Empowerment is a process that challenges our assumptions about the way things are and can be.
If we could look into each other’s hearts and understand the unique challenges each of us faces, I think we would treat each other more gently, with more love, tolerance and care.
"The walls you tried so hard to bring down day by day would be up high again with barbed wires around the edges to keep you out."
My co-worker’s puppy fell asleep on her desk. Not much work got done that day
The takeaway from the story of Ibrahim (Abraham) and his son, has nothing to do with sacrificing a son, the question is: if God told you to do something, would you do it?
God doesn’t ask us to kill anyone, we can’t harm anyone, because while we try and obsess over the idea of the sacrifice, we miss the point, again, will you do what God says?
God says to be kind when you don’t want to be kind, to be patient when you don’t want to be patient, to be forgiving to those you don’t want to forgive, to help those no one wants to help, to stand up for justice for those who are being oppressed, to be kind to your mother when you’re frustrated, to help your sister when you are lazy, to give to charity instead of buying yourself something useless.
These are God’s commands, and yet here we are, wasting our time, missing the entire point of the story, and by extension, Islam.
"The question we’re asking: how do you determine what’s right and wrong? My question is: what motivates you? … Why are you doing this? What you’re admitting, what you’re saying is that the critics are correct. Where do you get your values from? Do you get them from your religion? Or do you get them from some other culture? [A culture] that ten years ago, by the way, didn’t care about this."
- Dr. Jonathan Brown
Anonymous said: What are some practical advice and tip you would give us to do our very best this Ramadan JAK
Don’t be negative during Ramadan. Just because you’re hungry doesn’t mean you can be a jerk, the whole point of fasting is to make things more difficult so you may improve your Taqwa, which means “God consciousness.” So,
- Be more patience with your family and friends.
- Stop “hating” things.
- Stop saying you can’t stand “people who do x.”
- Stop criticizing those who are not as aware of things as you, help them see what you see. More importantly: realize that you are also unaware of many things.
- Stop keeping your good manners to those who you think deserve it, everyone does.
- Stop beating yourself up, you’re not as bad as you think and you’re better than you say.
The questions you ask, not just to me, but the questions we ask as Muslims—in general—that end or begin with “I’m just curious” have begun to scare me rather than annoy me.
You see, annoyance is simply an expression of my own limitations, my lack of patience, my need for improvement. This is a constant and a rather dire reality.
However, my fear is quite different. My fear is rooted in the fact that we distract ourselves with Hadiths that we don’t actually care to hear an explanation to, that we debate ayahs we don’t desire to comprehend, everything in the way we deal with our religion is directed towards ensuring we do not actually engage with our religion.
While we fight over whether X Hadith is offensive to our “modern” sensibilities or whether some passing issue on Facebook will change our entire lives, we’re moving away from something quite serious: we’re not becoming better people.
We talk about all the issues that plague the Ummah except ourselves. Are we getting more patient? Are we becoming less judgmental? Are we being kinder to our mothers or just taking their suffering to push our shallow identity politics?
I’m sorry, I’m looking at what I’ve spent time on and I’m sitting here realizing that we are wasting our time over the vast majority of what we discuss, because we’re sinning, and while we might be avoiding the “big ticket” items, we forget that those small things: the lies, the backbiting, the gazes that should be lowered, those are wrong, and while we fight over 8 or 20 rakaat, other Muslims aren’t even praying.
I’m not sure I can take it anymore, and quite frankly, after reading Surat Al-Maun or Surat Al-Qari’ah or Surat Az-Zalzalah, how can we really fight over such frivolity as hypothetical questions when it’s how we talk to our friends, how we talk about them, whether we help our sister, or whether we ignore our promise to our little brothers, these things will determine our fate on that Day.
Remind yourself of that Day.
Page 1 of 544