Apprehending the Ramadan Once Again

 

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                                                  Image Courtesy www.datemplate.com

 

We have once again come to the holy month of Ramadan by Allah’s (swt) Will; the sacred month when the Quran was revealed- bringing good news and mercy; and as a reminder to the believers.

The spirituality, radiance and zeal- which are so distinctive of Ramadan- make this month the sultan of the year, with a unique sacredness and meaning for Muslims; and which has encompassed the entire Islamic world.

During the month of Ramadan- longed for just like a month in every period throughout history with its special virtues- we will observe the worship of fasting with our Muslim brothers, and be thankful for all the blessings our Lord has granted us; and perform prayers in crowded communities by praising His name. We will preserve the limits of Allah (swt), as we are informed in the verses of the Quran and the Sunnah of our Prophet (sa), enhance our feelings of helpfulness, solidarity and brotherhood, and close our ranks with love. The fasts that we break together, and our prayers will be the means for overflowing our hearts with love of Allah (swt).

While we are wishing for goodness and mercy for all Muslims in the month of Ramadan, we unquestionably remember our brothers who are being persecuted in every corner of the world. In this Ramadan, we remember that there is an urgent need for unity and solidarity for the salvation of Muslims who are under persecution and oppression in Myanmar, Syria, Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan, Patani, Kashmir, East Turkestan, Moro, and Crimea, as well as, many other parts of the world; as we remember the innocent people, the people of Middle East have been shattered by mischief, and all kinds of affliction; and are facing the most ruthless siege. We must never forget the images of innocent people devastated with automatic rifles and bombs, and the dead bodies of children lined up next to one another.

It is not possible for us to remain insensible while millions of our brothers are downtrodden. Every time we break our fast, we will be mindful of them and hold them in our prayers. We will say, be it in small or big gatherings, that the only salvation of the Islamic world is in Islamic Union, and that Muslims should be united at once, and that delaying this unification is unlawful. Also, we believe that every one of us will act with the utmost conscience, and make significant strides on this path.

Indeed, the solidarity of Muslims, their being in unity and embracing one another should be the top priority in the Islamic world.

Millions of innocents are expecting a helping hand from their Muslim brothers. We must empathize to their dire straits by putting ourselves in their place, and striving for their salvation with our greatest efforts, is one of our major obligations. We need to be aware that we will have to account for every drop of blood that is shed; every guiltless person who is martyred or disabled because of an injury; or every aggrieved individual in starvation.

There is no doubt that it is already time for the Islamic world to unite. When all the lands of Islam act in alliance and togetherness, they will make enormous progress by Allah’s (swt) will; and the mischief we see throughout the world, will come to an end. It is essential for Muslims to come together in unison for the bloodshed to stop, for the anarchy and terror to end, and for tranquility, welfare and security to prevail all over the world.

We hope that in this sacred month, Muslims will put aside their dissention, and come together; and attain days of serenity, radiance and peace by the Will of our Lord. All Muslims should leave aside the fighting, conflict and resentment this Ramadan, act in alliance and seek ways to save their brothers under oppression so that the seemingly unceasing strife is brought to an end in the Islamic world. By realizing that our religion enjoins peace and brotherhood, we wish that all divisions and bitterness be eliminated so that the lifelessness, disagreement and disputes arising from differences are removed; and that Muslim brothers and sisters can reconcile. And again, we pray that this blessed month is the means for laying the foundations of a delightful, peaceful and luminous period in the Islamic world, just like the Age of Bliss.

 

 

 

 

The Ashab-e-Kahf For Today’s Youth

Ashab e Kahf

Transcribed for hiba by Asma Imran

I would like to highlight some lessons from the story of the Ashab-e-Kahf (People of the Cave) which I feel are significantly missing in Muslim discourse especially those related to our youth.

Withdrawal from Mainstream Culture

The first thing I want to talk about is the cultural onslaught. The People of the Cave drew themselves away from the dominant culture when they observed that it was overwhelmingly evil. Actually, a verdict was passed against them according to which they were to be executed as a result of their faith; so they pulled themselves out.

One of the most important lessons to draw from this is that until our lives are in danger, we have to engage with the society. As Muslims, we cannot have the attitude that we are not going to mingle in the society because everything outside is a Fitnah from which we have to protect and shelter ourselves, and the only way we are going to preserve our faith is by totally shutting ourselves out from the outside world. This means that we’ve already accepted defeat. It says that everybody else is attacking us, and we’ve got to save ourselves by pulling back and staying strong within our fort.

However, the entire idea of Islam and the imagery that Allah (swt) presents of Islam is that of truth being hurled against falsehood. Allah (swt) gives the image of truth being like a weapon and falsehood being the victim and running away. Thus, the truth is attacking falsehood, and falsehood is on the run. So who’s on the offense and who’s on the defence? Who’s actually questioning the wrong happening in our society and engaging with it and saying: “We are here to change things?” That’s the truth. And who’s actually supposed to go into hiding? That’s supposed to be falsehood.

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My Family on Fire!

unityImagine waking up one morning to the horror of finding your loved ones brutally killed. All of them, one by one, were slain like carrots. In every room that you peek – your brothers’, sisters’, parents’ and children’s – you find they’ve been tortured, heartlessly massacred and mutilated. What will be your reaction? Will you sit still? Or stay utterly optimistic that you will be spared? Or you won’t have time to think about them and you’ll just have breakfast and go about your daily routine like you always do? Or will you be cowardly and evasive, giving excuses that you can’t do anything?

If you think this is just a fictitious scenario, you’re wrong! Step out of the shell covering you – ‘my life and my world’ – and look around! A sister in Iraq, a brother in Palestine, a father in Philippines, a mother in Syria, a brother in Afghanistan, a son in Burma, a cousin in Xinjiang (China), another in North Pakistan, a brother in Yemen, sisters in Somalia, friends in Algeria, an aunt in Egypt… and so many others in the persecuted Muslim lands. My family, your family is on fire! Yes, they are our family!

Prophet Muhammad (sa) said: “In their mutual love, mercy and compassion, the believers are like one body: if one organ complained, the rest of the body develops a fever.” (Bukhari, Muslim)

Do you feel for them, pray for them and shed tears for them, like you would have for a family member? Have you done anything practical to aid and support them?

Do give this a thought and draft an action plan, for on the Day of Judgment, you will be answerable before Allah Almighty (swt), the Judge. Do prepare an answer! Today is all you have.