Friday, 24 April 2015

Capitalism begging for Zakaat System

Paul Tudor Jones II: Why we need to rethink capitalism #TED :
Listen to talk on above mentioned link while keeping in mind the remarkable social & economic model of Islam which believes in sharing the wealth. Capitalism, it seems is begging for introduction of  Islamic system of Zakaat & Usher. Capitalism today represents "profits at all costs" with only 1 % payback to society. Whereas, Islam has ordained 2.5% give away on total assets and not just on net profits. Godless society longs for some divine guidance. Alhamdolillah, Islam has all the answers.

The Men of Two Gardens

If you understand, Quran is the Book out of this world both literally and figuratively. A lifetime is not enough to appreciate only the linguistic miracles of Allah's speech. However, Quran is basically designed to incite our inbuilt “Dormant Consciousness”. We only have the choice to thrive on it or keep it dormant and keep resisting the Truth.

Moving over to Friday segment of Surah Al Kahf. Like a master piece of the Grand Musician, the symphony of Al Kahf is arranged in the most remarkable fashion. It consists of four stories and four Khutbaat (Allah's guidance speech with us through The Prophet PBUH).

First Khutba is followed by the story of Ashab-e-Kahf. In Christian traditions the story is remembered as 'The Seven Sleeping Men (Those were not seven and only Allah knows how many?).

Second Khutba is followed by the story of Men of Two Gardens which we shall touch upon today.

Third and the longest Khutba is followed by two stories, the Musa (AS) & Khizar (AS) story and the story of Zulqarnain (The faithful king of two horns).

The Surah ends with a Khutba as it started with a Khutba, leaving us with countless morals to ponder upon.

People normally focus on the four stories but there is an insanely awesome connection and some amazingly cool lessons in four Khutbaat of Al Kahf which will be discussed some other time.

Fifth Rakuh tells the story of The Men of Two Gardens. Both men in story were apparently Muslims. One was rich & confident like a CEO of world brand. The other was god fearing man with modest resources. The rich man had gardens of grapes surrounded by date trees and empty spaces were utilized for grain harvest. A river ran through his garden and the yield was aplenty. Great crop produce and big number of offspring made him comfort loving rich man. His faith in the Day of Reckoning began to waver. He entered his garden and claimed with lethargic arrogance that his garden could never be destroyed. On seeing good results of his harvest, he began to associate his success with his elaborate irrigation system and all the latest techniques of growing fruits and grains. He was confident that he had all his bases covered and no harm could befall him. He was also nurturing the fallacy that he would be treated the same way in the Hereafter.

Poorer man tried to tell him that he was molded from earthly mud. Once a sperm swam through dirty fluids and joined another, it was then that Allah puffed life in to your mold. You grew into a successful and towering person. All the riches were the bounties of Allah. He could withdrew them from ungrateful because nothing happens without Allah’s Will.

The rich man was too confident on his possessions and skills; and his faith further weakened. Allah disapproved his thanklessness, it is not mentioned in Quran how but his gardens were destroyed. He became penniless and regretted his attitude. But it was too late.

The story is simple but it is more current than any other story you may hear. Remember, both men believed with differing levels of faith. Plenty of the worldly possessions distracted one man. He began relying on material belongings and his knowledge of things. We live in times of great fitna. Our race has evolved to heights of knowledge and our love of material pursuits is just peaking. There are no La’at, Manat or Uzza which were the strongest gods/ deities of pre-Islam Arab world. The talk of one god was simply ridiculous to them. They could not imagine turning away from ways of their ancestors. We live in a same parallel. Although, in our times, not many people worship idols or deities. We have reached to the moon and vying for stars beyond. So worship of heavenly bodies in the sky is not logical anymore. Today’s La'at Manat and Uzza are replaced by one idol; the idol of materialism. And just like old times, if you tell people of this shirk, they will scornfully tell you, "Dude you lost it". "You are nothing without money"' "Live the dream man, what's wrong with you?". Words to this effect, some mild and some not so mild. We commit this "shirk" every day when we put behind Allah’s commands over our endless quest for material gains. We rely on our skills and knowledge to secure our futures. We have relegated the Provider over pursuit of provisions. Re-orientation of faith in the Provider is quintessential for our survival. Besides, it in itself is demeaning to think that a person earns value for his material status. Does all this not sound current and relevant to our way of thinking these days? Does this story not sound like everyday stories around us when millionaires go homeless overnight.

May Allah help us understand His Book. May we understand every word of this jewel of Quran, the Al Kahf.  

Thursday, 16 April 2015

The men of cave

Many things we practice in religion will remain rituals until we understand their real spirit.
Likewise, every Friday we are told to recite Surah Al Kahf الكهف. Ever wondered why?  
Quran is a timeless guidance & its relevance to our times can best be confirmed by understanding this Surah.
In order to benefit from its marvels, a humble contribution will be made on this blog every Friday.  
Out of four main stories of Surah Al Kahf, Ashab-e-Kahf is the first. Few young men took refuge in a cave because they could not be part of a society which had gone astray. Though Islam was revealed to that society, they had the Book & teachings of The Prophet Isa (AS) عيسى عليه سلام, but they altered the guidance to serve their interests. Sounds familiar to our current situation, isn't it?
Except that young men thesedays can't stay in caves for hygiene & comfort issues.
Anyway, point to note is that in Christian & Islamic traditions, those youngmen always held an esteemed place & Allah made sure they are remembered till the Day of Reckoning. Every Friday global event of Weekly Rememrance is organized without any invitations or coordinations. Which men are remembered like this, The Real Heroes. Subhan Allah.
Irony is that we don't even know what are we reciting & why?
Another important thing that the Men of Cave were not religious scholars, da'es, ulama, zakreen, aima; they just believed in Oneness of Allah & for centuries in both religions of the Book, scholars have written volumes & volumes of material to acknowledge Ashab-e-Kahf's strength of Eman ايمان. It brings us to another important conclusion that Islam is not a collection of scholarly idea but simlpe sincere actions.
Such is the love of Allah for true believers that how ordinary may they appear but if their hearts are filled with noor of belief, Allah can make them eternal. No one really remembers the Kings who came & went once those men were sleeping in the cave, no one remembers the ministers of the time or govt officers who ran the affairs of state, no business tycoon of that time is known to anyone; just those simple men who not only believed but acted upon it as well.
O' Allah make us from amongst believers like Ashab-e-Kahf, so that we get some of that special love of Yours that you showed for the men of cave. Ameen

Sunday, 12 April 2015

Am I Using facebook or Otherwise?

There is a serious need to check the use of social websites before it becomes an addiction. Today, lock yourself in interrogation room of your conscience & question:-
Why do I use facebook?
Should I not focus on real people around me?
Is it not disrespectful that I am surrounded by friends, colleagues & family; yet I prefer to look for updates of my virtual friends?
Are there not enough websites for videos, quotes, funny videos & quotes, articles, news channels & so on?
Was the world not a better place without social networking?
Why should you be available for friendship like a pet yearning for attention of his owner?
Should those who value you, not try & seek you out to maintain contact?
Do I do it just because everyone else I know does it?
Does it not then make me a slave of trend?
Though it makes me look trendy but does it not the case with designer clothes & other stuff which we think keeps us relevant?
Who is getting richer with each click?
Why do you need recognition & likes of others for what you've got?   
Why should you spend time & money to find out "whats on people's minds"?
Do you know what was the underlying purpose of Zukerberg while launching facebook?
If you know, then do you not find it demeaning that he thought everyone just wanted to get laid (eventually)? Was he not a kid with no intellectual base when he launched facebook just to make money?         
Is he not doubly hypocritical by sharing every single user's info with intelligence agencies for money?  
Have they not used personal info of users for spying?
Is it just an innocent socializing tool, a thing of divine or devil's trickery?
Why should you share blessed moments of your family with others?
Why should we put our kids on display?
Is it not insensitive to people who do not have kids or lost a kid?
Is it not inviting envy of "friends" on your list, as envy can take the better of anyone being the worst of human attributes?
Should we not just thank Allah, fear our kids' well being?  
Should you not just pay gratitude for what you have got & show respect to "friends" on your list who may not be blessed with those things you want to brag about?
Posting "Was at Pearl Continental or shopping at Khaadi", Is it not like that annoying rich relative who eats at a fancy restaurant or buys an expensive new item & wants everyone to know it?
Does it (the urge to share your pics & good moments) not respresent low self esteem?
Is virtual socializing a need or necessity?
Does it not impact our lives in predominantly negative ways?
Should it shape our lives or should we take control of our lives?
Should we embrace it as a modern day life challenge or should we resist it?
Is facebook a fitna or a blessing?  
Is Asad Jamal leaving facebook or like our imam masjid he just wants everyone else to quit it? :)    

He may :)

The purpose & answer to these questions is that an application in a smart phone should not dictate how we have to live our lives. We must be in control of our choices because there will be questions & accountability for each & every choice we make.
Stay Blessed