Monday, July 18, 2011

Islam and Belief

by Abu Hamzah bin Yusuf Alamo

In the Name of Allah, the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful. Assalaamu Alaikum. All praise is due to Allah, and that is enough for a man to understand. In Islam, one cannot have belief (or faith) without assurance of the heart, and one cannot have assurance of the heart without knowledge, and knowledge without action is useless, and so is belief without knowledge, for belief without knowledge is blind faith, which is also useless. Belief (or faith) in Islam is based on the teachings of our primary textual source (the Qur'an) and our secondary textual source is the Authentic Hadeeth. It is from this that we (Muslims) extract the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (Peace and Blessings be upon him). The Noble Qur'an and the Authentic Sunnah teach us (Muslims) that there are six pillars upon which our faith is based. These pillars are belief in Allah, belief in His Angels, belief in His divine revelations, belief in all of His Prophets and messengers, belief in the last day, and belief in the divine preordainment; including the good and the bad of it. {The Noble Qur'an [2:285] - The Messenger believeth in what hath been revealed to him from his Lord, as do the men of faith. Each one (of them) believeth in Allah, His angels, His books, and His messengers. "We make no distinction (they say) between one and another of His messengers." And they say: "We hear, and we obey: (We seek) Thy forgiveness, our Lord, and to Thee is the end of all journeys."}, {The Noble Qur'an [4:136] - O ye who believe! Believe in Allah and His Messenger, and the scripture which He hath sent to His Messenger and the scripture which He sent to those before (him). Any who denieth Allah, His angels, His Books, His Messengers, and the Day of Judgment, hath gone far, far astray.}, {Sahih al-Bukhari [6:4448] - One day while Allah's Apostle was sitting with the people, a man came to him walking and said, "O Allah's Apostle. What is Belief?" The Prophet said, "Belief is to believe in Allah, His Angels, His Books, His Apostles, and the meeting with Him, and to believe in the Resurrection."}, {Sahih Muslim [1:4] - Abu Huraira reported: One day the Messenger of Allaah (sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam) appeared before the public that a man came to him and said: Prophet of Allaah, (tell me) what is Iman. Upon this he (the Prophet) replied: That you affirm your faith in Allaah, His angels, His Books, His meeting, His Messengers and that you affirm your faith in the Resurrection hereafter.}, Also: {Sahih Muslim [1:6] - It is narrated on the authority of Abu Huraira that the Messenger of Allaah (sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam) said: Ask me (about matters pertaining to religion), but they (the Companions of the Prophet) were too much overawed out of profound respect for him to ask him (anything). In the meanwhile a man came there, and sat near his knees and said: Messenger of Allaah, what al-lslam is? -to which he (the Prophet) replied: You must not associate anything with Allaah, and establish prayer, pay the poor-rate (Zakat) and observe (the fasts) of Ramadan. He said: You (have) told the truth. He (again) said: Messenger of Allaah, what al-Iman (the faith) is? He (the Prophet) said: That you affirm your faith in Allaah, His angels, His Books, His meeting, His Prophets, and that you believe in Resurrection and that you believe in Qadr (Divine Decree) in all its entirety, He (the inquirer) said: You (have) told the truth.} Our primary textual source (the Qur'an) is based on knowledge, and we receive knowledge only as Allah wills. The proof of this is from the Speech of Allah: {The Noble Quran [7:52] - In the Name of Allah, the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful: For We had certainly sent unto them a Book, based on knowledge, which We explained in detail,- a guide and a mercy to all who believe.}, {The Noble Qur'an [2:255] - In the Name of Allah, the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful: Allah! There is no deity but He,-the Living, the Self-subsisting, Eternal. No slumber can seize Him nor sleep. His are all things in the heavens and on earth. Who is there can intercede in His presence except as He permitteth? He knoweth what (appeareth to His creatures as) before or after or behind them. Nor shall they compass aught of His knowledge except as He willeth. His Throne doth extend over the heavens and the earth, and He feeleth no fatigue in guarding and preserving them for He is the Most High, the Supreme (in glory).} May Allah Guide all of us to the right path, ameen.

Islam and Plural Marriage

by Abu Hamzah bin Yusuf Alamo

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful. Praise be to Allah and Peace be unto you. Men and women are not the same (equal). We are different in every aspect except that we are human beings. Therefore, we have different roles. Men cannot breastfeed or possess a womb that would carry a child to term. Women do not have the same physical and emotional capacity for warfare and battle that men have. Think of Muslim society as a house; families are the foundation of a Muslim society, women are the pillars of a Muslim society, and men are the roof which shelters and protects a Muslim society. Within this society, the ratio of Muslim women is greater to that of Muslim men. The same rings true amongst the non-Muslim population of the world. Were every single Muslim man to marry one Muslim woman, there would still be lonely single Muslim women who would have no husband and be tempted to have sex with another woman's husband outside the boundaries of marriage. Polyganous (not Polygamous) marriage is one of the best ways to Minimize adultery within a Muslim society. It is the lawful way for Muslim men and Muslim women to co-habit without having the stigma associated with committing fornication and adultery. {The Noble Qur'an [4:3] - If ye fear that ye shall not be able to deal justly with the orphan girls, then marry (other) women of your choice, Two or three or four; but if ye fear that ye shall not be able to deal justly (with them), then only one, or (a captive) that your right hands possess, that will be more suitable, to prevent you from doing injustice.} Polygany has never been prohibited within any religious scripture. It is practiced and promoted within all of the Abrahamic textual sources. Lineage is very important within a Muslim society. Every Muslim child has to know exactly who their Muslim father is due to the legal matters of inheritance as prescribed within the Qur'an. Were one Muslim woman to have four different Muslim husbands, there would be confusion as to who exactly is the father of her children. Ever watch 'Maury Povich' or 'Jerry Springer'? This is the type of drama a Muslim society should opt to avoid. Were one Muslim man to have four Muslim wives, there would be no confusion as to who exactly is the mother of his children. There would be a clear understanding as to who the mothers are and who the father is. This is the reason why it is prohibited for Muslim women to have more than one Muslim husband. Please also keep in mind that even in pre-Islamic Arabia, there were more infant girls being born (and more infant girls surviving) than infant boys. It was a pre-Islamic Arab custom that infant girls were often killed by being buried in the desert alive. {The Noble Qur'an
- When the female (infant), buried alive, is questioned -For what crime she was killed;} The result was a majority of older women who could not bear children and a decrease in the tribal population growth at that time. This is also why it made more sense to consummate marriage to a young girl upon the event of her first menses (i.e. Prophet Muhammad [sallAllahu alaihee wa sallam] consummating his marriage to A'isha [radiAllahu anha] when she was nine years-old). It meant that a young girl was of childbearing age and therefore (physically) a woman. Pre-Islamic Arab tribal society was dependent on the amount of young men that could be produced for the sake of warfare and commerce. The role of women in both pre-Islamic and post Islamic Arab society (typically) did not fit into either of those categories except when it came to birthing young males who would naturally take active roles in the physical and financial security of their tribes. It also made sense for Muslim men to marry older Muslim women who needed husbands to care for them physically and financially. This system of marriage is both merciful and just to women (young and old) within a Muslim society.

Islam and Actions

by Abu Hamzah bin Yusuf Alamo

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful. Peace be unto those who follow right Guidance. Islam prescribes that everything Mankind does should be done in a way that seeks to attain the Grace of the Lord (Allah; the Most Gracious) and not in a way that seeks to satisfy base desires. {The Noble Qur’an [1:7] – The way of those on whom Thou hast bestowed Thy Grace, those whose (portion) is not wrath, and who go not astray.} The Prophet Muhammad (sallAllahu alaihee wa sallam) taught that should Muslims see something unjust, offensive, or unlawful, then Muslims should (inshAllah) change it with their hands (should they have the ability). Should Muslims not have the ability to do so, he (sallAllahu alaihee wa sallam) taught Muslims that they should change it with their tongues (i.e. with their speech). He (sallAllahu alaihee wa sallam) taught us that the best of speech is the speech of Allah. {The Noble Qur’an [41:33] – Who is better in speech than one who calls (men and women) to Allah, works righteousness, and says, “I am of those who bow in Islam”?} Should Muslims not have the ability to do so, he (sallAllahu alaihee wa sallam) taught Muslims then that they should maintain Allah’s hatred for injustice, offense, and lawlessness within their hearts, for this is the least amount of (true) faith.

Islam and Salvation

by Abu Hamzah bin Yusuf Alamo

In the Name of Allah ('The Divine' translated; 'Al Lah'), the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful. Peace be unto you. I recommend you to discover the Truth about the Creator of Mankind and I sincerely call you to the Way (Deen) of Islam. Islam is the only Way (Deen) of life which (by the Will and Mercy of the Lord) will bring you the Benefit of Salvation from the Disgrace of this life and the Torment of Hell in the hereafter. Islam isn't only the Way (Deen) of Muhammad (sallAllahu alaihee wa sallam). Islam is the Way (Deen) of all the Prophets; including Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, and Jesus (alaihee Salaam). {The Noble Qur'an [42:13] - The same religion has He established for you as that which He enjoined on Noah - that which We have sent by inspiration to thee - and that which We enjoined on Abraham, Moses, and Jesus: Namely, that ye should remain steadfast in (one) religion, and make no divisions therein: to those who worship other things than Allah, hard is the (way) to which thou callest them. Allah chooses to Himself those whom He pleases, and guides to Himself those who turn (to Him).} Islam is the Way (Deen) of Peaceful surrender to the One who created Mankind. Should you acknowledge the Sovereign Authority and Oneness of the Creator of Mankind, and acknowledge the Prophet-hood of His final Messenger; Muhammad (sallAllahu alaihee wa sallam), and commit your life to righteous and noble deeds (by the Will and Mercy of the Lord), you will find true success both in this life and in the Hereafter. {The Noble Qur'an [23:102] - Then those whose balance (of good deeds) is heavy,- they will attain salvation:} By the Will and Mercy of the Lord, should you Peacefully surrender to Him (the One Creator of Mankind who cannot be divided into two), you will find Peace both in this life and in the hereafter. Should you (by the Will and Mercy of the Lord) refuse to acknowledge the Oneness of the Creator of Mankind, and refuse to acknowledge the Prophet-hood of His final Messenger; Muhammad (sallAllahu alaihee wa sallam), and refuse to accept Islam as your Way (Deen) of life, then know that you will most certainly be amongst those who have lost the (True) Peace of this life and the Hereafter. {The Noble Qur'an [3:85] - And whoever seeks a religion other than Islam, it will never be accepted of him, and in the Hereafter he will be one of the losers.} I sincerely advise you to be patient and learn about the Creator of Mankind (Allah), His final Messenger; Muhammad (sallAllahu alaihee wa sallam), and the complete system of Islam before you rashly decline and lose out on what could be (by the Will and Mercy of the Lord) the greatest achievement of your life; Salvation from Eternity in the Hell-Fire. {The Noble Qur'an [6:16] - "On that day, if the penalty is averted from any, it is due to Allah's mercy; And that would be (Salvation), the obvious fulfilment of all desire.} Be warned that this can only be achieved through (by the Will and Mercy of the Lord) acknowledging the Sovereign Authority of the One and Only Creator of Mankind (Allah), acknowledging the Prophet-hood of His final Messenger; Muhammad (sallAllahu alaihee wa sallam), and conducting righteous and noble deeds purely for the sake of attaining the Mercy of the Most Merciful (Allah). {The Noble Qur'an [28:67] - But any that (in this life) had repented, believed, and worked righteousness, will have hopes to be among those who achieve salvation.} I pray that the Lord (Allah) guides you to the right choice, ameen.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Early Jihad (Struggle)

by Abu Hamzah bin Yusuf Alamo

The morning was cold as he rose out of bed
tried to remember Allah in his head
applied Ahl-us-Sunnah as soon as he woke
praising Allah with the first words he spoke
then he made wuhdoo until all complete
same as he learned it, wash and repeat
made it a point to stretch out with his back
brushed all his teeth with a trusty miswak
dressed in a robe of Islamic fashion
looking the part of a Muslim in action
adding one last bit of flavor and spin
wrapping his head in an Arab turban
making real sure not to miss his suhoor
afterwards walking straight out of the door
having intention to join the Jama'ah
praying with brothers in Fajr Salaah

Sister, you are more than you think

by Abu Hamzah bin Yusuf Alamo

By the One who holds my soul
made the worlds and has control
do you really mean to say
jealousy has had it's way?
You bought the lie and now you've quit
because you feel inadequate
a girl you feel has more to give
than what you have with how you live
Sister simple truth be told
your excuse has gotten old
fact is sister what you're in
is a mess from evil jinn
stop believing Shaitan's lies
make wuhdoo and wash your eyes
take the time to go repent
save you from some punishment
Allah can get you through this pain
heed my words, don't go insane
the things you say are not unique
to someone with a kufr streak
let me right now tell you something
you are not an empty nothing
you are more than flesh and bones
make-up, hair, and color tones
can't get pregnant, can't have kids
doesn't matter what it is
just be grateful for a man
Allah may send unto your hand
make stighfar before you sleep
don't just get by counting sheep
and pray Ar-Rabb your soul to keep

Friday, April 29, 2011

The Importance of Peace in Islam

by Abu Hamzah bin Yusuf Alamo

In the Name of Allah, the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful. Peace be unto you. All praise is due to Allah, and that is enough for a man (or a woman) to understand. I bear witness that there is nothing worthy of worship, and no deity in reality, except for Allah (who has no partners) and I bear witness that Muhammad (Peace and Blessings be upon him) is His willing slave and messenger. Know that the best of speech is the speech of Allah, and that the best of guidance is the guidance of Prophet Muhammad (Peace and Blessings be upon him). Remember that the most evil of affairs are the newly invented matters; the things we innovate into Islam ourselves. Every innovation leads to sin, and every sin leads to the Hell-Fire. To begin: Islam does not promote pacifism. Most assuredly, Allah has prohibited for us the criminal act of murder (i.e. indiscriminate killing). The proof of this is from the speech of Allah: {The Noble Qur'an [6:151] - Say: “Come, I will rehearse what Allah hath (really) prohibited you from”: Join not anything as equal with Him; be good to your parents; kill not your children on a plea of want;- We provide sustenance for you and for them;- come not nigh to shameful deeds. Whether open or secret; take not life, which Allah hath made sacred, except by way of justice and law: thus doth He command you, that ye may learn wisdom.} However, He never told us to "turn the other cheek" and He never forbid us the right to self-defense should someone attempt to harm us or our families. Allah willing, should someone attempt to break into our homes and hurt our loved ones, we should defend them to the fullest extent with our very lives. This concept of honor and justice does not endorse terrorism. Life is sacred in Islam. Innocent, non-combatant life even more so. This is why we are (at times) required to defend against physical attack in order to protect that life. This is an unpleasant truth for some, but it is still the truth and you don't have be to a Muslim to relate to this. Local Police and other forms of Law Enforcement in every country all over the world will concur with the reality of this truth. So, we shouldn't (in our zeal to promote Islam as a peaceful way of life) give off the impression that Islam promotes pacifism. It doesn't. Islam promotes the attainment of peace both in this world and in the hereafter. How can you have peace in this world if you don’t feel secure and protected? Ultimate peace (in the hereafter) can only be attained through salvation from the Hell-Fire, and salvation from the Hell-Fire can only be attained through the mercy of Allah, and the mercy of Allah can only be attained through submission to His will alone without equating anything other than Him as being as worthy of worship or allegiance (i.e. Islam). The proof of this is from the speech of Allah: {The Noble Qur'an [3:85] - If anyone desires a religion other than Islam (submission to Allah), never will it be accepted of him; and in the Hereafter He will be in the ranks of those who have lost (All spiritual good).} {The Noble Qur'an [24:55] - Allah has promised, to those among you who believe and work righteous deeds, that He will, of a surety, grant them in the land, inheritance (of power), as He granted it to those before them; that He will establish in authority their religion - the one which He has chosen for them; and that He will change (their state), after the fear in which they (lived), to one of security and peace: 'They will worship Me (alone) and not associate aught with Me. 'If any do reject Faith after this, they are rebellious and wicked.} {The Noble Qur'an [6:16] - "On that day, if the penalty is averted from any, it is due to Allah's mercy; And that would be (Salvation), the obvious fulfillment of all desire.} {The Noble Qur'an [59:23] - Allah is He, than Whom there is no other god;- the Sovereign, the Holy One, the Source of Peace (and Perfection), the Guardian of Faith, the Preserver of Safety, the Exalted in Might, the Irresistible, the Supreme: Glory to Allah! (High is He) above the partners they attribute to Him.} Pacifism is (in fact) an irrational, illogical response to a person (or a group of people) seeking to break the law by causing physical harm to ordinary law-abiding civilians. While I agree that violent extremism should not be endorsed within Islam, I hold the idea that pacifism is another kind of extreme that should not be endorsed within Islam either. Islam does not promote extremism of any kind; whether it be extreme violence or extreme consumption. Islam promotes a moderate approach to everything in our daily lives. This includes matters of self-defense. The proof of this is from the speech of Allah; In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful: {The Noble Qur'an [2:190] - Fight in the cause of Allah those who fight you, but do not transgress limits; for Allah loveth not transgressors.} {The Noble Qur'an [2:224] - And make not Allah's (name) an excuse in your oaths against doing good, or acting rightly, or making peace between persons; for Allah is One Who heareth and knoweth all things.} {The Noble Qur'an [4:90-91] - Except those who join a group which between you and they there is a treaty (of peace), or those who approach you with hearts restraining them from fighting you as well as fighting their own people. If Allah had pleased, He could have given them power over you, and they would have fought you: Therefore if they withdraw from you but fight you not, and (instead) send you (Guarantees of) peace, then Allah Hath opened no way for you (to war against them) Others you will find that wish to gain your confidence as well as that of their people: Every time they are sent back to temptation, they succumb thereto: if they withdraw not from you nor give you (guarantees) of peace besides restraining their hands, seize them and slay them wherever ye get them: In their case We have provided you with a clear argument against them.} {The Noble Qur'an [8:61] - But if the enemy incline towards peace, do thou (also) incline towards peace, and trust in Allah: for He is One that heareth and knoweth (all things.} {The Noble Qur'an [49:9] - If two parties among the Believers fall into a quarrel, make ye peace between them: but if one of them transgresses beyond bounds against the other, then fight ye (all) against the one that transgresses until it complies with the command of Allah; but if it complies, then make peace between them with justice, and be fair: for Allah loves those who are fair (and just).} Islam came to wipe out the injustice and barbarism that was practiced before and during the early period of Muhammad's Prophetic career (Peace and Blessings be upon him). Islam had come during the dark ages within the Arabian peninsula and (with the help of Allah) united what was once a land of warring tribes into one mighty nation under the banner of Islam (i.e. peaceful surrender and submission to the will of Allah). Many of the avenues toward achieving this goal was due to a series of practices and prohibitions given to us in stages throughout (and following) the course of the twenty-three year Qur'anic revelation. Among these are: the establishment of monotheism and it's implementation in the daily lives of the Arab people, the prohibition and removal of all idols from the the Sacred House (i.e. the Ka'bah in Mecca), the establishment of mandatory prayers conducted in congregation at fixed times five times daily, the prohibition of murdering female infants, the establishment of compulsory alms for the poor, the prohibition of pork and alcohol consumption (as well as it's distribution), the establishment of government, the prohibition of gambling, the establishment of women’s rights, the regulation of servitude and marriage, the establishment of worker’s rights, the establishment of a military, the prohibition of usury and other illegal business practices, the establishment of fair and open trade, the prohibition of killing civilians during the course of war, the prohibition of the abuse and misuse of animals, the establishment of a judicial court, the prohibition of ethnic prejudice and racism, the prohibition of abusing or torturing prisoners of war, the establishment of quarantines and hospitals, the establishment of educational centers of learning and trade schools (for women as well as men) in the fields of literacy, poetry, language, calligraphy, business, journalism, medicine, law, agriculture, cartography, ship building, sea faring, chemistry, astronomy, mathematics, as well as many other useful contributions to society that we utilize to this day which are too numerous to count. Unfortunately, the world today is in turmoil because we (Muslims) are not practicing and implementing Islam as much as those who preceded us and because we are divided due to our own rebelliousness, elitism, nationalism, arrogance, stubbornness, xenophobia, and tribalism. Islam's purpose is (and has always been) the attainment of Peace through it's proper practice and implementation and through the elimination of conduct resembling that of the time of ignorance (Pre-Islamic Arabia). May Allah grant us the strength of faith needed to unite our nation and return us to the practice and implementation of Islam as revealed in the Glorious Qur'an, taught by our Prophet Muhammad (Peace and Blessings be upon him), and followed by his righteous companions (May Allah be pleased with them), ameen.