Skip to content

Thoughts on the Current Crisis, Part II

July 24, 2006

kr’s note: So my mom happens to mention to me that she was at a wedding the other day and apparently some people, don’t know if its guys or sisters, were commenting to her about my xanga, and (in her words), were making fun of me because of my xanga. She wouldn’t tell me who these people were–nor do I really care–but now she’s been on my case to shut this site down because people don’t take me seriously anymore and laugh at me behind my back. I’m not sure if that’s accurate, in terms of the degree of this teasing, but if that is the case, for the love of God, stop going up to my mom and commenting about my xanga. I’ve been extremely good for many months now, in terms of posting and not taking shots at people/groups, so let’s try to return the favor to kr? Otherwise, maternal intervention may necessitate the abeyance of this electronic chronicle.

Translation: dear mama might make me shut this site down… whether this site should be open or shut down is now in your hands.

The story continues in 2:61, when the Jews, weary of the “montony” of Divine Providence, ask Musa (alayhi’l-salam) for other foods besides manna and salwa. The issue here is of man’s inability to be content with Divine Providence, regardless of how luxurious or monotonous it might appear. Cultured people cannot stand monotony–this was the problem of the Bani Israel, that their desires had evolved into needs, to the point that all else was unimportant, even God Himself. Thus, they impudently ask Musa, “…ask your Lord for us…”–a separation between “us” (again, the group mentality of entitlement) and “your Lord”. And this elitism causes them to arrogantly declare, “tell Him to bring for us that which the earth gives us”–the implication here being that it is their right to eat from the earth, the irony being that a few moments ago, they had no rights at all under Pharoah. The further irony is that which they wanted was a lower blessing than that which they were currently receiving–the problem was they were too caught up in the moment to realize it. They didn’t realize that one ought to be happy with “boring, monotonous things” from the Divine for that breeds a sense of patience (sabr), which in turn breeds knowledge (`ilm), which in turn breeds gnosis (ma`rifah). But if one is bored, then one is forced to seek that which is less, and one will have to work and will become consumed by that seeking. Jumping ahead to modern day life, this has implications in how people struggle and toil for their sustenance as they are unsatisfied with what they currently have; thus, everyone works for a better life by putting in fourteen hour days but ends up eating McDonalds. Think about that.

But it goes beyond that: even if what they wanted was given to them, they–as is human nature–would become discontent with that as well, and ask for something else. Thus, the issue was never the monotony of food, it was their inability to be patient–something which the Qur’an captures amazingly with the use of the word “lan-nasbira”, i.e., “we will never be patient”. The irony (and there are a lot in this part of the discussion) is that which they were asking for–cucumbers, onions, garlic, etc–were things that come forth from the earth, and things that require patience to cultivate and grow. They were given an easy life by God, one wherein seeking sustenance was a manner of minutes and they could dedicate the rest of the day to learn about Allah and live a spiritual existence, but they wanted struggle (despite their inability to do it). Again, eerily similar to modern man, they were now forced to work the majority of their day and only had a few minutes for worship and remembrance.

Farming and cultivating necessitate the establishment of other institutions to support such an endeavor–thus, they now had to set up markets, courts, municipalities, etc. to allow for a system of farming to develop. This, in a background wherein they repeatedly displayed disloyalty, disharmony, power struggles, and an inability to get along with one another, perplexes the mind due to its ridiculosity.  And thus, they were told, “…Go down to a city (misran)…”. It’s amazing that the Qur’an uses misran (in the indefinite sense) to refer to an abstract city as a subtle juxtaposition to the Misr (Egypt) they had just escaped. It is as if to say that God delivered you from “one Egypt”, but you weren’t happy–go find yourself another “Egypt”. Finding another Egypt then necessitated the development of such aforementioned institutions to support a city. The irony (and I hate to repeatedly use this word but this is what it
is) here is that they were incapable, as a nation, to do any of this.
Allah now teaches them that you as a nation are incapable of governing
yourselves, why do you seek to govern others?

Keeping all of the above in mind, we are now led to kr’s actual thoughts:

One of the major problems with the current nation of the Prophet (salallahu `alayhi wa sallam) is that we’ve become full of envy towards any group that has more than we have, especially in terms of the material world. Of course, this is ludicrous since we’ve been given this deen, something far more precious than this world and a million other universes combined. Yet, we continue to look longingly at those that have more than us, especially in terms of wealth and power. The former is self-explanatory, but the latter requires some deeper reflection, something which I mentioned in a previous post on the power of powerlessness. We look at ourselves not in power, removed from the Ottoman Caliphate, and somehow are malcontent with the situation that it precludes us from realizing that salvation is not contingent upon world domination. In other words, just because there is no Muslim state, how is that preventing one from praying one’s prayers on time? It’s amazing, I was speaking to an Arab patient a few weeks ago, and he was lamenting about the Jews’ being in power and controlling everything. The conversation then shifted, and I asked him what he does… he replied that he owns a liquor store–“I don’t drink akhi, I just sell the liquor”. I realized that this is perhaps a microcosm of much of the Muslim world: we’re so envious of not having power and obsessed with it that it prevents us from securing our salvation. We think that just because we’re Muslims–and we love to throw around the “You are the best of nations” verse–we’re somehow entitled to royal treatment in the world, and everyone should automatically bow before us. Just as the Jews were consumed by their envy, we have taken on that envy to the point that it precludes us from accomplishing what needs to get done.

In short, it has become all about us, rather than about Allah Himself. We’re so busy lamenting about our status in the world that we’ve become content wallowing in our self-pity, desperately asking for the world to shed a sympathetic tear towards our fate. And those tears will never come. The mentality of “everything is for us” is not ours; ours should be “everything is for Allah”. And thus when we see such developments, of our brethren being murdered, we wonder why the world will not respond, failing to remember that everyone is in it for themselves and towards interests that best suit them. Furthermore, each group–the Jews, Christians, etc.–is doing exactly what Allah said they would do in the Qur’an, foremost amongst them being worldly control. This is the simple explanation of what’s going on in the Middle East right now, and while our hearts and prayers go out for those people, and we feverishly pray that peace is restored soon, none of this should surprise us. Those who oppose this religion are simply doing what God said they would do. The irony is that while the Muslims’ tasks have been clearly laid out as well, we’re not doing them, instead looking for subtle excuses and justifications to validate ourselves as just selling the liquor and not drinking it. Instead of submitting, we’re crawling on our backsides like infants.

The “us” phenomenon is even more dangerous when certain factions within the Ummah consider themselves to be more entitled towards certain honors than others. This post is not meant to get into the current historical and political forces at work in the Middle East and who killed who and when and where–but one thought that does come to mind, keeping in mind the power of powerlessness, is did the Hezbollah ever ask anyone’s permission before they carried out their excursions? Again, I understand that it was two soldiers taken while thousands of Palestinians have been illegally killed and detained, but the question still remains. For all those people whose homes have been bombed as a result, all those schools and offices destroyed, all the women and children killed… did the Hezbollah ever stop to ask these people, “Hey guys, we’ve got this kidnapping thing planned… Granted that they’ve taken thousands of us and killed thousands more but we’ve got to start somewhere. We’re going to take two Israelis and we know that Israel is always looking for an excuse to attack us. So we’re going to go and do our thing and they’ll probably bomb the hell out of you… so is that cool? Just wanted to make sure that’s ok?” Of course not, they were too wrapped up in their sense of entitlement (just as the Jews of Moses were) and in doing what they thought was right to consider the ramifications on their own brethren. And thus as Israeli shells destroy Lebanese children, one must remember that the Hezbollah picked a fight that they weren’t prepared to fight. Instead of addressing issues that needed to be dealt with, they focused on one that they were pathetically incapable of dealing with appropriately. Even an eight year old schoolchild knows that you don’t irritate the schoolyard bully unless you’re bigger than him, or if you get all your friends to help you out.

Returning to the power of powerlessness, we often forget that there is a powerful weapon that one has when one is in an oppressed state. The laws of the Divine are beautiful in that sense, that the one being overpowered has a simple recourse to reverse the balance of power through supplication. It is no surprise, therefore, that the Prophet (salallahu `alayhi wa sallam) said that supplication is a weapon in the hands of the oppressed. Perhaps one should appreciate that being oppressed is a favor from God, in the sense that it is an open invitation and excuse from the Lord of the Worlds for this Nation of the Prophet to connect back to Him. But just as Musa sought water in the middle of the desert, we now seek the Light of Divine Help in these stygian times; and just as Allah asked Musa to do something out of the ordinary–to take a leap of faith–it requires for this Ummah to do the same, to seek power in the material world not through materials, but through God Himself: “Whosoever desires honor/glory (`izzah), then for Allah is all honor/glory,” so seek from the fountainhead of `izzah instead of mere rivulets. And just as Musa struck with his staff instead of an axe, we ought to remember that power isn’t merely achieved through physical means, and more importantly, that physical power is nothing compared to metaphysical and spiritual power. It requires for the Ummah to submit and wield the proverbial staff of Moses to once again let loose streams of knowledge, wisdom, and Divine Grace to cleanse this world for the betterment of all of creation.

A final part (part III) to follow on Wednesday, Inshallah.

Advertisements

From → Uncategorized

27 Comments
  1. NOOO…I need answers, where am I going to ask my questions? The Hajj Memoirs…you didnt end those either (atleast I dont remember any ending)..
    The fifth and the last paragrph were nice…the last para reminds me of some of  Muhammad Iqbal’s poems…he was very much inspired by Prophet Musa (alaihissalaam).

  2. Anonymous permalink

    cmon kr…people making fun of you behind your back is nothin new dawg…hehe…
    and im gonna complain to khala about your xangas…that your posts are too long…
    nigger-ul-haq

  3. Salaam brother.  happened to come by ur site.  i dont think you should shut down your site.  why should you shut it down? you didnt do anything wrong. did ur mom advice you to shut it down? maybe you should talk to her about it.  parents are usually protective of their children and dont like to hear them being teased.  If you explain to her that you are not affected by it (are u?), then she should be fine.  Inshallah, you will sort this out.  All the best.  Good post, didnt get to read the whole thing (cos im at work) but got the jist of it. might come back to read it in full. or might subscribe to u if you dont mind.

  4. I’m gonna talk to your mom about your Xanga, insha’Allah. Thanks for announcing the idea to the public .

  5. I read the whole thing…that was splendind man….it was awesome….
    there were many good points in that post….just wanted to touch on the Hezbollah part…it’s like some people say nowadays…why don’t scholars declare Jihad on such and such country and attack…i’m like thinking..dude….materiastically….Muslim nations are 50 years behind….we’ll get our butt kicked if a Muslim country declares war on the powerful nations…and spiritually…as an Ummah…we are so far from Allah….it doesn’t look like Allah will help us anytime soon…..the Sahabah didn’t have much of the Dunya…but they had Allah on their side…so the devine help was with them….they brough about the end of the Roman and the Persian empire….today…we don’t have weapons and we don’t have the weapon of Dua with us….we’re asking for a severe beat down if Muslim countries give countries the smallest excuse to attack…..Hezbollah gave Israel an excuse…and today…Lebanon is in ruins….friggin can’t you even think..I mean I understand if you were on par with Israel…then maybe…just maybe….but they are way more powerful than you….sigh….
    >>>>>Even an eight year old schoolchild knows that you don’t irritate the schoolyard bully unless you’re bigger than him, or if you get all your friends to help you out.

  6. Don’t worry kr, Ive got the Mutaween(Religious Police) on this case. We will find out those who have personal vendettas against you and bring them to justice!On a serious note: who cares what they think, if they percieve you as serious or not. Didn’t the Quraish mock the Prophet(S)? To make things short, you will obviously have individuals who are at odds with you and alhamdulliah don’t let that come on the way of doing what you think is right.

  7. Wow… amazing stuff once again. You still got your mastery of metaphors, even if you tell us that youre wasting away in surgery =)
    I liked especially:
    “thus, everyone works for a better life by putting in fourteen hour days but ends up eating McDonalds. Think about that.”
    “And just as Musa struck with his staff instead of an axe, we ought to remember that power isn’t merely achieved through physical means, and more importantly, that physical power is nothing compared to metaphysical and spiritual power. It requires for the Ummah to submit and wield the proverbial staff of Moses to once again let loose streams of knowledge, wisdom, and Divine Grace to cleanse this world for the betterment of all of creation”

  8. Dude, it took me 2 days to digest your last two posts. Un-freaking-believable! your post is phenomenal mashAllah!

  9. Brother, if people are making fun of you about your xanga, this may be part of the problem lolOtherwise, maternal intervention may necessitate the abeyance of this electronic chronicle.

  10. ^ lol
    these past two posts were amazing, really. don’t worry about the haters iA
    and you always seem to be reading that book…

  11. When I read the first part, I have to say that I didn’t know where you were going with this. But now with this second part, I see why all that background was necessary.
    Can’t wait for Part III… I’m sure you’re going to not only tie it all together, but leave us with something profound.

  12. Baby Squirrel! You must not, cannot let go of your xanga. It is a gift to us mere minions, that you throw us acorns of your knowledge…I think we should start a petition and then show it to your mom, about how many loyal fans you have…

  13. “i’m like thinking..dude….materiastically….Muslim nations are 50 years behind….we’ll get our butt kicked if a Muslim country declares war on the powerful nations…and spiritually…as an Ummah…we are so far from Allah”
    “For the essence of our religion is to perform what Allah ordered us to do. The one who does not perform his obligations is actually worse than the one who performs sins. Anyone having some knowledge about the revelation of Allah, the guidance of the Prophet, sallallahu alayhe wa sallam, and the life of the companions would conclude that those who are pointed at today as the most pious people are in fact the least pious. Indeed, what kind of piety is there in a person who witnesses Allah’s sanctities being violated, his religion abandoned, the Sunnah of His Messenger shunned, and yet remains still with a cold heart and a shut mouth.”
    “Isn’t the misfortune of Islam due only to those who whenever their life and food are secure, would not care about what happens to the religion? ”
    ~ Imam ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah

  14. ahhh….mothers….there like kyrptonite…thats a low blow…your not suppose to bring mothers into this…

  15. kr…so like a few weeks back…some lady calls from Kansas inquiring about http://www.alimahprogram.org …. so she goes on for like 20 minutes…and then she goes…. do you know this young Hafiz in Chicago named Kamran Riaz?…..I’m like yes…so she goes….he’s masha allah a really motivational speaker and stuff…seems that she’s heard some of your speeches at ISNA…and for reasons Allah knows best….she goes she wants her son to be like you…. 🙂 tell that story to your mom…. and also tell her…that leather briefcase/bag she gave me….it’s one of my favorites…I use it everyday….
    If you wanna be great in life…you have to have the guts to be hated

  16. good stuff

  17. Awesome post; I totally agree. I hope I’ll be able to live up to my agreement. The sad thing to me is that so many elders in our community would fall into this category of jealous muslims. I don’t know what to say…..by the way don’t worry about those girls who make fun of your site. They’re probably just angry about unanswered rishtas and this is their only way of getting back at you..

  18. to everyone who commented thus far about the “note”: most of my readers who’ve been following this site for a while know that i really don’t care what people say about me behind my back, especially when it’s due to their misunderstanding a satirical post with a serious message (see theory of wife demotion, etc) because i know (and most people know) what my intention and point was with such posts. furthermore, those who make fun of me saying that im addicted to my xanga, etc.. i laugh off, hehe, partly because there is some truth in it. i enjoy blogging and sharing my thoughts. i dont tell what i had for lunch today, but i like sharing my thoughts and i think there’s a significant number of people that like to read about them, so im not worried about that either. people have taken much bigger shots at me and stuff like that doesnt bother me.
    ive mentioned it before, but ill say it again… the story of the man who was saying things about hasan al-basri behind his back and badmouthin him to the community… hasan al-basri went to the man’s house, and the man answered the door, thinking that he would be scolded and whatnot. but instead, hasan al-basri gives the man a gift, telling him that because of all the good deeds that he has received from the mocker and the bad deeds that have been removed from his account and placed onto the mocker’s account, that this was the least he could do to show his gratitute. and on a facetious note, as shaykh dr. dre said:
    Nigga, it ain’t that I’m too big to listen to the rumors It’s just that I’m too damn big to pay attention to ’em That’s the difference What’s the difference between me and you?You talk a good one – but you don’t do what you supposed to do
    … hehe, yes, i just juxtaposed hasan al-basri and dr. dre…
    anyway, the problem is people going up to my mom now. i mean, that’s just… i dont even know what word to use here. its like, you wanna make fun of me with your friends and have a good time and feel better by doing it… by all means, go right ahead. if through making fun of me someone is able to brighten their day, obtain some psychological stress release and smile, then hey, it was worth it. so i dont mind that. what does bother me is getting my mom involved. if this goes on and she gets irritated enough to make me shut down the site… then, well, ill have to listen to her.
    emam: that mother in kansas needs a much better role model for her son. im definitely no role model =). and trust me, i definitely have the guts to be hated =).
    fudge166: haha, no comment….

  19. “Freakonomics” is an awesome book, you’ll enjoy it.

  20. So basically, because we’re doing the same things that the Jews before us did, we’re going through the same humilation they did in history?
    That’s brilliant. MashAllah

  21. Like you said, everyone is looking out for themselves.  After every natural disaster/crisis most Muslims’ response is, “please pray for the Muslims”.  I don’t understand how these same people can expect anyone else to care about them when they do the exact same thing by excluding everyone else from their thoughts and prayers.  So I would add that while we are shifting our focus from the whole “us” mentality that we also try to focus on humanity as a whole.  I think this situation is a bit different though in terms of expecting America’s response, because it is not a matter of them just not responding since they are the ones basically funding it and sending more weapons, etc.    So since their current involvement is beyond just neutrality, I think it makes sense to expect them to show some compassion for the civilians.     
    About your xanga, I think it’s kind of sad that someone would tell your mom that.  But anyway, you can’t please everyone, and I think more people have benefited from it then people who have a problem with it. Especially for people like me who aren’t surrounded by many Muslims, it’s nice to be able to read something from a Muslim viewpoint once in a while.  We should start a save-kr’s-xanga petition. 

  22. My investigation will start when I sort through all the damsles which kr has refused to marry, due to the fact they were not hoor-al-ain caliber

  23. don’t worry. if all else fails, remember, this xanga is supar dupar.

  24. Even an eight year old schoolchild knows that you don’t irritate the schoolyard bully unless you’re bigger than him, or if you get all your friends to help you out.
    …and if you don’t have friends, because they are all scared of the bully?
    “…and if there are ten steadfast amongst you, they will overcome one-hundred with Allah’s help.”
    Think about it.
    Snatching two soldiers was just fine, but I wonder what was the real purpose behind it.  In Islam, we never lay down our arms because the enemy is bigger.  Maybe if they come to kill us in our homes, with superior weaponry, equipment, and numbers, we should just crawl into a corner and die.  Atleast we won’t make them mad right?
    Come on.  The problem is that those with Iman are sick of waiting for those without it to wake up.
    salaam alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatu.
    You have some good points, but until you have walked amongst those who have seen death, please don’t judge them or their actions from afar.  May Allah have mercy on us all.

  25. Anonymous permalink

    mashAllah…id say one of your best:)

  26. Informative, moving, and thoughtful, including the comments.  A rare Xanga – – found you on BOOST, and I intend to return.  Well Done, and much respect to you.  Your mother should be proud, not irritated or ashamed.  You’re eloquent, without being preachy.  Rare, indeed. 

  27. You’ve got to check out this interview, and watch it till the very end! Its an amazing response to the media… http://news.sky.com/skynews/video/videoplayer/0,,31200-galloway_060806,00.html

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: