Our first words to each other

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Words, people like to dismiss them, as if they have very little meaning and impact. When in reality they are the essence of our lives and communications.

As people have gleaned by now I met my husband online on a social media website, a chat room, Freeserve to be exact and what plays on my mind even to this day and makes me smirk were the first words we ever typed to one another, it went a little something like this.

He asked me where I was from (living) and i said Cardiff, he said “Wow, that’s far” (he had already told me he was from London) and i responded “Don’t worry, it’s not like we’re going to get married or anything”. This was the first time i had ever had an interaction with him. I don’t know what possessed me to say this to a random man on the internet the first time i interacted with him but i did (shrugs). We were not seeking anything at the time. I don’t remember his response, i don’t think he even said anything back certainly not anything memorable 😉

But yeah…. words you can utter something in passing without paying much attention to what you are saying, later on you may realise the impact of what you or someone else had said that’s of very little significance at the time but it changes the world for you.

Thanks for reading. Please like, comment, share and follow for two new blogs per month.

I’m thinking of writing a short marriage series, the context of ‘how to stay married’ a lot of emphasis is put on getting married but not as much talk on staying married and with high divorce rates much more talk needs to be done on this. Feedback from you, is that something you would be interested in? Let me know.

 

Oj Simpson Trial of the century – Part 2

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The infamous image of OJ trying on the bloodied gloves & them not fitting.

I love law and have done since I was a kid. From the age of 10 i wanted to be a barrister after watching the movie My cousin Vinny. There’s something about standing up in court and arguing a point articulately and passionately that gets my blood pumping so this trial is so fascinating to me.

Trial of the century

In January 1995 the trial of the century took place. it would be like nothing before it. It reshaped the landscape of the media and lasted 10 months. The trial was televised live and was an absolute media frenzy. It divided America and was whites vs blacks, it was all about race. All of the anger, the injustice, Rodney King et al, the pain bubbling over centuries imploded into this trial.

The trial was televised live to elevate the country’s understanding of the US legal system. It never felt like a real case but a media circus, people became famous and sold their story and made money off of this trial. It pushed the celebrity and was a shift in media information reporting to the most titillating headline grabbing infoporn.

The overwhelming evidence pointed to OJ being the murderer and the prosecution thought they had an open and shut case but so many factors led to this not being the case.

OJ was rich and famous. He had the money to pay for the best lawyers money can buy. He assembled what was called ‘the dream team’. He had about 9 lawyers and was spending $50,000 a day on them. OJ did autograph signings from jail and sold the merchandise, he was allowed to because he was not convicted. He signed 3 million dollars worth of pictures.

Johnnie Cochran was a civil rights lawyer. He was iconic to young blacks and young lawyers because he took on the police at a time when he wasn’t even allowed to talk to them in court. TV made him a hero in south central LA against the police. They had an engrained hatred for the police and didn’t trust them. They were recovering from Rodney King and he understood how to work them and effectively used and exploited and based the case on race and racism.

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There was no doubt from the prosecution that OJ had committed the murders due to the overwhelming evidence. OJ’s blood at the crime scene from a cut on his finger, shoe prints from a shoe that had a limited number made that he owned. It was a domestic violence case that culminated in murder but there was a catalogue of errors made by the police at the crime scene and his lawyers took complete advantage.

Factors that shaped the case

  •  The trial was conducted in central LA because the police wanted to protect their interests with the black community, if it was moved to a white area it would have been a predominate white jury like the Rodney King trial. The jurors available for the lengthy time of the trial skewed towards a lower social economic and more diverse background, the jurors were predominantly black. The defence wanted black jurors because they felt they would be more sympathetic towards OJ.
  • A black prosecutor was added to the team as a tactic to appeal to a predominate black jury, race was literally everywhere, it was a race trial more than a murder trial.

OJ’s defence

  • The police made a catalogue of errors that was exposed and used against them by OJ’s brilliant defence. The police brought OJ’s blood back to the crime scene thus the defence said that his blood was planted, they already admitted they brought it there.
  • The gloves were the crux of the case and OJ trying them on in court, the prosecution did not know if they would fit and got enticed into making him them try them on. OJ made a scene out it, the defence said they were planted.
  • The investigative team touched evidence without gloves. The crime scene was highly publicised and documented by the media, the body was visible outside her house on a main road and they covered it with her sheet which had OJ’s fibres on, so evidence was contaminated and compromised.
  • The detective in the case had a history and recording of himself saying he hated black people and that he could no longer be a cop because he couldn’t deal with them justly. Someone had to be blamed and it was him.
  • The defence character assassinated those who witnessed against OJ to make their testimony not appear credible and then people refused to witness.
  • OJ’s an actor. He’s been putting on an act most of his life and he knows how to play to cameras and when to turn it on. He used his charisma, the defense played games. Johnnie Cochran wore a kente cloth tie to court to show his “Africaness” to the black jury. SNL did a skit on it which is hilarious – link.

The race card

“All of a sudden he became black”. “We made him blacker”.

Here was this famous black rich sports hero who the black community was going to save and punish white people so they would know for once what it feels like to have injustice done to them. A travesty but a culmination of American living.

  • The defence made OJ black when most of his life he avoided that side, he threw off the cape and now he’s one of them. He avoided race and now it had come full circle.
  •  They turned OJ into a civil rights cause and did not regret it, the entire case was lost.
  • It was bigger than OJ and symbolic to has the mentality of America changed in the civil rights struggle or is it business as usual. If someone well-loved, famous and rich could have this done to them what hope would there be for the average black person.
  • They used a real serious injustice – racial issues in defence of a man who didn’t want anything to do with the black community.
  • It was judgement from their own people not whites in judgement of blacks as it’s been in history and it would be a victory for blacks.
  • Regardless of whether he did or did not do it blacks wanted this to be a FU to whites and didn’t care. The lawyers backed them and the mishandling of evidence helped them.

The trial

A culmination of events in America’s history with black people, racism, police brutality with a parallel of OJ’s life jarred in the court room. It was a time of black unity or revenge. Johnnie Cochran was magical and it was to the black jury whose side are you on? The defence was so brilliant Nicole became collateral damage. OJ and his lawyers effectively beat the system set up by white people for white people, they played the game. These black lawyers out smarted the white cops when the notion was blacks are inferior and not as smart, on a level playing field it was a show and a blow. It was a step forward, for the first time they had some power, they could win at the same game and slightly be on the same playing field.

Johnnie got the final argument closing tag line – “if it don’t fit you must a quit”. Brilliance.

I believed at the time he didn’t do it, I believed his defence and his image so did black people. White people believed he did. Image is a very powerful thing.

You could see the old OJ had gone. Somebody who had it all and played it just right f***** it up so royally but his retribution wasn’t going to come from this trial.

You learn justice is not real justice. It’s manipulated by factors. Who you are, the colour of your skin, an engineered jury with engineered justice. When you’re rich you can buy justice and maybe famous to. It’s who you know, your position, your image is this real justice? It’s why people want to keep up the status quo because you can literally get away with murder.

Final part, the verdict & the aftermath OJ Made in America coming soon.

Thanks for reading, please like, comment, share & follow for two new blogs per month.

 

 

 

The fascinating life of OJ Simpson – Part 1

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When you hear the name OJ Simpson what’s the first thing that comes to your mind? Some may not even know who he is now but for me it was the biggest trial in America. A famous, well-loved black sports hero was accused of murdering his white wife in the 90s. The story was huge and even at my young age I saw it, I heard it and I knew it was about racism.

I watched the documentary OJ: Made in America, there’s been many on him but I don’t think I’ve watched any other in its entirety. This one is one of the most incredible documentaries I’ve seen in a very long time and it’s Oscar-winning. It talks about his life before the lead up to the murder, the trial of the century and after his acquittal. There was a lot I didn’t know about OJ Simpson. It also talks about black America, racism and the history of the race relations between Los Angeles police and the black community which is what made the trial huge and divided the nation.

I’m going to relay the main points from the documentary and my thoughts and opinions on what I’ve watched.

“As a kid growing up in the ghetto one of the things I wanted most was not money, it was fame” – OJ Simpson. Boy, would this turn out to be the biggest blessing & curse of his life.

The documentary starts with him incarcerated in prison, he’s in court talking to the judges about the work he’s been doing in prison.

The beginning

He was born in San Francisco in 1947. He said he was a hustler from the age of 10. His father was gay and this was a big deal back then for a black man, he never spoke about it. He had aspirations and wanted to better his circumstance due to poverty and living in the ghetto and LA was the place to do that.

Black people had the image there was no prejudice in LA against blacks and many moved there from the deep south from the 1940s to the 60s. The hope was all the trouble they had known will be gone and they will no longer be held down by this notion held against their skin and hair (It’s interesting that even today many black people change their natural hair, It’s been entrenched in their psyche for centuries that ‘looking white’ is superior). Racism was as troubling and stark as it was in the south. You see the history of the ghettos of LA i.e. south central LA and how they were formed and black people still living in them today.

He was a breakout star at American football in the 1960s. He was known for scoring points by running long distances on the field. He was married to a black woman in USC college which was an all white college. He was a very good-looking man, he had that Ali swagger but not an ounce of his principal and people called him one of a kind as an athlete.

He was seduced as a black man in the 60s by white society and his story has been about being a pleasing person to white society. People said he had almost white features and he achieved also because of his looks, it’s a fact people are more accepting of and treat good-looking people better.

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The Civil Rights Movement

The civil rights were occurring during the 60s. Segregation, racism, black people had no power, there was police brutality against blacks. The police head was known to have recruited officers from KKK rallies. There were riots in black areas due to police killings and OJ made white America feel good about black people at the time of unrest unlike the black angry sports stars who were going to revolutionise.

During the 60s societal issues were pushing their way into sports. Major athletes stood up against going to the Vietnam war, Muhammad Ali was one of them. They stood up for principal and it was to hell with the consequences. It damaged their commercial possibilities. Black athletes boycotted the Olympics in 68 due to discrimination. OJ was approached because he was the biggest name in college athletics, he was also a world record holding track star and his response was I’m not black, I’m OJ. Black athletes were concerned with black people first and sports second unlike OJ.

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The documentary shoots back and forth between OJ’s life in white America and the contrasting brutality and injustice of black America in poverty. It is a juxtaposition and visually, historically and contextually It’s brilliant. It relays the history of racism and why it has led to where people are at.

OJ’s career

He played professional American football and became the first black man to be a national spokesperson and get a product endorsement. This was ground breaking for a black man and an athlete because product endorsements for athletes were non-existent. OJ was that one black person on the brochure of a fancy university. He got in, but boy did he have to do a lot to be accepted.

This was another reason a lot of the athletes stood up against injustice because they didn’t have to worry about losing money, their endorsements or legal ramifications from companies. They were free in a way, unlike today where people will think twice whether it will affect their endorsements before speaking out.

OJ opened doors with endorsements to the black community with TV adverts, he was a pioneer. OJ left football to become an actor. He transitioned well from a sports star to a TV star. Many today do not do that successfully even though It’s become the norm.

His family life was failing with his first wife whilst he enjoyed fame. He met Nicole Brown and instantly liked her, he had an affair and ended up divorcing his wife and marrying Nicole.

Nicole Brown Simpson

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He and Nicole were seen as a beautiful, happy, fun couple. Image is everything in his world, he created his career off of being a like able black man.

He was a womanizer and was having affairs. He was physically abusing her for years, she called the police multiple times and said he’s going to kill me. There were two OJ’s, the one he was portraying, a very charming man and the controlling wife beater.

She had an affair as well with someone OJ was friends with and this really bothered him. He was a very jealous, insecure man even though he had many multiple affairs and national adoration, he became very entitled, everyone had put him on a pedal stool.

Her friend said “I think there was something about her that was almost unattainable to him, something he couldn’t quite control and it was part of the attraction”, this could be a metaphor for white America. She ultimately paid the price.

Did he take out his indignation’s on his wife? He put on a charming mask with the rest of the world. Did she see the real him? He loved her for sure but she didn’t accept his adultery and maybe he expected her to because of the way he got treated by everyone else because hey, he’s OJ.

She took the abuse for a while and then finally had enough of wanting and hoping he would change, she knew he wouldn’t.

The police

The police issues with the black community were still bad and white people were oblivious. The infamous case of Rodney King in 91, a black man beaten by police officers with batons was filmed. The media didn’t give LAPD a break and showed the video repeatedly internationally. It was an exhibit for every abuse case cops had done. How will the police justify this one? How will they get out of this one? The officers went to trial, the trial was moved to a white area and the jury found them not guilty and it enraged the black community, it caused riots.

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What has changed between the black community and the police in the US today? We see black people being shot and killed live on social media and there is no accountability. Police brutality is happening in the UK Babar Ahmad and Mark Duggan are examples. There is a systematic inherent racism within the police that is still continuing.

What’s interesting is that some of the former police officers being interviewed in the documentary still justify racist and abusive actions. It’s quite sick, these former cops are really in denial or deluded about racism within themselves and the LAPD. The remnant of racism still resides in people today, who not too long ago supported segregation. They hold positions of influence with the same ideologies.

OJ knew the indignities of the black community and chose to not speak on it and ignore it. People said he had a facade when in the white world and didn’t amongst blacks. He was a black man trying to fit in to rich racist white America all the while he had forsaken his own people.

OJ’s character

He didn’t want to be seen as black but as OJ and for the contents of his character. What he said is correct but what didn’t match up was that he erased the black part of his character to appease white people and it definitely had a negative effect on him. He was accepted because he changed himself to fit in. He’s a smart man, he knew at that time that’s what he had to do to get the success he wanted. His life was different to black America and he was treated differently to black America.

The murder of Nicole Brown Simpson

Nicole was murdered along with another man, Ron Goldman. They were stabbed to death outside her house in an affluent area. It was a gruesome, bloody murder and the worlds media went hysterical.

OJ was accused of the murders and was treated with privilege by the police because of the pedal stool white America had put him on, he wasn’t even arrested but asked to surrender himself and he went on the run in a live televised car chase. I remember seeing this and the absolute hysteria and excitement from everyone watching, it was so surreal. Crowds had taken to the street and black people were supporting him, chanting ‘free OJ’ and holding posters.

He had reached the top of the mountain in his life and has had the most epic fall from grace. People called him an American tragedy and his life is more fascinating then fiction, It’s more than your brain can take in comprehend and digest.

He eventually gave himself in and was arrested and charged with the murders and it was the trial of the century.

Part 2 – The trial of the century read here.

Thanks for reading, please like, comment, share & follow for two new blogs per month.

 

 

What do you REALLY know about Islam? By Sh Khalid Yasin – Part II

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Part 2 of a lecture I transcribed, you can find part 1 here, What is the purpose of life?

What do you know about Islam?

Not what you heard about Islam, not what you have seen in the actions of Muslims because there’s a difference between Islam and Muslims. There’s a difference between a man and a father. A man who has children he is a father but father is a responsibility, if a man does not fulfill those responsibilities he is not necessarily a good father. Islam is a rule and an order. If a Muslim does not fulfill these rules and orders they are not good Muslims. So you cannot compare Islam by Muslims.

We hear the terms Islam and Muslims quite often and we read about Islam and Muslims. We hear and we see a lot of inaccurate and misleading and purposeful misinformation, through the media and some of this misinformation and misrepresentation has been perpetuated by Muslims themselves. Yet there are 1.6 billion Muslims in this world out of 7 billion people. How is it if there are 1.6 billion Muslims that we don’t know something about Islam, the facts about Islam.

What is it that joins over 30 nations and this universal configuration into a common fraternity? What makes the brotherhood throughout the world with different cultural and psychological differences? What is it about Islam that automatically embraces us and joins us together as a brotherhood? What makes a person in Pakistan my brother and another person in Indonesia my brother? What are the accurate characteristics of this misunderstood way of life that is followed by the great part of humanity?

Facts alone do not lead to understanding but rather a combination of tolerance, ambition and the ability to appreciate and accept the truth when you hear it.

The word Islam means ‘surrender, submission and obedience’ to the law of almighty God. You can say the creator, the supreme God, the supreme force, the all-wise, all of those are his names. We say Allah because in Arabic there’s no other expression like it. This expression Allah cannot be applied to any created thing. Other words we use for the almighty people apply to created things e.g. the almighty dollar, oh he’s the greatest etc.. Allah can only be applied to the one that has created all.

The word Islam is derived from the root Salama – it means to be at peace or to have security. Therefore a Muslim is a person that surrenders, submits and obeys to the law of almighty God and through this submission obtains peace and security for themselves.

All the prophets and messengers in history came from the same almighty God with the same message with the same chain of transmission and they said one thing, obey God. Adam, Noah, David, Solomon, Abraham, Moses, Isaac, Jacob, John the Baptist, peace be upon them.

Worship almighty God and fulfill the purpose of life and do good actions and you will be rewarded with another life. Not one of those prophets said I am God worship me. You will not find it in any book or from the speech of any prophet. All the prophets submitted and surrendered themselves to God, called the people to God, asked the people and insisted upon the people to do deeds of righteousness. The 10 commandments of Moses, The speech of Abraham, The Psalms of David, ‘And they were commanded not but that they should worship Allah’, Quran 98:5. By the same token, it is also appropriate to consider the prophets and messengers as Muslims.

Jesus Christ peace be upon him was a Muslim. His blessed mother was a Muslim. Abraham and Moses pbut were Muslims, but they came to their people and they spoke different languages. The prophet Muhammad pbuh spoke the language of Arabic.

Where there is a conflict it is a result of fabrications, exaggerations, personalised interpretations of alleged writers, historians, scholars and individuals.

He states when he was Christian he looked at before he became a Muslim and didn’t understand it. How come throughout the old testament God is always refered to as one? And the first commandment given to Moses pbuh, he didn’t allow anyone to worship any graven images or to bow down to anything in the heavens or the earth and repeated this throughout the old testament. Then all of a sudden there are 4 testimonies – the 4 gospels called Mathew, Mark, Luke and John. Mathew who? Mark who? Luke who? John who? 4 different gospels written 48 years apart and none of these men who did not collaborate with one another, none of them wrote their last name? If I gave you a cheque for your pay this month and i wrote my first name on the cheque and told you to take it to the bank would you accept that cheque? No you wouldn’t.

Could you get a passport with your first name? Did your mother and father only give you 1 name? Where in the history of man is one name acceptable as a documentation? Nowhere except in the Bible and how can you base your faith on 4 men who didn’t seem to know their last name? And this is the first time God is called a man, three and the son.

The advent of the prophet Muhammad pbuh did not bring a new religion, the prophet confirmed the life and message of all the previous prophets through his personal conduct and divine revelation he received from the almighty.

The sacred scripture that was revealed to Muhammad pbuh is called the Quran, it means that which is recited. Muhammad did not write the Quran, he did not author the Quran but the angel Gabriel recited it to him and God made his heart a receptacle of that. Just like the satellite dish is a receptive of waves that gives you the TV image.

We have this Quran that has been preserved for over 1400 years without any change, is there any other book in the world that has been preserved as it was revealed? No book only the Quran.

Each of the prophets and messengers also received a scripture and in the Quran these prophets their scripture, their story, the principal of their mission is mentioned with profound detail. Did Muhammad pbuh meet with them and talk with them and collaborate with them to write their biographies? No, of course he didn’t.

In the Quran Muhammad pbuh is referred to as the prophet and messenger of almighty God and the seal of the previous prophets which is the limit of his role as a human being. Muslims do not worship Muhammad pbuh. As the final scripture and final revelation the Quran makes clear and concise statements, ‘This day, I have perfected your religion for you, completed my favour upon you and have chosen Islam as your religion’, Quran 5:3.

Another distinction about Muhammad pbuh, unlike his predecessors he did not come to the Arabs or his own people exclusively, therefore Islam is not a religion of the Arabs. Muhammad was born in Makkah in current day Saudi Arabia and he was Arab by birth, choice of the almighty. The Quran was also revealed in the Arabic language and protected to make it pure, clear and precise. Allah says ‘And we have sent you (oh Muhammad) not but as a mercy for mankind and all that exists’, Quran 21:107.

Background information about the Quran

The Quran makes the claim it’s the product of divine revelation. It was sent down from God to Muhammad pbuh. Prophet Muhammad pbuh is not speaking from himself, his own ideas and ambitions or his own emotions and feelings but this a revelation which has been revealed to him.

Therefore if we are to convince the people of the authenticity of the Quran we must prove that it was impossible for Muhammad to manufacture such a book, also we must prove it is impossible for any human being to have created it.

The Quran states in chapter 75 verse 38, talking about the human embryo, ‘Then he became a clot; then Allah shaped and fashioned in due proportion’. How did the prophet know this? How did he know the embryo started out as a clot hanging and clinging to the wall of the uterus of the mother? Did he have a telescope? Did he have a cystacope? Did he have some kind of x-ray vision? How did he receive this knowledge when it was just discovered over 50 years ago?

How did he know that the oceans have a barrier between them to separate the salt and the fresh water, ‘And it is he who let free the two seas, this is palatable and sweet, and that is salt and bitter; and he has set a barrier and a complete partition between them’, Quran 25:53.

How did he know that the sun and the moon and the planets are all swimming in an orbit that has been ordered for them ‘It is not for the sun to overtake the moon, nor does the night outstrip the day. They all float, each in an orbit’, Quran 36:40. How did he know that? When these things have just been discovered over 30 years ago by technology and science. How did Muhammad pbuh 1500 years ago know this? An uneducated shepherd, a man raised in the desert, he could not read or write how could he produce something like this?

Also if this is not enough, the Quran has 114 chapters, over 6000 verses and there were 100’s of people in the time of the prophet pbuh who memorised this book entirely. Are they some kind of geniuses? Did anyone memorize the Gospel, the Torah, the Psalms, the old testament, the new testament? But there are millions of Muslims today that have memorised the entire Quran and this is the ambition of every Muslim, Not just some.

How many Christians have you ever met in your life that have memorised the Bible? Not even the pope. You have never met a Christian who knows what was the whole Bible because the Christians themselves have over 700 different denominations and there are approximately 39 different versions of the Bible. With different books and versions and different amounts of verses and they don’t even agree to that, so how can they memorize what they don’t agree to? The Shaikh says he’s not speaking of this in a condemning manner but as a former Christian who found this out through research and is sharing the information. Over turning some rocks for you to look under and ultimately it’s up to you to decide.

The Quran has been universally preserved without any alternation in 15 centuries. If all this is true, would you agree this book is quite profound and unique to say the least? Would you be honest enough to say that? Of course you would if you are honest within yourselves.

Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Napoleon Bonaparte, Winston Churchill whether they accepted Islam openly or not they came to that conclusion. That there is no literature in the world as profound as the Quran as a source of wisdom, healing and direction.

The basic themes of the Quran

The supreme oneness of almighty God which includes his names, attributes, the relationship between the almighty and his creatures and how man should maintain that relationship.

The continuity of the prophets and messengers, their lives, their messages and their overall mission. The insistence of following the final and universal example of Muhammad pbuh the seal of the prophets and messengers. Reminding the human beings of the shortness of this life and calling them towards the eternity of the hereafter because when you die you are going somewhere whether you accept that or not, you are going there and you are responsible because you have been told even if you have rejected it.

Because the object of this life is not for you to sit here and after this do nothing and have no affect because every cause has an effect and we came into this life for a cause and a purpose and it must warrant some sort of effect. You don’t go to school to stay there, you don’t go to work not to get paid, you don’t get a suit made and don’t wear it, you don’t grow up as a child and don’t become an adult, you cannot live without expecting to die, you cannot die without the expectancy of the grave and you cannot expect that the grave is the end because that would mean God has created you for a foolish purpose. And you did not go to school, or worked or chose a wife for a foolish purpose so how can you assign to God something less than yourself?

In an attempt to capture and convince the imagination and faculties of reasoning the Quran goes through great length and beauty to expound upon the oceans, the rivers, trees and plants, the birds and insects, the wild and domestic animals, the mountains, the valleys, the expansion of the heavens, the celestial bodies and the universe, the fishes and the aquatic life, the human anatomy and biology, the human civilization and history, the description of paradise and hell fire, the evolution of the human embryo, the mission of all the prophets and messengers, the purpose of life on earth and how can a man in a desert who couldn’t read and write expound upon things he was never exposed to 1500 years ago?

The most unique aspect of the Quran is that it serves to confirm all the previous scriptures.

Conclusion

Islam is simple, bear witness there is none worthy of worship but the almighty. People bear witness my son is my son and my wife is my wife and I am who I am, but why is it people hesitate that almighty God is 1 and God is our lord and creator? Are you arrogant? Do you possess something God doesn’t possess? Or are you confused? That’s a question you have to ask yourself.

But people think they going to live a little while and they want to enjoy some things. You want to drink a little bit more scotch, you want to lie down with a few more girls, you want to wear a few more fancy suits and of course you’re not ready to pray every day. That’s because you think you’re going to live a while, but how much is a while?

Angel Gabriel was sent with the duty of revealing the revelation to the prophet Muhammad pbuh. There will be final day of judgement for all people, all good and evil has been proportioned by all mighty God. There will be a resurrection after death and we all as our ultimate goal want to attain eternal paradise.

 If you have further questions please ask me or a Muslim.

Faith is something you cannot take for granted, if you do not put it into practise you lose it like a fragrance.

To listen to the full lecture click here, it is in 6 parts.

Thank you for reading, please like, comment, share & follow for two new blogs a month.

What I learnt from being around an Orthodox Jewish community

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My husband was raised for a number of years in an Orthodox Jewish neighbourhood, my in-laws still live there so I visit quite often. From all the communities I’ve been around I’ve learnt the most from this one. I’m going to write down some points of benefit that I’ve learnt.

They hold fast to their religion – No matter what. Their religion is not easy to practise but they follow it without compromise from what I see and they believe in it. They dress a certain way which looks ‘funny’ to others and for a long time in the area have been a target of abuse, (just recently i seen a Polish man driving through the area doing a Nazi salute). They’ve been mugged, physically attacked, bullied but it doesn’t deter them. They don’t change the way they dress, they don’t try to assimilate, they don’t try to change their religion to fit in and appease people, they don’t shy away or hide. Muslims need to learn from this and hold fast to the teachings and commandments of their religion, instead of trying to change it and ourselves to appease people.

Instead, what they do is they look out for each other and take care of one another like a true community. If someone is having a problem they will come to help them. They have set up a security neighbourhood watch which works with the police, it benefits the general community also by deterring crime and anti social behaviour. This is great proactive action.

They financially support each other as a community – A while ago a store was opened in the area selling children’s clothing by an Orthodox Jew. I went in the store, it’s expensive stuff i mean really high prices for what it’s really worth. Ever since it opened it is always busy full of Jewish people. Pay attention they’re clever about this. They keep the money circulating within the community thus raising everyone and are not selfish or jealous and help each other to succeed.

Imagine knowing 100 per cent that when you open a business your own brethren and community will have your back and definitely support you. What kind of confidence, psyche and mindset does this give a person, that you are guaranteed customers. What kind of community relations does this give. Success would be built into your DNA. Heck if the Orthodox Jews were on Twitter they would be the one’s rt’ing and purchasing from each others affiliate links.

Many other communities and people cannot stand to see others succeed, there is a lot of disdain like another person’s success will take something away from them, even if they are already very successful! They don’t want to give a helping hand like someone is taking money directly out of their pocket.

I seen not too long ago some tweets about Habiba Da Silva. She’s a make up artist, YouTuber etc that has been successful and has now started selling scarves. Some Muslims online ranted about the price of the scarves, how it’s overpriced, how they’re not going to be buying them, mocking her, the whole lot. All in all being very jealous and petty about the whole thing, also not forward thinking.

The same type of people will spend over £100 on multiple pairs of Nike trainers, spend money on haram (forbidden) items, have monthly sports and Netflix subscriptions, buy designer gear just because it has a little logo on it at an extortionate price. Paying money towards these corporations but can’t for a minute support their own Muslim community members?? A simple RT would have sufficed if you didn’t want to purchase instead of trying to drag the sister down because they don’t agree with something and others are just being plain old jealous. The Jewish community regardless of the price supported the children’s clothing store. Imagine if we thought like this for a minute as a community.

Helping others succeed is part of our religion as Muslims. We are brothers and sisters and one ummah (community) and the famous hadith tells us that ‘None of you truly believe until you wish for your brother what you wish for yourself’, Bukhari & Muslim. How many of truly feel like this? We need to give to receive, as the saying goes ‘putting holes in another’s boat will not make yours go faster’. So let’s learn something and support each and support my blog too 😉

They know where to spend their money – They have very nice expensive houses and old, damaged cars. Only recently some of them started driving new cars but regular reliable one’s like a Volvo brand. You don’t see them in a flashy Mercedes or Range Rovers and i find this interesting because you know they are successful but choose not to do that, unlike a lot of people who spend monthly on a car and get into debt for the latest flashy car. They’re much less in number in comparison to others but in an area there are a lot of synagogues and they spend towards setting them up and maintaining them.

They are out from dawn til dusk – I always see them out early, being productive. Taking their children here and there for their education or religious learning. They’re working and not wasting time hanging out ever but they do spend a lot of time together as families and a community and they finish late and repeat this daily and this is continuous for years. Success doesn’t come over night and comes with a lot of hours of work.

They get themselves into good positions – Work wise, they’ve done it for themselves. They have educated themselves and put themselves in important positions which has benefited their community like positions in government, top educational institutions, banking, real estate, the diamonds trade, top law firms.

Traditional Families – Men are usually the bread winners and women stay home and raise the children. Not only that they have a lot of children and it is a religious duty as Judaism can only spread by giving birth to the next generation and not conversion and they choose to uphold this religious duty. The children are extremely mature from a young age and are given responsibility from a young age, they looking after siblings, take them to and from school etc..

My husband also thinks they’re brilliant, you cannot help but be impressed if you are honest with yourself and you yourself want to succeed and have good family and community relations and practise your religion. They’re not without fault but I take the good and leave the bad.

God has honoured them because of their values, they support one another, work hard and prioritize education, they keep family ties and good community relations, they commit to their religion. These are commandments from God and irregardless of religion they will be honoured for fulfilling this.

These points of benefit can be taken, adapted and implemented in our own lives for benefit because anytime you see someone successful you want to know how they did that and try to emulate it.

Also, we are an ummah and need unity because their in is where the strength and success lies.

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What is the Purpose of Life? By Sh Khalid Yasin – Part I

skytext

I’ve decided to transcribe a lecture that I listened to a while ago, when I first started getting into Islam. It made me want to learn about and understand Islam further and was one of the lectures that convinced me that Islam is the true religion and way of life and made me understand the purpose of my existence.

I gave this lecture out to my non-Muslim friends on CD and evidently I still think it’s a convincing lecture because many years later I’m transcribing it for my blog. Conversations I’ve had and seen on Twitter show me that people are still very much confused about their purpose in life.

Shaikh Khalid Yasin is a revert to Islam, he was born in the USA and raised in Brooklyn. He was a Christian and was greatly influenced by people like Malcolm X during the civil rights movement. He converted to Islam in 1965 and has been spreading the message of Islam worldwide ever since. Many people have become Muslim at the hands of his lectures and over 30 people became Muslim at this lecture, it was so popular he conducted another one years later.

He starts the lecture by stating that he was a Christian and a person that was not aware of Islam and at that particular time did not understand the purpose of life.

In a world filled with prejudice and cultural conditioning it is very hard to find people to take a moment and think about life objectively and try to arrive at the truth about this world and the real purpose of our lives.

What is the purpose of our life and also what do you know about Islam? Not what you heard about Islam, not what you seen in the actions of some Muslims but what do you really know about Islam?

When you ask most people the question what is the purpose of our life? Such a fundamental and important question. They will not tell you what they’ve concluded from observation or analytical reasoning, rather in most cases, they will tell you what is commonly presumed by others. What my father said the purpose of life is, what the minister of my church said the purpose of life is, what my teacher in school said, what my friend said the purpose of life is.

If I ask anyone about the purpose of eating, why do we eat? Everyone will say in one way or another, why it’s for nutrition because nutrition sustains life. If I ask anyone why they work? They will say it’s necessity in order to support themselves and to provide for the needs of their family. If I ask anyone why they sleep? Why they wash? Why they dress? They will answer, this is a common necessity for all human beings. We can follow this line of questioning with 100 questions and receive similar answers from anyone in any language in any place in the world.

Then why is it when asked the question what is the goal and the purpose of life that we get so many different answers? That’s because people are confused, they don’t really know and rather than say I don’t know they just offer any answer that they’ve been programmed to answer.

Think about it – is our purpose simply to eat, sleep, dress, work, acquire some material things and enjoy ourselves?

Why are we born? What is the object of our existence? And what is the wisdom behind the creation of man and this tremendous universe?

Some people argue that there is no proof of any divine origin. There’s no proof that there’s a God, there’s no proof that this universe has come about through any divine purpose and they say that perhaps this world came about by chance. A big bang and this whole great world with all its orchestrations just came together and they argue that life doesn’t have any definitive purpose and that there’s nothing that can be proven through either logic or science that there’s a God or a purpose or any divine reason behind this world.

The Quran (Muslims holy book and word of God) addresses this subject, “And to Allah belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth and Allah has power over all things. Verily, in the creation of the heavens and the earth and in the alternation of the night and the day, there are indeed signs for men of understanding. Those who remember Allah standing, sitting and lying down on their sides and think deeply about the creation of the heavens and the earth saying, our Lord! You have not created all this without purpose, glory to you! Give us salvation from the fire”. 3:189-191.

In the verses Allah mentions clearly to us by first drawing our attention to the creation of ourselves. The different postures of the human body, the different attitudes of the human psychology.

He draws our attention to the heavens, the alternation of the night and the day. The stars, the constellations and then he says to us, he has not created all of this for any foolish purpose because when you see the design of it you know that the design of it is very powerful and very precise and something very powerful and precise that is beyond your own calculation and imagination, it cannot be foolish. It cannot just be thrown together.

For instance, if you took 10 marbles and numbered them 1 – 10 and all of them were different colours and you put them inside a bag and you shook the bag and then closing your eyes reached inside the bag and I told you pull out marble number 1 and then pull out marble number 2 and then pull out marble number 3 in order. What’s the chance of you pulling out those 10 marbles in order? 26 million to one. So what’s the chances of the heavens and the earth being thrown together in a big bang and orchestrated like they are? Think about it.

We have to ask ourselves a further question, when you see a bridge, a building or a car, you automatically consider the person or the company that constructed it. When you see an aeroplane, a rocket, a satellite or a large ship you also think about how incredible of a vehicle it is.

When you see a nuclear plant an orbiting space station or a super international airport you have to be thoroughly impressed with the engineering dynamics that are involved, yet these are just things that are manufactured by human beings themselves.

Then what about the human body? With its massive and intricate control systems. Think about it, think about the brain, how it thinks, how it functions, how it analyses information, stores information, retrieves information, distinguishes and categorizes information in a millionth of a second and does it constantly. This is the brain that made the car and the rocket ship. Think about the brain and who made that.

Think about the heart, how it pumps continuously for 60 – 70 years. In taking and discharging blood throughout the body and maintaining that steady precision throughout the life of that person.

Think about the kidneys and what kind of function that they carry out. The purifying instrument of the body which performs hundreds of chemical analysis simultaneously and also controls the level of toxicity in the content of the body and it does this automatically.

Think about your eyes, the human camera that adjusts, focus, interprets, evaluates and applies colour automatically. The natural reception and adjustment to light and distance automatically.

Who created that? Who has mastered that? Who plans that? And who regulates that? Human beings themselves? No, of course not.

What about this universe? Think about this, this Earth is one planet in our solar system and our solar system is one of the systems in the milky way and the milky way is one the constellations in that galaxy and there are millions of galaxies like the milky way and they are all in order. They are all precise, they are not colliding with each other, they are not conflicting with each other and they are swimming along in an orbit that has been set for them. Have human beings set that into motion? And are human beings maintaining that precision? No, of course not.

Think about the oceans, the fish, the insects, the birds, the plants, bacteria, the chemical elements that have not been discovered and cannot be detected even with the most sophisticated instruments. Yet, each one of them has a law that they follow.

Did all of this synchronisation, balance, harmony, variation, design, maintenance, operation and infinite numeration, did this happen by chance? And also do these things function perpetually and perfectly also by chance? And do they keep on reproducing themselves and maintaining themselves also by chance? No, of course not.

That would be totally illogical and foolish to think and in the least it would indicate that however it came to be, it is totally outside of the realm of human capabilities, we can all agree to that.

The being, the almighty power, God, the creator who has the knowledge to design, to proportion. Who has created all of this and is responsible for maintaining all of this is the only one that is deserving of praise and gratitude. If I gave each one of you 100 dollars for no reason, you would at least say thank you. What about your eyes? Your kidneys, your brain, your life, your breath, your children, what about that? Who gave you that? Is he not worthy of praise and thanks? Is he not worthy of your worship and your recognition?

That in a nutshell is the purpose and the goal of this life. God said to us in the Quran, “And I (Allah) created not the Jinn (spirits) and mankind except that they should worship me (alone)”, 51:56.

So our purpose in this life is to recognise the creator, to be grateful to the creator, to worship the creator, to surrender ourselves to the creator and to obey the laws that he has determined for us.

In a nutshell it means worship, this is our purpose in this life.

And whatever we do in the cost of that worship, the eating, the drinking, the dressing, the working, the enjoying between the life and the death, all of this just consequential but we have been created for worship, that’s the purpose of our life.

Part II – What do you know about Islam? Here

The Meaning of Life.

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Greatness, Lies Within YOU

rocky

I woke up on Saturday morning, not too early and this blog idea came to my mind so I got out of bed grabbed my notepad (got back into bed) and jotted down two pages of notes.

There are many blogs and articles that tell you to believe in yourself, to take the first/next step, ‘achieve greatness’ but what IS that exactly? It’s interpreted differently to every single person. It can be hard to gain inspiration, they’re becoming generic. The positive words are one thing – ‘you can do it’, ‘hang in there’ but not much practical and systematical advice.

I get inspiration from a lot of places, Babar’s blog post about him starting his honey company is for sure one of them. I see disabled people all the time, they don’t let their disability stop them getting out and about by themselves to do their daily duties and living their life.

I’m currently reading Nelson Mandela’s autobiographyLong walk to freedom and I’m extremely inspired by this man and the way he conducted his life. I will write a few blogs on the book God willing. One of the main things I take from the book is that life goes on  and we must continue to do good in the hardships and struggles and continue to keep striving and bettering ourselves. An example, when Mandela was in prison on Robben island for 27 years, he still studied for his law degree, took on legal cases in prison and never stopped fighting for their rights in prison.

Muhammad Ali – The Greatest

Muhammad Ali was the greatest and the greatest example that comes to my mind of someone projecting that to others to make them believe it.

He projected to the world that he was the greatest and we all believed it, inside the ring and out. To his opponents in the ring he made them believe how dare they even have the audacity to believe that they could beat him and they didn’t 🙂

Ali said that he didn’t believe he was the greatest but he said it, in turn making us believe then working hard and becoming that.

ali

We HAVE to believe in ourselves

Without self belief in ourselves and our abilities, we cannot achieve what we want to achieve. Also with that we have to LOVE ourselves. If we do not believe in ourselves and love ourselves how will others? It is not their job to do that. We have to project this self belief so others will believe in you, for a job position, as a parent, a husband, whatever it is we want to achieve.

People want value from you and what you have to offer and bring to the table and every single person has that, just everyone doesn’t believe they do.

This is also coupled with confidence, self-esteem and working hard. There’s a line between confidence and arrogance. We become more confident with things we are familiar with, so if it a subject or a craft, we have to study and learn it to understand it and become great at it.

If one is lacking in areas of confidence and self-esteem, there are many videos online and books that one can watch and read to help themselves. If you do not help yourself seldom few will. A book I’m currently reading that I have found useful practically and for my mindset is emotional first aid, it has chapters on different areas that I find very relatable that I struggle with.

Don’t let them tell you, you can’t

I’ve noticed, that people are often negative about someone doing something for two reasons, either they’re fearful that they themselves cannot do it and they’re projecting or jealousy.

Everyone is created weak. Some may hide it better than others but for sure they have their weak moments and spots. Don’t let others make you feel you are weak and they are not.

Everyone has bad days, we know this but what do we do in those bad days?

You might often feel like you’ve taken one step forward and three steps back, one day for you five against, knocked down repeatedly but as the cliché goes we don’t stay down. Even when we’re down we have to do something, anything, something small, you may slow right on down but never stop.

Visualise this, building blocks, some days you may have many large one’s, some days just one tiny one but you add it to the pile and it keeps building and it SHOULD feel like you’ve achieved something TO YOU. Forget what others say, many don’t really care anyway and people don’t ever stop talking. Don’t get me wrong this is not an overnight thing but a consistent building up of ourselves overtime with a lot of effort and hard work.

What CAN you do

I believe a dream has to have a thorough plan and we all need a purpose.

It starts with ourselves first, then our families, then our local communities and then farther after that. We cannot be in any position to do anything for anyone else till we help ourselves first.

So start small, micro – do something daily that will benefit you or write a list of 3 things you want to achieve and do it every day and when you have achieved them, tick it off. Do this consistently and build. If you want to get fit start going for walks, then increase to going for jogs. If the current climate is bothering you and you want to have your say start a blog, write 250 words or 1 or 2 pages in a notepad. I started reading a page of Quran everyday and now I can’t go without it, I’ve been doing it for a while, small but consistent.

You don’t need to be in the public eye to make a difference, you don’t have to be a Linda Sarsour or a Haitham Al Haddad but our daily actions and interactions matter. A simple smile can make a difference, it can diffuse tensions that we feel on the streets daily because we are Muslim, create conversations it is also a good deed. We need to get these things into our system, smile at just one person today, I know for us Brits it can be tough 😉

What can one person do? A lot, we are all one person that need to work on our talents,  united we are an ummah that can benefit, so be proactive not reactive everyone is needed.

If everyone was a doctor we would all be walking around in dirty streets.

Jealousy and envy of others will not grant you success quicker but just affect one’s own heart.

I started this blog with one post with just over 600 words in August 2016, I’ve been posting consistently since and now I’m thinking of expanding upon this and it all stared with just one blog. UPDATE – I’ve bought a website name & I will be starting to create my own website in July 2017 God willing. Almost a year from when i published my first blog. I’ve come along way and I’m proud of my consistency and what I’m trying to build and as i said it all started from one blog… SO GO DO IT!

Btw I’ll rate you if you know where the photo at the top is from..

SO, WHAT DO YOU WANT TO ACHIEVE TODAY?

 

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