// Blind Spot
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« Reply #50 on: Dec 21, 2008 08:54 AM »

Why Should You Lead?

A tribe is a group of people connected to one another, connected to a leader, and connected to an idea. For millions of years, human beings have been part of one tribe or another. A group needs only two things to be a tribe: a shared interest and a way to communicate.

Tribes need leadership. Sometimes one person leads, sometimes more. People want connection and growth and something new. They want change. Human beings can't help it: we need to belong. One of the most powerful of our survival mechanisms is to be part of a tribe, to contribute to (and take from) a group of like-minded people. We are drawn to leaders and their ideas, and we can't resist the rush of belonging and the thrill of the new.

You can't have a tribe without a leader - and you can't be a leader without a tribe. Tribes make our lives better. And leading a tribe is the best life of all.

And if you don't have that desire, don't panic. Sometimes it's okay not to take the lead, sometimes it's okay to let someone else speak up and show you the way. The power of this new era is simple: if you want to (need to, must!) lead, then you can. It's easier than ever and we need you. But if this isn't the right moment, if this isn't the right cause, then hold off. Generous and authentic leadership will always defeat the selfish efforts of someone doing it just because she can.

Every tribe is different. Every leader is different. The very nature of leadership is that you're not doing what's been done before. If you were, you'd be following, not leading.

You can choose to lead, or not. You can choose to have faith, or not. You can choose to contribute to the tribe, or not.

Are there thousands of reasons why you, of all people, aren't the right one to lead? Why you don't have the resources or the authority or the genes or the momentum to lead? Probably. So what? You still get to make the choice.

Once you choose to lead, you'll be under huge pressure to reconsider your choice, to compromise, to dumb it down, or to give up. Of course you will. That's the world's job: to get you to be quiet and follow. The status quo is the status quo for a reason.

But once you choose to lead, you'll also discover that it's not so difficult. That the options available to you seem really clear, and that yes, in fact, you can get from here to there.

Go.

Compiled From:
"Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us" - Seth Godin, pp. 1-7, 146-147
http://click.icptrack.com/icp/relay.php?r=1049602440&msgid=30931902&act=216G&c=68038&admin=0&destination=http://sethgodin.com

The Almighty Allah says,

"When a servant thinks of Me, I am near.
When he invokes Me, I am with him.
If he reflects on Me in secret, I reply in secret,
And if he acknowledges Me in an assembly,
I acknowledge him in a far superior assembly."

- Prophet Muhammad (SAW), as reptd by Abu Huraira
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« Reply #51 on: Dec 27, 2008 09:36 AM »

Religion at a Man's Club

There have always been religious people who have sought to escape from the world, to lock themselves away in conditions that satisfied their need for 'purity' or peace. Muslims consider such detachment, or religious seclusion, to be a form of escapism; it can even be seen as a kind of insult towards the rest of human society that God has created and loved.

In Islam, individual salvation should not be sought away from society. Islam disapproves of monasticism. It encourages people to mix together, and desires collective actions and co-operation. Therefore, to a Muslim, friends are extremely important and good conduct when out amongst the general public is extremely important.

Incidentally, one of the things that female Muslims often find quite irritating is the tendency of male Muslims in certain societies to segregate themselves to an unnecessary and excessive extent - thereby encouraging that very atmosphere of 'religion at a man's club' that was disapproved of in monasticism.

The Prophet, peace be upon him, emphasized often that his way (sunnah) included marriage, and encouragement of family life and care and companionship for the female Muslims.

The sort of Muslim man who avoids and shuns all female company would do well to reflect on the enormous number of female persons (aunts, wives, cousins, children and friends) who surrounded the Prophet and cherished him.

Compiled From:
"Living Islam" - Ruqaiyyah Waris Maqsood, pp. 157, 158

The Almighty Allah says,

"When a servant thinks of Me, I am near.
When he invokes Me, I am with him.
If he reflects on Me in secret, I reply in secret,
And if he acknowledges Me in an assembly,
I acknowledge him in a far superior assembly."

- Prophet Muhammad (SAW), as reptd by Abu Huraira
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« Reply #52 on: Jan 10, 2009 04:44 AM »

'Using' The Quran

From the time Muawiya's troops raised pages of the Quran on their lances to the start of the first Gulf War in 1991, when Saddam Hussein put the Quranic phrase Allahu Akbar, "God is Greater," on the Iraqi flag, up to the international terrorist movements of our time, there have been Muslims who have used the Quran to encourage, justify, and challenge highly specific political agendas, some violent and intolerant. At the same time, there have been more Muslims who have been inspired by the Quran to pay charity, be generous, establish peace treaties, and work for a just and accountable political order. In Muslim societies in which religious identity is strong, the language of the Quran is the dominant normative discourse, and some will use the Quran in a manipulative fashion, while others will sincerely try to be guided by its message. It is impossible to prevent the Quran from being "used" to justify bad behaviour. Shakespeare wrote that "the devil can cite scripture for his purpose," and this is as true of the Quran as it is of the Bible, which has been used at various times to justify everything from the enslavement of Africans to the subjugation of women and the forcible expulsion of indigenous peoples from their lands.

Ridding societies of religious discourse will not prevent injustices from being committed in the name of secular values either. Nationalist and secular regimes and their founding texts are not immune from manipulation for unjust purposes. For most of its history, the explicitly egalitarian spirit of the US constitution was interpreted away by restricting the application of the "men" to white males. Throughout the twentieth century, secular "modernizing" regimes in the Middle East elevated the importance of Turkish, Persian, and Arab national identities and their founding myths to justify severe discrimination against ethnic minorities.

Compiled From:
"The Story of the Qur'an: Its History and Place in Muslim Life" - Ingrid Mattson, p. 183
http://click.icptrack.com/icp/relay.php?r=1049602440&msgid=30944238&act=216G&c=68038&admin=0&destination=http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/book.asp?ref%3D9781405122573

The Almighty Allah says,

"When a servant thinks of Me, I am near.
When he invokes Me, I am with him.
If he reflects on Me in secret, I reply in secret,
And if he acknowledges Me in an assembly,
I acknowledge him in a far superior assembly."

- Prophet Muhammad (SAW), as reptd by Abu Huraira
Halima
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« Reply #53 on: Jan 18, 2009 05:39 PM »

Comparing

Comparing yourself to others is nothing but bad news. Why? Because we're all on different development timetables. Socially, mentally, and physically. Although some of us are like the popular tree, which grows like a weed the moment it's planted, others are like the bamboo tree, which shows no growth for four years but then grows ninety feet in year five.

Life is like a great obstacle course. Each person has their own course, separated from every other course by tall walls. Your course comes complete with customized obstacles designed specifically for your personal growth. So what good does it do to climb the wall to see how well your neighbour is doing or to check out his obstacles in comparison to your own?

Building your life based on how you stack up compared to others is never good footing. If I get my security from the fact that my GPA is higher than yours or my friends are more popular than yours, then what happens when someone comes along with a higher GPA or more popular friends? Comparing ourselves makes us feel like a wave of the sea tossed to and fro by the wind. We go up and down, feeling inferior one moment and superior the next, confident one moment and intimidated the next. The only good comparison is comparing yourself against your own potential.

Compiled From:
"The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens" - Sean Covey, pp. 156, 157
http://click.icptrack.com/icp/relay.php?r=1049602440&msgid=30949333&act=216G&c=68038&admin=0&destination=http://www.seancovey.com/books_7habits.html

The Almighty Allah says,

"When a servant thinks of Me, I am near.
When he invokes Me, I am with him.
If he reflects on Me in secret, I reply in secret,
And if he acknowledges Me in an assembly,
I acknowledge him in a far superior assembly."

- Prophet Muhammad (SAW), as reptd by Abu Huraira
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« Reply #54 on: Jan 25, 2009 08:39 AM »

Allah's Family

The principle to accord a humane treatment to people and avoid hurting them is not restricted to Muslims. It is only that such behaviour has been specially stressed in regards to Muslims. All of Allah's creatures are "His family", so much so that animals too are included within this fold.

To keep a camel hungry or weigh it down with unbearable load, not to give it enough rest, or to slaughter an animal within sight of another, or to us a blunt knife for slaughtering an animal or to steal a bird's young chick from its nest, or to put an anthill to fire are all forbidden acts.

When such are the guidelines for the treatment of animals, you can well imagine what are the rights of human beings, whether they be sinful Muslims or non-Muslims.

Compiled From:
"Dying and Living for Allah" - Khurram Murad, p. 47

The Almighty Allah says,

"When a servant thinks of Me, I am near.
When he invokes Me, I am with him.
If he reflects on Me in secret, I reply in secret,
And if he acknowledges Me in an assembly,
I acknowledge him in a far superior assembly."

- Prophet Muhammad (SAW), as reptd by Abu Huraira
Halima
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« Reply #55 on: Feb 01, 2009 09:06 AM »

Political Power

No engaged Muslim understands or accepts the apologies usually given by Muslim politicians about the sad shortcomings of the ummah in this century. And no one accepts the argument that the masses initiative must come from the ranks of the masses before it can be exercised by al khilafah's leaders. The elite who know better are certainly there, and in abundance. What is needed at this time in history is the spark to ignite the will of the ummah into motion. This can come only from the leader's preparedness to engage in the dangerous business of interfering in history as its subject, not as its patient and object.

Interference in history by the Muslim ummah begins at home, in the patient, sober building of al khilafah which cannot be said to exist in any present Muslim state. Once sure of a provisional base on which to anchor itself, al khilafah must mobilize the whole Muslim world and call it to march. No price should be regarded exorbitant to achieve this objective except the dissolution of al khilafah itself. Its personnel can and should be sacrificed if progress towards that goal cannot be made without it. Once the ummah stands in readiness, the moment of Abu Bakr's caliphate will be on hand again. That will be the greatest moment ever.

Compiled From:
"Tawhid: Its Implications for Thought and Life" - Khurram Murad, pp. 154-155

The Almighty Allah says,

"When a servant thinks of Me, I am near.
When he invokes Me, I am with him.
If he reflects on Me in secret, I reply in secret,
And if he acknowledges Me in an assembly,
I acknowledge him in a far superior assembly."

- Prophet Muhammad (SAW), as reptd by Abu Huraira
Halima
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Reputation Power: 39
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Posts: 1714



« Reply #56 on: Feb 09, 2009 08:11 AM »

Projection

One payoff for believing that problems and the suffering in our cities are the inevitable products of modern life and culture is that it lets us off the hook. The payoff begins the moment we believe that problems reside in others and that they are the ones who need to change. We displace or assign to others certain qualities that have more to do with us than with them. This is called projection, an idea most of us are quite familiar with. The essence of our projection is that it places accountability for an alternative future on others. This is the payoff of stereotyping, prejudice, and a bunch of "isms" that we are all familiar with. This is what produces the "other." The reward is that it takes the pressure off of us. It is a welcome escape from our freedom. We project onto leaders the qualities or disappointments that we find too much to carry ourselves. We project onto the stranger, the wounded, the enemy those aspects of ourselves that are too much to own.

We are generally familiar with these ideas from the psychology of projection for individuals, but projection also works more broadly at the level of profession, institution, and community.

Take poverty, for example. When we see low-income people, we focus on their needs and deficiencies, and that is all we see. We think their poverty is central to who they are, and that is all they are. We believe that the poor have created the condition for themselves. We view them with charity or pity and wring our hands at their plight. At this moment we are projecting our own vulnerability onto the poor. It is a defence against not only my own vulnerability, but also my complicity in creating poverty.

If we took back this projection, we would stop denying that each of us plays a role in creating poverty - by our way of living, by our indifference, by our labelling them "poor" as if that is who they are, by our choice not to have them as neighbours and get to know them. It's the same with unemployed, with broken homes, neighbourhoods, youth on the street, and all the other symptoms we live with.

Compiled From:

The Almighty Allah says,

"When a servant thinks of Me, I am near.
When he invokes Me, I am with him.
If he reflects on Me in secret, I reply in secret,
And if he acknowledges Me in an assembly,
I acknowledge him in a far superior assembly."

- Prophet Muhammad (SAW), as reptd by Abu Huraira
Halima
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Reputation Power: 39
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Posts: 1714



« Reply #57 on: Feb 14, 2009 08:36 PM »

Fighting Vanity

Be modest; adopt humility. You cannot say anything about yourself with certainty until Allah exonerates you on the Last Day and accepts your good deeds. If He were to reject you, who shall be more contemptible than yourself? What could be more foolish than to consider yourself superior to fellow criminals in the prison that this world is! Until the Lord of the Day of Judgment pronounces His verdict, consider every Muslim better than yourself. Keep your gaze on the virtue of others, not on their shortcomings. Only mention their good points, not the bad ones. At the same time, do not go about openly announcing your own faults or disparaging your own self. Be humble and modest in your manner of living and conduct before Allah as if you are an abject and degraded slave. Do not raise your voice like an ass. Do not display arrogance. What a folly it is to be haughty over your body which is destined to turn into pus and become a meal of insects and germs!

Compiled From:
"Dying and Living for Allah" - Khurram Murad, pp. 51, 52

The Almighty Allah says,

"When a servant thinks of Me, I am near.
When he invokes Me, I am with him.
If he reflects on Me in secret, I reply in secret,
And if he acknowledges Me in an assembly,
I acknowledge him in a far superior assembly."

- Prophet Muhammad (SAW), as reptd by Abu Huraira
Halima
Sis
Hero Member
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Reputation Power: 39
Halima is working their way up :)Halima is working their way up :)Halima is working their way up :)
Gender: Female
Posts: 1714



« Reply #58 on: Feb 22, 2009 08:43 AM »

Overcoming Your Hesitation to Help

You may suspect abuse is happening to a neighbour, friend or family member, but do not know what to do or how to talk about it. You may worry about making the situation worse, or be concerned about what to do. Here are some concerns you may have about whether you should help:

Points of Concern                                                                  Points to Consider
You feel it’s none of your business                                         It could be a matter of life or death. Violence is
                                                                                               everyone’s business
You don’t know what to say                                                   Saying you care and are concerned is a good start
You might make things worse                                                 Doing nothing could make things worse
It’s not serious enough to involve the police                          Police are trained to respond and utilize other
                                                                                               resources
You are afraid his violence will turn to you or your                 Speak to her alone. Let the police know if you
family                                                                                      receive threats
                                                                                             
You think she doesn’t really want to leave because              She may not have had the support she needed
she keeps coming back    
You are afraid she will become angry with you                      Maybe, but she will know you care
You feel that both partners are your friends                         One friend is being abused and lives in fear
You believe that if she wanted help, she would ask for it     She may be too afraid and ashamed to ask for help
You think it is a private matter                                              It isn’t when someone is being hurt

Compiled From:
"How You can Identify and Help Women at Risk of Abuse" - Neighbour, Friends and Families
http://click.icptrack.com/icp/relay.php?r=1049602440&msgid=30974154&act=216G&c=68038&admin=0&destination=http://neighboursfriendsandfamilies.ca/eng/dlmaterials/EngWomenAtRisk.pdf

The Almighty Allah says,

"When a servant thinks of Me, I am near.
When he invokes Me, I am with him.
If he reflects on Me in secret, I reply in secret,
And if he acknowledges Me in an assembly,
I acknowledge him in a far superior assembly."

- Prophet Muhammad (SAW), as reptd by Abu Huraira
Halima
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Reputation Power: 39
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Gender: Female
Posts: 1714



« Reply #59 on: Mar 07, 2009 04:23 PM »

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

A pious Muslim doubts whether his ritual ablutions are correct. He goes back and repeats them. This doubt becomes stronger. It becomes a regular part of his religious life. He takes 20 minutes to make his ablutions, repeating each act of washing over and over again.

The worshipper doubts whether he has made a mistake in his prayers. He repeats the acts of prayer, and even full prayers over and over again.

For such a person, daily worship, which should be his greatest comfort and solace, becomes a source of anxiety, frustration, and despair. The arrival of each prayer is welcomed with dread, though the person has strong faith and deep down inside truly loves prayer.

This person needs to understand that he is not having a problem of faith. Rather, he is suffering from an illness that brings him to suffer from worry and despair.. This illness is known as obsessive-compulsive disorder.

The misgivings and doubts that dominate the persons mind and thoughts are obsessions. Obsessions have four characteristics:

    1. They are specific thoughts that dominate a person's thinking.

    2. These thoughts do not have any real connection to the problems that the person is facing.

    3. Trying to ignore or dispel the thoughts causes great psychological stress for the person. This person is not
        schizophrenic. He fully realizes that his misgivings are baseless, but he simply cannot resist succumbing to them.

    4. The person who has these thoughts is aware that they are the product of his own thinking. He is not adopting them
        from someone else.

Compulsions are the behaviours that the person cannot resist carrying out. The following can be said about compulsive actions:

    1. The action is carried out over repeatedly even though the person carrying out the action wishes to cease doing so.
        However, the pressure to continue repeating the act is greater than the will to stop doing so. Washing hands over and
        over again is a common manifestation of compulsive behaviour.

    2. The person afflicted with these compulsions constantly tries to overcome them. Every time he resists the urge to carry
        out the action, he suffers from severe psychological stress on account of it. This is only relived temporarily when he
        resumes the action again.

Muslims who suffer from obsessive-compulsive behaviour often suffer from doubts in relation to their purification (doubting their wudû') and their prayer (doubting whether they performed their prayers properly).

The good news is that 80% of those who seek proper medical treatment respond readily and positively to the treatment. Some do suffer from relapses and need further treatment.

Compiled From:
"The Psychology of Severe Misgivings" - `Alî Ismâ`îl `Abd al-Rahmân
http://click.icptrack.com/icp/relay.php?r=1049602440&msgid=30983587&act=216G&c=68038&admin=0&destination=http://islamtoday.com/showme2.cfm?cat_id%3D35%26sub_cat_id%3D2131

The Almighty Allah says,

"When a servant thinks of Me, I am near.
When he invokes Me, I am with him.
If he reflects on Me in secret, I reply in secret,
And if he acknowledges Me in an assembly,
I acknowledge him in a far superior assembly."

- Prophet Muhammad (SAW), as reptd by Abu Huraira
Halima
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« Reply #60 on: Mar 15, 2009 05:03 AM »

Career Woman

Although homemaking, childbearing and childrearing are a universal career, it remains true that it does not exhaust the energies of a woman throughout her life. Her membership in the extended family, whether on her side or on that of her husband, will provide her with assistants and therefore with more leisure. Her childbearing cares may not last beyond two or three decades at the longest. Her life may be three whole decades longer. Is it right that Muslim women waste this valuable time on family gossip when they could be helping the ummah with their talents and energies? There are women equally who may not be fortunate enough to marry at all, or to have children or even to live in an extended family. How does Islam perceive their life to be?

Every woman, like every man, must carry the burden of serving Allah and benefitting the ummah, according to his or her talents and best disposition. This task is doubly imperative today because of the decay and dormancy of the ummah. Nobody can and should be spared. Our present circumstances demand that every woman be a career woman at least during some portion of her life. This could be during her student days, or during her motherhood period if she lives in a large extended family, or after her motherhood period.

Her first task is to undergo training as an Islamic worker, to awaken her mind and to nourish it with Islamic wisdom, to discipline and exercise herself in Islamic work. She ought to have acquired the skills to awaken and teach other Muslims, and to mobilize them in service to the divine cause. Practically every field of activity is open to and needs her. There are whole professions which she can monopolize.

Compiled From:
"Al Tawhid: Its Implications for Thought and Life" - Ismail Raji al Faruqi, pp. 138, 139

The Almighty Allah says,

"When a servant thinks of Me, I am near.
When he invokes Me, I am with him.
If he reflects on Me in secret, I reply in secret,
And if he acknowledges Me in an assembly,
I acknowledge him in a far superior assembly."

- Prophet Muhammad (SAW), as reptd by Abu Huraira
Halima
Sis
Hero Member
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Reputation Power: 39
Halima is working their way up :)Halima is working their way up :)Halima is working their way up :)
Gender: Female
Posts: 1714



« Reply #61 on: Mar 20, 2009 02:55 PM »

Exercising Judgment

That an act of physical purification can help the seeker along the path of spiritual purification is a lesson contained in the conversion story of Umar ib al-Khattab. Initially one of the staunchest enemies of Islam among the Meccans, Umar was enraged when he discovered that his sister Fatima had become a Muslim. After a violent argument with her, Umar asked to see the parchment from which she was reading a passage of the Quran. Fatima replied, "My brother, you are impure in your polytheism and only the purified may touch it." After Umar rose and washed himself, his sister gave him the page on which was written Sura Ta Ha (20). Reading the words, Umar declared, "How fine and noble is this speech!" Then Umar went to the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, and declared his conversion to Islam.

One notable aspect of this story is that Fatima exercised her judgment in what is often reduced by many Muslims to a simple Islamic legal issue, viz., whether it is permissible to touch the mushaf - or a portion of it - without having performed ritual purification. In strict legal terms, it is impossible for a non-Muslim to complete ritual purification, since a condition of this act of worship, like all other acts of worship, is that one forms the explicit intention (niyya) to perform this act in Obedience to God in accordance with the instructions of the Prophet Muhammad. If no other relevant factors are taken into account, the logical conclusion is that no non-Muslim should be permitted to handle the mushaf. However, sound Islamic legal reasoning entails consideration of many factors involved in a case - including assessment of the harms and benefits (al-darr wa'l-nafa), the common good (al-maslaha al-'amma), and the broad goals of the Law (al-maqasid).

Thus, through the centuries, Muslim scholars, like this early Muslim woman Fatima, exercised their judgment in determining when and how it might be permissible to give or sell a mushaf to a non-Muslim. At the same time, it is probably accurate to say that the strictly legal requirement of purity for touching the mushaf is less of an issue to most Muslims than the concern that the mushaf will be treated in a disrespectful fashion. It is this same concern that led many scholars to discourage or forbid young children from handling the mushaf, since their inability to truly understand the sacrality of the text could lead them to handle it inappropriately.

Compiled From:
"The Story of the Qur'an: Its History and Place in Muslim Life" - Ingrid Mattson, p. 155, 156
http://click.icptrack.com/icp/relay.php?r=1049602440&msgid=30993075&act=216G&c=68038&admin=0&destination=http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/book.asp?ref%3D9781405122573

The Almighty Allah says,

"When a servant thinks of Me, I am near.
When he invokes Me, I am with him.
If he reflects on Me in secret, I reply in secret,
And if he acknowledges Me in an assembly,
I acknowledge him in a far superior assembly."

- Prophet Muhammad (SAW), as reptd by Abu Huraira
Halima
Sis
Hero Member
*

Reputation Power: 39
Halima is working their way up :)Halima is working their way up :)Halima is working their way up :)
Gender: Female
Posts: 1714



« Reply #62 on: Mar 28, 2009 12:34 AM »

Reasons why people avoid action

There are many reasons why people are afraid to speak out, and allow wrong feelings or situations to continue. The first is probably the fear of losing the friend involved. Here you must examine your conscience and work out what is right and what is wrong. Nobody is perfect - your friend is not, and neither are you. You will yourself have plenty of faults that others may point out to you in due course. Sometimes it is necessary to be 'cruel to be kind.' Every parent knows this when dealing with children; sometimes the same principles have to apply towards our friends.

A second reason for keeping out of the business is the fear that perhaps you may be the only one among millions who is crusading against this particular evil, and therefore what possible good can you do? This is not a reasonable argument. I once attended a mass meeting at which all the lights were put out, and people who had matches were asked to produce them. The leader of the meeting struck the match, and it was a tiny little light in that vast space. However, when everybody lit their tiny match, the whole scene was transformed, and there was light.

Sometimes we do not interfere because of apathy, a 'couldn't care less' attitude. What our friends are doing is not really our business. But is that true? Usually what your friend do will soon affect you in one way or another, and if you do not like what they are doing, you will either be expected to condone it or turn a blind eye - and so your own standards will be compromised.

If your friends do not like their weaknesses and wrongdoings pointed out to them - then think about the quality of those friends. This negative attitude is against Islam. If everyone thought negatively no progress would ever be made. Muslims should do whatever lies within their power, simply to please Allah - and leave the results to Him.

'May God have mercy on anyone who gives me my faults as a gift.' (Caliph Umar, may Allah be pleased with him)

Some criminals gain courage because they see people doing nothing to stop them, and so they keep continuing with their evil actions. Islam does not seek heroes, but it does want the general attitude in society to be that evil must be prevented from taking place.

Compiled From:
"Living Islam" - Ruqaiyyah Waris Maqsood, pp. 166, 167

The Almighty Allah says,

"When a servant thinks of Me, I am near.
When he invokes Me, I am with him.
If he reflects on Me in secret, I reply in secret,
And if he acknowledges Me in an assembly,
I acknowledge him in a far superior assembly."

- Prophet Muhammad (SAW), as reptd by Abu Huraira
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« Reply #63 on: Apr 03, 2009 06:32 PM »

An Islamic Economy?

There is no "Islamic economy." What can be found in the Islamic Universe of reference is a series of principles outlining an ethics, a general philosophy of the economy's goals, but there is no such thing as an economy that is "Islamic" by essence or through some specific disposition. There is no "Islamic economy," therefore, but an "Islamic ethics" of the economy. What has been represented, and is still being represented today, as an "Islamic economy" is in fact a set of principles and techniques (rejecting interest - riba, imposing a purifying social tax - zakat, risk sharing - musharakah) that are applied within the classical economic system and are supposed to represent an alternative.

By giving the label "Islamic economy" to a set of techniques based on two or three general principles totally out of touch with the framework of ethics and the general philosophy of Islamic teachings on the subject, one manages to propose formal, technical adjustments without questioning the higher goals of economic activity. The perversion goes even deeper and is particularly dangerous: this "Islamic economy," along with its sister "Islamic finance," suggest a series of reforms of the techniques and modalities of transactions at the heart of the classical system, which they do not question in its essence, but which on the contrary they confirm both in its philosophy of productivist profitability and in its global domination.

Presented in this way, the great catchphrase "an Islamic economy" is far from being an alternative. At best it is simply a "marginal option" whose function is insensibly to confirm the preeminence of the "mainstream" - that is to say, the liberal market economy. We are here at the heart of an in-depth debate: are we speaking about an adaptation reform, which - in its undeniable movement - confirms that to which it adapts, or are we trying to undertake a transformational reform that questions existing practices and suggests other ways in the name of the higher goals of ethics? In other words, we should be less pompous and bombastic in our rhetoric and more ambitious and bolder in our fundamental reflection and our practical, concrete proposals.

Compiled From:
"Radical Reform: Islamic Ethics and Liberation" - Tariq Ramadan, pp. 242, 243
http://click.icptrack.com/icp/relay.php?r=1049602440&msgid=31001756&act=216G&c=68038&admin=0&destination=http://www.oupcanada.com/catalog/9780195331714.html

The Almighty Allah says,

"When a servant thinks of Me, I am near.
When he invokes Me, I am with him.
If he reflects on Me in secret, I reply in secret,
And if he acknowledges Me in an assembly,
I acknowledge him in a far superior assembly."

- Prophet Muhammad (SAW), as reptd by Abu Huraira
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« Reply #64 on: Apr 12, 2009 03:59 AM »

Reservations on Democracy

Some Islamists still have their reservations on democracy, and are even wary of the word "democracy” itself.

What I wish to stress here is that Islam is not democracy and democracy is not Islam and that I would rather that Islam is not attributed to any principle or system. Islam is unique in its means, ends and methodologies, and I do not wish that Western democracy be carried over to us with its bad ideologies and values without us adding to it from our values and ideologies in order to integrate it into our comprehensive system.

However, the tools and guaranties created by democracy are as close as can ever be to the realization of the political principles brought to this earth by Islam to put a leash on the ambitions and whims of rulers. These principles are: shura [consultation], good advice, enjoining what is proper and forbidding what is evil, disobeying illegal orders, resisting unbelief and changing wrong by force whenever possible. It is only in democracy and political freedom that the power of Parliament is evident and that people's deputies can withdraw confidence from any government that breaches the Constitution, and it is only in such an environment that the strength of free Press, free Parliament, opposition and the masses is most felt.

The fears of some people here that democracy makes the people a source of power and even legislation (although legislation is Allah's alone) should not be heeded here, because we are supposed to be speaking of a people that is Muslim in its majority and has accepted Allah as its Lord, Mohammad as its Prophet and Islam as its Religion. Such a people would not be expected to pass a legislation that contradicts Islam and its incontestable principles and conclusive rules.

Anyway, these fears can be overcome by one article stipulating that any legislation contradicting the incontestable provisions of Islam shall be null and void because Islam is the religion of the State and the source of legitimacy of all its institutions and therefore may not be contradicted, as a branch may not run against the main stream.

It should be known that the acceptance of the principle that legislation or rule belong to Allah does not rob the Nation of its right to seek for itself the codes necessary to regulate its ever-changing life and earthly affairs.

What we seek is that legislations and codes be within the limits of the flawless texts and the overall objectives of Shariah and the Islamic Message. The binding texts are very few, while the area of "permissibility" or legislative free space is quite wide and the texts themselves are as flexible and capacious as to accommodate more than one understanding and accept more than one interpretation, which leads to the existence of several schools and philosophies within the expansive framework of Islam.

Compiled From:
"Priorities of The Islamic Movement in the Coming Phase" - Yusuf Al-Qaradawi
http://click.icptrack.com/icp/relay.php?r=1049602440&msgid=31006211&act=216G&c=68038&admin=0&destination=http://www.witness-pioneer.org/vil/Books/Q_Priorities/ch4p1-1.htm%23The%2520Movement%2520And%2520Political%2520Freedom%2520And%2520Democracy

The Almighty Allah says,

"When a servant thinks of Me, I am near.
When he invokes Me, I am with him.
If he reflects on Me in secret, I reply in secret,
And if he acknowledges Me in an assembly,
I acknowledge him in a far superior assembly."

- Prophet Muhammad (SAW), as reptd by Abu Huraira
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« Reply #65 on: Apr 21, 2009 08:31 AM »

Key of motivation

Ibu Hilal al-Askari wrote in his book al-Hath ala talab al-Ilm that Ibn Jarw al-Mawsili said: "One should delay one's lesson of literature and poetry to his time of boredom." Ibn al-Muraghi said: "One must trick oneself in learning."

He means that when one is bored or unmotivated, one should not give in to that or interrupt one's lesson or learning, but should rather deal with this lack of motivation and strive against one's boredom, until he overcomes it and achieves vitality and the revival of spirit.

This may be achieved sometimes through such actions as chewing gum, leaving an enclosed room for open space, moving from one room to another, taking a quick cold or hot shower, drinking a light drink, eating something light, talking to a friend, reciting some poetry, reciting Quran in a loud voice, changing one's posture, walking or going up, changing the subject or book being studied, or similar actions. There is a suitable way for everybody, and motivation has a key, which is not hidden from the intelligent determined one.

Compiled From:
"The Value of Time" - Abd Al-Fattah Abu Ghuddah, p. 66
http://click.icptrack.com/icp/relay.php?r=1049602440&msgid=31010687&act=216G&c=68038&admin=0&destination=http://www.awakeningusa.com/products/43

The Almighty Allah says,

"When a servant thinks of Me, I am near.
When he invokes Me, I am with him.
If he reflects on Me in secret, I reply in secret,
And if he acknowledges Me in an assembly,
I acknowledge him in a far superior assembly."

- Prophet Muhammad (SAW), as reptd by Abu Huraira
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« Reply #66 on: Apr 26, 2009 03:54 AM »

Breaking Bread Together

In creating the conversation and social space that support community, another dimension of welcome is what has traditionally defined culture: food. It brings the sacred into the room. It is the symbol of hospitality. It is as direct as we can be about a life-giving act. When we take it seriously, we know how to do this right. What is needed is consciousness about having food and what kind of food fits our intention.

One small request: Most food served in meetings is about satiation, not about health. Even in health care settings and meetings about creating healthy communities, we serve pastries, cookies, fast food, chips, pretzels. This is not food; it is fuel and habit that is nutritionally and environmentally unconscious.

Let there be apples, grapes, bread (unleavened if possible). Natural, healthy food, prepared by local merchants. Food that reflects the diversity of the world we are embracing. Grown within 50 miles of our gathering place to reduce the carbon footprint.

Some people will complain. Let them.

Compiled From:
"Community: The Structure of Belonging" - Peter Block, pp. 148-149
http://click.icptrack.com/icp/relay.php?r=1049602440&msgid=31015252&act=216G&c=68038&admin=0&destination=http://www.bkconnection.com/BC/ProdDetails.asp?ID%3D9781576754870

The Almighty Allah says,

"When a servant thinks of Me, I am near.
When he invokes Me, I am with him.
If he reflects on Me in secret, I reply in secret,
And if he acknowledges Me in an assembly,
I acknowledge him in a far superior assembly."

- Prophet Muhammad (SAW), as reptd by Abu Huraira
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« Reply #67 on: May 11, 2009 07:04 AM »

Affirmative Action

Women enjoy equal rights in Shariah in respect of ownership, management of financial affairs, civil transactions and contracts. The Hanafi school has extended this position to the contract of marriage, although the majority of other schools have considered marriage an exception and require its solemnization by the legal guardian (wali) even of an adult woman. Since Islamic jurisprudence permits selection (takhayyur, or takhyir) among the leading schools, position which has been utilized in the statutory legislation in many Muslim countries, then there is basically no Shariah issue of concern in this area. Yet patriarchal customary practices, especially among the tribes of Asia and Africa, present obstacles to women's enjoyment of their civil and financial rights. The problem here is essentially not juridical but one of prevalent prejudicial custom and male-dominated family and society.

To give an example, the Quran unequivocally entitles female relatives to specified shares in an inheritance, which is, however, widely denied to them by their male relatives. Prohibitive statutory enactments in many Muslim countries on this and similar other issues have not succeeded in curbing entrenched customary positions. The Lesson one learns here is that prescriptive law reform needs to be followed by a wider campaign on awareness raising, education and policy initiatives.

Muslim women in rural Asia and Africa are not well aware of their rights either under the Shariah or statutory law. Legislation should naturally be continued to lead the way in the campaign for gender equality and economic empowerment of women. In some particularly difficult situations, recourse may be had to affirmative action legislation and quota system, for example, in admission to schools and employment centres, on a temporary basis at least, to promote the objectives of gender equality.

Compiled From:
"Shariah Law - An Introduction" - Mohammad Hashim Kamali, pp. 271, 272
http://click.icptrack.com/icp/relay.php?r=1049602440&msgid=31024167&act=216G&c=68038&admin=0&destination=http://www.oneworld-publications.com/cgi-bin/cart2/commerce.cgi?pid%3D344%26log_pid%3Dyes
 

The Almighty Allah says,

"When a servant thinks of Me, I am near.
When he invokes Me, I am with him.
If he reflects on Me in secret, I reply in secret,
And if he acknowledges Me in an assembly,
I acknowledge him in a far superior assembly."

- Prophet Muhammad (SAW), as reptd by Abu Huraira
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« Reply #68 on: May 18, 2009 06:27 PM »

Liberation from the American Dream

[Today,] America, the great liberator, is in desperate need of being liberated from itself – from its own excesses and arrogance. And the world needs to be liberated from American values and culture, spreading across the planet as if by divine providence.

Yet the American dream is so seductive that most of us willingly keep on dreaming. We continue to drive our cars to the supermarket each week and idly wander the aisles, continue carelessly to throw out our weight in trash every few weeks, continue to assume that the additives in our foods are harmless shelf-life extenders, continue to play Visa against MasterCard, continue to buy sneakers made in offshore sweatshops, and continue to sit sphinx like in front of the tube most nights absorbing another dose of consumer-culture spectacle.

The images beckon us to a future in which maximum pleasure and minimum pain are not only possible but inevitable. We yearn to realize the dream more fully. We work and strive for the promised payoff. We try to catch the river in a bucket. But we never will.

Our culture has evolved into a consumer culture and we have evolved from citizens to consumers. Gratitude for what we have has been replaced by a sharpening hunger for what we don’t have. ‘How much is enough?’ has been replaced by ‘How much is possible?’

We have learned what it means to live full-on, to fly and fornicate…, and now we refuse to let that lifestyle go. So we keep consuming. Our bodies, minds, families, communities, the environment – all are consumed. 

Compiled From:
"Culture Jam: How to Reverse America's Suicidal Consumer Binge - And Why We Must" - Kalle Lasn, pp. 61-63

The Almighty Allah says,

"When a servant thinks of Me, I am near.
When he invokes Me, I am with him.
If he reflects on Me in secret, I reply in secret,
And if he acknowledges Me in an assembly,
I acknowledge him in a far superior assembly."

- Prophet Muhammad (SAW), as reptd by Abu Huraira
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« Reply #69 on: May 25, 2009 07:51 AM »

Reckless Rejection of Sahih Hadith

Haste in rejection of any Hadith, though it is Sahih (authentic) and affirmed, makes its having been understood doubtful. Those deep-rooted in knowledge do not venture recklessness in rejecting Sahih Hadiths. Rather, they approve the opinion held by the early generations of the Community (Salaf). For when it is established that they accepted a Hadith, and no esteemed leader censured it, then necessarily they did not recognize any criticism of it on grounds of irregularity nor any cause of objection to it.

A fair-minded scholar must let the Hadith stand, and study the intelligible meaning or the appropriate interpretation of it. This is the point of division in this field between Mutazilis (absolute rationalists) and Ahl al-Sunnah (the Sunnis, those who followed the Prophetic tradition). The former were prompt to dismiss every difficulty of Hadith that resisted what they had accepted as principles of knowledge and religion. But Ahl al-Sunnah applied their minds to interpretation of the difficult Hadith, and to bringing together what, outwardly, was at variance, and reconciling what was contradictory.

Once the evidence of a Hadith’s being from the Prophet has been affirmed, a far-reaching, thorough examination into how it may be understood is obligatory; and there must be every caution against dismissing it merely to please far-fetched arguments, which may themselves have a mistake hidden in them.

Compiled From:
"Approaching the Sunnah: Comprehension & Controversy" - Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, p. 37-38.
http://click.icptrack.com/icp/relay.php?r=1049602440&msgid=31032622&act=216G&c=68038&admin=0&destination=http://www.iiphonline.com/product_info.php?cPath%3D40_50%26products_id%3D347
 

The Almighty Allah says,

"When a servant thinks of Me, I am near.
When he invokes Me, I am with him.
If he reflects on Me in secret, I reply in secret,
And if he acknowledges Me in an assembly,
I acknowledge him in a far superior assembly."

- Prophet Muhammad (SAW), as reptd by Abu Huraira
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« Reply #70 on: Jun 05, 2009 06:51 AM »

Understanding "What is not extremism?"

The degree of a person's piety as well as that of the society in which he lives affect his judgment of others as far as extremism, moderation, and laxity are concerned. A religious society usually produces a person sensitively aversive to any deviation or negligence, however slight it may be. Judging by the criteria of his own practice and background, such a person would be surprised to find that there are Muslims who do not offer Ibadah during the night or practice siyam. This is historically obvious. When examining the deeds and practices of people, the nearer one gets to the time of the Prophet (peace be upon him), his companions and the Tabiun the less worthy seem the deeds and practices of the pious among the later generations. Hence the gist of the saying: "The merits of those nearest to Allah are but the demerits of the righteous."

This reminds one of what Anas ibn Malik (may Allah be pleased with him) used to tell the Tabiun of his contemporaries, "You do things you consider trifling. But during the time of the Prophet (peace be upon him) these same actions were seen as mortal sins."

On the other hand, a person whose knowledge of and commitment to Islam is little, or who has been brought up in an environment which practices what Allah has forbidden and neglects Shariah, will certainly consider even minimal adherence to Islam a kind of extremism. Such a person-who quite often feigns godliness would not only question and criticize, but would even deny the validity of a certain practice. He would also accuse those who are committed to Islam, and initiate arguments on what is haram and what is halal. His attitude would, of course, depend on his distance from the fundamentals of Islam.

Some Muslims-those who are influenced by alien ideologies and practices consider adherence to clear-cut Islamic teachings concerning eating, drinking, beautification, or the call for the application of Shariah and the establishment of an Islamic state as manifestations of "religious extremism." For such a person, a young Muslim with a beard or a young girl wearing hijab are both extremists! Even the commanding of the common good and the prohibition of evil are regarded as forms of extremism and interference with personal freedom.

Although a basis of faith in Islam is to believe that our religion is right and that those who do not believe in it are wrong, there are Muslims who object to considering those who take a religion other than Islam as kuffar (non-believers), considering this as extremism and bigotry. This is an issue upon which we must never compromise.

Compiled From:
"Islamic Awakening between Rejection and Extremism" - Yusuf Al-Qaradawi

The Almighty Allah says,

"When a servant thinks of Me, I am near.
When he invokes Me, I am with him.
If he reflects on Me in secret, I reply in secret,
And if he acknowledges Me in an assembly,
I acknowledge him in a far superior assembly."

- Prophet Muhammad (SAW), as reptd by Abu Huraira
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« Reply #71 on: Jun 23, 2009 10:42 AM »

Acquiescence Vs. Critical-Thinking

Many Muslim parents in North America grew up in areas where colonizing rulers maintained schools for acquiescence. That is, pupils were taught to repeat exactly what the teacher told them. If the test question asked for 3 reasons why it is good to brush your teeth, the answer had to be the exact three reasons that the teacher had told them in class. The pupil is not supposed to think; he is supposed to accept everything without questioning. This is too often the way we teach our children about Islam. Do this action because Islam says you have to. Do this exactly the way I say because every other way is haram. Our children need to learn that there are two kinds of knowledge, that which is revealed and that which is humanly acquired. Knowledge revealed in the Quran and hadiths is unchanging and unarguable. Knowledge that is derived from our five senses and our own thinking is subject to error and can and should be questioned.

North American schools, including good Islamic schools, stress critical thinking. For children who grow up here, it is not sufficient to say you have to do this because I say so. You can expect your children to honour and obey you because Islam requires obedience to parents, but you must also explain and discuss why you are asking for their obedience. Your youth should be required to pray, because Allah says for them to pray, but you must also be open and willing to discuss why Allah would ask us to do that. What are the possible benefits of praying, what should you do if you feel like the prayer is empty of meaning to you, and so on. These questions don't mean your youth are turning away from Islam; they mean that your youth are thinking seriously about their religion. One of the most wonderful things about Islam is that because it is the truth, it can stand up to the most critical of questions.

Parents must also learn to acknowledge that they make mistakes, and they are ignorant of certain answers. Your child does not have the right to expect you to be able to explain every Islamic injunction. He/she does have the right to expect you to give an honest and open response to their questions. When you tell your youth, "That's an important question. I don't know the answer. Let's see if we can find out what the Quran says about it." then you have created an open, honest exchange of thoughts with your youth.

Discuss Islam with your children from the time they are young, stressing the positive, and encouraging them to speak frankly and freely to you. Be an Islamic role model for them. By the time they have emerged from their troubling, questioning adolescence, you will have children who have actively embraced Islam, and who want to be Muslim because they know that it will make their life better in this world, and in the hereafter, in sha Allah (Allah willing).

Compiled From:
"Teaching Your Child About Islam" - Freda Shamma
http://click.icptrack.com/icp/relay.php?r=1049602440&msgid=31045038&act=216G&c=68038&admin=0&destination=http://www.crescentlife.com/family%2520matters/teaching_children_about_islam.htm

The Almighty Allah says,

"When a servant thinks of Me, I am near.
When he invokes Me, I am with him.
If he reflects on Me in secret, I reply in secret,
And if he acknowledges Me in an assembly,
I acknowledge him in a far superior assembly."

- Prophet Muhammad (SAW), as reptd by Abu Huraira
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« Reply #72 on: Jun 25, 2009 08:23 AM »

Surviving In Temptation Island!

Yes, it’s hard, especially when you’re constantly bombarded with obscene images: that hot, scantily clad guy or gal in the magazine luring you; or the persistent emphasis on sex in the movies (even Toy Story or Spider Man!); or the pervasive links to pornography while you may simply be checking your e-mail. How can you protect yourself from all of this?

1. Don't forget the power of Allah’s Remembrance (Dhikr)! It is the most
    powerful of all the defenses. Regular reading of prescribed Du'as will develop your Taqwa (consciousness)
    and keep you mindful of what thoughts you entertain.
 
2. Remember your Accountability to Allah. In Islam, you're fully accountable as soon
    as you understand and feel such temptations. Your eyes will testify about what you looked at on the Day
    of Judgment.

3. Always walk with your gaze lowered. But make sure not to bump into a hydro
    post! Lowering the gaze does not mean that you cannot have any ‘eye contact’ as you walk or during a
    conversation. It means that you keep your eyes under control.

4. Avoid visiting malls and parks alone. Always try to go out with a family member
    or a good friend, whose company may help you avert your eyes from the objectionable billboards and
    inappropriately clothed people. In summer, step out only when you have to.

5. Surf or Watch TV when others are around. The temptation to sneak a look at
    dirty pictures is heightened when you're alone in your room watching TV or surfing the internet. Shaytan's
    primary target is always a lonely person! Try to avoid late night TV and internet surfing.

Compiled From:
"Watch Out for The Arrow" - Young Muslims Publications [Download and Distribute]
http://click.icptrack.com/icp/relay.php?r=1049602440&msgid=31049453&act=216G&c=68038&admin=0&destination=http://web.youngmuslims.ca/resources/brochures/98-arrow.html
http://click.icptrack.com/icp/relay.php?r=1049602440&msgid=31049453&act=216G&c=68038&admin=0&destination=http://web.youngmuslims.ca/brochures/arrow.pdf

The Almighty Allah says,

"When a servant thinks of Me, I am near.
When he invokes Me, I am with him.
If he reflects on Me in secret, I reply in secret,
And if he acknowledges Me in an assembly,
I acknowledge him in a far superior assembly."

- Prophet Muhammad (SAW), as reptd by Abu Huraira
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« Reply #73 on: Jul 04, 2009 08:40 PM »

Renaissance of Islamic life

No renaissance of Islamic life can be effected purely by law or statute, or by the establishment of a social system on the basis of the Islamic philosophy. Such a step is only one of the two pillars on which Islam must always stand in its construction of life. The other is the production of a state of mind imbued with the Islamic theory of life, to act as an inner motivation for establishing this form of life and to give coherence to all the social, religious, and civil legislation. Social justice is an integral part of this Islamic life; it cannot be realized unless this form of life is first realized, and it cannot have any guaranteed permanence unless this form of life is built up on solid foundations. It is in this similar to all other social systems; it must have the support of public belief and confidence in its merits. Failing this, it will lose i ts spiritual foundations, and its establishment will depend on the force of religious and social legislation; this is a force that obtains only so long as evasion is impossible.

Hence Islamic legislation relies on obedience and conviction; it depends on religious belief. Thus we must always keep in mind the necessity for a renaissance of our religious faith; we must cleanse it of all accretions, such as alterations and arbitrary interpretations and ambiguities; only thus can it be a support for the necessary social legislation that will establish a sound form of Islamic life. This form of life will depend upon legislation and exhortation, those twin fundamental methods of Islam towards the achievement of all aims.

We must, then, establish our Islamic theory in individuals and societies at the same time that we set up the Islamic legislation to regulate life.

Compiled From:
"Social Justice in Islam" - Sayyid Qutb, p. 285
http://click.icptrack.com/icp/relay.php?r=1049602440&msgid=31057730&act=216G&c=68038&admin=0&destination=http://www.islampub.com/book_Detail.asp?Bid%3D1823%26catId%3D51

The Almighty Allah says,

"When a servant thinks of Me, I am near.
When he invokes Me, I am with him.
If he reflects on Me in secret, I reply in secret,
And if he acknowledges Me in an assembly,
I acknowledge him in a far superior assembly."

- Prophet Muhammad (SAW), as reptd by Abu Huraira
Halima
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« Reply #74 on: Jul 13, 2009 08:27 AM »

The Opportunity Obligation

Not too far from us, a few blocks away, there are kids without enough to eat and without parents who care. A little further away, hours by plane, are people unable to reach their goals because they live in a community that just doesn't have the infrastructure to support them. A bit further away are people being brutally persecuted by their governments. And the world is filled with people who can't go to high school, never mind college, and who certainly can't spend their time focused on whether or not they get a good parking space at work.

And so, the obligation: don't settle.

To have all these advantages, all this momentum, all these opportunities and then settle for mediocre and then defend the status quo and then worry about corporate politics - what a waste.

Flynn Berry wrote that you should never use the word "opportunity." It's not an opportunity, it's an obligation.

I don't think we have any choice. I think we have an obligation to change the rules, to raise the bar, to play a different game, and to play it better than anyone has any right to believe is possible.

Compiled From:
"Tribes: We Need You To Lead Us" - Seth Godin, pp. 134, 135
http://click.icptrack.com/icp/relay.php?r=1049602440&msgid=31061353&act=216G&c=68038&admin=0&destination=http://www.squidoo.com/tribesbook

The Almighty Allah says,

"When a servant thinks of Me, I am near.
When he invokes Me, I am with him.
If he reflects on Me in secret, I reply in secret,
And if he acknowledges Me in an assembly,
I acknowledge him in a far superior assembly."

- Prophet Muhammad (SAW), as reptd by Abu Huraira
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