Random Thoughts and Notes No. 751-775

751.   The Christian may ask “(In the present case) what would Jesus do?”, but the Muslim asks “What did Muhammad (ﷺ) do?” So note the difference in approach, the different mandate each Prophet (Alayhi as-Salaam) had, and the amount of care taken in recording the life of the Prophet (ﷺ).

752.   Of course people talk of the dichotomy between democracy and dictatorship, but we see that even bona-fide dictators use big words such as democracy, human rights, justice, determination, national sovereignty, etc. So will we say that these concepts are totally wrong and unacceptable? (i.e., supposing hypothetically that the Euro-American paradigm is correct; analogy is made with Islamic splinter groups that use the proper formal terminologies of Islam in a damaging way)

753.   Scholars mention that the Ru’ya of Allah will take place on the Days of Eid in Jannah (same as we have here on Earth the Jumu’ah, Fitr and Adha Eids).

754.   Muslims do not at all deny visible (sensory) knowledge. Yet we accept that there is another sort of knowledge that is not directly accessible to us, and we need Prophets (Alayhim As-Salaam) and revealed books to know about this other type of knowledge. Very importantly, rejecting Mawjood (directly accessible and present) knowledge is as heretical as claiming the hidden knowledge that is only known through Revelation (i.e. claiming Wahy).

755.   We need to consider that the freedom of opinion rule when applied with an iron fist gives rise in and of itself to problems and conflicts in worldviews and within societies, where previously there were relatively fewer problems and conflicts. This is because contentions and conflicts are exacerbated, sometimes even artificially engendered, all in the name of encouraging people to voice their opinions and disagree with one another.

756.   One thing occurring today is that we destroy our children’s futures without a care in the world (same with climate change, no care for the environment; and other similar threats are there, whose manifestation will not be very apparent to the people engaging or facilitating such detrimental outcomes). This was not so much the case before, not in our Muslim societies nor in other societies. But the narrow-minded view for immediate benefits and pleasures above all else has given rise to grave detriments for future generations in both material and spiritual spheres.

757.   Kasb (the Sunni explanation regarding acquisition) has been defined in the relationship between the person’s created power and the Divine Decree.

758.   An example provided concerning ‘innovations’: Note that Imam an-Nawawi (RA) acknowledged that shaking hands after prayer is not an Asl in and of itself, yet it is allowed, since it is a Bid’ah Mubahah (permissible innovation) and its ulterior basis is a Sunnah, that of shaking a brother’s hand in general.

759.   (As mentioned): We as Muslims are the Ummah of the Mercy to the ‘Alaameen, so what are we doing becoming impatient and sending La’na (curses) on people [sometimes even on Muslims based on the slightest dispute], when the Prophet (ﷺ) himself did not generally do this with people?

760.   (As mentioned): In the story of Jurayj and how he was disobedient, in fact the mother’s prayer was not answered because she asked for something forbidden (that Jurayj meet a prostitute and have relations with her); and yet Jurayj went through difficulties nonetheless.

761.   The Zeitgeist of materialism and disrespect of religion at all levels is so pervasive it is like the air we breathe (around us, in us, yet we are almost always unaware of it). It is at this very level that the Islamic Ummah has been affected, and it is at this level that Islam seeks to change the mentality of the people, not only through laws, prohibitions, exhortations, etc.

762.   The correct behavioral method is to let Allah sort out the Baaghi who has transgressed against one, and this is the general advice we should be giving each other, not inciting people towards further acrimony and hatred (especially not between Muslims). There are times though, when it is perfectly acceptable to respond, or even to fight the transgressor – the friend and particularly the true spiritual mentor will know the proper time to respond and when to remain patient.

763.   (As mentioned): Video games are in fact based on deep psychological research into how to increase the kill ratio of soldiers; comparison is there between the WW2 10-15% kill ratio to the Vietnam 90% kill ratio among US soldiers- so not only do we have commercial TV as a very detrimental thing, but video games are perhaps even worse.

764.   In Arabic, the word for speech is Lafdh, it has connotations of an arrow going out and hitting something. We cannot take our words back, this is why matters of Iman, Talaq, etc. are so very sensitive, since a Muslim is Mu’allaq (bound) based on what he or she says.

Thus, see that some Arabs due to being heedless say: ‘May your house be demolished’, and now bombs are falling on our homes left and right. Same is the case with other traditional cultures of Indo-Pakistan, Afghanistan, etc. We should be very careful about damming things, or our children, etc., because in Islam and with Allah words hit a target, and we don’t want to regret our speech in the future. The legislation (i.e. modern positive laws) that may be passed in certain nations voiding the effect of divorce or other things is irrelevant, since with Allah the matter remains the same, and this is what will count in the Hereafter and may even have other manifestations in this world, plus so many unwise things said are not directly related to relationships in the first place, yet can have very adverse effects.

765.   (As mentioned): There is considerable difference of opinion about aborting the embryo before 120 days; there are opinions prohibiting this since life begins at conception, even if the soul is breathed into the body later on. It is a weak argument to say that abortion is like coitus, since the life of the human has stages, starting with the drop of semen attaching itself to the wall of the embryo.

Of course, Allah could have created everyone and everything in one instant, but the gradualism we see allows us to praise and glorify Allah at each stage of change in creation.

One final point is that if someone says, this is a matter of personal choice over one’s body, we say metaphysically this is incorrect, no one whether a man or a woman has real control over their bodies, rather Allah is the true Owner and we are stewards of what has been bestowed upon us (this is irrespective of the ruling that may be given about abortion before 120 days).

766.   When Allah gives us a “Wasiya” it is very important (in normal/human terms, Wasiya being a last testament). Thus, for example, in the Qur’an we have a Wasiya for Taqwa, or for obeying parents- these sorts of pronouncements are not to be taken lightly.

767.   Important point to keep in mind: The known reality of Allah and His Attributes as per what is mentioned in the Qur’an is not negated by the incomprehensibility of the description.

768.   An interesting contention regarding the modern world and its mores: Slavery is said to be dehumanizing, yet what about excessive marketing to make brand connections, brand affiliation, etc. – this is quite dehumanizing in itself, where a person is reduced to a consumer or the consumer-product relationship is turned on its head. It can be said that one is a very blunt physical type of enslavement, while the other is subtle, but perhaps even more pernicious, since agency is taken away through mental techniques and tricks.

769.   Don’t be depressed by the concrete jungles in Arab cities like Cairo (they are not the implementation of Islamic principles, rather they are poor imitations of a failed Eastern European Communist vision of housing and life).

770.   (What was mentioned): The essence of Qadr is after all, its being a Sirr (secret) of Allah in His Creation that no one other than Him knows.

771.   Don’t be fooled: So-called “Images of the Divine” trap us into images, in the physical, they don’t lead us to the Divine.

772.   Note about all those people claiming Prophethood after having claimed they were the Mahdi: the conditions for the Mahdi were not met in their call, so there is no point going into the next stage of ‘Investigation’ whatsoever. Especially relevant for dealing with groups like Bahais or Qadianis (in these cases, there is also the issue of their “Prophet” being taught religious truths by teachers, impossible for true Prophets and Messengers, plus so many other points against them).

773.   We say that Allah is Creator, Resurrector of the Dead, and so on, even when these have not been manifested to us or to any of the creation; of course, this is talking from our own contingent viewpoint.

774.   (As mentioned): Islamically, Fasad is defined as murderous sedition on earth, not just a convenient route to kill unwanted opponents.

775.   The important distinction between Allah’s Hearing and Seeing and ours, is that ours is imperfect and limited by definition (it is created and needs tools, waves, air, etc.).

Thus, when some people accuse Muslims of going to graves and engaging in Shirk (association with Allah) by talking to the dead or asking from them, it depends; if the explicit claim is that the deceased person has Divine Attributes then yes this accusation of Shirk is correct. But, if the claim is only that the deceased has abnormally good hearing, seeing or perception abilities, this might be other than the truth, might even be silly in many cases, but it is not associating partners with Allah. Besides, it is not a matter of being alive or dead, since these abilities can also be manifested while the saint is alive, and (following that logic) it would be Shirk in this case as well.

Thus, the theology of the Muslims has to be correct, and the distinctions between what may be an incorrect belief, exaggerated claims, or even superstition, yet not ‘Shirk’ itself need to be known.