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The Bride Was Beautiful

April 21, 2006

edit, Saturday 5:23 pm – Featured

kr’s note: I’m not sure if this is old, or if people have already seen this. My good friend M. Hasan Ali showed me this and… well, if it moved a spiritually dead person like me, I hope it will benefit everyone else. There’s many lessons from this, but I think the greatest is that life is beautiful and one must appreciate every single moment we’ve been given. Each of these moments is like a pearl, strung together to form a brilliant necklace that we have come to know as life.

The great poet Imam al-Busiri writes:

The beauty of a pearl is further enhanced in a necklace
But its value does diminish when (it is) not strung on a necklace.

This is taken from the National Press Photographers Association’s (NPPA) website. You can view this and other powerful photo-journals on their site. The following is a series of photographs taken by Romain Blanquart of the Detroit Free Press that won an Honorable Mention in the 2006 Best of Photojournalism contest. I’m probably breaking copyright laws by posting this here, but whatever. This journal is too powerful for me to care about details such as that.

Story summary:

Katie Kirkpatrick, 21, held off cancer to celebrate the happiest day of her life. Katie had chased cancer, once only to have it return-to clog her lungs and grab hold of her heart. Breathing was difficult now, she had to use oxygen. The pain in her back was so intense it broke through the morphine that was supposed to act as a shield. Her organs were shutting down but it would not stop her from marrying Nick Godwin, 23, who was in love with Katie since 11th grade.

Caption: Katie Kirkpatrick, left, and Nick Godwin, wait for the nurse to come and start Katie’s treatment at McLaren Regional Medical Center in Flint on the morning of January 12, 2005. Nick Godwin works night shift as a Lapeer County Sheriff’s deputy and took Katie to the medical center right after a night’s work, three days before their wedding. Katie is tired from not being able to sleep at night because of her pain and Nick had worked a night shift.

Katie Kirkpatrick, 21, holds some of her daily medication for several minutes before taking them as she waves in and out of sleep because of the morphine she takes while sitting in the livingroom of the familly home in Metamora on January 11, 2005. Katie has cancer of the lungs.

Katie is in a lot of pain in the days leading to her wedding taking morphine and numerous medications to help her. Niki Kirkpatrick,right, took a leave of abscence from work so she can take care of her daugther Katie who now needs constant assistance.

Nick Godwin, 23, left, takes a moment of rest while his bride Katie Kirkpatrick, right, gets an intravenous procedure to reduce the amount of fluids her body is retaining at McLaren Regional Medical Center in Flint on January 12, 2005. Nick Godwin who works night shift as a Lapeer County Sheriff’s deputy took Katie to the medical center after a night’s work, three days before their wedding.

Katie Kirkpatrick, 21, puts on some earrings a few minutes before walking down the aisle to marry Nick Godwin, 23, who she had known since 11th grade, at Church of Christ in Hazel Park on Saturday January 15, 2005.

Katie Kirkpatrick, 21, and Nick Godwin, 23, cuddle up for a moment while waiting for the wedding photographer to get ready after getting married at Church of Christ in Hazel Park on Saturday January 15, 2005.

Katie Kirkpatrick, 21, and Nick Godwin, 23, a Lapeer County Sheriff’s deputy whom she first met when he was in 11th grade, get married at Church of Christ in Hazel Park on Saturday January 15, 2005.

Dave Kirkpatrick gives the thumbs up to his new son in law while admiring the couple with his wife Niki Kirkpatrick, right, after Nick and Katie got married at Church of Christ in Hazel Park on Saturday January 15, 2005.

Katie Kirkpatrick Godwin, right, gets serenaded by her new husband Nick Godwin, and his best men during the wedding party on the dance floor at Boulder Point Golf Club and Banquet Center in Oxford, MI, on Saturday January 15, 2005.

Katie Kirkpatrick Godwin, center, rests for a few moments during her wedding party at Boulder Point Golf Club and Banquet Center in Oxford, MI, on Saturday January 15, 2005. Katie was exhausted. Her face looked as white as her gown.

Five days later, Katie died. She did not let sickness stop her from living, take away the hope or faith that made her believe she had a future. She had a lovely wedding and she had love and she gave love and love doesn’ t die. And that is how Katie beat cancer.

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64 Comments
  1. speechless.

  2. Awww…baby squirrels…

  3. ditto believer2…

  4. wow, subhanAllah, we really do have so much to be thankful for.  may Allah (swt) help us be grateful for each and every blessing in our lives.

  5. subhanAllah indeed…

  6. subhanAllah..I am also left speechless..and hoping I can/will become more grateful for what I have..

  7. subhanALlah…

  8. To repeat what everyone else above said: SubhanAllah. Talk about the power of human will and determination and courage. Inspiring stuff
    Also, reading “synonymous’s” comments on the chatterbox, I can’t believe how anyone would look at these pictures and feel emotions of lust. The whole reason that we lower our gaze is to prevent lust and the thoughts of Shaitan entering us. These images are nothing compared to the hundreds of images that we get barraged on a daily basis on TV, internet, advertisement signs, etc. Heck, even some xangas have some “bad” popups due to advertising. The bigger point, people, is to focus on the bigger picture and not get caught up in our minor fiqhi issues.

  9. wow, what an amazing story subahAllah…

  10. Kulu nafsin Daaiqatal Maut

  11. JazakAllah Kheir KR
    I needed this. Badly.

  12. how ungrateful am I?

  13. Anonymous permalink

    Finaly a good post from you
    Touching

  14. That was sooo sad, we take the bounties that allah has given us for granted.Alhumdulillahi rabil alamin.  But I was kinda  surprised at Nick’s loyalty to her, he loved her so much that he was still willing to marry and love her during sickness and health. THAT’S what u call true love. awww..poor guy, that sucks. What was also really sad was how she had her tubes connected to her even during her wedding day when that’s a girl long awaited dream. Bichari.

  15. Anonymous permalink

    ^My thoughts exactly — where do I find a guy like Nick??
    But wow, amazing story. Jazakallah for sharing it.

  16. Anonymous permalink

    agrees with isaac

  17. subhanallah. she did look beautiful though.

  18. Thank you KR.

  19. Assalamualaikum….
    Wow…shows how Allah makes you experience what He wants you to experience….no more. no less. SubhanAllah…
    Allah Hafiz
    Wasalaam

  20. What they say is true: a picture IS worth a thousand words.
    SubhanAllah, looking at these pictures is truly inspiring to make the most of our lives. The picture where Katie is putting on her earrings… she looks like nothing more than a skeleton, yet she’s smiling and making the most of things. And that rubbed off on everyone else. No one felt sorry for her because that would have been insulting.
    I learnt that we should stop complaining about the problems in our lives and make the most of whatever time we have, especially to score jannah points =).

  21. Wow. I don’t know what else to say. Truly touching and inspiring.
    On that link you had in the post, there’s some other powerful photojournals. The one about the Bangladeshi women who have been victims of men throwing acid on them… made me feel sad and irrationally mad at the same time. I wish I could ever meet one of these men so I could punish them before Allah does.
    Sorry, I’m just very angry at how anyone could do that to another human being.

  22. that’s hardcore intense. makes me feel like a fool for taking so many things for granted.

  23. “On that day you will surely be asked about (every) bounty” (surah at-Takathur)

  24. Anonymous permalink

    ok i’m gona say something which will probably get a lot of criticism, but i’ll say it anyway……..this girl was a str8 up dumb @$$!!! her marriage to this guy will not make a single iota of difference in her existence. Fine she mustered up the courage and strength to get married and her marriage was only good for 5 days. That’s it, then it’s all over. Her love doesn’t live on. I bet if we could ask katie for nasiha tonite in her grave, she would say…..u fools go pray your namaz and work for the akhirah. She would tell her husband to give up kufr and become muslim. I’m all for people loving one another and enjoying the pleasure of marital bliss. But wat the hell’s the use if you will burn forever in the hereafter. No matter what you do in this world, it means nothing unless you don’t succeed in the next life. I wish, I would just hope like a few moments before she was about to die, she just uttered the kalimah and died a muslimah. And I would wish her husband would find Islam. And they would finally end up in jannah forever. But it appears she lost this world and the next. What a waste! And how sad it truly is. 😦
    I pray Allah give all you muslim sisters a beautiful destiny, to die on tawheed and for your entire families to die on tawheed. And that you will all be united together in Jannah and enjoy there forever. Ameen!

  25. subhanAllah

  26. Anonymous permalink

    i luv u kr. that was just unbelievably beautiful and profound. it really hit me. duas for u.
    2nd – as sad as this story is, i’ll have to agree, to an extent, to blissenraged.BUT, there is definitely a GOOD LESSON that comes out of this.
    and my suggestion to blissenraged is to use this as an example. also, to show some compassion for this woman and her husband, REGARDLESS of them being non-muslim

  27. imran: how do we know for sure that this woman will burn in hell forever. Imam al-Ghazali, in his Faysal, categorizes non-Muslims into 3 categories. 1. the person who never hears anything about islam (think of a guy living in the amazon), Allah, or the Prophet. all this person will be responsible for is recognizing the existence of one God. he will spend time in hell for his other sins (stealing, etc) but will eventually be given salvation since he was not responsible (mukallif) for embracing islam2. this is the person who hears about Islam, the Prophet, and Allah… but the information was given to them in a corrupted and untruthful way. i beleive this is where MOST americans fall, since this is the person who knows about islam only from fox news and whatnot. because they were not presented the message of islam properly and clearly, Ghazali says this person is also like #1… he will spend time in hell for his other sins, but then he too will be given salvation.3. this is the person who has heard the message of Islam, Allah, and the Prophet clearly, properly, and lucidly. such a person has been presented with every proof and argument such that the truth of islam is evident to them, yet the actively reject. this is the key: they ACTIVELY reject despite truth being manifest to them. these are the people who will burn in hell forever, for their disbelief was a conscious one, they were mukallif and they still chose to disbelieve.and i would argue that youre wrong… her marriage did make a difference. you can’t say that just cause she eventually dies, that it doesnt matter. if we were to use that argument, then EVERYthing one does in this world is pointless… which is true to some degree, but not true to another degree. i would argue that her marriage DID make a difference, not only for herself, but it served as an inspiration for other people to appreciate life. the biggest thing that i learnt from this is that katie never felt sorry for herself. she never complained and gave up hope. she went on, knowing that there’s only so much you can control, and the rest is in the hands of God (if you google her, you’ll learn that she was a very devout Christian). a lot of times, people complain about their current situation in life (financial, not being married, not having a job, etc, etc.) and they just mope around and wallow in their self pity. how many Muslims do we know that use this sort of thing as an excuse for not doing anything positive with their lives, whether in worldly or other worldly terms? how many muslims complain that there’s no khilafah, interest is everywhere, blah blah and use this is an excuse and not fulfill their basic fard obligations such as prayer and zakat?anyway, eschatalogical issues such as what’s the fate of a person, even if they’re not a muslim, is best left in the hands of God. we cannot defitinitely say that such-and-such will be given a certain fate. when this world ends, it’s all in His Hands… we’re just along for the show.

  28. this was a beautiful post my friend.  remembrance. remembrance of Allah from the remembrance of the lives of our fellow man.
    and i second your quote of imam ghazali.  leave judgement in Allah’s hands.
    why is it that muslims are so fast to hate and condemn people to hell, yet never being to first to have compassion in this world?

  29. Anonymous permalink

    inna lilliahi wa inna ilaihi rajeeon
    beautiful story

  30. Both the pictures & story are beautiful, and the rest of the stories on that site are as well.

  31. this makes me want to thank God for all i have.
    it makes me sad and grateful.
    it inspires me.
    beautiful post.
    God bless.

  32. Anonymous permalink

    bonny-n-clide: I did show compassion. I feel sorry for them. I’m not taking away from the human suffering and experience. But all these things are ayat that point to something higher. Unfortunately, muslims are getting stuck in analyzing everything at the dunya level and not connecting it to the akhirah. And the reason for the joy and pain we recieve in this world is make us move toward preparing for the akhirah. And when  you see how the kuffar lose both in this world and the next, you realize Allah is not just messing around with us. But the reality of jannah and jahanum is real. 
    kr156:  well you point only one side of the coin about the kuffar. Also, Allah expects the kuffar not sit on their lazy arses and wait for tablighi jamat to knock on their door with fazal-e-amal and bayans. The kuffar are also responsible for seeking out Islam and they are responsible if they do not. I mean the clearest example of this is story of Sayidina Ibraheem who was born and raised in the heart of kufr and shirk. Yet he reasoned and deduced the reality of tawheed and Allah guided him(as) to nubuwat. Similarly, if guy from group one recognizes there is one Allah, then I think Allah will guide him to Islam. Also, some people in this dunya were given the destiny of ghaflat, because it makes no difference whether they know of Islam or not. Their intention was only to enjoy the life of this world and that’s what they get. Then their recompense is jahanum. Anyway, I recall arguing this with you before. If what you’re saying is true, then how can guy frum group number one be responsible for his sins, when his actions don’t mean anything without the context of deen, unless he is a kafir. Because Islam says stealing, murder, fornication is haram- this is why we are all accountable for it. This is why the kuffar are accountable for it. But according to your understanding of Imam Ghazalli, why would he be punished for stealing? If you can’t punish a muslim for doing zina if he/she did it in an unislamic state, how can he be punished on the day of judgement if he’s excused for not being able to live as a muslim. Either he is a muslim or a kafir. And he will be judged according to those one of the 2 categories.
    Ok how in the world did her marriage make a difference? Everyone who reads it will be on a high about it for about a week or 2. And that’s it. Even the people who are inspired to make changes in their life based on her experience are dumb, because they should have already been inspired a long time ago to make most of their life and situation by the uswah of Rasullulah(s)…..not the uswah of katie, the devout christian. And when I said her marriage didn’t make a difference I said it in the context of the akhirah. Say tomorrow I meet a beautiful dazzling young girl and we get married. Say she gives me the best romance and sex of my life. Who the eff cares, if we both die on kufr and disobey Allah? Because all it amount to is just some dunayi fun, followed by eternal damnation. Not only that say that your understanding of Imam ghazalli is true, which I don’t think it is because it doesn’t make sense to me, but say it is true.  Dude I swear to Allah, I would rather die a virgin and forgotten by the people of this world and live in Jannah forever, knockin hoors day and night, rather then to spend even a second in jahanum. Anyway you look at it, in the greater context she’s a loser. I would suggest you post a story with a real happy ending, where a guy and girl fall in love, live their life according to Islam, enter paradise and enjoy there forever. And Allah knows best!

  33. Anonymous permalink

    agrees with zabiha_pork. we’re so ungrateful. great post.

  34. it’s currently halftime of the bulls game and im not sure if im banging my head against the wall because they’re losing or cause of this emotionally-charged fire-and-brimstone islam that you’re preaching. in response to your points:this story does point to something higher. for the Muslim, it should be yet another sign that every breath we have is precious and one must take full advantage of it. if someone who’s not even Muslim appreciated life so much that she didn’t sit around and mope, feeling sorry for herself, then what excuse do Muslims have for doing that. and this is precisely what many Muslims do: they wallow in their self-pity and self-victimization and not achieve anything, whether it be worldly or otherworldly. the fact that katie did not allow her circumstances to rule her decisions in life is lesson enough. one of the Arab poets wrote: “I have not seen any defect from amongst defects / Worse than the one can achieve beauty (but) does not”… meaning that all of us have this ability: to view each moment as precious and do something with it. yet how many of us do? how many of us appreciate what we’ve been given? we don’t. and if katie could, then it should galvanize to get off our chairs and do something productive with our lives. that’s the sign that points to the akhirah. while you said that we’re looking at things only in dunyawi terms, youve just analyzed our analysis in dunyawi terms, becoming guilty of the exact same flaw youve criticized. just thought i’d point that out.this word “kuffar” that we use all the time to describe non-Muslims. a “kafir” is the one who actively rejects, meaning that this is the term given to the Makkans who were given proof upon proof, sign upon sign, they had the messenger of God within their midst… and they know within their hearts that Islam was true, yet they rejected. it is because of this hiding of the truth (one of the meanings of kafara is to hide, as in the farmer hides the seed in the ground) of iman after realizing its veracity. meaning, that people like abu jahl, abu lahab and co. KNEW that islam was real. they had no other arguments against it, yet they actively denied out of their pride and arrogance. now ask yourself, is this why the vast majority of non-Muslims reject islam? have they been given enough proof and evidences for faith to manifest in their heart and then even though they know Islam is true, then they reject it? the answer to this is a resounding no, they have not, mainly because we have failed in our duties of proper da`wah and also because they have been brainwashed a corrupted version of islam. how fair do you think the Lord of the Worlds is if He were to eternally damn someone who didnt even receive a proper message. if i send you a letter, “hey imran, wear a white shirt and brown pants tomorrow”, and it doesnt reach you or it reaches you corrupted… why should i find fault with you if you never were mukallaf (responsible)?again, what people are responsible for, according to Ghazali, at the most basic level is recognition that there is one God. how can someone be responsible for seeking out the truth when they dont know what the truth is? thus your assertion that they should seek out the truth is absurd, for how can one seek something that they don’t even know about. let’s use an example: if a man is hungry, he is responsible for finding food. we cannot expect him that he MUST find a certain type of food. if those who possess that food, if they give it to him, explain to him that this will satisfy your hunger completely come to him and THEN he rejects it, then he is mukallaf. hence, all he is responsible at a basic level is to find food. this is exactly what Ghazali is saying: everyone must at least recognize the oneness of God, everything else is superfluous.as for punishment of sins: one does not need islam to figure out that gross sins are wrong. everyone knwos that murder, lying, adultery, thievery, etc. is wrong. this is part of the fitrah of the human being, to recognize these things and stay away from them. here, the person has the faculty to recognize the truth in these matters, and if he/she doesnt use them and still commits such acts, then he becomes mukallaf. don’t conflate this with tawheed. keep `aqeedah and `amal separate and don’t fall into the trap of the khawarijites who conflated the two.as for people who recognized tawheed and Allah will guide them to islam: not true, there are many examples in history of people who recognized tawheed yet were not given a shari`ah. for example, even in jahiliyyah, there were “ahnaaf”, those who believed in one God, abstained from idol worship and gross sins and thus were considered amongst those who were saved. they were not given a message, so we cannot expect them to be eternally damned. “And We do not punish until We send a Messenger (surah bani israil, i believe, too lazy to look up the reference)either he is a muslim or he is a kafir: no, this is my point, the one ive reiterated from Ghazali. there are 4 groups of people: 1. Muslims 2. Kafirs 3. Those who never got the message at all 4. Those who got it but it was corrupted and thus their rejection was passive, not active. read the Faysal and then come talk to me about this issue if youre still confused.as for your claim “how did this make a difference? everyone will be high about it for a week or two…”: that’s pure bull. using your logic then, we should abolish all khutbahs, conferences, lectures, darses, etc… for don’t we forget them within a week or two. heck, ask anyone on friday night what the khutbah was and you’ll be lucky if they remmeber even the topic. thus this claim that everyone will forget is idiotic, since some people will remember it, but more importantly, it is spiritual sustenance to keep one’s self going. a man once came to an imam and complained that he doesnt remember anything from the khutbahs and they’re all useless. the imam asked him if he remembered every single meal of his life. the man replied no. the imam said, yet this kept your nourished and alive until now… similarly, every speech and lesson that you’ve learnt has kept your soul spiritually alive until now. thus, this particular story is another spiritual vitamin that helps those with inner clarity to take the `ibrah (lesson) from this and apply it in their lives. just because it is ephemeral doesn’t mean it’s not beneficial. this “la-adriyyah” approach is unbecoming.im not sure where your last bit about dying a virgin had anything to do with the argument at hand, but i agree that akhirah success is the only one that matters. yet, it is only when one reforms his life in this duniya that any success there comes about. no wonder the same Prophet Ibrahim that you mentioned prayed: “Our Lord, grant us excellence in this world and excellence in the hereafter and save us from the Fire.” one must wonder: why does a Prophet of God ask for excellence in this world? it is because excellence here is a prelude to excellence there. thus we do not hate the world or its inhabitants. we do not speak with authority as to what the fate of people will be. i am more concerned with my fate in this world and in the next than anyone else’s. in the end, i am indebted to katie for reminding me how precious my life is, how i should stop worrying about things i cannot control, and i should live the best life possible in this world to ensure the best life possible in the next… so i can chill wit dem hoors =).

  35. yeah..i washed my hand “50,000” times because the water was dirty…

  36. props for the well-articulated response to your angry and hormonal friend.

  37. ha! i know where blissenraged goes to high school. it all makes sense. what about the story of the prostitute who fed the cat, blissenraged? she was a jewess, i believe? and she went to heaven based on one action that please Allah. kr’s explanation was textbook..literally cause it was from ghazali’s book..but i mean basically, does condemning other people to hell make you a better Muslim? id say instead of trying to judge where peoples ultimate destination will be in the hereafter, you should work on yourself a bit, and this advice is to myself first. one quick glance at your xanga shows that you use mildly vulgar language…would the prophet speak in this manner? how do any of us have the right to say “oh, shes a kaffir, shes gonna burn in hell!” when we dont even have any idea where we will end up? stop developing a sense of security by speaking of the alleged damnation of other “kaffirs” and work on yourself….just some food for thought, poorly organized

  38. Anonymous permalink

    kr156: first off give it up on the bulls, they suck!
    secondly, you mentioned…”….galvanize to get off our chairs and do something productive with our lives. that’s the sign that points to the akhirah. while you said that we’re looking at things only in dunyawi terms, youve just analyzed our analysis in dunyawi terms, becoming guilty of the exact same flaw youve criticized. just thought i’d point that out.” Dude please spare me of this logic game. I’m asking you a straighforward question kamran. What is the benefit of doing something “productive with your life”, if it has no positive effect about your place in the akhirah. So the answer is NO, that is not  a sign that points to the akhirah. It a more or less a motivational thing to make most of this life. That’s something Madre’ Theresa did in India, and various other non-muslims did. Who the eff cares? Your argument had to include in it that we should do something productive with our lives…SO THAT it helps us achieve Paradise. No matter what you do in this dunya, if it doesn’t help you enter Jannah, it’s just a waste. It amounted to nothing more but living for the wordly life. So ponder over this before you make a rebuttal next time.
    thirdly, I’m worried about this understanding you have that somehow non-muslims who have never heard about Islam are absolved from the consequences of not being muslim. That’s a slap in the face of every convert or revert to Islam, who struggled to find the truth. What did Salman Al-Farsi know of the deen when he left his home in order to venture out for the truth? Yet he(r) struggled for it until he finall found the Prophet(s). The existence of people like salman al-farsi(r) and Ibraheem(as) nullify the excuse any non-muslim has for not venturing out for the truth and to accept Islam. And non-muslim who have heard negative things about muslims, also have the responsibility to find out the truth. It’s not Allah’s fault that non-muslims seek to know about Islam through CNN and MSNBC, when there are masjids and ulema in their states. You’re putting all the blame on the muslims and removing all responsibility on the non-muslims to find the truth. Which leads me to believe you’ve misunderstood the meaning of what Ghazalli was trying to say and you’re incorrectly applying and in effect are making excuses for the kuffar, which you have no right to do.
    fourthly, i’m sick of this feel good islam. We feel guilty about stuff for .2 seconds or get on a high for 4 seconds. Then it’s nothing. So yea khutbas, conferences, that are just about that are a waste. I think what you’re trying to talk about is seperate than this, seperate from my point. Some scholars said that our iman is like a battery that needs recharging. So yea over time it goes down. That’s fine and it’s very normal. But what is not normal, is this practice of feel good Islam, where you’re no different than a druggie tryin to get high off a speech or a post. Cuz it doesn’t effect your iman at all, just your nafs, and then it goes down. It’s all a waste.
    Lastly, there is no argument about dying a virgin. It was an example, that it is better to lose in this life, and gain the Hereafter, rather than to gain in this life and lose in the Hereafter. I wish you would read my arguments carefully before you attemp to make your rebuttals. Jazakullah khair!

     

  39. Anonymous permalink

    ServantoftheBeneficient: dude think about what you’re saying before you say it. And also read what I’m saying before you reply. Because nothing you said has anything to do with my point. Jazakullah and good luck!

  40. it’s a good thing that you went into computer engineering because your argument has no logic or reasoning, it’s simply based on emotion and, if i may proffer, a feeling of inadequacy due to the Muslims’ lack of power vis-a-vis the modern world. i could be wrong on that, but that’s the sentiment i’ve gained from this and other comments that youve written on your own blog and also from discussions i’ve had with you. discussions are based on logic and reason, never on emotion. to use the nba playoffs as an analogy, i can’t sit here and say that the bulls are the bestest team in the league simply because i like them. you have to play the games to determine the winner. similarly, in a discussion/debate, there are measures that determine the strength of an argument; universally, logic and reasoning (and in our cases, sacred texts) are the criterion that determine veracity. emotion (something which i think myself and most of us who’ve read your latest diatribe agree that you rely on this) is never a criterion.first off, even if the bulls suck, i don’t give up on them. the muslim ummah sucks too right now, but i don’t give up on them. im not a fair weather fan for anything that i support.secondly, when i said to do something productive with our lives, of course i meant it for sake of the akhirah. i never said “we should only achieve in this world and that’s it”. you read into that to assume that i said that. the very fact that i quote Prophet Ibrahim’s du’a and then specifically wrote “it is because excellence here is a prelude to excellence there. thus we do not hate the world or its inhabitants” clearly states the nature of the excellence that i was referring to. i would suggest that you read my statements completely before drawing a conclusion. thirdly, this is not a slap in the face of a convert (i dont agree with the use of the term “revert”, but that’s a discussion for another day). if anything, im praising the convert for going the extra mile, taking upon that task of ascertaining the truth and coming to islam. this is why their struggle is certainly more rewarded than our struggle, in terms of entering into islam. what makes Salman al-Farsi and Prophet Ibrahim such giants is that not only did they fulfill their basic obligation (ie, to recognize one God), but they took their afterlife so seriously that they went the extra mile to ascertain the truth. they did the extra credit on the test, in addition to taking the test. but again, you’re missing the point: how can someone seek something when they don’t know they should seek? the faculty of fitrah only helps one to determine the existence of one God; it doesnt, by itself in a vacuum, guide one to the shari`ah of Islam… so i ask you, if you were born a non-Muslim in a white hickville family, all you know of Islam is towelhands and terrorists, and you never were given the proofs that tell you that islam was the only true religion… do you think that it’s becoming of al-Rahman to punish you in the hell-fire forever? look, it maybe that Allah may decide that everyone in america has gotten enough info to punish them… but He knows that. not you, not me. what i’m saying is what Ghazali is saying: give them the benefit of the doubt, since once we die, we have NO CLUE as to what will happen. it doesn’t harm us the least bit to give them the benefit of the doubt. as for my not understanding ghazali… have you even read “Faysal”? there’s an excellent translation by Dr. Jackson… read it, and we’ll discuss it someday.fourthly: when you say “im sick of this feel good islam”… i can only respond by a quote from the great Imam al-Haddad: “try to gladden the hearts in every way so long as it’s not sinful.” what im sick of is people preaching fire and brimstone islam, people who preach that people will burn in hell, etc. im sick of the lack of the biggest sunnah in our times: the extension of Prophetic mercy to everyone around you, whether they’re Muslim or non-Muslim. people love to talk about sunnah these days but this one is spat upon–nay, thrown in the gutter. and perhaps this lack of mercy that we have within our hearts is a sign of how divorced we are from the Most Merciful and His Servant, he who was the Mercy to the Worlds. someone once said, “you can only give the amount of mercy to others that God has given you.” feel good islam… i’d much rather have people psychologically and spiritually secure with being Muslim (something that was reinforced after seeing high school kids last weekend in michigan) given the circumstances we find ourselves in than anything else for this community. i’d much rather have someone who feels psychologicall/spiritually secure in being muslim, even if he doesnt pray or fast… why? because at least his aqeedah is sound, and that’s the determining factor in terms of salvation. just as important, if that is sound, then the spiritual change that we wish to see is more likely to happen in such a person so long as they’re not mired in shakk/rayb (doubt and discontent). we live in times now when people will pray and fast and say/do all the right things, yet they’re not content with their Muslim-ness. to me, this is the biggest test of our time, the test of rayb(doubt) that permeates the ummah at the moment. so if cheerleader islam (all the ISNAs and conferences and what) is what it will take to keep people fueled, no matter how short they remain satiated, i’m all for it. so long as their souls are intact, feel good islam is exactly what we need. Dr Jackson brilliantly stated, “a broken rule may be amended by sincere repentance, but how does one mend a broken soul?” something to think about.finally, dude, get a hobby or something. get married, or at least get a girlfriend. sheesh. youre too uptight these days =)

  41. Anonymous permalink

    first of logic and reasoning are not the criterion of truth. this is a problem if you think that’s true. reason and logic are tools to discover the truth. ponder this and then come and talk to me, inshaAllah

  42. oh snap! u were featured!

  43. I hate to keep this flaming, but I have to clarify thisServantoftheBeneficient: dude think about what you’re saying before you say it. And also read what I’m saying before you reply. Because nothing you said has anything to do with my point. Jazakullah and good luck!“. I’m all for people loving one another and enjoying the pleasure of marital bliss. But wat the hell’s the use if you will burn forever in the hereafter. No matter what you do in this world, it means nothing unless you don’t succeed in the next life. I wish, I would just hope like a few moments before she was about to die, she just uttered the kalimah and died a muslimah. And I would wish her husband would find Islam. And they would finally end up in jannah forever. But it appears she lost this world and the next. What a waste! And how sad it truly is. 😦your passage is one that assumes her punishment, yeah?my comment makes plenty of sense. i would continue this argument, but after reading your last xanga post, i think itd be more productive to argue with my little sister. subhan Allah.

  44. imran: seriously, are you even reading anything im writing?? i said logic and reasoning are the criterion used to determine the veracity of someone’s argument in a DEBATE… dude, just forget it, drop it, this is getting no where.to reiterate, though i dunno if you’ll even READ it:”imilarly, in a discussion/debate, there are measures that determine the strength of an argument; universally, logic and reasoning (and in our cases, sacred texts) are the criterion that determine veracity.”just drop it.

  45. Anonymous permalink

    ServantofTheBeneficient: I don’t advise you to argue with your little sister, because I think she probably has a stronger aqal(mind) than you. So why make more a fool of yourself then you already are?
    kr156: I’m telling you that doesn’t make any sense. you don’t determine the veracity of a disscussion and debate through logic and reasoning. Let me explain to you where your logic and reasioning gets you. There was a student at deoband who studied to become a scholar. And he got into understanding things through mantaq, logic, etc. And he posed some questions to the ulema, who weren’t able to answer them. He then found some padres-i.e. hindu monks, and they were able to answer his questions. So you know what happened after that? He bacame a hindu. One of the scholars in deoband who thought logic, said he can prove there can be 12 gods through reasoning and logic. And you know what he did after that, he closed the book on logic, because it was useless.
    The people of weak understanding evaluate everything through logic and reasoning. The people of higher understanding know there is a thing called haqq, i.e. truth. As long as your logic and reasoning are being used as tools to discover the truth, then you are ok. So your statement in light of this understanding is incorrect. We all know the yahood and the media use logic and reasoning in order to prove their actions of oppression as just, when infact they are unjust. So the criterion to evaluate an argument is not logic and reasoning, it is haqq and batil. So the first question we ask is that… is this argument truth or falsehood, then we use logic and reasoning as tools to determine where it falls.

  46. Anonymous permalink

    check out her website:
    http://www.katiekirkpatrick.com/

  47. Anonymous permalink

    in order to be good muslims, we must first be good human beings.
    if we cannot value a basic story about humanity, then we have already failed…

  48. ^ameen to that.

  49. Anonymous permalink

    ermingway: i know that being a good muslim does mean you’re a good human being, but does being a good human being mean you’re a good muslim? There are many non-muslims who I can consider as good human beings, such as the uncle of the Prophet(s), Abu Talib. Yet we know Abu Talib will be punished in the hell fire.  There were so many jahil people who accepted Islam, and they became the best companions and are even promised paradise.
    (2761) Narrated Al-Musaiyab: When Abu Talib was on his death bed, Allah‘s Apostle came to him and found with him, Abu Jahl and Abdullah bin Abi Umaiya bin Al-Mughira. Allah‘s Apostle said, “O uncle! Say: None has the right to be worshipped except Allah, a sentence with which I will defend you before Allah.” On that Abu Jahl and ‘Abdullah bin Abi Umaiya said to Abu Talib, “Will you now leave the religion of ‘Abdul Muttalib?” Allah‘s Apostle kept on inviting him to say that sentence while the other two kept on repeating their sentence before him till Abu Talib said as the last thing he said to them, “I am on the religion of ‘Abdul Muttalib,” and refused to say: None has the right to be worshipped except Allah. On that Allah‘s Apostle said, “By Allah, I will keep on asking Allah‘s forgiveness for you unless I am forbidden (by Allah) to do so.” So Allah revealed:– ‘It is not fitting for the Prophet and those who believe that they should invoke (Allah) for forgiveness for pagans.’ (9.113) And then Allah revealed especially about Abu Talib:–‘Verily! You (O, Muhammad) guide not whom you like, but Allah guides whom He will.’ (28.56)  (Book #60, Hadith #295)

    this is a dangerous idea you put forth where you are seperating humanity from Islam. Islam is humanity. The premise put forth was not about evaluating this story in regards to humanity, but in regards to the akhirah. Please take note of that. Jazakullah khair!

  50. imran: please stop posting.thank you.

  51. But again, Abu Talib was a kafir in its true sense.  He was given the blatant truth and KNEW Islam was the deen of Allah, witnessed the miracles and character of the Prophet, yet he still rejected it.  That’s kufr in its truest sense.  We cannot put a majority of the people in the US in this category, as they have not been exposed to any extent of what was given to Abu Talib and the rest of the non-believers in the Prophet’s (saw) society.  In fact, I see it as ignorance and arrogance on our part if we are to claim that we have done a good enough job of exposing the true Islam to our society to say that they are going to Hell for not believing in Islam.  The akhirah is best left for Allah to judge, not us.  Our job is to make ourselves better people in any way possible, even if it means taking from the lessons of non-believers.  If we are to spend our lives judging whether or not a non-Muslim will go to Hell or not, and overlook the beauty he/she has to offer, perhaps we are the ones who might end up in Hell. May Allah give us guidance to appreciate beauty and goodness wherever we see it. Ameen.

  52. I think we should take wisdom wherever/however it comes. And Katie’s story is a beautiful example of one who was thankful for what she had, and showed it by making the most of it. We Muslims would call it shukr. Being apart from my family made me learn to treasure every moment you get with your loved ones. And that is precisely what Katie did.

  53. Anonymous permalink

    i am not arguing that being a good person automatically makes you a good muslim. my point is that a big part of being a good muslim is being a good human. many things that islam teaches us is universal for all religions; being a good human is a common value to be cherished by all people. once you take this step, you are on the path towards becoming a good muslim. by understanding the meaning in katie’s story as good ‘humans,’ we can integrate that into our lives as good muslims.

  54. Anonymous permalink

    kr: that’s messed up, when have I ever told you to stop posting when I had a disagreement with you? Everyone is entitled to their own opinions and views, even if it’s singular.
    rest of you: yes but a kafir also has the responsibility to know and find the truth. They are not absolved of that obligation. And it’s foolish to derive wisdom that only benefits you temporarily. Infact, that is not wisdom at all. Wisdom looks to benefit you in the long term. So if you have a choice between looking at something in terms of this dunya and in terms of the akhirah. The perception of it according to akhirah is more wise than looking at it in terms of the dunya.

  55. This post was amazing…About the debate that’s been ensuing here…I was once watching two of my friends arguing just like this over some random Islamic issue (there are so many). While listening to them, I noticed that the main entity which was fueling their debate was their clashing egos. Often one felt attacked by the other and felt an urge to retaliate. Both were feeling totally misunderstood by the other and both kept placing themselves higher. I could swear that neither of them, even if totally proven wrong, would admit to being mistaken.I think this is one of the main problems Muslims face today in their debates and discussions. We should all remember the beautiful habit of Imam Shafi’. Before he went to a debate or a discussion with another scholar, he would always pray to Allah preferring these two things:1) For him to lose the debate.2) For his opponents opinion to be sound and according with the “Haq.”The reason for this was that the Imam (Rahmayullah ‘alaih) wanted to learn something new from his opponent, and at the same time he wanted to tame his ego by losing. I think we should all follow this example when debating our opinions.

  56. Anonymous permalink

    ugh ok u know what I don’t even care…khalas more power to you guys. I have bigger problems right now like finding a hotel to stay at. It’s 5:54p.m. and I got no place to go. I’m thinking of being adventerous and crashing at this really beautiful bed and breakfast for 2 nights. But me so escared to do it! 😦 

  57. so i loved reading this discussion. felt like getting in on the action but find no real reason to since it seems the discussion is ending, so instead, some nasihah for my beloved brothers ServentoftheBeneficient and BlissEngraged concerning usage of words:
    O ye who believe! Let not some men among you laugh at others: It may be that the (latter) are better than the (former): Nor let some women laugh at others: It may be that the (latter are better than the (former): Nor defame nor be sarcastic to each other, nor call each other by (offensive) nicknames: Ill-seeming is a name connoting wickedness, (to be used of one) after he has believed: And those who do not desist are (indeed) doing wrong. (49:11)
    ws

  58. SubhanAllah SubhanAllah SubhanAllah…
    …this was SUCH a reality check for me. As my wedding is approaching in less then a month, inshAllah, i find myself complaing crying and fussing because everything isnt going exactly my way. Reading this article, i feel nothing but shame. Here i am wanting every detail to be perfect on my wedding day, and this bride is just greatful she’s alive n able to marry her husband for as short or as long of a time as Allah (swt) wills. SubhanAllah. Neither the bride or groom knew how long they had to spend together, yet still they enjoyed their wedding to the fullest. . We take so much for granted, may Allah (swt) guide us all. JazakAllah khair, this is a reminder i desperately needed.

  59. Anonymous permalink

    I apologize for offending anyone. No hard feeling ya’ll! Peace out homies! =)

  60. sigh, may Allah guide all of usSaying I have a weak mind doesn’t offend me, BlissEnraged, because I know, alhamdulilah, Allah blessed me with certain things and did not bless me with certain things. I’d like to think that while I’m not super-intelligent, I am fairly competent, and at least I can argue with somone without littering my sentences with ad hominems. Saying I have a weak mind only makes your argument weaker. ya Allah.

  61. i still love you imran. let’s go smoke some sheesha.

  62. Anonymous permalink

    servantoftheBeneficient: how many times you want me to say sorry? I’ll send u a wav file with me saying sorry, and u can keep looping it in your windows media player. =(
    kr156: awww….I don’t know if I’m more moved by you saying you love me or that you’ll smoke shisha with me. But I don’t want you to pick up any bad habits cuz of me, so we’ll push the shisha date for the next life, inshaAllah. =) 

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