Sunday, 11 September 2016

The Messenger (saw) who asked for one small thing for himself.

I was warned by someone not to say this lest people become jealous, but I hope to instruct people.

I swear that if I have lied here, then May Allah t'ala curse me...

And I am not a liar.

I have seen the honoured one, the Messenger of Allah (saw) in a dream three times, years ago.

The first time I saw him (saw) in a dream from a small distance and he sent his salaams to me through a third person, who brought them to me.

Months later I saw him (saw) again and this time I was ushered by another person into his presence and he (saw) came towards me, smiling with his arms outstretched to welcome me in an embrace. I could not take the auspiciousness of his presence, and the occasion, and I fled.

I did not regret running, because I believed myself to be unworthy. And with good reason.

The third time. I still could not tolerate a direct encounter. And yet when I entered the dream, we were seated on the floor together and his right shoulder was against my left shoulder and his (saw) body was facing away from me and yet his
face was half turned towards me so that I could tolerate his magnificent presence.

And our hands were raised in supplication and he (saw) bade me to ask of the Most Gracious. I asked for what I wished for, and he (saw) said Ameen.

And there the dream ended.
I will not tell what I asked for, that is for me to know.

I swear once again that if I have lied about these encounters then may Allah t'ala curse be upon me.

I am not a scholar, nor do I have pre tensions of being one.
I do not know Arabic.
And even the supplications that I make are in English.

This does not mean that I do not want to learn Arabic or the supplications in Arabic.

Sometimes I oversleep and then pray my Fajr upon waking.
I err, and I ask for forgiveness.
And I am still learning the religion, trying to be better in it... Slowly.

And I am not a Sufi, and do not think that their fervent poetry and overt love is a necessity for seeing what I have seen.

This last Umrah, that I made, a special occurrence happened to me that I will not relate here.

I am not a fervent worshippers, but I worship. I try to follow the advice of Bilal (ra), when he said that after every ablution he performs two rakah Nafl.

I am not of those who make their religion difficult, nor those self righteous types, nor even of those who fasted the ten of Dhul Hijjah.

But j will tell what I do, do.
Perhaps it may be of benefit to you.

The Messenger of ALLAH on this day, the day of Hajj, gave his farewell sermon to a multitude of people, the like not seen.

And afterwards he asked of them one simple question, and they replied and then he asked them to bear witness to it.

Down through the ages, that question remains there for all of us to respond to it.

He (saw) asked, "Have I not delivered the Message?" And they responded, Yes. And then he asked them to bear witness to it.

For a man who gave everything to us, and withheld nothing for himself, to ask of us just one thing is overwhelming. That that thing is something easy to do is outstanding.

For the past I don't know how long, I have responded to that question.

And in my dua I bear witness.

I say,

I bear witness that there is no God but Allah, and Muhammad is His Messenger.
And I bear witness that Muhammad (saw) has fulfilled the trust laid on him by ALLAH, and I have believed in ALLAH because of Muhammad, so ALLAH reward him with magnificence, for verily I would not have believed but for him.

Ameen.




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Location:Arafat

Saturday, 10 September 2016

Who the Messenger Chose..

The Messenger (saw) choose Abu Bakr (as).

Too often we forget how beautiful our religion is, that it is an open religion.

It is quiet unlike the mystical ancient religions where one caste disdains another, or like our Christian and Jewish forbears that have hierarchies of priests.

Ours is an open religion, where the sources are known, and the fundamentals are available and accessible. Just as the Hajj, the pinnacle of our worship, is in essence a walk and a standing and a sacrifice. It's simplicity and accessibility is startling.

And this simplicity and accessibility is present not just in our religion but also in the society it seeks to guide.

It is instructive to remember that our Messenger (saw) choose Abu Bakr (as).

He (saw) did not choose him because they were best friends. Being aware of this some companions held the opinion that Abu Bakr (as) was the one who best knew the Qur'an.

But that was a speculative judgement as our Messenger (saw) did not leave our appreciation of Abu Bakr's talents to chance, he (saw) said of him that he is the best amongst you, because he has the best heart.

Abu Bakr (ra) had a specialist knowledge in a field of study, but it was not in the Qur'an, nor was it in the Hadeeth.

If you have read the Seerah, then many of you will know his specialisation and where his expertise lay, and I ask that those who know then tell it here, so that all can know.

He was known as a specialist in that field by the companions.
And the Messenger choose him.

Because he had heart.
And he is not the one who brought arguments from the Qur'an or Hadeeth, he was better than that.

He knew that the Qur'an and Hadeeth are there to instruct us, and not there so that one man can use them to control other men and then revert us all back to old ways, of a segmented closed society.

Ours is an open society, where we can question without fear of being accused of backbiting, or causing disunity, or even accused of hankering after Power.

The Messenger (saw) choose Abu Bakr (as).

And in that vital moment when the Ansar confirmed that choice, Abu Bakr (as) did not prove his credentials by saying or using the Qur'an or Hadeeth.

Do not trust men who use the Qur'an in such matters, where they want to impress, or where they want to prove their religiosity. It was not done then, it should not be done now.

The Qur'an is there to instruct us, it is there to be studied and applied, but not used like that.
And not used for backward and forward argument, as if it were a sword in your hands.


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Location:Genealogy Tree

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

The Beloved's Call

The Beloved's Call

Should the colour of our skin determine how we are treated?
Does being of another, mean that we are easy game?

That our capabilities are less?
That we cannot be as nuanced of another's cultural vibes?

Could Bilal (ra) pronounce the Arabic call to prayer perfectly?
Did that make his adhan any less beloved?

And on the last Arafat,
We heard his Messenger's (saw) call.

That all men are equal,
Not some more than others.


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Location:Arafat

Saturday, 23 July 2016

One - Eighty Souls

One- Eighty Souls

One- eighty souls on board this ship
That plies above the patchwork quilt
Of someone else's land and sea

The straight and narrow
Man-made furrows
That hint at hidden industry

Not lost upon our Alien
Who could not guess our misery
Lest he walks among men as a man.

Then he would cry aloud from pain
And wonder how one heart
....
Could house another.

END
Written whilst flying above Europe en route to Mombasa, via Istanbul.
An alien descending on us from above would see evidence of civilisation, and yet when he comes to live among us then he will know the hatred and contempt that one has for another. And then he will question what we espouse, the love of all. And then he will question how one heart could house both love and hate?


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Location:Europe

Saturday, 9 July 2016

War and Peace/ general and specific

As a book, the Qur'an stands out by the shear amount of self-referential passages that are contained within it. This is one of its modern miracles.

For the Qu'an does talk both about war and peace. And some may argue more of war than peace.

But then every rationalist when he approaches a document should always approach it at face value.
And Qur'an says of itself:
S4, v82: "Do they not then consider the Quran carefully? Had it been from other than Allah, they would surely have found therein much contradictions."

Therefore the need for interpretation can be deduced. But once again, to leave you in no doubt about it's logical source of clarity, the Qur'an makes explicit what is already implied.

S39, v18:
"Those who listen to the Word (the Qur'an), and follow the best (meaning) in it: those are the ones whom Allah has guided, and those are the ones endued with understanding."

So if we take the Qur'an at face value, which we should do if we claim unbiased rationality, would mean that the Qur'an cannot be an advocate of both war and peace.

And then as the exegetes (interpreters) from before said in relation to interpretation that significant question to ask of revelation is it's occasion, whether it is of the Meccan or Medinan period, and also whether it is specific or general in its application.

The one verse that comes to mind that relates to version of Islam that advocates peace is

"Thus, have We made of you a Nation justly balanced, that ye might be witnesses over the nations, and the Messenger a witness over yourselves;"

This verse does not advocate war, but advocates tolerance between Nations and the ways of Nations.

How can this verse not be taken except in a general and universal manner.

I knew of this verse before I looked for it to both verify and then copy and paste it here.

On finding it I was awed by it's position in the Qur'an, for it is found in S Baqara. This chapter is the largest in the Qur'an and is also the first. The virtues of reciting in your home are well documented.

Essentially S. Baqara lays the foundations of an Islamic society and a Nation.

So that the verses of war contained in it are in response to specific situations and the default position is peace and security.

Shafees


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Monday, 11 April 2016

Northern

Northern.

They chant it in rhyme at Nursery,
But when they picked it up,
They transported it, every brick
To the new country.

Then how could I change there
How could I return home?

I passed an Angel
But has anyone ever been to Morden and come back to tell the tale?

At Moorgate
Every tin has a silver lining
And the sweet clothed sardines
After a hard days work

Mixed with the bitter tar
Reminiscent of cold September days on the way to school

We banked on that
That smells carry emotion
Like when you smell bleach it takes you way back
To swimming pools.

Funny thing is you never realise the connection
You just think happy thoughts

Until
Sharded like wool
We disembarked
And discarded

Our train of thought.
Each one to his own way.
Oblivious that we had shared.

END
A POEM FOR LONDON UNDERGROUND.
written as spoken between an Angel and New Cross.


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Location:A tunnel.

Sunday, 13 March 2016

First Dream

First Dream

Eyes slid shut
Encased in my own dream
I felt weightless
May be I was lost in space

My hand floated involuntarily in front of me
As if I had to learn again what they had once known.
I curled my legs
A topsy tervy question

And suddenly flip
Like the spin off a trampoline
Head over heels
Then heels over head
I didn't know which

I was bunny hopping
Without the luxury of friction
Not even noting my breath on my visor
Not even having a breath to notice

Then tug
The pull of the life cord
Woke me with a start

My webbed hands made a chance grab
My foot lashed out
"Boom, Boom"

"Go on son"

Reverberated around
I noticed shadows in the darkness
And I heard the chant of soothing prayer

That had set me off on my first adventure.
"Go to sleep my little darling..."
A cavern so dark
And a voice so sweet and loving

My head dozed
And i curled again on my amniotic bed.

END

Location:Amnesia