveness, generosity, etc.

A: The challenge is to get your object of hate right and hate it for the right reason. In other words, there are things that we should hate for the sake of God. Oppression is something that you should hate. It’s not haram to hate the oppressor, but don’t hate them to the degree that it prevents you from being just because that is closer to Taqwa (awe of Allah). The higher position is to forgive for the sake of God. God gives you two choices — the high road or the low road — both of them will get you to paradise.

We should strive for the highest. Anger is a useful emotion. God created anger in order that we could act and respond to circumstances that need to be changed. Indignation is a beautiful word. Righteous indignation is a good quality and even though it is misused in modern English it’s actually a good thing. It means to be angry for the right reasons and then it is to be angry to the right degree because Allah says, “Do not let the loathing of a people prevent you from being just.”