What is the Reality?

Category: Americas, Faith & Spirituality, Featured, Life & Society Values: Love, Spirituality Views: 17594

"The Reality! What is the Reality? And what will make you realize what the Reality is?" These are the opening verses of Surah al-Haqqa - 69, in the Quran.

These are verses that jolt one's slumped consciousness with a conscious attempt to recalibrate it with the reality. I realize that my eyes are open - they usually are. But the eyes of my mind were shuttered. All the blessings that our Benevolent Lord bestowed upon me, all the knowledge and wisdom I gained, all the friends and well-wishers I have been blessed with; yet as a human being I am so laden with my failures, with my inability to keep engaged my consciousness. Aware that my consciousness can slump sporadically, I need that awakening jolt intermittently: "The reality! What is the Reality? ..."

As I look around me I see futile discussions taking place that have very little to do with the essence of Islam. A peek into my e-mailbox and I see Muslims arguing on a major Islamic list-server, whether Ameen should be said loud or silently in prayers. Yes, prayer is fundamental to Islam and praying in a manner consistent with the Prophet's is important, but must the Muslims bicker about such details - and for centuries?

I see Islamic magazines that are constantly reminding their beloved Muslim brethren and sisters about the innovations (Bid'at) in Islam and the utterly serious consequence of such things in the life hereafter. Yes, Muslims must be on guard about innovations in the beliefs or rituals, but even this constant reminder about innovation might be an innovation in itself, as the Prophet did not do it this way. Moreover, innovation in another - technological - sense is an imperative in our contemporary time. Is it any wonder that a society that is constantly reminded against "innovations" would have its overall ability to innovate stifled?

I hear from the Friday pulpits how women must cover their head so that not even a single hair strand would show. Observance of Islamic guidance in every aspect is important. Interestingly, it seems when it comes to admonishing the women and ensuring that they "remain in line" with God's wishes, we may be over-ambitiously animated and vigilant.  The Hijab may have been a mainstay in Khutbah, but seldom have I heard any citation from the Quran that pays tribute to the "fighting" women! - And their Lord hath accepted of them, and answered them: "Never will I suffer to be lost the work of any of you, be he male or FEMALE: Ye are members, one of another: Those who have left their homes, or been driven out there from, or suffered harm in My Cause, or FOUGHT or been slain,- verily, I will blot out from them their iniquities, and admit them into Gardens with rivers flowing beneath;- A reward from the presence of Allah, and from His presence is the best of rewards." Quran 3:195

I observe children being rebuked in Mosques because they are deemed as having absolutely no respect for the stern, loud, deafening, frightening Khutbahs that even the adults have difficulty to feel drawn to. Yes, children should be educated about how to conduct themselves at different places, but do we ever think that some of these kids may develop a bad impression about their visit to Mosques and later our lack of tolerance for their childlike conduct may wither their attachment to Mosque?  What is our priority?

I visit websites that are dedicated to drawing up long lists of select Muslim groups who would not be saved. Yes, believing things correctly and doing things properly are important. Yet, the Quran is so categorical against divisiveness and judgmentalism. Quran 23:52-53.

I come across pulp-literature about Islam in various parts of the Muslim world that lists one hundred twenty-four or thirty-two Fards (the obligatory) in Islam, where the list includes believing in the four madhabs (Islamic school of thought) constituting four fards. Of course, I myself don't know this list of Fards in entirety.  Notably, attachment to a specific Madhab is merely coincidental through our birth and neither the Prophet nor his companions knew anything about any Madhab at all.

There is a positive side to all this. Essentially, most of these people are trying to prepare for that ultimate achievement, the salvation (Falah). Most of them are probably trying their best according to what they have been culturally conditioned to believe as essential to their salvation. However, something may have gone awry. Islam the religion of peace is not experiencing peace anywhere. Muslim nation-states are not at peace internally or externally. Muslim people are not at peace with themselves. Mosques, Muslim communities and organizations are not at peace among themselves. The Muslims are among those in the world with the highest illiteracy, poverty, infant mortality, insecurity and so on. That is an unfortunate reality. But is an over emphasis on all the ritual details the way to prepare for the ultimate reality, we all as human beings, must contend with?

If salvation or that Reality is of utmost concern to us, it seems that Muslims in general may have their priorities mixed up. Indeed, Muslims have largely lost their attachment to a pivotal Islamic precept: balance and moderation. After all, an important distinction of this Ummah is that it is the balanced Ummah (Ummatau wasat). Quran 2:143

Muslim understanding and practices are overshadowed by excessive ritualization and legalism, ignoring moral, behavioral and attitudinal dimensions. The Quran reminds us to keep our priority straight and balanced by focusing on  major sins, so that Allah will wipe out our smaller transgressions or errors [Quran 4:31]; yet we just can't get over our predilection with too much detail.

Because of one single Hadith - and even that is of questionable reliability - which says "... that nation will not prosper which puts a woman in command of its affairs" [Sahih al-Bukhari, Vol. 5-709], most overstretched and restrictive rulings have been established about leadership. On the other hand, the Prophet said: "RUINED are those who indulge in hair-splitting" [Sahih Muslim; Vol. 4-6450], yet our focus seems to be on those details of the religion on the basis of which we have entertained schism to the extent that in many cases Muslims are not safe from the hands and tongues of even fellow Muslims. We have even forgotten the stern warning from the Prophet : "A person who would be thoroughly scrutinized (on the Day of Judgment by Allah) is ruined" [Hadhrat Aisha, Sahih Muslim, 6874], yet we have the most passionate obsession with scrutinizing others, especially in terms of minute details.

Lest we misunderstand, personal devotion to details is the beauty of a person's personal faith and commitment, like anyone presenting himself or herself to his or her lover in the most beautiful way. After all, Allah wants our relationship to be elevated to the level of love. Doesn't he? "... those of Faith are overflowing in their LOVE for Allah" [Quran 2:165] "Say: "If ye do love Allah, Follow me: Allah will love you and forgive you your sins: For Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful." [Quran 3:31] Allah is supposed to be more loving than mothers are to their children [Riyadus Saleheen, 418].

Relationship of love is such that it can't be based on "hair-splitting" details. In loving relationships, so many things are not even spoken, but understood. Interestingly, in relationships of love, there are times when the passion of love clouds our communication - the right words are lost - but that is the language of love.

The matter of not letting our love for the Deen and the Sunnah turn into hair-splitting obsession is not merely an academic or polemical issue. One can see the effects in various parts of the Muslim world. In some countries, people have general security of their lives, but only under un-Islamic autocratic or monarchial rule.

Another major phenomenon of a Muslim society is that, parallel to overemphasis on details, there is also an overemphasis on forms rather than substance. Many times we come across heated exchange - to put it mildly - about whether it is all right to sleep between Tahajjud and Fajr prayer! Frequently, we come across abusive discussions in magazines or online, for example, as to whether Dua Qunut should be offered before, or after, Ruku in Witr prayer. Some discussions are, of course, never-ending, such as is it alright to raise hands while making dua. All these continue unabated over centuries and generations, while the Prophet has taught in unambiguous term that "Verily Allah does not look to your appearance or wealth, but he looks to your hearts and your deeds."  [Sahih Muslim, Vol. 4,  6221]

Yes, the overemphasis on legalism has robbed us of our manners and characters - actually, a good deal of our humanity, even though the Prophet has taught: "By his good character a believer will attain the degree of one who prays during the night and fasts during the day."  [Sunan Abu Dawood, 4780] Indeed, all those who care about the Reality (al-Haqqa) - the ultimate Reality - ought to pay attention to the Prophet's teaching: "There is NOTHING heavier than good character put in the scale of a believer on the Day of Resurrection." [Sunan Abu Dawood, 4781]

So, what can help us deal with the Reality? Apparently, in an ultimate sense, even our good deeds are not going to be of big help. "The deeds of anyone of you will NOT save you (from the Hell Fire)." [Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 8, 470] This particular Hadith has been very instructional for me, especially for an ordinary Muslim like me, full of failure and shortcomings. I don't know what the hundred fards are. I sometime pray Tarawih (night prayer during the fasting month of Ramadan) twenty rakat and at other times eight. I am not sure that the length of my beard is of appropriate length. Considering all the shortcomings and failures I have, what can I hope for?

Yet, the preceding Hadith gives hope for anyone who can't quite give up hope in the face of the reality. My humble reading of the Prophetic teaching in this context has served as an eye-opener. Through a careful reading of what was available, for example, in Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Dawood, Muatta and so on, I did not come across a case whereby a person has been saved or forgiven in the ultimate sense for being accurate about ritual details. However, there are a number of illustrious Hadith that specifically mention cases whereby a particular person has been saved, forgiven, or given entrance to Paradise for acts of kindness. These are mostly cases involving people that we generally won't even think that they have a chance of salvation. Let's briefly look at some of these cases.

"A man NEVER did a good deed but removed a thorny branch from the road; it was either in the tree and someone cut it and threw it on the road, or it was lying on it, he removed it. Allah accepted this good deed of his and brought him into Paradise." [Sunan Abu Dawood; Vol. 3, 5225]

"A prostitute was forgiven by Allah, because, passing by a panting dog near a well and seeing that the dog was about to die of thirst, she took off her shoe, and tying it with her head-cover she drew out some water for it. So, Allah forgave her because of that." [Sahih al-Bukhari, Vol. 4, 538]

'Aisha reported: A poor woman came to me along with her daughters. I gave her three dates. She gave a date to each of them and then she took up one date and brought that to her mouth in order to eat that, but her daughters expressed desire to eat it. She then divided the date that she intended to eat between them. This (kind) treatment of her impressed me and I mentioned that which she did to Allah's Messenger . Thereupon he said: Verily Allah has assured Paradise for her, because of (this act) of her, or He has rescued her from Hell-Fire. [Sahih Muslim, 6363].

Each of the above cases, there are similarities. None of the people involved are identifiably pious, as in the cases of the man removing the thorn and the prostitute giving water to a thirsty dog. In the case of date-sharing mother, we don't know that she was a pious person. Another similarity is that none of their acts is related to any aqeedah (creed) or rituals. The most important underlying similarity is that their acts, done not consciously thinking about what might be the consequence for the Hereafter, positively and caringly touched someone else's life or was meant to touch. In one case, it involved even a dog. All of these acts were spontaneous moments during which their true humanity, a reflection of God's mercy, found expression through a small, otherwise not so mention worthy, act.

My feeble mind returns to Surah al-Haqqa! Many general things are mentioned in that Surah about many communities that have been destroyed because of their stubborn transgressions. Only one thing that is specifically mentioned is about not feeding the indigent, an act that touches others' lives [verse 34]. In the Quran so many times Amali Salihat (good deeds) has been mentioned, along with with having Iman (faith) as important to a believer's identity and existence. Thinking about virtuous deeds that might be of special importance for our salvation is the fact that most of these are deeds are those that touch others' lives. The above cases seem to suggest a type of deed that touches the life of others, without any regard to whether the people or lives touched were Muslims, Hindus, Christians, Jews, Buddhists, secularists or atheists.

As much emphasis Muslims put on fighting (much of which is among themselves), so little emphasis is placed on positively touching others' lives.  Indeed, it seems that to face the Reality, we can use the same kind of touch of Allah's mercy, grace and care that flowed through that mother sharing a date with her daughters, that no-good man who thought of and cared about others to remove a thorny branch from the road, and not the least, that prostitute who helped a dog to quench its thirst. They were not acting with the thought of being a Muslim or a believer. They were acting what humanity in us should prompt. Islam is to bring out in us as human beings. Our personal devotion to details of the Deen must be, according to the clear teachings of the Quran and the Sunnah, be balanced with our recognition of humanness in a broader perspective - rising above parochial ethnic, religious or other boundaries. Thus, in addition to everything that we have been taught to do and we generally do so as Muslims, to face that ultimate Reality, we need this kind of Islamic touch of humanity.

What can we do as individuals to have such Islamic touch? Why don't we all begin by doing a simple thing today.

A Simple Thing Today!

In life so many things to do
And, yes, so many things to say,
I know I can and I really wish
That I also do a simple thing today.

Let me help quench thirst of someone -
Be it a friend, a stranger, or even a dog,
Let me help carry someone
his burden: a box, a load or log.

Let me bring comfort to someone
Or be a helping hand, perchance,
From the road, if I come across,
Let me remove a thorny branch.

Let me speak a hopeful word
Or help someone find his way,
All the things that I do in a day,
O my Lord, let me do a simple thing today.

This amateur poem of mine should remind you of a Hadith. Hadhrat Abu Hurairah relates that the Prophet said: 'Charity is due from every part of a person's body. Every day on which the sun rises, doing justice between two persons is charity; to extend helping had to a person in riding his mount or put his luggage on it is charity; a pleasant word is charity; every step taken to join in the Salat (prayers) is charity; removing anything which causes harm from a path is charity.' [Sahih Muslim, Kitabul Zakah, 2204].

The author is an associate professor of economics and finance at Upper Iowa University. [email protected]; http://www.globalwebpost.com/farooqm

  Category: Americas, Faith & Spirituality, Featured, Life & Society  Values: Love, Spirituality
Views: 17594

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Older Comments:
I fully agree with the writer. My thought on wearing a scarf is that the scarf will not stop
you from doing or thinking "wrong" - you protect/cover yourself by the good you feel in
your heart and in your mind!
Men should divert their energies from the little things to the bigger issues such as UNITING
ISLAM AS ONE instead of focussing on the DIFFERENT SECTS. I cannot believe that one
Muslim group would so easily judge another. Isn't the main focus in Islam is PEACE?
Strenght in Islam is our UNITY, don't judge others, but unite.

I have experienced, as I study about Islam, a growing sense of anger at it- reading the posts where women diss others for improper hijab, being in public, websites that condemn bidah and innovation for every little thing, etc.

It was a breath of fresh air to read this article and a softening to my heart.

Thank You.

I'm not good at making comments, but I really must say that I very much enjoyed reading this article.
For so long, I've felt uneasy about how "technical" people can make a religion to seem. One of the things I love most about Islam is it's simplicity, and I still haven't quite understood why many people don't emphasize on it very much
ps. the poem is very well written too


I have for a long time been wondering the same. Why do Muslims pick on the small details in Islam but yet limit themselves as to not asking about the larger ones? The truth is that both should be seen as equaly important since it is all the one order that Allah has sent to us through the beloved prophet Muhamad (peace be upon him).
Quran 3:114
They believe in God and the Last Day; they enjoin what is right, and forbid what is wrong; and they hasten (in emulation) in (all) good works: They are in ranks of the righteous.
In Allah's Noble Book, He tells us that the righteous are those who enjoin in what is right, and forbid what is wrong; and they hasten in all good works. So as long as they keep in the limits of Islam, telling a woman to cover every strand of her hair or asking if Ameen should be said out loud wouldn't be wrong. Every good we do is counted and Allah won't wrong us even to a particle of an atom. The only problem that we might face is that if we tell Muslims to stop asking about the small details, they might stop asking about Islam completly. Maybe the reason why Muslims keep asking about these details for centuries is because they never got a straight answer, because most probably, the person they asked probably doesn't even know the answer themselves. So if we can provide them with these answers that are so simple, then we can probably teach them more about Islam and its teachings. How many Muslims know the real purpose of life? Or know the Prophet's life and his followers (peace be upon them all)?
May Allah bless you and all the Muslims and guide us to the way that's best.
Your sister, Khadija El Berhoumi

'reality is of the faith in ISLAM'

Al-Hammdulillah! This article is concise and thorough in getting its point across. I whole-heartedly agree with the writer's point regarding the we concetrate to much in the bidah. Is a thing bidah if your whole purpose for doing an action is to bring you closer to AllaH. I think we to as muslim forget that we are not and never will be perfect as humans and in the practice of our deen. We also forget that the Prophet
(PBUH)did not leave behind nor tell us everything he knew. Could this be a sign for us to realize that he (PBUH) wanted us to use our minds, and own judgement in matters of deen. The Prophet (PBUH) was the best and most prefect example of a guide to us in how to live our lives and practice our deen, but he did make mistakes, which Allah showed him, and advised him on how to correct. Do we not believe that Alllah is All-Knowing? Unity amongst the muslims must come at some price, if 9/11 hasn't shown us anything about coming together, then what will. To the rest of the world we are all the same, no matter what color, madhab, nationality, or status in wealth or power, to the world we all stand for the same thing if we are muslim. Let us come together on are similarities and not our differences, and leave the rest to Allah.

I really hate to be a lone dissenting voice, but I feel the term 'engage brain before opening mouth applies here. The article may have been well intentioned, but has simply turned into yet another stick with which orientalists will beat Muslims with. Just look at the following to see what I mean.

"What the moderates must do is find the courage to speak out, and they must do so not in Western media, but in the media, mosques, universities, and other public forums of their native lands. Threats and repression will preclude them from doing so in some Muslim nations, and we in the West must understand that. But they must try, or they will forfeit the future anyway. Should the moderates cling to the belief that the war against global terrorism is only meant to redraw the Middle East and broader Muslim world according to U.S. designs, and to protect Israel, they will be felled along with the radicals when the West's full military force is eventually brought to bear, as surely will be the case if terrorism continues."

This was in a link mailed to me by Islamicity.com article, and is a piece by Ira Rifkin named "Hope For Reform" posted on the MSNBC site quoting this piece by Mohammad Omar Farooq, http://www.msnbc.com/news/915698.asp . The article is shocking and chilling in its message. Suggesting that if Muslims (like myself who just wish to left to alone to lead our lives in dignity) "will be felled" with "the West's full military force", and as usually working on the assumption that 1 Western life = 100 Muslim ones or more, i.e. ignoring atrocities against Muslims i.e. mentions 9/11 but conveniently forgets 11/7/95, when twice that number of Muslims were butchered under the auspices of the US dominated UN in Bosnia.

The best among the articles that I have read in this website since I started visiting this a few years ago.

When reading your essay and about the many 'fards', I was struck by how mechanical a person can be when practicing Islam. I must say that I am guilty of that, and it sometimes come through in my dealings with my brothers and sisters. But one is saved from the mechanical actions by his charitable deeds no matter how small. The act of charity itself may have become mechanical, but to the person receiving or observing this charity, Insha Allah, some spiritual good is being done and usually an emotional relief, too. I know that often people will offer their hand and 'salam' at the Mosque and this is mechanical for them, it has become a habit, but to me, that warm hand in mine can really lift me from a blue or self-absorbed mood. Thank you for your article, it's message will help me develop my spiritual practice of Islam, Insha Allah.
Assalamu Aleikum

I have been deeply moved by the thoughts of Dr. Farooq as expressed in this and his many other essays. I myself am an Arab Jew with roots in Syria and Iraq and see in Dr. Farooq's words a deep well of commonality that attracts me as a Jew to his humanistic Islam. We must be more careful to open new doors of understanding and tolerance in such a way as to permit those of us who so deeply believe in God to enter into a common enlightened discourse. This discourse is sorely missing from the surface of our public debate. It is to Dr. Farooq's everlasting credit that he has transcended the crushing barriers that now exist between adherents of the great Monotheistic faiths. His work is truly a beacon of light in a sea of darkness. May Allah bring him greater strength to continue his Holy endeavors!

I confess that I am confused. I have done some research and read about Islam as I think many in the world have done. They read of a peaceful, God (Allah) loving people that want harmony to be a part of their lives. That haromny comes from obeying a set of rules. I believe in that also in my religion. The confusion is the drastic huge monstorous gap that seems to penetreate the Muslim world between what they profess and claim to believe and what the actions of a few show.
Those few could not behave the way they do without some support form the masses of Islam. Those few hate everyone, everything. They do not practice a religion of harmony and peace and acceptance. They want to destroy and divide and point out the difference not love the similarities. I have a great respect and love for people of faith, people that want to build, people that truly want peace. I have no use for those that only want to destroy and maim and divide for a cause that I do not nor will ever understand. My religion teaches that we should hate the sin but not the sinner. Sure we all have challanges but that does not make us disposable. Especially is we are trying to build, do good, support, help. We are all literal brothers and sisters. I hope that those silent good people is Islam can find the reason and courage and determination to halt the hate mongering. Oh what a different world it could be. Thanks for reading this, I wish I were more eloquent and could touch your soul so that you could see this clearly. May Allahs blessing be with you.

I have been concerned for some time about the silence in the Islamic community on such issues. Often times, where there is silence, there is agreement. I still believe that there is a silent majority within the Islamic community which stands for peace, community, love and tolerance. Unfortunately, the actions of extremists will direct the view of Islam unless this silent majority makes itself known.

It seems that religion (all forms), based in forgiveness, steadfastness, love, benevolence, peace, etc., can be hijacked by those who are self anointed, bold and pious. These PEOPLE, expounding on their own opinions, motives and agendas, and are heard and followed by uneducated and downtrodden people who are hungry for a foundation to hold onto. These followers are unable to study for themselves to find the true meaning of The Quran, The Bible, The Torah, etc. No religion is exempt. However, each religious body must speak out in order to follow the truth and the right path.

I truly hope that more leaders in the Muslim community will speak out in order to show its' true meaning and to help stop the atrocities of extremists. Never before in my lifetime, has the Islamic community had such an opportunity to show itself. I hope it does not continue to stay silent.


C.M. LACY FROM U.S.A. said:
Your article is balm to the soul, a breath of fresh air from all the hate in the world. No matter the name mankind gives his "religion", the same ingredients are to be found in all: love, charity, respect, kindness, understanding, tolerance, compassion, nuturing; It's man's use of religion for his own self-serving purposes that distorts, corrupts, and dishonors.

This is a humane, uplifting article. Thank you Mohammad Omar Farooq. All of us humans will better off if we treat each others the way we want to be treated.

Surah 69. The Reality
They translate "al-haqqa" to "The reality", I think this is not very good word for "al-haqqa" because as you know "al" means "the" and when it comes before a indefinite word makes it definite. So I think it should translate to:
1. "That real" "or that happening" (the first is my translation)
1. The sure reality! "I type his translation in other format"
it means doomsday because in the following verses talk about what happened to that people who ignored that day.
2. What is that real?
2. What is the Sure Reality?
3. And you don't understand what that real is."or that happening"
3. And what will make thee realise what the Sure Reality is?

As you see the beginning aya (sentences) of this sura are different with what he translated,
"The Reality! What is the Reality? And what will make you realize what the Reality is?"
"That Real, What is that Real? And you don't understand what that Real is"
He translated "Al-Haqqa" to the reality, so these sentences mean that you can't understand reality!! But it means that you can't understand doomsday. As you know in Arabic words have rout which is three letters, the rout of "Al-haqqa" is "h q q " and it is the same with the rout of "Al-haqq" (reality) but meaning is not the same, "Moheqq" is some thing that happened in past really, and its rout is "h q q" and "Al-haqqa" is some thing that will happen in future really, in Arabic and Persian when some thing happens it also realizes.
"Al-haqqa" is another name of doomsday and in the third aya it is used with another synonym "Al-qara'a" and again it means doomsday. We have another Surah with this name (Al-qara'a), which again talk about doomsday:
101- 0. In the name of God the most Generous the most Compassionate
101- 1. That doom
101- 2. What is that doom?
101- 3. And you don't understand that doom,
101- 4. A day that people is like scattered grasshoppers
if you want to read all my comment please email me at Hesam_Qaydi

This is an extraordinary article. I am a lay christian philosopher and businessman. This is the most hopeful article I have seen in a long time. God bless the author of this article.

It was very inspirational to read your thoughts expressed in "What is the Reality?". As one who is not a muslim, your words gave me comfort and a desire to have faith in the future of our world. As a Latter-day Saint, I know that we are descendants of Abraham and jointly are people of the Book. Let us all remember to be charitable, one with another and know that charity never faileth.

Alsalaamalaikum, this article has made me think and search about what Reality is, still we will never know exactly what Reality, all the knowledge is with Allah the Alknown. I would like to learn more and read more articles by different people, and have many questions....

Thanks for your act of charity in writting this article. It has open my minds eye on another level and has motivated me to dig a little deeprer in search for Allahs will for me and the power to carry it out

This was an incredibly beautiful and moving article. With emphasis on the core word "humanity" rather than dividing all of Allah's people into creed, caste, or nationality, the truth of the message of peace and love was shown through your words. God bless.

a wonderful article! i really liked it and will try more to become a better muslim ... all the best!

FRANCONIA, New Hampshire (AP) -- New Hampshire awoke Saturday to find its stern granite symbol of independence and stubbornness, the Old Man of the Mountain, had collapsed into indistinguishable rubble.

The fall ended nearly a century of efforts to protect the 40-foot-tall landmark from the same natural forces that created it. Only stabilizing cables and epoxy remained Saturday where the famous ledges had clung.

"There's only so much you can do," said Mike Pelchat, a state parks official who hiked up the mountain Saturday to make sure there were no signs of foul play.

I am very impressed by your article. Your humanity comes through very vividly. That is what I thought of Islam, that it is a religion of humanity that is its perfection. But Ive lost my faith in Allah. I don't know why? When I started having doubts I used to go into long sajdas and pray to Allah to save my Iman, to strenghthen it, but eventually I stopped praying because my love and reverence was no longer involved in my prayers. I felt it was all form with no substance.
I am waiting to be saved by Allah because I dont know what else to do. Iam sorry if Ive encroached upon your privacy with my problems. But if you could possibly have any advice for me that could guide me towards my Iman, you would certainly have my gratitude and of course blessings from Allah for reverting me to my religion.
Anisa Jalali.
P.S: I have not spoken of this to any one except my husband.Evryone still thinks I am a devout muslim who prays 5 times and reads her Quran daily.

This is a tremendously thought provoking article. Pleas pass on my greatest admiration to Dr. Abdallah. Thank you.

M. Hollifield. Wal Hamdulillah. I do really appreciate your honesty and respect your knowledge. Denying some of the 'pleasures' of this life is a necessity because we as human beings do not always do what is best for ourselves. Sexual promiscuity has lead to the destruction of the family unit and Islam does not wish to harness our carnal lust only regulate them - in the form of marriage. Relations between men and women have often lead to infidelity which is why gender mixing is controlled.
Many of the other things we shun, like music, aclcohol, etc, are fun to some but only because they are predisposed to them, which makes growing up Muslim in the West difficult. Everything is geared away from self-discipline and toward over indulgence and saturation. I'm am sure you would agree that this is unhealthy for the human body, mind and spirit.
Many of life's occurrences which we take for granted - vision, health, food, money, etc. - are provided to us and not everyone has them. This is why we prostate, and bow, and fast.One should respect his mother for all that she has done for him, so what about the Lord, Creator and Sustainer of the Universe?
The belief in accountibility in the Hereafter is the driving force. This life seems long but it so short, as is recognized in the fact that a young, Muslim friend of mine was just shot and killed for no reason. It is a crap shoot because we can neither scientifically affirm or deny the Hereafter. You do not have to respond to this, only ponder. And, In Sha Allah, when we die we will find out - together. I pray you do lead a good life and assist those are trying to do the same. May Allah assist and preserve you.

To Abdur Razzaq. post 3.

If these life denying and morally irrelevant related attitudes and practices scattered throughout the various sects of Islam constitute putting ourselves in a position to "meet him" then I thnk I will retain my dignity as a free, rational, autonomous, self-respecting, moral being, take the truth, and the odds, which are in my favor.

I will take up the other claims later when I have some free time.

To Abdur Razzaq, continued.

Or as the French philosophe Diderot also wrote: "An Imam could reason just as well this way." Of what use is this "wager" in deciding WHICH relgion to commit oneself to? None, I would suggest.

It is widely assumed, yet seldom argued for, that an individual is morally better off in virtue of adhering to a religious morality and this seems to be implicit in your statement. Surveying the social landscape across cultures I see no strong correlation between adherence to religious belief and morally good choices, criteria, or actions. I think that we have plenty in the way of moral resources, independent of religion, that enable us to be good human beings, and I see numerous, grave errors within religious moral codes. In other words, I can live a good life with respect to other human beings, which is what morality is about, without recourse to religion.

Finally, is something not potentially lost in making this wager on the side of theism? Indeed, I think so. The truth, to begin with, in place of which we accept a large collection of false beliefs. Monotheistic religions demean and devalue humanity and this earthly life. They deny goodness as a quality of human nature; man is wicked, sinful, egoistical, suffers from intellectual pride [or "human arrogance" as you put it] and on the other hand, God is the only real good and source of goodness. Is it not self-deprecating to bow five times a day in the direction of Mecca, to flagellate oneself with chains, to shroud women in clothing, to constrain and deny our sexuality which is at the heart of life itself? What real moral, not religious purpose, is served in not shaking hands with women, attending rituals, "purifying oneself," requiring beards, abstaining from alcohol, music or dancing, or from eating during certain times of the year, condemning homosexuals, and inventing such categories as "infidels." (finished next post.)

To Abdur Razzaq:

This will take several postings and I am going to begin by responding to your last argument regarding the "theist gambling..." This is a variation of an argument known as "Pascal's wager," put forward by the 17th century Catholic philosopher and mathematician Blaise Pascal in his work the Pensees. It was revised into a more sophisticated form by the American philosopher and psychologist William James in a classic essay, "The Will to Believe." Although the argument has intuitive appeal, there are numerous objections of which I will mention only a few.

Firstly, Pascal and others, seek this refuge as a last resort, by believing that reason cannot decide between theism and atheism. I think that reason does decide the issue in favor of atheism, if one is willing to examine the evidence, and takes the problem of evil seriously. Relatedly, you only ASSUME, and do not argue for the 50/50 likelihood of Allah's existence (or "something" or "someone" waiting on "the other side") and I see no reason to accept this counterbalanced or equal weighting. To claim that the odds equal a coin toss, is to pretend to have evidence that one totally lacks in the absence of an argument. What if, as I believe, that reason shows the odds are 100-0 against the theistic position? Then the bet is not even on.

I note that you legitimately seem to hedge or border on agnosticism with respect to the "someone" or "something" that may await us. As philosophers have been quick to point out, it would seem that various other theistic hypotheses are also live options. Pascal thought that the 50/50 probability applied to the Catholic conception of God. Does this wager really assist us in deciding among theistic hypotheses? or as J.L. Mackie put it: "the church within which alone salvation is to be found is not necessarily the Church of Rome, but perhaps that of the Anabaptists or the Mormons or the Muslim Sunnis or the worshippers of Kali or of Odin." Continued...

Perfect article, balance is necessary. Unity is lacking in the Muslim ummah and thus power will never follow. There are degrees to religiosity and everyone must recognize that life offers more than one correct answer to a question. In Islam, like any of the monotheistic traditions, there are generally few things that are black and white, maybe 5-10%. The remaining 90-95% gray area requires research and interpretation and then implementation that is appropriate to our day and time without breaking the boundaries of black and white.

Sadly, Islam taught the world about the sciences and then regressed. Muslims are becoming more judgemental as time progresses. This causes divisive relations within the ummah - moderates vs. extremists and does no service to face of the religion which means "Submission to the Will of Allah."

I am a Muslim. I do not sport a beard. In fact, some of my Muslim brothers chide me in lacking this "uniform of Islam" similar to a woman's hijab in their eyes. My belief is Islam's uniform to society should be one of mutual respect, honor and integrity to all human beings on the planet. The Prophet (peace be upon him) provided the initial model; it is the Muslims that have made a prison of the framework that he and the other prophets originally provided.

This article should be spread far and wide. Moderation is the key, balance provides strength.

I have found your weeklies to be very interesting. I have, myself, taken notice othat many of these lecturers (khutaba') lack the understanding required at capturing attention of their audiences and instead of delivering their speeches on responsive ears are, instead, making those interested disinterested only because of their way of deliverance. They lack the art of seductive delivery. They are too harsh in their advices and recommendations. Too stubborn in their limited knowledge, etc. They, I feel, themselves need be lectured about their own lectures. I always tell my children to take care of such professionals. They are doing their job. They tell you what they do not, and deny you what they themselves intentionally, not spontaneously, do. One has to be very careful to receive what is correct and to reject what's not. Not that these lecturers intend to harm anyone of us, but they do not even intend any good for any one.. They are professionals who are being paid for their job... I could be wrong in every word I have said, but this is my personal opinion about these khotaba'... I prefer to read a few lines from Quran and ponder at their meaning and purpose, instead of sitting at the feet of such professionals many of whom do not deserve to be seated where they do...

'reality begins when we all die'

Assalaamualaikum Wr. Wb,
The article realy touch my heart. Yeah... as a muslim we should bring peace to the front and win the others heart by touching their sensitivity through humanity. This is the essential and important thing in da'wah but we often forget it.

Assalam aleykum wa rahmatulaah!In simples words I think reality is all that our Lord order to be done!

your article is very factual, very true especially with regard to the children, how we treat them in religious gatherings, we expect them to sit and respond to the harsh voices, which are very dull and boring, beyond their understanding and we expect them to pay attention, which they try, but it gets too much as the length of all such speeches is beyond any child's tolerance. we need to put ourselves in their place and think, if we have to bear something which is beyond our understanding for more than one hour how would we react. We need to change the setup and help our little innocent children come out of this dilemma. Your comments on other issues are also very correct. We pay lot of importance to minor matters and do not look at the broader picture of muslims verses the world, how we need to project ourselves to the world, how we can improve the educational and financial conditions of the community so that we become the best religious group in the world. I truly beleive and imagine that a race which has such powerful guidance from God as Quran, which is the only correct religion in the world, can definitely become the best of all people if we organise ourselves, and follow the tenants of islam in accordance with the present times. First requirement is to get united and organise ourselves, look at ourselves as a community. Get the community feeling, and work in groups for the improvement and the benefit of all. Our women can teach what is it to be liberated, only islam shows it, not western society. We can become such a race that the world will look up at us and say, who are these people, we want to be like them!!! yes that is what islam can do, if we follow it in its true sense.

reality is 2200 americans murdered by Islamic extremists, we will never forget

i did read this article and this article did touch to my heart coz here everything is correct everyone should write like thatI love its writter...coz he had cleared that whgat is the reality.. also he did clear it Quraan ilike those writters who proves everything by Quraan pak ...also iam from them....

just like to say thanks what a great article .

Its a wonderful article and highlights the problems facing muslim ummah. May Allah bless you

An excellent : Masha Allah, very nice article! You have put in to the words a lot of the things which many Muslims like me have been thinking.
May Allah bless You. Pleas keep on writing and try to write in SIMPLE ENGLISH.

A timely and excellent subject. Well said. It is true that we muslims do alot of bickering amongst ourselves to the extend of being vulgar against each other. To me this is far from the spirit of Islam.
Allah addresses the Prophet as being "the height of manner". In other words we must emulate ourselves with such manner. "Wa jadeloohum b'alati hia ahsan' as the Quran would order us. In all matters of relationship, the Quran orders the Prophet and by extension all muslims, to be kind and treat all Allah's creatures with kindness.

Unity is another central core of Islam without which there would be no Islam. Thus it is incumbant upon all to be kind and treat each other with utmost respect, including those who we disagree with.

My heart goes to the new muslims. My Allah give you clarity and guide you towards him. Islam is a journey. If at first you believe you can not change fully then take it one step at a time. As Quran says, first become a muslim until iman enters your heart. Like all things iman is in darajat (stages) and Allah only jusdges us according to our knowledge and intentions.

Above all I would never be a judge as to who Allah chooses to adorn His Paradise. Only HE is the judge of that and we are given time until we die. No one should be the judge. Ours is to be kind to ALL and be a good example of a muslim and only through such actions we can seek closeness to Allah and His creatures. There is no other way.

Ahmed Asgher

For the new converts I believe Islam fits in very well with the global world of the 21st century united by technology and so on. We all know that prophet Mohamed(peace be upon him) was sent as a mercy to mankind and we should follow in his footsteps. He was an example for mankind. Since we are human beings we can only relate to another human being by example. This is our gift from God. Our prophet stated "Verily, there is heavenly reward for every act of kindness done to a living animal." One can spend his/her lifetime applying this saying even setting up a simple website to promote the rights of animals can contribute to this . That is how complex our quest for Allah's knowledge can be.

The last ceremony of our prophet(pbuh) should unite us all and any issues we have we should consult with the wider muslim community rather than few people. Islam is also a universal religion and what benefits the muslim nation should benefit all mankind. For example looking after animals, environment, poor people, establishing law and justice around the globe that is working locally but leading globally. We have huge challenges ahead of us and our duty is simple get involved with world leaders and campaigners who are campaigning against environment pollution, war, world poverty, capitalism the list goes on and teach that from Islamic perspective at home, communities, schools and so on. Hopefully this will reduce our burden by sharing with others. After all this is what human spirit is about and this will get us closer to solving what the reality is for all mankind, by the will of God a positive one, Aamiin.

sometimes we it 'virtual reality'

Assalamu Alaikum,

This article has been very encouraging to me. I can relate to the sentiments that you have expressed concerning the over emphasis on details of worship while neglecting the spirit of love that we should have towards Allah and to each other. As a former Christian the words that you wrote could have been spoken by Prophet Isa (peace be upon him) 2000 years ago. I find it extremely difficult to focus on learning true Islam as Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) taught it due to these points that you addressed and to the political environment that exists today.

May Allah guide us on the straight and narrow way and forgive us of our many shortcomings and sins.

Masha Allah, very nice article! He has put into words a lot of the things I've been thinking for a while.

This was so wonderful. It really touched my heart and reminded me why I became a muslim. The belief that doing a good deed is better than anything else brings joy to my heart. I wish that all our fellow muslims would abide by these thoughts and the world would become a much happier and better place. Thank-you!

Mohammad Iqbal: May Allah bless you. The brother Warith is correct. The best way for us to learn and practice our deen is by studying the understanding and opinions of our scholars, starting with the Companions. Do you think you can gave a greater understanding of an ayah than Ibn Abbas (ra)? This does not mean that we cannot interpret ayat, but it would be arrogant on our part to think we know better than those who have devoted their live to the propagation of the knowledge of Islam. When you're sick do you treat yourself or consult a doctor?
Also the qualification for a deed to be accepted is (1) is must be done purely for Allah, and (2) it should have its basis in the Qur'an or Sunnah. In my opinion, unqualified intrepretors of the deen have caused more trouble than the scholars have, and also the followers of scholars have often gone overboard in trying to impose the views of their sheikh. This seems to be the problem as scholars can disagree academically and maintain cordiality and good ettiquette, while we regular folk fight tooth and nail over the same issues. We must preach to correct Islam as explained by the Prophet and his companions while also learning to care for and nurture one other, even if we have differences.
As Salaamu alaikum

Islam is regressing, with each sect trying to outdo the other in its regression. A dynamic, flexible way of life has been reduced to a book of rules with dos and donts....tragic. I wonder if Prophet Muhammed himself would recognise the faith of Islam he founded?

Oh Allah, You are our Lord, the Lord of the Worlds;
Your kingdom extends both on earth and in the heavens;
You created us in all different shapes and colours;
Mankind though one entity is yet so different;
We are all one nation a human nation;
Our Intellect extends across oceans praise be to You;
As inhabitants of this earth so many are wondering about your creation;
You told us that there is no compulsion in Islam that is how kind You are to us;
Oh Allah, we humans are sometimes due to our weaknesses and shortcomings arrogant with our sisters and brothers;
Oh Allah forgive us if we make mistakes due to our weaknesses;
The world is divided today to North and South, East and West where civilizations of mankind's work has created nations who are the pillars of this 21st century;
Oh Allah help us in having a dialogue with our sisters and brothers across the globe;
The muslim nation has leaders of high calibre but they don't sit on humanly glorified chairs of power, their role is to integrate and take knowledge wherever it should be;
Being a muslim is not about being an English, or Arab, or American, it is about reaching out to humanity;
Being a muslim is about saving mankind from world poverty, world capitalism, HIV/Aids and so on;
Being a muslim is about taking a responsibility on your shoulders and establishing justice on our beloved earth;
Being a muslim is about sharing human happiness with your fellow beings around the world,
Being a muslim is helping others succeed in reaching that extra milestone;
Being a muslim is about establishing law and order in your community;
Being a muslim is about having a dialogue with your leaders while safeguarding the true democracy of your nation without dividing mankind no matter what religion, creed and colour;
Being a muslim is about building knowledge of civilizations with honesty and integrity for all mankind to share;
Being a mulsim is keeping a smile and showing gratitude to God and

Assalamualaikum wa rahmat ullahi wa barakatuhu,
I totally agree with this article.But there seems to be no answers to this question that when will we stop indulging in such futile talks?
Why does so many Jamat's in my city make people so aggressive?Islam does not teach this....it does not teach its people to go to 3 month long jamat's leaving his wife and children alone,leaving by the excuse that Allah will guard and protect and provide them?

You have conveyed your thoughts with the skill of simple eloquence. I believe the message will touch the lives of the sincere ones who seek the simplicity of religion from The Most Merciful G'd.
It is only with the Grace of Allah that this is possible. Most expressive in your presentation was what was said about the love relationship among believers. It was conveyed with the touch of a surgeon to the most delicate substance of my faith. I pray that other brave believers will speak with the same force of this conviction. Our hope of returning to a time when the believers will love each other more than they criticize each other rest with many achieving this conviction.

Assalam Alaikum,

I found "What is the Reality" to be a breath of fresh air to someone new to Islam (not as yet a convert). One of the things I'm struggling with is the seemingly, in my experience, binary or "black-white" positions on issues regarding both dogma and practice that just don't seem to me to warrant such rigidity, and I say that with all due respect, and also don't mean that there isn't a proper place for consistency, continuity and respect for Revelations and practice.

I think that there exists a tension today in the West, and my frame of reference is the US, between Islam, and Muslim beliefs and practice, and its integration, not assimilation, with "mainstream" culture. There's quite clearly a lack of understanding of Islam by "average American." I'd like to think that that can change. How do Muslims, and other, bring about that change? How do Americans of Western European decent, such as myself, find a place in Islam?

I quess I've strayed from talking about the essay. But I guess it was the thinking and point of view reflected in the essay that exemplified the perspective on Islam and Muslims that I'd like to believe is a voice echoed by many. I believe it's what's needed to have a constructive dialogue with non-Muslims in the West, and to make it easier for someone like me, a person of Western European heritage, like me, find a comfortable place for themselves in within Islam in the U.S.

Thank you for the essay and the encouragement.


An excellent article, may Allah bless you for putting this so eloquently. I'm so tired of debates centered around pathetic details such as how the moon is sited at the end of Ramadan, the wearing of the beard for males, etc. What happened to the rights of Muslims? Why does Islam have to be harsh? If Muslims are truly concerned about Islam, let's start with honesty, with the respect for legal contracts and obligations. Unfortunately I'm sorry to state that of all countries in the world, those that are predominantly Muslim are among the most corrupt. Sadly, the least corrupt are Western countries (although no-one is perfect).
Or how about unity? Unfortunately there too we fare amongst the worst in the world. The most united are probably the Jewish people.

I am very happy to read this article for it touches a very basic concept, that of humanity. We as Muslims forget that it not for us to judge others; this is only reserved for the Almighty and it is unto him that we shall return. And all that we can do is to try to live our lives in accordance with the doctrines of our religion.

Excellent reading. Thank you for providing this article.

Brother Warith-ud-deen, you state that "He needs to leave the interpretation of the quran and hadith to the scholars of Al asunnah, for they have been chosen by Allah to help us with the interpretations." I sense some arrogance in your remark. As a muslim, I am responsible for educating myself. God did not choose any scholar to teach me about Islam. We all need to be scholars in Islam. The Quran consistently indicates that its teachings are for people who can think and reflect. It doesn't say blindly follow some cleric because he has been "chosen" by god to teach us Islam.

You further state that "Contrary to what the writer said, no act of worship will be accepted form us that has no legislation in the Quran and Authentic sunnah." Where did you get this idea. Are you trying to say that being nice to others is not part of Quran and Sunnah.

I know people in my country Pakistan who are Hafiz-e-Quran and lead 5 prayers a day and have been indicted in the killing of other muslim groups. According to your point of view they are performing all islamic acts so what happened?. Whhat happened is that they took the Islamic worship as a ritual, without understanding the underlying reasons. Everything that Islam asks us to do is designed to help us be nice to other people. From paying Zakat to performing Hajj, every act is designed so that we can help each other and know each other. That is what the point of this article is. The author is not trying to tell you to ignore all islamic practices and just be nice to others. He is saying that being nice to others is the essence of all worship in Islam.

Your critique of his views strengthens the very point he is trying to make. We muslims have started arguing about our religion so much that we fail to see anybody else's view point. When we acquire some minor knowledge of Islam, we become so arrogant that we think only we can teach Islam to others, and humiliate anyone who questions us.


A very good article.I have recently been stressing to alot of my friends and colleagues that the muslims of today are so embroilled in little matters that we are losing sight of the bigger picture.the story of the prostitue is one i quote very often and encompases the need for human kindness to prevail over all other ills.I thank you once again for a wonderful article.
Assalmoalikum waramatullahu wabarakatu.

assalamu alaikum

that was amazing. we need more things like this
alhamdullillah, you are doing good work.

M. Hollifield: It has been proven that most peoples, educated or not, have some belief in a higher power. Therefore I believe that someone who was brought up in an isolated setting, like Native americans or Australian abboriginnis, have and would believe in a higher power.
Also the Islamic world was the cradle of civilization for centuries. It was during the late stages of the Ottoman Khalifate (1700s) that Muslims were surpassed, partially because of their political infighting, partially because of cultural practices which interfered which the establishment of pure Islamic code, and mostly because of their apathy toward industrialization and technological development. When Arab lands, which have maybe the most cultural inhibitions, were partitioned after WWI, this situation worsened, as these people were not provided with a decent, farsighted infrastructure to promote prosperity. They were given despotic dictators who cared only for themselves. If oil kept the Saudi, or Jordanian, or Iraqi leadership wealthy and powerful, why would they care about their constituencies? They did not have to worry about reelection or deposition. The correct version of Islam has not been completely put into practice since the Khalifate of Umar ibn al Khattab (ra). While democracy and capitalism have very good qualities, there are also very serious drawbacks. No country I know is a pure democracy, especially not this country, where our politicians are bought and sold, and global capitalism has virtually produced a "have" and "have-not" situation were the entire world is being exploited by a precious, chosen few. Any government is only as good as its leadership and their measure of accountablility to their subjects (which is even greater if they affirm accountablility to their Lord). May Allah guide and preserve you and all of us.

Brother Farouq, May Allah have mercy on all of us. You are right.Speaking of myself I do not have huge knowledge of Islam but each day is another milestone for me. I have learnt through my experience in life working with both muslims and non muslims that without the whole of mankind working together we can not survive. I enlighten myself with the knowledge of Islam and each time I read a verse of Quran or read a hadith I get that closer to humanity and Allah.

My roots are from a small nation in Africa, poverty is everywhere but praise be to Allah we get by. Those of us who are educated work day and night around the globe to help our nation through the internet. It is a hard task but we do our best to do small projects that help orphans and those who can't get education in our country

I have also learnt that as a muslim nation we must work with those pioneers of humanity around the globe who are working day and night to combat poverty, aids, illiteracy the list is long. What unites those people is email. No one knows who you are and yet you all work together. As a women and a mother I do my best to inspire others in helping each other and by working with others millions of poor people benefit from these ideas around the globe.

This I can say can be a lesson for muslims around the globe. We are all human beings. We all have one heart and one soul. What hurts one person will hurt us all. No one should experience poverty yet large number of our population are in poverty.What we can do is be good muslim leaders and inspire others to work what is good for the whole mankind and make this world a better place. Then we can bring solutions to our nations across the globe.

The reality for me is our muslim brothers and sisters around the globe are not united in helping humanity by joining their efforts with others.This can cause isolation and helplessness.

May Allah unite us all, Aamiin

I will Insha'Allah visit your website and contribute.

Your article on the divisions amongst Muslims was a thought provoking one and a bitter truth. Alhamdu lillahi that many Christains are ignorant of our divisions as we know theirs. Being a preacher, it would have been an ardous task to claim that Muslims are one. The division has reached an alarming level such that some brothers go to the extent of issuing certificate of hell fire to other brothers who are also Muslims. Secretly, one day I wept for the Muslims and the future of Islam.

The man with a long beard proclaims he is more pious than the one with trimmed beard while those Muslims without beard will live in the valley of fire. It now appears it is easier for a Muslim to enter hell fire than a Kafir. It appears our God(Allah) in Islam has no room for forgiveness and calling Him evr-merciful is only in the Qur'an.

My daughter, who is schooling abroad wrote me last month and asked me, her father, a simple question. "Dear dad, As salam alaeka. I know we are Muslims and we pray to die as Muslims, In shah llahu. But please tell me, are we Sunni or Shiite? Please answer my question. Moa salam."

Though a simple question but it almost made me shed tears. We brought up this girl as a Muslim with some level of Islamic knowledge but we never told her that we belong to either of these two. How would I handle this question? I knew she would ask a follow-up question whatever my first answer could be. The next one would be, "Dad, is our own better and does it mean the other party will be among the losers?..." So, I refused to reply but she phoned me the 3rd day demanding an answer. I advised her that the Qur'an did not specify a Sunni or Shiite Muslim, neither is it mentioned in any of the Ahadith. I gave her the usual age long advise: Follow the teachings of the Qur'an and Hadith, and dont wear any badge of Sunni or Shiite. For knowledge sake, I then sent some Islamic websites to her.

Please brothers and Sisters, let us down play what divides us.

May Allah relocate us with wisdom, kindness and braveness of real Muslim kind. I have learned and shared so much in common when reading words of reality by Dr. Mohammad Omar Farooq. Hope that exchange more with our brother in order to show the real ISLAM to our friends no matter they are Muslims or not, no matter they are in Arabia or China..

Wonderful article

To Brother Mitch: I would like to clarify on "Love of this life World should be replaced by love of the Hereafter - however difficult it maybe- for the condition of the Ummah to improve".
My understanding of the "love of the hereafter to be replaced by the love of the this world" - this is the advice that Rasulullah(Salallahu Alaihi Wasalam) gave the Sahaba - is that the Hereafter is more important and more rewarding and everlasting compared to this life which will end when Allah wills and can be best described as fleeting when compared to the Hereafter.
This does not mean that we live like monks in this world, we need to carry out our duties in this world . Again when we are reminded of the hereafter and the high standards that Islam sets to get the reward, we will actually live a higher quality of life in this world as well. We have only this lifetime to work for and gain the rewards of the hereafter(no extra time) that is why Islam emphasises the sensible use of this lifetime to get the bigger reward(in the hereafter) that is everlasting than the smaller reward(in this world)which will slip out of our hands and even if it doesn't, will not satisfy us.
The scientific advances that the early Islamic people achieved was as a result of the importance that the Quran and the Sunnah placed on gaining Knowledge of Allah's creation. Practising Islam does not exclude Science it will only make the pursuit of Science more purposeful and Insha Allah more beneficial to humankind.
Again I want to stress that goods manners and treating your neighbours well is emphasised in the Quran and Sunnah so much that Rasulullah(Salallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said that he thought that the neighbour would be given a share of the believer's inheritance because of the emphasis that Jibrael al-Islam put on good neighbourly relations.
So my point is that as Muslims let's us be good citizens in this world but as the Prophet(pbuh) said we are travellers waiting to enter Jannah

SAlam alay kum brother. I as a muslim am touched with your writing, and since I live in California, I was wonderinf if u can come to my masjid and make a khutbah on Friday and a speech to the yong youth at our masjid? Greatlyy appreciated.. Salam Omar Anas

Asalam Alaikum,

I have been deeply touched by this article. I think many of us has lost touch with the true meaning of our deen and have indulged in minute details. I would want to see more articles like this and more muslims thinking along the same lines.
3rd yr Med Student

Your words give me hope that someday there will be peace between all peoples. May the peace of God be with you always.

Michael Hollifield - per your request - a challenge: please consider the second verse of the Quran, "All praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds." Next, try to imagine the most plausible reason behind the Vatican's "panic attack" upon learning of the planetary revelations announced by Galileo - supported with his observations - that he made using his new invention, the telescope.

I don't expect that the sudden concern shown by the Vatican over Galileo's "heresy" had anything to do with the (already) century-old revelation that the planets (as well as the earth) actually revolved around the sun. Instead, I suspect that such "concern" (expressed in this manner) was merely a "red herring" on the part of the Vatican.

I suspect that what the Vatican was actually concerned about was the discovery - that is, the supporting evidence, offered - by Galileo that the planets were actually heavenly bodies with moons of their own, in addition to a number of other (rather striking) similarities to our own world.

In a nutshell, the VERY SECOND verse of the "competition's" sacred text, all of a sudden, had some startling implications - regarding "the Lord of the Worlds" - especially since that particular name (for God) had been recited almost a thousand years before the invention of the telescope.

If the issue had become a popular topic of discussion, it might have led to all sorts of embarrassing questions. For example: if God had a son by a woman of this world then would that son (also) have authority over all the other worlds (suggested by the night sky) as well?

Would you care, perhaps, to hear a thought (or two) on the so-called "forces of nature" - that will one day be inheriting our present world? Regardless of your response - per Mark 10:18 - may GOOD'S peace be upon you.

As Salaamu Alaykum wa Rahmatullah wa Barakatuhu:
Mohammad Omar Farooq;

May Allah reward your effort to inform and remind we muslims of the priorities, tolerance, and balanced perpective that Allah requires of us if we are to succeed as individuals and a group.

I am very annoyed by the constant hair-splitting
muslim bashing. If a person clearly and unambiguously testifies La illaha ILL Allah Muhammad Rasulullah, education and patience will permit me to be tolerantt as he and I grow in our
application of Islamic principles. I strive to
maintain a balance between minding my own business
while being sensitive to the needs/concerns of fellow muslims and non-muslims. Muhammad(s)told us that part of being a good muslim is to not pry into lives of others.(Tirmidhi)

Dawah is the sunnah of all the prophets. Dawah educates as it invites the non-muslim. Dawah fortifies the muslim missionary. It is a sin to leave the work of dawah to the professionals at CNN, NY TIMES, WASHINGTON POST, TED KOPPLE, OPRA WINFREY,etc. Dawah is a weapon against the lies about Islam and Dawah is a shield agaisnt the insidous melting pot of popular culture. If you are not giving dawah about your ideology, you are receiving dawah about someone else's ideology. El Hajj Malik Shabazz said "you are either part of the solution, or you are part of the problem". When you admit the reality of the condition in many muslim homes you see the influence of popular culture. Muslims are in a situation of "PROPAGATION or ASSIMILATION". All madhabs agree that "DAWAH IS OBLIGATORY". Dawah is worship. Dawah is worship.

Sister Safiya: Our brother Omar is correct. And I pray that Allah will bless you with the best in this life and in the next life. But our growth in this deen is of 2 types: (1) individual, and (2) communal. And, personally, I think it is more important to better yourself by seeking knowledge and increasing ibaadah, because then your saving yourself from the Fire, and also it increases your desire to improve the communal condition of the Ummah. One more thing in an authentic hadith, the Prophet (pbuh) said "The best from among you are those who are patient with the people and bare their harm". Therefore please try to be patient and seek help only from Allah, and I definitely will continue to pray for your health and eeman.
As salaamu Alaiki

Praise be to Allah. I enjoyed this tremendously. May Allah reward you for sharing this with us.

To Akbar Khan, (reference #13847)

Well, supercilious, half educated young man, and defender of the irrational faith. You enjoy
ridiculing your less educated Christian counterparts while telling them how they shouldn't hate you.

The real difference between you resides in which illusion you take as the truth.

So, I invite you to read some of my posts, namely, the one where I issue a challenge to support your belief in Allah and the Koran with a rational argument instead of appeals to faith, authority, and historical remarks about the high point of Islamic civilization hundreds of years ago. All of which only beg the questions as to why a rational person, not raised to believe these vanities and illusions would accept them, and relatedly why the West long ago eclipsed the Islamic countries in knowledge, economic prosperity, and social progress.

See if you can respond, if you have the arguments then put them forward, if not, you should
follow William Clifford's creed that it is wrong always, everywhere, and for anyone to believe anything upon insufficient evidence" and cease to believe and impose your arrogant, unfounded beliefs upon others.

Michael Hollifield


The Quran acts as a criterion forbidding:

"Anthropomorphism - the attribution of a human form or personality to ALLAH"
"Agnosticism, that nothing is known about ALLAH, or can be known"
"Negation of ALLAH, the absence or opposite of ALLAH"

Sadly, Some imaams have turned Knowledge into FITNA.

Let's conclude with knowledge: [Read, Bounty (gift), Pen, Teach, and Learning]

96: 1. Read (Proclaim!) in the name of thy Lord and Cherisher, Who created
96: 2. Created man, out of a (mere) clot of congealed blood:
96: 3. Read (Proclaim!) And thy Lord is Most Bountiful,
96: 4. He Who taught (the use of) the pen,
96: 5. Taught man that which he knew not.

Is it not a precursor that the first five verses of the Holy Quran revealed are just on basic and scientific knowledge?

Believers and Surrenders wake up,
You'd better pull yourself together!


Alhamdullilah. I think that this was one of the most inspirational articles that i have ever read. It truly reflects the spirit of Islam and the need for Muslims and humanity in general to rise above our petty quarrels and struggles so that we can open our eyes to what is really important.

To my respected Br. Alshamiy and others who are criticizing the author seem to have missed the essence of the article. If anything this article is stressing on is the setting our priorities right. We seem to be wasting too much of our time and energies in fighting on the petty issues and ignoring other core values of our beautiful deen. The author has repeatedly pointed out that he is not against the importance of knowing the details of these issues as we lead our Islamic way of lives, but setting priorities on these issues on top of other essential issues sounds certainly troublesome.

By setting extensive priorities on discussing petty issues, we are not only spending little time to study and advocate the universal humane side of Islam as the author beautifully pointed out, but this is also inhibiting us to address other pressing issues this Ummah is facing from the enemies of Islam. Please let us not forget that one of the reasons the Khilafat had fallen was setting the priorities wrong.

BTW, the translation of the verse of Sura Al-Haqq the author has quoted is from Islamicity's Qur'an section. To find this, please click on the verse link in the article.

May Allah give us complete understanding of our deen. Ameen.

Please send to me the articles concerning islamic salam,hijab and men to be allowed to marry more than one women.

Please send to me the articles concerning islamic salam,hijab and men to be allowed to marry more than one women.

As-salaam-alaikum. A very beautiful article - mashallah.

In reality, it might be more practical to revert what is enjoin-able and then eliminate what is not - Insha'Allah. As-Salaamu Alaikum.

Dear Safiya,

I read your comments, that you posted yesterday and really felt sorry for the trouble you are having to face in trying to get accepted and blend in with the principles of the society you are residing in. Look, I totally understand where you are coming from, as i myself am a critic of those local traditional values people hold on to, which has little or no relation to the teachings of Islam.

As you pointed out, it is mainly because of lacking proper education and also the fact that people go on with their lifestyles as it had been laid out to them by their parents and so on and so forth. It necessarily may not be what is preached, or even ever mentioned in the Holy Koran or the Prophet Muhammad(SM) Sunnah.

I have recently started learning and started understanding about Islam on my own from various books and great website i.e. WWW.Islam.org. To my surprize I find myself seeing things much clearly and also find so many practices and beliefs I had earlier, were absolutely in no relation to Islam and some even can be described as 'Unislamic'. What could i have done to correct it? Nothing! As I grew up with all those practices living in the society and I would be held an outcast if I did not follow it.

All in all my point is, Islam is beautiful and perfect. We muslims may not be, and that is why Allah has always stressed on the importance of educating oneself. Believe me, things have changed a lot in Islam and more and more people are getting educated and once again swaying towards the true message of Islam. It is our personal relationship with God and I am sure when you pray, Allmighty is listening to you. You have to have patience and if you see the society your living in, is causing you great emotional stress, then wouldn't it be a better idea if you relocated yourself somewhere else? Just a thought!

take care,

in todays materialistic world every body is after wealth,here in our valley 20000 have been converted to christanity
i feel hurt,please brief me how to work on this issue
mubashir jan

I think this article did a good job of sumarising the feelings and thoughts of most young Muslin people. We live in a world that is ever evolving and change is not only constant but in fact has become the only reality for most people. It has become important for most of us to retain our basic identity of being Muslims but I htink as the author has rightly pointed out in that quest one must not forget that being a good Muslim means being a good human being at the smae time. Religious practices are very important but basic human courtesy is as important. I am gald that someone has pointed out that by being rigid in adherence to " how to" do things in religion does not necessarily ensure paradise. Its always te "Neeyat" which is of essence. Thank you for making me feel that I am not alone in the belief that one must do what one can do to best of one capabilities in religion and not squabble away time in fighting over what is the right or wrong methods.

Dear Mr Omar,
You mentioned "Love of this life World should be replaced by love of the Hereafter - however difficult it maybe- for the condition of the Ummah to improve". Is this correct? I would imagine that we should strive for the best of both, this World and the Hereafter and not replacing one with the other? If what you stated is what the majority of Muslims believes in, it's no suprise if they are oppressed, forever! Remember, the Muslims once were the most advanced community. They were excellent in all areas. They were not oppressed in any sort! You know why? It's because they strived for the best in both, this World and the Hereafter!.

Salam alaikum.
I pray this meets you in the best of health.I must commend your team for this article.I am very impressed and glad to have come across such an article as this.
But if i must be sincere there is this issue of innovation which you raised in the article which had really been generating series of controversy in our enviroment for some time now.It is becoming increasingly difficult to really to really know what is an innovation in the world now.You said something about the shout about innovation almost or virtually an innovation in itself,it is true as almost everything is deemed as innovation now,though i wouldn't know if the use of a computer is not an innovation.In the light of our confusion my submission and supplication is that Allah azawajala should guide us aright and make us better and complete muslims.
Ma salam.

it is true we grovel and bicker , i wish we could come to an understanding of our great religion.

This is a good message about all muslims being on their own personal level of Islam. Even non-Muslims are on their own level of converting to Islam. I think that as long as people are moving forward at their own personal speed toward being a better Muslim, their progress is genuine and not forced, coerced or artificial. Thanks.

Hooray! As a non-Muslim struggling to understand and embrace Islam, I appreciate your apparent recognition that all religious ideology MUST be ingested through the medium of logic and reason. Certainly, we must first ask "What did God say?". However, if our questioning stops there, then it seems we are subjecting ourselves to a life of blind obedience and, more importantly, leaving ourselves vulnerable to the huge array of distortions that inevitablely take place in any organized form of religious expression. Perhaps the more important question is "Why did God say this?", as, surely, it is in that process of endeavoring to understand God's wisdom that we find the best chance for realizing TRUTH and experiencing an AUTHENTIC transformation of our nature!

Dear brother Umar,
Assalamu Alaykum,
Your article was very beautiful and truly captured the essence of Islam i.e beautifying the character ...the purpose for sending Prophet (SAW) ....
I myself as a Muslim, try to find out the details of the Quran and Sunnah according to my academic abilities.. however, i firmly believe it is the sincerity and kind heart that gains most weight ...
you have definitely touched my life today by writing this article ...this simeple act ... may Allaah reward you remendously for this ....
And your article also made me recall the hadith which descibes the following event ..three times the Prophet (SAW) said a man of paradise will enter now. and the same man just from Wudu with water dripping form his beard came ... one of the sahaba's wanted to see his life ... made an excuse to stay with him for three days ...and saw that he did not even wake up for thahajjudh .... but whenever he turned in his sleep this humble man glorified and thanked Allah ...finally unimpressed by this the sahaba related why he had come to the old man...and he replied that his life was basically what the sahaba had seen..but he never held a grudge/hardfeeling towards any body ....
illustrative isn't it ...

Sister Safiya - As Salaamu Alaikum! I respectfully suggest that you might wish to consider "re-educating" a few of the Christians who befriended you (during your struggle with cancer). If they had eased your burden in this world, perhaps you might wish to consider easing their burden in the next.

Surely, the Quran applies to everyone. Why not then consider sharing verses of the Quran with those to whom such verses appear to be addressed? An example might be Quran 4:171, a portion of which appears to say to Christians, "[...] say not, ["Trinity"]. Desist, it is better for you; [...]"

You might recall that "Trinity" is, in fact, defended by abstractions from the Bible. Various verses have been associated by various people, over centuries, in assorted attempts to support the ("polytheist") assertion that God (who is without equal) is a combination of three seperate entities.

I would, instead, suggest mentioning (but) one verse from Mark (10:18), which reads, "And Jesus said unto him, Who callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God." May God (the [only] one that is good) shower you with peace and blessings.

A NOTE to Sister Safiya - may Allah make your burden lighter. I request you to re-examine your assessment of all Muslims. I am ashamed of the way some of our brothers and sisters have treated you but this should not make you despair, Allah is most Benificent and most Merciful and Insha Allah he will bring you in contact with Muslims who behave truly as your brothers and sisters as Rasulullah(Salallahu Alaihi Wassalam) has advised us. Please don't say the "small things" like Hijab do not matter, they do and all the other things like Character also matter.
As for the article Alshamiy hit the nail on the head, he was more direct in his remarks.
I think we need to learn a lot more about the Quran and the Sunnah and simultaneously put it into practice as well.
In the case of this article however good the intention of the author some of his Hadith references are clearly out of context and misleading including the interpretation of Reality as pointed out by Alshamiy. There are bound to be differences of opinion but we ought to make sure that we get our sources and understanding right. Ignorance of the Hadith and the context can make us see the whole message in a different light.
The need of the hour for the Muslim Ummah is for each and every member male and female to educate and enlighten ourselves with the Quran and Sunnah and to practise Islam as much as possible.
We can't feign ignorance on the Last Day when each of us have to answer for ourselves before Allah.
Love of this life World should be replaced by the love of the Hereafter - however difficult it maybe - for the condition of the Ummah to improve.
Let's all Muslims ask Allah for his Mercy on and Guidance for the Muslim Ummah, let's all Muslims first unite in purpose - to please Allah first and also be mindful of how we treat our fellow human beings for that is part of the message of the Rasulullah(Salallahu Alaihi Wasalam).


I converted a few years ago to Islam, but I experiences nothing but nitpicking. I have no family here. Most women are young and married have children, very busy and the older generation is married and have to ask the man constandly if it is ok to do what they think to do. As a western person I like still to speak to men, but in islam it is a no no. I cannot do this not that and it has made me very unhappy. Today, agter going through cancer with out support from muslims but rather from christians, I do my prayers but keep away from the general muslim comunity. Specially because they take the hidjab and the clothing and other unimportand thinks tooo importand. I just cannot change my identity.
The teachings are fine, but the muslims have to be re-educated. That is my comment.

I find this article to be *extremist* in the sense that it magnifies certain hukms and issues in Islam on the *expense* of others.

This article preys on new comers to Islam, mainly English speaking people and the ones who don't have a basic/well rounded foundation in the teachings of Islam.

To start with, the Ayah quoted is mis-translated. Al-haqah in Arabic doesn't mean Reality. It means Al-Haqq/TRUTH. In this verse, the truth is Yawm Al-Qiyama/judgement day. So I don't know how the author translated it as Reality.

The author whether knowingly or unknowingly is mixing poison with butter. He uses the subject of being good to others, which is attractive to all, and a no brainer in Islam, to destroy other facts in Islam. Along the way, mis-applying hadiths and verses from the Quran. Which to the new comer, does the job. But for the ones who know the details and the meanings of these texts, knows that the author is using one side of Islam to suppress the other side. For example, when combining it with other hadiths and ayahs, the hadith about the prostitute who gave a drink to the thirsty dog is about not giving up on Allah's mercy. Has nothing to do with not paying attention to Haram and Halal. This hadith is saying that if you have done big sins, have hope that Allah (swt) could forgive you with his Mercy. So how do you earn Allah's mercy if you don't know if you'll get it or not? The only way to that is to follow his LAW as much as you can to earn His Mercy. That's how all the hadiths come together. Not as the author is trying to do, hit one side of Islam with the other.

Another comment is that the author is using the sad state of affairs of muslims against them. Ignoring the real reason and blaming it on personal individualistic good deeds. Which to any thinker is nonsense. Thus, shifting away from the problem which is the absense of someone to take care of muslims affairs. Given the absense of a muslim environment/government, muslims are doing

Brother Farooq:
I thoughrouly enjoyed you article. I totally agree with your point. We as Muslims should pay more attention to our character in our dealings, and should peform a charity every day. May Allah bless you and the rest of the Muslim Umma. We ought to treat each other and non Muslims with love,respect as Allah and the prophet Mohammad (SAWS)ordered us to do instead on hatered, backstapping and Namima. It is very disheartening and shameful to watch the state of our Umma.

Quran 16:125:Invite (all) to the Way of thy Lord with wisdom and beautiful exhortation; and argue with them in ways that are best and most gracious: for thy Lord knoweth best, who have strayed from His Path, and who receive guidance.
Quran 3:114:They believe in God and the Last Day; they enjoin what is right, and forbid what is wrong; and they hasten (in emulation) in (all) good works: They are in the ranks of the righteous.
Assalamu Alaikum!I agree with some of the comments that the author has made about infighting among muslims, however I disagree with him in the importance of following small details. I believe the Quran and Sunnah are very important in every aspect of our lives. Islam is the complete deen, there is really no need for innovation.
This is really a struggle to completely submit to Allah which is the very definition of Islam and again the current state of the Ummah is only because we look outside the Quran and Sunnah for guidance and to model our lives.
Again I want to stress that we should be tolerant of others who are trying to catch up - this does not mean new Muslims alone it is also "old" Muslims like myself who are trying to become better Muslims each day - encourage them.
However we have to remind ourselves and others and encourage good deeds and discourage bad deeds - that is why Muslims are the best nation -and if we are failing today we shouldn't give up, we need to change our ways and bring in more of the Quran and the Sunnah and not less.
Some of the comments that the author has made and the references he cites seem to be misleading maybe because they are incomplete and he sounds apologetic about the following the details of the Shariah.
The current trend is actually very positive in that all/most of us Muslims are trying to bring in Islam in our lives with a lot of vigor and this can change the condition of the Ummah,we just need to be patient with those who are slower. The goal of a Muslim is the Hereafter!And Allah know

I think what the author is trying to say is what every muslim says everyday and that is bismillahi ar-rakhmanir ar-rahim which means (In the name of Allah the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful) All muslims are counting on Allah's mercy and compasion to enter paradise.

But make no mistake the reason why the Muslim Ummah is weak today is becuase to many Muslims love this world and hate the hearafter. As the Prophet (SASW) said, you may hate a thing that is good for you, but love a thing that is bad for you.

Brother and Sisters when we give up our "love" for this life (money, wealth, riches, clothes, houses, cars, power, oil, etc) and prepare ourselves for the next life, only then will we become victourious.

As the Qur'an says, do you not think you will not be tested like those that went before you.

I agree with the Author that we must give up our petty cultural diffrences and remember that we are ALL MUSLIM. Not an american muslim or arab muslim or japanesse muslim. Just Muslim. I LOVE ALL MY MUSLIM BROTHER AND SISTERS and I ask Allah to give us good in this life and in the hereafter and save us from the torment of the hellfire.

As-salamu-alakum (Peace be unto you)


Dr. Mohammad Omar Farooq should write a book dealing with the topics in this essay.

This paper should make it to the pulpit where Imam's are currently engaging in behavior similar to that found on FOX news, telling one side of the story.

The answers to muslim problems are in muslim hands.

I thought this article was excellent
I have a difficult time trying to DO everything, but as a new Muslim I get so overwhelmed that I end up doing nothing the way that I should. This put things is perspective for me.
I do long for and aspire to reach heights in my faith but until I am stronger, this article gives me a lot of peace

Beautiful essay. I agree that the key is balance. I appreciate the efforts of brothers and sisters that focus on the details and may Allah reward them for their good intentions. Truly their efforts are important in keeping keeping Islam pure. But I think it is possible to maintain purity of faith and not lose sight of the big picture. Unity and love amongst Muslims especially should not be sacrificed to splitting hairs.

My dear brother,
I read your article, What is Reality. And I still don't know what is reality! Is the reality the charity! The state of Muslim Ummah is smothering me, The weakness, the hopelessness. In brief, we are the lowest nation of the low. Often I feel we are a cursed nation. Always we are the losers in every field even as silly as football. What is this state of ours?! Where is the salvation, "Al-Falah". I was looking for a cure of the big desease our nation suffering from and sorry to say that I couldn't find it in your article. Those kinds of good deeds you mentioned in your article I am certain every single man or woman muslim or not, did it at least once in his/her life if not a thousand time and still doing it whenver a real ocassion arise!!! I feel the article is talking defeat. As if it is saying OK we are unable to make major changes in our state let's accept the reality and keep doing the little things and that is supposed to make us feel good about ourselves!!! You will certainly say yes accumilated little drops of water will make a strong flowing river! Sorry, I don't think so! You will think I am a pesimist. Yes I am a pesimist and it is foolish for me to taste something bitter and to pretend that it was sweet!!!
My dear brother, Accept it or refuse it or be like me seeing the reality and unable to accept it! I strongly believe it is the design of Allah, it is the fate of Allah, it is the plot of Allah the miserable state we are in. One can say it is a test, I don't think so either!
I think it is the bitter truth, the bitter "Reality", The reality which applies to all things, all beings, muslims and non-muslims alike, The reality of "day and night" as a day could be centuries long, unfortuniate us came in the night time to live the centuries long night!!! And the rest as you put it unimportant details! Unimportant details of our daily life mixed as usual with good and bad differing from an indvidual to an another!
Allah grant us good en

very nice article!

Excellent article. This article answers the question about "What is our priority as a Moslim in this world?" It is also seperates myth from reality. Every Friday khutba I hear the same thing "Hell and Pradise" over and over again. The Islamic religion is not about Hell fire and Pradise. It is about learning how to have both internal (Spiritual) and external peace. Most of the moslims mix myth and reality and that is sad. Finally, a good moslim is making a good point.

You have said the truth about the problems of muslims in the contemprary worlds.

Unfortunately, our ignorance goes on!. The writer clearly lacks the knowledge of this perfect deen. Quranic verses and hadith's have been misinterpreted and twisted. He needs to leave the interpretation of the quran and hadith to the scholars of Al asunnah, for they have been chosen by Allah to help us with the interpretations.

The ummah is in a mess today as they have deduced from the quran and sunnah, because we are neglecting to follow the Quran and sunnah based on the way the prophet salalawalahi wasalam and the sahabahs understood it. We will remain in this state until we return to our deen. Who ever think, that watering down the deen will result in our victory, is only dreaming.

Contrary to what the writer said, no act of worship will be accepted form us that has no legislation in the Quran and Authentic sunnah.

Yah, the prostitute was granted jennah because of her IIkllas and kindness to Allah's creation but what the writer failed to mention, is that she never when back to doing the bad things she did in the past because was now no rightly guided.

To think, that one will gain jennah without llklas to Allah and worshiping Allah as he has commanded, is only a dream.



As always your article invites open ideas of the mind and heart. This article is in that vein. I pray that all are able to see that there is room for all beleivers under Allah (swt) knowledge. His Law provides justice for all. There is always His Mercy the His created things. Look forward to your next missive.

With respect to "haqqa" - I would think that if a man wished for his wife to wear Hijab, for example to the supermarket, then perhaps he might wish to consider putting something on his own head, as he is starting his prayers (and preparing to make du'a) before the Lord of the Worlds. I am starting to keep head coverings around the house for my own prayers (along with other such preparations here and there) and it has not even occurred to me yet to ask my wife to cover her head. When I start going through the entire day (and all around the city) wearing some form of an easily recognizable Muslim head covering (myself) then (who knows?) perhaps I won't even have to ask. As Salaamu Alaikum.

I appreciate the views expressed by the author. "Tuhi nadan chand kalyon per qunaat kargaya, warna gulshan men elaze tangie daman bhi the" It is really time to hit and break the mindset of the ummah. Real occasion to scrutinise the reasons which brought a halt to 'Karvane Islam', without attributing it to a particular thought. we must develop an Islamic spirit based only on Quran & Sunnah. Ameen


Thank you for the good article Prof, very instructional but simple enough to understand and when I relate it to the last aricle on 10 things muslims must do. I think I get the hope in religion i was born to belive it is based on perfectionism and strictness.


Thanks for sending Islamic Bullitin.I appriciate ur selfless dedication work for Islam.Please make human beings to Under stand what God want from humans,God has given life here only for once so why to fight.We Muslims should not get exploited by anyone.We can say ,other person is not good.but we should see ourselves first.Muslims should have unity.thanks for asking comments.

Jazakallah for the article. I fully agree with the writer. The first casaulity of this situation is "self purification". The followers of these kind of Ulemas may have informations about the things but the people miss the spirituality of the Islam. In my personal opinion , we have to concentrate on two things. 1. Total dedication by heart during Salaath and all Ibadah with clear and conscious intention. 2. Study the Quran alongwith the modern science. It really fascinates and increases Imaan. Insha Allah if we do both we will get the true "sweetness" of Imaan.

Sorry for any mistakes in my comment.


I pray to Almighty God to give me the strength to do what I said above. Aameen.

Assalamualikum W rahmatullah,

Brother i just want to ask about the four of our
IMAAM that the followers of these IMAAM are
on the Right Track cause the much i have read
in the books such as BUKHARI, and
so..Brother Allah has said that Pray for me the
way i asked you it means those who do
RAFADEN those who budge thier finger in
TASHAHAD the way SALAFI pray are correct
cause they are on the path of Aslaaf and NAbi
Kareem (PBUH) so PLZ could you Define me
or tell me about Four IMAAM ????

Salamu Alakum (Peace be upon you),
By reading your writing, i've learned and shared. And thats charity from you. Thank you!

Hani Mansour

Jazaka Allahu khairan brother for a very heart felt article. I think that the disunity of the Muslim ummah is due to our lack of brotherhood/sisterhood and our insistance on arguing matters that need to be addressed by the Islamic scholars. Unfortunaltely, we tend to think that we have the authority to pass judgement on those who don't adhere to our specific interpretations of matters of the deen (i.e. the different mathahib). When instead we should be thankful that Allah has provided for us different interpretations that are there to help us and make life easier for us. I agree with you wholeheartedly that we need to go back and follow the example of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and be more accepting of one another's humanity. If we all concentrate on becoming better Muslims then we will never find the time to judge each other.

Wonderfull article and very relevant to the times we live in. I wish every Muslim reads this article and may be you should publish it in all the major Islamic magazines.

I really appreciated finding this message in my mailbox. Thanks. Patti

Assalam Alaykum brothers and sisters.

I agree with what you said about muslims bickering
over small issues. But, I have to disagree with
you about the constant reminder to muslims on their obligations to Allah and about things that we have been warned about that will lead us to the fire. You can never warn too much. The prophet (SAW) did warn over and over and so many times over about innovations and all haram things.
We must warn sisters it is haram to abandon hijab every time you see them, so what it irrtates them ,it is for their own good. Nuh warn his people for 950 years. We must warn those unfortunate muslims who doesn't pray. If you love for the sake of Allah, then this is obligatory, too warn constantly. We must follow the sunnah exactly as the prophet and his companions did.
There is never an issue to small whem you see
muslims following and doing the opposite from the authentic hadith, because of a culture or what a sheikh said. If it contradict quran or hadith, it is a innovation, period. Every innovation is a stray and every stray is in the fire, so said rasullah. Allah is merciful, we have been warn about his wrath also. If muslims were to follow the deen exactly the way we should and quit fighting against those who are calling to the real authentic religion, than there wouldn't be any need for constantly warning the people. The four Imams, alhamdullah, it ok to follow them. But, we can not follow them in the areas where they made mistakes. We should not follow opinion, only what it documented from the messenger of Allah. If there is a hadith, you must abandon all opinions, regardless who's opinion it is. follow the authentic sunnah, pray as the prophet prayed, do as he did and when he did it unless otherwise stated by him. Let the sunnah go forth and don't oppose it with opinion, If you do, than you should be told about it until you stop it. If it irritates, so be it.


Dear Br. Farooq
Assalam Alaykum
I read your article and admire alot of your simple thinking,to me this article is a guideline to many believer and nonbelievers young and old.
I personaly thank you for your effort may Allah give you rewards for explaining His Deen.


This was a beautiful piece that is so timely when the umma is in such a dire state.I think a focus on our true intentions and being led by Allah(swt) is more important than arguing over minor points of fiqh.While the rituals we engage in are important to our faith, if they are undertaken for show to others and not out of pure intention then I feel they become sin against us.May Allah(swt) bless the brother who wrote this piece and give him many rewards.I pray all of you who read this gain from it what you can and even if you disagree with many of the points, know that, at least I believe, the writers intentions were pure.Hopefully we can purify our intentions and make similar efforts at healing the umma and then the word community at large. Salamu Alakuum wa rahmatulah.

Superb commentary regarding the essance of the islamic condition. wonderfuly written.

I am a new female to Islam and was impressed by this article. To the author...Thank you for this insight....and may Allah bless and keep you and your family safe and well....


I think the author is really confused personally. Not only does he not offer any specific mechanisms to address what he thinks the problems are, he combines liberal humanist politics into the article to try and suppress islamist thinking and supplant it with western liberalism. He includes aspects of recognizing women (which is clearly wrong since i always hear great things about aisha, etc.), a lack of literacy/high standard of living (as defined by western countries and really have no place in shariah), and other things which are ALL discussed, simply not intertwined in the way to make it acceptable to him.

Tomorrow people like him will begin criticizing muslims for not "protecting abortion rights" because "muslim women should be independent and should have a right to their bodies", argue that "interest is okay" because "the times have changed", argue that we need to be more "westernized" and plan our muslim countries along the lines of the western models with "less children so we can give each person more" and will you people be sitting here praising him?

I hope not.

Let us stop this liberal virus from spreading. The solution to our problem is not to change, just simply to become more self-aware and hold onto the sunnah of the prophet more so than ever in these times of global western corruption that threatens the very fabric ofour religious-centric lives.

INSHALLAH with the mercy of ALLAH we will rise as an Ummah. However, it won't come from "thinking big" and saying to ourselves "Ameen aloud or quiet" doesn't matter. We have to stick to we do now, but become more self-aware of the bigger picture in the process.

Let us not the liberal humanists threaten the fabric of Islam.

How on earth these beutiful preachings of Islam have been turned by some of our mullas into the most hideous practices that prevent the blieving soul from feeling the beauty of this devine revelation. By failing to grasp the spirit of the teachings of the holy Quran and the teachings and life of Prophet Mohammad(PBUH) these Mullas almost nearly led this Nation of Islam astray if not for the mercy of Allah. It is narrated from the Prophet (PBUH)that he(the Prophet) is for his Umma more fearful from the non-dajjal than from the Dajjal himself. And that no Dajjal will come before he is preceeded by other (smaller) Dajajilah.How come that people sit for preaching others about teachings Islam without fully putting these teachings into practice. No wonder why these preachers turned into "text" worshippers failing time and again to grasp the full meaning of these teachings. They have waisted our modern history in futile dicussion about how long or short a jilbab should be or whether a woman should wear a Nighab or a Hijab .As a result our Ulama today are those ignorant people like Taliban or Ben Ladins. Don't they contemplate the Quran?.Or are the hearts locked?. Are they not conscious of the signs of God? (surat Yunus). When Allah said to Feraown( the Pharouh)today we are going to make you safe in your body so that you may be a sign for those who come after you and verily many of the people are nonconscious about our signs. Truthful are the words of God. I shuddered when these ignorant Talibans demolished the Statues of Bamian and were contemplating demolishing the Pyramids of Egypt, the signs of God mentioned in the Holy Quran in Surat Yunus.No wonder Allah took out those unjust Taliban by the Unjust American Government. And the irony is in full swing with the scene of the Unjust Saddam Statue(Sanam) pulled down by an American soldier. Perhaps we should stop and ask ourselves what is wrong with us we muslims of today?

Assaalam alaikum, Maasha-Allah the article posted is one of the best I have read recently. it guides us Muslims as well as others who read it, that in addition to the basics of Islam one should not forget that goodness and good deeds are very important in our quest to be good Muslims and human beings.we cannot annhiliate religion and the way we go about our lives.it is time we looked at Islam in its entirety and have a bigger and better view of it, rather than fight and argue over trivial matters.may ALLAH guide us all to the right path.Aameen.Wassalam.

Assalm U Alaikum,

All Prause to Allah sbt,

I enjoyed the article. In shAllah I will place this on the MAsjd bulletinm board. It speaks out my heart. There is s omuch emphassis on "Ibadaat" that we foret what is the real " Ibbadat"
I wish you have been a little short.

MAy Allah bless you for this beautiful article.


I appreciate the reflections in "What is the Reality" as I felt the very same way when I became a "Sunni" Muslim. Since learning the Shi'a way, I have found more meaning and sensitivity to the "Reality" than I had ever found previously. Following the "Sunna of the Prophet" is following what he passed on to his progeny.

As salamu alaikum,
Ma sha Allah. that was a good article. I'm a new muslim. I took shahada in november 2001. Yes after the september 11th incident. I look around our ummah and see division, cruelty, cultrulism, and lies. al humdu Allah, I know that its not part of Islam. There additions
made by muslims, and others. We are repeating what the jews have done, over, and over, again.
and not learning from there, or our mistakes. this reality you reminded me of, is the reality we must spread to our brothers and sisters. that we must use to admonish our Ummah. that we must use to propoganda our deen with. Since I have become Muslim this has become mor appearnt to me. I have said several times amongst my other revert friends, that if the matter is unclear we should remove it from our ummah, or atleast not put a whole lot of wieght in it. As sheikh Hamza yusuf has said, "as far as I'm conserned anyone who is spreading (or trying to spread)division, is a shatan." I absolutely agree with the sheikh on this. We need to return to the basics of Islam, and forget about all the unclear details sickening our Ummah. This is a view I'm finding alot amongst the reverts like my self. A friend of mine Has a theory that we reverts are like this cause we come from wrong and group up with lies so much that, we can spot it easy, especially when it is next to the truth. for example: the methhab sickness, next to the verese in the Qur'an that speaks of no division or sect. I forgot where its at though. I think you quoted it in your article.

thank you, Jazakum Allah khairun.

MY personal experience with the Friday's Khutba wherein Khatib invovlved himself in the world politics, expressing his opinion about right & wrong and blaming non muslims for all problems faced by muslim world.In other words he just laid blame at the foot of non muslims for all woes of muslims. However, he did not offer any advice to muslims what can they do to improve thier lots. Just by blaming others for your own shortcomings you are not going to solve problems faced by muslim worlds. The khatib was not well organized in his arguments nor did he come across as a person well versed in world political history. However, the victim of this sermon - a young man (my son) who stopped going with me to Friday's Khutba and ultimately to masjid altogrther.

Nations are built on good manners, once those are gone, nations will loose their foundation and crumble. I am highly encouraged to see the author place emphasis on exactly what our nation needs most. I pray to Allah everyday that he would grant us the wisdom to rise above our little differences and focus on the spirit of the prophet's beautiful message to humanity. I pray that this Umma unite under the banner of "La ilaha illa Allah" whether Sunni, Shiia, or whatever because I am sure that the prophet (pbuh) would not like to see us as divided over such silly and sometimes political differences. Many thanks to the author for this great piece and the nice poem. Jazzakum allahu khairan...

Constructive,We should have more articles along this line

Ameen. may Allah subhana wa ta'ala bless all of us to see the true and clear reality and gain our humanity.

Hazrat Ali A.S. was once about to ride forth into battle when he was approached by a man who, grabbing the bridle of the horse, enquired "What is Islam?". Without hesitation Hazrat Ali A.S. replied "Islam is fear of Allah s.w.t. and love for humanity" and departed for the battlefield.

I fully agree with the author, it is high time that we critically examine our selves and respond to the needs of twentyfirst century Umma.I will request the editors to present these intresting articles in printer freindly format.

Your comments not only pertain to the Muslim religion but ALL religions. Do we not all have our sects that read the teachings, take certain sayings out of context and use them to incite us against the true word? I am a Christian who has left the organized church because of the hypocritical stance of many leaders. Besides, Christ did say not to make a public affair of communion with God, but to "closet" yourself. In other words, a believer's communion with God is private and should be a deeply moving circumstance. The only religious acts that should be out in the open are the good works you do.
I was also glad to read your comment, "they have been culturally conditioned" as this also applies to ALL societies. If I had been born in another country and different parents, my views of the world would be different. I truly believe that there should be more emphasis in our educational systems on the various cultures on this earth. I have to admit I was very lucky to have parents who felt it important that I appreciate the differences AND the similarities of the various cultures.


This is voice of moderation - golden mean.

Still more relevant - putting things in right perspective.

May Allah bless you.

Brother Khalil

I am more and more impressed by the number of Muslim articles dealing with an expanded understanding, if not more contemporary interpretations of the Qu'ran. These articles are the saving grace for the future of a great culture and will bring about a greater understanding between non-Muslims. I believe that such new insights into the Qu'ran should be expanded and incorporated in teaching children as well as adults by the Mullahs in the Mosques.

A very good piece of writing. I want to thank the writer for remind us the reader of what Islam and being a good Muslim means.
Once again, thank you. And may Allah grant you barakah.

Excellent. Very Interesting. Thank All of U.

As salaamu alaikum:
I read (with great interest)only the first page of your article. I am so glad to see that there is someone out there that shares my point of view. My son (who is not Muslim)recently aske me "why the Jews, who are such a small group, have so much power in the world"? I told him, "they remain united in their religious knowledge and beliefs. They are not divided againts themselves". I pray Allah ta 'Ala, that the Muslim Ummah will one againg find this kind of unity. May Allah's peace and blessing be upon us all (the righteous).

Brother Farooq, Assalamu alaikum.
May Allah reward you, for your thought is practical one and very much applicable in every day life. In some of the khutbahs one has to be a philosopher in order to comprehend what is said. Unfortunately most of us are not, and thus we are left in the dark. This kind of rethoric shuold be widely publicized, and made available to everyone in the US if not worldwide. The Imams (May Allah reward them for theiir effort) should consider the ability of comprehension of their congregation, ask for feedback and not take it for granted that we understood everything. Most of us, as you may know, are laymen and being of a mindset that challenging authority or giving feedback may lead to scolding. Once again, may Allah reward you, keep-up the good work.

Wonderful. Hope the true essence of this article is absorbed by all muslims.May Allah bless each of us with a heart that beats for others.Ameen

Good article...one comment, the companions used to follow madhabs in that they would ask the opinion of the most knowledgable amongst them and follow it.The ijma for the last 1400 yrs have followed one of the four madhabs, and i feel to belittle it in your article is not fair.When personalities like Imam Tahawi,Zuhri, Dhahabi,Muslim, Tirmidhi did not find any faullts in following a madhab, why should we in the last FIFTY years start to belittle it.

Assalamu Alaikum

How true that we try hard to live Islam by the rule , and forget the simpler and more important Islamic traits along the way ! Also , I notice that to debate and appear knowledgable about Islam has become a kind of fashion these days , May Allah forgive me if I'm wrong.

Islam is not just a religion but a way of life . Why don't we live it in our daily lives , among our families and friends , and in our work and play ; rather than debating minor points of contention and passing judgement over others ?

I pray that your article will serve as a wake up call to all of us...

Jazakhallah Khairan.

a very balanced article...it is so true that we are getting all tied up in trivialities of external appearances and identity gimmicks,forgetting the essence of any religion is tonurture good will in this world and love among fellow human beings..in india for example..there was so much and there still is so much controversy that has been raked up because a court judgement that upheld payment of maintenance to a woman who was forsaken by her husband ,was later on put to nought by the govt..who came under pressure from the socalled leaders of the muslim community who tried toestablish that the court was intefering with the muslim personal laws...it is ridiculous to say the least that you become a better muslim by denying a woman a right to maintenance..whatever be the law that may have been laid down..and then this issue becomes a tool for the majority to make out a case that the minority is being pampered...we really have to start bringing more openness in these discussions...otherwise islam will lose its dynamism and get labelled as a closed irrational anti-humanistic religion...which surely it is not..

there are lots of issues that have to be debated upon...one would be adoption...there is a muslim publication from india which indicated that adoption was prohibited in islam...because the other children in the family would never be real siblings and there would be the tempatation for indecent relationships developing between them...it makes one sick to think that the whole emphasis of islam is being made out to revolve around the need to avoid illegitimate sex...it appears to me..a muslim woman...that there is an idea that a good muslim is one who can keep his woman in purdah away from the lecherous glances of men...what is it but a reflection of the dirt in the minds of men...why hide behind a religion to corroborate your lack of respect for womenkind...

i hope more such articles will be posted and more people will speak out..nadira

what else can i say , simply well said!!!!!!!!