Archive | August 18, 2011

Layla-tul Qadr

Layla-tul Qadr

 

With all the distractions, challenges and demands that have set upon us this year 2011/1432, many Muslims have found it difficult to settle into the flow of Ramadhan this year, more so than in previous years. Now our annual Reminder asks our full attention as the Night of a Thousand Nights is upon us. 

Layla-tul Qadr falls on the night with the odd number within the last 10 days of Ramadhan; beginning from the 19th, and ending on the 27/29th. Some practices simplifies this making  Layla-tul Qadr the 27th.

‘’Search for the Night of Qadr in the odd nights of the last ten days of Ramadhan’’(Al-Bukhari 3: 32# 234)

Traditions say there are signs apparent when it is Layla-tul Qadr which lends credence to the understanding that some kind of synchronicity has to take place in the universe to declare that the heavens are open to receive direct audience on a mass scale, a scale that corrects the imbalance of our miscreations so that on mass we can surrender in a state of Islam. This also means that one has to be removed from the kind of distractions that prevents one from knowing that it is indeed Layla-tul Qadr, a night of complete calm where even the dogs do not howl! When the…

  • night is so peaceful that it instills peace in the heart – it is neither hot nor cold, with a clear moon shaped like a bowl that has no rays.
  • There will be no shooting stars in the night
  • sunrise of the following morning rises as a disc without beams of light, appearing like the moon.

The Islamic calendar and the secular calendar this year numerically synchronizes during Ramadhan 1432. Layla-tul Qadr this year falls on the last day of Illumination in the first phase of the Shift of the Ages in the esoteric non-Muslim world, which began on the last day of Ramadhan’s Ayaam ul Baydh or Layla-tul Bara’at (i.e. 13th, 14th, 15th), which in turn was an auspicious full moon. This is in preparation for raising the earthly vibrations which have sunken to the depths of mankind’s miscreations, duality and separations that has caused so many so much pain and unnecessary suffering.

We are now being held accountable for our intentions and our actions, as we go through a global purge, as Layla-tul Qadr 1432 serves us as a reminder to the final divine guidance to mankind towards a more balanced life full of harmony and mutual respect, as well as respect for one’s true self as opposed to the affectation of one’s mind, the ideal self that is a manifestation of imbalanced societies.

Prophet Muhammed (SAW) pondered over the longer lives of the people of the past ages and when comparing them with much shorter lives of this Ummah, he became greatly saddened, because the jihad an nafs of this Ummah stands challenged to benefit as those before them. Because of this, Allah (SWT) in His Mercy granted us Layla-tul Qadr.

Layla-tul Bara’at prepared us for this Night, when we seek pardon reflecting on the sins we have committed, and make a commitment to not repeat them for it is on this Night the decision for the year to come is made.

Our hearts, minds and limbs should be striving to one direction, for what is worship when our tongues say one thing, but our hearts, minds and limbs say something else. We should make ghusl (ritual bathing), and put on clean clothes as we prepare for the Night of a Thousand Nights. It a Night to give unto our Creator al our pain and suffering so that we may Surrender to a state of Islam seeking His Pardon, His guidance, and the blessings of the Creator that sustains all life for science has a long way to go before it can prove that God does not exist!

Related Topics:

Ramadhan Reflections: Why Do The Same Issues Keep Coming Up In My Life?‏

Ramadhan Reflections: Are You Worthy of God’s Forgiveness?‏

Ramadhan Reflections: I Am Just Too Busy Right Now‏

Ramadhan 2011

Layla-tul Bara’at

A Season for Forgiveness

Letter to the Self #30 Remember Me

Earth Shift and Shift of the Ages

Ramadhan Reflections: What you see in others IS a reflection of who YOU are.‏

What you see in others IS a reflection of who YOU are.‏

 

Text Summary:

A believer is a mirror to another believer.

Often, it is easy to look at others and see their mistakes, the issues, problems, the things that make us upset. So why would the prophet peace be upon him say this narration?

This is because, what you and I see and think about others, comes from what is in our own hearts and minds. The way we look at others is really a projection of that which is within us. This is one of the reasons why the prophet peace be upon him said that we are mirrors to each other. When we look, if all we see is negative, bleak, we see mistakes or flaws in others, it is because we have conditioned ourselves to see this and in fact have begun to internalize this way of thinking. Sometimes, it is because we feel negative about ourselves that we look down on others to try to feel good.

During this month, when we take away the distractions from our life and we have time to reflect, a question to ask ourselves is- “What am I seeing when I look at others? And if everything I see is negative, when I look at people, I see their flaws and faults, then what does that say about me as an individual?”

Perhaps we need to spend more time reflecting on ourselves, on the things we need to work on to improve ourselves and instead of looking at peoples’ flaws and mistakes if we try to find the good in them, the redeeming qualities we may begin to notice a change in our own lives.

This lesson can be further extended to all people around us and to our societies. When we look around, what we see is another example of who we are as individuals. When you look around, do you see hope? a chance for change? opportunities for mercy and kindness? OR do you see darkness? a lack of hope? despair?

So if we go back to the narration, that “God will not change a condition of a people until they first change what is in their hearts”, it helps us to understand why- what we see is a reflection of what is within. It gives us an opportunity to ask ourselves, what it is we need to change from within? How do we mould our hearts so that the reflection that we see of ourselves in others and society is one of hope, beauty, mercy, kindness and optimism?

God is Beautiful and loves beauty and we hope that by extension what we see is a reflection of beauty from within ourselves. One of my friends said, it is like going on a treasure hunt when you look at others, you find the things that make them beautiful. Instead of seeing the mistakes, it is about making seventy excuses for someone and never judging others because we didn’t walk in their shoes.

As we work on improving our hearts and our connection with God, let us allow that beauty and peace pervade into what we see around us and in how we interact with others.

 

Related Topics:

Ramadhan Reflections: It’s Not Really My Problem

Ramadhan Reflections: Why Do The Same Issues Keep Coming Up In My Life?‏

Ramadhan Reflections: Should I Be Interacting With People Who Aren’t Muslim?‏

Ramadhan Reflections: Why does Islam Seem So Hard and Boring All the Time!

Ramadhan Reflection: Of course I Care About Others…Sort of!

Ramadhan Reflections: Does God Make Mistakes?

Why Does God Let These Things Happen To Me?

Ramadhan Reflections: Are You Worthy of God’s Forgiveness?‏

Do You Really Trust Allah?

Ramadhan Reflections: Does God Think About You?‏

Ramadhan Reflections: Memorizing the Qur’an is Not Enough

Ramadhan Reflections: What Do Your Actions Say About You?‏

The World Does NOT Revolve Around Me.‏

Stuffing Ourselves and Sleeping All Day…

Ramadhan Reflections: Do My Prayers Benefit Me?

Ramadan Reflections- We begin with Mercy‏

Pre-Ramadhan Reflections

Keep Ramadhan Simple!

Ramadhan 2011

Iftar…

Letter to the Self #30 Remember Me

Letter to the Self #29 Forgiveness

Letter to Self # 28: Those We Ignore
Letter to the Self # 27: Destination or the Journey!
Letter to the Self # 26: Change
Letters to the Self #25: Window of Opportunity
Letters to the Self #24: More Than You Think You Are Able
Letters to the Self #23: Submission
Letter to the Self #22: Do You Have Trust Issues?
Letter to the Self #21: Possessions
Letter to the Self #20: Sacred Spaces
Letter to the Self # 19: The Big “I”
Letter to the Self # 18: Insecurities
Letter to the Self # 17: Backbiting

U.K: Cameron’s Reaction Proves Talk is Cheap

The riots were no surprise for some!

 

It does take an emergency to show a person’s true colour, and none better than the recent London Riots while Syria stands accused, as the contradictory responses discredits that Western leaders do actually stand up for anything.

Making invisible the narrow line between capitalism, and communism, as Britons who had disengaged themselves from politics stand to criticize that made apparent by London’s days of blind rage, Cameron, the polished man of British politics, fails miserably.

One wonders how much Cameron would have stood up to the test of Egyptian youth, as a representative of the people who:

  • Has more than a smudge of corruption in his past
  • Who defends the “rights” of his corrupt friends
  • Who withdrew the right to affordable health (alternative) from the British public, while the nation’s health is increasingly compromised by the National Health Service (e.g. injection of a toxic chemotherapy drug called vincristine into the spine rather than a vein.
  • Who tripled the cost of higher education
  • When bright students from low income families are now less likely to get a place at university – adding underdeveloped intelligence to a volatile cocktail
  • Who increased the cost of public transport
  • Who was on holiday in  Bersculoni’s Italy when the riots broke out and failed to “turn up on the scene” until the third night of blind rage.
  • When Cameron did turn up he ordered the London police to stand and observe until the third night, while the Birmingham and Manchester police were already  hunting looters and issuing clear photos of suspects.
  • Is the resignation of two top police officials previous, and the order to police “stand and observe” to make way for Cameron’s desire to install Bill Bratton, former police chief of New York, Los Angeles and Boston as head of British police
  • Had Rupert Murdoch as his communications man in government, Bill Bratton as head of Britain’s national security, and challenges U.K. membership of the European Union as the Eurozone takes a further step towards becoming a single government?
  • Does not seem to notice that the riot hotspots, are the poorest areas
  • Vows to re-write the laws pertaining to human rights when Britain Chairs the European Council in November – rights Cameron considers to be “a corrosive influence on behaviour and morality’ in a way which has ‘undermined personal responsibility”.
  • Considers evicting rioters from their homes as a solution, a solution that will make the streets their dominion
  • Has been considering even before the riots how to take control of social media – an example of democracy in action?
  • Will increase crowd control through water cannons, and batons
  • Whose concept of justice is military style retribution – not a very good example for those arrested (mostly under 18 years of age) when youth unemployment is at an all-time high of 1 in 5 (16 – 24 year olds), and unless one earns above a certain income, work is not a route out of poverty when higher education is in increasingly inaccessible to them

 

Related Topics:

U.K: If It Hurts the Family we Shouldn’t Do It!

U.K. Riots in Context!

To Be Accepted or Rejected!

British Riots: Elites “Shocked” The Poor Are Rising Up…

U.K. – Tottenham Riot and Disenfranchised Youth

Living off the Grid: How Ridiculous Can the U.K. Get!

U.K: The Affect of Globalization on Poverty

The Deserving Poor!

Anti-Austerity and Living on the Edge

Being Driven Insane!

Iceland: New Constitution Created By the People for the People

Iceland: New Constitution Created By the People for the People

 

By Aaron Saenz

 

The newest government in the world was designed with help from comments on the internet. God help us all. After Iceland’s economic collapse in 2008, the island nation decided it was time to write a new constitution, this one not based on its parent country of Denmark but rather made from the original ideas of its citizens. Iceland’s small population of 320,000 elected 25 assembly members from 522 ordinary candidates (including lawyers, political science professors, journalists, and many other professions), who in turn opened their process up to the public in an unprecedented fashion. The Constitutional Council was highly active on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Flickr, where they solicited comments and suggestions for the new government. On Friday July 29th, 2011, the Iceland parliament officially received the new constitution, comprised of 114 articles divided into 9 chapters. Set to be reviewed, and then put before vote for ratification by October 1st, the internet-assisted document marks a possible paradigm shift in governing. In the 21st Century, we’re writing our constitutions with social media. The future is a crazy place.

From the elections to the website, Iceland has gone to great length to make their citizens feel involved and enabled by the process of writing the new constitution. Candidates for the constitutional assembly gathered thousands of signatures to appear on the ballot, and discussed their views publicly on 50 radio show presentations. The candidates also wrote about themselves on public websites including Wikipedia and Facebook. After The Constitutional Council was formed, there was a constant upstream of their proceedings to Twitter, and Facebook, along with regular photo updates on Flickr. You can find videos of The Constitutional Council on YouTube, but they’re in Icelandic. Just to give you a taste, here’s the inaugural meeting…opening with a song!

In many ways then, the new Iceland constitution was the first to ever be born completely in the public eye. Sure, constitutional assemblies are often open to some sort of public scrutiny, but Iceland’s was broadcast on the internet. Council members regularly interacted with commenters, and every week the latest drafts of the various chapters (or the work related to their writing) were shared via a public website. Live broadcasts of the open council meetings were shown every Thursday via their site as well as Facebook. There was even a regular e-newsletter. Iceland used the web like never before to open up their process to the world and attract the attention of their public.

The Constitutional Council handed the proposed draft to the Parliament last week, but it’s too soon to know if social media was the right answer for this challenge.

Yet the enthusiasm from the public hasn’t exactly been stellar (maybe they didn’t like the singing?). Despite the historic nature of the constitutional elections, little more than a third of Iceland actually voted (83,531 or 35.95% of the ~230,000 eligible voters). That election, by the way, was deemed invalid by the Supreme Court of the nation due to problems with voter privacy, and the parliament had to eventually appoint the same elected candidates to the Constitutional Council in order to get things rolling. It’s unclear how that debacle tainted the opinion of the council in the eyes of the Icelandic public. While the social media presence has been active during the writing of the constitution, the main website only garnered about 1600 comments. That’s certainly a lot for the Council to wade through, but I’m not sure you can call it a mandate from Iceland’s people – especially when you consider many comments were made from interested parties from all over the world.

The lessons we are to learn from Iceland’s new constitution, then, are a mixed bag. It’s absolutely amazing that an entire structure of government was made with help from social media and in total view of the world. Anyone from Reykjavík to Rio de Janeiro could watch and even give input to how Iceland should be governed. But that didn’t guarantee widespread public support nor even success. The new constitution is 700+ pages of ideals that may or may not be ratified come October, and whose ultimate benefit to Iceland is uncertain. Crowd-sourcing a constitution was a remarkably ballsy move, but it will take years before we know if it was a smart one.

1000 points to Iceland for being progressive, daring, and crazy enough to undergo this revolutionary approach to government formation. 1,000,000,000 points to whoever can find a way to learn from this example and successfully leverage the power of social media to truly make the world a better place to live.

Source:

Iceland Walks Away from the International Banking System

Ramadhan Reflections: It’s Not Really My Problem

Ramadhan Reflections: It’s Not Really My Problem

Text Summary:

In the Qur’an, Allah says, “You are the best of nations raised up for humanity”. What does this mean? Does this mean that, “I am the best” and we can walk around with our chests swelled up with pride looking down at others who are different than us? What does that verse mean?

In another verse, Allah describes those who follow this message as the ones who, “enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong”.  It means that we are supposed to be a community that stands up for good in society, that initiates goodness and  calls for justice for all people. It also means that we do not let injustice to silently pass us by, that we advocate for the poor and the marginalized and we reach our hands out in mercy to those who need help. When we look at what “best” means, and reflect on the life of Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him, we understand that it is about being ambassadors of mercy to our society; it is about service.

What should concern us is when we become apathetic. We get self-absorbed and sucked into our “9-5” reality, focusing on our jobs, our houses and cars and forget that it is our responsibility to go out into society and assist, advocate, speak up, share, challenge, build, co-construct….to become lights of goodness and beacons of hope to all those around us. We begin to think, situations are bad or unjust but it “does not concern me” so I won’t say anything.

In a narration of the prophet peace be upon him said, “If you see something wrong, correct it with your hands, if you can’t, then correct it with your tongues and if you can’t even do that, hate it with your hearts, but know that this is the weakest of faith”. This is why we have this responsibility, because we know that God is Just and Merciful and so we cannot be silent in the face of injustice or wrong-doing against ANY group of people. We cannot forget that we have a moral obligation and responsibility to all those around us and we will be held accountable by God if we don’t fulfill this.

Let us use this month for reflection and re-evaluation and to encourage each other to be those voices that call for what is good and just in our societies and speak out against injustices. Let us be among those who come with solutions and try to make our communities and countries a better place to be for all.


Related Topics:

Ramadhan Reflections: Should I Be Interacting With People Who Aren’t Muslim?‏

Ramadhan Reflections: Why does Islam Seem So Hard and Boring All the Time!

Ramadhan Reflection: Of course I Care About Others…Sort of!

Ramadhan Reflections: Does God Make Mistakes?

Why Does God Let These Things Happen To Me?

Ramadhan Reflections: Are You Worthy of God’s Forgiveness?‏

Do You Really Trust Allah?

Ramadhan Reflections: Does God Think About You?‏

Ramadhan Reflections: Memorizing the Qur’an is Not Enough

Ramadhan Reflections: What Do Your Actions Say About You?‏

The World Does NOT Revolve Around Me.‏

Stuffing Ourselves and Sleeping All Day…

Ramadhan Reflections: Do My Prayers Benefit Me?

Ramadan Reflections- We begin with Mercy‏

Pre-Ramadhan Reflections

Keep Ramadhan Simple!

Ramadhan 2011

Iftar…

Letter to the Self #30 Remember Me

Letter to the Self #29 Forgiveness

Letter to Self # 28: Those We Ignore
Letter to the Self # 27: Destination or the Journey!
Letter to the Self # 26: Change
Letters to the Self #25: Window of Opportunity
Letters to the Self #24: More Than You Think You Are Able
Letters to the Self #23: Submission
Letter to the Self #22: Do You Have Trust Issues?
Letter to the Self #21: Possessions
Letter to the Self #20: Sacred Spaces
Letter to the Self # 19: The Big “I”
Letter to the Self # 18: Insecurities
Letter to the Self # 17: Backbiting
Letter to the Self # 16: Knowledge or Just Information?