Random Thoughts and Notes No. 726-750

726.    The Muslims nowadays suffer from physical colonialism in some cases but also mental/spiritual colonialism. And often the spiritual and mental colonialism is much more lasting and damaging to the Iman of the Muslims; with physical invasion one can see there is a need to throw the invaders out, this need may not often be realized in the case of mental colonialism.

727.    The Sunnis agree that any matter not of the religion is indeed a Bid’ah; however, it may be that a matter is new but has a basis in the Quran and Sunnah, so it is not technically a Bid’ah. (in here referring to evil innovations)

728.    Our Deen is basically conservative in that we do Itibaa’ not Ibtidaa’ [following, not inventing]; this is also why the modern Western academician approach to Islam is often so dangerous; since in order to gain reputation the academician must present new and original ideas about Islam even while these may have no scholarly basis in the ethos of Islam properly defined.

729.    Look into the life of Abd al-Qadir al-Jazairi (RA) and how he conducted himself against the invading French. In his life story one can find better clues as to how Jihad is to be waged practically in our times, rather than what we see many people making up today as they go along, which is a very dangerous course and harmful to the reality of Islam in so many ways.

730.    Consider that even in the past, Islam often took a number of generations before it became fully established within families; thus, we should not lose heart if Muslims today are shaky and have intellectual doubts – there were many cases in the past where people fell on and off of Islam, yet today their whole family lines are Muslim.

(Of course, we are to do our best to clear any doubts Muslims may have, but we leave matters to Allah and we are not to despair).

731.    In the Prophetic statement that every new thing is a Bid’ah there is an elision, its fuller explanation being that every new thing that is against the Quran, the Sunnah, ‘Ijma and Athar of the Salaf is a blameworthy Bid’ah, not just the meaning that may come to some people’s minds when reading this the first time (i.e. that absolutely anything and everything new is a Bid’ah).

732.    (As was mentioned) Historically speaking, the scholars of Islam disputed where thinking takes place (for example discussions between Shafii’s and Hanafis). Concerning the Ahadeeth and the Qur’anic Verses in this regard, it is said that thinking is attributed to the Masdar al-Baeed (i.e. the farther source) since it is the heart that is the ultimate basis for the functioning of the brain.

733.     Consider that if Bid’ah had such strict definitions as proposed by some, there is no way that sciences such as arts of weaponry, etc., could have been developed within the Islamic milieu, but we know this is an inaccurate portrayal, since these secondary sciences are meant to solidify Islam and its lands, so it is not a blameworthy type of Bid’ah.

734.     (As was mentioned) Tankeer (indefiniteness of a word) is often used for Ta’dheem (aggrandizement), as we see in the beginning of Surah al-Israa’, Laylan is Nakirah- thus the indefinite form is mentioned in order to elevate the thing mentioned.

735.    (As mentioned) The Prophet (ﷺ) used the parable of people devouring a meal to illustrate the difficult situation of Muslims close to the End Times…one huge point being that food never fights back, it is dead, lifeless.

736.    Contrary to popular portrayals, especially by our opponents, Islam did enforce the ‘Aqeedah matters on Muslims strictly since they are very important, but it did not come as a cultural predator, rather it kept the good portions of the people’s cultures it came into contact with.

737.    The statements in the Islamic texts saying that there ‘is no god but Me’ [i.e. directly from Allah] are so important, since the biggest of follies is to regard one’s self as a god (for example by saying: “Oh I don’t think God would ever have legislated this, I don’t want it, this affects my sensibilities’).

738.    (As was mentioned) In our normal conceptualizations, we make exclusive use of what we have gained from the 5 senses (our thoughts for anything is based on these senses). We have the tendency to do the same for Allah which is wrong (because we make new conceptualizations based on old concepts and new sensory information).

The example given is of Allah being al-Awwal (literally, the First), we might (wrongly) imagine something quasi-human about Divine Hearing or Seeing, but Allah existing without time and place is really the moment when we step back and say Subhanallah.

739.    Consider the insignificance of the world in how some creatures fight over things: Some animals fight viciously, even kill each other, over space on a windowsill, or over a speck of dropped food, and so forth. The materialistic humans likewise, over their short lifespans might engage in similar behavior, making this their ultimate goal (sure it is not a windowsill, but even a large tract of land being fought over is of no significance in the larger scheme of things- this is why we are constantly reminded to return to Allah the Exalted).

740.    The 2nd commandment in the Judeo-Christian tradition says not to make graven images. Islam says [ليس كمثله شيء] (trans. Nothing resembles Him (Allah) in any way) it takes this to another, a higher level of realization (even the linguistic discussion on this phrase in Verse 42:11 is very long, plus this Qur’anic phrase forms the basis of many Islamic Belief principles).

The 3rd commandment in the Judeo-Christian tradition says not to use God’s name in vain. In Islam we reverence Allah’s Name in the proper way– for example, in grammatical analysis we say Lafdh al-Jalalah (the Majestic Name) is Marfu’ or Majrur, etc., not “Allah is Majrur” (that is, the literal translations of terms Marfu’ and Majrur are “raised” and “pulled”, and even though it is clearly within the context of grammatical analysis of words, our scholars have said to use ‘the Majestic Name’ instead of mentioning “Allah” directly in such a case).

741.    (As mentioned) Imam an-Nawawi (RA) refused to eat that which was potentially from stolen land. Were we to follow this maxim we might be half-starved, yet on a good spiritual course.

742.    We should be aware of going off to ‘Neverlands’ and totally rejecting our natural belonging within a certain community/culture in order to fit into the Ummah (which is not even a practical approach to begin with). Thus, it is quite possible to establish a grounded yet native Islamic presence within a given land, rather than mimic Arabs, Pakistanis, or other “Muslim ethnicities”.

And as a related note: Identities will be there. Even if we Muslims do not build our own identity, then this will be imposed on us from the outside and this is inevitable. Thus, we should proudly say that our mission is to eradicate the worship of all types of idols, otherwise a foreign identity will be stamped on us – an identity that will unfortunately include idol-worship of some sort.

743.    History has many ways it could potentially be narrated, it is impossible to have one narrative covering everything. We Muslims should understand this reality, so as not to fall into the narrative traps of others (for example, those who see pagan Makkans as trying to only carry out trade, and that Islam unjustly disrupted and destroyed this).

744.    Adultery and pornography go hand in hand. We should not imagine that adultery and sexual freedom uplifts women, when we know that pornography denigrates them. So all must note this reality very carefully.

745.    (As mentioned) Why does the Qur’an use the drinking of the golden calf into the hearts of the Israelites as a phrase? Because the water or liquid becomes part of the fabric of the person, and it is almost impossible to take it out of one’s soul. Other examples are pornography, etc., practically impossible to take out of one’s system what has indelibly colored one’s soul.

746.    The implied meaning of a term like Insha Allah is to try one’s best to achieve the goal while acknowledging that the action is a Creation based on Allah’s Power. Yet, if it is uttered with other than this mentality, it is using Allah’s name in vain, treating the Lafdh al-Jalalah as a trivial matter – then when we see the disrespectful cartoons, videos, etc., we must remember that non-Muslims often see the seriousness with which we take our own Deen and respond accordingly; thus if nominal Muslims take the symbols and phrases of Islam with jest, then what is to be expected from non-Muslims who witness this?

Yes, it could be said that some people will hate Islam no matter what, but are we providing them with any excuse to make the manifestation of this hatred easier to propagate to the masses of people, to normal people who may have had a real interest in Islam had we Muslims taken our Deen more seriously, rather than taken important symbols of our own religion in jest?

747.    Yes, it was very wrong for others to take their priests and rabbis as ‘gods’ when they changed Halal and Haram, but this same issue is seen when the individual interprets (basically makes up) rulings of the Deen. Thus, the major problem is going against the established indubitable religious rulings, regardless of one’s level in religious studies (and the ability to ‘play games’ based on this).

748.    (As mentioned) Those who draw a representation of ‘God’ are in fact not worshipping God, nor venerating Him per a representation of Him, but only worshipping themselves, since their minds have come up with a picture they have called “God” without any basis. This is also a fundamental gateway to outright atheism.

749.    The Eids and the Jumu’ah are periods of atonement. In Islam, the celebration is done by remembering Allah. It is not a Sabath though, rather we celebrate the completion of our religious obligations for that week, that month, etc.

750.    (An answer to an often asked question) What are we celebrating in Eid al-Adha (those of us not in Hajj)? We are celebrating the completion of our utmost efforts during the first 9 days (counting into the 10th) of Dhul-Hijja, because as we know from the Ahadeeth the weight of the deeds during this time is enormous.