I Have a Theory # 2 [A “Religious/Righteous” Person]

21 Feb

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Righteousness does not consist in whether you turn your faces toward the east of west; what is righteous is to believe in God and the last day, and the angels, and the Book, and the Messengers; to spend of your substance, out of your love for Him, for your kin, for orphans, for the needy, for the wayfarer, for those who ask, and for the ransom of slaves; to be steadfast in prayer, and the practice regular charity; to fullfill the contracts which you have made; and to be firm and patient, in pain (or suffering) and adversity, and in times of war. Such that do so are people of truth. Such are the God-fearing. (Al-Baqara, 177)

I’ve been hearing a lot of judgement from our Muslim brothers and sisters who think they have a special gift of picking out pious people from the not so pious. Or more bluntly- the real Muslims from the fakes. There is nothing wrong with being praised for doing a good dead, it’s a good feeling and at times seeing the very obvious bad decisions made by some of our brothers/sisters makes it hard for us to stop from backbiting. Let me just start out by saying no matter how high you might think of yourself, you are no ones judge, your comments don’t have any authority to a person’s good or bad deed or their fate in the afterlife (but it might have some effect on your own fate).

A good person in the Quran, in that particular verse is very, very clear. Your good deeds aren’t tattooed to your forehead for the world to see, and for a good reason. Being righteous comes from within oneself and is achieved through practice, only for the love and approval of Allah. A verse from the same Surah (Al-Baqara) states:

O you who believe! Do not render in vain your charity by reminders of your generosity or by injury, like him who spends his wealth to be seen by men, and he does not believe in Allah, nor the Last Day. His likeness is the likeness of a smooth rock on which is a little dust; on it falls heavy rain which leaves it bare. They are not able to do anything with what they have earned. And Allah does not guide the disbelieving people. [264]

If you disclose your charity, it is well, but if you conceal it and give it to the poor, that is better for you. Allah will forgive you some of your sins. And Allah is Well-Acquainted with what you do. [271]

To do good deed, or in this case charity, God says that it is better for a person to conceal the act in order to avoid a person giving charity for other people’s approvals and recognition rather than Allah’s. Not to say that those who openly give to charity only want people to acknowledge and praise them. That’s the thing. We don’t know. We don’t know what’s in the hearts and minds of people. We are not God, therefore we shouldn’t take his place as the one and only Judge.

And if good deeds are done in secrecy, it makes it a little hard to find such people. It could be that someone we might look at as a ‘bad person’ has done something in secret that might grant them Allah’s mercy.

I know all of this should be obvious, but believe me, this is one of the many problems facing our community.

Please give me some feedback and any opinions or arguments you might want to share with me.🙂

I Have a Theory #1 [Beauty/Ugliness]

4 Feb

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

I want to just throw some of my beliefs out there, basically, how I try to make sense of what goes on around me. Feel free to agree or disagree and share your opinions.

Let’s talk about the idea of beauty (of appearance) in our society. Who decides what types of facial structure or body type or even skin color is most beautiful? We see images on the covers of magazines, on billboards, etc. which we are expected to look up to and imitate. How many of us really question why specific types of models (who honestly all look alike) are deemed fairest of them all.

Euro-centrism plays a huge role in how we view the world and the people living in it. It makes sense, where ever you go you see images of fair skinned, light eyed women and children representing innocence and beauty. Why aren’t darker skinned, darker eyed people ever represented? Are we so brainwashed into believing that the color of somebody’s skin is their greatest flaw? 

I have a theory. 

I believe that beauty and ugliness is an idea created by the Shaytaan (devil/satan) to cause hatred within humanity.

It causes jealousy, envy, bullying, vanity, low self-esteem, self hate, and much more dangerous problems. What causes a human being to degrade another human being, call him/her names, make him/her cry, make him/her hate themselves which might lead people to commit self harm or attempt/commit suicide?

Are we really that disgusting?

Imagine a world where appearance doesn’t matter. Where the idea of beauty or ugliness never existed. Where the integrity of someone’s personality is far more important and people take their time to examine and understand one another fully, rather than judge a book by it’s cover and come to realize that “that pretty face” was nothing but a facade with ugly consequences underneath.

The Shaytaan was vain and full of pride because he believed he was more beautiful and powerful than us humans, who are only made of dirt/clay, while he was made from fire. He was thrown out of heaven because he dared to look down on the creation of God with disgust. We have learned these ugly attributes from the Shaytaan. The Shaytaan in appearance may have been better looking and more powerful, but he had an evil inside of him that tore him apart with jealousy. How do you think he wants to take humans down with him? Through the same jealousy and vain that made him fall.

Allah doesn’t judge us by appearance, He loves us all despite our flaws. We tend to forget that we were all made from the same dirt/clay. Despite being created from dirt/clay Allah looked at us with so much love that it caused the devil to burn with rage.

Never forget that.

In a Dark Tunnel

28 Jan

Recently I’ve realized that I’ve entered a dark tunnel, seemingly endless. You know the saying- the light at the end of the tunnel? Well, I have not found the right exit to mine yet. The exits I came across before were just as dark and I felt I deserved better. Don’t I?

I feel as if I’m close to my exit and will reach the end of my unfortunate circumstance very soon, but I have little hope left. To be honest, as much as I’ve worked on myself and tried to find my flaws in order to change myself, I can’t see how that changes my surroundings. Maybe I’m just too used to being disappointed, I’m afraid to let my hopes up, because the fall will add to every other let down. And where would I go from there? Get back up and mourn, heal, then open up my heart for someone else to tread on?

I’m not made for these kinds of games. I don’t have it in me. I can’t pretend like it means nothing anymore.  Usually those close to you are there for you during hard times to recharge your battery so that you can face the world once again with confidence. That if you lose that confidence, they’ll be there to recharge you once again. I don’t have that. I have friends who come to me with their heavy hearts to pour their unpleasantness onto me. All I can give them is whatever resilient strength I’ve gained from being pushed around, and then they leave. I don’t see any of them again until they’re faced with another problem.

I’m not complaining about my friends, it’s me. I can’t share my burdens with anyone else. I did once with someone but if he stayed in my life I would have never been able to move on. I don’t think I could ever share it with anyone else. I’ll only be taken advantage of. I can’t share my fears with anyone who could not only understand but also promise me it’ll never happen and I’ll believe them.

I need to pray and have God with me. He’s the only one that can get me toward the light at the end of my depressing tunnel. Any hopes of a trustworthy partner seems impossible.

Heloise and Abelard – Tragic Love

3 Jan

The beautiful and tragic story of Heloise and Abelard really pierces every heart that has ever been broken. When I first read some of their letters, it hit me hard. I felt their pain and it felt so real and raw. It reminded me of the emails I would send to my first love while he was away. Tons and tons of emails, with only 2 replies from him. (A  year later I deleted them all as a sort of ‘moving on gesture. Otherwise I wouldn’t mind sharing snippets from some of them.)

Heloise reminded me of myself and Abelard reminded me of him. How our parents were against us. How we would plan to run away. How we would constantly have heated debates with one another about society and religion. How he felt guilty about leading me on. How I would constantly try to see him and talk to him. How he tried to convince me that we were making the wrong decision and I would try to convince him that we belong together.

Their letters seemed to be unfolding everything I was feeling back when I had lost him. Heloise’s words echoed my hearts cries. Her feelings like mine were still strong despite defeat and she was alive only through the love she once felt and the pain that was left behind.

For those who don’t know the story of Heloise and Abelard – http://classiclit.about.com/cs/articles/a/aa_abelard.htm

Here are some of my favorite quotes from their love letters to one another.

“I have hated myself that I might love you; I came hither to ruin myself in perpetual imprisonment that I might make you live quietly and at ease.” (Heloise)

“For not with me was my heart, but with thee. But now, more than ever, if it be not with thee, it is nowhere. For without thee it cannot anywhere exist.” (Heloise)

“I had wished to find in philosophy and religion a remedy for my disgrace; I searched out an asylum to secure me from love. I was come to the sad experiment of making vows to harden my heart. But what have I gained by this? If my passion has been put under a restraint my thoughts yet run free. I promise myself that I will forget you, and yet cannot think of it without loving you.” (Abelard)

“If I put myself in a cloister with reason, persuade me to stay in it with devotion.” (Heloise)

“I remove to a distance from your person with an intention of avoiding you as an enemy; and yet I incessantly seek for you in my mind; I recall your image in my memory, and in different disquietudes I betray and contradict myself. I hate you! I love you! Shame presses me on all sides.” (Abelard)

“But if I lose you, what have I left to hope for? Why continue on life’s pilgrimage, for which I have no support but you, and none in you save the knowledge that you are alive, now that I am forbidden all other pleasures in you and denied even the joy of your presence which from time to time could restore me to myself?” (Heloise)

“Can you have the cruelty to abandon me? The fear of this stabs my heart; the fearful presages you make at the end of your letter, those terrible images you draw of your death, quite distract me. Cruel Abelard! you ought to have stopped my tears and you make them flow. You ought to have quelled the turmoil of my heart and you throw me into greater disorder.” (Heloise)

“Your letters have indeed moved me; I could not read with indifference characters written by that dear hand! I sigh and weep, and all my reason is scarce sufficient to conceal my weakness from my pupils. This, unhappy Heloise, is the miserable condition of Abelard.” (Abelard)

“A heart which has loved as mine cannot soon be indifferent.” (Heloise)

“You have been the occasion of all my misfortunes, you therefore must be the instrument of all my comfort.” (Heloise)

Bracing Myself for Another Year

3 Jan Rear-View-Mirror-Sky

Happy New Year everyone! Last year was a tough one for me and I’m so glad it’s over. It’s all behind me now and I have changed for the better. I am some what stronger and still learning from my mistakes and still learning new things about myself and people in general. I had very bad judgement of people last year. I became one of those people who saw things as black or white, good or bad. Mostly bad. In order to protect myself, I put up a cold front and burned many bridges. Good riddance to those that left and never came back.

Here is an entry from the beginning of the year 2011.

I was craving change in my life. Excitement. But to my frustration, it was getting duller by the day.

________________________________________

Riding on the bus toward college once again. Bracing myself for another day – a tiring day of walking, working and passing through mindless people wasting their time in the hallways and cafes of college rather than their classes.

It’s a bit frustrating, here we are, the youth. We should be the generation of movers shakers but we ended up as “mice” rather than men.

[January, 2010]

Quote

Don’t play with my heart…

21 Dec heart2

Don’t play with my heart.

The toy will break.

If you shake my heart even a little

The glass will crack.

Fearlessness of People

18 Dec backstabber

Someone I barely spoke to but still considered a friend had spread dirty rumors about me. It scared and astounded me. To think such people really did exist. My mother was right.

——————-

Yet another entry and I’m forced to think up a topic on the spot.

I choose the fearlessness of people. It astounds me to no avail.

Not just any type of fearlessness, I’m talking about how some people aren’t afraid of hurting other people. Of mixing dirt with innocent peoples names.

Aren’t they the least bit afraid of God punishing them one day?

I would like to warn everybody to never trust another human being no matter how attractive their personality seems.

God help us all.

[Apr. 2010]

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