Why The Muslim World Is In Bad Shape

In today’s deceptive approach to understanding Islam, Muslims in general are mislead when it comes to understanding the Qur’an. Qur’anic verses are expounded on jihad etc, without any EMPHASIS on CHARACTER and DISCIPLINE. The teachings of Islam continues to be defined in a TRADITIONAL context, with the general mases taking on the form of ROBOTIC, RITUALISTIC, DOGMATIC, NARROW MINDED MINDSETS. The reason for this outcome is due to the way we have ADAPTED out lives to Islam in a HYPOCRITICAL manner. It similar to the fact that oil and water do not mix, thus, we give ‘to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to the Lord, what belongs to the Lord,’ We worship Allah in a devoted ritualistic sense and then ROB, PLUNDER and ABUSE every bounty that Allah has bestowed upon us, claiming it to be our own! We claim to believe in Allah BUT in reality serve our EGOISTIC desires.

What the Ummah has failed to realise is that on the whole they have been manipulated by their enemies and those with invested interest to fulfill so-called Islamic ideals. Seldom, are issues VIEWED in WIDER CONTEXT. As a result of it, many Muslims end up with a NARROW, DISTORTED VIEW or an INCOMPLETE view to an issue or crisis. Muslims in general are EMOTIONAL, SENTIMENTAL but are know to overlook the facts of reality!

The REAL cause for the destruction of the Ummah is due to its approach to Islam. We say that we believe in Allah, but in truth, it is an ARTIFICIAL UTTERANCE undertaken in ritualistic fashion. We tend to believe more in ourselves. Every effort on our part lacks SUBMISSION because every undertaking begins and ends with us. We do not ADOPT the attitude and approach that EVERYTHING begins and ends with Allah. It is He who INITIATES our moves through INSPIRATION so that we may achieve our goals, BUT when at some point it does not work out the way we want or hope, it is a CLEAR INDICATION that He has NOT approved it! You may be idealistic; you may want to change the world. No one said that you cannot do so, but how you want to go about it is a deciding factor. If it COMPLIES with submission to Allah (NOT merely His commands), you will succeed (Insha Allah). And if you go about it according to your egoistic desires, Satan will help you succeed. You CAN delay the divine decree of Allah but you CANNOT postpone it indefinitely! When it arrives, there will be NO mercy! 

The CHOICE is yours. As you sow, so shall you reap! If good Muslims feel that their fate has been unjust throughout time, well, Allah knows best, and the probable reason is that we DO NOT LIVE UP to His expectation of us being LEADERS OF MANKIND! If as Muslims, we feel that it is UNJUST that the KAFIR continue to act UNRESTRICTED, while we, who believe ENJOY no favour or advantage, you are WRONG! Every situation is like a bicycle wheel. Each wheel is interlinked, with each moving and functioning in accordance with its own interest, and in accordance with the divine will of Allah. Each wheel will meets its fate. There is a reason why Muslims remain in their current state and until they return to the RIGHTEOUS PATH, they will continue to SUFFER! As for our enemies, NOTHING REMAINS FOREVER no matter how hard they try to enforce their will upon us, their INTELLIGENCE, CUNNING, DECEPTION will be their downfall!

SUCCESS in Islam is NOT dependent on SLOGANS and BANNERS. It does NOT survive on RETHORIC SPEECH, but it DOES succeed through EXAMPLE! Iman is not based on mere Qur’anic verses or Ahadith. It is PROVEN through conduct! Shaykh Abu Ni’ma Maslama as-Saruji is the epitome of Iman (faith). It was his nature to treat his guests with hospitality; strangers with dignity; paupers with sympathy; the weak with civilty, and the wretched with mercy (do we possess this?). During his lifetime, the town of Saruji was attached by the enemies of Islam. They killed, looted and took prisoners. The Shaykh’s followers on hearing that their retreat was about to be attacked, approached their Shaykh and said, “O our master, the enemy has come…” The Shaykh replied, “Be patient.” The disciples (murids) kept reminding the Shaykh and he kept telling them to be patient. Only when the enemy had reached the distance of a stone’s throw did the Shaykh come out. With a WAVE OF HIS NOBLE HAND, he ORDERED the enemy to retreat. Their horses carried them away with such compelling force that they could not reverse their stampede no matter how hard they tried. Fatal casualties were high among the cavalrymen and their horses. Their formations were scattered as they reached the town walls. Later, they sent an envoy to the Shaykh, apologizing and seeking his forgiveness. The Shaykh replied, “Tell them (your leaders), He (Allah) will send you the answer you deserve for what you have done tomorrow morning, if He so will.” [Please note the language; the degree of faith and conviction]. The enemy were thus left wondering what their fate would be the next morning. It did indeed arrive early the next morning in the form of the Muslim army, who rooted them out and utterly annihilated them! (from: Neckless of Gems, Shaykh Muhammad Ibnu Yahya at-Tadifi in my book Pearls of Wisdom).

If you examine this scenario, it proves to us that the key elements are TOTAL faith in Allah (not just in your knowledge and intelligence; CLOENESS to Allah; it indicates CHARACTER and NOT just ILM (knowledge). None of us live us to this expectation. If you look at the leadership of the Arab-Muslim World, it is DECADENT! If you look at Muslim groups worldwide, all you witness is ETHNIC, RELIGIOUS AMBITIONS. If you look at Muslims in general the emphasis is on CULTURE. They fight for the WRONG REASONS. The reason why there is NO UNITY is because everyone places ‘self-interest’ above servitude to Allah. When your Islamic knowledge is FOUNDED on such beliefs and principles, the end result is DISASTER because such has no FOUNDATION in the sight of Allah. It is an UTTER WASTE of time and effort.

The ONLY way towards success in Allah, is to view your existence as the property of Allah. He has total rights over you, and has determined yours as He deems fit! The ONLY way you can alter your Qada’ and Qadar (predestination) is by turning to Him for FORGIVENESS, MERCY and KINDNESS, because what has been preordained will NOT be altered. ONLY through submission, can you hope to enjoy CONSIDERATION. Allah is ar-Rahman nir-Raheem (Most Gracious, Most Merciful), but NEVER assume or take anything for granted as a right of yours.

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NUCLEAR ARMAMENT and POSSIBLE ANNIHILATION

The South East Asia region is on the brink of arming itself with nuclear weapons which could possibly lead to annihilation of the region and the globe. Global politics and global domination has always been a serious threat to peace and stability. The US which was once a supreme power is no longer one today. Rising Russia and China, have been able to prove their worth. Every US consideration today has to be met with considerations because of Russian and Chinese influence and support for those who oppose the US. Sanctions and punitive measures fail because of support from the other side. In recent times, the North Koreans and Syrian enjoyed this benefit. The Russians and the Chinese were able to prevent further US domination and manipulation of North Korea and Syria. It was the right thing to do in view of the many US proxy wars in the Middle East in support of Israel, so that Israel remains the dominant power in the region. Look at Libya today. It was NOT about Qaddafi, it was about what he was going to do with the Chinese and Russians in Libya (oil etc)! Look at Egypt today. A legitimate government (Morsy) was replaced by another military dictator (Assisi) with US-Israeli-EU support in a manipulated legalised manner. Not a single western media (CNN, BBC, Al Jazeera, RT.com etc) has spoken out against the pharaoh of Egypt nor the Israeli brutality, confiscation of Palestinian lands, expansion of Jewish settlements and the Palestinian state. Why? Because western nations are run and controlled to a major extent by the Jews. Even a British minister visited Israel recently to hold private talks; then there are countless exposures of Israel involvement in the British parliament reported in UK etc. Almost every nation is beholden to Israel in some way. Whether it is Hilary or Trump or anyone for that matter, America will always be beholden to Israel.

The Arab World, has been from the time of Lawrence of Arabia under despotic and corrupt leadership. It is totally dependent on foreign support (US, Russian etc) to remain in office. It has witnessed nothing but endless subjugation, manipulation, which serves Israeli interest at their expense. Both the Arab Sunnis and the hatred of the Shiites, have witnessed their demise for what appears to be their selfish glory, which in reality serves Israeli interest. NONE of these leaders have put their foot down over Palestine, but in fact are willing to sacrifice Palestine so the Iran should NOT possess nuclear weapons or be a threat to their existence.  Can you imagine the Arab League meeting to take action against Iran with covert Israeli support? Can you image the UAE taking action against Qatar just because it did not go along with its despotic ideals? And can you imagine that NOTHING has been done by these institutions to strongly speak out for Palestine? The Iranians are equally satanic in their ambitions in the Middle East. Though I respect Hizbollah to some extent, it is a nation within a nation. Israel is the ONLY country in the region with nuclear weapons. NO one will venture into this but everyone focuses on Iran and Hizbollah!

The US has been known to force its will on nation throughout the centuries. Well, this is wearing out now. so the ‘game’ has shifted into getting other countries to support it in the name of freedom and democracy. Unfortunately, it is the very same greedy US capitalistic machinery that led to China becoming what it is today. It is equally unfortunate that China has in turn become a big bully like the US. This has led to the issue of free navigational in the South China Sea and ownership of several islands in it. China’s attitude and display of power has led to insecurity in the region. It has HELPED Japan to embark on a nuclear weapons part as part of its security. This is a good move when we speak about ‘check and balances’ in the region. It also places the US in a favourable position in global leadership. The outcome ULTIMATELY will be nuclear annihilation! China may consider it politically smart to have North Korea as a shield but in the process, due to it failure to act responsibly, it is opening the door for Japan and South Korea to become another pawn in the political game (with nuclear capabilities). Japan has already said that it has enough material to make countless nuclear bombs. What this ‘game’ is leading to is that the US is eventually going to nuke North Korea and if China enters the game, Japan and South Korean will be contenders. The Japanese have no love for the Chinese. Its an age old disease. Forget about business…its an issue of winner takes all or NOTHING! Say goodbye to the world if we allow such to take place. Say goodbye to all the useless institutions we have (the UN, the Hague, EU diplomacy etc), who enjoy life at our expense. It will be a day where hatred has NO considerations over injustices!

What Is You Take On Life?

How Do You Value Life

Recently, I watched a video clip on BBC and YouTube about Mama, a 59 years old Chimpanzee, at the Royal Burgers Zoo in Arnhem, Netherlands, She was gravely ill. Jan van Hooff (emeritus professor behavioural biology at Utrecht University and co-founder of the Burgers colony) who knew Mama since 1972, visited her in the week before she died of old age in April 2016. It took a while before she became aware of Jan’s presence. Her reaction was extremely emotional and heart-breaking. If you watch this video clip, it shows you that even animals have feelings. It was indeed very touching,

Chimp's death

[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=INa-oOAexno].

The whole afternoon yesterday (28 October, 2017), was one of utter despair for me. I was unable to know the reason or cause for it. While travelling in the MRT towards an appointment, I asked myself a question: “What is life all about?” At that point in time, I received a phone call from my Australian friend, Adam from Kuala Lumpur. He said that his daughter, Salamh, had died in a car accident at Mersing, Johor. All of a sudden it became clear to me why I had been uneasy the whole afternoon. Both my silent question and the call made sense. Just what is your take on life? Do you value it? Do you realise that it can be taken away at any time and is it really yours to do what you like?

As I was heading towards my appointment at Masjid Sultan to mediate in an issue over a civil marriage between a Muslim boy and a Hindu girl, several things came to my mind. The first: Everything is in the hands of Allah. I am merely fulfil a responsibility to offer Islamic advice. The decision lies with Allah and it includes the decision of the Muslim boy. As a Muslim, he knows the position of Islam on such matters.

Whether you are a Muslim, Christian, Jew, Hindu or Buddhist, we all have our own perspective on life BUT what is IMPORTANT is how we value it? Is it humane, compassionate, considerate, tolerant etc? Do who hold the view that your destiny is in the hands of the Creator and that your efforts to shape it does not solely belong to you? Life is NOT about you. It is about SUBMISSION and SERVITUDE to your Creator. If a Chimp can have feelings and emotions at the time of death, do we all not share such emotions when the time comes for us to depart? If Salma, at a young age, a girl who did not experience life as we know it, had to go due to what was preordained for her, just imagine what can happen to you anytime. Just what is your take on life? Is it just about you and your selfish needs and desires or is it about being happy doing some kind generous deed?

Islamic Extremism & Perception of Life

A MAJOR historical setback in Islam took place the day we gave up scientific advancement and replaced it with theoretical dogma. The western world advanced with the development of the alphabet and the printing press, whereas, the Arabic script remained handwritten and copied. Whatever was left of the Islamic empire and its rulers ended up in royal decadence, infighting and political destruction.

From a religious Islamic perspective, the simplicity of Islam and its value system at the time of the Prophet (s.a.w.) got replaced with ideologies based on madhabs and politics which further alienated the founding principles of Islam, replacing them with nitty-gritting long winded explanations over minor issues instead of taking in the wider picture of existence in a competitive and challenging world.

The emphasis on Islam today is in a PHYSICAL context. We are concerned over how we pray, recite the Qur’an, dress according to Islam, consume halal food etc. We are RITUALISTIC in nature BUT when it comes to CHARACTER, MORALS and CONDUCT, it is a DISASTER! The reason for this is the way we were raised and educated on Islam. It DID NOT begin with TAWHEED. It did not PERCEIVE Allah as the FOCAL POINT or CENTRAL PIVOTAL POINT of existence. Instead, we REPLACED Allah with our EGOISTIC RIGHTEOUS CONDUCT. We started acting on His behalf. We abandoned RESPECT over differing opinions, TOLERANCE and replaced them with RIGHTEOUS VENGEANCE!

Today, Islam is about being a SUNNI or a SHI’A; it’s about Ali, Hassan or Hussein; it’s not about Allah or Muhammad. It about what MADHAB you follow; whether you are a WAHABE, SALAFIYAH, SUFI etc, not a SERVANT OF ALLAH, serving Allah and humanity for His sake and NOT your egoistic ambitions! We ALL claim to be Muslims; we ALL claim that our VERSION or IDEOLOGY of Islam is the ONLY right one… when you possess this kind of mentality, it sounds more like the behaviour of IBLIS! Have you seen a stalk of wheat? Have you noticed how it bends with weight? This how a Muslim should consider himself to be through submission and servitude to Allah. 

I have said this many times, there are SEVERAL LEVELS OF REALITY in Islam: The FIRST LEVEL deals with Allah. Muslims acknowledge that NOTHING EXIST but Him. There no god but Him; nothing takes place without His consent; there is NO power greater then Him. The list is endless and the Qur’an abounds with it.

The SECOND LEVEL deals with us, events, circumstances etc. This is the worldly level of perception, where the acquisition of knowledge and striving for success takes centre stage. REGRETTABLY, most Muslims begin their Islam at this level! We believe in Allah and His Messenger, but we BELIEVE IN OURSELVES FOREMOST! Life is ALL about us, not about Allah. THIS WHERE WE HAVE GONE ASTRAY! Scholars, Ustads, Imams, Religious teachers etc SEEM TO FOCUS on nitty-gritting things in a NARROW CONTEXT without taking in the WHOLE PICTURE. We do NOT perceive Islam in a dynamic context, in an overall sense, where character building, righteousness, morals, honesty, fulfilling our trusts and responsibilities towards Allah and humanity are supreme! What we have is a RITUALISTIC ROBOTIC PERFORMANCE of Islam without RESPONSIBILITY!

At the THIRD LEVEL of reality, it’s all about YOU and what you THINK according to your INTELLIGENCE, UNDERSTANDING and EXPERIENCE. Often it has nothing to do with others. It is your PERCEPTION, your POINT OF VIEW, which you try to IMPOSE on others! No one really cares or pays attention because it does NOT concern them! This why Muslims, who view themselves along ethnic lines end up being betrayed!

Both the SECOND and THIRD levels of reality are a FAILURE when you place them with the FIRST level of reality. Believe me, no matter what steps you take to achieve success, Allah has the FINAL SAY! Whatever WAY you achieved it, it was BESTOWED upon you by Him! Every INSPIRATION be it ILHAM or HIDAYAT from Allah or from Satan, it was APPROVED by Him! Do NOT deceive yourself that you know everything or that you are righteously correct, that would be nothing less than the attitude and behaviour of Iblis. Be HUMBLE; consider the views of others; reflect upon them because there is the possibility that you may be wrong!

If you begin learning Islam the traditional way, the current way, you will acquire you understanding of Islam at the SECOND LEVEL of reality. You will become a RIGID ROBOTIC INTELLECTUAL BIGOT! Your state of righteousness will look like Mt. Everest! I was once like this. Do NOT think that being a SUFI is the solution. Sufism today is nothing but a circus. It is COMMERCIALISED and even BUSINESSLIKE! It NO longer bears the hallmarks of simplicity, validity and honest servitude. It has an OUTER SHELL OF GLAMOUR without any SPIRITUAL CONTENT, because many Shaykhs INHERITED the Seat of Allah; it was NOT BESTOWED UPON THEM BY HIM! 

I do NOT speak out of arrogance but I can say this much to you, EVERYDAY spend some time reflecting upon yourself. Remember that the Prophet (s.a.w.), the BELOVED OF ALLAH used to take pride in being HIS SERVANT and then only as His Rasul! Take a good look at yourself; throw your EGO into the bin! Admit your sins, faults and weaknesses; repent and undo whatever wrongdoing you have done. Turn to Allah for FORGIVENESS, MERCY, KINDNESS and seek His CONSIDERATION over your needs, especially WISDOM and UNDERSTANDING so that you may DRAW CLOSER TO ALLAH, to become His friend, be protected and looked after by Him etc. Hadrat Bayazid Bastami (rahimullah) used to say to Allah: “Ya Allah, people ask you for all kinds of things, I only desire to be close to you!”

When you want to raise issues, do your homework, reflect upon your response. Many Islamic scholars will end saying, “Wallahu ‘alam” (Allah knows best). Do NOT end up like the Bani Israel, making life miserable. They asked so many questions concerning the sacrificial calf and yet ended disobedient. DO NOT become OVER-RIGHTEOUS when you know that the government collects all its revenue from every source of income (haram/halal). You may work with the Islamic Religious Depart or JAKIM in Malaysia, it does NOT make you any HOLIER because you do so! The salary you receive from such institutions all come from ONE source, the FEDERAL OR STATE TREASURY. However, you received your wages INDIRECTLY, thus making it PERMISSIBLE not HALAL. The Prophet (s.a.w.) has already stated that what is HARAM, cannot become HALAL! The WISDOM  of the issue here is: DO NOT BEHAVE like the Bani Israel! If you went around INVESTIGATING everything, I can assure you, the vegetables we consume cannot be eaten. All you have to do is visit Cameron Highlands or look at the countless video clips we get over how fish are raised locally!

It is our Qur’anic RESPONSIBILITY to promote good and to speak out against evil. One cannot become a fence-sitter, closing an eye to misdeeds, mismanagement, corruption etc, HOWEVER, one needs to possess WISDOM. One does NOT seek glory or fame; one ALWAYS needs to remember, that it is ONLY Allah that brings about change. We MERELY perform to seek His pleasure. As far as you are concerned, it is the SINCERE EFFORT that counts NOT the rewards, because it is for Allah to reward as He pleases!

Do NOT be EXTREME in you approach; try to understand why people behave the way they do; be compassionate and help them understand so that they may improve. If they CANNOT, it too is the will of Allah. At the same, do NOT be deceptive, by trying to be popular…do NOT sell the word of Allah for a miserable price! Do NOT amend or alter what Allah has decreed to SUIT you whims and fancies. Being MODERATE and MODERN in Islam does NOT mean abandoning the BASIC FUNDAMENTAL FRAMEWORK OF ISLAM to suit your whims and fancies! We have a Shari’ah; we have Fiqh, Tasawwuf, Tawheed, Tafsir, Ahadith etc – view all this within a framework of FLEXIBILITY! Not everyone was made out to be a saint. We all share different levels of Iman; different approaches to life etc. Seek out the best in life.

We Have a Way of Making Things Up

Recently, I received a spate of videos on what to do and not to do. Other video clips dealt with God and reasons why things take place. Having reached the age of 73, I find all this amusing because as a Muslim, realty is pretty clear to me, even if a person from another religion might say I am wrong. When I was young, I believed in many things, rightly and wrongly. With age you mature and realise many things. Your view of life is based on knowledge and experience and it helps formulate a conclusion.

Every religion or belief has a perception of reality and each differs in its own way accordingly. The Qur’anic verse: “To you, your way and to me mine,” is valid. One man’s meat is another man’s poison. I can accept that and so should you as far as religion is concerned. To be honest, no one really knows their outcome, it’s just a matter of faith!

On an individual basis, we all CREATE our own perception of reality, without realising that it is built on situations and circumstances we are in. It is the TRUTH to you but probably an ASSUMPTION, based on a personal event and experience. This reality is FALSE. For example, a person dying from cancer and who has a few months to live will produce a lot of sentimental, emotional advice. A criminal will do the same. A dying person who witnesses REALITY as it really stands is known to tell those around him to this person this or that, as a means of atonement or righting a wrongdoing etc. If you read a Hadith and it mentions a lady filling her shoe with water for a thirsty dog and based on that deed she went to heaven – does it mean that we should all run out with shoes to give thirsty dogs some water and by doing so we will all go to heaven? That is NOT the message! The message deals with doing any simple good deed of servitude! This is a MAJOR problem with human intellect when it presenting Islam. It DOES NOT TAKE IN THE WHOLE PICTURE but only a NARROW SEGMENT!

Recently, I received a video on WhatsApp saying: “5 Reasons why Allah uses Problems”. He does so to protect you; to perfect you; to inspect you; to direct you; to correct you. It is FANTASTIC if you are IGNORANT (Jahil); it is FANTASTIC from an INTELLECTUAL point of view – FANTASTIC coming up with such CONCLUSIONS on behalf of God!

The INTELLECTUAL CAPACITY of humans is so GREAT, that at times, we ACT and BEHAVE on behalf of God. At times we THINK we know God better than He knows Himself, but in reality, we know NOTHING! Our knowledge and intellectualism is a mere drop in the ocean. However, since it is a Qur’anic command to acquire knowledge, unfortunately most end up like a “donkey laden with books,” (Qur’anic verse). I have been through all this as a religious student, then as an ustad and scholar. Now when I sit back and reflect on my past, I realise what a religious bigot I was (an over righteous idiot)!

When it comes to health, I receive so many video clips over what people should and should not do. Now trying going to a hardcore smoker and tell him that he will end up with cancer if he continues smoking. He will most probably laugh at you and point out someone who smoked and died without getting cancer! At 73, I had to undergo a cornea transplant. My medical examination showed that I have no heart problems, no diabetes, no high blood pressure – why? Because for years now I have been looking after my diet, BUT then God (an assumption on my part), decided I NEEDED a cornea transplant! Yes, information and knowledge does help us along in life BUT there is SOMEONE up there that decides and determines all things!

Seriously speaking, as a Muslim, Muslims NEED to realise that Allah is the CENTRAL POINT OF FOCUS. Everything revolves around Him; it begins and ends with Him; everything is determined by Him – NOT by you! You may play a part in it through EFFORTS, but ULTIMATELY, it is He who approves and determines all things. So, QUIT acting and behaving like Allah (God). Get rid of your EGO; go throw in in the rubbish bin! Stop HARPING on a narrow aspect of Islam (or religion). PROVE it by being humble. Take a good look at yourself, it will help you to be tolerant, forgiving, loving and caring, compassionate etc. QUIT all the RHETORIC about religion and imagine yourself standing before your Creator EMPTY HANDED! Try to take in the wider picture; try to acquire a wider perspective of things. A coin has an image, a denomination and a shape. Do NOT just view one aspect of the coin!

A Sufi shaykh said to his murid, “If you can’t understand what I have said, then, that too is the will of Allah.” Abu Lahab, Abu Jahal, both uncles of Muhammad (s.a.w.) ended up the way Allah intended (just as Iblis did too). Yet we also say that it was their choice. If you are at the FIRST LEVEL of Reality in Islam, it is all about Allah, not you! BUT if you are at the SECOND LEVEL of Reality, then it is all about you first alongside Allah… a sheer WASTE of time!

Finally, everyone is ushered (born) into this world with a book. It details your preordained destiny (Qada’ and Qadar). You cannot escape this. However, you can approach Allah concerning it. When you do so, please do NOT complain. It is a sign of disobedience; lack of submission. If you seek a favour, do NOT ask; out of the thousands of supplications you have made just how many were granted? INSTEAD, turn to Allah for FORGIVENESS, MERCY and KINDNESS because you could be part of the problem. By doing so, you stand a better chance (or a reduction in punishment). Your asking is one of CONSIDERATION. Always be grateful. Seek closeness to Him. Keep Allah in your heart and the world in your pocket.

BELIEF IN GOD

Belief in God by my Shaykh Hadrat Shahidullah Faridi (r.a.)

It is mistakenly imagined by some that belief in a Supreme Being as the Creator and Controller of the universe is a mere emotional aspiration, a superstition of ancient times, irrational and illogical, and exploded by modern science. It is believed that scientists (physicists, biologists and others) have erected some theory which both refutes and replaces the traditional belief in God. Such ideas have only a very superficial grounding, and are the result of ignorance or an indifference to both the fundamentals of religious faith and the scope of the physical sciences. It is a significant fact in the history of world thought that very few people have ever made it their business to refute the existence of God. The views of the universe which are considered to be anti-religious are almost all agnostic, not atheistic, that is to say, they attempt to ignore the existence of God instead of denying it. This is true of certain views of modern science as well as of the ancient non-religious theories. The universe in which we live comprises an evident system of causes and effects, of phenomena and their results, and it is possible to discuss them indefinitely and construct theories about them, giving a superficial appearance of completeness. This is done, however, only at the expense of ignoring fundamentals or claiming that they cannot be known. If one were to search for a convincing statement based on firm principles that the existence of a Supreme Being is impossible, one would not be able to find it.

The reason for this state of affairs is that belief in God is at once instinctive, rational, evidential and intuitional, and it is only by deliberately neglecting to consider it that the non-religious attitude is maintained. It is instinctive in that man has an innate feeling of his own inadequacy and helplessness, which accompanies him from the cradle to the grave, a feeling accompanied by the complementary desire to seek refuge and support with a being who controls all those forces before which he feels himself inadequate. We put this feeling forward as instinctive, although it will immediately be perceived that it is also evidential. The weakness of man before all the uncountable influences over which he has no control is a fact so obvious as to require no discussion.

What is less well grasped by some who have claims to intelligence is that belief in God is fully supported by reason and logic, the principles on which all human intelligence stands. For instance, it is a basic requirement of reason that an effect cannot exist without a cause. However hard we press our mental faculties, we cannot conceive rationally of a causeless effect, and if we wish to postulate one we can only do so by temporarily putting our reason on the shelf. Reason leads us to the conclusion that just as the elements which compose the universe are effects of certain causes, the universe itself must be the effect of a cause, a cause which is itself mightier than and outside the universe. Non-religious thinkers have to ignore the origin of the universe and postulate something existing in the beginning without any known cause. This postulate is essentially non-rational and therefore unscientific, but it is a necessity for those thinkers who have unconsciously or deliberately decided not to consider fundamentals. Of these there are even some who openly proclaim their refusal to discuss or admit any metaphysical concept. This kind of attitude, however, can only be upheld by abandoning reason. Reason itself guides us inexorably to the conclusion that there is an ultimate cause, the Cause of causes, beyond this universe of time, space and change; in fact, a Supreme Being.

Another of the basic demands of reason is that diversity cannot exist without a fundamental unity. Whenever the human mind is confronted with diversity, it immediately sets to work to synthesise it into unities, then to synthesise these unities into higher unities and so on until it can go no further. The ultimate result of a rational consideration of diversity is to arrive at a unity of unities, a Supreme Unity, the producer of all diversities, but itself essentially One. Whichever fundamental of reason we select, if we follow its path we are led inevitably to the same goal – belief in God, the Supreme Being.

Besides the conclusion arrived at by purely rational processes, man is led to the belief in God by observation and experience. One of the principal reasons for man’s refusal to recognize the existence of God is the intellectual arrogance produced by his appreciation of his own powers of analysis and synthesis, of harnessing physical forces by his ingenuity, and of constructing complex machines to do his work for him. But pride is caused by concentrating too much attention on one’s own virtues and blinding oneself to one’s defects. What are the best of man’s mechanical inventions but a poor and crude imitation of what already exists in an infinitely finer form in nature? By copying in an elementary fashion some of the functions of the human eye, he has been able to evolve the camera; but what comparison has this machine, made out of lifeless materials, to the living stuff of the eye, and to the refinement, brightness, clarity, flexibility and stability of its vision, its immediate connection with the mind which sifts and appreciates all it sees, all without a complicated system and controls, and directly under the command of the human will? Take any organ of the body and study it – the heart, the brain – and it will immediately be obvious that it is quite outside the scope of man’s ability to conceive and fashion such an instrument. The petty imitations of man are attributed to his great cunning, artistry and intelligence. Is it then reasonable, logical or scientific to attribute the infinitely finer and more perfect instruments of nature to such vague and blind energies called by names such as the ‘life force’, or ‘matter in evolution’, and leave them undescribed and unexplained? If logic has any validity (and if it has not we had better stop thinking altogether and become animals), the intelligence which conceived and wrought myriads of such delicate and astonishing devices must be infinitely superior to the human intelligence (even the human intelligence is one of its products), and have control of all the materials and workings of the universe. Such an intelligence can only be possessed by a Supreme Being, the Creator, Fashioner and Sustainer of all things.

If we ponder our own place in the world, we find that we (as well as all other beings) are kept in being by a most intimate combination of forces and conditions, which is so delicate that even a small dislocation would cause our total destruction. We live, so to speak, continually on the brink of annihilation, and yet are enabled to carry on our complex existences in comparative immunity. We cannot live, for instance, without daily rest; both the human body and the human mind are constructed to need it. This fact is not in itself surprising, but what is surprising is that the solar system collaborates with us in our human frailty and provides us with a day and a night exactly suited to our needs. Man cannot claim to have compelled or persuaded the solar system to do so; nor can the solar system claim to have modelled human physical and mental energy to conform to its own movements. Both man and the solar system are evidently linked in a total organisation in which man is the beneficiary; the organiser of these inexplicable concordances can only be a Supreme Controller of the universe and mankind. Sweet water is a necessary condition of human existence; it is equally necessary for those plants which produce man’s staple foods, which themselves depend on each other. If sea water were to invade our rivers and wells or rain down from the sky, is there any doubt that we should all die of hunger and thirst in a few days and the whole world become an empty desert? Yet sea water is only held back by an invisible barrier over which we have no control, and the sun and the clouds co-operate in order to desalinate our water for us and so give us life. This linkage of interdependence and concurrence could be extended indefinitely by taking examples from the physical world, and to describe it as ‘fortuitous’ is only begging the question; moreover it is a contradiction in terms. Fortuity is the name for something which does not come within any known system or regulation, an apparently meaningless and haphazard occurrence. To call a system which is a balanced and cohesive organization fortuitous is obviously self-contradictory and fallacious. A ‘fortuitous system’ is, simply, an absurdity. If we observe carefully we can see that the whole of the universe is interdependent and interlinked and therefore not fortuitous but planned. Belief in God means, precisely, belief in a Planner of the universe.

A basic element in human consciousness – a suprarational element – is a sense of value and purpose in respect to life. Even the worst of men is prevented from becoming completely bestial by this feeling, and in the best of them it dominates their whole existence. The senses of good and evil, right and wrong, beauty and ugliness, fitness and unfitness, truth and falsehood are such that however attacked by the missiles of constructive analysis, they remain intact within their intuitional fortress. In all ages and conditions, man has not been able to divest himself of the idea that behind its external effect, every action possesses a quality by which it may be judged and graded in the scale of final values. In addition to the consciousness of the existence of these values, there is the feeling that it is the purpose of man’s life to attain those qualities which reflect the highest of them, that not only are they excellent in themselves and worthy of being acquired, but that they must be acquired, and that he has been created to acquire them. The natural sense of qualitative purpose, if allowed to develop freely without the cramps of agnostic prejudice, leads him to the conception of an absolute good and an absolute truth as the ultimate standard of human existence, and from there (for a quality cannot exist except in a being who is qualified by it) to a being who is the possessor and author of these qualities, the Supreme Purposer.

The decisive vindication of the existence of God is evidential. At various junctures in world history and in widely distant places, certain men have arisen and proclaimed that they have been inspired by God to give His message to mankind. These men were not mad; we have historical records of several of them, including all or part of the message they insisted that they were called to deliver, and it is obvious that they were men who were intellectually and morally highly impressive. They did not come all at once so that we could attribute them to a sort of historical fashion. They came spaced throughout history usually at a time of great moral degeneration. If we examine their message, we find that apart from differences of expression, attributable to the milieu in which they lived, they not only bear remarkable similarities but are basically identical. They have stated that God had conversed with them in some inspirational manner, and had ordered them to proclaim His Existence as the Creator, Maintainer, Controller and eventual Destroyer of the world, to describe His Mercy and Justice, and to warn mankind that it is only by remembering and worshipping Him and following the moral and practical principles that He has laid down for them that they can achieve success and happiness here and hereafter. The last of these prophets was Muhammad of Mecca, who stated that there would be no prophet after him, and it is a demonstrable historical fact that no-one has been able to establish a claim to prophethood since. Now those who discuss or refuse to discuss the existence of God almost invariably rely on rational or anti-rational arguments and rarely, if ever, consider the evidential factor. The two basic elements in human knowledge are, firstly, our own observations and conclusions, and secondly, the evidence of others. Among the branches of knowledge the whole of history, for example, and most of the average man’s acquaintance with science, are only known from the evidence of others, unless he himself is a specialist in the subject. When specialists in a certain branch of knowledge continuously assert that a certain thing is a fact, it becomes a necessity for the rest of mankind, who are unable to acquire this knowledge directly, to accept it as such. In the field of direct inspiration from God, and knowledge of His qualities and works, we have the repeated evidence of people in history who have affirmed their apprehension of Him and that they have been charged with conveying His message; not only that, the realities of the divine and spiritual realism as described by these prophets have in various degrees been corroborated and confirmed by the spiritual experiences of an uncounted number of their followers right up to the present day. These corroborators have been the saints and mystics of their various communities. This continuous and widespread evidence of the existence of God, the central and original evidence of prophets, and the derivative and confirmatory evidence of their followers, all based on modes of direct and intuitional perception of His Being, cannot with any reasonability be denied or ignored. To deny or ignore them is patently illogical and unscientific, and against the basic principles of the acquirement and dissemination of human knowledge. In addition to being instinctive, intuitional, and logical, belief in God has irrefutable evidence to prove its verity. END

Understanding the Qur’an: Hiccups, Hang-ups & Confusion

Muslims worldwide in general often find themselves in difficulty due to the way they view the Message of the Qur’an. While it is good to learn to recite the Qur’an properly, it is dangerous to acquire an extreme understanding of its interpretation. To overcome this problem, one should seek the services of a qualified educated TAFSIR teacher. This teacher should and MUST begin teaching Tafsir based on accepted explanations of the Qur’an (Ibnu Kathir, Jalalain etc. They may not be perfect but they form a historical background). These explanations BEGIN with a HISTORICAL background to every verse and is often accompanied by Ahadith. This foundation is VERY important. Unfortunately, this is overlooked today. Preachers have the tendency to interpret Qur’an verses in a current context according to their whims and fancies, to serve specific ideological goals and objectives. 

The next issue deals with ENVIRONMENTAL factors, interpretation and application. As Muslims, we all know and understand the Message but in the modern world it depends on where you are and in what country and what environment. Islamic education provides MANY APPROACHES ACCORDING TO A VARIETY OF SITUATIONS WITHIN AN ENVIRONMENT. This means that there is FLEXIBILITY in Islam, rather than rigidity. The Qur’an provides us with many examples. One excellent one deals with Nabi Musa (a.s.) and the Israelites over the sacrificing of a calf in Surah Baqarah.

A common hang-up with many Muslims is their inability to adjusts to new environments when migrating or seeking refuge. Many FAIL to bring about change in their own countries but on migrating ACT RIGHTEOUSLY.  I can understand the need to preserve Islam and culture but it is an effort that deals with you and God, In a non-Islamic country or a secular state, religion is NOT tolerated! It is a PRIVATE, PERSONAL matter. If you do NOT like it, the option of HIJRAH is open to you in Islam. Try to keep in mind that your piety is between you and God and it depends on submission, servitude and self-examination, to gain closeness to God and not to go championing causes that serve the devil’s interest in sheep’s clothing! There are many Ahadith on this. For example, you have to Qur’anic reciter and the martyr who performed just to be seen rather than for the sake of God and ended up in hell! Sayyidna Ali (r.a.) was extremely concerned about his intentions, so much so that he hesitated to kill his enemy at the battlefield. He was concerned whether it was done out of anger and hatred or for the sake of Allah. Today, it is usually a case of ‘sour grapes’, revenge, hatred etc for the wrong reasons.

Acting OVER RIGHTEOUSLY is a disease. We have many ‘specialists’ who are UNQUALIFIED offering advice on a variety of subjects. Actually they are expressing an OPINION and NOT offering VALID ADVICE! Failure is one reason, another is to seek political gain; then there is the issue of EMOTIONS and SENTIMENTS which have no place in Islam. Instead, one need to view REALITY and perform SELF-EXAMINATION. The bottom line is that GOD is IN CHARGE, not you! You are merely the PERFORMER and INITIATOR of what GOD wants done! The MOST one can do is to OFFER ADVICE and PRAY for change. The Hadith clearly states that the weakest of intentions is to make a supplication in your heart in the event you are unable to speak out against evil out of fear!

The recent issue of a launderette owner setting up a shop to ONLY serve Muslims in Johore, Malaysia, was intended out of goodness. However, the way he went about is was wrong. He should have had SEPARATE UNITS for Muslims who were EXTRA SENSITIVE about the HALAL approach to washing clothing in a machine. In general, there is actually no need for such an approach or attitude. I recall when I first embraced Islam in 1960, followers of the banned ARQAM in Malaysia, spoke to me about ‘halal’ food and why the Malays had gone astray. At the time, it was a LOGICAL explanation but God enlightened me and caused me to reply, that had it been so, then, how in heaven’s name was I able to become a Muslim after eating and drinking all that was prohibited! Often, we reach Islamic conclusion based on our OWN beliefs or determined by those who INFLUENCE us. Most of these are MODERN LOGICAL PERCEPTIONS that have no basis or foundation in Qur’anic Tafsir.

References:

http://www.msn.com/en-my/news/other/apa-lagi-selepas-dobi-mufti-asri-tegur-kejahilan-umat-islam/ar-AAsrLpo?li=BBr8Hnu

http://www.msn.com/en-my/news/other/dressing-down-for-launderette/ar-AAsvmLt?li=BBr8Hnu

One Man’s Meat is Another Man’s Poison: Whatever your views, I respect them. This is the greatness of Islam: of being able to co-exist and tolerate one another, However, there are limits to this as was the case with caricatures of the Prophet (s.a.w.), disrespect for religions etc. Then there is the issue of justice, where BUSH and BLAIR get away with murder while others are crucified! The situation over PALESTINE is the root cause of terrorism. As humans, we all have religious affiliations, feelings and emotions over brutality, genocide, killing and confiscating people’s lands around the globe. The Rohingya issue has just opened up a Pandora’s box, which will ultimately lead to violence and terror in Myanmar. Buddhists in Sri Lanka and Myanmar, repeated attack the Muslims of Rohingya, which will ultimately introduce reciprocal action against them and cause other Buddhists in Muslim countries to be affected. 

This is NOT an easy issue to handle. Calling upon Muslims to be calm and patient is NOT the answer. The BEST approach to date was offered during a Friday Sermon at Masjid Falaq in Orchard, in Singapore. As Muslims, we must distance ourselves from being overcome by emotions. We need to reason; to pray hard that these issues will be resolved by God; we do NEED to take a good look at ourselves, our character, our submission and servitude to God, and to preserve the peace we continue to enjoy

As Muslims, we MUST support the downtrodden and demand justice. We should NEVER become fence-sitters but speak the truth in a well-balanced manner. I truly find it DISGUSTING that the wrongdoings of the west are overlooked, when they are in fact the ROOT CAUSE for terrorism through their actions in Palestine, Iraq, Libya, Syria etc, but instead, highlight a response by some Muslim as an ACT OF TERRORISM. Today, super powers around the world flout every law to serve their self-interest at the expanse of humanity. TO SURVIVE, MUSLIMS NEED TO TAKE IN THE WIDER PICTURE; VIEW THINGS IN A WIDER CONTEXT AND NOT GET CARRIED AWAY WITH NITTY-GRITTING THINGS. We Need TO VIEW THE Qur’an in a WHOLESOME MANNER and NOT in a NARROW CONTEXT!

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