Why is it that every time I see these, my heart races and becomes simultaneously overjoyed and melancholy?
In our garden back home, we had a big bush of these. I remember wrestling with it to withdraw shuttlecocks in the hot summer afternoons; spreading seeds in the soil beneath it hoping to…
@industrialcracks, do you remember these?
I sure do! i miss them. But not in the same way. You see, i hated them. To me, as a child, they served no purpose. Some flowers smelled nice, some flowers moved, but these flowers were useless. They had no smell, and their petals were almost paper-thin. On top of that, they had spikes on their branches. Spikes that would hurt my skinny fingers and arms as i would try to reach deep within them to rescue my cricket ball, or shuttle cock.
I asked mom again and again to get rid of these. To replace these with the cool looking green leaves that climbed the left wall of our house.
But they stayed. they stayed until they became a part of my mind. Their pink petals glowing in the yellow sun. They stayed so long that i think about them even now when i think about my time in Pakistan.
Asalamoalikum dear brothers and sisters.
To be a Shia of the imams means to follow them. It is not enough to only love them. Many times, our adultered view of love, or what we think love means can even lead us astray. It can lead us away from the path that the imams followed. That is why it is important for us to remind ourselves, that our duty is to Follow the imams, in every aspect of our lives. Not just proclaim our love for them. Before making a decision, before thinking about another person, before letting even a whisper escape our tongues, we must ask ourselves if the Imams would let that whisper escape. If the imams will think that way about another person, if the imams will make this decision. And then follow their example.
I say all this before continuing because I want everyone, and especially the youth, to take something productive from this speech. I want everyone to look at the life of imam Ali and Follow his example, instead of only praise it. We praise him as the father of the orphans, but why are our communities filled with children in foster care? There are stories where he helped poor Christians from the Muslim treasury. The poor spent money on alcohol back then just as they do now. But why do we withhold our hands from giving to the poor in our communities? It is because of issues like these that I wanted to emphasize the difference between a Shia of ahlulbayt versus a lover of ahlulbayt.
The youth is growing up in this society, going to education institutions here, and being fed western theories and models of government. These models do not uphold Islamic values of governance, they do not teach the true responsibility that a government has to its people. Our youth learns about Capitalism and its presumed virtues every day but do they know that Imam Sadiq (a.s) has described Abu-Sufyan as being a capitalist? Islam makes it impossible for Capitalism to grow by prohibiting usury, monopoly, extortion, and overcharging prices.
It is important for our youth to learn what Islam says about proper governance. Even if we do not live in an Islamic country, we can use these guidelines to implement in our own communities. Even if we do not live in an Islamic country, it is still our responsibility to forbid evil and promote good. It is not okay for us to accept the evil of this society, we have to continuously fight against it, and at the very least, we cannot become such that we promote that evil. Who better to learn the good and evil of governance from than Imam Ali himself?
During his time as a Caliph, he enacted policies that would improve production in large quantities, and then distribute them justly among the people. He tried to meet the basic needs of all citizens, and especially the poor. To follow the Imams example would be to feed the closest hungry person to us. It would be to make sure the basic needs of that person are met so that he/she can aspire for a better living without having to worry about feeding his family.
In this country, great shrines are built to honor those who have “made it” to the top. Those who are wealthy. Our youth is told to worship these personalities and “learn” how they made it. The culture of this society is obsessed with personalities. And our youth is taught to be obsessed with them as well. Business and economy classes at colleges preach the teachings of these personalities as if they were prophets. We are told to aspire to be like them.
But what does Imam Ali say about them? In a letter to Malik-e-Ashtar the Imam compares such people to “the scum of human society” who “hate justice” and are “never satisfied”. The same imam who is a mercy for us all, the same imam who shows mercy to those who go to war against him reserves such harsh words for these people. That should emphasize the weight of his words. That should emphasize the true nature of these people.
Our youth is also taught to despise the poor. They are labeled as being lazy, as being leeches who suck our tax dollars and spend them on drugs and alcohol. The poor are demonized in this society. The god of Capitalism is money so naturally, those who don’t have it become Iblees. And this dogma is preached from schools to universities and beyond. But again, what does Imam Ali say about the poor? In the same letter, the imam compares the common men, and the poor to “pillars of Islam” the Imam advises Malik-e-Ashtar to be good friends with them, keep their affairs in your mind, and secure their trust and goodwill. Islam teaches us that the needs of the poor take precedence.
Even if we do not live in an Islamic state, the formula of Imam Ali still applies. The needs of the poor do not diminish, neither does their importance, and nor does our Islamic Duty towards them.
In another instance Imam Ali said “The fuel of Hell in the day of judgment is every person who is ungenerous with the poor….” this harshness towards those who are ungenerous really drives home how important it is for us to take care of the poor. Generosity is not only from our pockets, but it also applies to the words we use, it also applies to how we think about them, and how we treat them.
Imam Ali said “People are of two kinds, they are either your brothers in religion, or your brothers in humanity” He didn’t discriminate between muslims and non-muslims, blacks or whites, arabs, or non-arabs. To him, there were those who were needy, and those who were greedy, and he treated each accordingly. If we claim to be the followers of the Imam, If we claim to be actual Shias, and not just children born into a Shia-claiming household, then we have to follow their actions and take care of the people who surround us. We have an Islamic Duty to do so.
God forgive me for any mistakes I may have made.
Long distance relationships are only growing these days. People are no longer bound by the physical boundaries of their communities. Miles have turned into minutes and letters into text messages. As far as I am concerned, it is all for the better. I am currently in a beautiful long distance…
Check out my piece at hipstershaadi XD
For many Muslims who live in the west, there is a popular form of feminism that we see. We see that such a form of feminism goes against Islamic principles, and we rush to speak out against it.
Then we come across some Muslim female personalities whose agendas are promoted by the western media. They claim to champion the cause of feminism in Islam. At first, we are glad to see a fellow Muslim being promoted by the western media. But after finding out what they have to say, we realize that their views are not based on Islamic morality. So we decide to withdraw our support from them.
Then we come across Muslim sisters who also promote the cause of feminism. Yet they speak of Islamic feminism. However, our previous knowledge of western feminism over shadows our thoughts and we do not listen to what our sisters are saying. Yet if we were to listen, we would realize that the vast majority of our sisters promote legitimate Islamic principles that champion the rights of women. We would realize that by supporting our sisters, we would be fulfilling our Islamic duties in the creation of our society.
The problem is that we just look at the loud Feminists which the western media claims to promote women’s rights in the oppressive religion of Islam. We take a reactionary stance against them and end up condemning Feminism in general. We end up promoting misogyny because we are taking a reactionary stance. This hurts our sisters and drives a greater wedge between us. It splits the Ummah apart. And a split Ummah is easily conquered.
The enemies of Islam are well aware of this. They promote the wrong form of feminism as being “legitimate” so that we will react to it and inflict great harm on our sisters. If this cycle continues, it will ultimately lead to breaking the very foundations of our culture and society. Then, it will become easier for westerners to move in with their cultural standards under the name of globalization and impose a highly destructive culture on us all.
This has already happened in many Muslim societies. Which is why it is even more important for us to support our sisters in promoting legitimate feminism. It is vital for us to help them in the destruction of the patriarchy through Islam. If not, we will find ourselves, our brothers, and our sisters enchained by the same system of oppression and imperialism.
To resist imperialism is to resist patriarchy.
Historically it were the monarchs, the imperialists, which bastardized the religion of Islam to create a hierarchy between man and woman. The Ummayads, the Abbassids, the Fatimids, the Ottomans, the Safavids etc all used the religion for their selfish purposes. These same powers which used Islam as a means to oppress and to consolidate power, also used Islam to promote misogyny.
Why? because a divided population is easier to control. By driving a wedge between the relationship of man and woman, they essentially split the cells that make up the society. By doing so, they made sure that the people cannot come together to effectively rise against them.
That is the reason why Islam promotes justice between a man and a woman. If justice between a man and a woman disappears, then the ummah breaks down as a whole.
A broken ummah is a conquered ummah.
God forgive me for any mistake i may have made.
I was learning the difference between colonization and infection in class earlier this week. Colonization refers to the normal flora that is not a part of the body but still resides on it. It does not harm the body. Infection, on the other hand, is also referring to the flora that colonizes our body, but it also makes us sick. It harms us. The difference between colonization and infection boils down to causing harm.
We use the word colonization to refer to the westerners settling in Native american lands, controlling the subcontinent, Africa, East Asia, and Middle East etc. But learning that about infectious diseases makes me think that we are using the wrong term. By all means, the western settlers were an infection for the natives, they were an infection for the Indians, the Africans, the Asians, and the Middle eastern people of the world.
They acted like a disease that spread through the lands they arrived in. Committing genocide in proportions never seen before, or since. Their destructive, parasitic ambitions draining the people they infected of resources they utilized to thrive.
Just some things to think about.
…the Pakistani teenager who recently gave his life to prevent a suicide bomber from attacking his school:
Please don’t compare him to Malala Yousafzai. Please don’t compare him to victims of drone strikes. Please don’t paint him as a victim of random, senseless violence. I’ve recently seen some comments drawing all of the above comparisons, and in response, I would like to clarify something:
Aitzaz belonged to the minority Shia community in Pakistan, which has been under attack for years now for being Shia. Throughout Pakistan, Shia professionals and intellectuals are being murdered almost daily; Shia communities like the Hazara community in Quetta are constantly under attack— again, simply for being Shia. To associate Aitzaz directly with other “causes” is to distract from the very real issue of ongoing Shia genocide in Pakistan. Yes, education is a major issue in Pakistan. So are drone strikes in the northern regions, as well as senseless and gang violence carried out in some regions of Pakistan. But it is important to understand that the suicide attack on Aitzaz’s school was deliberate and systematic. It was part of a larger program of militant groups attempting to wipe out the Pakistani Shia population. To distract from this issue is to ignore the dangerous reality for Shias living in Pakistan. This issue is already widely ignored by the Pakistani political elite (it took the Hazara community staging a sit-in with the dead bodies of their loved ones to get some media attention following a bomb attack last year, for instance), so not directly addressing it allows for this violence to continue.
I know that this news is “old” in these days of easy distractions, but I have been collecting my thoughts over the past few days as I read coverage on Aitzaz. Here’s to hoping for a better, safer, more empowered Pakistan, where kids like Aitzaz get a chance to grow up before doing amazing things for their communities, InshaAllah (God willing).
Reblogging for Haroon.
Each act of violence deserves to be investigated and seen for what it is. Violence has specific causes and prejudices, the victims have specific reasons which makes them a victim. By taking away those specific elements, one ends up promoting that violence by hiding its reason. Only by recognizing those causes, no matter how ugly they are, can we move towards eradicating them.
There have been too many Aitzaz’s in the Shia community of Pakistan. It used to be that these incidents will start to happen on the first of Muharram and go on for a few more days after the 10th of Muharram. These cowards have become more bold now. They’ve been targeting Shias throughout the year. If we truly want them to stop, we will have to come together as unified Pakistanis (Shias and Sunnis both).
Two agencies with the same goal in mind are Majlis-e-Wahdat-e-Muslimeen (MWM) and Sunni-Ittehad-Coucil (SIC). They’ve both allied together to fight against such injustices in the name of Pakistan.
Let us support efforts that promote unity against the cowards who enact violence and spill the blood of the innocents.
Often, we are so focused on the destination that we forget to stop and enjoy the path. We miss out on so much beauty. After all, it is the path that teaches, it promotes our growth. The destination is a mere prize of that growth.
Recently I’ve started biking to areas near my apartment, it has made me realize what I was missing out when I was driving.
I was awestruck as this foliage emerged in front of me today. I slowed down and immersed myself in this beauty as my bike took me through it.
After passing, I stopped, took my phone out, and took a snapshot of this enchanting pathway that I’m sharing with you.
Stop sometimes, and immerse yourself in the moment.