With Islam under fire from large portions of Western society, there has been an understandable push to defend the legitimacy of Muslims as a whole. As a Muslim, I am sympathetic to this effort. However, the ways in which this defense is mounted is more often than not sub-optimal. Other times, it is straight up self-defeating. What do I mean by this? Well, before we can consider an intellectual defense of a belief system, we must first consider what Islam is, in of itself.
Often times the most potent arguments are not the most complex and intricate, but rather those that are simple yet resonate loudly. Even Muslims themselves can forget that. Sometimes we need a return to basics in order to find the answers that plague us. In the case of religion, no question is more hotly contested then the nature of Jesus Christ, upon whom be peace. As such, I have compiled a few excerpts from the Qur’an, speech of Allah Himself, to articulate what Christ’s role for humanity really is:
The seeker’s search for truth does not end once a particular religion is determined upon, contrary to what many may assume. The search for truth is what drives the search for knowledge, and as long as we are alive, the search for knowledge is never-ending. That is why every time we Muslims pray to Allah, we recite in the opening surah: Continue reading
We tend to be very forgetful creatures sometimes. We often lose focus and get caught up in the details of our day-to-day lives to such an extent that we don’t pause to consider the bigger picture. Even thinking about it causes people to feel uneasy; “forget that religious talk, let me just enjoy my life!”
As they say, ignorance is bliss. Knowledge is tough, because you have to grapple with the consequences of knowing things. You may be obligated to change aspects about yourself. And who likes to change themselves? It’s much easier to just remain the same.
Such a person chooses to remain asleep while the world around him beckons to a potentially deeper understanding. Continue reading
If you were to give an award to “the world’s most misunderstood religion,” you would be hard pressed not to give it to Islam. After all, what is Islam? Is it a pagan religion? Is it a heretical sect of Christianity? Is it a violent religion? Is it a religion of hate? If you were to theoretically follow all of the fundamentals of Islam, what would be your character, your ethics, and your creed? Would you become a blind barbarian, seeing all infidels worthy of death? Would you become a moon-god worshiper, following in the footsteps of an unjust prophet? Would you recite the words of hate and oppression contained in your unholy book? Continue reading
Shirk in Islam is the concept of assigning partners to God. It also happens to be among the biggest sins a person can commit. Allah says in the Qur’an, Surat an Nisa’ ayah 48:
Indeed, Allah does not forgive association with Him, but He forgives what is less than that for whom He wills. And he who associates others with Allah has certainly fabricated a tremendous sin.
It is one sin that Allah will not forgive a person if he dies while adhering to it. If you were not familiar with the Islamic concept of worship and belief in general, then it may seem like the condemnation is too harsh. After all, we live in a multicultural society where all types of worship are respected as valid personal beliefs. Continue reading
The following are my notes for a halaqa I delivered for the local Muslim Student Association.
إِنَّ الْحَمْدَ لِلَّهِ نَحْمَدُهُ وَنَسْتَعِينُهُ وَنَسْتَغْفِرُهُ وَنَعُوذُ بِاللَّهِ مِنْ شُرُورِ أَنْفُسِنَا وَمِنْ سَيِّئَاتِ أَعْمَالِنَا مَنْ يَهْدِهِ اللَّهُ فَلَا مُضِلَّ لَهُ وَمَنْ يُضْلِلْ فَلَا هَادِيَ لَهُ وَأَشْهَدُ أَنْ لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا اللَّهُ وَحْدَهُ لَا شَرِيكَ لَهُ وَأَشْهَدُ أَنَّ مُحَمَّدًا عَبْدُهُ وَرَسُولُهُ
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ حَقَّ تُقَاتِهِ وَلَا تَمُوتُنَّ إِلَّا وَأَنتُم مُّسْلِمُونَ
“O you who have believed, fear Allah as He should be feared and do not die except as Muslims [in submission to Him].”
Today’s halaqah will be about the topic of death. I’ll start off by talking the concept of death, and how it relates to our life in this world, then I’ll finish off with some reminders and questions for you to consider. Continue reading