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

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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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Spiritual vacuum & social media

twitterI like to write blogs on topics that are playing on my mind, writing about it gets it off my chest and I forget about it, whether topics I see online or I see or experience in my life. Maybe I’m a bit psychoanalytical, I try to understand people and the root cause of things and what makes things the way they are.

I’ve noticed on Twitter, coming across tweets from non-Muslims mainly and maybe Muslims that are not practising or don’t have much of an understanding of Islam, that are interesting, inspirational, motivational, agenda driven, linguistically astute that garner a following from people who are a little lost, let me explain.

In the time of the prophet Muhammad (peace be up him) in Arabia, people could raise their social status and position in society by reciting eloquent poetry. Poetry and the use of words and language was that revered in the society, poetry was the equivalent of our social media today.

It was no coincidence that the Quran was revealed in the highest form of literary excellence which grabbed the people’s attention at that time “And we have not taught him (Muhammad pbuh) poetry, nor is it suitable for him. This is only a reminder and plain Quran”, chapter 36 Ya-Sin, verse 69.

Tweeting, social media and the digital age has given everyone who use them platforms.  Before, this was reserved for celebrities only and you had to be somewhat talented but there has been a whole cultural shift with social media and reality TV. This allows everyone to garner a ‘following’, some a very large following and this following is not just reading a persons posts nowadays but buying into their words and even the person, why? I believe this is because there is a massive spiritual void and vacuum going on in people’s lives and social media has now stepped into this vacuum that has been created.

People are lacking in guidance, religious guidance and we need it whether we like to admit it or not. Guidance is being dished out left and right on SM from people’s own whims, desires and experiences on everything from relationships, politics, religion, money, health, the whole shebang and those that are in need are following because words have an affect. Don’t get me wrong there’s some we can definitely take and I always take the good from whomever regardless of religion, sex, race.

Not only that but the people are being revered as someone to ‘follow’ because they are believed to possess qualities that can guide, such as wisdom, confidence, insight, intelligence, whatever, this also creating a massive narcissism because they are believing themselves to be somewhat correct if so many people agree, even if it’s not correct. People are loving and craving attention more than ever now, this is all a knock on effect when something is lacking.

But I still see a lot of people searching for the spiritual, I see them talking about meditation. It is our fitra (natural pattern on which Allah/God made mankind and urged them to follow). We are created to worship the creator and if people don’t they will look elsewhere. People have been doing this with celebrities for decades, following their every word and look, trying to imitate them, referring to them as my “God/goddess”, remember Michael Jackson before he even came on stage to perform people would be screaming, freaking out and fainting, yeah nuts.

There is nothing that can fulfil the void we feel within except for worshipping the creator and having a connection with him. It is the peace and solace that is needed by mankind especially in these times that are fast paced, work centric less family orientated, destruction all over the world fed to our eyes, ears and minds everyday. You cannot find it in material items or these distractions of TV, social media and entertainment that people have turned to to do that.

Let’s not get caught up in other people and personas on social media because of their great use of words and buy into them or the hype of ourselves. Trying to keep up with the latest celebrity/news gossip, chasing after it will make you crave it more, trying to keep in the know will make you want to do it more. People are fallible and a lot of this is entertainment and distraction that we use just to get through our day, keeping us away from the one thing where we will truly find comfort and happiness, worship of the true creator.

So tell me, if you are non-Muslim, what is the purpose of your life?

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Understanding the rise of Feminism by Sh. Ali Al Tamimi

 

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Feminism is a topic that is tweeted about a lot on Twitter, I didn’t hear about it that much until I joined and people are majorly divided over it. Whether pro feminism or completely anti feminism it seems to be a subject that is raging between the sexes and also the religious and non-religious. I’m not too interested in the topic but I wanted to find out a little more on it because it’s brought up so often. From people believing it’s harming society, harming the relationship between men and women, affecting the family and people saying how bad it is for women.

It was a movement for equality and fairness and I’m told now it’s anti men pro matriarch anti patriarchy. Obscuring gender roles, diminishing women’s femininity because women are trying to be more like men, work roles and becoming more radical.

As I said I’m not too interested in this topic but I did come across a lecture and found it to be very concise on its history as to why and how feminism came about. I’ve written some key points from the lecture.

The speaker is an Islamic scholar and teacher named Ali Al Tamimi of Iraqi American heritage. He is a knowledgeable and intelligent man who is very much ahead of his time and I believe this lecture, even though it was contextual to its time conducted in the 90s (I believe I’m not 100% sure) still applies today. He’s an Islamic scholar and teacher as well as a geneticist, at one point he was one of the top 25 in the world. He was studying cancer research using mathematical chaos theory to explain the random multiplication of cells in the body. The sheikh (scholar) is currently incarcerated for life in an American prison, I pray Allah hastens his release Ameen. His take on the current wave of feminism would be fascinating. UPDATE – The shaikh could possibly be released in the fall, please pray for him.

He begins the lecture by stating that he feels it’s quite important discussing the topic of feminism pertaining to Islam because there is a concerted movement throughout the world to try to reinterpret basic Islamic beliefs and practises in a feminist interpretation of the Quran (Muslims holy book) and Sunnah (practises of the prophet Muhammad peace be upon him). From what I see this is still in full fledge today. A popular book regarding this has been written by a Moroccan woman named Fatima Mernissi – The Veil and the Male Elite: A Feminists Interpretation of Women’s Rights in Islam. A collation of poor scholarship according to the sheikh.

The notion of feminism is relatively new in terms of ideas, 3 to 4 centuries ago there was no such thing as feminism, you cannot find it in dictionaries, encyclopedias or in the historical books. It is a new school of thought that has appeared in the last 150 years, in particular since world war two in the west due to men being conscripted and the need for women in the workplace, when the men returned the women were effectively forced out.

How has this school of thought appeared in the west initially? How does the west look to women historically? This gives an idea to why feminism arises in the west.

The Wests culture is rooted in ideas of the ancient Greeks and Romans traced to the Greek philosophers Socrates, Aristotle, Plato etc. The ancient Greeks did not conceive of women being full human beings rather the notion was they did not possess full humanity like men do. Women were mere objects to be bought and sold in markets. Then the west adopted the teachings of Christianity, not what Allah sent down to the prophet Eesa pbuh (Jesus) but a mix of Rabbinical Jews, a mix of pagan practises and ethical early Christians with some preserved truth that was not lost that was sent down with some falsehood available.

Rabbinical Jews regarding women – essays were written by apostle Paul originally Jew according to the New Testament, you find general degradation of women and a notion was that they were the cause for the fall of humanity. When Adam the first man to be created ate the forbidden fruit in heaven according to the Old Testament, it was Eve that succumb to the wishes of satan and she convinced Adam to transgress. The Jewish and Christian theology both say the sin and the fall of humanity from paradise is put squarely on the shoulders of the woman alone.

Major Christian authors throughout the middle ages refer to women as satan’s tool and the cause of all the suffering faced by humanity. This led to degraded views of women in the middle ages, western civilisation and Europe. There are no examples of women having share of political, intellectual or social life in societies. Only from the 14th century in England was it permissible for a woman to read the Bible, prior to this is was forbidden according to church law let alone having a copy. Islamic history states that the original copy of the Quran made during the time of Abu Bakr pbuh was placed with Umar pbuh then after his death with his daughter Hafsa pbuh the prophet’s wife.

Women not being considered full human beings and being degraded continued in the west and was part of society for a number of centuries. In the 18th and 19th century the industrial revolution took place mainly in England and as a result a lot of labour in the mines and factories was needed. There was a shortage of sufficient men so women and children were forced to work 12-16 hour shifts for relatively no pay if any at all. As a result a number of aristocratic women saw the plight of their sisters and called for equality and fairness and for their rights to be given. The first book written on this was in the 18th century – A vindication of the Rights of Women by Mary Wollstonecraft. The book argues if the women are working 14 plus hours they should get paid like men and have a right to education and be able to participate in the culture and so forth, to raise their status in the western society. Feminism was not just a call to be treated fairly but for their essential humanity.

The sheikh states that amongst the non muslims and those muslims that do not adhere to the Quran and Sunnah, you find they go from one extreme to the other. The west had essentially stripped women of the quality of humanity with no rights, they could not own property, they weren’t allowed an education to then arguing women and men are the same and even neutral terms such as gender instead of sex were introduced. They stated that rolls can be assumed by both sexes and there wasn’t any difference between men and women and that any difference that did appear were the teachings of that culture and society.

The sheikh states that feminism is a school of thought and within that there are different types such as liberal feminism, Marxist feminism, radical feminism, socialist feminism, post modern feminism etc..

The feminist approach to religion in the west is two types, firstly apologetic Christians and Jews that try to reconcile to achieve reinterpretation of the Hebrew texts and New Testament and that is a minority view.

Secondly the radical feminist thought – they consider in essence its nature is against religion, so no religion irrespective of which they reject and that religion is not positive at all for women and they have to be free from religion as a whole. He states this is the majority view.

The book by Leila Ahmed – Women and Gender in Islam states that men have misinterpreted Islam to enforce the male cause.

Basic Notions in Islam Regarding Men and Women

The Quranic texts and the teachings of the prophet Muhammad pbuh say that men and women are fully sharing in humanity. It doesn’t teach that women are less of a human being then men. The major thrust of teachings to submit to Allah and worship are addressed to men and women alike. The basic pillars such as Hajj (pilgrimage to Makkah), Zakat (giving a percentage of money from wealth to the poor), prayer, belief in the oneness of God, men and women are addressed equally and they will receive the benefits and rewards of their actions and good deeds equally.

The Quran does not suggest the sin was of Eve alone and that Adam was duped. In Surah (chapter) Al Ar’af the Dua (prayer/invocation) of Adam is plural ‘we’. In Surah Taha it states that ‘Adam disobeyed so he went astray’, the sin fell on him, Muslims didn’t believe the woman to be the cause of evil.

Islam recognises that men and women are different. It doesn’t necessarily mean that one is better but a sign of Allah is that he created duality; night and day, sky and earth, moon and sun male and female. Neither of the two can be considered better or the same. The major difference between contemporary thought and Islamic belief is that the west went from the extreme of denying women’s humanity and that they’re full humans to now arguing men and women are the same and the only reason they act a certain way as men and women is due to the society and culture that teaches them that.

They try to deny that physiology has any effect on the psychological mental disposition of the sexes. Scientific literature cites male physiology and male hormones leads to different ways of acting and reacting in part of the personality compared to females. In Allah’s wisdom he created this order. The distinction in the sexes means there has been different obligations given to the sexes, obligations which will fit each sex best according to the way we are created for the purpose that Allah wanted of it. When a sex has obligations put upon it then entails it has greater rights.

It’s important to understand at the same time that throughout the Muslim world one does not find the teachings of Islam in regards to women applied and it’s undeniable that you find women in a bad state. Why? In the Islamic world all the rights are not observed, whether it’s the rights of Allah, fellow Muslims one to another, plants and animals etc.. If society does not check tyranny and injustice and uphold decency the strong end up devouring the weak whether it be women, children, the elderly, the poor which are the weakest members. This is not unique to women but Muslims as a society.

Proof that Islam is Better to Women

The sheikh cites that the greatest evidence is history itself. What has Islam brought to women compared to what other civilizations brought.? Historians will tell you that humanity has seen 15 to 20 civilizations, in all of them you do not see women having any role in the development of that civilization per se. Examples cited – the American revolution and the founding fathers. The French revolutions – Jean-Jacques Rousseau and others. The ancient Greeks had male philosophers, the ancient Chinese/Japanese/Hindus you don’t find women having any role in it. Books recorded in the last 5000 years of history you don’t see women being written about until the last 150 years playing a role in the society becoming doctors, office election roles etc.. It means nothing really was affected by women and they were passive in these civilizations.

In Islam it’s completely different. Firstly it is not man-made but revelation sent down by Allah to his prophet Muhammad pbuh. In the beginning of his mission the most important person was his wife Khadijah pbuh. Had it not been for her support morally and materially his message could not have continued in Makkah. After Islam spread and after his death the knowledge was transmitted by one of his wives Aisha pbuh. Out of the 7 major narrators of Hadith (books describing the prophet’s words, actions, habits)whereby 70% of Hadith is transmitted Aisha pbuh is amongst the major 2 or 3. The Fatwas (legal pronouncement interpreted from the Quran and Sunnah), Zarkashi wrote books on how she corrected Fatwa of the other male Sahabah (companions of the prophet pbuh). She participated in the society and was a major scholar.

Islamic history until the last 2 to 3 centuries, most major scholars had among their teachers a woman. 8th century Islamic history shows that 3 to 4 of Ibn Taymiyyah’s pbuh teachers were women from the number of people he learned from. The number of books show roles of women that transmitted Islamic knowledge.

In the West/Hindu/Chinese civilizations they lack biographies of women personalities, you don’t know much about them, contemporary women we do have biographies. At the time of the prophet pbuh out of 9000 companions of the prophet there is a whole section on women, Ibn Hajar pbuh gathered biographies of the prophets pbuh companions.

In Conclusion

The sheikh concludes the lecture by stating that we should not approach this topic in an apologetic manner to the reason to why feminism occurred and that they want to wipe out any difference between men and women in the west as a reaction to the extreme treatment they had before when they weren’t considered full humans.

What’s interesting is the number of books the sheikhs cites, as i stated the lecture was conducted a number of years ago so keep in mind the context to that point. I’ve included the link to the lecture, It’s in 6 parts with a short q&a at the end, the audio is poor due to it being old but as i stated he was a ahead of his time on topics that are relevant today. Allah protect and preserve him.

Click here for the full lecture – Understand Feminism

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30 Quotes from Mike Tyson’s Autobiography – Undisputed Truth

I chose 30 Quotes from the book that I liked, there were many more I could have chosen, I may not necessarily agree but I find them very interesting.

[Book review]

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This book is dedicated to all the outcasts – everyone who has been mesmerized, marginalised, tranquilized, beaten down and gotten the wrong end of the stick. And incapable of receiving love.

  • I was the youngest Heavyweight Champion in the history of boxing. I was a Titan. The reincarnation of Alexander the Great. My style was impetuous, my defences were impregnable and I was ferocious. It’s amazing how a low self-esteem and a huge ego can give you delusions of grandeur.
  • I never saw my mother happy with me or proud of me doing something. I never got a chance to talk to her or know her. Professionally that would have no effect on me, but emotionally and psychologically, it was crushing.
  • I wanted to stay around this old guy because I liked the way he made me feel. I’d later realise that this was Cus’s psychology. You give a weak man some strength and he becomes addicted.
  • Cus wanted the meanest fighter that God ever created, someone who scared the life out of people before they even entered the ring and out. At the time I needed that, I was so insecure, so afraid. I was so traumatized from people picking on me when I was younger. I just hated the humiliation of being bullied. That feeling sticks with you for the rest of your life. It’s just such a bad, hopeless feeling. That’s why I always projected to the world I was a mean, ferocious motherf*****.
  • Cus was all about manipulation, psychological warfare. He believed that 90% of boxing was psychological and not physical. Will, not skills.
  • That was the day that I turned into Iron Mike; I became that guy 100% even though I had been winning almost every one of my fights in an exciting fashion, I wasn’t completely emotionally invested in being the savage that Cus wanted me to be. After that talk about me being to small, I became that savage. I even began to fantasize that if I actually killed someone inside the ring, it would certainly intimidate everyone. Cus wanted an antisocial champion, so I drew on the bad guys from the movies, guys like Jack Palance and Richard Widmark. I immersed myself in the roll of the arrogant sociopath.
  • Jimmy and Cayton were the first fight managers to make highlight reels of all my KO’S and send vhs tapes to every boxing writer in the country. They were very innovative that way.
  • Cayton and Jacob wanted to be friendly with everybody, sociable, but I knew a man who was friendly with everyone was an enemy to himself.
  • I realised that this little incident was a metaphor for our relationship. She teased me, she made an elusive move and I played right into her hands. It was chess and I was her pawn.
  • I don’t even like talking about this fight. it was seven rounds of heartless punishment. I elbowed him, low – blowed him, punched him after the round was over. That was my dark, stupid, ignorant side, my side that I’m ashamed of, coming out. I prolonged the punishment over seven rounds. I was a young, insecure kid and I wanted to be special at someone elses expense.
  • I went to the prefight press conference but I was bored. I always hated those things. Sometimes i’d even fall asleep at them. There was nothing I wanted to hear. I just wanted to fight; I didn’t want to go through all of that stuff. Don King would be talking all this bs and gibberish, making up these fake f***ing words. “The matrimony of fisticuffs and delishmushnisifice of illumination, critation and emancipation”. Who wanted to hear that sh**?
  • I was severely traumatized by that relationship and I wanted to just cancel it out, but love leaves a black mark on your heart. It really scars you. But you have to take chances to keep growing as an individual. That’s what life is all about.
  • And then I got caught up with this other piece of sh**, Don King is a wretched, slimy reptilian motherf*****, he was supposed to be my black brother but he was just a bad man. He was going to mentor me, but all he wanted was money. He was a real greedy man. I thought I could handle somebody like King but he out smarted me. I was totally out of my league with that guy.
  • Nobody in the entire history of boxing had made as much money in such a short period of time as I did.
  • I was blown away by the poverty in Mexico. I was actually mad at them for being poorer than I had been because I couldn’t feel sorry for myself anymore. More than anything else, my success stemmed from my shame about being poor. That shame of being poor gave me more pain than anything in my life.
  • I believed in the Cus theory that the only thing wrong with defeat is if nothing is learned from it. Cus always used to tell me that fighting is a metaphor for life. It doesn’t matter if you’re losing; It’s what you do after you lose. Are you going to stay down or get back up and try it again? Later I would tell people that my best fight ever was the Douglas fight because it proved that I could take my beating like a man and rebound.
  • In December we found out that Desiree had discussed book and film deals with civil lawyers before the rape trial. “I cannot see her as a credible witness from what I know”. Dave Vahle, one of the jurors told the press. He was one of the jurors who worried they had made the wrong decision. “We felt a man raped a woman. In hindsight, it looks to me like a woman raped a man”.
  • I only trained probably two or three weeks for this fight. I had to bury my best friend and I wasn’t going to fight, but I dedicated the fight to him. I was going to rip his heart out, “I am the best ever, I am the most brutal and the most vicious and the most ruthless champion there has ever been, there is no one that can stop me. Lennox is a conqueror? No! I am Alexander, he is no Alexander. I am the best ever, there has never been anybody as ruthless. I am Sonny Liston, I am Jack Dempsey, there is no one like me, I am from their cloth. There is no one that match me, my style is impetuous, my defense is impregnable and I am just ferocious, I want your heart, I want to eat his children, praise be to Allah”. With that, I stormed away. I was doing all this ranting because I was losing my mind. I was getting so high, my brain was getting fried.
  • I started these long walks when I was reading a book about Alexander the Great and his army. They were walking for 60 miles a day back then so I just said, “f*** this, I can do this”. I got to ten miles a day and my feet felt like someone had taken a blowtorch to them. I had great sneakers on too, new balance, and they still felt like someone set them on fire. I did a little reading and I found out that all these great warriors would do these marches high. The history of war is the history of drugs. Every great general and warriors from the beginning of time was high. So I started incorporating weed and alcohol into my walking regime. I was pissed off in general but walking high in 100-degree heat took my bipolar sh** to a new level. Liquor, the weed and the heat didn’t go together. I’d be walking bare-chested with my shirt tied around my head. My pants were falling off because I had lost so much weight. The sun had fried me, so I was as black as tar. I looked like a crackhead. People would see me and they didn’t know if it was me or not. One guy came up to me for an autograph and pow I smacked him. I saw a girl I had slept with one time who worked at Versace. She was concerned about me. “Mike, are you alright?”. She asked me. “F*** you, b****”, I yelled at her. “I hate your guts. I never liked you”. The sun had really fried my brains, I was losing my mind. (Side note, I found the thought of this visual so funny I was laughing out loud, there’s a lot of parts in the book that are laugh out loud funny).
  • Iron Mike had brought me too much pain, too many lawsuits, too much hate from the public, the stigma that I was a rapist, that I was public enemy number one. Each punch I took from Lewis in the later rounds chipped away at that pose, that persona. And I was a willing person in its destruction.
  • A week before the fight, I went to get a tattoo that became my most notorious tattoo. I told the artist, S. Victor Whitmall, aka paradox, that I wanted a tattoo on my face. I hated my face and I literally wanted to deface myself. I suggested tiny little hearts all over it. It wasn’t some ploy to make me more attractive to women; I just wanted to cover up my face. He came up with that Maori tribal design and I told him I’d think about. The more I thought, the more I liked the idea of putting a tattoo that was used by warriors to scare their opponents in battle on my face. So I went with it.
  • I really think that one reason that I started doing so much coke was because I was in a lot of physical pain from my boxing career. I know some hockey players who told me the same story. When you have that kind of pain, you can’t be friendly with anybody. You’re like a lion with a hurt paw. When an animal gets hurt, they know that the other animals will attack them. That’s how I felt when I was in pain, vulnerable and scared. So you get some coke and then you’re in the room alone with the coke and you want a woman in there because you feel so bad about doing the drug that having a woman is going to kill the guilt.
  • I had a lot of fun but it didn’t produce anything. I thought I’d get emotional satisfaction out of sleeping with them but I was just a smuck. I was in love with love, not the actual individual.
  • After putting a lot of work in the programme I realised that the reason that I always wanted to satisfy women was because I was hoping that they would satisfy me not with sex but with their love. I was using sex to get intimacy. In order for me to get that intimacy and that attachment, I had to have sex. You can’t get it from her if you don’t have the sex but it’s really not about the sex itself. So I was a whore just like my mother. But it was different. This whore had money. Hey, if I didn’t make you happy and satisfy you sexually, how about this Mercedes-Benz? This car is really orgasmic, isn’t it? It sounds trite but I was probably looking for someone to mother me. My whole life I was looking for love from my mother. My mother never gave love to a man. She gave them headaches, she scalded them, she stabbed them. I never saw my mother kiss a man. I saw her in bed with them but I never heard “I love you” or saw someone kiss her forehead.
  • That’s one thing about happiness. You could be in hell and be happy there. Some people thrive in misery, you can take away their misery and bring them into the light and they die emotionally and spiritually because pain and suffering has been their only comfort. The thought of someone loving them and helping them without wanting anything in return could never enter their minds.
  • That’s why I became more humble, more subservient, because that’s what Islam is truly about. Islam is all about love, peace and submission. Because you submit in peace, it doesn’t mean you’re weak, but it’s just being humble to God.
  • I couldn’t be humble when they pushed me to the front of the line to kiss the Black Stone. The Stone itself is in the Eastern cornerstone of the Kabah, the ancient stone building in Mecca towards which Muslims around the world pray. On the Hajj you’re supposed to circle the stone seven times and kiss it if you can. There are so many pilgrims though some people who’ve been going to Mecca their whole lives have never kissed the black stone. I kissed it four times in thirty minutes. I’m there and they’re splitting people like the Red Sea and bringing me right up to kiss it. They’re pushing these pious people to the side so I can put my dirty-a**ed, diseased coke-licking mouth on it. It made me feel horrible.
  • People often ask me what I regret in my life. I regret sleeping with all those women. I used to brag about that but now I’m so embarrassed by my conquests. I’m so happy to be with one woman.
  • We know that all this temporary. I’m going to grow old and die tomorrow or ten years from now or forty years if I’m lucky. But when you’re with your family, it makes you feel like you’ll live forever. You get to this age and you just thank God for letting you live another day. He didn’t owe us that day. So you have to live every day like it’s your last. And you have to take personal responsibility. If you want to be a better person you have to take personal responsibility. You can’t blame things on society. If you want to be a better person you have to look within and overcome that. You are your own worst enemy. I know I am my own worst enemy. The only guy who wants to kill me is me.

If you like what you read check out the book at Amazon.

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First blog post

An incident in a supermarket.

It was a hot day in summer and as a Brit, when we say it’s hot in summer we mean it’s HOT. Our summers are usually rubbish full of rain and cold. It was morning, I was shopping in the supermarket with my daughter who at the time was a lot younger and was sitting in the trolley chair. I was dressed in an abaya (long Islamic dress) and dressed summery ^.^ underneath, I was sweltering.

I was walking around the supermarket, pushing the trolley as I turned the aisle the bottom of my abaya got caught and stuck in the trolley wheel I mean really jammed. the Muslimah (female Muslims) know about the long abayas that sweep and clean the floor and get caught in anything like escalators but we still love them. In my mind I instantly freaked out I thought I wont be able to get it out of the wheel and if I do I’ll rip it leaving myself over exposed.

Almost instantly two elderly white women appeared next to me, “your ‘dress’ is caught, we’ll lift up the trolley and you try to pull it out”. They both lifted up the trolley, I bent down trying to pull my abaya out, at the same time they were entertaining my daughter by baby talking to her. It was really wrapped around the wheel I managed to pull it out and didn’t rip it! I stood up, put my hand on one of the women’s shoulder relief, “oh my God I was gonna have a heart attack”, she laughed, “is your dress ok? have you ripped it?”, I found this incredibly warming not only had they just went out of their way to help me (don’t forget these are elderly women picking up a trolley with my shopping and daughter in, it’s not easy) they were also concerned about my clothing. I also have no idea how they spotted it was caught. I said “don’t worry about it I don’t care”, I was so exasperated I gave them my thanks and gratitude then carried on with my shopping as did they.

I realised I was so freaked out that I didn’t even look at them in their face or their eye and I didn’t even know what they looked like, if I saw them again in the supermarket I wouldn’t even be able discern that they were the two elderly white women that had just helped me.

The moral of this story

The current climate in the UK and the world especially in the West towards Islam and Muslims is a very negative one and women are at the forefront of Islamophobic attacks. Due to all of this hostility I already have my preconceived notions. Even though the women had just helped me i still thought they were going to make a comment ‘why would you wear that thing when something like this can happen’ but they didn’t they were more concerned about my abaya then i was. The negative attacks are in the minority but have been brought to the forefront which cause a lot of fear. There are a lot of kind, caring and helpful people in society that do kind acts for no other reason then that is their nature.

The small act of kindness from these women helped me more than just that mere act, they shattered my preconceived notions about people’s prejudices towards Muslims and mine towards them.

Our religion Islam

Our religion Islam teaches us mercy and kindness to others, if we want the betterment of this society then we have to seek out ways to help or just like these women did, when we come across someone who may not necessarily be in need, help them without even offering.

Thank U for reading my 1st post 🙂