“And God has made for you from yourselves mates…” (Quran 16:72)
Reflection: The existence of two genders, created to instinctively unite in marriage and produce families from which both benefit and happiness is derived, is described as a Sign of God’s immanence for people of deep reflection. Not only do our spouses and children enrich our lives and experiences, but they are the means by which humanity is untiringly regenerated on this planet, under its Creator’s watchful care. Moreover, marriage is the mechanism through which societies and civilisations are moulded, customs and cultures are passed, and love and mercy is fostered between former strangers. “And [He] made for you, out of them, sons and daughters and grandchildren, and provided for you sustenance of the best: will they then believe in vain things, and be ungrateful for God’s favours?” (Quran 16:72).
“Do you not see that God drives clouds?” (Quran 24:43)
Reflection: Although pretty enough to look at, clouds actually have a diverse range of functions which keep our planet in order. Most obviously, they regulate temperatures by absorbing some of the heat which reaches the surface of the earth from the sun. This cools the atmosphere and makes the weather less suffocating. This is why clouds were historically viewed as signs of good fortune, heralding fresh rainwater and the consequent growth of crops. One of the Ninety-Nine Names of God in Islam is Al-Lateef, or “the Subtle One,” whose watchful care can be gently felt by us humans in the ways in which the elements of nature come together for our benefit and protection. In this verse, the precisely regulated movement of clouds across our planet’s surface is pointed to as a Sign of God’s immanence, “for men of understanding” (Quran 3:190).
On this day in 630 CE, the prophet Muhammad, founder of Islam,
led an army of 10,000 men to conquer Mecca, which is in modern-day Saudi
Arabia. At the time of Muhammad’s birth in Mecca in 570, the city was
ruled by the pagan Quraysh tribe. In 610, Muhammad is said to have begun
receiving divine revelations from God through the Archangel Gabriel. He
then began to preach this new religion which focused on one god: Allah.
This posed a challenge to the paganism of the Quraysh tribe, who
persecuted Muhammad and his followers, causing them to flee to Medina.
This conflict lasted for years, with the two frequently clashing in
battle, until 628 when they negotiated the Treaty of Hudaybiyyah in
which the Quraysh promised to cease fighting and to allow the Muslims
into Mecca for pilgrimage. However, the Quraysh did not hold to this treaty and in 630 slaughtered a group of Muslims. Therefore, Muhammad
gathered his army of 10,000 and marched to Mecca; the city swiftly
surrendered after little bloodshed. Muhammad then declared amnesty for
the people of Mecca, but destroyed the pagan imagery to devote the area
to the worship of Allah. Muhammad declared Mecca the holiest site in
Islam, and made it the centre of Muslim pilgrimage; a pilgrimage to
Mecca (Hajj) is one of the Five Pillars of Islam. Muhammad died in 632,
and the subsequent leadership crisis caused the religion to split into
Sunni and Shia sections. The faith Muhammad had begun spread rapidly,
and soon became one of the leading world religions.
“He who taught [the use of] the pen.” (Quran 96:64)
Reflection: At the heart of human civilisation is the uniquely human ability to write. “As populations [grow] and societies [form], writing [becomes] a useful tool to help people keep track of things.” It is because of our ability to document that trade, commerce, knowledge, and invention have flourished as they have over the years. This gift of writing, the Quran reveals, was bestowed upon us by our “most Generous” (96:3) Creator, that we may evolve and develop by His aid and permission. From the pen alone we have gained laws, customs, and rituals, among a myriad of other hallmarks of human growth. “Indeed, God is full of bounty to mankind, but most of them are ungrateful” (10:60).
I’m not going to have a conversation about terrorism or ISIS or any of that following this Orlando shooting. I’m not going to do that because groups like ISIS are not following the One True God. (Or Allah, or Yahweh, or whatever you’d like to call Him.)
They’re serving their own selves. They’re using His name as an excuse.
What I am going to talk about is just the way your average believer also uses His name as an excuse. As an excuse to
Spit on innocent people
Feel better than the sinner next to them
Delight in chaos and destruction
Justify their bigotry.
The man that shot up Orlando was a disaster. This much is evident. However, his family describes him as not even really being a practicing Muslim.
You know what I saw, following that attack?
Countless tweets, from Muslims, Christians, and others alike, praising the shooter for his actions. Happy that so many people needlessly died and suffered.
When you sit there and claim our wonderful, perfect God would honestly condone these actions, would condone you taking judgment into your own hands, when you claim He would find love itself a sin, you are deceived.
You are not worshipping the One True God any more than ISIS or the KKK or any other hateful extremist groups.
You are worshipping an ugly, monstrous caricature of Him, made of spit and venom and all your unfounded hatred and sheer lack of humanity. You are worshipping a puppet that you stick your hand into and make talk as you see fit. You are worshipping a lie that serves your own self, your own bigotry, your own hatred.
The One True God is nothing like the monster you’ve created. Our Lord is not a hateful, fear-mongering, intolerant, unjust disaster in the clouds. He is love. He is light. He is everything good, there is not a speck of evil anywhere near Him and His throne.
Jesus tells you to love one another. He is the radical of His day. He is the one that tells you, fuck it. He is the one that reminds you that we’re all sinners here, and to sit there and spit on someone for not being like you is hypocritical, wrong, and misguided. Love is not a sin. Murder is.
Get off your high horse and actually follow your God.
He died for you.
Why are you driving the nails further into His body?
Shame on all of you, each and every one of you, that DARES use the name of God to justify even ONE atrocious action, ONE shred of bigotry and abuse, ONE ounce of injustice.
Shame on you for letting so many centuries of hatred flourish, for letting His word be manipulated and twisted into such heinous, bastardized nonsense, for using His name to shout your twisted bigotry and feel good about it.
So long as you claim God supports such filth, so long as you believe God actually thinks something as pure as love and free gender expression are sins, so long as you use His radical, revolutionary name to SILENCE revolution and the fight for true justice…
I know that you are worshipping your phony, warped caricature.
I know you’re worshipping yourself.
Edit: It seems I didn’t make this clear enough. If you arent using your religion to justify your blatant homophobic/transphobic tendencies, then obviously this doesnt apply to you.
This post is for those who sit there and spit on innocent people and applaud a killer for “doing God’s work”.
Thia is for everyone who has ever used God’s name to justify hate.
A client of mine works so hard hard to come up with very useful projects for the ummah (nation) yet is neglectful of his parents. He gets very frustrated with them and sometimes even talks back. I was explaining to him that he is running after the ummah to be rewarded while Allah has given him a treasure chest of rewards in taking care of his parents.
I explained that by being loving, attentive and obedient to his parents he could get more reward since after tauhid (one true God) Allah mentions being dutiful to parents as the second most valuable act.
He asked how could pleasing 1 or 2 people compare to pleasing millions of people? It seemed like a no brainer that a million is more than 2.
I told him being dutiful to your parents is an obligation like doing assigned homework while doing a project for millions of Muslims is nawafel (extra credit). Can anyone ignore doing their homework and only rely on extra credit work? The extra credit is only valuable when the assigned work is done or else the person will fail regardless of how many extra credit work they have done.
Moral of the story is to focus your attention on the obligatory acts like being respectful and loving to your parents rather than ignoring their rights and focusing on providing others an optional act.
Say, ‘I am only a man like you, to whom has been revealed that your god is one God [i.e. Allah]. So whoever would hope for the meeting with his Lord - let him do righteous work and not associate in the worship of his Lord anyone.’