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"How can you rejoice about this life that grows shorter each hour." (Sayyidna Ali, Radi-Allahu anhu)

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Food for Thought

  • The Project for a New American-Islamic Cultural Order
  • The Infamous Gap between Islam and Modernity
  • Towards Building Ummah Consciousness
  • Islam versus Science or Scientism?
  • Freedom of Expression?
  • Human Dignity
  • Medicine and Muslims: The Road Ahead
  • Big Business, "Muslim Rap"
  • All Profit, No Loss
  • Days of the Couch Potatoes
  • Joy Forever, Grief Forever
  • Youth: On Culture, Religion, and Generation Gap
  • What Good is Salat?
  • The Scholar and the Ruler
  • The Importance of Kinship
  • Analysis: More than Bad Rulers and Corrupt Societies
  • The Road from Makkah
  • Message of Ramadan
  • On Extremism
  • The Power of Dua
    The dua can change our life, our outlook, and our fate. It is the most potent weapon of a believer.
  • Valentine Day, Birthdays, and Other Daze
    What commercial and cultural propaganda presents as beautiful is rooted in ugly paganism but most blind followers do not know.
  • Islam is the Solution
  • What Does Islam Teach About Justice?
    Neither love nor hatred can be allowed to compromise justice.
  • "Not Fearing the Blame..."
    What should be our relationship with the formidable media machine?
  • On Intentions and Actions
    From Islamic perspective our actions can fall in one of three categories and our intentions have different implications for each of them.
  • Reward Only From Allah
    Reflections on the Hadith on intention and its impact on our salaf.
  • Relating to the Qur'an We cannot just open the Qur’an and start interpreting it as if we are starting on ground zero.
  • Istighfar: Seeking Forgiveness from Allah
    Reflections on repentance and seeking forgiveness.
  • On Religious Tolerance
    A look at religious tolerance in Islam and in the West.
  • The Responsibilities of Muslims in the West
  • The Kites of Blasphemy Basant 'mela' is celebrated in memory of Hakeekat Rai, a Hindu blasphemer who had insulted the Prophet Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam.
  • Your Heaven, Your Hell
    While parental love is mostly instinctive, the way we treat our parents has been left to us. We can choose to honor and obey them or we can choose to do otherwise. Hence the reference to heaven and hell. For it is through exercise of our free will that we choose the path of heaven or hell.
  • Surviving the Melting Pot
  • Do We Mind Our Language?
  • The Value of Words
  • "Religious Wars"
  • The Islamic Dress Code
  • The Millenium Bug
  • Quran: Witness the Miracle
  • Beyond Elected Government. Just Government
  • Halloween: Innocent Fun or Mortal Danger?
  • The Road to Paradise
  • Perspective on Turkish Earthquake
    Natural Disasters: Test, Punishment, or Blessing?
  • Parenting Goals and Ideas
  • Lowest of the Low
  • Kosova: Where Were the Muslims?
    It is not just lack of military or economic power. It is a corrosive but generally accepted ideology. Why have a billion Muslims been so helpless? They have been imprisoned in the cage of that stinking nationalism.
  • Tribal Loyalty
    Dr. Crane condemns tribal loyalty. But what is tribal loyalty?
  • Makkah -- not "Mecca"
    What is in a spelling? A lot, if you think about it.
  • The Story of Baghdad
    There is more to the story of Baghdad than one can get from the news.
  • The Meaning of Ramadan
    Ramadan is the month for rebuilding our spiritual strength by indulging in direct ibadah.
  • Whose Islam?
    The question is borrowed from elsewhere---without the least effort to judge its applicability in case of Islam
  • Good Muslim, Good Human Being
    A person who, through his intentional or careless actions or words inflicts unjustified pain on others is not worthy of being called a Muslim.
  • Humility in Knowledge and Arrogance in Ignorance
    A pseudo religious scholar is danger to faith.
  • Be Careful with Muhammad, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa Sallam
    Our relationship to the Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, is at the core of our entire religion. He is human, not Divine, but he is our connection to the Deity. He relays to us the Word of Allah and he explains what the Word means. He sets a personal example that we look at not just for admiration but emulation. Our relationship to him is legal as well as personal; moral as well as spiritual; intellectual as well as emotional. Allah chose him to guide us, educate us, inspire us, and purify us --- and we remain indebted forever!
  • Virtue, Real and Apparent
    Sometimes there is a fine line between apparent virtue and real virtue; between what we like to do and what we must do; between religion as hobby and religion as the serious business of obedience to Allah.
  • The Choice is Yours
    We cannot get to the high ground by taking the low road. We cannot win our Creator's pleasure by disobeying Him. We cannot enter Paradise by being ambivalent about it. The clash between the two lifestyles here is actually the clash between two afterlives. And the choice is ours.
  • Islamic Brotherhood
    This Brotherhood was a force for good, a purveyor of peace and justice for everyone. It provided stability in a quarrelsome world. To the downtrodden and oppressed everywhere, it provided freedom. When it was powerful, it even saved the Jews and Christians in Palestine and Spain from each other.
  • Better, Try to See the Light
    Modern day Christianity and Judaism have been through a series of "reformation" processes. Over the centuries tens of thousands of "reformed churches" and "reformed synagogues" have been established throughout Europe and America. Many see this revision and update as a continuous process.

    So, why not Islam?
  • Belief and Superstition
    In a big city like Los Angeles or New York, one can find thousands of palm-readers, tarot-card readers and astrologers who even have professional associations and certification programs. Daily horoscopes are an indispensable part of even the most prestigious newspapers and web sites. Is it is human destiny to be afflicted with superstitions?

    No, it is just an evil consequence of unbelief. The light of Islam can cure it.
  • No Haya, No Life
    Islam brought about a moral revolution of unprecedented dimensions with haya as its cornerstone. The pre-Islamic Jahilya society of Arabia knew the word but did not understand its meaning. Nudity, the antithesis of haya, was not only common in every day life, it was even part of the most important religious ritual of tawaf (circumbulation of Ka'bah). So were all the other evils that flow from it. Islam exterminated all of those evils and changed the society in such a way that haya became one of its most cherished values.

    To this day in Friday Khutbahs around the world, the third Khalifah Hazrat Usman, Radi-Allahu, unhu is mentioned as the person with perfect haya and perfect Iman (Kamil lil-haya wal Iman). Is there any other religion that celebrates haya like that?
  • Preparing for Death
    It is amazing how a lot of our own "confusions", frivolous arguments, excuses (for why we cannot do this or avoid that), or plane laziness can melt away when we visualize ourselves in our grave! Death settles lot of arguments. Its remembrance can do that too. Before it is too late.
  • Time is Life
    Just imagine how Internet has made it possible for information to move all over the world in seconds. And then see how the same medium is being used to waste countless hours in frivolous discussions in chat rooms or meaningless net surfing! The juxtaposition of the time saving and time wasting nature of the same tool brings in full focus the basic problem with the prevalent ideas of time itself.
  • The Purpose of Prayer
    Everyone who believes in God also prays. But "how" and "for what" of prayer depend upon one's concept of God and outlook on life.
  • All Virtues, Big or Small
    Every good deed, no matter how small, has the potential of becoming our ticket to paradise. It just depends upon the situation in which it was performed and the level of sincerity in our heart. Feeding water to a thirsty dog is not an extra-ordinary event per se, but in the particular case mentioned in the hadith it became large enough to wipe out all the sins of a very sinful person.
  • A Look at Christmas
    Both Muslims and serious Christians can learn a lot from Christmas, the annual celebration of the victory of paganism over the religion of Prophet Isa (Jesus Christ), alayhi salam.
  • Reason and Revelation
    Normally it is difficult for us to say "I don't know." It is even more difficult for nations to admit a weakness in their celebrated tools of inquiry. That is the dilemma of the modern world, which sees so much wrong with itself but cannot bring itself to admitting the problem with its basic approach. But a Muslim is the person who has both the wisdom and the courage to surrender before the higher source of knowledge and guidance. For him Revelation informs his reason and his reason controls his emotions. Such is the person who is blessed, but not burdened, by his beliefs.
  • Peer Pressure
    The most ridiculous thing would be for anyone to leave the Straight Path for fear of being ridiculed by those who are happily rushing on their path to eternal doom. The most laughable act is to trade truth for Falsehood for fear of being laughed at. The craziest deed would be to knowingly disobey Allah for fear of being called crazy!
  • Taqwa is for Everyone
    Taqwa (God consciousness, fear of Allah, righteousness) is not required just of a select group of religious people who would then be called muttaqeen (possessors of taqwa). Rather, every believer has to become muttaqi for the success in the hereafter is only for the muttaqeen.
  • Amr-bil-Maroof
    More often than we realize we are engaged in persuading others or are being persuaded by them about big and small things in life. Islam gives this tremendous social force a purpose. It must be used for promoting good, truth and justice and checking evil and injustice. That is the essence of amr-bil-maroof-wa-nahi-anil-munkar.
  • Dhikr (Remembering Allah)
    The unlettered shepherd was a greater man of understanding than the "greatest great" who does not remember Allah. If only we can understand.
  • Seeking Knowledge
    Must every individual Muslim become a religious scholar? Not at all. What is required of an individual is only sufficient knowledge that can enable him or her to carry out their religious obligations. As a minimum every Muslim must learn the articles of faith and what they really mean. He or she must also learn the laws and teachings of Shariah as they relate to their life. The basic rule is that accompanying every religious duty is another duty to learn about the requirements of that duty.
  • Muslim Unity s
    Pious people are not extinct today. What we sorely need is the reformers who can rise above their narrow perspectives and heed the universal and unifying call of Islam. [Adapted from two talks of Mufti Muhammad Shafi, the late grand Mufti of Pakistan.]
  • Jerusalem: History Lessons
    Only monotheism can provide peace and justice for all as it did in the past. The world is waiting for the forces of true monotheism to conquer Jerusalem once again.
  • Zakat
    If used properly, Zakat could put IMF, the World Bank, and other shylocks who have been enriching themselves at the expense of the poor out of business in the Muslim countries.
  • The Miracle of the Quran
    The German Institute examined 43,000 copies of Quranic manuscripts. They could find not a single discrepancy in the text.
  • Have Mercy
    Some reflections on Hadith-musalsal bil awaliyah.
  • Right and Wrong
    Ultimately the value of a human society depends upon its ability to develop the framework that can separate right from wrong. All those frustrated with western failure here would do themselves a big favor by checking out the Islamic answer.
  • Allahu Akbar
    Allahu-Akbar is the weapon that gives us the courage to challenge all subjugation, political or intellectual. It makes us turn our attention to the Creator and ignore other creations like ourselves. In the jihads in Afghanistan, Kashmir, or Bosnia, as elsewhere, the power of this weapon has been felt by people on both sides of the conflict. In every conflict the shouts of Allahu-Akbar instilled fear in the hearts of the oppressors. It boasted the morale of the mujahideen with new levels of hope and courage. And that is the way it should be. Because Allah is the Greatest.

    Albalagh Home Food for Thought
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