Al-Huda

the Message Continues ... i/31

 

 

 

 

February 2004

 

 

 

Article 1:

       The Pilgrimage To Makkah     
         By Al-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz (Malcolm X) Makkah, Hijaz

         When Al-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz was in Makkah, he wrote a letter to his loyal assistants in Harlem... from his heart:

          Never have I witnessed such sincere hospitality and overwhelming spirit of true brotherhood as is practiced by people of all colors and races here in this ancient Holy Land, the home of Abraham, Muhammad and all the other  Prophets of the Holy Scriptures. For the past week, I have been utterly speechless and spellbound by the graciousness I see displayed all around me by people of all colors.

 

Article 2:

       The Soul of Hajj
         by Dr. Habib Siddiqui

Bismillaahir Rahmaanir Raheem
Alhamdu'lillaahi rabbil'aalameen, wassalaatu wassalaamu 'alaa sayyidil mursaleen wa alihi.

"...the performance of hajj is a simultaneous show or exhibit of many things. It is a show of creation. It is a show of history. It is a show of unity. It is a show of Islamic ideology."

 

Article 3:

        Virtues of the Ten Days of Dhul Hijjah
          courtesy: Muhammad Zamin Ezaz

How do the first ten days of the Month of Dhul Hijjah differ from other days of the year?

Praise be to Allaah Who has created Time and has made some times better than others, some months and days and nights better than others, when rewards are multiplied many times, as a mercy towards His slaves. This encourages them to do more righteous deeds and makes them more eager to worship Him, so that the Muslim renews his efforts to gain a greater share of reward, prepare himself for death and supply himself in readiness for the Day of Judgment

.

Article 4:

        The Necklace

           Ibn Rajab and others gave an account of a worshipper who ran out of resources while he was in Makkah. He became extremely hungry and was about to die from lack of nourishment. One day, as he was wandering in the precincts of Makkah, he found an expensive necklace. He put it into his sleeves and headed for the Masjid. On his way he came across a man announcing that he had lost a necklace. The poor man later said, " I asked him to describe it to me, and he did so, perfectly, leaving no room for doubt. I gave him the necklace without taking reward from him. I said,: " O Allah, I have given it for You, so compensate me with what is better." He went to the ocean and began a journey in a small boat. Only a brief period of time passed before a storm came with heavy winds crashing into the boat. The boat smashed into pieces and the man was forced to cling to a piece of wood. The winds were violent, propelling him to the left and to the right.

 

Article 5:

       Choosing sweetness or vinegar
         by Rumi

I don't need a companion who is nasty sad and sour
the one who is like a grave dark depressing and bitter
a sweetheart is a mirror a friend a delicious cake
it isn't worth spending an hour with anyone else

 

Article 6:

           THE TIMES AND LIFE OF IMAM MUHAMMAD TAQI (a)
              By Dr Syed Haider Hussain Shamsi
              (excerpt from his book, " The Lives of Imams of Ahlul Bayt " )

Muhammad (Taqi) was only about five years of age when his father was called away from Madinah by the Caliph Mamoon ar-Rashid, never to return home alive. 
He was only eight years of age when he received the sad news of the martyrdom of his father at the hands of the Caliph.

Although, by having Imam All ar-Reza killed, Mamoon was able to win back the confidence of his Abbasid kinsmen, he lost his trust among the followers of the Imam.  He succeeded to play his cards again, and summoned the young Imam Muhammad Taqi to Baghdad but he did not seethe youth for a long period of time.

 

Article 7:

          The armies of the night
             By Irfan Husain

NATIONS do not normally have to strive consciously for a consensus on the kind of country they wish to be. Social and economic pressures and the consequent political decisions shape them over a period of centuries.

But a relatively new state like Pakistan does need to conduct an internal debate over the path it wishes to take. Although the founding father of the nation, Mr Jinnah, pointed us in an unambiguously secular, progressive direction, he died too early to transform this vision into reality. His successors were too weak to pursue it effectively, and allowed this concept to be subverted to the point where it is but a distant memory. Whereas Mr Jinnah saw Pakistan as a homeland for the Muslims of the subcontinent where the minorities would be equal citizens, obscurantist and self-serving politicians hijacked this vision and transfigured our country into a cockpit of warring religious militias and a haven for terrorists.

 

Article 8:

          Of Imperfection
             a Chinese Story

"A water bearer in China had two large pots,
each hung on the ends of a pole which he carried across his neck.

One pot had a crack in it, while the other pot was perfect
and always delivered a full portion of water.

At the end of the long walk from the stream to the house,
  the cracked pot arrived only half full.

 

Article 9:

           The Signs of Happiness
             Author unknown

There was a young couple living in Denmark who led a very happy life together. The only thing that they worried about was, whether their happiness would last forever or would they too would have to face problems.

 

Article 10:

          CLASH OR DIALOGUE OF CIVILIZATIONS?
             by AKBAR S. AHMED
             ( Inaugral address at Fellowship of Peace Annual Lecture Series)

Thank you Srimati Kamala, Director of the Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Center, for arranging this special event and giving me this singular honor. I am grateful for your friendship and inspiring leadership in inter-faith dialogue. I thank the distinguished guests for coming here this afternoon. A special thanks to the distinguished discussants: My friends, His Excellency Ashraf Jehangir Qazi, Ambassador of Pakistan [to the United States], and Wajahat Habibullah, Senior Fellow, U.S. Institute of Peace and Secretary to Government of India. The discussants and I are not only friends but have something else in common -- we trace our service links to the mythological Indian Civil Service of the British Raj -- although I may remind you that for its critics the Indian Civil
Service was neither Indian, nor civil nor much of a service.

Article 11:

        How I Came To Islam
          by Yusuf Islam (Cat Stevens)
          courtesy: Ali Hassan Jarchavi, San Jose,  CA

All I have to say is what you know already, to confirm what you already know of the message of the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) as given by God the Religion of Truth. As human beings we are given a consciousness and a duty that has placed us at the top of creation. Man is created to be God's deputy on earth and it is important to realize the obligation to rid ourselves of all
illusions and to make our lives a preparation for the next life. Anyone who misses this chance is not likely to be given another, to be brought back again, for it says in the Qur'an Majeed that when man is brought to account, he will say, "O Lord, send us back and give us another chance.' The Lord will say,  'If I send you back, you will do the same.'"

 

Article 12:

          SHARIAH: The Way of Justice
            by Khurram Murad
            ( excerpt from his book with the same title )

Shariah(The Divine Law) is drawn from two major and two lesser sources. The first major source is specific guidance laid down in the Qur'an, and the second source is the Sunnah, literally the 'Way', Muhammad (the Prophet of Islam) lived his life. (The compilation of all that Prophet Muhammad said, did, or approved of is called the Hadith.)

 

Article 13:

          How Islam Lost Its Way
           By Pervez Amir Ali Hoodbhoy

          ISLAMABAD, Pakistan -- If the world is to be spared what future historians may call the "century of terror," we will have to chart a perilous course between the Scylla of American imperial arrogance and the Charybdis of Islamic religious fanaticism. Through these waters, we must steer by a distant star toward a careful, reasoned, democratic, humanistic and secular future. Otherwise, shipwreck is certain.For nearly four months now, leaders of the Muslim community
in the United States, and even President Bush, have routinely asserted that Islam is a religion of peace that was hijacked by fanatics on Sept. 11.These two assertions are simply untrue. First, Islam -- like Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism or any other religion is not about peace. Nor is it about war. Every religion is about absolute belief in its own superiority and the divine right to
impose its version of truth upon others. In medieval times, both the Crusades and the Jihads were soaked in blood. Today, there are Christian fundamentalists who attack abortion clinics in the United States and kill doctors; Muslim fundamentalists who wage their sectarian wars against each other; Jewish settlers who, holding the Old Testament in one hand and Uzis in the other, burn olive
orchards and drive Palestinians off their ancestral land; and Hindus in India who demolish ancient mosques and burn down churches.The second assertion is even further off the mark. Even if Islam had, in some metaphorical sense, been hijacked, that event did not occur three months ago. It was well over seven centuries ago that Islam suffered a serious trauma, the effects of which refuse
to go away. Where do Muslims stand today? Note that I do not ask about Islam; Islam is an abstraction. Maulana Abdus Sattar Edhi, Pakistan's preeminent social worker, and the Taliban's Mohammad Omar are both followers of Islam, but the former is overdue for a Nobel Peace Prize while the latter is an ignorant, psychotic fiend. Palestinian writer Edward Said, among others, has insistently pointed out that Islam holds very different meaning for different people. Within my own family, hugely different kinds of Islam are practiced. The religion is as heterogeneous as those who believe and follow it. There is no "true Islam."

 

Article 14:

          Fourteen Points Speech by Woodrow Wilson
            January 8, 1918
           courtesy: Woodrow Wilson International Center website

          Gentlemen of the Congress ...
          It will be our wish and purpose that the processes of peace, when they are begun, shall be absolutely open and that they shall involve and permit henceforth no secret understandings of any kind. The day of conquest and aggrandizement is gone by; so is also the day of secret covenants entered into in the interest of particular governments and likely at some unlooked-for moment to upset the peace of the world. It is this happy fact, now clear to the view of every public man whose thoughts do not still linger in an age that is dead and gone, which makes it possible for every nation whose purposes are consistent with justice and the peace of the world to avow now or at any other time the objects it has in view.

 

Article 15:

 Islam: The Next American Religion?
  by Michael Wolfe

The U.S. began as a haven for Christian outcasts. But what religion fits our current zeitgeist? The answer may be Islam. 

Americans tend to think of their country as, at the very least, a nominally Christian nation. Didn't the Pilgrims come here for freedom to practice their Christian religion? Don't Christian values of righteousness under God, and freedom, reinforce America's democratic, capitalist ideals?

True enough. But there's a new religion on the block now, one that fits the current zeitgeist nicely. It's Islam.

 

 

 

 

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