Archive for May, 2011
Until I see you…
By Ammar AlShukry
You’re the best person I’ve ever known, the best friend I’ve never met
Your sincerity to me is blinding enough to completely canvas the world around me
with drapes that read, respect, honor, focus, protect..
and leaving a window so that I can zoom in on the important things,
and yet those are the things that I forget, or neglect,
…I will do better.
Your Ummah is fine, not because of me or mine, or wounds that heal with time,
those who’d die for a dollar sign, but because of promises divine,
and so when we feel that we’re at our worst,
and our sadness would cause our hearts to burst,
it feels like there are times,
when there are angels within our lines.
Or maybe hovering over squares,
with chants of freedom in the air,
And though tyrants step on our necks
We smile…for history has always been on our side..
Yours is an Ummah that simply doesn’t die..
I’m sorry for my weakness.
For every time I’ve been ashamed of your name, and asked someone to call me Mo,
For not knowing enough about you to defend you when they drew cartoons, or accused you with
the most heinous of accusations..
For not getting over my distaste of reading and waiting for hollywood to put you on the big
screen so I can know about you.
As if Steven Spielberg, Mel Gibson, and Johnny Depp could somehow recreate the twinkle in
your eye,or a beautiful bead of sweat as it scaffolds on your forehead, frantically fighting
gravity not wanting to fall off your body.
I keep thinking of seeing you, and wonder if you would smile at me…
the thought gives me goosebumps..
You told me to meet you at the pool, so on that day, I hope and pray
that I can see you through the crowd,
that no angels barricade me as I sprint at break neck speed,
I hope you recognize it’s me.
I will crowd the companions to get access to your vision.
I will obey my thirst and quench it from your hand, so until that day I will pray…
I will stand and I will pray,
as if my feet are holding the earth from splitting.
If I make it, I cry at the thought of seeing you.
For I know the words that I used to read out of all too thin pages,
will do no justice, to your face, your scent, your touch, your voice.
My Messenger of Allah has always existed between the curves and dots of the
Arabic alphabet, So Muhammad ibn Abdillah in 3D and whatever other dimensions the hereafter
brings with it, will be an overboard of senses.
I will fall in love with your shadow,
and will tell Ali that his description did not do justice,
and tell my mother Aisha, that we heard her story of how you passed away between her chin and
over and over and over again,
and it made us cry every single time.
For there was no disaster that we suffered more
than what we suffered before our souls merged with flesh,
of entering an Earth that was without you,
Does the sky even recognize us anymore..
And I will sit in the shade of your smile,
and ask you your story directly from your mouth,
as we sip from Salsabil, ice cold,
and would be deeply embarrassed if you asked me for mine,
Cuz I never did anything right, other than loving you
and then..if you let me, I would love..
for a hug.
“The reality of hayaa’ is that it is a trait that pushes you to avoid all despicable acts and prevents you from falling short in regards to the rights of those deserving them.”
This was usually the first reaction I encountered when my former classmates, friends and co-pastors saw me after having embraced Islam.
I suppose I couldn’t blame them, I was a highly unlikely the person to change religions.
Formerly, I was a professor, pastor, church planter and missionary.
If anyone was a radical fundamentalist it was I. I had just graduated with my Master’s Degree of Divinity from an elite seminary five months before. It was after that time I met a lady who had worked in Saudi Arabia and had embraced Islam.
Of course I asked her about the treatment of women in Islam. I was shocked at her answer, it wasn’t what I expected so I proceeded to ask other questions relating to Allah and Muhammad (pbuh).
She informed me that she would take me to the Islamic Center where they would be better able to answer my questions. Being prayed up, meaning-asking Jesus for protection against demon spirits seeing that what we had been taught about Islam is that it is Demonic and Satanic religion.
Having taught Evangelism I was quite shocked at their approach, it was direct and straightforward. No intimidation, no harassment, no psychological manipulation, no subliminal influence! None of this, “let’s have a Qur’aanic study in your house”, like a counter part of the Bible study.
I couldn’t believe it! They gave me some books and told me if I had some questions they were available to answer them in the office. That night I read all of the books they gave. It was the first time I had ever read a book about Islam written by a Muslim, we had studied and read books about Islam only written by Christians. The next day I spent three hours at the office asking questions.
This went on everyday for a week, by which time I had read twelve books and knew why Muslims are the hardest people in the world to convert to Christianity.
Because there is nothing to offer them!! (In Islam) There is a relationship with Allah, forgiveness of sins, salvation and promise of Eternal Life. Naturally, my first question centered on the deity of Allah. Who is this Allah that the Muslims worship? We had been taught as Christians that this is another god, a false god.
When in fact He is the Omniscient-All Knowing, Omnipotent-All Powerful, and Omnipresent-All Present God. The One and Only without co-partners or co-equal.
It is interesting to note that there were bishops during the first three hundred years of the Church that were teaching as the Muslim beli eves that Jesus (pbuh) was a prophet and teacher!! It was only after the conversion of Emperor Constantine that he was the one to call and introduce the doctrine of the Trinity.
He a convert to Christianity who knew nothing of this religion introduced a paganistic concept that goes back to Babylonian times. Because the space does not permit me to go into detail about the subject insha’Allah, another time.
Only I must point out that the word TRINITY is not found in the Bible in any of its many translation nor is it found in the original Greek or Hebrew languages! My other important question centered on Muhammad (pbuh).
Who is this Muhammad? I found out that Muslims do not pray to him like the Christians pray to Jesus. He is not an intermediary and in fact it is forbidden to pray to him. We ask blessing upon him at the end of our prayer but likewise we ask blessings on Abraham. He is a Prophet and a Messenger, the final and last Prophet. In fact, until now, one thousand four hundred and eighteen years (1,418) later there has been no prophet after him.
His message is for All Mankind as opposed to the message of Jesus or Moses (peace be upon them both) which was sent to the Jews. “Hear O Israel” But the message is the same message of Allah. “The Lord Your God is One God and you shall have no other gods before Me.”(Mark 12:29).
Because prayer was a very important part of my Christian life I was both interested and curious to know what the Muslims were praying. As Christians we were as ignorant on this aspect of Muslim belief as on the other aspects.
We thought and were taught, that the Muslims were bowing down to the Ka’bah (in Mecca), that that was there god and center point of this false deity. Again, I was shocked to learn that the manner of prayer is prescribed by God, Himself.
The words of the prayer are one of praise and exaltation. The approach to prayer (ablution or washing) in cleanliness is under the direction of Allah. He is a Holy God and it is not for us to approach Him in an arbitrary manner but only reasonable that He should tell us how we should approach Him. At the end of that week after having spent eight (8) years of formal theological studies I knew cognitively (head knowledge) that Islam was true. But I did not embrace Islam at that time because I did not believe it in my heart. I continued to pray, to read the Bible, to attend lectures at the Islamic Center.
I was in earnest asking and seeking God’s direction. It is not easy to change your religion. I did not want to loose my salvation if there was salvation to loose. I continued to be shocked and amazed at what I was learning because it was not what I was taught that Islam believed.
In my Master’s level, the professor I had was respected as an authority on Islam yet his teaching and that of Christianity in general is full of Misunderstanding. He and many Christians like him are sincere but they are sincerely wrong.
Two months later after having once again prayed seeking God’s direction, I felt something drop into my being! I sat up, and it was the first time I was to use the name of Allah, and I said, “Allah, I believe you are the One and Only True God.” There was peace that descended upon me and from that day four years ago until now I have never regretted embracing Islam. This decision did not come without trial.
I was fired from my job as I was teaching in two Bible Colleges at that time , ostracized by my former classmates, professors and co-pastors, disowned by my husband’s family, misunderstood by my adult children and made a suspicion by my own government. Without the faith that enables man to stand up to Satanic forces I would not ha ve been able to withstand all of this. I am ever so grateful to Allah that I am a Muslim and may I live and die a Muslim. “Truly, my prayer, my service of sacrifice, my life and my death are all for God the Cherisher of the Worlds. No partner has He, this I am commanded. And I am the first of those who bow to Allah in Islam.” (Holy Qur’aan 6:162-163)
* Sister Khadijah Watson is presently working as a teacher for women in one of the Da’wah (Invitation) Centers in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
19. Then as for him who will be given his Record in his right hand will say: “Take, read my Record!
Surah al Haaqah ayaat 19-29
“You will never be pious unti you become knowledgable, and you will never be beautified with your knowledge until you act by it.”
Contrasting Holmes’s wealth of knowledge on certain obscure subjects against his apparent lack of knowledge on better-known topics, Watson wrote, “His zeal for certain studies was remarkable, and within eccentric limits his knowledge was so extraordinarily ample and minute that his observations have fairly astounded me.” (A Study in Scarlet, chapter 2.) Watson continued, “His ignorance was as remarkable as his knowledge. Of contemporary literature, philosophy and politics he appeared to know next to nothing.”
When Holmes professed ignorance of the Copernican Theory, Watson tells us, “That any civilized human being in this nineteenth century should not be aware that the earth travelled round the sun appeared to be to me such an extraordinary fact that I could hardly realize it.”
This led to the following conversation between Holmes and Watson:
“You appear to be astonished,” he said, smiling at my expression of surprise. “Now that I do know it I shall do my best to forget it.”
“To forget it!”
|“You see,” he explained, “I consider that a man’s brain originally is like a little empty attic, and you have to stock it with such furniture as you choose. A fool takes in all the lumber of every sort that he comes across, so that the knowledge which might be useful to him gets crowded out, or at best is jumbled up with a lot of other things so that he has a difficulty in laying his hands upon it. Now the skillful workman is very careful indeed as to what he takes into his brain-attic. He will have nothing but the tools which may help him in doing his work, but of these he has a large assortment, and all in the most perfect order. It is a mistake to think that that little room has elastic walls and can distend to any extent. Depend upon it there comes a time when for every addition of knowledge you forget something that you knew before. It is of the highest importance, therefore, not to have useless facts elbowing out the useful ones.”
|“But the Solar System!” I protested.
|“What the deuce is it to me?” he interrupted impatiently; “you say that we go round the sun. If we went round the moon it would not make a pennyworth of difference to me or to my work.”
Narrated ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr ibn al-‘As: Yazid ibn ‘Abdullah said that ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr asked the Prophet (s.a.w.): In how many days should I complete the recitation of the whole Qur’an, O Apostle of Allah? He replied: In one month. He said: I am more energetic to complete it in a period less than this. He kept on repeating these words and lessening the period until he said: Complete its recitation in seven days. He again said: I am more energetic to complete it in a period less than this. The Prophet (s.a.w.) said: He who finishes the recitation of the Qur’an in less than three days does not understand it. (Abu Dawud, Classified as Saheeh by Al-Albani) Vocabulary of The Hadith
شَهْرٍ – month
أَقْوَى – more energetic, more ability, more strength, more power
يُرَدِّدُ – kept repeating
يَفْقَهُ – understands it
أَقَلَّ – less than
Lessons of The Hadith – We should be eager to do more and more worship of Allah s.w.t. This hadith is an example of how the Sahaabah were among the Saabiqoon – forerunners of good. – We should determine our capacity of doing worship and try to push the limits further.